This is one of the views from our walk this morning. We walked from home to Keyhaven, through the nature reserve where life there was even more calm and quiet than usual. A great start to the day to blow away any cobwebs and banish any feelings of being locked in all the time.
I had the most amazing dream early this morning. In fact it was so believable it felt true - how fantastic is that. I was looking at a blouse with a very good friend, she loved the blouse and then asked what I was going to do today. I replied that I ought to be working but could go to town instead. She looked at me knowingly as if to say "Life's too short" and I said I think I'll have the day off and go into town after all. What a thought and soon enough I realised this wasn't possible after all. "The only thing is nothing is open so I won't be doing that." I still felt very upbeat and then Chris said well you could go and marinade the meat at Suzanne's - I forgot to say we're going there for dinner tonight. Fantastic, I thought and we're off out tomorrow night too. With that I woke up and eventually realised it was all a dream but the main thing was that I felt really good.
It sounds obvious but in this situation, some days will feel very different to others. Some days will feel hard to get going and others days will be full of joy - nothing stays the same for long. I saw a great post on Facebook from a family who write down on a post it note every time they wish they could do something or see someone, but can't at the moment, for example "Give Granny a hug". They put the notes into a jar and will work through doing them all when things change. Apparently it's gone viral - I'm not surprised as it's such a lovely and positive idea.
So the the things I'd like to do today include ordering a few more perennials from a nursery in Ireland (honestly I still have places to fill in the garden), some pilates (I did very well yesterday after writing the Blog), write some of my articles (I didn't manage one word yesterday!), do another drawing exercise - details below for those of you who'd like to do some art. Yesterday I did my drawing in paint from a tree out of the studio window. I wasn't pleased with the drawing at all but it got me into painting mode and then I was able to work on a few landscapes.
Today choose an object and then for 5 minutes:
a. draw it with your weak hand
b. draw it with your strong hand without looking at the paper
c. draw it with your weak hand without looking at the paper
Have a lovely day.
Today I seem to be taking an age to "get going" and haven't done any exercise yet even though I have my yoga leggings on. As if by wearing them I've actually done it. I slept very badly last night and couldn't switch my overactive brain off after I woke at 3am. I think I had disturbed myself by reading a letter from a lady in Italy that had been published in the Guardian. I picked up the great sadness in this letter and felt very upset when she said "and you won't know when you'll see your grown up children again." Of course I'd already thought of this with Sam being in London for the foreseeable and I haven't seen him since January. But it could be a lot worse.
If any one is reading this for some inspiration My picture today is of some tree sketches. If you can do some art that's a positive and today I'm suggesting looking out of one of your window and painting something with paint. No drawing first just go for it with the paint. Use a maximum of two colours so that you concentrate on the drawing. The trees here are painted this way and using only paint will give a fresh feeling to your subject. When I've finished writing here I'll go to one of our windows and do the same.
The rest of the day will include some work on the Artist magazine articles, cooking, watering plants, some potting on, a trip to the Post Office (I've only been to one shop in a week), some painting and a Zoom meeting at 7am. I must admit I'm feeling nervous about using Zoom as I'm not very confident with any form of technology. Plus plenty of tea in-between all of this. Oh yes, and not forgetting my exercises!
Wishing you a good day today.
Today the sky isn't as dark as this but there's a fierce easterly wind blowing around the house and on the cliff top. Thanks to Dorset perennials, who delivered a box of plants last friday, I've been able to plant out a few new perennials in the garden. They'll have extra care and attention given the current situation. I see from messages and posts on social media a lot of us are getting back to basics, which is no bad thing.
I always loved the garden but I love it even more now. My Nana, Phyllis Bregazzi was a very keen gardener. I can't see a lupin without thinking of her as in the summer her front garden was always full of them. She was a truly great person who took up yoga in her early 60's and never had another migraine after this. She was her teacher, Betty's, pride and joy being her oldest student at age 80. Nana lived a very simple life. She would walk to the corner shop each day to collect what she needed to eat. Her skirts were made from two squares of fabric, a zip and some petersham at the waist. She was very proud when a skirt had cost less than £5. One of the most modern things she did was to use Grow bags for the tomatoes in her Greenhouse. Nana loved Grow bags, the Piano, Liberace, Woolworths pick and mix, watercress and her family. Some days she would look after us after school and her idea of tea was regular burnt toast. She had no idea how to discipline children, but interestingly I don't remember her needing to. What a breath of fresh air.
