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March 18, 2020

First Daffodils I Saw in 2020

My daily solitary walk is giving me some fresh air, keeps me sane, and lets me do a quick drawing.   When I come home I return to my heating pad for back therapy and I'm usually anxious to pick up my current book.  I think I finally figured out why reading is taking precedence during this period of self-induced isolation.  I escape to another time and/or place and I don't feel guilty when I'm reading.  At many other times in my life a full day of reading made me feel guilty because my Mother asked me why I was reading so much, or I was studying for exams or conferences, or I had way too many things to do for my job and family. 

I turned a corner on my walkthis week and saw my first flower box full of daffodils for the season.  They were gorgeous and needed to be in my sketchbook during these troubling times. 

Quick News:  Morton Williams, a family-owned grocery store in Manhattan, emailed customers yesterday to say that their first hour after opening each day (7-8AM) was reserved for Senior Shopping.  We were there at 7 and only had contact with the one cashier, walking just 2 blocks to and from the store.   

 

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March 14, 2020

Drawing at Museum Exhibits February 2020

On Thursday March 12th New York City began a shut down due to the community spread of Coronavirus.  The period of containment was over and as early as March 2nd we knew that a 50 year old patient in Westchester, with no history of travel or exposure to known COVID 19 patients, was evidence that we now had community spread of the virus and were in the beginning of an epidemic here in the US.  Our governments inability to prepare for this and very limited test availability has substantially increased the infection rate.

My husband and I are both retired physicians and spent our lives dealing with isolation, both to protect us and reverse isolation to protect our sickest patients.  We made a decision right then that we would begin "social distancing," at first by clearing our calendar for March and avoiding public transportation.  The deaths in China were very high for those over 65 and we are both in an even more vulnerable age group.  As these two weeks passed, we limited our time outside our apartment even more and now take short solitary daily walks for fresh air and spend the rest of the time in our apartment.  My husband walks in Central Park and I walk in our neighborhood along uncrowded streets.   

The drawings posted today were from before March 1st: from USK at the Met in the SAHEL exhibit and with a friend at the Whitney at the Vida Americana exhibit.   

Sahel at the Met:  A wonderful large sculpture

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Vida Americana at the Whitney - A large wooden sculpture

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Stay safe and stay healthy!  Read lots.  I do one quick drawing on each walk and don't finish it until I come home.   

March 10, 2020

Quick Daily Walk Drawings: Lion, Dog, and Cat

I am enjoying my daily walks and for the first time in months, I am drawing daily.  As I tour the neighborhood I pause for a few minutes if something appeals to me and do a quick sketch, finishing it later at home.  Last week I walked 1 mile in my neighborhood each day and this week I increased each to 1.5 miles - mainly as exercise for my back.  I used a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen for the ink.

This is a stone lion sculpture in the window of a nearby bookstore.  

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This was one of several simple drawings on the windows of a Vetinary Clinic.

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March 7, 2020

Walk #2

I walked a mile around the neighborhood each day this week, and my back does feel better, except for when sitting without a supported back.  Each day I take a few photos, and look forward to drawing something on my walk.  I stand and draw quickly (because I begin to slump) and then paint them at home.  I am a window shopper, and have no problem finding something to draw.  This is from Day 2.  The small stuffed animals are from Jellycat - the bigger size monkey became my 15 year old Grand daughter Sydney's "Lovey" and is still a precious belonging.

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March 4, 2020

Sketching on My Daily Walks

During my years in Medicine I was exposed to many contagious diseases, and was a young faculty member when we started to recognize HIV infections and develop appropriate methods for safely drawing blood and doing bone marrow aspirates and biopsies.  But epidemics of newly emerging respiratory viruses and ebola were limited mostly to other continents.  That will not be the case now, and living in densely populated NYC means increased exposure, and morbidity, with the coronavirus once you are in the vulnerable age range.  The first case in NYC (traveler from Iran) was announced on Sunday, and the second patient (with no obvious source and exposure to many people) was announced yesterday.  My husband and I have the luxury of staying home now, with daily walks in the neighborhood, and I take my sketchbook with me for a really quick sketch each day.  I also have a big pile of used books to read to keep me happy!

I was walking along a quiet side street on Monday when I suddenly saw a townhouse already decorated for St. Patrick's Day.  The leprechaun wasn't the only decoration, but it was the largest.  I used to wear green every St Patrick's Day to honor my Irish Grandfather.  Then I did extensive family research 2 decades ago only to discover that his entire family came from County Armagh in Northern Ireland in the 1880s.  Orange should be my color.

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I'll try to continue my walks and sketching, weather permitting, with an added benefit of exercising my back.

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