motivation is hard to find in a pandemic

first i want to say thanks. for all of the things. for being here, opening emails, listening to audios.

we’ve been going through a weird time, haven’t we? today is day 55 of full lockdown for paris, and we have 3 more days to go until the duck pond, a walk outside the neighbourhood, and being able to open the front door without paperwork to prove where we’re going.

during this weird time, you have struggled with pressures, you’ve had more than your share of anxiety, and in some cases you’ve seen illness and death first-hand (covid, suicide, alcohol-related, in-laws).

every morning i get up and i check my email to see how you’re doing. to see if you got the treat you said you were going to (take-out quiche!), or if you made the virgin lime drink for may 5th, or ordered the candle.

i have to say that after the first week or so, my inbox has settled down remarkably well. there were some large moments of ‘what the fuck’ (yeah, me too!), but we are a resilient bunch. we show up. we are learning to experience emotions in real time.

With all of the opportunities you have had to unsubscribe from sober support (who’s got time for self-care during a pandemic!, you might ask), you did NOT unsubscribe. you’re here.

it’s been so great to see the lovely and continued support for the sober art that i share in the daily emails. i haven’t talked much about how mr.belle has been dealing with the confinement as it’s not my story to tell. he’s a bit more nervous about health things than i am, and has really been missing his concerts and seeing his ‘concert friends’ (he’s usually out 4 nights a week). his motivation, to begin, wasn’t great. go to work every day, come home, go to bed.

and then the paintings started to sell again. we’ve been selling on average one painting per day. isn’t that amazing?

he paints and shows me what he’s done and i pick the ones i like. i photograph, upload, edit, and create the button to purchase. you open the emails, click the links, pick the paintings that want. then he varnishes them.

over time we run out of canvases, and then run out of frames. he’s out of white paint. then black. And then the complete tragedy of running out of cardboard for shipping because the fridge store is closed. We order more canvases, more frames, and we break down and BUY cardboard for shipping 🙂

and still the paintings are going out, one per day. we ran out of regular paintings, and so i posted other framed ones, like the lemon one, or the starbucks ones, and they sold. he produces a set of 10 journals with painted covers, and i’m in the process of posting those.

every day he makes a box, or paints something, and goes up and down the stairs to the studio. every day even weekends.

every day we talk about what to do first (this one has been waiting longer, so it should be varnished first, this one is in oil so will take 4 weeks to dry). i know that art doesn’t make up for missing concerts, but let me tell you, it’s close! it’s art at home 🙂

so when i show up every day, and you ask how i’m doing, and you’re worried about me, you have no idea how ‘good’ things are for me. for us. really. Paris is fully locked-down, more than most places. and we’re fine. i’m emailing and editing audios and making lime cheesecake (that was today’s project). today he made 4 boxes (at 45 minutes each), then i printed the courier labels, then he went to the post office and waited in line for an hour to hand them over (they were prepaid, that’s just how long the line takes to advance in the line). then he came home and went back upstairs to continue.

motivation is hard to find in a pandemic. sleep is erratic. concentration is fractured. our brains are busy processing even when our bodies are still. it’s tiring 🙂

and every single day you show up and support us. and i just want you to know that it doesn’t go unnoticed 😉

i’m happy to be here, doing this. supporting you. you supporting us. anyway, just wanted to say thanks and now i’ve written a book!

many many hugs from me (and him). the non-contagious kind. the best kind.
love, me


this is #614

if booze is an elevator that only goes down, then you want to exit; now would be a good time

Particulars: Acrylic & ink on paper. Dimensions: 30 x 42 cm (11.75″ x 16.75″) – this is standard sized A3 paper and will fit in an A3 frame from

Shipping: Mailed flat with 3 sheets of stiff cardboard (carton) so that it doesn’t bend in the mail. Mailed direct to you from France.

Original or print? Original paintings, so there is only ONE available.

link to this painting >


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • So glad to have found you! I see positives in this crazy time! I want to live this second half of my life to the fullest! Date of last drink: May 31, 2020. Day #1!

  • I started drinking much much more heavily during lockdown, and hid it, or so I thought, very well. I decided to try once more to get sober last Tuesday. So far on day 6 and ALL the emotions are sticking their heads up. Today was bloody hard, everyone is drinking on the beach, you wouldn’t think there was a partial lockdown of sorts. Listening to audios and reading are really helping me. I am trying a combination of things. Really hope it sticks….it will…it has to…but I also want to scream and get REALLY cranky for no reason. I would still rather that than drunk and perused by guilt every five minutes, that for me would lead to more booze to cover it up. Waaaaaaahhhhhhh X