Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!


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Day 162…

So how are you doing?

I’m trying to keep busy without going out anywhere. I’ve become very good at wasting hours and hours of the day on the computer, which makes the days pass quickly.

I’ve cleaned. I’ve made art. I’ve sorted and culled belongings to donate, around three times now – I do it, then decide I need to do it again! I’ve been posting things to sell online in various groups and sites (with contactless pick-up and online payment methods.)

I’m stuck in a circadian rhythm – always have been – I wake up when the sun rises and want to sleep when it starts setting. So I wake up around 5 a.m. most days, and am usually asleep before 10 p.m. in the summer. Never use an alarm to wake-up unless I’m in a completely dark and windowless place, have changed time zones, or, have taken cold medicine or similar before going to bed.

I’ve started collecting masks. May as well as I will be needing them – two of my classes this upcoming semester will be on campus in the studios. There will be 16 of us, plus professor in these studios. There is NO room in them to space us out six feet apart. In the fabrication studio we were shoulder to shoulder around the work tables with that many students.

So far I have eight fabric masks, and three kinds of disposable ones. I’ve also ordered a “99% virus killing” mask that I will use for classes and medical appointments where you can’t keep distance. They are made in Canada but there are quantity limits per household.

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I am still looking for more fabric masks – I don’t want to have to increase my laundry schedule which is currently around every two weeks – in lockdown I’m not going through that many clothes! And will only be attending classes two days a week so won’t be building up a load too often.

I find both styles very comfortable and I seem to have a “standard adult” sized face as the fit is nice and comfortable, with no gaps.

If you are interested in the virus killing masks, here is the link (click on the image)

Antimicrobial Medical Adhesive Tape & Masks | TrioMed - I3 Biomedical

For filters in my cloth masks I’m currently using a double layer of Swiffer dry sheets, but am checking out the studies to find out what is the best, easy to find, material to use. It looks like blue shop towels are very good – I need to find some before I have to get closer to people. So far I’ve not been in close contact with anyone.

Keep yourselves safe where you are, wear a mask! It is not that big a deal and will help reduce the spread and save lives.


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Day 61…

And… here we are. 61 days since the pandemic was declared and 54 that I’ve been in self-isolation.

So how is it going for you? I’m still good. Turning to jelly from lack of exercise but otherwise fine.

I now have a selection of masks. One for going where there might be people. Another couple for in the house (to protect myself from the roommate AND the spray disinfectants I’m using every single time I leave my room) and one I use to run down to the mailbox or dumpster.

My going out mask is from a friend – it is fabric and has a double layer so filters can be inserted. I put ties on it as the ear elastics weren’t holding it to my face properly, and also attached the metal nose piece from one of my paper masks to it. Fits very comfortably, and firmly, now.

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I was finally able to order groceries for pick-up from the supermarket. They had just extended their hours when I happened to be randomly checking the websites and there was a time slot open – it is 9-10 p.m. on Saturday. So I can now get some meat, a few fresh vegetables, some “good” cheeses,  pesto and other items I can’t get at the drug store up the block; they cater to students being right across the street from the campus of a college and a university – so, while I can get eggs, cream, butter and a few other things (when they are in stock,) it doesn’t provide me with everything I need or want.

Granted going out that late will be a challenge – I go to bed around 9:30! But I will deal with it. I’ve got the college parking lot pretty much to myself!

I’ve been doing all my laundry by hand in my room. I have no desire to go upstairs to use the washer/dryer as they are right outside the roommate’s door. The other three that live here have gone home for the summer, and the two of us are the only ones here. She works in a long term care facility. She mentioned to me in passing about three weeks ago that a staff member had tested positive. She takes no precautions coming home from work. I don’t have enough disinfectant to deal with two flights of stairs, two landings, and the machines.

I had a laundry line and clothes pins from my adventures last year, so have rigged up the line in my shower stall, and things dry pretty fast as there is a heat vent in the ceiling of the bathroom. And frankly, it gives me something to do every day or two.

Final grades were posted for the year on April 28th.  I’ve got no issues. GPA is 5.0 again. Got 100% in Painting IV, 99% in Mass Extinctions, 98% in Art Survey II, 97% in Fabrication Studio II and 95% in Ethics.

I’ve been working on scholarship applications and got one sent off. Have a couple others involving reading and writing to work on.

I finished reading a book by Jerry Saltz (senior art critic at New York magazine and 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner for Criticism) called How To Be An Artist. Was very good. To the point and entertaining at the same time. He even includes exercises that you can do to work on specific skills and develop your own vision. (Photo from his Twitter account)

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Started working on a painting project. Going to be a series of smaller paintings in sets – diptychs, triptychs, etc. all the same theme and mediums. The plan right now is to keep them in the same style but that may morph as I work through the whole 35 of them!

This is the first triptych – might be done, or not. Haven’t decided. But I was pleased with how they turned out. They are all on 4×6″ canvas board, in acrylic and alcohol ink.

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I’ve got them where I can see them and think about whether I am going to add to them.  My original plan did include more, but not sure if I like them better as is. I’ve printed off copies of them to play around on to see what they will look like.

I like doing small work and what I have available to paint on is mostly small. 2×3″ up to 8×10″, and just one 12×16″. I plan to paint them all, starting with the smallest, so I’ve primed them with several layers of gesso.

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I’ve spent the last two days making lists of subjects to paint, researching and planning colours, etc. And then sorting into the groupings I want to create. Also matching background colours to subjects. I don’t want any backgrounds to be the same, they all have to be different. As all my yellow artists paints are in my locker on campus, I will have to improvise with that colour.

Next year is thesis year… this project could tie into that. Thirty-five paintings would definitely be a start for the year end show! Hmm… will ponder and write some ideas down for that.

Stay safe everyone.