Art Talks: Staying Positive in a Pandemic

It’s March 31st, 2021; a little over one year since COVID-19 became part of our day-to-day lives, no one could have predicted the impact this would have on the world, or the myriad of ways our lives would change as a result.

We asked our artists to take a moment and share with you the ways they’ve found to cope during the past year. Read on to discover the heartwarming stories of how they’re keeping healthy while navigating this new normal.

Our artists are thankful for the creative outlet they have and we all look forward to the day they can once again, share it with you in person.

Enjoy!


CH: What have you been doing to cope with the pandemic?

Pietro Adamo
Good music, healthy snacks and the occasional espresso keep me tuned into my work.  An oversized window ensures I witness the odd glorious sunset which reminds me of how lucky I am to be doing what I love to do.

Bob Arrigo
I decided to turn our driveway into a community forum, leaving out a small table with a large snap lid container of coloured chalks and a sign encouraging people to make a comment or draw a picture. I have a long driveway and it was filled up in no time. It was lots of fun, revealing and Facebook enjoyed it.

Christian Bergeron
After a very busy summer and a pause during the winter, I’m starting to work again. No trip to Paris ( sadly I closed my studio or to Florida this year where I still have a studio and exhibits (Kennebunk and Key West)

Marie-Claude Boucher
With the travel restrictions, my art has actually helped me travel creatively to my favourite spots, recreating some of my memories of Hawaii or France. 

Tim De Rose
Diane and I have learned in our 50 year careers as potters that we are completely happy working in our studio in isolation. We are still working at our relatively new careers and now again all our rules of work still stand. The one thing I miss now is that my wife is losing her hearing so it’s a little harder to say good night.

Maya Eventov
The best way to cope with anything happening in my life is painting and being in the studio. Always creating is my happy place.

Robert LeClerc
I did a lot of walking outdoors, as well as snowshoeing in the woods to be in contact with nature. For me this is the main element to be full of energy.

Tiffany Miller
Routine hasn’t changed much for me.  I love working from home.  It’s where I’ve always painted and my studio is where I spend most of my days pre-Covid to now.

Victor Nemo
I enjoy staying in my studio and moving forward with my paintings. Every day I take long walks around Lake Ontario and the Niagara River with my camera. I’ve been preparing my boat and small trailer to explore nice Canadian nature rivers and lakes.

Paige Ring
Studio work mostly, not having anywhere to go has been a great motivation to stay in and create.

Mishel Schwartz
Painting always helps, staying creative and busy has really helped stave off the multitude of emotions I am sure we are all experiencing. Besides painting I read, go for long walks, cook, and do yoga.

Daniel St-Amant
I have tried to focus on my children’s well being mostly, and have tried to put less pressure on me to produce art and just focus on staying healthy. 

Pei Yang
Being an artist, I have been working from home for about 15 years.  During the pandemic my life is not too much different from before: I spent most of my time in the studio, painting, reading and going through my past work.

CH: How have you been keeping positive during this stressful time?

Pietro Adamo
Erica and I stay positive through our daily long walks along the Humber, and through frequent communication with our grandsons. They are our source of sunshine!  

Bob Arrigo
I have pushed myself into a few other areas that have been new subject matter for me, areas that I have wanted to pursue but not had the time to indulge myself in. 

Christian Bergeron
I am currently in the middle of preparing maple syrup at my farm, where my main studio is located. After that I will prepare for the plantations to be on time.

Marie-Claude Boucher
Creating my floral pieces is very much how I live my life: bold and bright. I enjoy life in a big way and my art shows it. I much prefer using large size canvas that way I can really let loose and feel free. 

Maya Eventov
I’m excited about my work and the new things I’ve been creating. This year has been my most creative year and I’ve been making an abundance of works. I have two little grandchildren and they’ve been keeping me positive. 

Robert LeClerc
Not to watch the news too much on TV. Thank life for having love in our heart and around us (families, friends and acquaintances). Thank life for being healthy, as well as having all my limbs and senses. I have gratitude for our home and the food on the table as well as all the things we own.

Tiffany Miller
Family time, having my husband and two teenage daughters home has never been more valued. I can’t count the number of 1000 piece puzzles that have been spread out on our kitchen table! 

