Being on lockdown or quarantine this month doesn't equate to a lonely, boring Valentine's Day. In this article, our team compiled eight artful things to do on Valentine's Day whether you're an artist, an art enthusiast or simply in love with one. Most of you might wonder how we can maintain a healthy relationship with our loved ones while living out our true passion especially with a pandemic right outside our doorsteps.
The True Purpose of Valentine's Day?
Valentine's Day is a special occasion that was created to put the practice of appreciating our loved ones into actual action. Every February 14, candies, chocolates, flowers, and gifts in general are exchanged all around the world in celebration of this special day. This has become the norm for most people every year and it's a perfect opportunity to remind our loved ones how much we love and care for them.
In this age of fast-paced media and smartphones, maintaining healthy relationships can get pretty challenging. Somehow, the modernisation of society has led us to lose touch with our present surroundings. It has caused one of the pillars of our lives - our personal connections with people - to suffer. We are always rushing towards the future, and before we know it - the best years of our lives have passed by right before our eyes. We forget that at the end of the day, what remains with us are the meaningful and healthy relationships we cherished, and the genuine connections we create with people.
TRIVIA: Did you know that Medieval poet and the Father of English Literature, Geoffrey Chaucer may actually be the person responsible for associating Valentine's Day to love and romance? His poem "The Parlement of Foules" written ca. 1380-90 describes a conference of birds that meet to choose their mates on St. Valentine's Day. Geoffrey Chaucer used this literary piece to gently satirize the tradition of courtly love.
Now, more than ever, it is important to not only appreciate our loved ones, but to also listen to our inner voice, and attend to our personal needs. This Valentine's, let us take this opportunity to take care of both ourselves and our loved ones. We're sure some of you are already wondering about other things to do on Valentine's Day while on lockdown, so without further ado, let's read on!
Artful things to do on Valentine's Day quarantine
Spending Valentine's Day in lockdown, or in quarantine doesn't mean you're left bingeing on Netflix in pyjamas over fish and chips or worse, sleep in early. If you want to make this year's love day still special but haven't thought of something exceptional to do just yet, well, prepare to indulge yourself in this list of artful things to do on Valentine's Day, at home.
#1 Paint portraits!
Take out those paints and brushes and get back at it again! Paint your long overdue self portrait. Or if you're with your loved one, why not paint each other's portraits? You'll be able to slow down, stop and just study your loved one's face. This way, you will be able to have quality interaction with each other while sharing your techniques. Finishing a piece of artwork by yourself is very satisfying to the mind and soul. Sharing it with a loved one? Well, that's really something else.
On that day, prepare a simple charcuterie and your favourite drinks and of course, make sure you have all the art materials you need. Take your Valentine's date idea to the next level by getting professional paints and brushes that are made to take the pain out of painting. What's more awesome is that you can get them online.
#2 Plan a themed dinner at home
It's just like Christmas eve dinner all over again, only this time you get to be more inventive and romantic. Plan a themed dinner at home. Think creative table setting-watercolor placemats, red hearts cut outs, etc. You can even dress up for a romantic fine dinner or make it as fun as to wear costumes, especially when the kids and the kids at heart are joining. There are endless possibilities with this one.
#3 Arts and culture film night
You may not be able to go out to the cinemas this Valentine's Day but there are options now to stream films from the comfort of your home. From Netflix or Hulu, to the Royal Opera House, watch something art related this Valentine's Day!
If you're a film connoisseur then you've probably already seen the most popular arthouse films in cinema's history, but if you're not, then take your movie night a few notches up the artful meter and watch one! Use whichever streaming platform is your favourite and check for the "Arthouse" genre. When we say arthouse, we're talking about Wes Anderson's pastel pink world of quirky characters, David Lynch's surreal parallel worlds or Akira Kurosawa's great classical masterpieces.
Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House in London once again needs your patronage to sustain operations once the lockdown lifts. Why not support the ROH by streaming one of their available ballets and operas for just lb3 or $3.37. Choose from Cendrillon, a Cinderella opera to Petipa's Raymonda, a Russian classical ballet. Check it out here.
#4 Hone your cooking techniques
Here at ZenART we talk a lot about techniques to inspire artists to paint the well-composed paintings they've always wanted to achieve. What if you can also learn the techniques to cook the food you've always wanted to perfect from the comfort of your home? So we're actually thrilled to stumble upon BBC's Food Techniques that would teach anyone to cook the right way. From as simple as chopping chillies, to making a Swiss roll cake and cooking samosas. By exploring this resource of mini lessons, you and your loved one will get in touch with both your creative sides through the use of sight, smell, and touch. Experimentation is fun and a good chance to get to know your loved ones more.
