Blog / 2020 / From A to Z

December 21, 2020

z is for zorilla painting process

Z is for zorilla. Z is for zee end of zee alphabet. Z is the final Baby Sees ABCs image to appear on this blog with process images.

The A painting shows up in a post about self-expression versus communication in art. B is in a video about taking a break. C deals with COVID and D with being a slow art maker. E is a shout-out to Lynda Barry. F’s video encourages steering away from jealousy and G’s vlog talks about recognizing that I can’t control what people think of me.

H appears in an article about hating other artists’ work, and I’s post talks about people needing permission to get close to art. J’s video discusses the collaborative aspect of Baby Sees ABCs, and K’s vlog highlights the use of first names in the book. L shows up in a post about copyright and using photographers’ images as references.

M is a clapback to all the people who’ve given me terrible advice on my art career. The N painting is in a post about learning how to talk about your art, and the O is in one about loving your work more generally. I filmed P’s video right at the beginning of the pandemic, just as the enormity of all the suffering to come was hitting me.

The Q image is featured in one of my all-time favorite videos. The R painting is the star of a vlog about destroying art because the pandemic was getting to me—I weep to think I made that video six months ago. S appears in a post about quitting Facebook and Instagram, and T in one about struggling with the emotional fallout of COVID. The video for the U piece is pre-pandemic, as is the article featuring V.

W shows up in a post about overcoming a specific kind of shyness. X’s video is all about inventing a new creature, a hero for our destructive times. Y’s article is just two months old, but, since it refers to the recent presidential election, it feels like a different person wrote it.

African polecat, zorilla, painted in acrylic on wood
Gwenn Seemel
Z Is for Zorilla
2020
acrylic on panel
14 x 14 inches

Mostly, Z is for zzzzzzzz, because I am exhausted. I’m tired of fascism, misogyny, racism, and the religious fundamentalism that has infected so many American minds, making them impervious to the little bit of science and empathy required to get a person to wear a mask during a pandemic.

My grand plan to pause my painting so I could work on a book isn’t going great. I slipped up and made some art a couple weeks into my studio break, and the writing itself is excrutiatingly slow, but it’s okay. I live in the northern hemisphere, where the days are currently quite short. Instead of letting it get me down, I’m trying to remember to savor the darkness and be gentle with myself.

African polecat wildlife art
detail of Z Is for Zorilla

The first names embedded in this image are Za, Zack, Zafar, Zahara, Zahid, Zaira, Zan, Zane, Zanele, Zara, Zawar, Zayda, Zayn, Zazou, Zee, Zelda, Zheegwon, Zheng, Ziggy, Zinnia, Zoey, Zoraida, Zorba, Zowie, Zugunruhe, and Zulsiramar.

The original zorilla painting already has a forever home—see all currently available artworks. If you want prints or other pretty items with this image, check out my Redbubble shop.


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