Pandemic Sketchbook: cooking, gardening, puzzles and other pastimes

With people sheltering in place at home, something had to take the place of going out to socialize, eat, work, work out and other daily activities. Cooking, doing jigsaw puzzles and gardening became really popular. I’m a terrible baker because I don’t follow directions. When I made scones, the flour in my cupboard smelled funny, so I texted a friend who said to throw it out. After digging deeper in my baking supplies, I found a small bag of flour, so I made a small batch of scones. They tasted bland and were hard, so I painted a still life of the scones in the style of a Mexican bark painting that hangs in my studio.

Tea and scones, watercolor

When the weather warmed up, I cleaned up my garden to get ready for spring planting. It has been a cold, but beautiful spring in New Jersey, but the herbs seemed to be growing already in early April.

Herb garden, pen and ink

Puzzles are really in demand. Luckily I found two in my coat closet. It turns out, I’m not a very patient puzzle person, so again, I drew the picture instead of sorting the pieces the first day. A month after this painting, the puzzle is only half done!

Starting a jigsaw puzzle, watercolor

Pandemic Sketchbook: still life with mask

Still life with mask, charcoal pencil
Still life with mask, charcoal pencil

Grocery shopping during the pandemic requires a mask in New Jersey. Store shelves are often empty and some things are almost impossible to find. But this week, I found a bag of dried peas and the prize: a roll of toilet paper! I tried to draw this still life with a dramatic, raking light and very dark and light values.

Pandemic Sketchbook: Teddy Bears in Windows

Scavenger hunt for kids at home: Christmas Teddy Bear in my Window
Teddy Bears, watercolor

In the first month of staying at home, I read that people were putting teddy bears in their windows so that parents could take their kids on scavenger hunts to search for teddy bears. I don’t know if anyone was doing that or not in my neighborhood, but it kept me busy. I posed the bears and drew pictures of them in my sketchbook. It quickly became apparent that keeping busy and distracted, to find a hobby or any way at all to cope is pretty important. For young parents trying to work at home and educate and take care of their kids, it’s a big job.