Most painters live a pretty solitary work life. When we are in our studios, it is just us and the canvas that are "socializing." I am lucky to have a wife who is also an artist, but when it comes to the choices we have to make in our artwork, we each fly solo.
For folks who work with fellow workers on a regular basis, I am sure the "stay at home" orders have been a burden.
With deadlines for galleries and shows put on hold (for who knows how long), I now have the incentive to play more with my paintings in the studio. I have taken to reimagining some plein air studies where I see room for improvement. I have found that it has been very freeing!
"High Mountain Pasture" was painted en plein air before the pandemic, when getting in the car and driving to lovely panoramas were the thing to do.
I pulled the on-location painting out of my stack of studies and reimagined it in my mind's eye. No photos, sketches or any other reference were used. This allowed me to stretch my creativity. It is more like a dream now, not reality. I love this method of working because it gives me permission to follow my muse and not cede all the power to what was literally there in front of me on location.
This is a positive exercise and I plan to continue using it even more in my larger studio work. It is important to try new and different approaches to keep growing and to keep our work fresh.