Covid-19: The Now
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Covid-19: The Now

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By Layla Messner

Original: SOLD
Prints: printed on Giclée Hahnemühle Bamboo


In January of 2021, I was commissioned by curator Bruce Schmaltz to create a triptych related to Covid-19, based on a concept from Jungian Psychology called "circumambulation" (meaning to look at something from all sides).

The task was to go into Deep Meditation and receive an image from the unconscious on three prompts, and then paint each image.

The prompts were:
- The Start
- The Now
- The Future

This is Part 2: The Now, and it tells the story of the present of the Covid-19 pandemic, painted in February, 2021.

The abstract expressionist acrylic painting features the image that came to me in meditation to describe the present of the pandemic (as of February 2021): a boat moving through a heavy rain of tears, which are filling the boat. Blood and water mix. The most moving moment of this project came just as I finished laying down the ultramarine blue at bottom right...

I pulled back to take in the whole painting and my gaze caught on the moving, reaching energy of that blue water. For the first time, I could see the Forces for Good, coming to our rescue, fighting back. Tears welled up and I cried for several minutes.

The original images from deep meditation held a sense of optimism. My trademark enduring optimism, perhaps. Once I started painting, though, the darkness and heaviness took over; I was having trouble seeing how the optimistic flavor fit into the images. I felt a responsibility to keep my own biases from informing the paintings, even an optimistic bias.

Then BAM this moment; all of a sudden I could see - arising naturally in the painting - the presence of the forces for Good. And their POWER.

I cried for several minutes.