Cathy Breslaw's Installation

Cathy Breslaw's Installation
Cathy Breslaw's Installation:Dreamscape

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Working in Isolation: Oil Painter Artist Finds Freedom to Explore Mediums During Lockdown

Most artists work in relative isolation.  Our collective art practices and the creative process demands it.  It goes against the human urge to congregate and socialize.  Still, we persevere as the 'call to create' nudges us.  We then deliberately make space - intellectually, emotionally and physically. We move forward quietly, with the intention and faith in the process.
Never have we been more aware of isolation than time spent in this Corona Virus pandemic environment. It is not our choice, but as artists we are familiar and in some ways ahead of the game over our fellow citizens by our familiarity and relative comfort with the loneliness of self -containment.  


San Diego artist Melanie Taylor’s landscape oil paintings are an interpretation of observations and creation of fictions. Inspired by places experienced and known, the lockdown has given her an opportunity to experiment with the immediacy of watercolors.

Before the Pandemic:
"Before", oil on canvas, 20"x16", 2020


During the Pandemic:
"After", oil on canvas, 54"x48", 2020

1) How has your work shifted during the pandemic? Has it been a change in the process of your creating art? The mediums you use? The themes or concepts you are thinking about?

During the lockdown I was unable to go to my studio which is a 10 minute drive from my home. I usually paint with oils and can be pretty messy, so having a separate dedicated work space is a necessity. I shut the studio down in March and took watercolors, drawing equipment, papers and sketchbooks home where I set up a small table work area. Focusing on drawing and watercolor proved to be liberating and informative. I was able to complete a watercolor painting or drawing in one session, as opposed to multiple layers/days of an oil painting. I also revisited images and notes from older sketchbooks and discovered new connections. The light and transparency in the watercolors have influenced my oil paintings, a direction I might not have taken so readily had it not been for the focus within limited parameters.

2) What have you discovered about yourself as an artist during this pandemic?  

Working on a small scale made me consider mark making in the images more thoughtfully: it became a time of introspection and retrospection. The pandemic reinforced my interest in the environment and the importance of the human race reconciling with nature. I also discovered that making the effort to create, having that discipline, is very important to my state of mind! 

3) What have been your biggest challenges working in isolation?      Surprises? 

Even though painting (for me) is a solitary activity, I found being isolated from fellow artists and not being able to visit a museum or gallery challenging on a professional level. Not being able to see family and friends living abroad has also been a huge challenge, and this motivated me to draw inspiration from places and landscapes that I miss. What surprised me was the freedom I found in the work process during lockdown and in the drawings/paintings themselves. I hope that sense of freedom continues; it was a positive step aside from my usual practice and I am grateful for that.

Lockdown Home Work Table

Lockdown Sketch Books



Melanie Taylor:      https://melaniectaylor.com/

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Working In Isolation: Multidisciplinary Artist Shares Thoughts on the Human Condition Living and Working in Kolkata India


Most artists work in relative isolation.  Our collective art practices and the creative process demands it.  It goes against the human urge to congregate and socialize.  Still, we persevere as the 'call to create' nudges us.  We then deliberately make space - intellectually, emotionally and physically. We move forward quietly, with the intention and faith in the process.

Never have we been more aware of isolation than time spent in this Corona Virus pandemic environment. It is not our choice, but as artists we are familiar and in some ways ahead of the game over our fellow citizens by our familiarity and relative comfort with the loneliness of self -containment.  


Artist Suman Kabira is from Kolkata(previously known as Calcutta) India 


He writes about his work:
The things I paint, or draw, originate from my everyday engagement with Reality. This is a Reality which, for me, is made of mundane happenings and uncanny images which penetrate into each other regularly, often unexpectedly, leaving me bewildered, yet fertile with images that keep appearing onto my works. 

Born in a semi-urban area, very close to village, I had the fortune of getting in close contact with the rural area and nature– both spatially and psycho-spatially. Then I moved to Kolkata for my art education and since then, I’ve been into the entrails of this megapolis. Such a geographical binary, and the tension within, have contributed largely to my painterly imagination. In more ways than one. 

