Creativity and Coronavirus


Some of you are familiar with the  sources of my inspiration; my Armenian culture, Spirituality and Healing. The corona virus pandemic has collectively disrupted our lives and routine while leaving us with abundant time.  I’m one of those people welcoming the isolation, tuning into the creative process and finding peace and connection while the storm rages above.

There is something spiritual about creativity.

Each of us has our own unique path to that place of wholeness within. Painting for me takes me there. This “shelter in place” mandate has pulled me into a cocoon of sort while painting.  I had to put all my equipment, paints, easels and brushes away last November as I began a studio remodel. Thankfully all was complete February10th. I had plans to begin a painting called The Reading, which I’ll blog about in the future but instead I’m working on something very different.

I’m reading a book on the Armenian Genocide titled: The Hundred Year Walk: An Armenian Odyssey The author, Dawn Anahid MacKeen, discovers a series of notebooks on the Genocide written by her now deceased Grandfather and returns to Armenia and Turkey to retrace his grueling and perilous journey to Syria. Walking alongside thousands of displaced Armenians he witnessed the atrocities of Turks cruelly obsessed with eradicating a race.

My own Grandparents escaped the Genocide but witnessed their homes and families dispersed. The resiliency and perseverance of the Armenians resonate for me especially now during this pandemic. William Saroyan’s famous words come to mind: “When two of them (Armenians) meet anywhere in the world see if they will not create a New Armenia” We are all survivors.

The title of this current painting is: The Fruit of their Labor. Fruit such as pears, pomegranates, cherries, and peaches; produce grown in the California San Joaquin Valley.

The Fresno, where I call home has the third largest population of Armenians in the USA.

Another image strong in my memory are white lace doilies crocheted by my Grandmother. They graced every armrest of couches and chairs and their paper versions under platters of baklava. The doily also resembles the Mandala so prevalent in many cultures.

I’m feeling comforted painting images from my past.  They remind me no matter how hard today is, we will again plant, grow fruit and crochet doilies because that is what we Armenians do.