One day at the beginning to the Covid-19 outbreak as things were getting scary over in China, I walked into my studio and just cried! How was what I was doing in this room of any relevance to anyone? How was it bringing any positivity out of the apocalyptic ear worm that was 'the news' and what on earth was I going to do with all this 'stuff'?
I walked out of the room and closed the door. I would sleep on it.
I couldn't sleep - I spent the whole night swinging from the desire to burn it all and never paint again, to wanting to paint! paint! paint! and turn all the negative stuff off!
When I got up I walked back into my studio and decided I would give it one last shot. I was stuck at home anyway so it would keep me busy and maybe I could get something positive out of it by painting for other people - that would give me a structure to the day and deadlines (always a good motivator) and also get me back in the groove!
By the afternoon I decided that a month long challenge would make or break the creative block so I put a call out on facebook (always good to cement the commitment) for people to send me photos of something that brought them happiness. It could be anything! A holiday snap of their favourite place, a photo of their pet, a landscape, anything! This will sort me out!!
Well if I tell you that 95% of the photos that I received (there were lots) were of dogs I think that shine a light on our utter love for our four legged friends and the importance that they give to our mental well being!
To add to the challenge I had always wanted to work out YouTube and generally videoing a work in progress so managed to half inch my husbands iPad and set it up to film a painting in timelapse.
I would stick to a two hour maximum time limit so that it wouldn't become all consuming - it was after all an attempt to lure me back into a daily routine - not put me off for life!
And so 'Walter' the English sheepdog was painted! Deliberately aimed at enhancing his features and trying to work out his character through mark making and the way I layered the paint it was a joyful experience getting him on canvas. Because each painting was only 20x20cm I could get enough down in two hours to hopefully capture the essence of each photo and give the recipient a portrait of their beloved pet that they would be happy to hang on their wall!
30 days later and I am happy to say that I am well and truly back in the game and loving every minute of painting the commissions that happily resulted in my labours!
To book a portrait or enquire about a comission (it doesn't have to be a dog, cat or horse!) please do get in contact - I would love to hear from you.
Thank you to all who supported me by sending in your photos, liking, sharing and commenting on the posts on my social media and generally encouraging me to keep at it! I really appreciate everything and send a big virtual hug to you all x
You can see the videos and full gallery of my challenge HERE
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