For example, this has allowed me to perceive human bodies and nature in different settings, in different postures and hence, with different nuances. These figures recur in my works.. I keep them as they are, and at times I twist them, turn them and reduce them to the basic forms that defy the comfort of having them readily recognized as any familiar form. 

In fact, I love to revel in the dangerous beauty of nature and binaries: Dream and reality, matter and void, light and darkness. I call them dangerous because they have the ability to slip into each other’s space rendering the so-called borderline in between deeply inane and superfluous.



Before Pandemic:


During the pandemic:





1) How has your work shifted during the pandemic? Has it been a change in the process of you creating art? The mediums you use? The themes or concepts you are thinking about? 

 For my art practice, I find inspiration from my the current happenings, my surroundings, people, and society where I live. As this pandemic creates new suffering,  many new meanings for words like quarantine, lockdown, food rush, crisis, and social distancing come into my art practice which is mixed-up with my inner perspective. When it comes to the basic idea for working, it generally develops stage by stage.  New elements, subjects, perspectives and the current human condition boldly changed my general views and dimensions for rethinking and reconnecting to my new visuals, and new subjects.


2) What have you discovered about yourself as an artist during this pandemic? 

 Honestly the pandemic has given me a chance to rethink my art practice, the subject I generally choose and also for the mediums and colors I use. The pandemic also shows me the other side of a dark situation. The social distancing,  the restriction on free movement and quarantine all actually gave me feedback to connect with my inner sounds and inner imageries that have been added to my practice during this phase. Also this pandemic has offered me a different pyschological zone for discovering a new perspective. It has given me time for assessment my past works and to give ample time to think about projects on the current pandemic situation. In India during this lockdown period a few more correlated things happened. From weather causing cyclones, to different social and political issues. These incidents certainly add another perspective to my regular practice.


3) What have been your biggest challenges working in isolation? Surprises? 

 Yes there have been a few big challenges I have faced. First, it has influenced my energy when I meet common people, observing my surroundings or visiting other artists studios, gallery exhibitions etc. Also when talking to people of different classes of society, talking about their lives , journeys, struggles or success, these experiences have given me new ground to build subjects for working. No doubt this pandemic phase creates obstacles to do this. Also in isolation it has been very difficult to collect my art materials, canvases or other items I use for my work from art materials stores. I basically avoid online shopping for art materials. Also this isolation gives me the great challenge of rethinking and reconnecting to my source of subjects.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Working in Isolation: Los Angeles Artist Pushed to Expand Her Boundaries


Most artists work in relative isolation.  Our collective art practices and the creative process demands it.  It goes against the human urge to congregate and socialize.  Still, we persevere as the 'call to create' nudges us.  We then deliberately make space - intellectually, emotionally and physically. We move forward quietly, with the intention and faith in the process.
Never have we been more aware of isolation than time spent in this Corona Virus pandemic environment. It is not our choice, but as artists we are familiar and in some ways ahead of the game over our fellow citizens by our familiarity and relative comfort with the loneliness of self -containment.  

Los Angeles artist Jennifer Miller shares her thoughts about making art during the pandemic.

Before the pandemic:



“When You Look At Art, The Art Looks Back At You”
16 x 20
Acrylic, wood, paint skins on canvas

During the pandemic:


“A Great Retirement Plan”
12 x 12
Acrylic, mesh and cheesecloth on canvas
“Dancer #2”
Acrylic and mesh and cheesecloth on canvas
16" x 12"

“Social Distancing. Some Are Better At It Than Others”
Acrylic and found material on canvas. 20 x 24


1) How has your work shifted during the pandemic? 
Has it been a change in the process of you creating art? The mediums 
you use? The themes or concepts you are thinking about?

I have become incredibly productive. Being stuck at home I find myself painting all day, every day. It is a rare day that goes by that I’m not working in my tiny studio upstairs in my house. Without access to going out for inspiration or new paints or mediums, I started working with what I had at home. I came up with a technique that I have not seen anyone else in the world do. Maybe I’m just not able to find other examples of this type of work but I’ve looked hard and haven’t seen anything like it. I think I was just forced into being more creative by the lack of any creativity available outside the house. In addition to this new technique I also found myself doing abstracts which I’ve never done in my life. I have no idea where that came from. Maybe the forced isolation just pushed me to expand my boundaries.  

