While the winner and runners up of our Cover Art Contest were published in the Summer issue of Umbrella, we want to thank and celebrate everyone who submitted, sharing their experiences of social distancing and widespread lockdowns during this strange and unique time in history.
“Fortunately the quarantine occurred during Fox Kit season, and photographing fox kits was something I could do while social distancing. A friend let me know of an urban fox den in Brighton, where I could park my car and observe these beautiful kits from a distance while keeping safe. Since the trails and parks were all closed, this helped keep me motivated and active in my art.”
“I will admit, this is an older photo that I was able to reprocess thanks to the wonders of digital photography. Since my favourite thing to do is travel photography, I was a bit limited in my ability to travel, and instead started to revisit old photos of locations I loved the most. This photo was taken in Iceland, and I thought was a good candidate for the them of “isolation” due to the minuscule scale of humans vs the immense scale and power of nature.”
Rusty is a very special squirrel. Magically he can change his appearance to show how he is feeling. Today he is going a little snaky and squirrely due to isolation of the COVID-19 virus. Sadly social distancing has made it very hard for him to visit his family and friends. His favourite nut shop is closed and he is not happy about that. Video chatting only goes so far, and he needs a hug so badly. Poor Rusty!
As you can see Rusty still has a big smile on his face and is running around the garden eating tulip bulbs…his favourite. Rusty reaches out every day to his friends and family to reassure them they are loved, not alone and that the virus will soon pass. “Try to remain positive and be grateful”.
Scurrying home his thoughts are with Susie his sweetheart. He picks a flower for her (not a tulip) to put a smile on her face. She loves flowers. Susie opens the door and gives Rusty a big hug. Susie knows what a stressful time this is. A tear falls from Rusty’s cheek. Is he happy or sad? Happy! He is the luckiest squirrel in the world for he is loved, healthy, and safe and sweet Susie baked his favourite, peanut butter cookies. What else could a snaky squirrel ask for?
Renay Weissman-Stanners has been a visual artist for over half a century, growing up in a family of artists such as the renowned Claire Weissman-Wilks and watercolourist Wilma Pinkus. Renay was one of the first students to graduate from York University with an Honours Degree in Fine Arts in General Studies because she petitioned to be allowed to pursue all of her interests at university. She studied dance, drama, music, film and television as well as drawing and painting and sculpture. These interests led her to become an educator where she was able to teach dance, direct plays and explore all of the visual arts. Today, as a retired full time educator, Renay is using her diverse skills to sing in a Rock band, perform in musical theatre, read the news on the community radio station, supply teach and paint intensely-coloured water colours in her sunroom showroom!