027 / Pandemic Artwork Stories


027 / pandemic artwork stories


Where are you painting from and what have you been doing to keep busy?

My studio is a spare bedroom in my home. So when the pandemic struck, it did not affect where I paint...but it definitely affected how much time I had available to be in my studio painting. My inventory of finished paintings definitely has gotten a boost. I have more than once wondered about people during this pandemic who do not have something they enjoy doing to turn to while quarantined.  It made my quarantine experience so very much easier to deal with.

Three of my artist friends and I have also scheduled a Zoom get together every two weeks. This has allowed us to keep in touch. We share what we have been working on and give each other feedback on the progress on our paintings. That alone has made a tremendous difference for me.

In addition, I am a board member for the National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society. Although we have been able to have our two shows since the pandemic began, because of the COVID-19 guidelines limiting travel and size of groups, the activities we organized around the opening of our shows were held virtually instead of onsite and the awards ceremony was done on Zoom.

That certainly created new challenges for us. My role on the board is working with vendors for donations for our award winners. As can be imagined, the pandemic made my job more difficult. Many of the businesses closed for periods of time and a few closed for good, which was very sad to hear. Although I was isolated in my home enjoying my painting time, talking with the vendors really brought reality to the hardships so many people are facing...losing jobs, having to close their businesses and in some cases dealing with COVID-19 themselves. Talking to people experiencing these issues is very different than seeing the reports on TV. 

How did you find inspiration from your surroundings for it?

I am a still life painter and over time I have collected a lot of objects for my paintings. When the pandemic hit and I was ready to start a new painting, I knew it needed to be something that would make me smile. A search of my shelves in the closet found me pulling together objects with bright colors...gumballs and ribbons came together on my setup platform. 

I have been painting a series of paintings based on martini glasses, so I found myself filling the martini glass with the colorful gumballs and ribbons I had pulled together. My typical background is black to have my objects on the composition pop, but I found myself not wanting to paint with black. I went with a beautiful blue, a much “happier” color for the background, and the stripes on the tabletop. “Merry Martini” came to life and still makes me smile when I look at it.  

What is one positive that has come from this experience for you?

There have not been very many positives in 2020 I am afraid.  But, certainly a positive is that neither my husband nor I have contracted Coronavirus. We continue to avoid going out any more than necessary and taking all precautions in the hopes we can continue to have that positive.  

It has also become very clear to me how important friends and family are in our lives. We take so many things for granted in our busy lives. And then when things are not possible you realize how important they are. It has made me look at doing some things differently when things go back to “normal”. I will put more emphasis on family and friends being a major focus in my life and not let less important things eat away at my time and attention. 

What is one of your favorite pieces in the collection from a fellow artist?

There are so many pieces that I deeply admire and connect with in The Collection. Certainly I have several friends with pieces in the The Collection. But for some reason the painting “Summer Haze” by Hillary Scott really resonates with me. The soft colors and the warm light of the sinking sun bring peace and hopefulness to my mind. It makes me want to be there to experience that sunset. In this time of turmoil and fear the beauty of Mother Nature can recenter your thoughts and feelings. Just a wonderful painting.

Learn more about Karen's artwork and story