Thursday 26th March 2020   05:08 PM

Coronavius and my art classes

Teaching via WhatsApp
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My art classes hadn't finished before the coronavirus led to a lock down with no socialising. My students had already paid so I had to find a way around the problem. It was Kirsty, one of my students, who first suggested using WhatsApp, I thought it would be a much better idea than a video as the classes were 2 and a half hours long and I doubt anyone wanted to watch me or hear me for that length of time!

I suggested the plan to my group who were all delighted the last two sessions could go ahead and thankfully all were on WhatsApp.

I decided to pick a theme, add samples of paintings and sketches relating to the theme and send this information two days before the session would normally take place. It gave everyone time to think.

The first theme was 'sketch what you see through your window'. I sent pictures by Matisse, Hockney, Dufy, Reg Cartright and a couple of lesser known artists. My group kept in touch with how the social isolation was affecting them and when the session would normally start I posted the view of my window and my initial rough sketch.

My students certainly rose to the challenge and they posted some amazing sketches and we all got to see a little bit of each others' houses/gardens and also to chat about other things. It was a huge success.

The second challenge was 'Interiors'. Again I sent pictures and again there were some beautiful pieces of work and some really lovely chats between us all. My two sketches are at the top of this blog. I had one person drawing from the inside of their greenhouse with lots of small seedlings coming up and another drawing the space where she likes to read a book which looked so peaceful. It was lovely to know that they had been thinking of what to draw in the two days between receiving the theme and making the drawing.

They were very interested to hear about my daughter who started her training an an ambulance medic last summer. It just so happened that she had two trauma events the night before where the air ambulance was called and all medical procedures have to be done in full protective kit. I believe it helped them understand what the NHS staff are really facing. My daughter said she was really hot and tired after giving CPR in a plastic suit but loving the way businesses and individuals are sending food, hand creams and other stuff to the front line services that they can't use because they have had to close their businesses.

I will stop the classes now until after Easter and get down to some serious painting for exhibitions which I trust will happen in the Autumn but I am certainly looking forward to doing the classes through WhatsApp again.

Wednesday 18th March 2020   12:40 PM


...and the artist
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Coronavirus wasn't something I planned for.

Originally it seemed far away on the other side of the world but it has gradually been creeping nearer. Our government seemed to think we would not be affected like the rest of the world, that obviously is not the case. We all feel for those paramedics, doctors and nurses in the front line - indeed my daughter works for the ambulance service dealing with the ill and infirm - but it affects us all.

So how are the artists' faring?

Last week my first shared exhibition of the year, Cambridge Drawing Society Annual Show, was cancelled. Quite rightly as many of the contributors are older and they volunteer to man the show, deal with customers, take the money and they should not be put in situations where they might catch the virus.

At the weekend the Tithe Barn Art Exhibition was cancelled. That was a great shame as the Friends of the Tithe Barn had worked tirelessly to raise money to restore the barn which was erected around 500 years ago - it's older than America! The barn is very close to my heart as I would be showing a lot of my drawings and paintings from old manuscripts. The exhibition along with a farmers' market would have been the first events they had staged, unfortunately Covid-19, too small to see put a stop ti that.

Yesterday Cambridge Open Studios cancelled for this July. Cambridge was the first to think up open studios and they have not missed a year since setting up in 1974. I love meeting people interested in art who have taken time to come and see me. I talk about my work and hear what people think and hence my work progresses.

That is all my regular outlets cancelled but one, Byard Art, who are still there on King's Parade. But as more people become ill or self isolate, independent shops find it more and more difficult. I love this gallery and they are trying their hardest to show our work online so people can view artworks from their own homes. They are now offering complimentary delivery for all local orders, and delivery to London for anything over £300.

So artists have been hit pretty badly by the current situation but I have to stay positive as I have more time to paint and I can see more time can be spent aiming for the perfect painting.

Please continue to support artists' while the coronavirus continues.


About image

Painter living in Cambridge. Mixes fantasy and realism and loves medieval art and it's detail. An avid sketcher.

