My social media streams are filled with people finding fun and creative ways to entertain themselves and bring some sunshine to their friends while we are all at home to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases.
Artist Bonnie Manning is tapping into her vivid imagination to brighten our lives.
Bonnie is a life-long Hoosier and graduate of the University of St. Francis, where she majored in Art and Elementary Education. When not in isolation, she keeps busy with BT Manning Photography, specializing in portraits. Her work is occasionally exhibited in the Fort Wayne area, and she teaches workshops in the fibre arts, with a concentration on macramé wall hangings and weaving. She finds joy in staying connected with the younger generation though substitute teaching and storytelling at the pediatric ward of the hospital. She misses those kids!
So just how has she been keeping busy these days? The Getty Museum put out a post asking people to re-create artwork with items in their homes. She grabbed a red towel and made her version of The Man In A Red Turban by Jan Van Eyck. The creativity floodgates opened!
Her favorite image was inspired by a Johannes Vermeer painting titled Woman With A Water Jug. His portraits by window light have always inspired her in her photography. She used pillowcases, a cup made by her daughter, Madeleine, who is a potter; a green glass pitcher from her brother’s estate; and a brocade jacket that she wore backwards around her waist. The light is everything.
When asked what she misses most these days, she said, “There are no visits to local coffee shops right now, so I schedule coffee phone calls with friends as an alternative.”
Other ways to she fills her time include knitting, painting, walking, weaving, writing, picnics in the yard, dancing in the kitchen, and creating macramé pieces. Her neighbor, Laurene, videoed her from the sidewalk as she sang “Ave Maria” at her front door. She also sang “Happy Birthday” to her neighbor, Vern, who lives across the pond.
When this is over, she hopes to go back to displaying her work locally and plans to teach a fibre arts session at Canterbury High School in the fall. She also hopes to write a book from this experience. The working title is ‘Connection 2020’ an artists search for connection during a time of isolation.