The painting here today reminds me of my walk on the cliff top this morning. It's considerably warmer today and I walked at the edge of the steep cliff, where the land is sliding into the sea. I found it necessary to pretend that I was in Cornwall to feel like I'd had a "real" change of scene. The cows in the field and the seagulls helped immensely.
The first part of the walk is looking down at the beach huts (not part of the Cornwall fantasy) but this sparked off an idea to paint a series of work inspired by the cheery beach huts. The colours and shapes give plenty of scope for an interesting composition. As I was formulating a plan for this series, some people who collect my paintings passed me, being out for their daily exercise. Thank you to everyone who collects my work as this makes such a difference to an artist's life. It's a huge complement and always helps inspire you to carry on. Quite a few artists, writers and musicians now have the opportunity to create more as we have a vast empty space to fill. Although this can feel extremely uncomfortable we need this space to access great ideas. This is something I struggle with during "normal" life, when we're not in lockdown. Being a creative means you need to be in your space most of the time and this leaves much less time for other things. This is something I have felt the need to justify and would like to get my head round. Plenty of time is needed to access the gems which means sitting with yourself a lot of the time.
Enjoy the sunshine - I'm going back to the studio to carry on with the beach huts now.
I've just realised that it's Palm Sunday and remember that this was a very important day when I was a child. As I went to a Convent school we would make lovely crosses from Palms and go to Mass to celebrate the Sunday before Easter.
I've waited until the end of the day to write the blog, hoping that something interesting would spring to mind. But I can't find the words today. So this painting will have to speak for me.
Today I'm finding it very. difficult to differentiate between a weekday and the weekend. I'm sure most people feel the same as each day merges more and more into another. This weekend my friends, Jan and Mark were supposed to be coming to stay for the weekend. Jan and I have been great friends since we were born in 1962 and grew up together on the Isle of Man where we spent a great deal of time at the beach, in the sea or on the sea. I've posted the boat picture as I was reminiscing (to myself) how when we had both finished our O' levels our treat was to sail from the IOM to Plymouth, to deliver the trimaran, Three Legs of Mann, ready for Jan's Dad, Uncle Nick to sail single handed across the Atlantic Ocean. We had a great time, despite me feeling very sick most of the journey and as the wind was 25 knots we sailed at great speed. When you were on watch all you could see was miles and miles of endless sea and a distant horizon. To me it felt like we'd never see land again. I'll never forget the Isles of Scilly appearing in the distance or sailing around the Lizard and Lands End.
It will be a very special occasion when we can see each other again. Freedom of movement was one of the many things we used to take for granted. I'm not making art work today so that I can give myself some brain space for new ideas. The catalogue from Picasso and Paper has just arrived - by way of compensation for not seeing the exhibition again this week. I had seen it once but it's such a vast show I couldn't take it all in and looked forward to at least one more viewing. This book is fantastic and highly recommended if it's up your street.
I have managed to severely prune some shrubs that were choking four beautiful ferns but this garden work hasn't grounded me today. Time to get changed out of the grotty gardening clothes I think.
Enjoy the sunshine.
This evening was supposed to be another special occasion - the Private View of a joint Exhibition where I am showing my work, at the Hatch Gallery in Christchurch. Now it is another virtual Exhibition and can be viewed online at www.hatchgallery.co.uk. Then the Gallery were taking my work to the Fresh Art Fair at Cheltenham which along with many events, has been postponed until later in the year. Another example of how we are all being asked to remain open minded about what is and isn't "going on".
The painting posted here today is "Kites" - this was being saved for Exhibiting later in the year, but life is too short and this image reminded me of the clapping for the NHS in our neighbourhood last night. Such a wonderful thing not only to show our appreciation but also reassuring to be out with your neighbours and in good spirits. I am now looking forward to every Thursday for this special event.
I'm not painting or writing today so that the routine is different - if it isn't altered I can get very stale and bored. Instead I've made red bean soup, lasagne for later on and done some hand washing (which I find extreme boring but always feel really good when I've done it.) As it's Friday night I've made Joe his favourite meal - I think it's important to have things like this to look forward to.
We were able to see Corfe Castle on the Purbecks from the cliff top this morning. This is a place I will really appreciate visiting again once the restrictions are lifted. In the meantime, I'm very grateful to be able to see it in the distance.
I'm meandering back and forward between different jobs this morning. Feeling like I'm not doing much but if you saw my studio floor you wouldn't agree. I'm slightly grounded by getting on with articles about skies, trees and buildings. Recently I found a new way of working where I do most of the paintings for the article first and then write about the work later. I wished I'd thought of this sooner as it makes life much easier for me. But as I often say, hindsight is a marvellous thing.
Yesterday Julie and I discussed an article about Terry Waite who was in solitary confinement for 5 years - with no daylight, no books, no contact with other people and even had to have a hood put over his head when they brought him outside (and there was no mention from him of "We should think we're lucky in this situation", the kind of comment that is not inspirational to man nor beast.) He recommends taking good care of your appearance each day and explained that when he was in his cell, every night he folded his trousers and put them under his thin mattress to press them. I can relate to this so much as I notice that if I don't make an effort with my hair, clothes etc it has an adverse effect on how I feel. Yesterday I got changed for a Zoom meeting. Chris said "What are you doing?" I replied "I'm going out", imagination can be a very handy thing. Another Julie, a fellow Artist, is posting a photograph of her daily outfit on Instagram. I'm finding this intriguing as I love clothes and fashion. Today she is wearing a fabulous pair of black jeans adorned with swirling patterns of zips and most days it is some fabulous designer item that she has found in London charity shops. Thank you for this Julie. Instagram is a very inspiring platform. It can become an obsession but I recommend it if you don't use it yet. Especially in these circumstances as you never know what you may find or be inspired to do. My account is juliecollinsart and it's very easy to set up your own.
Tonight is clapping for the NHS at 8pm. This kind of thing makes me cry - even just the thought of it. In the past I've so often said that I could never be a Nurse or Doctor and this situation brings it right home to our doorsteps. So, I'll look forward hearing you all clapping tonight.
"The Best laid plans"
It's the 1st of April and today was supposed to be a very special day for the Private of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours at the Mall Galleries in London. I had a fantastic day lined up and was going to meet my friend and fellow exhibitor, Julie Green, who is a marvellous painter - mainly of landscapes. We were going to meet at the Mall Galleries and chat to all and sundry at the Exhibition until the official opening and Prize giving at 3pm. Then we were heading for a late lunch before visiting the Royal Academy to see the wonderful "Picasso on paper" Exhibition. Instead we've had a good talk on the phone and compared notes of our pared down daily routines. Meanwhile our paintings reside at the Mall Galleries until further notice. The exhibition can be viewed online - via the Mall Galleries or the Royal Institute of Painters in Water colours websites. It is well worth a look at the great selection of work, though not the same as in the flesh but it's really good that we have access to our computers, websites, video chats, FaceTime and numerous websites etc during the lockdown.
As it was so clear and sunny this morning, I walked 5 miles at 9am. So I'm feeling very pleased with my exercise again today. En route we saw a police car and later on bumped into some friends - what a treat to have a short face to face chat at a 2 metre distance. As for the garden/digging, I'm hoping to plant a few things into larger pots later this afternoon.
Yesterday I managed around 400 words and some more research for two of the articles I'm writing and will do a bit more when I've finished writing here. Normally I can write a lot more than this but my concentration span is not as long as it usually is. Julie said she was the same, as are many people I've spoken to.
My creative suggestion today is to start an Art Journal - this will be a small picture, in any medium, each day rather than the usual written version.