I was recently asked if anything I’ve learned from expeditions has helped me through this current challenge of pandemic life. Absolutely! First, I appreciate the value of making a plan for the day. Even if we don’t fully follow it, the plan brings structure and daily purpose. And a little fun art for the morning.

A collaborative Plan of the Day

Next, expeditions require you to move forward through challenges with a sense of humor and imagination, which definitely helps when you and your partner work from home with a 5-year-old.

Sketching with Stella, photo by Susan Dorsch

⁠Another skill I use is finding the courage to improvise and pivot. On expeditions, plans can change quickly, gear can be damaged, weather can shift, and the ability to be flexible and adaptable is crucial. We’re all faced with this now in finding our new routines and tools. With my art, I’ve shifted my focus this spring and summer from studio work to sketching with my family, and projects for Art Toolkit. ⁠I’m giving myself grace to come back to my studio work (developing my Cooper Island sketches for exhibit) as time allows when our family has the room (childcare) for it.

Sketching at Fort Worden

Reflecting more, I think there are lessons on leadership, too. We can lead with our strengths, and our actions impact others closely. Sharing our work is a way to uplift others, and I’m so grateful to you all for your creativity and community.