Thursday, May 7, 2020

Creativity In Quarantine

With all the stress of Staying Home, anxiety about contracting Covid-19 and both collected grief for the changes in our world and individual grief for the loss of those close, finding ways to reduce that stress is critical. It may be reading, cooking, gardening or finding calm in creativity.


Two articles I recently discovered are well worth one's time: "The Therapeutic Power of Making Art" and "Finding Inspiration During Quarantine."


I've been doing both. For me, painting both calms and puts me in a Zen zone and also brings back a few memories, like visiting Martha's Vineyard and the charming cottages at the Oak Bluff's Campground.


Sometimes it reminds me of my walks at the Ditch.


Or it may recall memories of a fun visit several years ago to Rick's brother and sister-in-law in Massachusetts, where this barred owl took up residence in the tree for hours.


And other times, it puts onto paper experiences that our Toddler Twosome have enjoyed, even if I wasn't there to enjoy it with them.


If you want Zen, you can't beat the repetitive action of needle felting! I have done a fair amount of lambs this year.


But I also had fun with my French bear! He took forever. I'm not sure I can sell him!


The bigger part of my creative outlets has been my Quarantine Journal. It begins with my time in Canada just as things were breaking out and tightening up. The sketches are relatively quick ones and it's a change from my larger and more labored watercolors. I'm using a 90# Hahnemuhle sketch book, about 6x8.



I log the things that have been part of these many weeks, things like the numerous closings...


...the nervousness of going into the doctor's office...


...celebrating Easter (an unfinished spread)...


...my lifelines, the phone and the computer....


...the frustration of cold weather and yes, snow...


... the frustrations of online grocery shopping and the pleasures in cooking.


I've chronicled the events we see on the never-ending news and the fun of Zooming with friends.


And finally, a few honest thoughts about what this new life is.


There are more pages to come -- I have a feeling I'll be working on this journal for a very long time.

Sharing with:    Pink Saturday      /    Tuesday Turn About   /    Let's Keep in Touch  /   Love Your Creativity       /     Charming Homes and Gardens    

65 comments:

R's Rue said...

I needed this post. Thank you. 🌹

Laurie said...

Oh my gosh your beautiful work, I love what you shared with us today,

Monica Hein ~ Beauty Diary said...

Beautiful paintings :)

Lilbitbrit said...

Your journal and artwork during this time are beautiful. I liked your phrase calming creativity, yes we do need that. Thank you for sharing your work. Christine

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

I love the way you are keeping busy and bringing calm into your life.

DUTA said...

Great drawings!
Unfortunately, I've got no talent for the arts, but I've got a neighbor a pianist. and I must say her almost daily playing the piano does me a lot of good , especially during this rather stressful period.

Valerie-Jael said...

Great idea, have fun with your journal. Hugs, Valerie

Danielle L Zecher said...

Thanks for sharing the articles. I have good days and bad days. Some days I do just fine, and other days I think I truly am going crazy. I guess that's the nature of it, though.

I love your journal! I like that you illustrate it.

Mae Travels said...

Your sketches are incredibly effective at capturing a moment and its meaning. I love your "French" bear.

be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Joanne Huffman said...

Art heals.

Divers and Sundry said...

I'm checking out the links. Thanks for the recommendations :)

I feel a bit like Lizzie lol with not as much changing for me as for many. I'm here in front of the bird feeders a lot of the time as usual. I love that darling house with the hanging baskets on that inviting porch. Your quarantine journal is a treasure and will be valuable to you and yours as people begin to forget what it all was really like. I love your Canada/U.S.A. bridge :) We can learn a lot about our inner state from our dreams.

creativeseconds.com said...

Wow terrific journal and so many wonderful sketches! Your documenting what this all has been like ~ and that's important. I haven't gotten to that yet ~ Blessings to you!

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

I love your journal! I've started a half dozen over the years, but I make too many mistakes to ever get very far before giving up. I so admire what you did/are doing with your journal.

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Jeanie,
I adore your Art and I have for some time!!
I completely agree with you on fostering creativity during this time. My projects along with my Bible Study (Zoom) have really kept me focused and feeling thankful.
I really and truly would love to have your Art hanging in my home...any chance you'd consider selling a few pieces?
Hugs,
jemma

Sally Wessely said...

Jeannie, this journal is a treasure! I loved it. I have wished I had thought of a way to journal and include photos since I don’t sketch or do water color. I have been journaling, but the images tell so much more.

You have such a creative gift. This therapeutic journal may become your magnum opus.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love your watercolors, Jeannie. Art and journaling are wonderful ways to destress. Your painting of the cottage in Oak Bluffs brought back sweet memories to me too! My husband had a business trip to Martha's Vineyard and I went along. As he worked I explored the island and had so much fun even though I was alone most of the day. I absolutely loved Oak Bluffs and Bunch of Grapes bookstore.

anno said...

