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Artmaking in a time of social distancing

Each week WSS will bring you weekly suggestions for staying connected and keeping your eyes, hands and minds at work. Below are some starters. 

Create a new morning routine

For those who will be staying at home, this is a good time to create new morning routines and start a morning sketchbook habit. Take long restorative walks in nature that will exercise your body but also allow you to pay close attention to the emerging spring. Notice the subtle changes each day in temperature, color, vistas, shapes, texture, scents -- and record those changes in a sketchbook. What are the new flowers that appear each day? See how these things change over the weeks. Avert your attention for a time each day to things we can count on happening each year that beautiful.

Learn how to manage feeling out of control through drawing

We all feel out of control right now. Capitalize on drawing methods that are intended to take our control away and open up other positive things in our brains. Fill a sketchbook with blind contour drawings, where you look only at the source and not the page. Or do a series of drawings with your non-dominant hand only. Try drawing with non-traditional tools, like sticks from trees that you pick up on your morning walks. Dip them into ink and draw. 

Research artists whose shows are currently at museums and galleries in DC and elsewhere

Research some of the artists whose shows are currently at museums and elsewhere. You can't see the work in person right now, but you can learn lots about the artists.Delita Martin's work at the National Museum of Women in the Arts is spectacular.'Riffs and Relations' at the Philips Collection is a phenomenal show -- if you can get a copy of the catalogue it's worth pouring through it, so you will be informed when you finally go see the work. At our WSS gallery, Katie Pumphrey's 'Scribble Scrabbles' is so inspiring, and her artist statement feels so appropriate for our current situation. Look at Katie's work on her website and Instagram account, and stay tuned for a new date for her artist talk. The show will be extended.

This is also a good time to tackle some of those books that are sitting on a shelf, like Mary Gabriel's huge Ninth Street Women, focusing on the lives and contributions of five women artists during the time of abstract expressionism.


Connect with us on social media @washingtonstudioschool by posting work that you are doing at home. #WSSstayconnected


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