LORRIE BLAIR // Lachine, Quebec, Canada

What is art for? The answer to this question profoundly changed during my COVID-19 isolation. I read a Facebook post, “You’re not in quarantine, you’re on an artist’s residency.” I appreciated this positive attitude and decided to try my hand at print making. I purchased (online) a Gell plate and some acrylic paint and transformed the small space between my washer and dryer into a “studio.” There, I had a sink and about a half-metre of working space. After viewing several YouTube instructional videos, I began my monoprint residency.

The leaves I gathered from my yard and from the empty school yard behind my house served as my muse. A friend suggested an app that identified leaves, and prevented me from picking poison ivy.

One day, I gathered the courage to post one of my prints on the Facebook site dedicated to monotypes. I was surprised by the number of kind comments people left. This encouraged me to make more prints and take more chances. I felt part of this virtual community. I wrote comments to others.

My contribution to this research features the leaves from Aristolochia tomentosa, Dutchman’s pipe. They absorb the ink, leaving a perfect ghost print. I made cyanotypes of gingko leaves, which are called living fossils. My art doesn’t address the big issues but it gives me a connection to others and reminds me to appreciate the gifts of nature during a time of isolation.

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