Around My Home

Spring 2020

During this time from March, as a nation, we were in a strict lock down strategy that the goverment was using to help slow the spread of the corona virus in our country in an attempt to control the impact on the NHS in particular.

To help our members feel connected to one another even though we couldn’t actually meet, our Art Society set different challenges that members could do each week and post their art work on either facebook pages or our society web site. One of those challenges was a 30 day challenge using a sketchbook.

I already had some thoughts of what I would do with that but I felt even more resolved about my ideas when I listened to the Art Juice podcast for the week ( 31st March 2020) where Alice Sheridan and Louise Fletcher were encouraging people to join their new initiative (#markthistime) to share their creative responses to the current events with the corona virus pandemic. Similarly, to ‘mark my time’ during this period, I wanted to respond in some way, with my personal reflections and some of the thoughts I have been wrestling with, using a sketchbook to record things that caught my eye on my daily walks around my home. We were allowed to go out for a daily walk close to our homes, and although it meant I couldn’t get out onto the moors I love, it helped me to re-focus on what was important and the little treasures that we have all around us all the time.

This first page is a title page, with some text to set the context of the sketchbook and the times we are going through. Most of the marks were done by my little 2 year old granddaughter a few weeks ago, which I have just embellished and added some more colour. But it remains a lovely reminder of that delightful little girl who we missed terribly during the lockdown!

On this day, as I looked over a bridge into a rather dried out stream, I disturbed a heron, who immediately took to the air and I watched that wonderful, huge bird fly off into the distance. I love herons and I will keep my eyes open to see if I spot him again! At the moment I am doing sketching with pencil initially before working up with pen, and then adding colour with watercolours (that old friend!). I have also been adding a bit of bling with a gold pen, just because I wanted to! But it doesn’t show up very well in the photos! It will be interesting to see if I stick to this format or go more wild as the days progress!!

It is good to see the hills in the distance and know that they will still be there when this is all over.

It was really gusty today at the top of Kirkheaton but lovely to see spring growth and lambs in the field.

It’s interesting how, when your freedom is restricted, you start to see things differently. Similarly I have noticed that if I do my walking route the opposite way round, I start to notice other things that I had missed before!

We are so lucky to live where, just at the end of our road, there are several paths across fields. It was a beautiful day, with blue, blue skies and loads of butterflies. It feels like all that is going on is like a dream. And yet, my nighttime dreams are a bit disturbing at the moment, reinforcing a feeling of helplessness. Nature is keeping me grounded.

It was really hard having Easter on our own when we would have loved to spend the day with family and laugh as Poppy went on her Easter Egg Hunt – or Easter Bunny Hunt as it was this year. But it is really good that we can share times through photos and facetime.

Spending a quiet 5 mins reflecting on the challenges we are going through.

When I noticed this I wondered how often I had actually seen it or registered it ( it is obviously a frame for hanging baskets!). We have seen lots of ‘ordinary’ angels in action over the last few weeks!!

Fortunately we have had some beautiful weather recently and gardens are filling with flowers and trees and shrubs are budding, which is wonderful to see. I sat in my studio today looking across at the house up the hill with a gorgeous blue sky behind and a gorgeous mix of colour and texture in the shrubs.

Over the period of lockdown the trees have suddenly filled with greens as their leaves unfurled and welcomed the sun.

When does something stop being useful? Birds on a wire but social distancing! When is a window not a window? All sorts of philosophical things to consider whilst walking!

Sometimes it is wise to be a bit blinkered and maybe a bit more selective about what we see and what we listen to!

Nature everywhere seems to be enjoying the human lockdown!

Keeping horizons in sight – there is hope not that far ahead!

The Cycle of Things.