Art In The Time Of Plague

One must find what one can from the sling stones of life and improvise to survive. The situation created by Covid 19 has been a time to catch up with oneself and get the paintings done that one never had time for before. I have painted family portraits I would never have started, and landscapes I would never have seen. At least some Christmas Presents are covered!

For most of the plague year my printer, framer and the brewer were all operational, (with all the precautions applied obviously.) So I could sell prints and measure up for framing, and after a lot of e-mail ping-pong I could be my own Covid aware delivery man. So most parts of my work life could limp along, in a lonely sort of way.

At the start of the first lock-down I managed to paint a whole parade painting. It was rather a worrying business as I did not know if the commission was confirmed by 71 SIG REG Head Quarters. The last Colonel had moved on leaving the new management to pick up the baton. And with Covid starting no one was picking up the phone, (they had more urgent things to do than worrying about a Freedom Parade painting). So I just thought that it was better to have a painting to sell than waste the time and have nothing for it. Parade paintings can be very vexatious. Lots of figures all wanting military uniformity, but in art as in nature it looks odd if shapes are repeated, so I made sure that everyone is recognisable and as idiosyncratic as a Reserves unit should be! Hours of painting buttons and buildings. Just the job for a lock down. A year later the painting is framed and happily received. But sadly unveilings seem to be rather more difficult to arrange at the moment so that party will have to wait.

The rest of 2020 I spent painting a family portrait and lots of views of Essex, for my next Exhibition....