Big News, Good News in Lockdown!

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago when I ran and jumped through sheer joy of being surrounded by art, other art students, paint, clay, textiles etc al…I was an art student 👩‍🎓

Every Friday morning we went into the other campus to take part in the history of art module at Birmingham Polytechnic. In the afternoon I worked at the Ikon Gallery when it was sited in John Bright Street.

Well, full circle! One of my artworks has been accepted for exhibition there 💕 So happy! So many brilliant memories too! Can’t wait 🖼

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

To quote the Clash in their famous 1982 release, that is the question!

With private art classes on hold during the Coronavirus19 pandemic and my artwork happily temporarily residing in galleries across Birmingham and Warwickshire do I need my website?

I can not decide since my artwork sales are through the galleries and my private art classes are closed for the duration of the pandemic. Marketing gurus may ask what is your long term goal? I would answer to continue selling through galleries and to restart private classes when we can all return to normal. So, stay with the website or go and rely on social media and galleries? Answers on a DM 🙂

Designing for Christmas!

It might sound strange but come August Christmas card designs for private clients started!

Researching trends and colours for this year and design ideas resulted in one of the designs: Christmas in a Bottle. Work in progress… 🎅🏻

One of the Christmas card designs showing work in progress, 2020

Come October I will be encouraging students to create their own designs to send out to their loved ones 💕 🎄

I found myself digging!

I thought I had gotten over the need to dig in my garden in order to escape! It’s only now that I’m sitting down inside that I realise I’ve done it again!

Does it matter? I’ve seen many people on Twitter write that they find it difficult to concentrate or that they have a good day followed by a down day. Would this be true anyway, back in the recent past when everything was normal? Does anyone consistently have good days?

Yesterday was excellent! An essential trip to the shop, followed by a call on a neighbour, with a relaxed local dog walk before lunch. A lovely morning! I must have felt sufficiently assured after such a pleasant morning to spend 3 and a half hours on unpaid work on the computer, my head was spinning! I’m so unused to sitting still, staring at a screen! I came away from it having learned about Wakelet, a little about composing a new form or quiz in Outlook Forms, how to attach video links in Teams! My head was buzzing! I had a real sense of achievement though which was so good in amongst this crazy time! This is a challenge I’m really enjoying! Let’s hope the students enjoy what I create in their new online classes!

Part of me fears that this could lead to a change in the way we teach for ever. I remember in my PGCE training being asked if we could hazard a guess into what the future could hold for teaching post 16’s! I said I saw a Star Wars scenario where a lesson is transmitted into the centre of a class, the classrooms would be circular and a TA is there to keep law and order! I hope I’m wrong but you might see where I was coming from?!

As most of my students are adults and some older people I will see how many wish to take part online. Many will struggle with setting up a college email and finding their initial password. I hope they move through this to finding the right apps to download and sign in for. It’s a lot to ask. Many of my students are intelligent retirees who use the internet but are not sufficiently IT lit to know and understand the technical jargon. It’s a big ask! I hope this doesn’t exclude some, there’s enough isolation at the moment!

A week later

One week later, it hasn’t changed much! Unbelievably our Prime Minister is himself struggling with the virus. What a great deal he, and his ministers have had to face, I would not be in their shoes!

I have managed to curb my need to run off out into the garden at last! Helped by the good ol’ English weather turning grey and wet! Looking for an up side on even the smallest things helps this national curfew!

It has been amazing to see and hear how the wildlife has started tiptoeing back into villages and towns. Seeing an image of a group of deer lying in someone’s front lawn in Scotland brought a smile! The pollution levels are said to have dropped, how many more natural positives are coming to light? Perhaps this is a time to give a new sense of value?

With these inspirational images of wildlife coming – it must have given me a new start. A dry felted squirrel, a goose, and many animals to come. Thank you to the beautiful wildlife of Britain!