Creation in Confinement

Published May 23, 2020 by rochellewisoff

I could begin this post will all kinds of platitudes about the strange new world that’s upon us but there are others who are doing a fine job of that. Which is not to say that I’m thumbing my nose at the powers that be, carrying a protest sign or refusing to wear a mask. None of the above need apply. I will admit to the strong desire to take a sledgehammer to the television when the news comes on. Yes, I want to stay informed, just not 24/7. 

The toughest part of shelter in place for me has been the closure of my fitness center. More specifically the lap pool. The last mile I swam, at this writing, was Friday, March 20 at 11:00 AM, but who’s counting? Not being able to go shopping (aside from grocery shopping) has been a minor inconvenience. Yes, I’ve missed going out to eat, but we have enjoyed carry out from some of our favorite places. I’ve been cooking more, and, truthfully enjoying it more. My blog challenge Friday Fictioneers, continues to thrive with plenty of loyal participants. 

As an introvert who enjoys alone time, particularly in the wee early morning hours before the sun inches over the horizon, I’ve continued to write and paint. There’s no greater joy than enjoying a cup of hot, black coffee while communing (or wrestling with) the muse. 

Swimming has been replaced by long walks and I continue my three-mile workouts on the elliptical trainer.  However neither form of exercise does it for me like an hour of swimming. It’s hard to explain that to non-mermaids. 

I will admit to panic buying the day before our town shut down. But not what you might think. It wasn’t toilet paper, but watercolor paper. I realized I only had two sheets of my favorite left. This would never do. Wasting no time, I pointed my little Chevy in the direction of the closest arts and crafts store. 

For the duration of the quarantine my easel has not been empty or my head so full. Any subject is fair game. To start off this season of obsessive rendering, my husband helped me set of a still life, featuring his new obsession; an autographed Zager guitar.

Olive’s birthday present. A portrait of her and her dog, Poppy. One of my favorite photos of the two of them.

My granddaughter Olive, who is a budding artist in her own right, was about to turn nine at the end of the month. (Bragging rights. 😉 ) Since she seems to like her bubbie’s art work, I set to work on a special birthday present for her. I had a print made for our wall, but send the original to her.  

What to do next?

I have the good fortune of being blessed with friends who know which end of a camera to use. Sometimes, they offer their photos and other times I…uh…erm…borrow them. The following painting is from an award winning photo taken by Ricky Yates.

Posting my process and the finished painting, has helped boost sales for prints and note cards. Not to mention it keeps me entertained.

Two more of my photographer friends, Dale and Marie Gail, loaned challenging photos that I couldn’t resist. In fact I had prints sold of the beach picture and following two before I ever made it to the printer:

From photo by Marie Gail Stratford

From a photo by Dale Rogerson

And then there were the ones I did from my own photos. 

I took this on the beach in NC last summer thinking it would make a good painting.

Am I the only person who takes pictures of the drinks when they go out to eat?

In the midst of this, I did have a commission, but am not at liberty to share that one. 😀

Then there was the day thunderstorms raged. I had to capture the shelf cloud caused by cool and warm air colliding. 

Meet Ruth Bear Starfire, one of the main characters in my novel, represented by Diane Nine at Hopefully she’ll find a home for WHAT THE HEART WANTS soon.

Here are the final three painted this past week: 

Granola passed away about 15 years ago. I still miss that silly girl.

Meet Liza Jane who owns Russell Gayer. What’s so Funny?

Before you ask, yes, I have another picture started. And, yes, prints will be available for sale.




32 comments on “Creation in Confinement

  • Dear Rochelle,

    In every situation there is a silver lining. Sometimes it’s not visible right away other times it’s right there in your face. Lucky for you, you have an amazing talent (or two) to keep you out of trouble and keep your fingers busy. Lucky for us, you share your creations!

    Shalom and lotsa creative love,


    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Dale,

      And what would be the fun of having a gift and not be able to share it? 😀 I love it when my friends appreciate what i do. I can honestly say that when I’m home, I’m never bored. Thank you for hanging with me. ❤

      Shalom and lotsa colourful hugs,


      Liked by 2 people

      • It would be a very sad thing.
        And I love what you create. I wish I could but have to leave the creativity for the lens… which I am definitely not dissing!


