My heart goes out to people who have lost their loved ones before their time due to C-19, but personally, it has been the first time in my entire adult life when all the commitments, deadlines, events, anxiety about completing things in time etc have come to a halt, and the days stretched quietly and scarily ahead, as every important date on my diary was cancelled, and staff stayed home to home tutor and look after their young children.
My daily routine became quite structured- painting from 8am – 4pm, then I would go for a five mile circular walk with two of our sausage dogs, followed often by a swim in the river near home and playing with my waterproof camera, then supper, telly, bath and bed – SO simple!
This has been a remarkable period of time for me as an artist. For once, time has simply not been an issue, and I have completed more large paintings than ever. Watercolour paintings are not traditionally very big – size is dictated by practical considerations, which include maximum size of available paper, mountboard, glass etc. I have been making paintings a full metre wide, as I have been confident that I will have time to work steadily through to completion.
After a few days of lockdown, I was cajoled into doing a live’ facebook video, just painting and talking about my work. Lots of people were stuck at home, bored, and picking up pastimes and interests including painting. After the first live video, the next one seemed easier, and I received lots of enthusiastic messages. The videos ended up taking place every day at 12, with high numbers of viewers!!! As my days were empty of commitments, it became a natural pre-lunch’ pause in the day, to prop up the ipad, get some clean water and do some fun, live broad brush’ painting, with lots of tips and encouragement for beginners and experienced painters alike.
Like all self-employed people, I was terrified about how I would get through this pandemic financially, but very quickly the government support reassured me that my staff could stay home, but still get paid. I am accustomed to taking every hit on the nose – and believe me, there have been a few hits over the years- so this was just amazing. I realise that many people who work in the arts have not been so fortunate, and there are some who will ultimately lose their jobs, but I have managed to find a way through so far, and we are now almost back to normal, the next major step will be to announce that we are open to visitors, and simultaneously launch three new prints and four new cards! Exciting times ahead.
New paintings and limited edition prints can be viewed at: www.marogers.com Check gallery opening times: 01434 270216