A Look Back at the Early Days of the Pandemic

June 7, 2021

Journals remind us of things. They provide a look back. They can be a great record of the events of our lives. They provide a look back, in this instance, to the early days of the Pandemic.

The Digital Armageddon I’m going through since February 2, 2021 has resulted in some losses of data—I need to recreate my journal index for 2019, 2020, and the early part of 2021 which were lost.

The great news is I didn’t dream that I indexed them. I have the physical printouts glued into the backs of the journals. That means I can quickly open up the indexing file and type what I have at the back of each journal from that time span.

It does, however, mean I have to go into storage and retrieve a bunch of journals so I can do just that.

The index is too important to how I retrieve my information and work on ongoing projects so of course it will be done.

I focus not on the redoing of an already completed task, but instead am looking at the bright side—the fun of looking at things I had packed away very quickly (because I wanted to be finished with packing for storage).

So while we are looking at this page spread I’m also reminded of three other things about life during the Pandemic:

  1. Rancho Gordo has the best dried beans. If you haven’t tried them you really should order from them. Seriously their dried beans are different from anything I’ve ever had. (And yes I draw the beans and keep a record.)
  2. I have already discussed, I think here, but perhaps only on Patreon, but at the risk of repeating myself—I just have to say that the CNN anchors (here Chris Cuomo) stay rock solid still while they are interviewing people remotely during Covid. And that makes it very easy to listen to the news and sketch at the same time as evidenced by this page spread!
  3. I used to go in for regular massage therapy sessions before Covid. That stopped on 3.20.20 because of the lock down. You might think that I miss these sessions because I continue to battle my shoulder injury made worse with all the packing of boxes for storage—but what I really miss is my massage therapist talking to me about a wide range of television shows. Thursday Dick stopped by the TV room to tell me he was ready to go over some household details. “Don’t think I’m stopping by to enjoy your  Walking Dead shows with you,” he laughed, as I put the DVR on pause. No, I would never think that. My journals are getting a little zombie heavy, now that I’m not getting massage therapy and have to discuss the undead with myself.

Find time today to write down a list of things that have changed for you during the pandemic.

It may be a difficult list to make, but it is an essential list. Small details of life help anchor us in life.

It’s important to remember what we lost so that we can look for those things again.

But it’s also important to find something positive that Covid brought, in all the chaos and mess.

On this day in my journal I was grateful for those delicious beans. 

  1. Reply

    I couldn’t agree more about Rancho Gordo beans! Whenever I go to the USA, I stock up, like a small suitcase-full. I spoke to them about shipping to Europe and they said, “Please talk to the European Union”—! Have you had the Christmas limas? That is the most amazing bean I have ever tasted.

    1. Reply

      I have not had the Christmas Limas yet. They are on my list, I hope they don’t sell out. I hope to get an order in soon. Glad you have been enjoying their beans! (Selling to the EU is a huge hassle with all the VAT stuff. I understand why they don’t do that at this time. There may also be some agricultural restrictions about sending seeds, etc. into the EU.) Make frequent trips back and bring that special suitcase!

    • Bonnie Getz
    • June 8, 2021

    Hi Roz,
    Did my first sketch using the Pentel water brush, with walnut ink, don’t think I’ll use it again… too light.
    I Suffered artist separation anxiety, missing my eraser.
    I reached for my blue Marvy brush marker, it was almost dried up. The next marker was a Tombow, which I liked, it was supposed to be flesh. I was too anxious and started drawing…it was orange, never rely on the cap color. In one of your posts you mentioned how you didn’t like your placement, well I can relate. I should have drawn more of me, but decided to leave room for text, which was a bit difficult with the brush pen, but I will keep trying.
    I also drew on both pages of the book, which is a different feeling.
    It all seemed like a failure, working outside the box, not losing your cool when your brush pen spits up ink, trying new products…you are teaching me that.
    Bonnie Getz

    1. Reply

      Bonnie, I’m not sure, but I think you might be making some comments about something on my Patreon blog but inadvertently you put them here on RozWoundUp at the base of this post. Your comments don’t really seem to go with this post. Check if you meant to write a comment on the Patreon blog and have that blog open next time you comment so I can understand what you’re commenting specifically about. It will help me be more specific in my response.

      Meanwhile I’ll try to address the individual points as best I can.

      Not sure what you mean about the walnut ink being too light. Walnut ink in a bottled form can be quite dark and then it’s about making it lighter through dilution, i.e., make it lighter by using more water.

      I don’t use walnut ink often and couldn’t think of a sketch with it that’s on the blog, but I do use Pentel’s Sepia Brush Pen quite a lot. (It is dye based and has the black squeezy barrel, and it’s watersoluble.)

      Here you can see an example.
      You draw and put down lines, you pull diluted color off those lines to soften them, or you pull color off the brush and use that as diluted washes. You can see me do this in real time on Patreon if you look at the ink wash demos using a brush pen.

      So I wouldn’t give up on walnut ink or color inks in general, until you’ve played a little with dilution.

      If you’re used to using an eraser you’ll miss it for awhile. Remind yourself you aren’t trying to make perfect drawings and it will get easier to cast off the reliance on it. Also remember to breathe as you work and that will make it easier to take some time before you put a line down, and then you won’t need the eraser either because you thought carefully about the line. (That comes over time too.)

      I don’t use Marvy brush markers at all. I recollect they are dye-based so they’ll be water-soluble. The Tombow you’re talking about, from context I suspect it is their dye-based dual brush tip line. The nice thing about that is it indicates to me that yes you were anxious by your own admission and you need to breathe, but remember, since it’s water-soluble, just put water on it and start mopping it away. Don’t worry if some color is left, go back in and work with another color on top of it when the paper is dry. I used a bunch of different colors of ink on the sketch in this post, and then ultimately went in with dark ink. I think it gives a fun look to experiment with

      If you’re working on composition a good idea is to make a little thumbnail to see what you’re going to fit. And really think about scale. This isn’t really an issue for me, in the sense that I don’t worry about it so much when making quick sketches in the journal. I just keep going.

      But you might be referring to this post where I missed out on getting the top of the man’s hair and his bowtie. That’s easily fixed, I just drew a little thumbnail to remind myself. If that isn’t enough for you and you want to be more exact, then start breaking your subject and your page into thirds or quarters and don’t let a part of the subject extend past whatever scale you’ve set for yourself.

      Congratulate yourself that you are working outside the box. It isn’t failure, you’re pushing yourself. You might want to read some of the blog posts in the Patreon blog, or in this blog where I write about dealing with the internal critic and setting expectations.

      The main thing is to sit down, set a goal and intention for your drawing that day, and go forward and execute. There is plenty of time later to give yourself feedback and assess where to go next.

      Happy sketching.

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