Blog Archive

* 2024
* Tree of Birmingham for a client
* Having fun making collages with my art students
* Sketching at the Heong Gallery
* Cambridge Drawing Society Spring Exhibition
* Drawing at the Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge
* The January Challenge
* 2023
* Live painting at Byard Art
* Demonstration at Byard Art
* Arts & Craft Fair, Pitt Building, Trumpington St, Cambridge
* A portrait of me
* Cambridge Drawing Society - Autumn 2023
* Inktober
* Try your hand at Gilding
* Birmingham Open Studios
* Teaching in my home
* Sold at Byard Art, Cambridge
* Thank you to everyone who visited my Open Studios
* Last weekend of Cambridge Open Studios 2023
* Cambridge Open Studios 2023
* Summer Exhibition 2023
* Cambridge Open Studios
* Cambridge Open Studios 2023
* Making planets
* Reverie at the Leper Chapel
* A new me
* Lost in Reverie
* Talk to the Cambridge Drawing Society
* First outside Urban Sketch of the year
* Cambridge Drawing Society Spring Exhibition
* Cambridge Art Classes
* Paintings in progress
* Work in Progress
* #TheJanuaryChallenge
* 65 Million artists
* 2022
* Exhibition at Michaelhouse extended until 17 December
* Small paintings with patterned gold leaf
* Of Day & Night
* Teaching students in my studio
* Of Day & Night
* Self Portrait
* Art in the corridor at Addenbrookes
* Christmas Cracker 2022 Exhibition
* Birmingham Open Studios 2022
* Birmingham Open Studios
* Birmingham Open Studios
* Life Drawing at the Tithe Barn
* Cambridge Open studios
* Cambridge Open Studios 2022
* Art demonstration
* Silent Auction
* Classes starting March 2022
* Newmarket Open Exhibition
* 2021
* Making a Tezlip pattern
* Winter Open Studio
* Winter Open Studio
* Mill Road Winter Fair
* Cambridge Drawing Society exhibition - October 23 - 30 2021
* A talk about my Lockdown Sketches
* The Rest House, Bournville
* Taking part in Birmingham Open Studios
* Art in a changing room!
* Life drawing at the Tithe Barn, Landbeach
* Sketching in the garden
* Cambridge Open Studios
* Art Exhibition at the Tithe Barn, Landbeach
* A haircut
* My very first book
* Still sketching
* Cambridge Drawing Society Exhibition
* Art Exhibition at the Tithe Barn
* Update about my Lockdown Sketches
* My Lockdown
* 2020
* November
* SEAW exhibition
* August
* Urban Sketchers are back
* Summer Exhibition
* July
* Cambridge Open Windows
* Paintings off to Byard Art
* Sketching with my students
* June
* Cambridge Open Windows
* May
* Drawing what I see
* 20 x 20 exhibition at Byard Art
* April
* Cambridge Art Classes
* March
* Coronavius and my art classes
* Coronavirus
* February
* Sketching the Market
* January
* 30 day sketchbook challenge
* 2019
* Winter Open Studio
* Christmas Cracker Exhibition
* Birmingham Open Studios
* Cake Tree
* Space pictures
* Getting ready for Cambridge Open Studios
* Sketching in the garden
* Sketching with Cambridge Urban Sketchers
* Drawing during 'The Silence of Time' exhibition
* Along your Street exhibition
* Packing the paintings
* Basoka dreams / Dreams in the forest
* Cows at Trinity
* Cambridge Art Classes
* Cambridge Drawing Society
* Urban Sketchers in Eddington
* Messing around with watercolours
* Pyjamas
* Commissioned Painting
* Commissioned painting
* Cambridge Urban Sketchers
* Three paintings on the go
* Part 3 of my 30 day sketch challenge
* Another ten photos for the 30 Day Sketchbook Challenge 2019
* Sketch a day challenge
* January in Byard Art
* New Year, New resolution
* 2018
* It's almost Christmas
* Look what's in the window!
* Christmas Cracker exhibition
* Winter Open Studios
* Winter Open Studio
* Urban Sketching
* Christmas Cracker
* Talk/Demonstration at Ely Art Society
* Friday morning Art Classes
* Sketching with my students
* Exhibiting at Addenbrookes
* Painting on a wet day
* Cambridge Antiques Centre
* A customer hangs her painting
* Two more mini paintings
* Drawing at the Museum of Classical Archaeology
* Urban Sketchers
* Painting some mini pictures for an upcoming exhibition
* Ely Art Society demonstration
* Painting Kings and Cows
* Painting Kings and Cows
* Painting Kings and Cows
* World elephant day
* Visiting Addenbookes
* In the basement at Byard Art
* Thank you to everyone who came to visit my Open Studio
* Drawing at the Botanic Gardens
* Open Studios have started
* July means Cambridge Open Studios
* Sold at Byard Art
* Edible drawings!
* First Sketch to completed painting
* Zoology Museum visit
* Paintings in the window
* Paintings at Byard Art
* My studio and garden
* Urban Sketchers at Novi
* May Drawing challenge
* Byard Art
* Sketching at the Parker Library
* Drawing at Queens College
* 2017
* New painting
* Winter Open Studio
* Cambridge Drawing Society Exhibition
* Cambridge Busker
* Cambridge Urban Sketchers
* Cambridge Open Studios
* Cambridge Art Book
* Haddenham Gallery
* Drawing at the Parker Library
* Teaching Art
* Observational Drawing
* 2016
* Winter Open Studios
* Winter Open Studio
* Lost Crusaders
* Drawing at the Parker Library
* Cambridge Open Studio
* Cambridge Open Studios
* Curiosity Gallery, St Ives, Cambridgeshire
* Running with Brushes
* Cat on a Mat
* Winter Open Studio
* Cambridge Drawing Society
* Mixed Media Workshop
* Cambridge Art Classes
* Pop up shop
* Cambridge Drawing Society at Addenbrookes
* Busy Painting
* Cambridge Drawing Society Exhibition
* Samovar Tea House and Gallery
* 2015
* Pop Up Market Place
* Etsy Handmade Fair
* 2014
* Cambridge Christmas cards available
* Cambridge Open Studios
* Strawberry Fair
* Cambridge Open Studios 2014
* Clavering Easter Art Show
* Cows, Bowers and Towers
* 2013
* My Shop on Etsy
* Prints
* Potentials
* Cambridge Art Classes
* Silvanite Woods
* Tree of Knowledge
* Cambridge Open Studios 2013
* New exhibition at Williams Art
* Art on The Hill
* Cow Prints at St Ives
* 2012
* Christmas Gift and Craft Fair
* Art Classes in Cambridge
* Cambridge Open Studios 2012
* 2010
* Moos & Blues

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