Artists are told that the more you create art the easier it is to find subjects to paint. It took a year of being quarantined for me to discover the truth in that statement. Faced with isolation my husband and I got into the safe and protected cabin of our car. We discovered life all around us in the form of dogs being walked. Since it was March and very cold weather, perhaps suddenly owners had time to gussy up their dogs. We were treated to a daily fashion show that included canine outfits and occasionally included footwear. I began documenting the view quickly filling sketchbooks. The routine of sketching from the car became second nature. I went through dry media that had been collecting dust and segued to watercolor made easy with brush pens, (plastic cylinders that hold water various sized brushes at the end)—no muss, no fuss. The dogs led to other themes; buildings, stores, signs took on new significance, fences, restaurants, even machinery and vehicles. I found favorite spots to study the big picture, my husband the antics of squirrels, birds, and when spring came weasels.
I’d always wondered what would happen if I had unlimited time to pursue art. Hemming and hawing about what subject to attack gave way to confidently just putting pen, pencil, marker and brush to paper. As I added to my stock of finished work an angel in the form of my sister miles away requested, (by email) the use of one of my artworks to put on the cover of a low-content book she was about to launch. History was made and this new collaboration astounded both of us. Our parents Bob and Olive Kelley became bobbin-olive.com.
Good things can come from adversity. We are a prime example. When all doors closed due to a horrid virus, germ-free, virtual and technical ones swung wide open. The old expression about oysters, for us, came true because when famine of biblical proportions descended, we plucked bounty from nature. Your vista is broad, deep, unlimited and options are vast. Perhaps not in the old way but, in new, surprising ways. Isn’t that a grand theme to explore?