031 / Pandemic Artwork Stories


031 / pandemic artwork stories


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

I have a studio in my home on Long Island, New York. I have been able to create a lot of artwork as we have all been staying home so much more. I Zoom with fellow artists once a week and we give each other support and feedback. I am taking an East Asian brush painting class online. Between colored pencils and sumi-e, I keep busy. I do an exercise class via Zoom 4-5 mornings a week and I participate in two book groups that now meet virtually. I’m knitting an afghan for one of my sons and just started knitting scarves to give as gifts.

How did you find inspiration from your surroundings for it?

I was sad and frustrated that I couldn’t do very much to help my mother who was told to shelter in place alone in her apartment for three months. I wanted to try to express her loneliness. I have a small collection of Lalique crystal figurines, and I used them to set up a still life for this painting. The glass reminded me of how fragile life is and I felt that the position of the figures portrayed the loneliness we felt during our isolation. This piece was different for me on several levels. It was both an emotional piece and not my usual subject matter. I wanted to do it on black paper and only had a pad of UArt sanded pastel paper which I had never used before. In the end, creating it was a cathartic exercise.

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

I appreciate my health, my family, and my friends even more now. Aside from all the extra creative time, another positive has been getting to see my cousin more often. She lives in Manhattan and enjoys the change of scenery that comes with visiting me in suburbia. We socially distance in my backyard during her visits.

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

All the artwork is fabulous and I’m proud that my work is part of the collection. Olena Babak’s piece “Red Line” stood out to me when I first saw the collection and I am still drawn to it. I love the contrast between the beautifully detailed face and the simplicity and looseness of the rest of the painting. I enjoyed reading the story behind her work. I also have to say that Ian Greathead’s piece "Davidoff and Bourbon" reminds me of my husband as he has a similar appreciation for the finer things in life. 

Learn more about Caryn's artwork and story