Now the final touches have been added to the studio (the all important kettle!) I would be fibbing if I said I wasn't disappointed that the coronavirus has put paid to any plans of opening for courses and workshops. But I know I'm not alone, I am just one of millions of people struggling with this huge change to our lives and I have accepted that it is looking like the rest of this year is going to have to be put on hold.
However, I am counting myself very lucky to have a workspace of my own and it is proving to be a godsend now that my husband and son are both home and they need their own space for work and just as important schoolwork.
In between tending to the garden and baking cakes, I have been escaping down into the studio on most days to do some creative activity of one kind or another and I have found a new little hobby that I'm loving. For a few pennies, I bought a little tin of watercolours from a boot sale last summer. They have been stuck in a drawer ever since and I thought now would be the perfect time to start experimenting with some watercolour doodling.
Although I used to paint a lot with acrylics and pastels, watercolours are new to me and I wasn't sure if they were going to suit my style of painting which is very quick, loose and free. I think I'm hooked!
Before I started I needed to buy some proper watercolour paper and not knowing much about it I plumped for a sketchbook made with Khadi paper, a rough, rustic looking 100% cotton paper from India. After worrying about starting as I didn't want to ruin the first few pages, I took the plunge and I haven't looked back. I'm finding the paper soaks up the paint very quickly but it hasn't stopped me enjoying using it and practising as often as I can. It is going to be very interesting to look back through the book once it's full to see how I have progressed and in what direction the paints take me.
As I love all things botanical I naturally started with flowers, the pictures are my first attempts, they are very loose watercolour paintings with quick, loose pen drawings over the top (Uni PIN drawing pens).
In these worrying times, I urge anyone and everyone to have a go at something creative, it doesn't matter what it is; painting, drawing, sewing, even just colouring in or doodling on a piece of paper. Personally, I am finding doing my little sketches a haven from the constant stream of bad news tumbling from the airwaves. Taking time out to sit down for a while and doing something for yourself is such a stress buster and we all need to look after ourselves at the moment, especially if other people are replying on us for care.
So see if you can find any old pencils or paints lurking in your cupboards, dust them off and have a go!
As always, sending my very best wishes. Stay safe everyone.