Your Personal Renaissance

An artist must have his measuring tools not in the hand, but in the eye. – Michelangelo

According to the dictionary, a freehand drawing is “done by hand without the use of instruments, measurements, etc”. You use your hand and observational skills. All children know how to do this, and some remember how after they grow up. As I’ve written before, Art has been a lifeline for me during this godawful pandemic. Isolated and alone, I picked up a pencil and began to freehand draw. When that went well, I got some paints and paper then canvas. The world dissolves and the eye, in sharp focus, connects to the pencil/brush. A metaphysical bond forms with the medium – paper, canvas, wood, stone. The art and the artist blend together and are unstuck in time. The same is true for writing. When I write, the words flow out from a dimensionless space into this world. Painting is just another way of keeping a diary – Picasso

The awful pandemic of 2019-2021 forced us to sharpen our observational skills in order to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. This heightened awareness has been coupled with hands-on living. In a very real sense, we have freehanded a new future. As societies quarantined, people turned to DIY haircuts, meals, minor repairs, and a thousand other tasks and artistic pursuits. Many people are reassessing where they see their lives heading post-pandemic. The outpouring of art, pent up energy and desire for change can lead to your personal Renaissance. It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.Ernest Hemingway

One of the catalysts for the Renaissance was the Black Death. The Bubonic Plague devastated Europe in the late Middle Ages. The disease spread rapidly in cities and many fled to the countryside. My daughter would be a good modern day example. She moved out of LA last month due in no small part to having to suffer through the pandemic in one of the world’s largest cities. Many young people are migrating away from big urban areas. Like today’s pandemic, the plague killed millions and devastated the economy. As the plague faded, and life began to normalize, trade and cultural exchange gave rise to new ideas. Today, people are anxious for change and to live their lives more creatively and fully. Make those changes – soon. Why wait?

The Twenty-First Century is defined by information technology. Right there in your hands you have access to: millions of libraries, museums, art galleries, the digital studios of artists, musicians, movie-makers. And you have a creative toolbox that practically boggles the mind. Online training is finally here. Back in the mid-1990s I worked on internet-based education. But those efforts were always limited by the technology. But now, with wifi, broadband, 4G and 5G, the doors to millions of cyber class rooms have swung open wide. DIY learning has arrived. And with that knowledge you can harness your creativity in life-changing ways. Transform your corner of the world.

I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me. – Ray Bradbury. Nearly every one of my pandemic days have been like that. At first, the thoughts were desolate to varying degrees. My wife was gone. My children far away. Nature cheered me every day, but many days I woke with shadows clouding my thinking. Then I began to really create again. Writing, drawing and painting were my wings. And now, hundreds of millions of people are waking into a new reality. The creative energy produced for survival can be turned towards a global renaissance movement. There will always be naysayers and doubters. But think about the alternative future into which we have awakened. Years of change have happened in months. As society re-emerges, do not fall back into the same old patterns that limited you in the past. Grab hold. Take stock of your life and reshape it into your renaissance. Your redesigned future awaits.


Google “Sloth in a tree” Does this piece of driftwood and odd beach stone look like a sloth, or have I just been alone too long 🙂 I guess it all depends on how you see the world around you.

Published by cewheeler

Writer/Artist:12 years in China – univ. lecturer: writing,poetry,culture; editor – magazine/newspaper & actor. 40 years students of the Tao. Traveler. Father. Read my books at:

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