“It’s been like living in a slide projector. The landscape of our world changing every day.”

Quadiptych: Pandemic Panoramic Four Paintings each 24 x 24 by Dawna Magliacano

If this year has taught me anything, its been the need to be malleable. Choosing between acclimating on the fly, or simply curling into a ball under the covers and saying: “I’ll come out in 2021.” Honestly, I teeter between those two place. I believe to some degree we all have been infected with COVID. We may not have had actual notable symptoms or tested positive in the literal sense, but we have all felt its insidiousness. Suffering malaise brought on by feelings of anxiety, frustration, profound loneliness, uncertainty, and loss as we watch our world seemingly spin out of control. For myself, all of this was probably exacerbated by the bad timing of my failing hip and recent need for major surgery to replace it. Though when I talk to my friends, who haven’t had that issue, they are experiencing the same feelings.

But art is my career. Something I love and require in my life that is as necessary to me as breathing. Initially when told we had to isolate and shelter in place, I thought that’s no problem at all. I have four studios in my home to keep me busy and I love working. But when days turned into weeks, and then stretched into months. My normal get up and go, got up and went. I am used to working 10 to 14 hours in my studios, reminding myself to stop occasionally to eat or sleep. Pandemic me has to force myself to do four or five hours. This slowed down practice gets followed by an onslaught of internal berating conversations with myself; silently screaming slanders of how lazy I am being, how much time I am wasting (with free time abounding since my calendar is relatively clear due to cancellations of EVERYTHING), how could I want to watch Gilmore Girls more than I want to create art???!!! There is something terribly wrong with me!!!

COVID isn’t just a terrible physical attach on it’s victims respiratory systems, its attacking all our mental well-beings as well. When they report the numbers of new cases, and spiking positive tests, they are only measuring those who manifest testable classic virus attributes. I am fairly certain we all test positive for the mental wear and tear.

“Shelter In Place” 24 x 24 Acrylic on Panel by Dawna Magliacano

I am creating, but it’s far from my usual amount and looks nothing like my typical cheerful, whimsical stories. Right now my stories are about: sheltering in place, loss of economy, our need for racial justice, media overload, the state of our planet, the loss of iconic people who symbolize the good that seems to be falling by the wayside, loneliness, a consuming mood of feeling overwhelmed by it all.

“A Grandmother’s Prayer” 18 x 24 Acrylic on Panel by Dawna Magliacano

However, I am full of hope for 2021. I know our fight against COVID is far from over, but I believe we will have more understanding of the global effect and work on healing all of us. We have had our eyes opened in 2020, appropriate year for a new visual perspective of our world’s needs.

I plan to make art always from a place of heartfelt emotions, I just hope they get a little lighter and more joyful, as our world begins to feel that way turning the corner into an approaching new year.

Moving into that flip of the calendar, I really want to see us continue our awareness and pay heed to the need for changes on our planet. Global fixes that we can all do our parts to further along. Keep fighting the injustices, keep working together to solve the issues we are now aware of, keep cleaning up all the messes in front of us. But hopefully soon we can do it while physically together with our actual arms linked.

“Inheritance” 20 x 24 Acrylic on Panel by Dawna Magliacano

Stay safe! Stay strong!! Thank you to so many of you who have shown your support and bought art from me in these crazy times through virtual means, and who inspire me to lug my butt into the studio more every day! Besides, I finished all the seasons of Gilmore Girls. : )


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