I am a full-time artist and art tutor and I have to confess that in spite of the difficulties we all share this year, my lockdown has been rather productive as I got to do even more of the things I was already doing anyway (painting, walking, eating cake, ignoring household chores and laughing at the conspiracy theories on Facebook.)
The thing I miss most has been the students that normally came to my art classes. However, I have been amusing them and myself by making a series of free ‘how to’ videos that I send them sometimes. It has been nice to see the drawings or paintings they made as a result.
Walking has been wonderful too as the weather has been good and I am fortunate enough to live near the Ashdown Forest in Sussex and so I can walk in any direction from my house and be in the countryside quite quickly. This has been vital as my painting process relies on me being able to walk in the country and then paint what I have seen.
One of the things that made walking even more fun was discovering the OS maps phone app where I can get access to any of the OS maps in the UK which shows me not only where I am at any one time, but also which way I am pointing and where all the available footpaths, bridleways and access paths around me. I have lived where I live for 20 years but know it more intimately now than ever before.
As for my artwork, commissions and online sales have continued as normal as people are at home looking for ways to enhance their walls. It may well be the first time in history that artists and artisans are a little better off than many others. Weird but not undeserved I think.
As for the artwork I have produced since March 2020, I have tended towards brighter and more uplifting art in an attempt to make people feel happier and give them a sense of space. The landscapes were painted after being to actual places in Kent and East Sussex and the fish seascapes are part of a series I have been painting since some Caribbean holidays a few years ago.
It has been a turbulent year for everyone on Earth so far, but I am confident that despite the hardships, good changes will come out it. It has given many people the chance to slow down and reconsider their life and options. The importance of art cannot be underestimated in this. The excellence of a culture is only as good as the quality of its artists and I thank all the creatives of the world and all those who support them. Wishing everyone a better latter half of the year than the beginning has been.