Oh my, Jeanie -- this is an inspiration! (And that french bear is totally adorable!) Thanks so much for creating the warmth and light I always find here.

Lynne said...

Oh Jeanie . . .
The first sketch pulled me in . . .
Looks just like Rick and you . . . remembering from the photograph.
Your story, journal is and will be such a treasure . . .
You are amazing.
Artistic marvel . .. I hope Sketchbook Wandering sees this . . .
Love Love

Lowcarb team member said...

I think we all have different ways to cope with this strange new world we find ourselves in. We will 'come out the other side' but it is going to be different …

Thank you for sharing your art, your thoughts.
Keep doing what you are doing, it is right for you.

Sending my thoughts and good wishes.

All the best Jan

PS Your French bear is adorable

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jeanie, whatever does the job! I love that you are journaling and will have memories to look back on. There have been many times in my life when I wish I had kept a diary or a journal but I never have. Your's is very personal too with all your pretty sketches. I don't know for sure, but with just the way this is all playing out, I'm afraid we are in it for a much longer time than we would have ever imagined. Jerry had a physical this week but was a semi one. At our ages we have one twice a year. The doc came out to the car and talked to him and took vitals. I go in for my main physical in June. I don't know what to expect because I can't see all that goes on in it can be done in a car! Painting does seem to help me, although how I don't know!! but I am getting a lot of practice in and like I said, whatever does the job..Take care and stay well my friend..xxoJudy

Prims By The Water said...

Love all of your paintings. Very creative and talented! Janice

Sketchbook Wandering said...

Jeanie, I can feel your creative, invigorating energy. The first sketch caught the 2 of you, your appearance and your spirits from the photos you've posted! This was such an open glimpse into your life in these times. I related to a lot, my life feels more artful. I am less distracted and seeing more of what is close to home, close up moments. Having learned that life as I know it can change so suddenly has given me a new appreciation. My daily journal has become more important than ever, a companion, an anchor, a place where I can relax with my fountain pen writing and colored pencil coloring...and record and reflect on my time. Many memories are triggered lately, flashbacks...I yearn to travel, but am grateful for the memories of the trips I was lucky enough to take. Thanks for sharing here, you always get me thinking...

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

You are quite talented, my friend! Your journals are beautifully illustrated. I love the one of the two children in the mud puddle. I remember this photo from a former post of yours. These are tough times and I think you are doing a great job of staying centered. Hang in there, dear one.

Carola Bartz said...

Art certainly is an excellent way to deal with all that comes with this quarantine and these uncertain times. Your artwork is beautiful, and I love love love all of them. Your art journal is impressive - you have such a beautiful handwriting! I wish mine was like that. Instead I only hear from husband and daughter that they can't read it (sometimes even I have difficulties...). This is such a creative way to keep everything about this time.
I have actually enrolled in a short art class (about painting seascapes) and am enjoying it very much. Working with the Gelli plate is another fun thing that I might not have done otherwise. Mainly I'm knitting though - I got quite some orders through my Etsy shop which keep me busy. And of course the German School, even though I miss seeing my students in person. Zoom is the next best thing.
If no one wants the French bear - I'll buy it form you!

Karen said...

Your journal is so creative!
I'm trying to write about the whole thing, but finding it a bit difficult. It's like I'm inside looking out, but nothing has really changed here. Kind of surreal!
Love your illustrations. Especially those two characters at the beginning, LOL

Thelma said...

All your artwork is amazing.
Such a beautiful journal to share at this time in our lives.
You are a talented lady.
Stay safe and well.

Sandra Cox said...

I love these. You captured yourself perfectly, down to the smile beneath the mask.

Evi said...

Fabulous therapy! It doesn't matter how good (or badly) you think your drawing is, using art to get into a state of flow especially in stressful times, is priceless. Doodling, sketching, even just scribbling can be so relaxing for ones mind.
Yours are really artistic and beautifully done - they'll be great to look back at and remember. I'm passionate about art as therapy and just wanted to point out that one doesn't need to be an artist to make art! Anyone can!
Ok I'll take my art therapist hat off again now ;)

Iris Flavia said...

Very, very beautiful pictures, you are a very great artist!
Wow, great works. Sorry, but I´m amazed :-)
Yes, creativity can help. When my job got terminated I started doing origami. It sure helped.

Your journal is wonderful, too.
I have a blank book with our Henry as cover and I just do not dare to start something, being afraid I might ruin it! It´s thin paper, too...
And I would never be as creative as you are, you have my admiration!
Thank you for sharing this!!

