WAF Members Share Their Inspiration

Members of Working Artist Forum (WAF), a regional organization of professional painters, continue to create new and exciting art while complying with COVID-19 ‘stay at home’ orders in Maryland. Plein air painting of home gardens and flowers, as well as rural scenes, is a safe outlet with proper social distancing and these painters do it very well, especially in the lovely spring weather.

Here are what a few of the plein air painters of WAF are doing and saying:

Maggii Sarfaty, of Easton, said, “I’ve been visiting faraway places by painting from photos. So far, I’ve visited Barbados, California and Sanibel Island. I got outside in my own yard for a little ‘backyard plein air:’ Grape Hyacinths on the lawn and Daffodils by the fence.”

WAF member, Patti Lucas Hopkins, said, “Every day of the year I feel blessed to live on a farm surrounded by the Little Choptank River but especially during the COVID-19 quarantine and a very hard time for our world. As an oil painter, I am enjoying the luxury of painting outside on my farm without having to leave my property.”

Nancy Thomas said, “I painted in my backyard. It was a challenge by a plein air group to paint ordinary things in your own yard.”

Experimentation Abounds

WAF members are using this difficult time to expand their knowledge, experiment and create new and better art, while looking towards a brighter future and maintaining a good attitude.

Here are what a few are saying:

Betty Huang, of Easton, said, “Painting is my passion. During this unprecedented time, I miss the interactions with my clients, family and friends. Given the gift of time, we as artists, can leverage this time to explore new techniques, new subject matters and hone our skills. Art is a continuous journey of discovery and learning.”

Stacy Sass, of St. Michaels, added, “I feel blessed to have a burning desire to paint at this stressful time when too many people don’t know what to do with their day. Unable to paint plein air because of cold and rain, I found inspiration in the refrigerator in the form of Chinese carry-out. The fortune cookie may have read, ‘Hang in there, this too will pass’.”

Carol Cowie, of Annapolis, commented, “In my home studio I have been experimenting with smaller sketches, working on design and value with a grey set of markers. I have found this liberating in terms of simplifying ideas and becoming more abstract.  I love plein air and now that spring is here, I will head outside into nature and paint what I love best, where it doesn’t feel like quarantine at all.”

Inspired by Animals

Some of these artists are safely painting the things that they love the most, their pets and wildlife, and having fun doing it. The animals offer inspiration to look toward a brighter future, while we continue to enjoy the moment.

Here are what a few artists are doing:

Pat Lang, of Easton, said, “I have been painting animals lately. First because I love animals. Second, being in the house for so many hours has given me an even greater pleasure to view them and learn about them. My cat, Pepper, is my company all day and I love to see the positions that she gets into and how the light touches her fur.”

Barbara Watson, East New Market, said, “Painting animals give me the greatest pleasure. I am working in my home studio on our farm catching up on some ‘doggy’ commissions, and I am almost alone. My two canine assistants, Rasin and Flame, are always with me as models, for reference, or just for support and company. They don’t understand social distancing but are persistent in reminding me to take a break and go outdoors and enjoy the lovely spring days.”

Offering Inspiration

By reflecting on the important things, art can be an avenue to peace in stressful times. WAF has many members who use their art to gain understanding of this difficult time of isolation and the battle against COVID-19. WAF artists are creating their work with a positive outlook towards the future.

Here are some thoughts from a few of the artists:

Gerry Czajkowski, of Grasonville, said, “I am moved by nature’s abstractions. I paint from my soul and feel the peace, beauty, spontaneity and emotionality of the universe. In our world today I try to focus on rebirth/renewal and spring as we all cope to get past the reality of today’s day. I don’t adhere to rules when painting. To quote Georgia O’Keeffe, ‘I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.’ ”

Abby Ober, of St. Michaels, is painting happier times.

“Beach Day,” by Abby Ober

And Janet Knighton, of Glenwood, Maryland, said, “ ‘Blossoms of Hope’ was inspired from the flowers in my yard during this quarantine. After picking this bouquet, I was reminded of a childhood memory growing up in a Baltimore row house. My job and a true gift as a little girl, I was to pick flowers from my family’s small yard in Baltimore. In these isolated, crazy days of quarantine, I try to go to my happy places, my family, my yard, and my art.”

Visit www.workingartistforum.com for contact information for these artists and other members.

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