We are living through very strange times as we navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic induced social distancing orders we currently have in place. Here in the Poconos we are in a "Hot Spot" that is testing the limits of our infrastructure, education and medical systems. We are all trying to make the most of this.
Right now I am taking much of the time I'd normally spend commuting and coaching youth baseball, and reallocating it to pursue creative endeavors. Thankfully, I am able to spend more quality time with my immediate family and I feel I am seeing a growth in the concern for others and overall thoughtfulness among people I encounter.
Currently, I am in the process of prepping for a painting I am going to do for my Cousin Becky and her family. This will be the first time I pain a farm scene in oil paint. While I am excited, I also have some concerns about producing a quality image the evokes emotion from the viewer. Here is a values sketch that I will use as part of my preparation for this process. I hope to start pushing paint around on canvas sometime within the next week or so.
During the time, I was fortunate to come across some oils paints we had stored in the basement that were purchased by my Sister-in-law, Joanne. Additionally, just prior to the start of the pandemic I started purchasing small canvases and other gear. This was a weird coincidence that I am very grateful for right now.
I recently shared some of my work with friends and neighbors on a community Facebook Group too. This was not easy for me to do. Most people who know me in my professional life and throughout the circles I travel within as an adult are unaware of my artistic interests. Fortunately, I received encouragement from most and I even received a request for a painting of a man on a tractor from a close friend of ours. The subject is actually the Father-in-law of the friend who made the request.
My full-time career as a sales person often requires me to drive 1,200 miles per week or more. Thanks to the decrease in drive time I have been able to have more frequent conversations with my parents, my brother and my grandparents. Albeit this will frequently be through text and direct messaging, it feels good to be more connected. I have also benefited from immediate feedback I am able to gain from Mom, Dad, my wife Janine and my kids on the art work I am doing. Fortunately, all have an eye for composition, color and design. Perhaps more importantly, they are all very good ad focusing on the positive attributes of the work I show them. Here are four paintings I have completed during time. I call them my #PandemicPaintings.
It is interesting to see what the mind is drawn to during times when the normally constant pressure to raise productivity and appear busy subside. I find that my mind and heart focus on caring for those within my reach, learning and improving upon art related skills, praying for the well-being of family friends, colleagues and neighbors, staying healthy and napping.
I hope you and yours are well. Thanks for viewing my post and some of my art.
Be safe & stay well, Tom
For more information on me and my art you can view my website @ https://tmichaelniemanart.wixsite.com/mysite or on social media as I post as @themadsketcher