2) What have you discovered about yourself as an artist during this pandemic
 I’ve discovered that I have so many ideas that I don’t know what to do with them. I will start five paintings at a time and they will be in various stages of completion. I write down ideas of paintings I want to do but then I end up starting something that’s not even on my list. So I’ve learned that even if I have a dry spell, which sometimes can happen, that the creative ideas are always somewhere inside me. I’ve also learned even more than previously that I don’t like to waste anything. I have frequently worked previously with paint skins but now I’m finding bits and pieces around the studio and I’m using those as well. 


3) What have been your biggest challenges working in isolation?      Surprises? 

My biggest challenge is not being able to get my work in front of people. Because what I do is very three-dimensional and textural it doesn’t photograph as well as if you were to see it in person. There are no art shows to go to, I can’t visit galleries and talk to gallery owners, things like that. Also I have run out of canvases and I’ve had to use old paintings that I no longer like and I paint over them. I know I could order online but when I buy canvases I kind of like to go to the store and look at them in person and visualize what I want to do with them. It’s hard for me to buy them online. 


Monday, June 29, 2020

Working in Isolation: One London Artist Uses Time to Experiment with Installation



Most artists work in relative isolation.  Our collective art practices and the creative process demands it.  It goes against the human urge to congregate and socialize.  Still, we persevere as the 'call to create' nudges us.  We then deliberately make space - intellectually, emotionally and physically. We move forward quietly, with the intention and faith in the process.
Never have we been more aware of isolation than time spent in this Corona Virus pandemic environment. It is not our choice, but as artists we are familiar and in some ways ahead of the game over our fellow citizens by our familiarity and relative comfort with the loneliness of self -containment.  

London artist Neha Chandaria uses time in isolation to experiment with digital installations.

Before the pandemic:

Untitled       gouache on paper       7" x 5.5"       2019
During the Pandemic: 

Cabinet Views 3   Digital Installation        mixed media   19" x 27"    2020

Cabinet Views 2    Digital Installation    mixed media    17" x 17"     2020


 Untitled     pencil and collage,writing paper 11"x 7.5"  2020

      Untitled   pencil and collage on fragments of writing paper   7.5" x 5"   2020



1) How has your work shifted during the pandemic? 
Has it been a change in the process of you creating art? The mediums 
you use? The themes or concepts you are thinking about?

My artworks over the years has had a very slow and gradual change. I have a low appetite to explore or add new motifs into my works. I like to explore/repeat motifs or similar motifs in my works and time during this Pandemic is no different. During the Pandemic I've been interested in exploring cabinet spaces- to display or make artworks in relation to these furniture spaces; somehow all this is influenced by confinement inside my home for months now. 

I've made a few works titled Cabinet Views, where I used photographs and a digital medium to create a dialogue with the inside of the cabinets and the objects in it. Sharing images of the same, hoping to take these formative experiments to the next level. 

In terms of the medium, I am also thinking of exploring felting medium.

2) What have you discovered about yourself as an artist during this pandemic
I really liked the home-studio concept. During the pandemic I saw new possibilities of creating a dialogue with one’s immediate surrounding especially at home. During this time, more than creating artworks or final products, I enjoy reading about art, looking at art, contemplating art, writing about artworks, etc.
3) What have been your biggest challenges working in isolation? Surprises?
During the Pandemic I began working on lined writing paper, with motifs rendered as text in a pencil medium. 
I can’t think of any challenges as such, but I miss my community art practice and the art room in London where I teach art to children. 
The major challenge was that due to the pandemic, a group show including my work in London was shelved and postponed. 


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Working in Isolation: One Artist in Mumbai India Explores Digital Media with Sketches and Paintings

Most artists work in relative isolation.  Our collective art practices and the creative process demands it.  It goes against the human urge to congregate and socialize.  Still, we persevere as the 'call to create' nudges us.  We then deliberately make space - intellectually, emotionally and physically. We move forward quietly, with the intention and faith in the process.

