From baking bread to tending plants, quarantining during the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a lot of passion projects. Lisa DiFranza had a particularly interesting one: painting every single day. During her Time Lapse project, DiFranza created 365 small paintings documenting her experience during an ever-changing time.

Lisa DiFranza

Lisa DiFranza

Image: Rick Benitez

After getting laid off from her job at the start of the pandemic, DiFranza started sketching. She never intended for the project to become this big, she says, but “it tumbled into itself, it just kept going, and at some point I realized, ‘Oh, I’m doing a painting every day.’” It soon became a way for her to connect with other people in a time of such intense isolation.

“You learn a lot when you paint every day,” says DiFranza. By painting in the morning in her kitchen, she became a lot more aware of what was lingering in her mind, often the morning news or dreams from the night before. Painting every day was certainly a challenge, DiFranza says, but a worthwhile one. “I learned not to be as much of a perfectionist. Every day was a new sheet of paper.”

She credits a lot of her ability to continue painting to her Halo Arts Project fellowship. The Sarasota-based fellowship provides between $1,500 and $2,500 to support visual artists of various mediums. This helped her get a lot of supplies, leading to a lot of “wonderful surprises.” Her favorite works from Time Lapse include Social Distancing Couture, Rose Colored Glasses, Morning on Planet Earth and Portrait of 2020.

DiFranza's final painting for the series was done at the MARA Art Studio + Gallery, where she displayed her Time Lapse pieces. Though this particular project may be finished, DiFranza is still painting. The Time Lapse pieces were 5x8 or 9x12, and while DiFranza enjoyed working on those, she says that painting small for so long has given her a new appreciation for larger works and a desire to tackle that new challenge.

She now has a studio with Zero Empty Spaces and is working on larger pieces. You can find DiFranza's work on her website, or displayed in Cottonmouth Southern Soul Food Kitchen and in the MARA Gallery. She is currently part of a group display at the MARA gallery titled “WOMXN: together for art.”

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