Pandemic Journal

Click on the image to visit the Pandemic Slideshow

Pandemic Journal

a column by

Linda Rubinstein

The work of Southern Vermont artist, Linda Rubinstein, follows in the tradition of women who have chronicled their lives through journals. Unlike those who precede her, she integrates word with image – catching everyday experience before it dissolves; exploring memory; and making sense of the present.

The siege of the Coronavirus that is gripping the world, significantly affects each of us. There is no “ordinary” now. We arise each morning and whole days roll together weighted by the enormous tragedy of the pandemic. We wait for assurances, we grieve over the unimaginable death rates, we don masks, and still the desire for normalcy is sometimes overwhelming.

As Linda tells it, “I began this journal to make a stab at reflecting on the pandemic.  I let the images guide me, starting with small personal events affecting my life, and gradually looking at the global reality . As visual social commentary, Pandemic Journal captures what I would like to recall and what should not be forgotten. It is one woman’s way of slowly letting the world in.”

Linda has created more than 70 artist books and journals – volumes that she designs, constructs, writes and draws.  Her work has been shown regionally and nationally in solo and group exhibits. Linda and her architect husband, Chip Greenberg, live on a dirt road where they have raised two children and uncountable houseplants, flowers and vegetables. She has been an active member of the Vermont arts community.




For many, a journal is a private place. Perhaps you can recall that the leatherette-covered diaries we kept as children came with lock and key. It was as close to a mental “room of one’s own” that we  could muster at ten or twelve years of age. It was where we recorded our pain and plans, our crushes and hopes, and our observations.. But a child I no longer am.

 What drives my decades old practice of keeping word-and-image journals? I began in the late 1970’s during a four month stay in Pamplona, Spain. I needed an outlet for the challenges of living in another culture so I bought a sketch book and began to draw. Once this creative pathway opened, images started pouring out. That early work was all personal, done for me. I came home to find a new genre had surfaced—Artist Books—my muse had found her home. And so, starting with the comfort of the personal, I began the Pandemic Journal.