force majeure

[ French fawrs mazhœr ] noun


an unexpected and disruptive event that may operate to excuse a party from a contract.


  • 6″ x 6″
    cold-press watercolor block

  • collage, India ink, duct tape, acrylic ink, matte gel

  • 4/09/2020

sarah schumacher mixed media painting art word of the day force majeure the100dayproject 100daysofartandessays

thought process

There’s nothing quite like hovering over the art desk, painting details on coronavirus. It’s a great way to spend a Thursday night.

I needed to juxtapose these perpetrators with a serious image, something with gravity. If I were a comic artist I’d have drawn the classic businessman-handshake-holding-contract while a corona asteroid comes blazing out of the sky. Instead I flipped through my collage magazines and this went a bit darker.

The image is striking on its own. The virus hovers over his head, like our collective anxiety. It says something about how life feels; small business owners trying to hang on, wondering if they’ll make it. Individuals hoping that staying at home is enough to prevent meeting a virus hand to face. Like many of us, this guy is alone because he’s under self-quarantine. Also like us, he’s being creative with a make-do face mask. He might be a little depressed, but so far he’s doing OK.

Note: I’ll need to seal this piece when it’s warm enough, so it will end up with a slight sheen on the photo portion.