By Mary Ann Strandell (USA)
Only weeks before Covid-19 exploded in New York City, Mary Ann Strandell, one of the renowned painters in the lenticular media field, and I agreed to prepare her first solo work showcase in JY&A Art Salon. Along with so many other undertakings in the works, our beautiful plan was suddenly put on hold (new opening day to be announced as soon as the quarantine is lifted). A few days after I sent out JY&A's first newsletter on April 6th (Create a new lifestyle out of the global crisis), Mary Ann sent me a long email in which she described her life and activities in the first weeks of the quarantine. Mary Ann sketched a life of isolation and solace with her husband, the artist Michael Rees, at their live/work home in New Jersey, with a poignant melancholy for the the energetic and healthy life that was forever changed by Covid-19. Here, Mary Ann Strandell depicts in her original email to me the salient moments of her daily life while maintaining unwavering faith and strength in her artistic career.
On Thu, Apr 9, 2020 at 1:31 PM From: Mary Ann Strandell To: Xiaoying Yuan, J. Yuan & Associates New York Hello Ying! Such an uplifting newsletter. Well done, thank you. I like your reference to Psychology today. Strangely, for me, I have been more tired than ever before. The first week in quarantine, Michael and I had flu symptoms, no appetite, and sleep all the time (not necessarily Covid flu symptoms). I had locked down my Chelsea studios on March 9th, and moved pertinent artworks to my NJ live/work studio.
I still juggle work and rest, and dedicate a little time connecting people to organizers making face-masks, shields and ventilator parts. I'm on the periphery. Michael is head-on. His group makes and ships over 2000 face shields a day. A group from NY and KC. MO is making a lot of face masks - Michael talks with them regularly. I sent out most of my good N95 masks and gloves to Doctors I know. My studio time has me working on new paintings, and touching up current works, including 3D Lenticular print media. I just wish I had more motivation. My back yard garden has been a good source of focus. Digging the earth and turning all the winter’s compost. Eventually I will plant seeds, and plants. My budget is so thin just yet, to buy plants. we shall see. I wish I could trade someone! Grateful to have it. The wild plant herbs are coming in, which has heightened my research on the edible ones, which also have medicinal components, too.
Mary Ann Strandell,Conversation Pit I, 3D lenticular media with interference Gold. Each work is unique with the hand painting under the optical lens. 21 x 32 in or 32 x 48 in. 2019
Yesterday, I made a wild fresh salad from green plants I snipped. Researching and using medicinal plants is one of my hobbies. I pi