Routine today -
long walk on cliff top
coffee and hot cross buns
several loads of washing
read some of the sunday times - particularly keen on the style magazine
planted out the perennials
now on the blog
just a bit of art to keep my hand in (sometimes I feel frightened that if I don't do something it will go away)
wine o clock
chatting at the table
tv or reading
the painting today is - A view of the Isle of Wight
I had a rough idea of how to start the blog today and although I am a great believer in a routine I'm also a great believer in flexibility. For me this means I usually get a great deal "done" but this is achieved in a rather meandering fashion. Today I'm having a very flexible itinerary. This approach works best for me as if I'm not in the best " frame of mind" to paint then I've found it's best to follow this feeling. Last week I couldn't bear to paint as I felt very destabilised by the general atmosphere that the pandemic had brought about. I had to dig for England to find my feet. This has worked well and now I feel ok paint again.
Today I was contacted about this painting "Haashed 2020", and now it will be going from my studio to a new home. Normally I'm not at all keen on explaining my work. I prefer the viewer to find their own story or any personal point of reference in the paintings. For me the mystery in art is that hidden secret that can't be explained in words. I will spend hours looking at paintings and the best ones will reveal something new when you least expect it.
Of course I can say that my work is undoubtedly inspired by the sea, the Celtic landscape where I was brought up, some sense of freedom from the practicalities of life, an obsession with composition, feeling and colour. And the list could go on and on. "Haashed 2020" is a painting about a beautiful horse who lived in a beautiful field in the Isle of Man. He was a magnificent creature who had been a top race horse during the early part of his life.
Interestingly I was supposed to be working in the Isle of Man this weekend, teaching painting at Brightlife, a wonderful retreat in the north of the island. At this point in the day I would have been looking out over the mountains with the sheep in the field, directly outside the window of the studio where we paint. This place is very close to my heart and I do feel very sad not to have got there and can't begin to wonder when I may go there again.
Instead I'm counting my blessings, I did some Pilates while I waited for my computer to settle down to write the Blog and will have a change of routine and go for a walk this afternoon instead of first thing in the morning. I'm amazed at how inventive a more limited routine can be. I've photographed my new landscape paintings to share with you here. I confess to continue to put off several administration jobs, such as accounts, spreadsheets and filing. So the paperwork is still in crisis with no management.
Wishing you all a good day today.
Today is the first day of my blog. The last time I wrote a daily blog I was lucky enough to be an Artist in Residence at the SPUD Observatory on the sea wall at Lymington. I would never have believed that only a few years later we would be in this situation. Almost everything from my usual routine has been cancelled. All of the Exhibitions and Workshops I had been booked for have been cancelled. This means inventing a new routine and a more simple way of life. My routine begins with tea and this is followed by exercise, which means a good walk on the cliff top or heavy gardening. There is a lot of digging to do here - something that was once a burden has now become a joy. Digging is very grounding and I find gardening an extremely therapeutic occupation. So far making art is not so easy as this is a much more personal matter, but including it in my new routine helps as it means that I will do something, even if it's only a small drawing. I have posted more images than usual on Instagram - some of these are from my sketch books or are finished paintings that I had been saving for Exhibitions. As I don't know when these will be on show "out there" I feel it's better to share them now rather than waiting for some date in the future. This is why I'm writing the blog. It's a way to keep in touch and show some aspects of the daily life of the Isolation Artist. The only commissioned work that I still have is writing monthly articles in the Artist magazine. It can be viewed online or delivered by post as a monthly subscription. This could be very useful at a time when people are unable to go to their weekly Art classes or any workshops they had signed up for as this magazine is full of inspiration, step by steps and numerous subjects and styles.
As I work from home most of the time I find it relatively easy to follow an independent routine. I appreciate this will be new to a lot of people and difficult to follow or set up. Starting the day with a list of some of the things you want to achieve is good. My list (in rough order) today
Chat (on the phone or by text)
Sit outside (as it's sunny)
Plant out in the garden
Prepare a meal
Watch TV or read
As many days stretch out in front of us I find it's best to think of today. One day at a time as each day is a different day, even if we have to stay at home. If you can achieve one drawing a day that's a marvellous thing. The new routine is giving me the opportunity to take stock and slow down. My pace has always been too fast and expect too much of myself. I can take time to stare out of the window or just look around. Have a good day and I'll be back tomorrow.
The painting I've posted here today is "Solent", inspired by my daily walks on the cliff top here on the south coast.