2020 Vision by Lori Ehlke | Happy to See Their Faces


2020 Vision by Lori Ehlke midwest artist watercolor children in art portrait covid masks

I am an art educator. I work with students between the ages of 6 and 14, teaching art classes four days a week. In the spring of 2020, all of my classes were cancelled. My four children, ages 6-9, and I were at home being safe. We decided to reach out to our community and create videos to share art ideas with others. We started a YouTube channel and created simple art videos together. My students and friends have been using the videos ever since to be artistic.


In the fall of 2020, I was so thankful to be able to teach my students in person. While there were a lot of new rules and procedures, I was happy to see their faces.


Although I worried about children wearing masks and what that would look like, they showed me just how adaptable they can be.


I have learned that even though I cannot see their smiles, I can still read their emotions by watching their eyes. I also loved to see the way they expressed themselves by what mask they wore, and looked forward to seeing all of the variety as I walked into the classroom.


My painting, 2020 Vision, is an 18x24 watercolor on Arches cold press paper. I wanted to show some of the faces that I see. I wanted to portray their smiling eyes, their fun choices in masks, and their adaptability to a crazy situation. Although the children have embraced fun styles of face masks, I look forward to the day when I will see all of their smiling faces again.




"2020 Vision" Watercolor on Arches Cold Press Paper by Lori Ehlke

Words by Lori Ehlke