I did not do as much painting in 2020 as I normally would. Lockdown was a dark time, not really because of the pandemic as such, but we lost good people and with all exhibitions cancelled and shops locked down, my motivation to be self expressive was not top of the agenda for a long time.
I took comfort in dyeing fibre and yarn and explored some interesting fusions of textile and paint which I will be going back to I’m sure.
Gradually, I began to look at recent work and add finishing touches to neglected pieces and eventually found my way back to the easel. Looking at this small collection of four finished pieces, I can see a common thread running through them, – a calm solitude and peace, perhaps a reflection of the isolation we found ourselves in. The colour palette has more sombre tones than I have used in the past, with the most recent ones, Road Back Home and Faeryland, showing a return to those brighter colours that have always signified hope and excitement for me.
In April 2019, I spent a week in Argyll, leaving Adrian studying blacksmithing while I enjoyed days of solitude, wandering through ancient native forests, sketchbook and camera in hand. This painting is a memory of a sweet encounter with a deer while taking a break and soaking up the spring sunshine.
This painting was started last year and I initially put it aside as being too dark, but I found myself reluctant to make any changes as each time I looked at it, I was enthralled by the moody colours and layers of marks.
There is no light without the dark and this one has a lot to say to me about darkness and hope.
Road back home
This is not a detailed description of a scene, but it does capture a mood and it’s the one that got me back at the easel and painting purely for the pleasure of painting.
This painting has been building for quite some time, it has many layers of textured paint, ink and there’s even some iridescent paint that you really can’t capture in a photo. Finished after lockdown had lifted (before it came back!), I see a reflection of that in the lighter and brighter colours.