Editor’s Note: For most of us, we are privileged enough to be staying warm at home during this COVID-19 pandemic. This is a key reason to be grateful and put the time to good use. It helps to think that what this time offers is a great opportunity to engage on tasks that make staying at home fun and productive. Here, UB student Maral shares some of the paintings she worked on while staying at home this quarantine. Using watercolor as medium, she has painted – and continues to paint – pieces of various themes. In this particular feature, she gives us a glimpse at some of her works, which have been inspired by fruits and plant items.
Staying in for quarantine for a prolonged period has got some of us suffering from boredom, anxiety or even depression. With this, experts recommend that we should avoid relying too heavily on technology and television. Even better, we should treat quarantine as an opportunity to do some of those things we never usually have time for, such as doing a craft or drawing or reading or board games or whatever it is that gives you some kind of a breather.
While it’s good to stay apprised of what’s going on around you (by checking your phone every now and then), therapists say that too much social media can cause you to become overwhelmed or even stressed. They recognize, however, that there’s such a thing as being “too informed.” Therapist Alanna Gardner notes that these days, your newsfeed can easily turn into a “rabbit hole of anxiety.” That’s why it helps to take a break from social media once in a while and do something that’s not necessarily technology-based.
For me, all you need to do to make a situation better is to re-frame it in your head. Think of it as a de-stress breathing trick, only for your brain. Also, in times like these, it’s important to find workarounds to somehow make things lighter. For me, I love to play with colors, especially when I feel that the world is gray. Here are some watercolor paintings I worked on while staying at home this quarantine. For one, art heals.
“Lychee or Chinese strawberry”
Lychee or Chinese strawberry symbolizes fortune, among others.
“Chili pepper and citrus”
Chili pepper represents warmth and friendship in southwestern American tradition.
Meanwhile, calamansi or citrus is a symbol of good fortune.
Orange is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. It represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.
After all, the quarantine period is a good time to pick up lost hobbies.
Playing with plant items – particularly chili pepper, for that matter – will always be fun.
I think that we just have to take a look around and notice and appreciate the things around us, even the small ones that we often tend to ignore. If we pay attention to them, we will discover that they are symbols and that they represent something about life.
– Maral Namvarasl, School of Dentistry
All photos courtesy of Maral Namvarasl.