Our Daily Breather: Maintaining Sanity During A Pandemic In Our Daily Breather, we ask artists to recommend ways to find calm in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Jeremy Ivey has been finding solace in painting.

Our Daily Breather: Jeremy Ivey Recommends The Soothing Practice Of Painting

Jeremy Ivey has been painting while in quarantine. Ramon Felix/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Ramon Felix/Courtesy of the artist

Jeremy Ivey has been painting while in quarantine.

Ramon Felix/Courtesy of the artist

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Jeremy Ivey

Where: Nashville, Tenn.

Recommendation: Painting

Lately I've been thinking about suffering versus pleasure. About how the most intense versions of each one can feel a little bit like the other. I was thinking about what I considered suffering to be a year ago at this time compared to what I consider it to be now, and how pleasures even as small as a day without rain can feel like a dream come true now. A year ago I might not have even noticed it.

I've been painting lately, because it's not as draining as writing a song. To write a song, or at least a good one, I have to create some self-affliction and induce some sort of madness and I find it to be an uncomfortable place to be in sometimes. Painting isn't like that; you start by pushing the brush against the canvas with a random color and the next thing you know you've got an idea. With the two kids, the meal planning and house cleaning, the feeding, rocking, laundry, bed time stories and yard work, Margo and I are redefining our definition of the word pleasure. I think, for me, having a healthy family and a little sun and some time to paint seems pretty much like paradise. Who knows what paradise will look like this time next year.

Jeremy Ivey's debut album, The Dream and the Dreamer, came out last year.