Day 40 (to lock-down)
Today is the 40th day we are here in a very hermetic closure in Spain. We haven’t left the house for 40 days now. We go only to the supermarket and vegetable store. I hear enviously from friends in Israel who go out for a run in the field, or play downstairs in the parc, and really pray for a day when we too would be allowed to go for a distance of 100 meters from home, ride a bike to the corner of the street and back.
My studio is on the other side of Barcelona, and I have no way to get to it. It is far, very far away physically and mentally and a hole hour of a subway ride separates us, and at the moment just the thought of going down to the Barcelona subway tunnels seems to me utter madness. I try to imagine the first time I will go to the subway tunnels when it’s all behind us and the only way I can imagine myself there is with an abacus mask, a huge garbage bag all over my body and surgical gloves, running away from any breathing creature.
So there is no studio to go to. I have no room of my own. And I do not have time, I do not have ten minutes of my own. Always sharing a place, always busy with housework or solving problems of my daughter’s online teaching or helping with homework, or quarrels about not doing homework or quarrels about lack of time and space with my husband, or reconciliations, or reflections on quarrels or lack of time and place. At the end of the day – the day ends like its predecessor. Pulp of days without characterization. Just a lot of limitations, a lot of commitments, a lot of worries and a lot of unanswered questions, and in the midst of all this, the voices of friends, resonate with me – why don’t you draw at home? Draw at home. And I’m trying to solve this sentence for myself: Something in me does not agree to accept it. Do not want to paint at home, in chaos. I have nothing to (paint) (my head is full of laundry and dirty dishes in the sink) nor do I have anything to (paint) with (my colors in quarantine in the studio). Nor will I now buy good colors and new canvases in this obscure economic situation. I do not have and I do not have and I do not have and I am tired.
So yesterday I decided to set myself one small goal to start getting out of the void I fell into, a small goal so that it would be realistic and so that I could accomplish it. I bought myself a package of 12 gouache-stick colors for children (online). I bought a drawing block of 50 pages measuring 30×40 cm (online) and decided to draw one drawing a day. The stick dries in a quarter of a second and you can draw one painting in ten minutes. It does not need much time and does not need much space. You have to be able to concentrate for 10 minutes on one thing: painting.
This whole long story comes to share with you the decision (and also the results), because I am one of those who think that if there is no audience then there is no art. Even if it’s an audience of two people it’s a great and important audience. And it will help me to meet my own mission:
One painting a day until the end of lock-down, until it’s all over.