Cabin Fever (3)
What strange times we are in; hugely stressful for many, reflective for others. I’m finding a certain grace in these few weeks, once I’d got over the shock of seeing my work and teaching schedule come crashing down. In the whole time I’ve been self employed, more years than I care to admit, life’s always been a rush and hurry, starting things and not finishing them, juggling deadlines and saying yes to everything that comes my way.
Now I’m savouring the gift of time, choosing which project to work on each day rather than jumping to whichever job on the list is shouting the loudest. (I’ve even finished my annual accounts. My lovely accountant is in shock; he usually has to nag me in November). It’s a rare pleasure to pick up ideas long abandoned and give myself permission to work on them, without feeling I really should be doing something else.
Guilt is a funny thing; on the one hand art is a ‘non-essential’, the cherry on life’s cake rather than the cake itself. But on the other hand it’s what we do. We’re humans and we need to make and enjoy art, music, stories more than ever – can you imagine lockdown without them?
So after a couple of weeks dithering and anxious, I decided simply to get on with doing what I do. If I was a nurse, I’d be doing the nurse thing. I’m an artist, so I’m going to keep on doing the arty thing, however frivolous it may be in the grand scheme of things. What’s a cake without a cherry, after all? I want to help others to do it too, and I know I’ve been muttering about doing art lessons on videos. I finally got hold of a tripod for the phone and had a go. The first two sessions on creative doodling can be found here on you tube:
Please, please forgive the technical failings of my efforts. I know most youtube tutorials are very well made and professional; this is just me on my own in my wheelhouse on a sunny morning waving my brush around in front of a cheap phone. I’d rather be with you all in person doing a workshop, but this is the best I can manage! If I’d waited until I was expert at videoing myself before posting these, we’d have been long out of isolation, so I promise to replace them with more professional looking sessions eventually.
Another little project that might come in useful if you’re stuck at home is my Suffolk colouring book. This is nearly ready to go to print if I’m able to get it done, and in the meantime it would be good to have some feedback. I’ve included a few sample pages to download so that if you like colouring or know someone who does, please have a go and tell me if you think the images work or if they are too detailed and fiddly. The final size would be 20 x 20 cm, so if you print these out onto an A4 page that will be close enough. Thank you!
Finally, chapter three of ‘One Line at a Time’, my book on how to draw, is nearly done and I’ll post that as a free download soon. The first two chapters are available on the previous two blog posts if you don’t have them and want to get started! All you need is a pencil and paper, so what are you waiting for?
Did I say I wasn’t busy? I lied. Stay safe, and thank you all for your feedback and support.