It’s Going to Take Some Time This Time

Hot House
Colors of Jazz Collection
©2020, Molly Larson Cook
Acrylic on canvas
30″ x 24″


My county in Oregon has been cleared for a “soft” re-opening, Phase I as the governors and medical experts call it,  as we begin the shift out of lockdown for COVID-19.  I’m not sure yet how this will pan out, and it might be too early, but a few places have opened up including the building where I have my studio.

I moved everything back there this morning and it felt both good and strange.  All the paints and the tools in a box.  The finished canvases in big plastic bags.  All back with the supplies that were left behind in a scramble to shut down.  But things feel strange in general these days.

I’ve worked at home through the last several weeks and it was okay, but it wasn’t my space.  Now my space doesn’t feel quite like my space.  “Back to normal” is not going to be back to the old normal.  Ever.

After getting things back in the studio, I walked around the small downtown area a little.  Stores were re-opened on a hit and miss basis.  Most of the little shops that did choose to open had signs about social distancing and face masks required, but not all.  Some fellows sat in chairs in the sunshine outside a small barber shop.  Not enough space to sit inside now. Stores that remain closed, most of them, are dark and the sense of unknowing hangs in the air.

Art has been my anchor through the pandemic.  And it’s helped a lot of other people pass the time with the Getty challenge and virtual gallery shows from all over the world.  That’s a good thing.  I looked forward to getting back to work in the studio instead of a room full of someone else’s stuff in my house.  But the truth is, I feel unanchored instead.  I’m happy with the work I did during the last weeks, and I was happy to have the workspace, but like almost everybody else, I’m aware of a break in my life.  Then and Now.  They’re not the same.  Anything can happen.

The protesters are mistaken about getting their lives back to normal.  The break is the break.  It will take a while back in the studio for me to feel like I’m “home.”  I pray that I’ll get there.  I had plans.  I had things to aim for.  I had work to do.  Like everybody else.  The plans and things to aim for are changed or gone because the places to show the work have changed or are gone, too, because everybody’s lives have changed.

Yes, it’s been just a few weeks, but it’s starting from scratch, and I thank God for the tubes of paint, the colors and canvas that are the best shot I have of getting there.  On the way home, I stopped at the art supply store which was open but empty, pulled up my mask and went in to buy gesso and a new tube of one of my favorite colors, Indian Yellow Hue.  I thought this would help. But I know about the paradigm shift, I used to teach it, and I can’t kid myself.

I know what the next weeks and months, maybe years, will be like for art and artists along with everyone else.  I believe good things can come from this eventually, but for now things are strange.

And as Carole King sang, “It’s going to take some time this time…”











2 thoughts on “It’s Going to Take Some Time This Time

  1. Thank you, Don…as Billie said, “Pray for the future, hope for the best.”…. Stay safe…Moll

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