Studio Views – Helen Lewis – Encaustic Painter

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June 3rd, 2020

Some thoughts from Helen Lewis during this time of COVID 19 quarantine…

Like everyone, my husband and I have experienced some challenges during these weeks and months of quarantine due to the COVID 19 virus. Our two small family owned businesses have both been closed and employees laid off until just last week. We have now reopened with restrictions and more safety measures in place, but have had minimal customers and so our concerns continue about how well our businesses will be able to bounce back. However, we hope for the best and march on.

One of the most difficult aspects of this season for us has been the social distancing from our two young grandsons and their parents. We know that soon we will feel safer about spending time with them again and we look forward to that day.

A positive for me through all of this situation has been my art practice. It has been gratifying to watch two of my galleries — with Art in Bloom Gallery being one — pivot and quickly implement creative ways to virtually/online reach both collectors and art lovers who simply want to continue to view art during these days. In the face of such dark and unsettling times, it is heartening that many still believe that beauty matters and therefore, take steps to pursue it.For me personally, I am glad that my studio is at home and I have been able to put in long hours there doing what I love. Art for me is a place to find peace and once again find my center when life has thrown us all a bit off kilter. It serves as a place of spiritual connection for me that has proven to be a true lifeline during this time. I’m very grateful for my art. I’m grateful for my galleries and for each person who cares about art and beauty.

I’d like to close with this admonition from contemporary writer, Shauna Niequist:  “Please keep demonstrating the courage that it takes to swim upstream in a world that prefers putting away for retirement to putting pen to paper, that chooses practicality over poetry, that values you more for going to the gym than going to the deepest places in your soul. Please keep making your art for people like me, people who need the magic and imagination and honesty of great art to make the day-to-day world a little more bearable.”