SUMMER 2022 
March 2020 hit me like a tonne of bricks. Although I was listening to the news and staying current of global events, I don’t think anything prepared me for the reality of life in a True Pandemic.
Working as a healthcare worker, you truly think that you are prepared for every scenario.
The planning, the meetings, the webinars NEVER can prepare you enough for how this pandemic has been.
For me, I knew I had to stay healthy and protected for myself, my family, my co-workers and my residents. Day in, Day out. It became more than just about me, what I do outside of work, who I’m around, where I go. PPE, PCR, Donning, Doffing, Rapid tests. But after while it starts to take its toll on the spirit.
Especially your creative spirit.
At first businesses started to lockdown completely. Remember the whole toilet paper phenomenon?
While the masses were rushing for toilet paper the Healthcare Chefs in the house were rushing to stock the basement pantry with food supplies.
The commute to work everyday became an eerie time. The reality of being an Essential worker became more and more evident. As more businesses adjusted their hours and closed their doors to “curb side pickup only” parking lots became empty on the evening commute home. Everyday stores that NEVER close, were closed.
As stress and anxiety grew at work, the isolation from family and friends grew wider at home. My connection with art as my therapy grew.
With myself and my spouse being classified as Essential workers we had to commit to being isolated. Time off became learning and discovering creative ways to renew your spirit.
More and more people being at home and isolating meant the new discovery of art supplies at stores. And the local art community really helped to keep my creative spirit alive.
All types of artists began to post on Facebook and Instagram like never before. “Free” paint nights and “online tutorials” flourished. The beginner artist now had the time and the focus at attend and “experiment” in the arts. At one point I had committed to 3 paint nights at once. How is one to choose?
Virtual paint parties became a new norm. Artists began to feel a connection in isolation from around the world thru the live feed on the screen. Beginners, Novice, and Advanced painters were connecting with each other learning and thriving. My own creative spirit was alive again.
I still remember when the Province of Ontario deemed items in the store essential and non-essential. Art supplies were taped off. They weren’t even found in the SKU computer inventory. It was as if art supplies had been erased from the inventory.  My heart broke.
How is art non-essential? Who are YOU to tell me my art supplies are not essential?
I was on one of the art Facebook groups about an upcoming virtual paint night event.
And a fellow artist in Windsor Essex was bummed that she was out of canvas and low on acrylic paints. I was very proud to invite her to visit Beatnik Art Supplies.
They always had lots to choose from. And thru the Pandemic another connection was formed.
The Windsor Essex art community kept popping up throughout the pandemic. The Poppy Campaign, Mosaic Art Project, Online Artist show, I found this helped to grow my own aspirations for becoming an artist.
As we begin to get accustomed to this new normal, the art community has started to shine brighter in 2022.
I would say through this whole ordeal Art is truly MY Therapy. It is pretty obvious by now that I clearly only go to work each day to pay for my art supplies.

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