Nine months into our Covid-19 lockdown and, as many of you are experiencing, the lack of socializing is taking it’s toll.
We’ve only been out of our home to take our weekly turn babysitting our busy, busy, toddler granddaughter so that the kids can actually “work” at home. We are luckier than some are in that the kids are in our “pod” — we’ve all made agreements to limit our external exposure and actually managed to stay within those agreements. Except for a few necessary medical appointments, none of us has had contact with the “outside” world for a LONG time. SIGH.
Because of my digital scrapbook design work, I do have plenty to keep me busy much of the time. I spend most of each day in front of my trusty and beloved iMac and the days tend to go by swiftly. But the days that really keep me energized are the days when I get to Skype-art with my bestie, Jana. Jana lives outside of Chicago and I am trying very hard to convince her to (eventually) move to my little town in California. I’ve even offered to let her (and her hubby, of course), take up permanent residence in our guest bedroom. That’s how close Jana and I have become. If left to our own devices, we’d spend hours and hours and HOURS talking and arting and sharing art supply collections.
Since that is clearly not a realistic option, Skype-arting has become the next best thing. We both signed up for a free 3-day art session with one of my favorite artists, Laly Mille. We had a blast working through those sessions, after which Laly offered a huge discount on one of her multi-week classes, Soulful Abstracts. To sweeten the pot, Laly threw in, for free, one of her other shorter classes, Wild Roses. Laly has a very warm, engaging and charming teaching style and Jana and I adore her. Being the enablers that we are, we convinced each other (it didn’t take much) to sign up for the abstracts class. We decided, though, to start with the rose class.
Just before Thanksgiving, we spent more than FIVE hours together on Skype working on the project. We use tri-pods to hold our phones with the Skype camera on, so that we can see each other’s work and each had our iPads with the class videos on (only one with sound tho). We loosely (lol) followed along, trying to pretend that we knew exactly what we were doing. The time went by so quickly we were shocked when we realized how long we’d been arting. We laughed a LOT and each had our share of “oh, no, what have I DONE” moments. Sometimes we even used words stronger than “oh no!” — lol!
I used a canvas board and Jana used a stretched canvas and we both chose similar acrylic colors. We also used alcohol inks and Neocolor water soluble crayons over floral pictures we found online and collaged to our pieces to give us flower shapes to use as guides — although you can’t see them in the finished pieces. Throughout the process, we used gesso rather judiciously (as we learned from Laly) to “push back” or bring forward parts of the art that we did or didn’t like. I love that although we followed the same lesson and used similar colors, we ended up with completely different creations.
Most of all, I love that I have someone to art with regularly. Someone who makes no judgements, who is supportive and has a great sense of humor. Someone I can share my time with — without the pressure to “perform”. Time that leaves me feeling rested, and satisfied and grateful. I know Jana feels the same way because we’ve enabled each other into taking the year-long Wanderlust 2021 together! In fact we’ve set a goal to try to do each week’s lesson together — something positive and creative to look forward to in a year that just HAS to be better than it’s predecessor. RIght?