Navigating Through the Covid19 Crisis for Artists

We have been so incredibly lucky in Australia to have had very few cases of Covid 19 and are now navigating our way out of minimal shutdowns. I am extremely aware as I write this post, that so many countries are still being devastated by this illness and I wish you and your family safe passage through this crisis.

I can’t remember where I heard or read the following words and wish I had jotted down the original author so I could thank them. These words have been my shadow over the last two months of stay at home rules and I want to share their wisdom.

Such great words for this time we find ourselves in.

This Covid crisis has given me ample time to REFLECT on my art business. I haven’t been painting as much as usual, with a number of reasons halting my mojo, but mostly because I have nowhere to show it or sell it at the moment and it’s all felt rather irrelevant given what the world has been going through. Exhibitions and art prizes are cancelled and my art galleries have all been closed and let’s face it, art is a luxury item, not many people are able to stretch their finances to hang art upon their walls when they are worrying about health and employment.

Pondering (REFLECT) has become my new art time. It’s been cathartic (and a little confronting) to think deeply about what I really want from my art… more licensing and illustration work? More still-life or water art or animals? I have so many avenues and genre that it has been confusing me to which area I should devote the most time and energy. This reflection stage has made me realise that my art has been meandering along in a direction that has been fun and enjoyable but has left me a little unfulfilled; basically, it just hasn’t challenged me enough. My spark and mojo have suffered. I’ve finally realised that what I want is more conceptual and thought driven pieces, still pretty, but not JUST pretty.

In the last few weeks, I’ve moved into my RESET phase; drawing, sketching and jotting down ideas, words and thoughts that may eventually become paintings. I’ve felt excited to be scribbling down all the ideas that have been flooding my brain….some so ridiculous they may never see a paintbrush, but at least they are out on paper! I’ve bought new art supplies, tried new canvas, paper, pencils and inks that I’ve never tried before. I’ve played with mark making and basically have tried to avoid doing what I’ve always done. This has been a great time to experiment.

This week has seen my first foray into the EMERGE stage. Yesterday I had my best paint session in months, where I lost track of time and the paint just flowed with such ease from my brush. Such an incredible place to be and I have realised how important the reflect and reset has been to my work.

I’m hoping to keep using these three powerful words – REFLECT, RESET, EMERGE at the forefront of my art practise; making time to regularly reflect and reset so I can continue to put forward my best work.

Let me know how you have moved your art practise through this time…I’m always interested in the psychological aspects of making art.

Funnily enough, I’ve actually titled one of my previous oil paintings ‘Reflection’, way back in 2014 and for which I one several prizes. I feel like it has been one of my best paintings to date, and was painted with thought and yes…reflection. Go figure. You might like to read about it here. Though I’m not selling the original, prints to any size are available. Email me for more details.

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Mia x

4 thoughts on “Navigating Through the Covid19 Crisis for Artists

  1. Thank you for this lovely blog about the journey you’ve been on recently. Your world was already turned upside down with your daughter being in Europe and the renovations to your house, as well as major exhibitions last year. And then to have the COVID-19 spectre hanging over you must have been the final straw. But it sounds as if the time has been very valuable because of the interior work you’ve been able to do over the past couple of months. I look forward to watching what you do next!

    I wish I’d read this before our meeting today and thank you for inspiring me to think in new ways.

    1. Oh thank you Maureen. What a beautiful message. Yes, I think a few too many things turned my art mojo on it’s head. You are such an inspiration to so many of us too Maureen. It’s wonderful to have friends such as you from my social media!

  2. Hi Mia I have not yet looked at your work, but wonder if you could help. My mojo has been missing for many years. I drew and created art from early childhood, encouraged by an uncle. I went art school in the UK, dropped out, but continued to draw and paint, then it suddenly stopped in my late twenties I have not really got back to it as an engrossing hobby. I miss it. sheilajohns62@gmail.com

    1. Oh Sheila! I’m sure if you found the habit of art, you would get your mojo back. I think actually locking in a dedicated art time, one that is non negotiable is key to getting back into the swing of things. Then to use that time to play and experiment and allow mistakes without any pressure. Buy a couple of new art materials and a new sketch book and keep it handy in a basket or box so you don’t have to go find your materials. Paintbrushes crossed you can find your joy of art again. Good luck!

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