6. Oct, 2020

Scarecrows, Pandemics and Lockdown oh my!

It's been quite a while since I wrote my blog.  Things have changed dramatically since 2016, there's been a huge evolution in my business!  

In 2018 I took the plunge and signed up to a lease of a shop premises in the heart of my home town, Rotherfield.  Since then it's been a whirlwind of courses, workshops, commissions and reconnecting with the lovely locals I now call friends.  I have a wonderful group of regular students who are as great a support to me as I am to them.  It's the best decision I ever made.  

Since taking on the shop, my artwork has taken a drastic turn also.  I went from just doing commissions in graphite and colour pencil, to working in literally every medium there is.....almost!  I've done oils, watercolour, pastel, even the ancient french art of Verre Eglomis or gold leaf etching.  Everything I learnt by watching my grandfather, at school and at Art college has suddenly become very useful and, who knew, but I find I'm actually not bad at teaching them to others too.  

Im asked regularly, which is my favourite medium and my answer is always going to be oils for me.  I'm working in them alot now and have moved away from animals to still life in recent months.  The journey of an artist is a long and winding one, full of continuous self discovery, which is why I find it so fulfilling and exciting.  CPD used to mean boring conference rooms and lectures, now it's about getting messy, experimenting and trying different things.  

This year, however, has had lots of ups and downs, as it has for all.  Small businesses have gone through the mill and not all have survived sadly.  If it wasn't for my loyal customers, I may have gone the same way and for that I will be eternally grateful.  I've gone from a relative technophobe to teaching classes on Zoom and become more of a cleaning lady and health and safety nerd than an artist.  The safety of my students and customers is of greatest importance and thankfully, through a bit of diversity and creative thinking, I've managed to create a Covid secure space for them.  It's hard work, I've never worked so many hours in one week, but it's very rewarding that I can, for now, stick two fingers up to this virus and say, this is mine, you ain't having it!  

On the up side, this virus has brought some great times.  I asked the locals to make some rainbows for my window display during lockdown and they didn't disappoint, with the key worker children from the local school also contributing, making it even more poinian.  In September we entered the Scarecrow Trail, organised by Clair Turner, which saw a whopping 112 scarecrows on display in the village and neighbouring town.  My glamoro assistant, Megan, made our Picasso Pete (pictured), which won third prize!  A great achievement in this dismal period in our history.  

So, all that remains to say for now is, heres to another year of arting and lets hope it continues for a long time to come!