Rustic Pumpkin said...

Such a super post. Much needed, thank you. So right, we have to find what heals us in this situation. For me, it's a mix of art, gardening and baking. Scratch that last one, you can't bake without flour, sugar and eggs now, can you?

Deb ~~~ Waving from Wales!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie,
I just love all your sketches. Creating art and writing in your journal are great ways for you to relieve the stress. I am like Lizzie staring out the window at the birds. The lamb and French Bear are so cute. You are so talented. Take care and stay well! Have a great day and happy weekend!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

It is not hard to see, Jeanie, that art would be therapeutic. Not only does it permit you to exercise, and perhaps improve, your creative abilities, there must be some physical satisfaction in mixing the paints and scrabbling around in them with the brush. The results, I am bound to say are very pleasing indeed, and cover all of the favourite topics you have blogged about so frequently. Perhaps even when the lockdown is over, you will continue with this journal. I am glad to hear that you are remaining well and that your sanity is still intact. Be sure to give my very best to Sir Richard of Good Will and Civility.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Your paintings are amazing - say hello to Lizzie for me!

My name is Erika. said...

Fabulous art Jeanie. That grackle piece is amazing. Well they are all very good and I could tell where you were or who you were with. And nice quarantine journal. That is a good idea. I have been doing memories in my daily sketch-note journal that I have been keeping. Quick sketches too, and notes. I figure this will be something to look back at. Happy Friday-Hugs-Erika

roughterrain crane said...

Your drawing brings us unfading smiles with which all of us will overcome this crisis.
Have a nice weekend.

Sami said...

Art and gardening are certainly great relaxers and should be compulsory therapy for those suffering from mental problems.
Love your art journal, you are really talented Jeanie.
I enjoy painting furniture to relax, it really takes your mind away from daily life.

Preppy Empty Nester said...

I love your Quarantine journal, Jeanie! Your artwork is awesome! Stay safe and stay healthy!

thepaintedapron.com said...

I love seeing all your art Jeanie! The first one with the masks is great!! Our new normal, yuk!! Izzy looking out at the birds from the window is so sweet. I love your journal pages too, and the mud puddle boys...I'm so glad you've been painting and that it relaxes you...Having so much time to paint has been a big bonus of our staying at home :)
Jenna

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I keep thinking I should start a watercolor journal, but I probably won't. Love yours, though. And this post! Going to check out those links as well. I'm glad you have Lizzie to go through this with! Love your painting of you and Rick in masks. Outstanding.

Sandi said...

The house photo is BEAUTIFUL! Wonderful colors.

The masks are sad and odd and funny. There is town near here where it is both illegal to wear a mask in public and prohibited to go in public without one. I wonder when and how this will end. I went to Walmart today. It looked pretty normal and not too busy. The cashier told me people are still panic buying. They had plenty ground beef and chicken when I was there, but she said they may be limiting it just because it gets wiped out so fast by people buying more than usual, even now.

shoreacres said...

I especially enjoyed seeing the watercolors -- you have improved so much in the past years! These really are special.I confess I've not been particularly anxious about the virus -- it's going to take more than this to keep me from my sleep! But I'll certainly be glad for it to begin fading away. I have an aunt in Kansas City I want to see in person, and give a hug!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You've created something you'll have for the future! I love your art and it's wonderful to have something to enjoy during this frustrating time. I worry that I haven't used my time as wisely as I could have! But at least we've managed to get in a lot of hikes. At first we weren't sure we would be able to. Take care and enjoy your weekend!

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

As always I enjoy your artwork and your stories. Take care and have a great weekend!

Arti said...

These are all wonderful works! You should publish your Quarantine Journal. It will make one important social history document and
objet d'art! Looks like you've spent your time well and these past months have been very productive for you. :)

Jodiebodie said...

This will be a beautiful and poignant book to keep and reflect upon. I am sure it will be interesting for young family members in the future. We were thinking of, instead of writing letters to my family interstate, we might draw a kind of picture journal or cartoon of what we have all been doing in isolation, so it can double as a kind of picture book to keep the kids entertained as well.
It is true that a picture can paint a thousand words.
I love your artistic style.

Stevenson Que said...

Oh Dear Jeanie! You had my hand in my heart as I scroll through these beautiful sketches! These are all very good! You know what I love about your sketches is that they are so alive and has this power to bring joy to us that get to see them! Thank you so much for sharing these! I also have my travel journal which I work on after my trips but I don't have the talent that you have in sketching and painting it with those beautiful memories just like yours! So I just rely on some printed photos of me and some "scraps" that I collect like bus tickets and receipts that I gather through my trip haha

I am beyond happy to be back here in your blog. After the internet connection was brought back, I got caught up with a lot of work so after posting something on my blog, I wasn't able to visit my dear blogs just like yours! But I did not post the comments yet not until now so I can read them all when I am not working and yes, your comments, visits and posts take the stresses of that work week away!

