You are currently viewing Month 4. Coventry and West Midlands 7th to 11th July 2022

Welcome to my blog recording my fourth trip away as part of my one-year project of twelve art road trips.

Coventry campsite. A short drive to the camp site with Rosie and Pedro in the back, overtaken by Pat and Sam on the M42.

This trip can be summed up in three words Hot, Hot and Hot. These searing temperatures hampered my plans to visit Coventry, the cathedral and other places of interest. I intend to revisit this part of the country at a later-date.

Pat and Sam and their dogs
Pat and Sam and their dogs Abbie and Rufus joined me for four nights and we played a lot of
Scrabble, chatted a lot and did some painting.

Online rehearsals with Parky Players

I also had to cram in some online rehearsals with my fellow Parky Players. Practising for our upcoming performances in Birmingham and the Edinburgh Fringe.

Feeling a lack of inspiration in the heat, we set up a still life that reflected our camping experience so far: Scrabble, fizz and “Skin Soft” to keep the mosquitoes away.

Sam painting and my painting of our still life
Sam painting and my painting of our still life

A few weeks ago, my friend Mary had kindly given me a set of unpainted Russian Dolls to get creative with. After a lot of thinking about them I decided to use them to try to depict five layers of me with Parkinson’s.

I sketched out many versions, but settled for these five:

  1. The child. This is not always seen, but ever present.
  2. The pleaser. A characteristic I recognise in myself – desperate to be pleased and be liked, particularly when I was younger.
  3. The fighter. I am strong and can cope with most things. Others see this and it’s true.
  4. The fearful. Whilst I’m strong, there’s also a fearful part of me.
  5. The inspiration. Sometimes it feels like this is all some people see, without sometimes recognising the layers below.

I really enjoyed creating them, and although they’re a bit rough, I think they’ve achieved what I set out to.

The sketches for the Russian Dolls
The sketches for the Russian Dolls
Russian Dolls The Painted Layers
The painted layers
wildflowers, or weeds depending on your perspective

The extreme hot weather prevented much travelling, and therefore I tried to find inspiration and motivation within the confines of the campsite.

I did a quick sketch of some wildflowers, or weeds depending on your perspective.

I also returned to my current obsession of painting trees and trying to capture the light and colours contained within forests and woods.

Hot Wood, The painting of the trees
“Hot Wood”, A3, mixed media on paper.
The painting of the trees in full, and shown left, cropped and within a mount

The plans were changed for this stage of the road trip due to the extreme heat. It became more of a break from everything and an opportunity to relax a little.

I enjoyed the opportunity to share my love of painting with Sam and was pleased she enjoyed the experience.

I needed this break and will pick up the momentum again next month.

Next stop Liverpool…

J Shipton
Arts Council England

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