Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Coronavirus drawing updates and lost time

My pieces about COVID-19 will not be continuous or related, mostly because I don't even have enough continuity of thought to even study for more than fifteen minutes at a time, let alone create a series of connected pieces right now. But I am excited for the ideas that I have had so far, and how I'm going to articulate them.
My first concept for a piece has to do with the origins of many pandemics: animals. This directly relates to coronavirus because it was widely thought (not confirmed) that the pangolin, a cute armor-plated animal reminiscent of the armadillo, was responsible for the initial transmission of the virus. In this piece, the pangolin curls up on a pile of bones (I thought that maybe drawing human bones explicitly might have been a little too dark but we will see), with the words "Ground Zero" underneath it. Ideally if I was painting this, I would do a very dark background and the letters would be like those in a neon sign. I would like to try this with watercolor and see what happens. The piece will be very geometric and dark, while the light from the neon sign reflects off of everything else. I also like this piece idea because most pangolin species are critically endangered: they are the most highly trafficked animal on the planet.
My next piece idea more directly relates to us as students. In this sketch, a student worries over her work while an ambiguous masked figure stands in the dark outside, watching her. There can be several interpretations of this sketch, but for me it most directly relates to social isolation and the separation between the sick and the healthy. There's also a separation between the worry of schoolwork while the person on the other side is worried for their life; there is a separation of experiences but the person on the outside is able to see things that used to be for them.
I have another currently abstract idea of a piece where I would like to combine other people's experiences into one artwork. Ideally, I would like to get quotes from people on their feelings about the virus, or how they've been impacted, and then turn it into a more involved project where I video myself drawing while relaying people's quotes in a cinematic and dramatic manner. I just don't yet know how I'm going to integrate these ideas.

One thing I find really interesting is this irony in how time is presenting itself in this weird period of our lives. I don't have anywhere to go, and limited things to do, but I find myself being taunted by this enormous amount of time that just seems to be slipping through my fingers. It seems like something tangible and real that I should be taking advantage of, yet I can barely seem to fulfill basic responsibilities at this point, so the passing of time feels almost dreamlike; I feel like I'm moving through water with clouded vision. I know that this will probably inspire one more piece for me, but I just now am realizing it as I write this. Funnily enough, writing this post has been enough to spark some new ideas for pieces. I think articulating my thoughts into something more palpable might give me new ways to transform abstract emotions into potential art.


  1. Morgan,
    The final 2 sentences in your post are music to my ears! Just simply talking through your ideas helps spur more ideas - sketching does the same thing. It opens the mind and lets ideas flow in and out. I look forward to seeing how your work progresses!
    PS. Your images didn't come through. Are they large files? Sometime that can hang them up.

    1. Oh no, I just now saw this. Are they still missing from the post? I will try and put them back in in a smaller size!