Victor Nemo
I’ve been taking health supplements, a glass of homemade wine and keeping up with physical exercises with lots of fresh air – this keeps me in a good positive mood.

Paige Ring
I avoid Twitter. Just kidding, kinda. I meditate, and do yoga to de-stress. Painting is also a really big stress reliever for me, so lots of studio time helps.

Tim De Rose
We live in a forest and we are happy with our lives but we would like to see our kids and grand kids more and that will come. We simply love to work and although what we do is a challenge the rewards are fun. We get to do this stuff and live where we do. How good is that? 

Mishel Schwartz
I try and stay connected to the things that make me happy and bring me peace of mind, like my art, seeing family, eating healthy and being active.

Daniel St-Amant
I have kept positive for my children, explored the city and slowed down life. Overall it’s been a great time to spend all this extra time with my two boys as a single father.

Pei Yang
I tried to focus more on paintings and read art books, history and documentaries. This takes me away from reality or keeps me close to reality.

CH: Is there anything new you’d like our readers to know about or look forward to? 

Pietro Adamo
Life is not a straight line, and adversity seems to be part of the plan, but staying positive is a choice we can all make.  Like everyone, we look forward to the day we can consider COVID-19 a thing of the past, but in the meantime, every day is a gift.  Every day begins as a blank canvas.

Bob Arrigo
Two months ago I was contacted by House & Garden Magazine out of London, England who expressed a desire to feature my work along with about a dozen artists from around the globe for three consecutive months. I am happy and honored for this opportunity to share my work with their 800,000 online subscribers. I am looking forward to a very bright year, bright on the opportunity scale and lots of brights on my palette.

Christian Bergeron
I have been selected this year to represent the city of Baie-Saint-Paul who launches a new logo and image through the Association des gens d’affaires. There will be a silent auction on one of my paintings and several posters made out of it for the benefit of the city.

Marie-Claude Boucher
I have been working on a new spring collection 2021. This time of year, I especially love painting florals with very bold colours and thick brushstrokes. It boosts my mood to take out the thick reds, blues and yellows from the jars and apply it in a thick layer to a blank canvas. It’s truly a therapy for me. 

Tim De Rose
I’m working on a painting project that is a canvas 5 feet x 10 feet that will take about six weeks to do. I’m looking forward to it’s resolution and all the feelings that that involves.

Maya Eventov 
I’m currently working on new floral pieces! For me, I love exploring and merging landscapes with abstraction. I look forward to the next chapter, and what my artwork will bring. I wake up each morning in anticipation to see what will happen on my canvas. 

Robert LeClerc
Last fall, for the first time in my life, I drove around western Canada to discover the richness of our beautiful country in search of new inspiration for my paintings.

Tiffany Miller
My paintings have definitely evolved in the past few months. I notice more motion in water representation, appearing to be caught in a wave.  So similar to how I feel with this new and uncertain situation. I know we’ll get back to doing all the great things we miss!

Victor Nemo
During the pandemic I started to create Canadian wild animals. 

Paige Ring
I have been creating a small works collection to hit different price points, and lots of spring colors on the way, in works of all sizes. I hope everyone looks forward to seeing people (and art!), in person again now that things are starting to open up. 

Mishel Schwartz
The most exciting thing to happen during the pandemic is my new painting studio! It feels so wonderful and inspired to be creating in a space that I love, I feel incredibly grateful.

Daniel St-Amant
A few things, I have been working with VR and some NFT ideas. Since my career is in the film industry as a Digital painter i have been trying to blend my painting practice with my digital work for some time. I also have lots of new ideas that discuss the environmental impact that COVID has had. 

Pei Yang
I  had a dream for a long time to have a studio outside the city. We purchased a mountain view property in the Laurentians this year and I will start to spend more time painting over there. I believe my newer work will have more fresh inspiration from the Laurentians.

 

This past year has forced us all to adapt, to become creative and our artists are no exception.  They continue to find new sources of inspiration, from sunsets to meditation and everything in between, our artists have remained positive and inspired.

This serves as a reminder to us all, to slow down, to take things one-step at a time, and most importantly in the words of Pietro Adamo, remember, “every day begins as a blank canvas”.

 


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