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April 25, 2020
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April 27, 2020

Art and articles

The current lockdown has brought forth the best in many individuals in Oman who are enjoying their time at home doing a range of things, from painting to writing and cooking to communication.

Doing different things in different places

Olga Velikaya, artist

To some extent, life has been like a Groundhog Day since our movement is limited to going from one room to another and repeating the same activities day after day, on the other hand this new routine has made me more productive.

During the month of isolation, I’ve taken workshops on teaching online, started a new series of paintings, decluterred my closet, and had much more regular video calls with friends and family.

My working hours haven’t changed because Modern College of Business and Science, where I teach, has transferred 100 per cent to teaching online. So, when I’m not working online, I’m painting or doing house chores. To spice up a daily life, I am doing different things throughout a day in different places – breakfast on the balcony, work and lunch at the table, art in the painting room, and Netflix on the sofa in the living room.

As to art, I am drawing inspiration from fresh flowers and rays of sun light from a window. A wreath in my series is a symbol of exquisitely intricate circle of life. I am planning to finish this series by the end of summer.

Plenty to keep me busy all day

Richard L. Baltimore,  former US ambassador to Oman

 Eszter, my wife and three of our four daughters are all safe and well. Our fourth daughter remains in Buffalo studying for her doctorate from her campus townhouse. Eszter is immersed with SQU’s transition to remote learning, Josie is preparing to return to the US, when practicable, Natalie, in her second year at UCLA, continues her studies remotely but due to the time differences between Los Angeles and Muscat, has classes and exams that start at 11pm. Vanessa’s days are spent with her remote studies at TAISM and practising euphonium and piano.

Our joint family time has resulted in group Jeopardy contests, double UNO competitions, leisure reading together, Netflix, playstation (for the younger ones) and a marked uptick in ice cream consumption for all.

In addition to my working from home, I’ve found some time to do some reflective writing, reading (just finished Dark Towers), working on a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, and, instead of my weekly 10km mountain hikes, hitting our small home gym. Because our gardener can no longer get to the house, my routine has also been augmented by yard duties.

Got to know my kids better

Rebeca Nigrinis, artist

During this lockdown I found the time to work on many projects I had left on a side for ‘whenever I have the chance’ to complete. Especially in my art studio, I still have many unfinished canvas that I’m finally working on.

Many tasks like cleaning and organising shelves and wardrobes are finally complete and that feels really good. Having my kids at home with the online learning was a big challenge the first two weeks but now it is running smoothly now and we’re actually enjoying it.

As a mother it’s been a great chance to get to know my kids better and to understand the way they learn. We also enjoy playing board games, watching movies and having more meals all together.