Art in the time of pandemic

Even though my website-room is a place to escape, I haven’t visited during these lockdown days of Covid19. When gathering artwork to upload, I realized I had 23 images dating back to last summer. The phrase can’t see the forest for the trees came into my head. I lament my slow working style and indecision – but after the drop, drop there is surprisingly a pool.

Many people anticipated a creative flourishing during lockdown, but instead have experienced preoccupation and low productivity. No wonder.

jpage 181: Loaf Layouts For All, April 11, 2020

The art I’ve been working on is mostly in my sketchbook, my favourite place to be. Messy doesn’t matter on those pages. I have a small chaotic work table that feels claustrophobic and irritating, but that also describes the inside of my head. The art that exits out of this mess, though, keeps its history fairly private.

Studio table, April 12, 2020

In mid February I painted a selfie called Coffee Monster. Although I love coffee, it was the word Monster that rang true. The blonde hair bob was a “change your hair, change your life” moment, and the phrase, “store in a cool place” was a reaction to my relentless eczema flare and claustrophobic panic. Please let everything stop for a while. And then it did…for all of us.

jpage 291: Coffee Monster, February 22, 2020 and jpage 233: Flu-barbed, March 31, 2020

Everywhere stopped and the days have gone by. And the monster is a virus. And the human response has been a mix of good and bad. 

My first art response was Coco-loco on March 20th: being idle and wanting to produce, not wanting fear to crack open, baking cookies, and hoping love would prevail. I recently wrote a new bio line for my work: The imperfect psychology of where collects materials from before and from now, creating portraits that have an archived presence holding steady in the spin of current experience.

It’s certainly the place I want to create from this next year.

4 thoughts on “Art in the time of pandemic

  1. Deanne Achong

    “Messy doesn’t matter” yes – whether it be on the page, or elsewhere. Beautiful stuff . Great to see it in this way. IG is fab but lacks an overview. I’ve been meaning to do an update too — but my messy brain 😉

    1. Dawn Pearcey Post author

      Hi Deanne! It’s nice to see you over here in this zone. I’ve loved following your ‘100 Days of Hair Project’ on Instagram. Everything is messy right now…hair included. Once I began my little update project, with yet another learning curve, I seemed to calm down in the technical focus of it. The biggest hurdle these days is that constant background voice saying, “What’s the point”. But with its listless, bored tone…I am easily ignoring and setting my points anyway. Out to the balcony I go now 😉

  2. Mike

    I love the big, brilliant-orange birds perched on the woman lying across the bed with the smoke-like pink cloud issuing from her head. Their curved bills remind me of those bill-like masks worn by doctors during the Black Death, whose purpose I never knew until someone explained it to me the other day (kind of precursors of the masks worn nowadays). Also the beautiful eggs in the bottom woman’s silver-blue hair. Great stuff!

    1. Dawn Pearcey Post author

      Hi Mike! It’s nice to see you here, and yes, the Black Death medical costume is quite spectacular to read about. I didn’t think about the beaks of these birds bringing to mind those masks, so thank you – I love that. These are ‘I’iwi (Scarlet Hawaiian Honeycreeper), and their song is described as peculiar: a couple of whistles, the sound of balls dropping in water, the rubbing of balloons together, and the squeaking of a rusty hinge. That sounds about right for our pandemic days. The birds and the eggs are collaged elements – I seem to find my drama in the collaged parts, so I continue…


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