Never have we been more aware of isolation than time spent in this Corona Virus pandemic environment. It is not our choice, but as artists we are familiar and in some ways ahead of the game over our fellow citizens by our familiarity and relative comfort with the loneliness of self -containment.  

Artist Yashwant Dershmukh living in Mumbai India, shares his experience with making art during this distressing and complicated  time. 

Dershmukh comments:
I believe the process of painting is constantly going on in an artist's mind. And somewhere at the back of the mind you always know that these situations are not going to last forever. 

Before the Pandemic:





        During the Pandemic:

         Yashwant Deshmukh       Watching With the Eye Closed     8.25" × 11.75"   digital work        2020    


1) How has your work shifted during the pandemic? Has it been a change in the process of your creating art? The mediums you use? The themes or concepts you are thinking about?
The pandemic hasn’t affected my work on the concept level as such. The only problem is having limited material to work with. This is fine since my process includes trying out concepts on a smaller scale first then painting on the canvas. So in a way I have been working consistently in my sketchbooks. However since canvas painting isn't possible now, I have been exploring digital media with my old sketches and paintings.

2) What have you discovered about yourself as an artist during this pandemic?
 During this lockdown I have realized  that as an artist I prefer isolation, silence. In silence new ideas arise, thinking happens. But this silence is different, it is disturbing. In this situation I often get distracted while painting. It feels like someone is keeping an eye on me.

3) What have been your biggest challenges working in isolation? Surprises?
I have always worked in isolation. I have turned one room in my house into my work area. When I am there it just feels like the studio. Though unlike in the studio where I'm completely isolated from everyone, my family members are always around. They peep in to see the process, share their thoughts, we discuss things, so they in a way have been part of my process which is a nice surprise.


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Working in Isolation: One Artist in Dehli Finds More Space in Her Compositions

Most artists work in relative isolation.  Our collective art practices and the creative process demands it.  It goes against the human urge to congregate and socialize.  Still, we persevere as the 'call to create' nudges us.  We then deliberately make space - intellectually, emotionally and physically. We move forward quietly, with the intention and faith in the process.

Never have we been more aware of isolation than time spent in this Corona Virus pandemic environment. It is not our choice, but as artists we are familiar and in some ways ahead of the game over our fellow citizens by our familiarity and relative comfort with the loneliness of self -containment.  

Artist Ritu Aggarwal in Dehli India, shares her experience with making art during this distressing and complicated  time. 

Before the Pandemic:
Ritu Aggarwal       City Scape 4        Acrylic on canvas    48" x 48"

During the Pandemic:
Ritu Aggarwal     Silent Spaces      Mixed Media and Acrylic on Canvas      48" x 48"

1) How has your work shifted during the pandemic? Has it been a change in the process of your creating art? The mediums you use? The themes or concepts you are thinking about?

Before the pandemic,  my  geometrical spaces or architectural forms on the canvas were a little crowded and in a single medium. Also the color scheme was quit bold with dark tones but during the pandemic my work shifted to quite minimal. Now I have found some spaces in the composition. The color schemes  have also shifted to lighter tones  and with mixed media. Due to the lockdown the daily working situation has changed. There is no opportunity to go out to see the world physically, so this has also been a good time to do my art work more patiently.
During the pandemic I was surprised I found the environment and atmosphere around me more clean, peaceful and silent . Everything  seems to be connected with nature and breathable.  And this gave me the new theme “Silent Spaces” for my upcoming works.  Now my new works are not as crowded as before.

2) What have you discovered about yourself as an artist during this pandemic?
When I came to know about this challenging pandemic situation, initially, I got scared but I decided to spend my time creating. Gradually I discovered that the natural world around me is recovering due to lockdown as pollution has lessened. Delhi is a very populated and polluted global city and I have lived here for the past 28 years and have suffered from asthma.
Art work has  always been a meditation for me then a profession , so in this current situation of 
pandemic it helped me a lot to remain calm and positive though I have lost so many opportunities. I 
think if one looses  something , one  gets other new opportunities .  Alexander Graham Bell Quotes- 
When one door closes, another opens. So new doors of online shows and other opportunities

have opened. We  are learn more in this helpless situation. My way of working has changed . I am

doing little research works , searching new mediums for my experimentations etc.

