For me, the garden has often been my refuge in so many times of trial, and especially so during this time of the pandemic. But its sanctuary is truncated during short winter days and inclement weather. Restorative outlets are scarce, and of course some of us are in quarantine and/or not feeling well and can’t go outside at all. In my own case, I’m pulling hobbies out from the closet for calming and creative outlets.
And I’m sharing them here, in case they bring any enjoyment for you, or spark more of your own creativity. I realize there are some for whom this pandemic means they are overworked at home, and probably all they want is some quiet time and rest. And I hope relief will present itself for you if that is the case!
Despite my introverted, hermit-leanings, I too am having days of serious cabin-fever. I was joking with friends recently (online) that I find myself talking to myself more than usual, and now it’s taken on the added amusement of talking to myself in song. I sing to my cat and as I do laundry. 🙂 I enjoyed one friend who said they even do that at the store now. Ha! yes, me too actually. Another friend shared that pandemic life involved long conversations with the dog (I’m paraphrasing). Love it!
I’m guessing that those of you with music in your heart must be playing your instruments or composing or listening to your favorites more than usual, is this the case? And those excellent sewists out there, like my mother, are making exquisite quilts and other marvels (and a shout-out to fellow blogger Reni and her elegant knit and sewn fashion creations here). Origami is beyond my patience-level, but I love seeing the amazing creations of my friend and mentor Jon Bernie (who happens to be a meditation teacher). Origami seems like it would be very calming and engaging during these times (and so can meditation).
I’m a visually-oriented person, and so I’ve been painting garden scenes with the aid of my photographs.
I’m not a trained painter and really didn’t even know how to get started painting until I took a weekend class on acrylic painting with Janet Moore many years ago. Janet is a local Sonoma County, California painter whose style and color palette I enjoy and I was delighted when she offered the class. I first encountered her artwork through our local Art Trails Tour. It looks like her website is being renovated, but I will edit this post if I find her list of current works and contact info*. She paints pastoral scenes from the area here–beautiful old barns and rolling hills–in a semi-abstract wash that resembles watercolors, though it is acrylic. If you decide to take up some art form and you don’t have supplies nearby, a good source of online art supplies is Blick.
Happily, and thanks to Janet’s good instruction, her class was enough to get me going with a handful of harmonious colors and painting tips, and now any inclement days of winter or cabin-fever is a chance to pour over a painting, especially when inspired from the garden.
Whether we feel good at painting or drawing or any creative outlet or not, I think we should give ourselves full permission to create anyway. It’s just FUN, and a stress-reducer, and we need some enjoyment in our lives right now.
In addition to my love of painting, I also recently started doodling with digital art on my iPad using the Apple pencil and app Procreate. If you pick up those kinds of digital tools easily, it’s fun. I probably need to add it to the list of my compulsive habits.
So here are a handful of my creations–hope you will enjoy. (Please don’t copy them without my permission.) I would love to see your artistic creations if you do some and feel like sharing! I will honor the ownership of your artwork as well. And please share what you have been doing to cope with pandemic life!
Wishing you health, peace and fulfillment!
*I found Janet Moore! Her website is on a pause. But if anyone is interested in her artwork, you can contact me and I’ll get a message to her.