Tuesday, July 14, 2020

July Check In

Halfway through 2020. And what a year it's been so far.

No one saw a global pandemic coming back on New Year's Eve when we made our resolutions.

John and I toasted in the New Year in Oaxaca as usual and stayed until mid March when it was apparent that the world was facing a global pandemic. 

We flew home through Mexico City where few people had started wearing masks yet; we sanitized our tray tables on the plane home and hoped for the best.

Since then it's been a strange blur as John put in the garden and I busied myself painting in the studio.

Both of us have been in full stay at home mode with only a few visits from friends and occasional hikes at a large, local park that has trails and few other hikers.

By May I realized I wasn't going to be seeing many humans for awhile and I cut off my long, heavy ponytail. That was an admission that I realized the world was in it for the long haul and that it didn't matter what my hair looked like. I started drawing cartoons in my journal of life under the pandemic. You can see them on Instagram at

I also missed a gathering in May where I was to speak (in Mississippi) and a class I was to teach (in Ireland). Very disappointing and so many of my fellow art teachers reported that they too had to cancel out of long anticipated gatherings. My grandson lost a job promotion that he's only gotten the week before and watched his dream of buying a home vanish. We realized that many others in the country were enduring difficult losses as well and of course we felt very sad for that. 

In June I cancelled another class; this one was to be in Gig Harbor with Bellissima Art Escapes teaching painting on Venetian Plaster and cold wax. 

Several weeks ago after working zealously in the studio I took a break from abstract painting and started doing a few other things.

Potting plants, a dentist appointment, Zoom meetings and visits from several friends. That felt amazing. Good. Almost like old times. But still there is this feeling of floating weirdness.

In other news, however, John's garden is amazing.

Black caps are wonderful for making ink.
And for making your tongue turn blue.

Art and the natural world sustain us; form our idea of a higher intelligence. John and I are old people now and to be frank it is the happiest time of our lives. 

Somehow we have endured the many storms and found a time of relative peace. 

This is good.

I hope to have lots of arty stuff to share next time but for now it's enough to just carry on. xo


Gabrielle said...

I missed your posts so much! I am glad you are doing well under the circumstances, and if you ever have the energy and the time, I would love to see more garden pictures, it is so inspiring :) My fiance and I are beginning the first steps to buy a house, and I can't wait to have a big garden!!


femminismo said...

Judy, I am editing and building a quarterly newsletter for the hard of hearing and I am writing an editorial about the difficulties the hearing loss community has with masks and distancing.
I was wondering if our readers have been keeping a Covid Diary and since I recently read your July post, I mentioned it in the editorial. I love your bravery in cutting your long hair. Mine has gotten super long and I often wonder about chopping it off.
Do you think I could use your cartoon of you cutting your hair in the newsletter? I would give you credit for the art.
The Hearing Loss Assoc. of Oregon is a nonprofit 501(c)(3). Thanks for your consideration.
Jeanne Levy