I feel like life is getting back to normal!
For the first time in over a year I will be showing some of my work in an exhibition. And it's in one of the most fantastic venues I have ever shown in.
I was invited to exhibit at the Tithe Barn because of my interest in medieval art and manuscripts. I discovered that the Parker Library at Corpus Christi, part of Cambridge University, has one of the best collections in the world and had a guided tour. I booked on this and was overwhelmed at the history, the library and the books on show and was particularly interested in the Peterborough Bestiary.
The link to the Tithe Barn is that Matthew Parker was once a rector at Landbeach Church when the barn was built. Later Parker rescued many manuscripts when Henry VIII tried to have them burnt. He donated his books to Corpus Christi where he was the master and they form the basis of the Parker Library.
I had a chat with the librarian at the Parker Library and eventually plucked up the courage to ask if I could go along and draw from the manuscripts. Imagine my surprise when he said he could arrange for me to be a reader! I had to fill in a few forms which were totally irrelevant to me (what was my dissertation, needed permission from my tutor etc) and suddenly I could make appointments to sit in the reading room and draw although I was under strict instructions not to use paint or anything messy.
I love it there. It is very quiet and people come and go as they glean information from the books. The manuscripts are kept in a temperature sealed safe. I am allowed to touch them but feel happier drawing from facsimiles. They also have a vast array of detailed books relating to everything in their collection.
I hope to be back there shortly now covid-19 restrictions have been lessened and I shall again relish my visits.
My last haircut was in mid December 2020. At that time we had come out of lockdown 2 which lasted for 27 days. Christmas was ahead and everyone was looking forward to normality but the virus was nowhere near defeated. Boris decided to allow people to meet up for Christmas although as a family we decided the risk was too great. In fact my daughter who was training to be a paramedic contracted Covid-19 on Christmas Eve and we celebrated via Zoom. The ambulance service was hit hard by the pandemic due to a lack of proper PPE. My daughter told me her colleagues asked who hadn't had the virus instead of asking who had it as the pandemic spread throughout the service. It was hardly surprising as they were on the front line taking very ill patients to hospital with little more than a plastic apron and flimsy mask for protection.
On April 12, the majority of hairdressers opened. I waited until the initial rush had subsided and booked my appointment.
Francesca, my hairdresser cut off the last of my pink tresses but I have a bottle of mauve which I will use later this week. Watch out for when it happens on Instagram or Facebook.
I have just pressed the buy button to order copies of my very first book. I am very excited but also a little apprehensive.
I started making a sketch a day when Lockdown 2 started on 5 November 2020. I have been asked many times if I will make a book of the sketches and - I have! This book of 27 sketches (one a day from 5 November to 1 December) will be available from 20 May. I must admit it was a HUGE learning curve organising this as my computer skills are, to say the least, a little outdated when it comes to making files ready to print.
The book's first outing will be on Bank Holiday Sunday, 30 May when I shall be exhibiting at the Tithe Barn in Landbeach CB25 9FB. I shall also be displaying it during Cambridge Open Studios 10,11, 17 and 18 at the Pitt Building in Cambridge and 24,25 at my home studio.
It will also be available via my website.
This is so exciting!
I have made a sketch every day during Lockdown 2 and 3. Boris Johnson assures us this lockdown will finish on June 21st 2021. I look forward this date which also happens to be my daughter-in-law's birthday and my son and her are planning a big celebration with their friends in Birmingham. I hope we can all visit shortly afterwards.
Some days it is difficult to find time to do a sketch. I try to do it around 5.30pm, my husband thinks this is an excuse not to prepare our evening meal - he might have a point! I try to take no longer than an hour although getting it onto social media does add more time.
I upload the new images onto Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook I add it to my personal account but this restricts views so I shall eventually add them each day to my professional account. Links below.
It has been a long time that I have taken part in an exhibition that you can actually visit. The Cambridge Drawing Society has 2 exhibitions a year, one in the Spring and one in the Autumn. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, Both exhibitions were cancelled last year but this Spring we have been able to have our first online exhibition.
Although I normally exhibit some of my oil paintings at these exhibitions, because everything that is sold needs to be posted I have entered three sketches and a rather vibrant little painting of a pink vase. All of these are framed and can be easily posted. The exhibition can be seen here:
I do hope that the Autumn exhibition will take place this year in its usual venue at the Leys School during half term week.
So looking forward to this exhibition.
Cancelled last year due to the pandemic, it has now been booked for Bank Holiday Sunday 30 May 2021. Open from 11 - 4pm.
Landbeach Tithe Barn, situated about 5 miles north of Cambridge off the A10, is around 800 years old and has recently been beautifully restored. The exhibition last year was going to be the first art exhibition held there and the venue hopes to become known for its exhibitions. Why was I chosen? Because of my interest in Medieval Art. This wonderful period has always influenced my art work and was around when the Barn was built.
If you like paintings that reflect those beautiful old tapestries and exquisite manuscripts full of gold leaf do make sure to visit. There will be people happy to tell you about the Barn's history and the big draw, lots of tea and homemade cakes. There will also be some paintings by my fellow artists from Cambridge Drawing Society.
When Lockdown started in May 2020 we all thought it would only last a few months and yet here we are a year later still inside. The first lockdown was the easiest as we could get out in the garden or go for walks and we kept fit with Joe Wicks. We all managed to do a few jobs around the house, catch up with reading and watch films on Netflix.
During the second lockdown I made a promise to myself to draw lockdown sketch a day. Amazingly, I did it!
I am now on my Lockdown 3 series and as I write this, just about to do sketch number 72. I try to make them relevant to my life during lockdown and post an image every evening around 7pm on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. As my following has grown I have been asked by several people to make a book of these sketches. I will but as we don't really know for sure when this lockdown will finish I can't tell when the book will be available.
In the meantime please follow me at
During the second lockdown of 2020 I drew a sketch every day about how I was coping whilst trying to face up to being at high risk of catching covid. It meant leading a very quiet life without visiting a shop, seeing my family (except my husband) or being able to visit a museum and absorb myself in art - although I did manage to go Urban Sketching a few times at a suitably social distance which was really great - but cold.
Here are the first two sketches I made which depicts me in a mask and what 'outdoors' felt like. I posted the sketches every day on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
One of the things that kept me sane was my students. I couldn't teach them face to face but we met up once a week via Zoom and WhatsApp. Zoom allowed us to have a chat and share our news and WhatsApp was the place to post our pictures. Most of my students are older and some were also isolating and enjoyed the contact.
In August the husband of one students sadly passed away which was not unexpected but my students showed real compassion and became a lifeline to the lady's grieving process and made the group very closely knit.
Some of the daily sketches were made with my two groups as I continued to show a part of my life during lockdown. You can see them by following one of my social media accounts - the drawings were posted daily between 5 November and 1 December. This is the link to view them on Instagram. You may need to scroll down through the drawings.
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