As this Pandemic comes closer to its first anniversary (1st lockdown), I have to say – I am feeling this fatigue they're talking about. It’s harder to focus, and I have more distractions that vie for my attention. I live in Toronto and have been in lockdown pretty much since November. I’m tired of this.

Yesterday as I stood in my studio, deciding what to do next, I found myself at an impasse – too much to do, too little motivation to start on any of it. A symptom of the pandemic, I’m usually better at this. I starred at the piece still on my easel, awaiting its final touches. My Hoi An lanterns at night painting – I love how it’s turning out, but I’m scared to put those last details on it. Waiting for better focus, but it’s not coming. In my gazing, I found the urge to paint again. Dali did say, “to gaze is to think.”

So I started, let go, and decided not to overthink what I was painting. I only needed to paint bigger since smaller canvases have been making me feel cramped. Arm movemMy mini 4x4 oil painting, "Tiny Sunset no.2"ent was required, with large(er) brushed strokes. Luckily I had a 20"x16" waiting in the wings. Still not the biggest, but my next Gwartzman’s shipment is being prepared. And in the theme of not overthinking, I chose to redo a scene I painted in a smaller version, "Tiny Sunset no2" (pictured left).

Beginning this painting reminded me of one of my most important productivity tools – starting with the most basic thing. For me, that’s just choosing one colour and letting that colour take me to the next colour. The next thing I know, I’ve covered the canvas with its first layer.

I painted what I needed to feel, which was calm. And I was reminded of how simple starting can be. You don’t have to wait for inspiration; “Inspiration exists, but it must find you working.” Thanks, Picasso, I know.
The first layer of paint, a work in progress.The first layer of a new landscape. #artworkinprogress 

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