Diary Of A Rural Artist

Issue 58

By Mary Ann Rogers, Local Artist

This is possibly my favourite time of the year. It’s a fairly quiet time, when I can get my head down and paint, while the countryside can’t decide whether its nearly spring, or still winter.

Snowdrops and aconites surround the studio, and as I write, the first of the daffodils which have naturalised round here are opening, and I am swimming in the river Rede regularly, when its not flooded! With coronavirus filling the news and social media, we are wondering whether our annual summer exhibition might not be such a great idea this year. So little is known at the time of writing, about how the virus will behave, and how it will affect the UK. Where we live, we hardly come into contact with people outside of our friends and family, and feel a bit isolated.

The first of the lambs are appearing in the fields round here, quite a lot later than farms further south of us, but it’s a very different climate here to the Tyne Valley, just 20 miles south of us. The physical gallery Is, of course, closed for now, but the online gallery is open! WE are uploading new, unframed and unseen paintings , and offering a free gift wrapping and card writing service to customers. Social media is an absolute godsend during these times, both for keeping abreast of the news and funny videos, and for promoting the business across all the platforms.

The recent floods have been quite dramatic here. We became involved in assisting the police in rescuing a family of four who found themselves in waist high fast flowing river in their car, having been diverted from another flooded road. I saw a police helicopter struggling to land in very high winds just near to our house, and went down the track towards the road to investigate. Luckily, we live on the hillside, overlooking the River Rede, and get a great view of the entire valley resembling a lake when the river floods. The two police officers undertook quite a risky rescue, bringing each of the family members through a car window and across a field with deep flood water then into our pick-up, which we quickly brought to the scene with the heater on for them to sit in and try to warm up before bringing them home to hot tea and towels. It could have been so much worse.

Sadly we said goodbye to our 18 year old miniature dachshund, Teety. She has been the sweetest dog, but life became such a struggle for her, and we had to make the decision to take her to the vet to be put to sleep. A very sad day.

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