Blog / 2020 / Pressing Pause on My Painting Practice

November 21, 2020

For the last eight months, my painting practice has been erratic as well as prolific. What comes to mind is the maniacal thumb-sucking of a child who’s watching the world crumble around her.

It’s not that I’m unhappy with what I’ve created. It’s more that I’m finally ready to acknowledge that it doesn’t come from a healthy place.

making of a snow leopard painting

I’ve entered a phase that I’m dubbing “The Third Emotional Wave of COVID-19.” First came a few weeks of creative paralysis as I struggled to process just how much suffering 45 and his bottomless greed were going to cause. Next, I had the months-long phase of maniacal self-soothing, and now I’m focused inward.

My mortality has been clearing its throat politely but insistently ever since the weather cooled and people took their socializing indoors. With cases and deaths rising exponentially, it doesn’t matter that I’m not sick or that my household is rigorously and unapologetically self-isolating. COVID could still get me.

If I become a pandemic statistic, would there be anything I regretted not doing? Anything I can actually accomplish while at home?

The answer is YES. That’s why it’s brushes down and keyboard clacking for the next month or so. I’ve shut down my painting studio for the rest of 2020, so that I can focus on writing the book about portraiture that I’ve been talking about for at least four years.

Any new images you see on this blog for the next few months will be stuff I finished before the end of November, because, as of now, I am writing.

snow leopard face on green background, painted by American artist Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
Snow Leopard
acrylic on unmounted canvas
11 x 10 inches

This snow leopard was commissioned by one of my Patreon supporters. You can hire me to make you a painting of an animal of your choosing for $300 if you sign up to support my work for $50 a month for six months. There are also prints and pretty things with this image in my Redbubble shop!

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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