Cathy Breslaw's Installation

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

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"


Thursday, June 11, 2020

Working in Isolation: One Artist Shares How the Pandemic has Shifted 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 Raphaele Cohen-Bacry shares her experience with making art during this distressing and complicated  time.


Before the Pandemic:                                     The Way Our Minds Work             mixed media collage    51"x 38"     2019



During the Pandemic:                                Mirror, Beautiful Mirror        mixed media collage       11" x 17"    2020









































































The work of Raphaele Cohen-Bacry


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 am a mixed media artist in Los Angeles and I have not had access to a proper studio for several months
since Covid started here. I was already working on collages but I have intensified this practice with the
resources I had at home. When I started to run out of supplies (I was regularly getting auctions magazines
from my friend and gallery owner Louis Stern and from wallpaper showrooms), I started to explore video
again.  This is something I always wanted to push but I was busy with painting and collages.  So I am now
developing a series of short minimalist videos that showcase "creativity with no budget".  I keep most of
them under a minute as I believe this is just the right length to convey my messages and keep people
interested.  In times when we are bombarded with images from all sides, often agitating and violent, my
intention is to turn the moving images to my advantage and bring something fresh to the medium. During
the lock-down my videos got more and more unconventional and poetic,  unsettling in the way that the
images do not necessary match the sound, intentionally.

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

I discovered that I can still practice and push my creativity even with very little resources. I also understand how 
everything affects and influences my work but that it thrives no matter what. I discovered what is the most important 
for me, after so many things have been taken away: developing my practice and translate my views of the world in
any ways possible.

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

I used to constantly go to see other artists works, attend talks and lectures and connect with a lot of artists
or people who work with artists. Hence the first weeks were very unusual and unnatural and it was almost
impossible to focus on my art. It seemed pointless. But then calm settled in and I started working again,
with no other purpose than to go inside and find something unique and personal to expose.


During the Pandemic:                                       This Was Supposed to Be a Quiet Sunday      43 sec video(still shot)  2020  


Link to Raphaele's website (https://www.raphaelecohenbacry.com/) and also the link to the video (https://youtu.be/XSW0py75_EQ)  






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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Two Artists Responding to the Pandemic: Cathy Breslaw and Susan Osborn

article by Cathy Breslaw
link to entire exhibition including 95 artists:
https://shoeboxpr.com/2020/04/10/call-and-response-collaboration-at-a-distance/


Two Artists Respond to the Pandemic: Cathy Breslaw and Susan Osborn

Most artists work in relative isolation. Our collective art practices and the creative process demand it. It goes against the human urge to congregate and socialize. Still, we persevere as the “call to create” stubbornly nudges us. We then deliberately make space – intellectually, emotionally and physically – we move forward quietly, with 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 with the loneliness of self -containment.  

 In early March, I received an email from Kristine Schomaker, fellow artist and writer/blogger announcing that she was organizing a collaboration offering artists to participate in a project Call and Response, with a group of artists’ “pairs”. Ninety-five artists responded and I was paired with Susan Osborn, a San Diego artist. This project was to be a way for artists to mitigate our feelings of isolation and to more importantly visually express what we are experiencing during this highly distressing time.

The task began with me to create an artwork and for Susan to respond. This “back and forth” was to continue with a time limit of April 1st. Limited to 24 hours, we were to create an artwork and email it back to our partner. During the process we each made 7 artworks for a total of 14 total pieces.

Susan and I had never met and had not been familiar with each other’s work.  In a way we were thrown together in friendship and faith, to trust in the process and to see what happened. In conversing about it after the fact, neither one of us knew what to expect and both of us were happy to be in contact with another artist during this difficult and scary time. We both also noted the comfort of the structure of “having to respond” in a visual way to one another on a daily basis. In a way it was like watching a silent film, ‘watching’ with only part of our senses in attempts to converse about what we were feeling and then ‘answer’ each other.

With only visual responses to depend on, we were forced to rely upon observing and studying very closely the language of the other – the emotion and energy, materials and compositions of each of our art pieces. Titling each art work gave each of us clues.

As an artist who makes work that is mostly abstract, it was challenging for me to create because I was conscious of whether the work could be relatively easily understood by Susan so that she could respond during our short 24 hour turn around time.

 #1(Latent Waves)Breslaw                                                                             #2(Latent Waves#2)Osborn