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