I cancelled I was so excited to start the new year after spending the holiday trekking to and from Florida. We arrived home on the afternoon of New Year's Eve and had a restful evening. I got up and joined a couple of friends for a workout on New Year's Day -- great start to the year so far. I completed 5 paintings that week. But as the week progressed, I could not ignore the nagging aches in my body and growing fatigue. Then the fever hit. I went for a Covid test, which came back positive. Bummer. I cancelled my First Friday art event. This is not how I planned January!
That said, I'm grateful for a few kind souls in my life. My boyfriend made sure that painting orders still went out on time. My dog has been ever at my side. And a really sweet friend of mine in California sent me a surprise care package filled with goodies from Blue Oak Coffee in Bakersfield, which she co-owns. Bernadette roasts her own coffee beans, and you can order online.
The care package included organically grown oranges and Meyer lemons. I immediately looked up receipes for Meyer lemons, and came across this great recipe for Ginger Cardamom Meyer Lemon Crinkle Cookies over at the PineappleandCoconut. I may have eaten quite a bit of the dough before it even made it into the oven. But they were delicious baked as well.
Photo credit Shanna over at PineapplandCoconut.
How about treating yourself to some coffee and cookies? I'd love to know if you do!
In case you missed it on Instagram, here is a fun little clip I put together showing my painting process for my hydrangea painting titled "Rhapsody in Blue" in my "Dreaming in the Garden" Collection. I love working with my hands -- adult finger painting for lack of a better term. I create textures buy allowing my paint to run and drip using a water bottle. This way, each painting is unique. I finish off many of my paintings with Neocolor II water soluble wax pastels. Making marks with these pastels puts the finishing touches on each painting. I love sharing my process with you. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
You can see the entire collection right HERE.
Wow. Did you see it coming? COVID-19. I didn't. Life went from relatively routine and normal to downright bizarre in a matter of about a week here in America. I think most of us took the beginning days with a grain of salt, thinking the story was overblown or that our lives would not be affected very much. In America, we don't shut down. We are a nation of workaholics, many of whom never miss a day of work. We call in sick to work. And that's the problem.
I am a full time artist working from home, and so in some ways my daily routine has not changed much. But last week and now this week, little by little, the events that I had planned for my business have all been cancelled for April and May. I was to attend Glasgow Middle School in rural Kentucky as the school art program's Visiting Teacher for 2020 in April, and had signed up as an artisan vendor at the Wilder Mansion's Art in the Park in Elmhurst, IL in May. I counted on these events to generate income. But I also really looked forward to them! What an honor to be chosen as a school's Artist of the Year/Visiting Artist, and to be able to sell my paintings and my custom silk blend scarves at a professional, local event.
But if there is one thing to keep in mind through all of this, it's that people are resilient. We've survived stock market crashes, housing market crashes, terrorist attacks, wars, devastating storms.
I live just outside of Chicago, IL. Winters here are looooong, dark, painfully cold and brutal. Sometimes I wonder how anything survives. But you know what? Every spring, the land thaws and the flowers bloom. Every spring. Even after the Polar Vortex of 2019, the crocus and snowdrops appeared in March, as they do every spring.
We will get through this. I'm not even thinking that life will go back to the way it was pre-COVID-19. I know people who have been furloughed or lost their jobs entirely. But we will get past it. There will be sunny days ahead, and the flowers will bloom again.
I'm a lifelong artist living just outside of Chicago. I love flowers, vintage finds, nature hikes and all things beautiful.