Art in the Pandemic

WOODLAND STREAM, acrylic on canvas, 12×9

WE NEED ART MORE THAN EVER during a national crisis. Great art, and lots of it.

We need art for beauty’s sake; for escape and comfort; to be provoked and entertained.

We need art to challenge ourselves and assimilate new ideas; to express our deepest and most profound thoughts and feelings.

We need art to remind us who we are, and what we can become.

Everyone needs to do their part to get through this pandemic. If artists consider themselves essential, now is the time to demonstrate it. When I see articles about the financially struggling artist, I think: except for a few at the top, most of us were struggling anyway. 

Yet we still get to do what we love to do, in safe, familiar surroundings. Unlike many, we are used to working in isolation, and putting aside distractions. We are better positioned than most to seize the moment.

So now is not the time to take two years to complete an eight-foot portrait of the earl in his study. We are not the Impressionists, Deco, or Op Art. We need to create something new and dynamic that reflects the uniqueness of our times, a period of great global upheaval, natural and cyber.

If we truly value the sacrifices and risks undertaken by those who tend our sick, supply us with food, and bring us packages, we must respond in kind. We can’t sit back and wait until we are in the mood. We need to lead and inspire, helping others to cope with and make sense of these troubling times.

HEIRLOOM, oil on canvas, 11×14

4 Replies to “Art in the Pandemic”

    1. That’s a great question. In my opinion, no. The computer screen is too limiting in size and substance. If it is our best (or only) option for now, we have to use it, but it is no substitute for the real thing, in a real time and place. Thanks for the comment.

    1. Like all industries, eventually we will figure it out, and there may be many creative solutions. In the meantime, we must work with what we have … and keep painting!!

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