Practicing Process Art in Tough Times

Mar 31, 2020 | Articles

Over the coming weeks, we hope to bring you some posts from process painters in our community. These may show art spaces at home or share reflections on how process art is supporting well being during these challenging times. Today, Cindy shares some thoughts and her experience as she sits at her desk with the supplies she has on hand at the moment—her pastels and paper.

This is one tough time. I’m luckier than many, isolated up high in the mountains, in a comfortable little home, doing the remote-from-home work I’ve done for decades now. It’s almost not different, day to day—except it is. I feel stalked by the coronavirus. And binge watching, wine drinking, and talking on the phone haven’t been enough. Not even personal blogging.

Today, while struggling with anxiety and despair, I dragged out paper and colors. With no wall space for a sheet, I used the dining table and a laptop desk. I sat down. And I stared at the blank sheet. And I thought of what Stewart might ask me:

What color?

Which shape?

What wouldn’t you want to see?

Where are you pulled?

Or at least something like that.

I thought of all those hours in session, allowing pain and delight and fear and ecstasy to wash over me as images bubbled up and over onto the paper, out of the brush. I only have pastels at the moment, and they are dusty and messy and not as flowing as paint. But the process? The process is the same. I’m so glad I have that tool to draw upon!

After only an hour or so, I’m far from done. I have more for that sheet of paper! But already, something has shifted inside me. There is a path, there is a light, there is a way out . . . even alone, I can speak. Some block has metamorphosed into emotional fluid. Processing my inner imagery may save my life—it’s certainly going to save my sanity and even my health, in this frightening time.

An image from Cindy’s article about her plans abruptly changing in the face of COVID-19.

More Information

For encouragement setting up your own process art practice space, see Getting Ready to Paint at Home.

To see our current schedule of online process painting offerings, including weekly classes and weekend workshops, visit our Online Painting page.

For more from Cindy, see her recent article on LinkedIn: In the Midst of the Pandemic, I Changed My Mind.

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