Artist Under Quarantine

Hello everyone, hope you are doing well and if you have been in lock down, shelter in place, or in quarantine, I hope you are keeping your spirits high.  Lots has been going on since my last post in mid March, for starters NYC has been pretty much shut down and this has become one of the hardest hit cities in the world by COVID-19.  My husband and I did get sick from it, it was a rough 3 weeks for us

About a week before getting sick I began working on a new drawing using sanguine powder and oil pencil, and then Miss Rona came through and paid us a visit!

My life took a major pause, on Monday March 16 I began to experience some bad symptoms such as fever, body aches, and headaches. The next day it was my husband’s turn. As per our doctors, we were told to stay in and not leave the house and treat these symptoms with over the counter meds and by drinking lots of fluids. Because tests for Covid-19 were very limited at the time, not everyone qualified to get one.  I was told by my doctor's office that unless the symptoms made it impossible for me live, I should not go to the emergency room.  Can you imagine being told that?  The possibility of this decease taking you to your grave is there and there is nothing that can be done only hope and pray for the best!

For a total of nine days I remained at home battling waves of fever which came with aches and fatigue.  I also felt very foggy and unable to do much, these symptoms were paralyzing and all I was able to do was stay in bed. My breathing became difficult, not because my chest was tight, but because my sinus passages felt so dry that it seemed that I was inhaling saw dust all the time. They burned every time I would breath.  I was not able to eat much for a few days which is not good when you are loading your body with strong meds to fight this thing.  Because of this I began experiencing a lot of discomfort in my stomach and overall digestive system.  On day nine I woke up with no fever, I hoped this to be a good sign but was not going to get too happy yet since I had been there before.  The fever always comes back.  My husband’s fever only lasted two days and his aches had gone away much faster than mine. His main problem days after was congestion, and a shared dilemma is that we both lost our sense of smell and taste completely!On March 24 I wrote on Instagram: "I’m praying that from today on things will get better, these have been a hard and scary few days. If you are reading this thank you for taking the time, I know Instagram is a place where we tend to share happier things but this is also a good platform to share awareness and information. Thank you again, stay safe, and more importantly keep your fellow humans safe! More art to come in the near future."

After March 24, I was able to get back to work, prior to that the aches were so bad it hurt to sit in front of the easel or at my desk.  But soon as the aches went away I began drawing up a storm.  I have been spending days and nights in my studio, mostly sitting at the desk in my little room that faces out into the back of other buildings.  Not the ideal view but at least I get some day light and I'm able to get some sort of fresh air and hear the birds outside.

I continued working on the sanguine tree drawing I began prior to getting sick in between my waves of fever and aches.  There was always a two hour window during the day after waking up that I would feel good enough to sit and work.

Things were going ok but the drawing needed to head in a different direction.  I though why not add some pen work to this, pen and ink has become a major part of my practice anyway.  I began layer sanguine pen on top of the oil pencil, and what started happening was magic, I immediately fell in love.  As I continued hatching away I began to remember Michelangelo's sanguine drawings.  Now let's be clear, I am not suggesting that I'm anywhere close to the master, but it was the smokiness of the red sanguine pencil and powder, and the sculptural element that the pen added that reminded me of him.

I recorded this video on day two of being sick, this is before things turned for the worst. This is my first video on my process and it is not as easy as people think, there are a lot of logistics to making these sorts of videos. Hope you enjoy and I’ll have to figure out a better way to put these together for the future.  


Arianna said…
OMG Luis, I've been trying to get back into reading your blog, and THIS was not the post I had hoped to return on! SO glad you guys are okay, but I'm so retroactively worried about you both. Gosh, how scary. What a nightmare. Sending tons of love yours & Jarod's way! xoxo
Luis Colan said…
Hi Arianna, how have you been?!!! Yeah it sucked going through this virus but happy to say we are ok so far. I keep hearing about side effects that show up after getting COVID and we are keeping a close eye on things, but aside from that we are doing great! How are you guys doing?
Arianna said…
I'm SO glad to hear you are both doing well post-illness. I was shocked to hear about your experience.

We all have been lucky here, so far! - I know a few people who have had COVID, and my father heartbreakingly lost one of his best friends to it. But otherwise, we've stayed largely away from the worst of it, and we are enjoying quarantining up here in the Hudson Valley. The kids are enjoying A LOT of time outdoors - which helps with all of our sanity! Haha.

I miss you!! I hope we can meet up in the city sometime soon, when all of this is over & done with..... xo

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