More than ten years ago when I began to practice yoga, I wondered if it would take away from my practice of art. Thankfully, rather than take away from it, I discovered that yoga informed my artwork and now supports today’s theme.
Because of the COVID-19 business closures, in mid-March I lost my primary job of teaching yoga. The subsequent art work that I felt inspired to create combines yoga “mudras,” or healing hand gestures with a symbol of protection against transmission of the virus: rubber gloves. The wearing of gloves and/or constant hand-washing is critical to reduce the spread of this virus.
“Uncertainty” describes these months of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine, but art making can provide positive affirmation to our spirits. After disruption, we adjust to new routines, priorities change and provide (for some) the time to reflect on deeper values while others struggle as never before. We’re all in the same river of change no matter how we paddle.
There are twenty-five Hatha yoga mudras believed to depict certain states or processes of consciousness; the hands are considered to be a mirror for the mind and body. I’ve depicted a few mudras specifically for healing. Rubber gloves symbolize protection during this pandemic. One supports the other.
Daily, we learn more about COVID-19 and its worldwide effects. Recovery will occur eventually whether it’s from hand practices, distancing, testing, or a possible vaccine.
How best to respond as an artist? Practice yoga mudras, follow the recommended protocols, make art, and create the life you imagine.
This quiet time has sent my mind to a quiet place and my body to my studio, where my work has certainly become a whisper.
The process of painting: the drive, the love, the agony, the epiphanies, the happy accidents, the destroyed canvases… I’m not sure why I do art. But if I don’t, I fail to be alive, and I just exist!
I am a physician who works at Mercy Hospital. This pandemic has been very stressful. My ears and nose hurt at the end of the day. After work one day I went down to my basement studio and put this cloth mask that my neighbor made me. It’s colorful and softer than the hospital ones. I stood in front of a mirror and painted myself. I used three colors plus white. I think the eyes tell a lot!
I needed to take a lunch break from work. I walked up State Street and saw Longfellow with a mask around his face. I had done a series of statue paintings last year and that statue for some reason is dear to me. I snapped a picture and painted it at home.
I just painted this one (5/29). I participated in a part of the Eid celebration. This Sudanese boy was so cute in his traditional outfit.
A sketchbook is where artists put their unfiltered visions of their intimate thoughts even before they are formed into words. Here the trauma of social isolation in our uniquely-boxed homes during the pandemic appeared on the page of my sketchbook.
Image at top: Dorie Klein, COVID-19 Resignation, color photography, 8 x 10 in., 2020.