I'm a big fan of working on teams. I've done virtually nothing in my life as the sole contributor, I've always worked with formal or social teams to do things. In the process of getting more into drawing, I've developed a team here in Durham. Holly and her team at the ArtPost art supply store, the librarians and stacks at Lilly Library, the drawing class, and a host of friends and family have been instrumental in developing my style for the term and in helping in the editing of every piece I've made. In COVID-19 isolation, I'm cut off from that team. I'm not a fan.
I've made a series of sketches now combining 19th century impressionist hand sketches where the faces are replaced by people I've had Zoom video conferences with in isolation. Normally, I would've worked with that team to push the project forward. With input from others, I would surely move this project to a better level. I don't know how--which is my problem--but I'm confident that it would.
It has been interesting to review hundreds of impressionist sketches from tens of artists to get a better understanding of the style. Of course, Lautrec, my perennial favorite, made that list, but so did some new finds (for me anyway) like James Tissot and Alfred Sisley. In the end, I chose drawings to imitate that carry the nostalgia of impressionist art along with some of the elegance. A sea captain. A relaxed fat man playing the violin. A man standing in a braided fez hat. A man in full riding gear on a horse depicted by a single whispy line. I've drawn similar sketches, then blocked out the faces and replaced them with the zoom screens. The faces in the screens are all people I've been interacting with on video chat during this quarantine: professors, friends, and classmates. The combination is both quaint and jarring. Kind of like being in quarantine. They are also fun to look at because they are such nostalgic topics filled with all the movement or mood of notebook sketches.
I'm looking forward to completing the series. In serial, they will be a set of sketches that pretty well reflect my experience during this crisis.