Saturday, April 4, 2020

Everyday Pandemic Days

Sketchbook journaling is all about capturing our everyday lives in visual form, so I've decided to start a pandemic journal to chronicle the strange times we're living in. Here are the pages I've been working on the past few days...

Ink & watercolor in a 3-1/2" x 5-1/2" Moleskine Japanese Album journal

In my pandemic journal I'll write about and sketch what's different these days, what's the same, what's happening, and how I'm feeling about all the changes we're experiencing.

These days of being isolated at home don't really feel that different to me than my normal everyday life. I still feed the dog, drink my coffee, work in my studio, go for a walk, etc. What's missing are the extras: time with friends, a visit from my grandchildren, dinner at a restaurant, or a trip to the store for groceries.

My classes have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, so there are no deadlines looming and my days are my own to do as I please. Here is how they tend to go...

Click to enlarge

Most mornings I wake up earlier than my husband, so I have the house to myself for awhile.

Cappuccino Freddo is an iced coffee drink that I first had in Greece. Now it's my morning treat every day.

I head downstairs in my pajamas, let Buckley out, make my coffee, then settle in to paint .

Sketching makes me happy and takes me away to another world where I'm not thinking about the latest pandemic statistics or terrifying world news. Inside my head it's peaceful, calm, pretty, and quiet.

After a couple of hours in the studio, breakfast time rolls around...

My kitchen sink is NOT this tiny. What was I thinking when I drew this? :)

then it's time to clean up the kitchen and maybe do some laundry.

Then I work on the computer for most of the morning. I'm formatting many of my step-by-step watercolor lessons to sell online as PDF downloads later this year. (Watch for a new website coming soon!)

I hop in the shower at some point.
Watch out! This next little sketch is (almost) X-rated!

Aaaah! It's finally time for lunch. Do you find yourself looking forward to meals as much as I do these days?

Our mail delivery comes around 11:00, so I often walk out our long driveway with Buckley to pick it up either before or after lunch, whenever I'm craving some fresh air and sunshine.

Afternoons are filled with the stuff of life, all those little chores that need to be done to keep the family and household running smoothly...

Lately I've been getting ready for spring: pruning trees and bushes, cleaning out the flower beds, and planting seeds for the garden.

More computer time gets mixed in here and there...

And finally, we get to eat again!

We usually take Buckley for a long walk after supper, but that didn't make it into the picture - I was running out of room - so I finished up the sketchbook page with Fred and me watching a show together and finally heading to bed.

These are good days, even if they're not normal ones. Just a few short weeks ago, we were wishing for more hours in the day, running around trying to cram as much as we could into each 24 hours. Now we've been given a respite, a gift of time, and it's up to us to use it wisely. Although there's an underlying fear that lurks in the back of my mind, warning me that my life could all come crashing down around me at any time, I'm choosing to stay positive, do what I can to help, and focus on the good. I'm grateful for this quiet time to reflect, paint, putter in my garden, walk in the sunshine, and connect with people all over the world who are sharing in the challenges and rewards of these pandemic days.


  1. I love this idea. I just tried one with recipes but maybe this would help with the journaling to help get through a day.

    1. Give it a try - it might help, and, if nothing else, it will record your memories of these strange days we're living through.

  2. Thank you for this beautifully colorful pick me up. I agree, if we use our time wisely and dwell on the positive, this can be time well spent.

  3. Hi Leslie,
    My days are very much like yours. I'm not a painter but I am a crocheter, and I have a beautiful yarn studio. Presently, I am making get well cards. Our local hospital asked for handmade get well cards for the patients since they are not allowed visitors. I crocheted a bunch of rainbow appliques. I had white blank cards that I was going to glue them on. The cards looked so blah and I had some watercolor paint but no brush. How did that happen?! I did have sponge brushes, so I painted the cards using rainbow colors then glued the rainbow appliques onto them. Them came out pretty nice. I love your work! I wish I could draw and paint. I do art journal but I label my own drawings so when I look back I will remember what I drew. :) I also have a very long driveway and a walk to get the mail is a part of my day each day. Well, I just want to tell you how much I admire your work. Thank you for this post. It was brought me joy and peace. Stay well. Terry

    1. Thanks so much for this glimpse inside your "pandemic life". That's so sweet that you're making cards for the patients at your local hospital. Anything we can do to help makes a difference. Stay safe and healthy!

    2. Thank you for your reply.


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