The COVID19 pandemic has been hard for everyone’s health, both physically and mentally. Many people I know have been throwing themselves into creative practice to cope with the physical constraints and the mental pressures of lockdown.
I’ve been watching Grayson Perry’s art club and been inspired to experiment more with different materials and subject matters. This has helped my approach to the weekend painting challenges my chum Liam and I have been doing over the last nine weeks. Giving us a welcome distraction from the things we would normally be doing at a weekend but now can’t.
It’s only now as life slowly returns to a new kind of normal we are struggling to find the time to commit, but I think we’ve enjoyed it so much though we’ll keep it up. https://paintingwithmrp.com/new-work/
I’ve missed my weekly fix of Wednesday life drawing, but the lack of this has forced me to try more portrait painting, model making and collage.
I’ve been sharing my work, and talking to others who are using art as a way to express themselves and cope with new and evolving challenges. www.parkinsonsart.co.uk
This time has also allowed me to do some socially distanced painting with friends. Just enjoying the company of another person who gets the same pleasure from painting. It’s a really satisfying thing to do and I hope to do a lot more of. I’ve also been talking to a few people who have taken up sketching and painting for the first time since childhood and watching them get over the initial embarrassment and start to enjoy the process of creating.
So COVID-19 has brought me and others an appreciation of a fresher, more care free approach to my art, as Grayson Perry said “Creativity is mistakes”. In his recent art club he also said something like (apologies Grayson): If you want art to be perfect, then do photography – it’s the mistakes that give our art style.
I think art is for everyone. There’s no right or wrong, good or bad, just enjoy the stylish mistakes x
The car is packed full of food, and essentials. Pedro is safely tucked in and we’re off for our 20 day challenge.
All means of contact will be turned off once I get to Wales, later this afternoon. Hope you all stay well, and I look forward to catching up with you when I get back on 21st March.
Don’t forget the work produced will form an exhibition at the Canal Heritage Centre throughout May: https://www.canalsideheritagecentre.org.uk/exhibitions
Lots of love, Janet xx
Last night over a bottle of wine, my Sister in law and I were discussing my “20 Days” challenge. The topic for discussion was how I can stay off grid for 20 days whilst regularly letting husband Simon know I’m okay.
Making a scheduled phone call from a public phone will be impractical and a burden. Even more unacceptable will be hunting for signal and turning my phone on. I’d be bombarded with the familiar text, email and voicemail notification noise, negatively impacting on the whole project. Instead we agreed that a postcard a day is the answer. The daily routine of writing and posting the card will be useful and contribute to the journal. This method of communication is in keeping with the quiet reflection and expression this project is all about.
So that’s the plan- just better remember 20 stamps! ☺️
This weekend was a wonderful example of how throwing yourself into challenging creative projects can be the best therapy for mind and body.
On Saturday I went to Lincoln for a day of contemporary life sculpture with The New Drawing Group. The Drill Hall venue was great, and the tuition was just right, providing direction, but allowing personal exploration. I loved the outcomes of the process more than the final clay sculpture, but I’m content with that and had an excellent challenging day.
Sunday was our extended 4 hour life drawing session at the Canalside Heritage Centre in Beeston. I though caution to the wind and got the acrylic paints out. I captured Julie’s form early on, but started to lose my way with the painting. Thankfully fellow life drawers Liam and Jacqui suggested going bold with a yellow/ green background. It worked, if only to get my enthusiasm back with the painting. The outcome was bold and daring for a usually conservative me.
The weekend has helped me to be a bit more carefree and experimental with my work. I’m happy with that!