What a strange week it's been. It's the first week all the kids have been off since the schools closed, and the week the government announced a nationwide lockdown for at least three weeks.
I've been getting used to having my three kids and husband at home all the time, so it's been challenging on my normal routine of peaceful housework and creativity. Most days have been a mix of lows, fearing what is happening, and highs of positivity where I think everything is going to be alright, and as someone who suffers from anxiety at the best of times, this week has been tough. I'm trying to keep to my normal creativity levels to keep me sane!
On Instagram I've been taking part in the #marchmeetthemaker daily posts and I admit that at the start of this week I nearly stopped posting because it all felt so trivial compared to what's going on in the world. I decided to carry on as the posts are generally positive and it keeps me focussed each day. If you'd like to follow me I'm mainly on Instagram these days, but also on Twitter and Facebook (links at the bottom of the page) and would love to see you there too! I'm trying to post on social media daily to keep a routine and give me something to aim for each day.
One of the #marchmeetthemaker prompts this week was 'how it's made' so I made a time lapse video one morning before the kids woke up, and here it is...
and here's the drawing, which I think I'm going to carry on with and make into a landscape...
All exhibitions and events I was scheduled to take part in have now obviously been cancelled, so instead I've fully stocked my online shop with all available drawings, which I am happy to ship, as long as the postal services keep running! You can find all my available drawings HERE.
As my weekly SketchClub class is also off the cards my decorator husband has been hard at work at home for a change (our house is usually the last to be decorated, busman's holiday and all that! Thanks Steve - it looks great!
I've added a few new limited edition prints to my online shop HERE.
All prints are 7x7" on A4 size printing paper and are produced in editions of 100.
For some reason I always fond it hard to get back into the swing of things after the Christmas/new year break. Throughout January I struggle to get motivated, so there hasn't been much for me to share on my blog or on social media.
This drawing is the one I started before Christmas and I finished it last week...
I've also done a few sketchbook drawings, mainly with the SketchClub I run on Monday mornings...
I thought I'd share a new sketchbook I bought recently.
For a long time I've been a fan of the sketchbooks made by Seawhites of Brighton. The paper they use suits my style of drawing and their books are robust and well made. So when I saw the white covered sketchbooks they make I was intrigued. The covers are of a thick paper material so you can draw on (or paint, collage, stamp etc) to your hearts content to make them totally personal and unique.
Of course I did an ink drawing on mine, and this is the result...
Take a look at my sketchbook page to see inside some of my books past and present.
Once again, I embarked on the Inktober challenge, an annual thing where you create something in ink everyday throughout the month of October. This year I actually completed it and did something everyday. It's good to set these little challenges to oneself, to have something to aim for and the sense of achievement at the end is kind of nice and encouraging too!
This is my Inktober 2019 round up...
This week I'm working on the drawing pictured below. It measures 16x16", and I'm doing it this size specifically to fit a frame I've already got.
However, as I'm creating it, working on it each day, its making me realise that I much prefer working smaller. I've been pondering on why this is so, and I think there are two main reasons.
The first is that I simply get bored after a certain amount of time working on the same drawing, and as soon as I start feeling bored I've lost interest and just want to hurry up to get it finished as soon as possible, which isn't a good way of working.
The second reason is because I feel I lose the spontaneous, expressive marks when I work larger, as I'm trying to cover more of a bigger pieces of paper.
When I work small (my optimum size appears to be 8x8" or thereabouts) my work is at its best, it's most expressive and I get maximum enjoyment from its creation. They are invariably my most successful paintings, in terms of satisfaction in the creative process. It is probably no coincidence that I always prefer the smaller scaled work of other artists too, and most of the pictures hanging in my home are quite petite.
In a world that often shouts 'bigger is better', I'm gradually finding the courage as a an artist to go against this and make smaller scale art that his true to me and makes me happy!
I thought I'd share a couple of tree sketches that I've done this week for the Inktober 2019 project.
I liked the little sketchbook drawing so much that I wanted to create it as a framed piece.
This is the sketch...
It is one of the ancient oaks in the parkland grounds of Croft Castle in Herefordshire, England.
This is the ink drawing, also shown in its new handpainted frame. This piece will be part of a forthcoming solo exhibition I am doing - more on that soon.
I've added three new prints to my portfolio and these are now available directly from my online shop.
They're all A4 sizes and are in limited editions of 100.
Please click HERE to view and purchase - and as always shipping is free worldwide.