Tuesday 30 June 2020

Forty Portraits

Hello! How are you all?

I really thought when we went into lockdown that I would return to regular blogging, maybe a couple of times a week but it would seem that the opposite has been true. Maybe there's just not much to say as the days take on a repetitive quality. A bit like my daily phone call to my Mum where the conversations follow the same pattern... "Hi, how are you?", "I'm fine, how are you?", Good, thank you. Nothing new happening here", " No, nothing much happening here either but at least the sun is shining." etc. etc. 

My last post was on the last day in May and here I am just about sneaking in on the last day of June. To be fair though, I have been rather busy. One of the events to be cancelled this year was Cambridge Open Studios. It was disappointing but obviously it is not a good idea to open up homes and studios to the general public amidst a global pandemic. Instead one of the members has organised an alternative event, Cambridge Open Windows. About 150 members are taking part by display art in their windows during the weekends of July, for people to see whilst out walking, creating an art trail. It's a great idea but a slight problem for me is that my only street facing windows are comprised of several small panes, not creating a great frame for artwork. My living room window has 40 separate window panes. So I came up with the bright idea of creating 40 new artworks to fit within each pane... and then the even brighter idea of making portraits of local residents so that it wasn't just an art trail but more of a game of "Guess Who".

Well long time readers won't be surprised will they.... I'm full of bright ideas, me! And so using our villages facebook groups and word of mouth I asked people to send me a photo of themselves so that I could create small portraits. I've used pencil, pen, paint and collage to create unique portraits of people of all ages. I've discovered that drawing children is SO hard... the last thing I want to do is give people ugly children! Older faces with a bit of character (i.e wrinkles) are much easier. It has taken almost every spare minute over the past month and tonight I finished the final picture. There are 40 pictures of 58 people, eight dogs (all different breeds), two cats, an owl, a budgie and a sock monster (best not to ask). The final one was of a face I see every day. Luckily he likes it but everyone else has to wait until the weekend before they see their picture.

In other news, I helped youngest son move out of his flat, even though he had been living with us for two months during lockdown, and into a new flat share with his girlfriend. The old flat took us all day to clean. After Jacob had moved in with us, his old flatmate didn't bother to clean, wash dishes, pick anything up etc so you can imagine the mess. There have been trips to the dump (oh the queues), lots of packing and lifting and endless journeys to and fro to a deserted Cambridge. On the bright side, at least parking wasn't a problem and being in town meant we had a couple of picnics in the park with son no. two and his wife. 

My next project is online teaching and I'm developing some courses based on some of my established classes. Getting my head around the technology has been quite a learning curve but this old dog is learning some new tricks and I'm hoping to launch my first course in August. If you are remotely interested be sure to sign up to my newsletter (link in the sidebar) for the latest updates. I've been practising my video editing skills by making more free YouTube tutorials that you can find here. Please do subscribe to my channel as once I get 100 subscribers I get more flexibility in what I can do. Thank you!

So that's what I've been up to... maybe I'll be back before the end of July, but I'm not making promises!