A View From the Easel During Times of Quarantine

This is the 179th installment of a series in which artists send in a photo and a description of their workspace. In light of COVID-19, we’ve asked participants to reflect on how the pandemic has impacted their studio space and/or if their work process has changed while quarantining. Want to take part? Please submit your studio! Just check out the submission guidelines.

Sydney Albertini, Amagansett, New York

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The time during  Covid meant I had a full house: I am a single mom of three boys and I have a partner and am taking care of my father. This is a photograph of my “dry studio,” which is in my house. A full house of men and immediate family focused my thoughts on those relationships as a woman, a mother, and a daughter. As my work is a visual diary, and I am the conduit between thought and end piece, I started highly personal pieces and series with no fear, as a result of being in a concentrated bubble. It also solidified my bond with my natural maritime environment, as it played a key role in my overall strength.

COVID-19 took time away from work, gave me new questions to explore, and make key connections in My work.

Maria Napolitano, Providence, Rhode Island

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Since the start of the pandemic and the collapse of the world as we know it, working in my compact home studio has helped me to persevere in this difficult and uncertain time. During lockdown, walking every day in our local park has been a lifesaver. Observing and making note of the daily occurrences that happen during an hour in nature and seeing how they have changed in the last seven months has been an inspiration. It has given a new dimension to my nature-based artwork. I have moved from paintings that dealt with close observation of tiny plant life to a mapping of the spaces I walk — interjected with anything from birds, swan boats, and ripples on a pond, to trees, wild grasses, and kiddie rides. This outdoor immersion alongside the necessary stay-at-home isolation has helped me approach my work with a deeper insight and an openness to experimentation.

Jane Everett, Shuswap, British Columbia, Canada

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This summer I finally began work in my purpose-built studio in the Shuswap in the southern interior of British Columbia. While COVID-19 restrictions have curtailed the public part of my work with exhibitions and projects canceled or postponed, the new studio, with its big working wall, has allowed me to work on a large scale. This, in turn, has triggered a new phase in my work. These paintings are not just bigger but significantly more abstract — landscape-based rather than landscapes, in which color and light are the real subject. My heart goes out to the many artists who have suffered from financial hardship and isolation during these strange times. I have been lucky in that the isolation of my Shuswap studio has been enormously helpful in allowing me the time, space, (and shall I say nerve?) to push the self-imposed boundaries of my practice. In my old studio, large pieces had to be partly rolled while I worked on them or they had to be laid out on the floor. The main trouble with this is that you don’t really get to see the whole painting, to sit and stare, which is so often the most important thing to do. In the new space, I still feel guilty about splashing my paint on the pristine walls but I forget all about that when I’m working, and soon that problem will solve itself.

I would not want this shutdown to last much longer and I hate the idea of only seeing art on a computer screen, but it has been time out from the hurly burly that has had a strange grace of its own.

This week, artists reflect on quarantining from their studios in New York, Rhode Island, and British Columbia.Read MoreArticles, A View from the Easel, COVID-19 quarantineHyperallergicRead More

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