Painting During the Age of Covid-19

This has to be the most bizarre and frightening time most of us have ever lived through!  I hope you are all staying safe and healthy.  I live in Bergen County NJ, just northwest of NYC.  We were one of the first hotspots in the country after Washington state and we have yet to hit our peak.

Aside from worrying about getting groceries and missing my adult children, staying home is not much of a hardship for us.  One silver lining is that I have been painting a lot more often.  And I have been spending at least half of my painting sessions experimenting and trying new things.  I participated in a 5 day painting challenge a few weeks ago. The idea was to do a 20 minute painting every day for five days and to post it to the Art + Work + Living Facebook group.  I challenged myself to do a knife painting every day.  Up till now I have done very few knife paintings and I am very intimidated by them.  I did snap a pic at 20 minutes into each session to post to the challenge, but I continued painting for another hour or so on each one.  Here are the results.

Day 1  "Mill Creek" Oil on Panel. 8"x 10"
This is a one of many, many 'Mill Creeks' off the Chesapeake Bay. 

Day 2  "Snow on the Field" Oil on Panel. 8"x 10"
I painted this a couple years ago on a 12"x 16" panel using a palette knife and sold it recently.  I just love the composition and the weeds in the snow so I did it again.

Day 3  "Cape Cod"  Oil on Panel. 8"x 10"
This is the backyard of my Sister-in-law's house on the Cape.  I started this with a knife but ended up using a brush for the fence and the boats.

Day 4 "St. Leonard's Creek"  Oil on Panel.  8"x 10"
The reference for this painting is another beautiful anchorage on a creek off the Patuxent River off the Chesapeake Bay.  I used a brush to soften the clouds.

Day 5  "Seal Bay, Vinalhaven, ME"  Oil on Panel. 8"x 10"
I think this was the most successful.  Done exclusively with a knife, it really captures the look and feel I was hoping for.  It is one of the most beautiful anchorages on the east coast.

The next week I started another painting with a knife but quickly moved back to a brush.  Its really hard to break old habits and truly challenge yourself, but I like the results nonetheless.

"A View of the Lake"  Oil on Panel. 8"x 10"
This is a view from my neighbor's dock, on a lake in northwest Jersey, where we have a small rustic cabin.  It's one of my favorite places in the world. 

This week I am going to experiment with different colors.  I have been using the same palette for many years, occasionally adding a color here and there.  I have dozens of tubes I don't use anymore and thought I would give them a try.  I am going to play with different mixtures for greens, grays, browns, and purples.  So stay tuned and I will post my results next week.  In the meantime, while you are staying safe and healthy and at home, use this time to experiment yourself.  And feel free to post your results in the comments.