“Stay home and paint,” says Elizabeth Davis, a senior artist in Oman who believes that the current lockdown period is ideal for everyone to get creative in some way or the other. From painting murals on the walls of her home to letting her paintbrush find artisitic expression on everything around her home Elizabeth is making hay while the Sun shines. Here’s how she looks at the lockdown:
The year 2020 started with a bang! Life was wonderful. I had just submitted my artwork for the spring show at Matti’s Gallery and was looking forward to the Oman International Art Fair. By early February, there were faint rumours about a coronavirus that was taking the world by storm, literally. Suddenly it was upon all of us! The exhibitions were cancelled and life got locked down. Everything seemed gloomy.
It suddenly struck me that I was one lucky person because I could paint all I wanted during the lockdown. And everyday I would do some art related stuff. My first and very satisfying COVID-19 project was painting the walls of my little grand daughter’s play area. After a week, the painting was done and I was twiddling my toes. Soon some old terracotta tortoises lying in the garden got a new coat of paint and were upgraded to the sitting room. Two plain baskets, a couple of watering cans and some large fig leaves also got patterned and coloured. Empty bottles were cleaned and painted on. Our pet labrador also got his own signboard.
Another work I greatly enjoyed was painting a cherry blossom tree on an old cabinet, while giving it a rustic weathered look. The full family was involved in giving suggestions.
Some professional artists too were offering free courses and I got to know the basics of oil pastels and fell in love with it. It was a good time to learn new stuff and also keep practising with daily sketches and paintings, to let the hand flow freely.
Quite a few of us artists have offered paintings for the Covid Charity Exhibition. Some of us also took part in the Covid Art Competition organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. The Ministry of Art Affairs is also conducting an Arts Creativity Contest.
This lockdown is also a great time to catch up with gardening, cooking exotic dishes, reading books and watching great movies and plays. ‘The Shows Must Go On’ has been airing some really fantastic plays on You tube, too. Eating healthy, doing regular exercise and yoga, getting enough sunlight is also very essential. Finally, we’ve got some precious time to sit down with the family.
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