A pastel seascape helped the artist break his pandemic block.

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

This week Trenton-based artist Robert Lowe notes the following:

The COVID 19 pandemic has impacted us all. But for me the actual quarantine has had little impact. I tend to be a bit of an introvert, so the forced isolation served mostly to alleviate my need to make excuses.

However, the hardship I witness around me, and the sense of powerlessness in the face of overwhelming need has hit hard.

As a result, I initially had trouble focusing, crippling to any artist. And as my practice of art serves to calm my mind, that avenue of escape kept getting filled with potholes.

Fortunately, I had some watercolors started before the outbreak, so for them it was just a matter of learning to refocus on pieces that already had life. I hit the wall when it came time to start something new. That was a major struggle, and I was blocked.

‘God Saves’ was the first watercolor initiated and completed during the pandemic.

I had dusted off my pastels months before — dreaming of playing with them again after a 10-year hiatus — a dream that has come and gone over the last several years in fact. And in my initial attempts to divert my mind, I had renovated a room that I now realized could serve as their studio. So I gave them a try.

What you see here is the result. In retrospect I now realize why they became the key. I think best with my hands, and pastels, as I practice them, is an aggressive medium. My painting, especially watercolor, is gentle, and for me this was not the time for gentle. Far from it in fact.

Now I am painting again, as well as planning my next pastel projects. All remains unwell with the world, but I have at least discovered another way to cope.

Submit artwork to Dan Aubrey at dan@princetoninfo.com.

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