‘Lockdown’. That time separated from friends and loved ones, staying at home, wondering what this dreadful unseen thing would bring to us, globally and personally. It affected us all, but how we all reacted to it differed.
Some prised out and dusted off old cookbooks, donned pinnies and ‘voila!’, became Domestic Goddesses. Others cleaned their homes so their mothers would be proud. Many ventured into the garden, digging over new plots and planting these strange things called ‘seeds’. Some recoiled deeply into themselves and hibernated. I think we all cried at some stage. Many travelled the creative route, painting, crafts, music and writing.
My own lockdown had a little of all of these. My partner got trapped in England and didn’t return to me for four months.
In this time, I was asked to do a commission but one that was way outside my comfort zone. I was a little frightened to say ‘yes’, in case I couldn’t deliver this person’s vision. I did say ‘yes’ and that was what started my own lockdown art challenge journey. A dear friend had given me a tiny, hand-made A6 sketchbook, which still lay untouched on my desk.
To start the process, I did some research and tentatively opened the sketchbook. I painted a bison. Then I painted another bison. Two little paintings, watercolour and pen and ink, fast, each one finished in a day.
The starting point. Bison.
The Lockdown art challenge.
It was the 1st April when I decided I would give myself a challenge. A painting, or at least work on one every day. Some I managed to complete in a day, others, because of complexity, took me over into the next day. But I kept on going. I worked from photos, painting what had made me happy in the ‘before’ time.
In the first few images, I realised I’d used a water soluble pen, so the lines smudged when I painted the water colour over them. But I liked the effect. I did change to a water resistant pen so the images appear a little cleaner.
And still some more…
A small break but…
As I began work on my commission, I had to stop but I came back for one last picture.
‘Lottie’s garden’ was from a photo that I saw after I’d joined a Facebook gardening site called ‘Spanish Garden Info’. Although I didn’t know her, I asked Lottie’s permission and then painted it simply because I liked it. We are now friends on Facebook.
These are what I accomplished in that period until my commission became a reality and I switched to concentrating on that. (I will do another blog on that piece of work.)
So, along with the cheese scones, the sweet scones, the planting of the squashes and courgettes that actually grew and I made into chutney, (truth be told, I didn’t even think about cleaning anything), I painted these.
I hope you like them.
Artwork by Hilly Barmby
Written by Hilly Barmby