3) What have been your biggest challenges working in isolation? Surprises?
My home is my studio and my studio is my home. Before the pandemic I used to work either at my home in isolation or in Triveni ( institution) with other artists which was  quite interesting as there was always a positive environment.  But due to the pandemic I stuck only to my home with my family which is quite distracting during my creative time. I am not getting enough ”alone time” for painting as this is a basic need of an artist, I think. The thinking process in isolation is necessary for creating art.
My family is not particularly interested in art so this is a big challenge for me. I am discouraged as it is unlikely that there will be an art market for the next couple of years, but I will continue to make art.
Ritu Aggarwal's Instagram link is : artistritu17

Monday, June 15, 2020

Working in Isolation: One Artist in Dehli, India Shares Her Thoughts and Her Work

Most artists work in relative isolation.  Our collective art practices and the creative process demands it.  It goes against the human urge to congregate and socialize.  Still, we persevere as the 'call to create' nudges us.  We then deliberately make space - intellectually, emotionally and physically. We move forward quietly, with the intention and faith in the process.

Never have we been more aware of isolation than time spent in this Corona Virus pandemic environment. It is not our choice, but as artists we are familiar and in some ways ahead of the game over our fellow citizens by our familiarity and relative comfort with the loneliness of self -containment.  

Artist Nidhi Agarwal who was born and raised in Dehli India, shares her experience with making art during this distressing and complicated  time. 

Agarwal comments: "I believe art becomes the best stage when a calamity happens. The calamity propels writers , artists and philosophers to dig deeper in the situation."





Painting Before the Pandemic:
Confiscated Conversations          Oil on canvas    36" x 48"      dyptich         2019

1) How has your work shifted during the pandemic? Has it been a change in the process of your creating art? The mediums you use? The themes or concepts you are thinking about?

I find just a little shift in my work . I basically work in a very liberal manner , rather undisciplined and shifting to mediums in a cycle. I saw myself taking more liberty in my thoughts and actions because some unknown pressure was released . My thoughts were more random and free flowing with a greater speed . I just sat and scribbled for months . Suddenly the impact of surroundings was defeated by my own reasonings and psyche. As the whole world was dealing with the crises , the crises impacts the minds more than it impacts us physically . People are anxious , they have the pandemic challenging their relationships , economy and growth . I kept working in small formats , only paper based . I had only this as my option because I was restricted to commute to my studio where i work on larger sizes . But yes , this restriction came in a quite positive way as I sat daily working, so the connection was really intense.

2) What have you discovered about yourself as an artist during this pandemic?

I see myself as unstopplable ;) . There is always a possibility left . Rather , the more challenging life gets , the work intensifies . Expressions intensify. I believe art becomes the best stage when a calamity happens . The calamity propels writers , artists and philosophers to dig deeper in the situation . This uncertainity is the best time to study human action and a great stimulus for production. This was amongst the best times when I felt my nerves.

 3) What have been your biggest challenges working in isolation? Surprises?

I need a window . But at htis point it was a blank wall in front . The table was too tiny. There was almost zero perspective in space for me to think or go lost in the oblivion. I could’t scatter . I couldnt leave my work station cluttered . Assemble and reassemble was expected . it’s a big hinderance in artistic conciousness . At times I felt lack of art materials . There was always a fear of running out of supplies. I am an impulsive worker. At that time a thought always flashed ….that - what if i was confined in a prison , or a hospital or a forest ?…then, I would be looking for some single piece of stick and a surface - a wall or earth where i could atleast draw. Just 2 simple things were required to express . And then , looking at my supplies , I gathered that I have in abundance already. At other instances I wanted the supplies to finish so that I look around to find something unconventional -may be from the kitchen . Though it never happened , but i was surprised that in the difficult pandemic situation I was more focused on art supplies than anything else. I must have my tools handy in any situation.


Painting During the Pandemic:

Mystic Enclosure    water color on paper    8" x  6"