Some words and photos from our members while they work in isolation during the first 2020 COVID-19 lockdown.
Painting in isolation was at first very different and fairly difficult. I normally paint plein air in the elements rain or shine. I finally found a way to satisfy my passion by using my photographic memory. Just as much fun and very therapeutic.
This is me doing a painting from a drawing I did in Spain some years ago.
At one point during this lockdown I was desperate for new brushes. I rang up Green & Stone (art shop) not knowing whether or not they were open. Happily, someone answered and took my order, which was delivered the next day - to my great relief!
With 2 of my 4 lockdown canvases. All 4 on the theme of Australian Endangered Species.
I have found drawing and painting during these troubling months of lockdown a great comfort, and retreating to my little room every day surrounded by art books and familiar objects, I am able to work.
Some of the still life objects are old friends but others are new to my paintings and may not have been used until now.
I also returned to the lovely but difficult medium of watercolour after many years.
At first it was worrying, going into lockdown, and disappointing, as I had work being shown in two galleries that potentially no one could see. Although the Geedon Gallery with the Small Paintings Group did open by appointment later, and the Royal Watercolour Society became available online.
And then the panic of getting supplies - no food delivery possible from any of the supermarkets. Luckily I found a local greengrocer’s who were delivering and Ocado Zoom, and I am most grateful for these.
What about watercolour paper, only 2 sheets left? Thank goodness for John Purcell, still in operation but with a skeleton staff, and no delivery. The dilemma - does this count as a key work journey? Can I face being shamed by being filmed by a drone driving to Stockwell and back? However, I called my local mini cab firm who were only too delighted with the job, and I received the “said” paper with much delight, and excitement.
Our Chiswick street has become much closer, and we are all there to help each other, collecting goods from pharmacies etc. for each other and sharing food deliveries, plant seedlings and much else, including cake making and sharing.
All the anxiety aside, it has been really good to be able to enjoy and appreciate the simple things of life around me, and nature in particular. I am finding that friends really get why I do what I do now, as they are seeing, enjoying and sharing my wonder at the world in which we live too.
This has been a challenging time in many ways but the opportunity to spend more time in the studio has been a real bonus. I decided to reflect on the more positive aspects of this time. Technology has been so valuable as it has allowed people to ‘get together’ in interesting ways.
One of my pieces depicts two musicians - an online duet. Another depicts children making art at home. Creativity has helped so many people cope with the restrictions. Normally my work is less figurative but I felt a need to try different approaches, and to record the moment.
Here I am in my studio - a wonderful place to be. Just me, beautiful music and paint!