What Good Can Come of This?

B. Eric Rhoads

I have been counting my blessings, aware that being cooped up with a wooded backyard and a neighbor with 40 acres is a small price to pay to keep from infecting someone, or being infected.

My fear, my concern for others, and my sadness in watching Facebook friends post tragic news of family members who are ill, or worse, have made me want to default to depression. But I refuse to give in. None of us ever wanted this, but I’m embracing it for what it is.

I don’t think life will ever be the same. Yes, we will return to a new normal, but we have each grown from this experience and taken hold of something that has enriched our lives. We are discovering things about ourselves we did not know. Those with businesses, myself included, are finding new ways to do business, and that will continue after the all-clear.

This experience has strengthened my own marriage; it has given my wife, Laurie, and I more time together; and now we have our teenage triplets at home, playing and doing projects they had no time for before. They’ve been forced to be creative, to grow. Their last few months of high school would have found them spending no time at home, so now we’re getting the gift of time with them. Deep, rich time.

I’m so impressed with human ingenuity, watching friends whose imaginations are on fire to develop solutions to help others, to expose their enterprises, to survive. These innovations will make them stronger in the long run.

I’m also impressed with how we are coming together as a people. We share this fear, this problem, this quarantine, with the entire world. Because of some of the initiatives I’ve been forced to come up with, I’m meeting and chatting with people around the globe. They are helping me, and I am helping them. I realized after talking with a new acquaintance, an artist in Iran, that his issues and concerns are the same as mine. We’re connected by our passion for art.

Let’s change what we can change in the next 15 minutes. Don’t ruminate about six months or one year from now. Find something to look forward to, to get you excited, something you can learn at home, a project you can take on.

In a weird way, this is a golden hour. It will come to an end. Maybe soon, maybe not, but it will end. After that, you’ll be busier than ever. Take advantage of this time. And Godspeed.

P.S.: My team and I have been working around the clock to come up with new ideas that help artists and art lovers cope with this challenging moment. One example, here’s how my art stimulus package works: Artists and galleries post links to their paintings or websites on their social media and tag it with #buyartnow. People who want to buy art to help them survive put #buyartnow into the search on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter and browse what others have posted.

Another example is the recent Plein Air Live global virtual art conference, which has led us to announce the upcoming Realism Live – learn more at RealismLive.com and join us in October, from wherever you may be.

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Realism Live virtual art conference

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Eric Rhoads is a career entrepreneur, with 30 years of launching companies and media brands, creating startups, and building businesses, including over 40 years’ experience in the radio broadcasting field, 25 years in the publishing business, and a decade in the art industry. Rhoads serves as chairman of the board of Streamline Publishing, Inc., a company he founded in 1986 (includes Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, Fine Art Today, and more). He also serves as a consultant and adviser to companies in media, technology, digital media, and art.


  1. I have fifty years of painting experience. I have also written a book on the fundamentals every painter must learn . My book is an excellent resource and through mentoring or coaching on line I can help developing artists overcome the many problems and frustrations in learning to paint. After three years of art school and a few more years of workshops in places I loved to paint such as Provence France and my beloved wilderness and live models in studio space I found mentors who were successful artists and successful in the art business too!
    With these mentors looking over my shoulder and myself studying them in every way beyond colour, values, composition, brushstrokes paint qualityI learned about the business and that an artist must produce every working day like any other job and take breaks to eat and spend time with friends and family. Mentorship for me lasted three decades the most gloriously enriching time in my life. My mentors critiqued my work and each time I learned so much! Then, one day my mentors looked over my shoulder and said “ Kathleen you can make it. “. My mentors also traded their paintings for mine! This was so inspiring and encouraging . I am a confident and courageous person but this endorsement was such lift after so many years of learning.
    Painting is complicated and has less to do with genius and rather more to do with learning the fundamentals of painting. In my book , Kathleen Dawson, Welcome To My Paint Box Studio ISBN number 978-1-9992743-0-6.
    I address each fundamental separately and in my on line coaching I teach the relationships between these fundamentals as this is where the difficulties are and why critiques are immensely important by trained eyes that see and can explain in a thoughtful constructive manner.

  2. I would love for someone to mentor me . I paint but have no clue if I’m right or wrong, I had a good teacher this last year but with the pandemic I can no longer study with him can you tell me what’s involved

    • Hello Mary! I’m sorry you’ve not been able to study with your previous teacher. Realism Live (https://realismlive.com/register-now) is a great way to network with others and get a taste of what several different teachers have to offer in regards to teaching styles. We recently held Plein Air Live, which inspired the Realism version. Many artists came away with new friends and techniques to apply to their work moving forward and, frankly, it was a lot of fun. Some of the artists painted live on camera, and some were recorded – for those, the artist was there with us in a live chat Q&A to answer questions about their palettes, brushes, composition choices, etc. People are still raving about it, so I hope you can join us for this event. If you have any other questions, feel free to let us know!


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