I was so excited at the start of the year. My van was nearing completion and I had new work ready to print. I was all set to drive around the county with my books; Pevsner's Cumberland and Westmorland Buildings of England and Cumbrian Villages. Then Covid -19 changed all that. Initially I was unable to create, I was worried about family, friends and for myself.
I pulled myself together and developed a routine. A routine felt safe. Luckily the weather was fine and bright and I started my daily walks. Taking along my camera, I started charting Mother nature and all the changes in the landscape especially the hedgerows. I regained my creative resolve and after my walks I would sit in my van and sketch the personalities of the pandemic.
I watched Spring turn into Summer; daffodils and crocuses, bluebells and then wild poppies. The hedgerows were fragrant with blossom and I had hope despite the growing number of deaths that I felt the need to acknowledge during the daily briefings.
I talked to fellow artists that were struggling as income fell away and all the uncertainties that brings. I joined in with Matthew Burrow's @artistsupportpledge and started to offer cards and prints and friends bought a few items.
I had a few on-line orders but couldn't fulfil them because my printer was closed.
"The measure of intelligence is the ability to change"Albert Einstein
When we were finally allowed to travel, I took my van to Harrington to photograph the catholic church for a commission I had been asked to complete. Returning with my photograph I painted one of my pen and watercolour sketches. When I shared it online it caught the attention of a friend who requested another commission.
Suddenly my little watercolour paintings were getting lots of attention particularly people wanting their houses painted. Had people suddenly reconnected with a love of their homes after spending so much time in them during the lockdown? Word of mouth and Facebook shares on Beautiful Cockermouth and Allonby Classified sites has kept me busy with new commissions ever since.
All painted on Khadi paper with locally made pigments and mounted on acid free pastel-coloured mounts they form a cohesive collection. People love the deckle edge and the way I find a softness in the buildings. I don't do any prints and so as long as I can get a supply of Khadi paper and mounts cut to size I am self-sufficient.
These watercolours were never meant to be my work for sale, they were part of my holiday fun but they are currently keeping me busy and At Work. I have adapted to survive.