Writing this Blog is a kind of therapy. I find it cathartic to record my thoughts, my inspiration, my work and all things art-related. As an art diary, it has become a useful record to look back on.
Lockdown due to Covid-19 has brought many changes to my life (as for everyone.) With exercise facilities and swimming pools shut, I’ve been walking more than I’ve ever done before. I’ve discovered many previously unknown tracks and paths close to my home where I’ve lived for 32 years. I feel fitter.
Like many people, I have felt more connected with nature – from the wildflowers changing in the hedgerows and the rapid growth of crops in the fields to the variety of birds at a local nature reserve. It’s been a joy to watch the antics of birds in our garden – baby robins fledging from a hedge and a pair of courting pheasants. I decided I wanted to get my paints out to record some special lockdown moments by sketching.
As a child, I used to draw all the time – my favourite hobby – but I’ve lost the habit. Getting started was hard – blank pages are scary – but I found it very enjoyable. Here are a few… These have been sketched quickly in acrylic paint with biro or pen added over the top (from my photos, not drawn from life.)
There have been memorable moments on my walks and great spotted woodpeckers seem to have featured frequently: a baby on the ground having fallen from a tree, hopping back up a bank to safety.
Two woodpecker holes in the same silver birch tree with such a noise coming from the nests inside – I wish I’d taken a recording. (I returned 2 weeks later but the babies had fledged.) On another occasion, a baby woodpecker was attacked in the local lane by a sparrow hawk. Some children brought the stunned bird to a friend’s garden where it recovered in a darkened cardboard box and flew away an hour later.
My usual work with found materials is slow to produce and I’ve enjoyed doing something totally different. Now the challenge for me is to keep going …