This is a plein air painting I did back in January, while visiting a friend in Florida. His backyard deck overlooks this beautiful marsh which is teeming with nesting shore birds. For me, this painting symbolizes my conflicting feelings, or perhaps more accurately, the roller coaster of emotions that I have had regarding the current pandemic. I would normally be traveling to plein air events and favorite painting locations, enjoying time with treasured artist friends from all over the country. Looking at this piece now evokes a sense of nostalgia for one of the most enjoyable aspects of my life as an artist. The lost painting opportunities, combined with the social disconnect from my painting community, has been one of the more disappointing parts of this year. At the same time, the memory of painting in that calming environment, surrounded by birdsong and drifting clouds, serves as a reminder of the value of stillness, of standing in one place for a while and taking in your surroundings in a way you might not have done before. The pandemic has, for better or worse, brought us to a place of near stillness, allowing us the chance at a deeper appreciation of home.