Cape Elizabeth resident Marcia Crumley has a stack of books to peruse on her bedside table. Photo by Marcia Crumley

During the darkest days of the pandemic, I established a new ritual to help me de-stress: I would start and end each day by spending at least 15 minutes looking at images of paintings by some of my favorite artists. Fortunately, I have accumulated a large collection of art books over the years, so I was able to spend time with works by my favorite artists as well as discover some painters whose work I was unfamiliar with. With life now (mostly) back on track, I rarely have time for my morning art fix, but I still cherish my evening routine, which is a much-needed reminder of how much beauty there is in the world. I’m an artist myself, and this ritual has the added benefit of helping me solve challenges with current paintings and generate ideas for future works. — MARCIA CRUMLEY, Cape Elizabeth

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