Among all the paintings I have done in my now 40-year career, this one will be a constant reminder of a very unique and impactful period in my life, as well as the lives of all of us. This became my first painting done while under quarantine due to the worldwide pandemic caused by the Covid-19 Virus.
This was a composition I had worked out weeks before I knew much about the coming global virus. Subsequently, the imagery took on new and comforting meaning for me personally. It became more powerful and relevant to my experience with each passing day spent in isolation.
During the painting process, I often reflected on the increasingly familiar phrases such as, “shelter in place” and “social distancing”. I marveled at how helpless and vulnerable we all feel in a worldwide crisis like this…like little lambs, separate and alone. I began to look more closely at the imagery emerging on my easel and their relationship to the unsettling circumstances at hand.
I contemplated the new reality of social distancing and isolation. These measures are imperative for our physical well being and survival. However, when it comes to our spiritual and emotional well being just the opposite is true! No “social distancing” is required when it relates to the proximity of our hearts and souls to Heaven and all of Humankind. Physically we may have to “shelter in place” but spiritually our place of shelter is love, faith, and hope!
This painting reminds me that life’s path will lead us through times of sunshine and shadow but we are not alone! This too shall pass. There are still beautiful bouquets to gather along the way and smiles to share with each optimistic step we take.
The still waters have become a reminder of the deep reservoirs of strength and goodness that each person carries within them. Heaven has not left us alone, it is reflected in that peaceful inner well we all have.
Finally, I imagine the Good Shepherd tenderly and calmly saying to us with a smile, “Come on little lamb!… It’s okay!… You can do this!”
Greg Olsen – April 2020