Outdoor Art Time

On June 30 a couple of art friends and I got together in my back yard to do some art work and visit a little. I think it was a good way to assemble in a safe way and enjoy ourselves, in these times as they are. Here’s what we did.

I met these two friends in the mixed media class I taught last year. We have stayed in touch and wanted to get together. But how? I volunteered my back yard. We picked a day, and luckily it turned out great weather-wise, sunny, but not too hot, and no threat of rain.

Here’s what we did:

First hint: have shade available, or a shelter from the sun. I figured I could set up my tent (that I use in art shows) but it was not necessary. Our yard is very shady.

Second hint: Make sure there is a comfortable amount of room to spread out. We decided to wear our masks as we set things up, then, as long as we remained at our table, or ten or twelve feet apart, we took them off. Then we put them back on to clean things up. Having plenty of room made things comfortable.

Third hint: Bathroom. I had one available nearby, involving walking in my back door into my studio and going only a short distance inside the house. I did a **SPARKLE** clean on that tiny room and had towels ready for hand-washing so each person could have her own.

Fourth hint: Tables and chairs available. Or some kind of area to set up so that each person can have a good space to work. Alternatively each person could have brought her own chair and table, or whatever she needed to work comfortably, but this needs to be settled up front.

Fifth hint: Cleaning items. I set up a table with hand sanitizer, spray cleaner, and towels if anyone wanted to clean anything, and I also put out some bug spray, just in case…


Well, we had a great time. Here are some pictures. Here is where I sat:



and here is our general set-up. We were facing each other so that we could talk or show each other our work.


Mary Ann made a lot of painted papers and she set them on the grass to dry.


I put out the red buckets of water for washing brushes and so on. The hose was just around the corner of the house if we had needed more water.


Here are Mary Ann and Andy cleaning their things up and packing after the session.


Things went smoothly with this set-up. We were comfortable and felt safe. All of us are living very cautiously right now, and this allowed us to get together and experience a bit of an activity we really value – doing art with others. I am so happy we were able to pull this off, it meant a lot to me.

Shout out to Andy and Mary Ann, for a real spirit lifter!



27 thoughts on “Outdoor Art Time

  1. mim4mail

    How terrific you have a big backyard and can set up safely. We’re living cautiously, too. Missing our social gatherings but this too shall pass. ART on!!

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      It was a nice situation for us, and I think could be duplicated in a small yard, depending on the configuration. This is the first time I have socialized with others since the shutdown in March so it felt frightening, but having done this once I feel good about it again.

        1. Claudia McGill Post author

          We are planning to do so (fingers crossed and things are ok). I plan to do more art outside like this, just on my own. It was great being out there.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      It worked out well and was not hard to set up once I kind of thought things through. I recommend it, we all enjoyed being able t o be together.

  2. agnesashe

    Oh wow that looks really great and sounds as though it was all very successful. You certainly thought it all through beforehand and ensured it was a comfortable and stress-free environment for everybody. It is shared experiences like this that we all need after weeks and weeks of isolation. I expect you and your friends found it an uplifting and beneficial experience – and fun too.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Yes, that is what we thought, more than just a get-together but sort of food for the soul. I read somewhere to plan gatherings to meet the needs of the most anxious and that is what I tried to do, I mean , not knowing what their levels of comfort might be I went for conservative. But it really did not inhibit what we were doing, the restrictions. That was also part of the plan, choose something that is realistic to do under the circumstances.

      1. agnesashe

        That is a great piece of advice about planning for the most anxious. It means they will feel safe and everybody else will too without it being a worrisome issue for the anxious that they might have to raise something publicly. A win all round.

        1. Claudia McGill Post author

          When I read that about the planning, you are right, then I knew what to do, and then it is just common sense. It will be a long time before I give no thought to my interactions with others, so building up good habits now is a good thing for the future.

        2. agnesashe

          That’s a good way to think about it ‘building up good habits’ – unfortunately I do think we are all in this for the long haul.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Yes, we all agreed it had worked out well and was a great way to visit, do some art, and also, it was really nice to be outside in the good weather.

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