Artists responded to U.S. 1’s invitation to share visual thoughts, feelings, and discoveries during our current health crisis.

This week Hamilton artist Joseph Gyurcsak responds with the accompanying image of “Still Waters in a Time of Crisis” and statement.

When COVID19 hit New Jersey so hard, the normal pressure to get things done completely changed. As resident artist for Blick Art Materials (a national art supply company with divisions in New Jersey), all my events and travel plans were suddenly cancelled.

Along with these work-related changes, gyms, restaurants, and all leisure activities came to a halt, leaving a pocket of complete isolation and stillness in our lives, as well as in my studio.

I invited the opportunity to subtract much of myself from the news after I understood what was happening. It was then that I welcomed a new, more protracted painting project. One which would require many hours and would not be under a strict deadline date.

My original study was done at Bridge Groom Run in West Windsor, a wonderful wooded area that spoke to me at first glance. The finished painting titled “Still Waters” aimed to capture the thick, humid summer air. It evoked a sense of quiet stillness in the atmosphere along the stream. I was able to work on this painting for 10 sessions. It is very unusual for me to have such a bank of time to focus on a multiple layer oil painting. I began to slowly build the history of my visual story. I contemplated each visual layer as writing a chapter to a book, watching the birth of this painting come to life.

In this painting I tried to combine two different painting approaches: a tonalism and an impressionistic style into the same work of art.

During these times of such uncertainty, this painting was a welcomed project. It brought me such peace and helped me to refocus on something that I could have control over. The final painting has a serene and subdued palette of color, maybe a sub-conscious decision about the state of current matters in the world? Or maybe a cathartic passage of time that helped this artist shelter the storm. It is my hope that when I do exhibit the painting that it will visually move others in a calming and peaceful manner.

Submit artwork to Dan Aubrey at

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