  • My, you have been busy. I’m sorry about your swimming, though. I totally understand that. I’m the same about my walking, although thankfully I’ve been able to keep that up. But you’re making lemonade with those lemons, so good for you!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Janet,

      I know how much you love walking. Seriously, that has been a saving grace for me. I do enjoy it, too. Thank you for swinging by and leaving a comment. It’s lovely to see you here. (Not far from Webb City 😉 )



      Liked by 1 person

  • You do keep incredibly busy. Like you, I enjoy painting and writing. I am studying for my masters degree right now, so my creative writing work is limited to that mostly. I reward myself by allowing myself time away from the computer to paint. I do mostly acrylic and oils these days but also love watercolour and oil pastels.I do mostly landscapes with the occasional portrait and some still life. And no, you are not the only one to paint or photograph glasses of drink at the restaurant table.At present, I am taking photographs of old buildings with the hope to paint them. My specialty for oil pastels are birds. I have got hundred of pictures of birds that people keep sending me to draw. I am getting into characterizations of certain Australian Native birds for commercial reasons. All other are fairly standard representations. Presently my cancer is stopping me from being really focused with things. I have little concentration and after two hours at a computer I need to sleep. I actually went out yesterday for a drive, I wanted my eyes to refocus on something other than a computer screen 2 feet in front of me. It took about 10 miles for my eyes to adjust. It was strange seeing some trees without their leaves as we move from fall to winter here. When isolation started, our autumn, or fall had just begun. I am just finishing an assignment about trench life and language of WWI. so I better get back to it. Soon I will be beack doing Friday fictioneers and others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dave,

      I hate hearing that you’re battling cancer. My thoughts and prayers are headed your way…well upward for you.
      Friday Fictioneers will be here when you’re ready. It sounds like you’re incredibly busy yourself. What is your degree in?
      I dabbled in oils as an art student but haven’t done any in a long time. It’s been a while since I’ve done any pastels. Pen and ink is one of my go-to mediums although I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with watercolour.
      Spring going into summer here.
      Thank you for taking the time to share yourself with me.




  • Rochelle, I so enjoyed sharing your activities. I’m impressed and inspired by your positivity, beautiful photos and paintings. Love the picture of your grand-daughter. You’re the only person I know who did panic buying of art paper !
    Being a mermaid, not swimming is a loss. Hope making pictures helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Francine,

      I never did understand the panic over toilet paper. At any rate we’re in good standing–or sitting as it were with TP. 😉 But I couldn’t be with out the watercolor paper. I do have a pad of the right size that was given to me as a gift, however it’s not the right weight or texture.
      I’m looking forward to the fitness center’s reopening next week, although I plan to shy away from the locker room.
      Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a nice comment.




  • Creation in confinement- I’ll say! Prolific in the pandemic. That’s some real fine lemonade. Another bright spot is that people are supporting the arts.
    You know me from occasional WWP responses and even rarer appearances at Friday Fictioneers. I am more regular at Carrot Ranch and I only share this to let you know that the strange column I’ve been running there, The Saddle Up Saloon ( will this Monday feature a Blog Bluster in which people are invited to invite others to their blog and I would also like to feature an art show at the Saloon in the near future. Perhaps you will take advantage, or just come by to view. If I get pictures in advance they can be in the post, otherwise links from the comments would make up the gallery. I am amazed at the number of people around here who are so talented in visual arts as well as literary art. You stand tall in that crowd.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear D.

      I will go by and take a look. As you can see I have plenty of Jpegs I’d be more than delighted to share. 😀
      I do enjoy my painting so it thrills me when others enjoy my work as well. It makes me feel like i’m doing something positive. The feedback I get from facebook has confirmed that.
      There are many amazing artists out there. To say I stand tall (at a whole just under 5 ft 😉 ) is high praise indeed. Thank you so much.




    • Dear Sandra,

      They’re saying the pool will open next Monday, June 1 as you can see on the door. However, these days, nothing is certain. Nonetheless, I have my swim toys at the ready…just won’t use the locker room. That I don’t trust.
      I can honestly say I’ve not been bored. Frustrated, tired, and angry…but NEVER bored. 😉 Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a comment. (Although the comment I found in my trash folder this morning….been happening a lot and I can’t figure out why.)




    • Dear Bill,

      Happy to meet another avid water baby. 😀 Swimming is my zen, the place i go for complete and total peace. It’s more than an exercise, isn’t it? Our fitness center is opening to members only. No day passes and, happily for me, no water aerobics classes or summer school kids to share the pool . 😀 Happy lapping to you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Wow ! I feel people should learn from you how to utilise the shelter in place time to the fullest instead of complaining about the ‘inconveniences’ of lockdown. At least you and me are lucky that we have a roof above our heads and plates filled with food. This is a luxury to many. As for TV channels, the sledgehammer theory is rather tempting. For it breaks my heart each time I switch on the TV and see children starving day after day as their parents have no food to feed them.
    And, best of luck with your painting once again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Moumita,

      I’m so pleased you came by. We do have much to be thankful for. At no time during this lock-down have a wanted for food or comfort. I have internet and telephone to stay connected, which truthfully are my mainstays when not quarantined. 😉 Thank you for your kind words. Here’s to turning the channel to OFF.



      Liked by 1 person

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