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.