Blog / 2021 / The Only Way I Can Stop Myself from Painting

July 3, 2021

[video transcript]

It used to be that self-portraits were my preferred way of self-soothing, but, at some point during 45’s reign of terror, all my art started to function that way. And, once the pandemic hit, it only got worse. My obsession with making painting after painting was all-consuming.

This seven-week break gives me hope that I will one day get back to being a joy factory, because that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be.

For info on commissioning your own bestie portrait, check out this page.

poodle and Cavalier King Charles spaniel custom pet portrait art by LBI artist Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
Willow and Sage
acrylic on wood
16 x 16 inches

I’ve been on the road for a few weeks now, first driving across the US from New Jersey to Oregon, then spending a chunk of time with my family in the Pacific Northwest, and finally driving back to Jersey. It’s been all kinds of amazing:

  • Being outside all day every day after taking the stay-at-home orders very seriously is incredibly healing.
  • Experiencing new kinds of landscapes is refreshing after months spent seeing so little of the world.
  • And since we camped the whole way, building our shelter anew every night has been an unexpected gift, an important reminder of what shelter actually is after months of resenting the four walls that protected us.

Still, probably the most wonderful part of this trip is not doing what you’re seeing in this video. Because, unfortunately, when my studio is right in front of me, I’m incapable of staying away from it. And that means that, because of the pandemic, I haven’t been able to take a break in over a year.

I love my work. I love making paintings like this one of two best friends whose other bestie commissioned the portrait. I just wish I had a bit more self-control when it comes to my studio. When I get back, I’m committed to starting over with my habits and finding a healthier balance with my work.

This video is made with love and microdonations from my community!

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


To receive an email every time I publish a new article or video, sign up for my special mailing list.


If you enjoyed this post, Ko-fi allows you to donate. Every dollar you give is worth a bajillion to me!