"Being in the process of making is essential to my wellness and is a spiritual practice. It’s my job to show up to the empty page or canvas. The results are up to my higher power."
Describe yourself as a maker/artist/creative
I am primarily an impressionist plain air painter. I live in Howard County and travel to Cape Cod in my studio on wheels to paint and to teach at the Cape School of Art. Every year around Christmas, I offer commissions of house and pet portraits as well as ornaments.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently doing a series of paintings from photos called, "If you want snow, paint snow."
Has your work shifted in response to the pandemic? How?
Yes. I usually paint on location, but since the pandemic I have painted from my own photos and previous paintings, and from some of my father’s photos (as I’ve been digitizing his images to share with my siblings). I also greatly missed traveling to the Cape this summer, so friends of mine who live there gave me permission to use their photos and older paintings I’ve done for inspiration. I also started asking folks on Facebook if I could use their photos, and their response was, "Absolutely!"
I did end up taking myself on a few short adventures to paint on location. One such adventure was a ride along Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. I had deep cleaned my studio this summer and discovered some unused gouache and experimented with them on that journey. And, my cat has taken to sitting on my lap when I’m on a Zoom meeting and I’ve started a sketchbook of her in ink. If she leaves my lap, I’ve been sketching people I see on Zoom.
In your opinion, what role does the creative process play in helping us confront our “new” reality?
Being in the process of making is essential to my wellness and is a spiritual practice. It’s my job to show up to the empty page or canvas. The results are up to my higher power. And in painting, I discover a place of mental and emotional peace. My brain cannot focus on the issues I have no control over when it’s occupied with “What color is that, is that the right shape, should it be lighter or darker, warmer or cooler, should that edge be harder or softer?” And in that meditative state often solutions to issues pop into my life.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I’m grateful for this group. I was invited to be a part of it by a good friend and with one of the galleries that represented me closed due to the economic realities of the virus, and my having to cancel my annual show at my home, the response and support of this group has been helpful for me as I continue to practice making.
See more of Judy's work here.