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Blurry Forest

Painting Projects During COVID-19 Lockdown

Face Masks, drying in the "fresh" Los Angeles air.

During this strange several months of pandemic madness, I've been hunkered down in my apartment with my husband and our two cats, trying to stay healthy. And the best antidote to cabin fever (for me anyway) has been throwing myself into creative projects. I've had three major oil painting projects to keep me busy (two commissions, and one larger, more complicated project I have not yet released), plus edits due on a short story that was accepted to an anthology. I've also nearly finished the editor's notes draft of my book (YAY!) and I've made two ridiculous video projects with my husband just to keep people's spirits up. (I'll put up a separate post for those.)

Because our apartment windows only look out onto peachy-brown walls, and we can't see the sky at all from inside, it's always made me feel claustrophobic. I painted all of the interior walls in my apartment sky blue a few years ago, which helped, but after our building was fumigated for termites in February, all of the plants in our courtyard died, and they had to replant everything with new, young trees and bushes. They are short because they're young, and I can't see any greenery above my patio wall. So this year, it's extra peachy-brown. And then came lockdown, and being stuck inside a lot more, and it sucked! So we braved an early morning, social distanced, mask-wearing trip to Home Depot and bought a bunch of greenery for our patio, to help make it more outdoorsy. In these nice-weather months, I move my easel outside and use the patio as a little outdoor studio, which is really great, too.

Needless to say, I'm spending a lot more time on the patio these days. It's nice that each of the apartments in our building has a patio or balcony for some outdoor space - each of us has our own little personal sanctuary, if we choose to use them. If I'm out there when neighbors are in the courtyard, I put my mask on, for their sake and mine. It's been nice to be outside more. Still, I felt the patio needed a little more brightening. So I decided to commandeer the far wall at the end of the patio and paint a mural, to give it a little more greenery.

I painted this in three sessions, and two for the leaves. I was trying to mimic Pothos leaves, but in a quick, sketchy style. It only took about 3 hours, total. And the finished product is nice and bright! And the leftover wall paint could make for a good green screen wall somewhere, haha!

Other little paint projects I've been working on, aside from the pet portrait commissions and the bigger oil project, were little gouache paintings for my mom and my mother-in-law. I hand-made them thank you cards for the birthday gifts they sent me. The stuffed lamb (Lammy) is as old as I am - he's been my best bud for life. I painted him for my mom, and I painted the bright butterfly for my mother-in-law, who has a beautiful butterfly-themed garden at her home.

And at some point soon, I'll be posting about that mysterious oil painting project that I keep talking about oh-so-vaguely. And I have a few more commissions already on standby, so that's exciting, too!

In the meantime, I'm staying home as much as possible, wearing my mask when do I go out, and washing my hands repeatedly, because I don't want to get sick, nor do I want the people I care about to get sick. Or even the people I don't! There's no politics in this virus, folks. It's science, it's real, and it's no joke. Put your hate and divisiveness aside and just be good damn humans, okay?

:-) M

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