Hello to 2021

‘Soft Light’ Oil on panel 30cm x 30cm features one of our Welsh Mountain ponies in the early evening light

Writing this post on a particularly chillyand grey day whilst listening to the hail batter the Velux window above me, brr… Well I expect I am not the only one to be glad that 2020 is behind us, but it was a year that I was looking forward to, full of promise, I am sure I was not alone, and it was not to be on some levels. We all know the challenges and heartbreaks we have faced, and that there are many challenges still to come, but we will find a way to move forward. So  with all the events I normally rely on to make a living cancelled, and with it the attendant ‘tightening of the purse strings’ plus sheilding three elderly relatives here at home, and friends being unwell and I have been unable to be with them, I know there are so many of us in this position.

There were still many positives though. We are so very lucky, living as we do, fairly remote and live in a very beautiful part of the country. My garden has certainly never been better tended – or appreciated! The summer meant lots of plein air painting in said garden and on the smallholding, and a chance to experiment for a extended periods of time I don’t normally get a chance to.

I look forward to 2021 with hope that things will improve for everybody, especially those of us – and there are so very many across all the creative arts – who have found themselves with little in the way of income. For me being a painter is not an option, it is my life. I have been fortunate and still been able to create, and made enough to keep life and soul together. But I know for some, Covid has been the last straw.

The bad news is.. Nothing lasts forever The good news is .. Nothing lasts forever.

 

 

Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Week

Recently really enjoyed taking part in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Week on Instagram.

Portrait Artist of the Year set up the sessions free to all during lockdown, for which very many artists were both grateful and inspired.

Open access to some wonderfully interesting celebrity sitters who talked with a guest artist each Sunday, all via online meetings. I only wish I had picked up on it sooner!

Here are some of my efforts below. I am planning on going back and doing Will Young and Rob Rinder, you hardly ever get the chance to practice well known people because of copyright issues.

Well Done PAOTY, and thank you to the judges Kate Bryan, Kathleen Soriano and Tai  Shan Scheirenberg and all the i

nspiring artists who took part! I hope you do it all again sometime!

 

The delightful Mary Beard

6 Months In

Foxgloves in the Orchard. Plein Air oil on panel 18cm x 24cm

Well, what can I say? What times we are living in.A bit of a serious post.

I have been shielding elderly relatives (who are quite scared and in one case just cannot comprehend what is happening) Whilst carrying on day to day life under the lockdown. It’s been a time to really take stock in a way I have not before of my life and my working practice. My garden has never looked better (and I am sure I am not the only one) and I manage to paint every single day.

This awful virus has affected my artist friends in different ways. Some have found themselves totally unable to create, completly derailed by the whole situation. Others have launched themselves head first in to a storm of creativity. Some, myself included, have found themselves oscilating between the two. Thankfully I have spent more of my time feeling inspired.  And I must confess that the peace and quiet and as my husband put it, ‘a return to what it was like in the 70s’ suits me well, I had not really fully appreciated how frenetic modern life is, it kind of creeps up on you. The respite the planet has had from us humans shows in so many ways, and I pray that our governments take the opportunity to rebuild the World Economy in greener ways. My belief is that we should be far less consumerist, far less wasteful with our resources. We are encouraged to consume more and more to keep the economy bouyant, that is not sustainable, there has to come a breaking point in all that consumption.

 

Covid-19 has affected us all in so very many ways. I knew it would be quite bad, but I didn’t expect lives to be completely thrown upside down. Some people face such enormous difficulties both practical and emotional, that I can hardly imagine what it is like to be under lockdown with no job and poor prospects. So, I consider myself truly blessed to live in my little rural corner of West Wales. It has made me think a great deal about how I want to live my life going forward. Life is precious. The planet is precious, both should be looked after and cherished, enjoyed and shared.

If the virus has done anything positive at all it is to show us how we need to slow down, take stock and rebuild or economy in a far more sustainable way.It has also shown how many selfish people really don’t care so long as their own lives are not affected. There has been so much good spirit and community shown too though and this gives me hope that we do actually have a future, I am sure that Covid-19 is not the last challenge that we will face. So.. what will be our new ‘Normal’ ?

 

Goodbye to 2019

A new decade beckons and I along with many others get to wondering what the future has in store.

This time of year I often get a strong urge to make changes and I have spent the past week blitzing and repainting both the living room and kitchen. Why did I think that was a good idea? Can’t wait to get back to my easel now!

My website needs a similar ‘blitzing’ which I will be working on over the next couple of weeks. It seems a good time to start afresh, my trusty old computer finally croaked its last the week before Christmas, and I have been busy getting to grips with the new one, which I discover has the speed of Usain Bolt compared to the old one which I now realise was more like me trying to run..anywhere..

So onwards and hopefully upwards as we enter 2020, along with a great big Happy New Year to everybody who follows me on Social Media, have sent me kind words and likes and even bought or commissioned work from me. I thank you all,  every tiny bit of encouragement means more than you can imagine to an artist. I am excited for what I am feeling is a new phase in my journey as a painter, and hoping we all experience some good old fashioned contentment and happiness in the coming twelve months. Peace, joy and blessings to you all.

‘Port’ 24cm x 30cm oil on panel