[ per-i-jee ] noun (Astronomy):
the point in the orbit of a heavenly body, especially the moon, or of an artificial satellite at which it is nearest to the earth.

6" x 6"

140# cold-press watercolor paper

acrylic paint, ink, Sharpie, collage

An image (the basic layout) came immediately to mind when I read this word. But it brought to mind more than just planets in space. It felt ominous, because we’re 3 weeks into a COVID-19 shelter-in-place order. It’s rocking the entire planet.

If I have excess paint, I’ll often wipe it off an a blank watercolor block and leave for a future painting. I used one of those for this painting, and roughly sketched in the circular trajectory for the smaller “planet.” This was intentional, as a nod to the ridiculous scientific arguments Johannes Kepler had to deal with because scientists of his day believed that planets must have perfect circle orbits.

The fact that I happen to have an 8 ball in my collage scrap file is an excellent example of why every artist should keep a collage scrap file. What are the chances? Which, incidentally, is what an 8 ball makes me think about–chance. I wasn’t thinking about luck.

It is meaningful to me that for the first time in recent history, the entire world is united against a common enemy. People and organizations are being forced to confront our unhealthy workaholic culture, everyone is working from home and often reduced hours. What we do on the other side of this is an opportunity for massive societal change.

The “earth” needed light around it. Many of my art choices are intentional for the sake of layering meaning, but many of them are just because something needs to be there, or needs to be a certain color. I can’t always put my finger on why. But the earth needed light and texture surrounding it. Call it hope, or call it clouds of coronavirus. The choice is yours.

Perigee mixed media word painting by Sarah M. Schumacher