Monday, August 10, 2020

NINETY-EIGHT AND STILL COUNTING!








COVID 100 Project:  Almost Finished or Maybe Not?

Think back to early March when we quickly became familiar with the vocabulary and experience of sheltering-in, isolation, self-quarantine! By mid-April we suspected it wasn't going to be over soon. Instead of talking about back to normal we were speculating on "the new Norms."  As a stop-gap measure I had painted "Spring Profusion" (see blog May 18), but it was time to re-think, re-plan, re-calibrate. I decided to Paint 100 daffodils...
L to R Daffodil #1"Daffodil with Attitude; #43; #41; #42; #76,77 "The Whole Story"
Acrylic+ on canvas 4x12  $150 each, includes shipping
Freedom Gallery, 8 Elm Street, Box 537, Freedom, NH 03836
Acrylic + 5X7 $95


Art instructors along the way have touted 
the advantages of painting a series. 
Painting small gives us practice with basics...
color, line, shape, composition...
while letting us try a variety of techniques.
And  in my garden
Daffodils were beginning to show
tips and color...
(Spring comes late in Freedom NH) 
I brashly stated I would paint 100 daffodils, 
thus my "COVID 100 Project," and slightly modified it...
I could put  more than one daffodil per painting. 
I wasn't going anywhere soon! 



Acrylic 5x7 $95
13 Minature Daffodils
To me, a slow painter, it was a daunting project, a questionable challenge, but chosen wisely! My years as an educator and a yogi have taught me that our brains like to stay busy, but we can choose and corral our thoughts. We can "switch the channels in our head" like we switch channels on the TV if we don't like the program. 
We can "leave the room" when we don't like the ads. It takes practice, but it can be done. There's a lot not to like about COVID and our political scene right now, and our mind will focus on that, like an itch we can't scratch,
UNLESS we change the channel!  Finding a pleasant focus certainly changes the mind set/experience of living. For me the focus became cheerful daffodils, but other points of focus do as well; being actively involved, mind and body: these chase the demons, supplant the negative with positive. Painting does that! 


So I painted my daffodils, single, in pairs, in small groupings, and learned what we really all know...one step at a time gets us where we want to go...
 Creativity is like a muscle or a habit. The more we use it the stronger it becomes. 100 had seemed so far away, but with each finished daffodil, other images came to mind, other techniques appeared as if from nowhere...more to paint, different colors, different backgrounds, different sizes...and what about bouquets? What about scenes? techniques? I discovered and invented for backgrounds, for leaves and petals, the different paints, etc. 
       The count at this point is 98, including the snow scene below  titled Hearty Souls. (20 Daffs on an 8x10!)

With 2 left to paint, will I stop painting daffodils? Doubt it! I haven't finished their story in my mind...and Covid isn't finished. But I have found a joy mechanism that does extend to other flowers, other scenes, other activities: Keep my mind busy with positive thoughts, feelings  and activities... That being said, watch for two or three more daffodil paintings, check me out on Instagram* (barbaramcevoyartist), and work at finding your own demon chasers...Beats Doom scrolling and monkey mind!

If you live close stop by and see them at Freedom Gallery, 8 Elm Street, Freedom NH, open 10-3 Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

        *Daffodils are numbered/identified in order of completion on Instagram and available for purchase as soon as I have a family portrait done of the 100! (Soon) Contact Freedom Gallery, 8 Elm Street, Box 537, Freedom, NH 03836.