COVID-19 & ART


The world is currently at war with a silent, but deadly enemy that has up to this point in time, reached almost every country. These are difficult times, indeed scary times and the impact of COVID-19 has already had a monumental impact on our daily lives, with more to come. The really scary part of all that’s occurring is that no-one knows when this will all end and when it does, what the world will look like. One thing is for sure, things will never be the same again!

Gardening is great therapy!

Recently, I resigned from my represented gallery in Launceston, Gallery Pejean. It was the right time and the right decision, one that I had been considering for the past 6 months. What a time to do such a thing! I really fear for the Arts industry in Australia. With everything seemingly going pear-shaped, the Arts will be a major casualty. I expect there will be a significant downturn in spending once we’ve beaten the virus. This could last for several years. People won’t have the money (or the inclination) to spend on ‘luxuries’ such as entertainment and art purchases. How many galleries will fold? How many artists will be impacted by an ever-shrinking market? Will online selling of art become the norm? The short-term outlook is grim, but our health is the major priority.

‘Stay at Home’, is the now the way of life, but for how long? 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 months? Who knows? The big challenge is what to do and how to keep sane. I plan each of my days with specific goals, one of which is to spend some quality time in my studio. My wife and I are well advanced in the creation of a large vegetable and fruit garden for which I usually allocate half a day, weather permitting. There’s a lot still to be done, but hey, why the rush? It’s important to have (flexible) structure in each day’s plan and a good degree of self-discipline. Boredom is not to be tolerated! Exercise is very important and daily walking (while permitted) is very beneficial not just physically, but emotionally.

The first in my series of drawings of ‘Floating Autumn Objects’.

I have set myself a specific art goal with the intention of staging an exhibition at some future point, probably online, but hopefully in a gallery space. My aim is to produce a series of A3-sized coloured pencil drawings under the theme of ‘Floating Autumn Objects’, using only 8 colours, plus black and white. With each new drawing I must use 8 colours that I haven’t already used. The more drawings I do, the trickier this task becomes. I expect to be taken out of my comfort zone at some point, but I enjoy such challenges! I have chosen my collection of Pablo coloured pencils to work with. They have 120 colours, which will result in a maximum of 14 drawings (as black and white will appear in all of them). I also have several other drawings ‘in progress’ that aren’t related, to give me some variety in my studio work.The second drawing in progress.

Drawing number 3, waiting for colour.

I wish that everyone will stay safe, healthy and occupied during this challenging time.

Richard

 

About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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8 Responses to COVID-19 & ART

  1. Edna Broad says:

    It is indeed a difficult time with no end in sight Richard. I have left my studio space and moved it to home with postponed exhibitions. Not a good time for the arts because when we do emerge from isolation it will be a very different economic and social world that we will meet in. But as you say, gardening is a good way to connect to the realities and exercise as well. Art and gardening Yin and Yang. Keep well.

  2. Thanks for sharing Richard! The idea of daily goals is harder than it seems. We have always had a veggie garden and chickens, but now we can’t buy seeds or pullets! It’s a crazy ride but I am grateful I still have work otherwise I would be a very starving artist..

  3. Jan Fagan says:

    That garden is quite the undertaking but I’m sure it will be worth every bit of effort. I agree so much with the idea of goal setting especially now. At the end of the day it feels good to be able to check certain items on my list as “complete”. Love your newsletter! Thanks for sharing and stay safe. 🙂

  4. A great read Richard. Indeed strange times, and I have been feeling very confused and reluctant to make art. I was supposed to have been presenting at my first workshop in July but of course now it’s cancelled – the wind has definitely been taken out of my sails (sales, too for that matter). Trying to find my mojo again.

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