Nikki-ann said...

Loving your journal! Such wonderful paintings too :)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Jeanie! That journal is gorgeous. It is a true work of art. I just love your illustrations. Thank you for sharing it with us. Please share more! I do not have the artistic abilities you do so I could never create something like that. But I love seeing what you create!! This is definitely a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience for all of us. It’s a good idea to capture the things - big and small - that are happening.

My creative life = reading. Knitting would be a good project but I don’t think I have enough yarn for a project ( I did a huge purge a couple of years ago!). But maybe this fall I will order some and start on a scarf or something.

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Jeanie, this post is wonderful. You are such an amazing talent. I see your journal as a book, I think it would be a treasure. Love your painting so much. Have a lovely weekend and keep well.

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, I am so sorry I am tardy. I love reading how you have filled your hours with creativity which is great for emotional health during this time. I love your journal, felt like I was reading Susan Branch!

Jenny Woolf said...

This is a most beautiful and fascinating journal Jeanie! I would love to read the whole thing one day, and I admire you for settling down and creating this at such a difficult time out of really unpromising and upsetting material. It is bright, colourful and honest and just looks so attractive. I surely hope you won't be needing to write it for too much longer, don't you? These days I feel we just don't know what to expect, so hope for good things.

Marilyn Miller said...

Yes, a whole lot of cooking going on. I think I must move out of my kitchen (where my computer is). Soon I will only fit into my pjs.
Yes! to art too. For some reason I am finally finding myself to doing that sketching like I sent you. I have three cards in process today and so fun to find creativity on a teabag. Love, love your needle felting. Both are very sweet! And journaling!!!! I am impressed. The thought crossed my mind, but that is as far as it has gone.
The neighborhood is very quiet this week and I am beginning to find the desire to venture out a bit, but so far just to the market. Happy Mother's day tomorrow.

Pamela said...

You are so creative. Thank you for sharing!

Gayla said...

Very precious book you are making. I loved your entries.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks for showing us your feelings through your creative outlets, Jeanie. The journal is a wonderful outlet to express your frustrations and talents. And the French sheep was very cute!

Pam said...

WOW...you have been BUSY...nice work. Yep...I have been looking over moms records on the family history. Mom had her dads mothers family researched back to my 5th great grandparents. I love seeing all that, I love readying moms notes on that stuff and I love the pics. Thanks for sharing yours with us.

GretchenJoanna said...

I have been writing more in my "Plague Journal" than I used to in the ones before, different sorts of things. Usually in my journals I don't write much about what's going on in the "world outside," but in this one I want to mention a lot of things, and put my daily thoughts and activities in the context of the pandemic. I think someone will read it in the future; maybe I will!

Your drawings in yours are really fun!!

Tracy said...

What a great antidote all this for the current times, Jeanie... LOVE, always love seeing what you've been making and working on--BIG inspiration! Your quarantine journal is wonderful--love that! Funnily enough began some journalling now during lockdown, after not having done much journalling in some time. Although not a pretty illustrated journal like you're doing...just my thoughts scratched down! ;) You & yours be continuing to keep well and safe! ((LOVE & BIG HUGS))

The French Hutch said...

I keep scrolling to enjoy each page of this wonderful journal. You are one of my creative heroes, so many talents. This is such a great idea and will be appreciated by those sweet grands. Lovely work........

Victoria Zigler said...

I'm glad you've found a way to get some peace and be creative. Definitely needed these days.

Katie Mansfield said...

Your art is amazing. I love the cottage! Lovely. i have to sew or garden. It gets my mind off of it.

Ann said...

So much creativity! I’d luv to invite you to join us and share over at Charming Homes and Gardens Wednesday - Sunday!! https://www.dabblinganddecorating.com/single-post/2020/03/31/Charming-Homes-Gardens-Wednesday-Link-Party

Kim | Shiplap and Shells said...

I absolutely love your journal and I'm sure that is such good therapy for you! You have such a gift and you put such a smile on my face! Thank you for sharing with Charming Homes and Gardens Link Party! I have chosen you for my feature this week! Pinned!

Kristin White Arrows Home said...

Your sketches are spectacular!! I loved reading along! Thanks for sharing at Charming Homes & Gardens!
Kristin ~ White Arrows Home

Sarah said...

Jeanie, I can't get over how talented you are! I love these watercolors and the felted pieces. You are amazing! The little French bear is adorable, your journal pages are truly special! Bravo!!!

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