As we come to the end of this year that has thrown us all a massive curve ball, I am taking time to reflect on what it has meant for me as an Artist. Back in March when COVID 19 hit us all hard and we all went into lock down, I had to close my Art School for 4 months. At first, I was upset, anxious and worried about how this would affect me and all of the students I teach. I had a few days of feeling sorry for myself until i quickly turned things around and made some changes to the way i do things. I decided to make some online Art courses and within 3 weeks, I had written 2 courses, filmed, edited and produced them. All of a sudden, I had a national online audience and I was able to share my skills and knowledge as an Art Teacher with more than just my students in my city who attend my school.
I also found myself having more and more time in my studio, at my easel creating more paintings. Having focused, dedicated time to create, develop new ideas and make new paintings was bliss. Lockdown wasn't so bad after all, in fact I loved it. I did things i had said I always wanted to do, like have more online presence and work as a full time Artist. I created a body of work that I called my “deconstructed posies”. They were bold, colourful and loose in their composition and I painted them with pure freedom. I really enjoyed the looser approach to these large scale Florals and at the time when everyone was in lockdown, I started to realise that they were also bringing joy to those who had seen them. Peoples homes became their only place to dwell and when you're starting at a blank wall for too long, you start to realise that Art can bring so much joy to the home. My "Deconstructed Posies” became very popular to brighten up peoples home offices and living spaces. My paintings were bringing people joy in a difficult time and as an Artist, that is one of the reasons I love to paint.
I have made more paintings this last 9 months than I have made in any one year previously and my audience has responded to the work. I get so much out of making my paintings and bringing my subject to life in a new way on canvas. Whether it be one of my Landscapes or a Posie, if the viewer connects with the work in some way and it brings them joy or stirs a memory, I feel so good about what I do. One of my favourite sayings,
“LOVE WHAT YOU DO, DO WHAT YOU LOVE” that pretty much sums up how i feel about my work as an Artist and an Art Educator.