Musings from the attic during #Lockdown
Work in progress in the attic during in Lockdown
Over the last few months, during COVID-19 Lockdown, I have had a chance to think about my art practice/life and what is important in the great scheme of things.
The compulsory time has made me completely slow down to a pace I have never really experienced before. I am still learning about how to live in this 'new normal', but I am relishing the concept of 'slow time' and living in the moment much more. I am now drawn to simpler things, like how the light falls on the garden at different times of the day, or the pattern of brickwork on a wall when taking my daily exercise. I am noticing much more and spending less time on electronic devices or watching TV.
I have become very attached (more than usual anyway!) to my attic studio and garden during this period and have been growing herbs, veg and have even built a wildlife pond (one of the best things I've ever done!) with my hubby in our long terraced garden. The garden has been a real tonic during the glorious heat and weather we experienced over May and I cannot imagine how tough Lockdown has been for people without outside space.
Routine is key
I believe to have a routine presently is very important for my mental state and for my studio practice. But, my depression and OCD has surprised me the most during Lockdown, in that it has not been overly concerning and that with coping techniques I am actually being very productive during this period.
My artwork has progressed to 'inner' landscapes and my mind has focused on positive memories of previous holidays and as a consequence has gained bold, free use of colour, optimism and hope - this has surprised me! - as I thought I would be compelled to produce dark and bleak images as a reaction to COVID-19.
'The sea outside our window' was started in 2018 and completed in May 2020. It is about a wonderful memory I had of holidaying with my husband in Rhodes, Greece. I chose the palette to reflect the beautiful Mediterranean light. The piece visually describes my first morning waking up, the sound of tourists, the ocean waves crashing on the beach and the light passing through the sheer curtains of our hotel room, blowing in the hot Mediterranean breeze.
The piece has a freedom and energy about it that I couldn't have created unless we had been in Lockdown I think. I had to really focus on long saved memories and tune back into that subconscious to unlock my happy emotions.
Working on a colourful abstract piece in my attic - 'Minotaur' is another painting (right of picture) that I have been focusing and working on during Lockdown.
Here I am pictured this week painting whilst listening to the heavy rain as it pelts onto the attic roof windows! I find that I am focusing on the natural elements much more and painting to the sound of rain or the birds outside in the garden, as apposed to music, which I would have done prior to Lockdown.