Posts Tagged ‘#covidart’

Saved for a rainy day

Monday, June 15th, 2020

The idea of “saving for a rainy day” has become something of a joke because we often don’t recognize when the “rainy day” arrives, so we hesitate to touch what we’ve saved, even then.

"This Too Shall Pass," by Charlotte Mertz (11"x15" watercolor, #200404w)

“This Too Shall Pass,” by Charlotte Mertz (11″x15″ watercolor, #200404w)

What I’ve “saved for a rainy day” is photographs, reference material to use when I might no longer be able to travel as freely as when I was young.

Well guess what. That rainy day is here! The time has come when most of us have found ourselves looking at the same scenery day after day.  For many, our world shrank down to our immediate environs. Travel has been limited, and the comfort of human interaction has been discouraged.

But I still have those photographs, as well as images sent by others, and the personal memories of a lifetime to broaden my view, to remind me that there are other things, other places, other people in this world beyond our immediate surroundings and concerns. They carry me outside the present insular world of limited space into the universality of human experience.

It’s been euphemistically raining cats and dogs for months now. Buckets; a deluge, a gully-washer. Longer even than the 40 days and 40 nights of Noah’s proverbial (and likewise unprecedented) voyage. It’s a prime time to sift through my savings of photographs and a lifetime of experiences and remember that everyone everywhere has been affected. Although a clearer sky may be on my horizon, others may still be feeling the brunt of the storm.

Can I use my art to provide an emotional stabilizer to lift spirits and remind us all that “this too shall pass”? I have to try.  What can I do to uplift others? Paint, teach, encourage,…?

Is it enough? Maybe not, but it’s a start. It’s something. And it may mean more to someone else than I realize at the time. Even though it doesn’t feel to me like enough, it may mean everything to them.  So I paint.  And teach.  And offer encouragement when I can.

 

Graduation and Commencement

Friday, May 15th, 2020

While it’s wonderful to celebrate the end of a school year or an entire stage of learning, it’s important to keep in mind that the terms “graduation” and “commencement” don’t refer to the end of something but the beginning of something else. So even if there is no ceremony, we can still forge ahead.

This spring, whether from school or our current stage in life, let us all graduate from wherever we are and commence our journey with a fresh vision, new goals, and renewed purpose.

"Morning Has Broken" by Charlotte Mertz (11"x15" watercolor, #200403w)

“Morning Has Broken” by Charlotte Mertz
(11″x15″ watercolor, #200403w)

I find that I’ve spent so much time trying to learn that I’ve somewhat ignored the purpose for learning, which is to become productive. Oh yes, I’ve produced a lot of work as I sought to develop understanding and skills in specific areas, but without a clear, long-term direction, I tend to lose focus.  In artistic terms, I was painting without having preplanned the composition.  Though an innate painting style gradually emerged, the subject matter, varied approaches to my media, and other aspects of my work lacked a sense of unity.

So even without ceremony or certificate, I’m declaring myself GRADUATED!  Have no fear: For the rest of my life I will continue to learn. But am now commencing a new stage of life with an overarching goal in mind—one of expressing appreciation, encouragement, and hope through my artwork, words, and actions.

This spring I have begun a purposeful series, the theme of which is Faith in Adversity. It draws visual motifs primarily from landscapes of the American Southwest to exemplify Biblical scripture as it relates to our Covid19 situation. These are secular images through which a viewer is encouraged through the title or implied concept to contemplate God’s role as we navigate through these troubled times.

My hope is that these images will encourage viewers to turn their focus from their immediate circumstances to refocus on their faith and the promise of a better future.

Waging the War

Friday, May 1st, 2020

There are many ways to fight a war.  Focused on our own discomfort of being at home in the “underground” of the War of Covid19, many of us seem often to forget those troops in the febrile and sleepless battle being waged at the front—in the hospitals and research labs. Too often we take for granted the “couriers” who maintain our lines of communication and the “supply lines” that provide for our physical needs.

"A Greater Love," by Charlotte Mertz (11"x15" watercolor, #200410w)

“A Greater Love,” by Charlotte Mertz
(11″x15″ watercolor, #200410w)

Many in the “underground” are making masks, reaching out to help neighbors more vulnerable than they themselves are, teaching others unexplored skills, and serving the community in numerous other ways while observing new and often uncomfortable new social procedures and limitations. I appreciate all the efforts being made to make a difficult time more tolerable.

Thanks to the support staffs in many residential facilities, who have left their own homes to temporarily live on site to ensure that their vulnerable clients are not exposed to health threats from outside the residence.

I appreciate the “couriers” who keep landlines and wireless services operating, transport our mail, and deliver supplies to our doors, and the innovators who develop alternative means of delivering such services as health and education remotely.

And what would we do without those in the “supply line” who are doing their best to reroute food and other necessities to those few physical outlets that remain open, to the stockers, shipping staffs, truckers, and check-out personnel who facilitate necessary purchases and deliveries?

Today I particularly want to say “Thank you!” to those who have and continue to put their own comfort and safety on the line in order to take care of the rest of us. Thank you all!