Hello and welcome back to what I hope will be a semi-regular blog from me! (I know, I know, famous last words…)
Anyway, I wanted to chat about some of the blessings and also the trials of lockdown thus far for me as an artist. (As a person there are many, many more, but let’s stick to the creative bits for now.)
Lockdown has given me time to create again, in a way I haven’t been able to in a very long time. It’s been wonderful and in a way, cathartic. However, after a few weeks of frenzied creative activity I felt like a car that had run out of petrol, my creativity had abruptly sputtered and died. After a few weeks of sunbathing, being hard on myself for not getting work done, feeling less creative again because I was stressing about how uncreative I was feeling etc etc. I decided to embrace the time off and managed to relax. After some wonderful time off, I started to feel antsy and that’s when I knew I was ready to get back to the drawing board (literally).
It’s been a wonderful time that has allowed me in particular to focus on my printmaking. I'd begun taking a linocut course just before lockdown started, so I’ve really enjoyed putting what I’d learned into practise over these past weeks. This is one of my finished linocuts. Sadly though, as my printmaking workshop is closed, I can’t print it! My biggest lock down frustration! I’ve now got a hefty pile of linocuts, etchings and collagraph plates, just waiting to be run through a press. The only benefit of that is the delay in the feeling of sweet torture - I always get butterflies when printing, as you never fully know what they will look like until they come out!
This linocut titled "Great Tit in the Brambles”, is a little nod to a childhood spent picking blackberries - some of my happiest memories are of sticky fingers and the delicious scent of apple and blackberry crumble baking in the oven. I wanted to add in a Great tit because there has been a really sweet little pair nesting in the bird box perched at the top of the shed at my Mum’s house. I visited her recently for a socially distanced garden visit and I could hear the babies faintly cheeping above me. Such a magical part of spring! After they’d fledged, my stepdad cleaned out the nest that they had made, only to find a perfectly rectangular nest made from moss and fur from our very elderly (completely adorable) cat. It just reminded me of simpler, happy times and I had to combine the two.
Here's a step by step image of how I create my Linocuts!
And so, the wait continues for my printing workshop to open! I guess for now, the only thing to do is keep adding to my printing pile…