#5 Start practicing yoga and meditation
Another fantastic lockdown Valentine's date idea is yoga for couples. Yoga with your loved one is not a mere exercise and meditation activity. When you merge your practise with another's, you fall into sync with that person's energy. Everything in you moves in rhythm with the other. It challenges your balance, strength, and flexibility while allowing trust to flourish in a healthy relationship. Some of the most intimate, fulfilling, and healthy relationships are found through practising yoga with your loved one. It creates unity, builds intimacy, and encourages happiness. London yoga studios East of Eden and Down to Earth as well as New York's YogaMaya studio will be offering live yoga classes on Valentine's Day.
#6 An artful breakfast in bed date
Freshly brewed coffee, heart-shaped pancakes or waffles served with fresh flowers and some creativeness. Now that's the right way to start Valentine's Day. Since you can't take them to their favourite cafe that day anyway, might as well prepare something special. Have a nice conversation over breakfast, read each other poetry or watch a romantic-comedy movie. The goal of this activity is so you start Valentine's Day right together.
#7 Make a love letter in the form of an art zine
They say handwriting letters is a fading practice. Why not write each other love letters, or better yet, create love zines. Creating something that your loved one can keep is another romantic way to celebrate Valentine's Day. It's a creative way to express your feelings. It can be filled with collages, small doodles, paintings, sketches. You can even add a poem or two. This activity can be done with other family members too.
In my case I've done this digitally on Procreate. Otherwise you can use drawings, light watercolour painting and collage, using Washi tapes - on A4 and fold as it's shown on a photo. It's easy and you can make as many as you want - to each of your family members or just one for the special one.
#8 Pour yourselves over a book of Love
If you've not heard of Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, then it's time you read it. It's one of the best books to understand what your loved ones need, including your own needs, too. See all the information here. You can also take a quiz to understand better, this way one can make the gift that is truly meaningful for the recipient. Read through this wonderful book over home-cooked meals or a charcuterie board.
Bonus: Check out a virtual art exhibition in London!
Lloyd Register, one of the world's leading providers of professional services for engineering and technology commissioned British contemporary artist Reuben Dangoor to reimagine great maritime artworks for a zero-carbon future to mark the official launch of the Maritime Decarbonisation Hub. In Future Seascapes, paintings by Turner, Van Gogh and Monet are exhibited side-by-side with their zero-carbon interpretations, highlighting the pathways to a zero-carbon future for the maritime industry.
A Reminder of Love
Reminding ourselves that we should practice self-love and be grateful for our life; being with our loved ones is a way of honouring them and appreciating their presence, ultimately leading to healthy relationships. And as we continue to journey a fast-paced life, moments of quick decisions and fragmented thoughts, art allows every moment to be memorable. Understanding our emotions can help us heal, grow, and improve ourselves. Increasing our self awareness through art can also lead to more success both personally and professionally.
In creating and experiencing art together with our loved ones, we allow them to see a deeper, more special part of us that's not usually seen on the surface. We share a private special place with them, and we allow ourselves to communicate through our creative language. This leads us to see the world in a better light, have a more joyful disposition, and create healthy relationships. We go into unison and connect with each other as we indulge in the experience of creating our own masterpieces. This truly is the most fulfilling part in the creation of art.
Today, and every other day, let us remember to practice the sharing of love through the use of art. Adding art into our bonding activities can make experiences more beautiful. Do you have other artful things to do on Valentine's Day this year? Lockdown or quarantine, Valentine's Day can still be meaningful as long as you spend it with the people who matter. Share your ideas in the comments section below! We'd love to hear your thoughts.
- MEET THE AUTHOR-
Ardak Kassenova is a London based contemporary artist, co-founder and creative director of ZenART Supplies. Her visual style-contemporary impressionism-share similar aesthetic qualities with those by the French Impressionists. After 20 years of a successful corporate career, becoming a mother to two wonderful girls, and with the continuous development of her practice by taking private lessons from the best artists she could find; Ardak decided it's time to align her life with her true passion, Art. Driven by this passion and her corporate leadership background, she co-founded ZenART.
"My heart and soul were always with Art, and since my childhood as long as I remember myself, I was dreaming to be an artist. I was painting after work, when I had time, and teaching myself through the books, videos, visiting art galleries and museums. I've been very curious about different techniques and styles, and therefore accumulated knowledge and experience on a variety of mediums."
Geoffrey Chaucer "The Parlement of Foules" https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Parlement-of-Foules
The Canterbury Tales 1400s Manuscript https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/the-parliament-of-fowls