“20 Days In 2020” – an update

wierd wood

It’s eleven weeks since I got back from my “20 days” painting retreat in Wales. What’s happened since getting back makes me yearn for those simpler days of just thinking about painting, dog walks and managing the weather.

Of course it’s been lovely getting back in touch with family and friends even in the socially distanced way we can now, but life is much more complicated and restricted. Emotions fluctuate between fear, guilt, frustration and relief and as the weeks roll by any novelty (however immature it was to feel it) has gone and left a level of tedium in its wake.

The jokes about our situation have been replaced with vitriol about the mishandling of the crisis, but the support we give each other now is much deeper and sensitive. Everyone’s experience is unique to them and complicated, but from this crisis so far has come some new richer friendships and valued new connections. I suppose my “20 Days” helped me understand that it’s all about doing what you have to do to get through and embracing the different emotions. It’s okay to be not okay all of the time – this will pass.

I’ve had a really heart warming response to my  “20 Days in 2020” journal, which along side painting sales has so far raised just under £400 profit which will go to Parkinson’s UK to fund research into the disease and hopefully help find a cure. Thanks to all who have supported this project so far. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you want a copy of my journal and artwork can be viewed at https://paintingwithmrp.com/20-days-work-for-sale/

Thank you and stay safe xx

Draft Brochure

See you in 20 days!

Me in WalesThe 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

“20 Days In 2020” Postcards From The Edge

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! ☺️
CF93BCFA-EEB1-4AF2-8BC9-76A57439E225

Notes From Norfolk in November

tree lined road Wickmere - wolterton
Tree lined lane, Wolterton nr Wickmere. 17/11/19

We’ve been relaxing in a remote cottage in rural Norfolk since Wednesday. I’ve taken advantage of the beautiful location and break from the usual routine to spend some time drawing and painting.

Simon was persuaded on three occasions to model for me, two of the poses incorporated him reading – he was deep into a good book so it seemed only fair. The first portrait has a likeness and warmth that I’m pleased with. The two sketches of him reading (and the fire place sketch) whilst a bit loose and ragged were fun to do, and gave me some much needed sketching practice. I was pleased that for the first time in nearly two years I was managing to shade and cross-hatch, something I thought I’d lost for good since developing Parkinson’s symptoms.

Simon Portrait

I’ve sketched and painted five pictures in five days, as well as learning how to knit. I’ve managed to follow my first knitting pattern and create two woolly hats. Here’s me walking Pedro and looking quite happy wearing my first attempt:

IMG_5634

As well as the creative activity, we’ve been doing our usual running. We ran the Sheringham Parkrun on Saturday morning and have been running round the narrow lanes around Wickmere, avoiding the large puddles and the occasional car.

Norfolk has had a positive effect on me. Giving me the time and space to exercise my brain through learning how to knit and doing a lot of sketching and drawing. We’ve also been eating well, and managing to get some decent running in to release those absolutely vital endorphins. It’s the perfect combination for me to manage my physical and mental health. I’m sure I’ll miss Simon’s company when I do my next challenge “20 Days in 2020”, but Norfolk has helped prove to me what an opportunity it will be to be able to paint and sketch for twenty consecutive days without disturbance. I can’t wait! xx