Social Isolation

Hello Friends,

How are you doing? Are you surviving social isolation? Are you feeling OK? Are you finding ways to stay connected?

Here in California we have complete lockdown. Everyone has been ordered to shelter in place and stay home, until further notice. At this point we don’t know how long that will be.

We’re only allowed to go out for basic necessities, like grocery shopping and doctor visits. Fortunately exercise is considered necessary, which means I can go out for walks. All businesses are closed, except those deemed essential, which doesn’t include hair salons. In a few weeks we’re all going to look ragged!

As an artist, it’s probably easier for me to cope with these changes than it might be for others. I work at home anyway, and I’m used to being alone. So far I’m enjoying the more relaxed pace, although I do miss the groups, classes and other activities that kept me connected to the outside world.

I’ve been using my free time to experiment in the studio. I’m still working with collage, and I wanted to try some purely abstract pieces. My first piece is shown below. It’s part of a series that’s going to be about the coronavirus experience.

I develop these pieces the same way I would do a painting. First I put down an “underpainting” of large images of color, then I layer other pieces on top. Most of the “underpainting” gets covered up, but it helps to start with something other than white, and I like the small pieces of “underpainting” that show through. The collages are made using pictures and text cut from discarded catalogs and magazines.

This first collage is about the experience of social isolation and social distancing. Click on the image to see it larger in a browser.

Cassandra Tondro, "Social Isolation," collage art coronavirus

“Social Isolation,” 20 x 16 inches, mixed media on canvas panel

What have you learned about yourself through social isolation and this crisis? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,
Cassandra

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4 Comments

  1. Hello, So glad you are making use of your time, our Gov. does not see the power of cutting the curve. I work for the State of Iowa, and we are not taking time off, we have closed our doors, but still working. I love your collage, it is powerful and look forward to the day that I can stay at home and get creative, my husband too, as I have kept boxes of magazine to do just this!! You are an inspiration, keep walking, it stirs the creativity. Stay healthy my friend,
    Kim Moore

    1. Thanks, Kim. Probably not as many cases of coronavirus in Iowa as California. I’m glad to hear you’re still employed! I worry about the small businesses here that are closed. Yes, collage is a lot of fun and less messy than painting! I’m really enjoying it right now. I look forward to seeing what you do with it when you get a chance.

  2. I love your new collage! I feel it. Gratitude to you for writing, creating and sharing. I am in Michigan in the tricounty area and it is getting real…
    I have been kidding my husband that he will not be able to get his hair cut! I am the last person to give it a try for him….so fascinating all the little things put on hold.
    Love to everyone.

    1. Hi Gaylyn. Yes, the haircut thing took me by surprise. Maybe time to let my hair grow out! I also can’t buy art supplies now and have to order everything online, which requires more planning than I’m used to. But it also motivates me to use up everything that I already have!

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