ARTISTS IN LOCKDOWN
Since the UK went into lockdown in March artists have been affected just like everyone else. Whether it is the cancellation of exhibitions, additional childcare responsibilities, the closure of galleries or simply more time to spend contemplating their art, one thing is for sure, the creative juices keep flowing. Longridge Gallery has caught up with three of the region’s most collectable artists to find out what they have been up to
“Artists are solitary creatures. The nature of our work means we spend long hours alone. Knowing this, I didn’t expect self- isolation to impact me, psychologically. This wasn’t the case.
Instead of wandering Pendle, painting landscapes and clouds, I found myself painting, in detail, the inside of my studio. It wasn’t so much a conscious decision but a response to the new, strange “reality” in which we were all caught. I could still see the landscape but there was a physical barrier between it and me. I felt cut off. Distanced. Exploring interiors, both physical and psychological, became the new norm. Reflections, glass, unfinished paintings which no longer matched my mood, empty frames and spiders were my new company.
The irony is that nature, which slowly led me into intense inner living, also enticed me out of my studio and my introspection. I moved to the far part of the garden and considered the studio from a distance and the explosion of new growth in the winter sleeping garden. The dawn chorus of busy birds was my background music. Inspiration, energy and passion returned. Even experimental lettuce was growing and I painted this too!
I now have some balance in the new norm. Creativity and the power of art have enabled me to work out where I am. And how I have worked! I have been more productive than ever and have a significant body of locked down, locked up and set free work to show to the world!”
“To be brutally honest, I’ve not done a great deal artistically during this lockdown period. Partly due to the fact that my main method of working is plein-air which is a no-go and partly (mainly) that I’m looking after two young kids as my wife’s a key worker. I prefer to work alone, whether that’s out in the landscape or painting still life, so having two kids in tow constantly, leaves me struggling to paint and frustrated! I have been selling a good amount of paintings during this lockdown, probably helped by more people surfing the internet, so that’s been a positive for me! Although I’ve struggled to pick up a brush lately, I’ve managed a few small scale oil studies. I painted the kids in the swimming pool in the garden with a quick painting, during some of the great weather we had. I managed a few flower still lifes, again small ones and quick sketches and actually used natural daylight coming through the window. I found this light source much more vibrant than my usual use of artificial lamps; the end result was richer and more vibrant too, so I was pleased with that. I did a handful of donkey paintings too, all studio based. I’ve done donkey plein-air paintings before on the beach, on numerous occasions but never indoor studio ones. These were based on sketches, photos and looking at my plein-air paintings. I think regularly working from life helped make some of these more convincing. They were only small paint sketches and surprisingly popular, but they’ve given me ideas to go further along that line of thinking on a larger scale. Maybe I’m slowly turning into a studio painter, or most probably not! These little snippets of creativity have pleased me and helped break up the absence of painting outdoors. I am normally more productive but happy most of all that my family has stayed healthy.”
“It’s been a very productive year thus far as an artist. My landscape commissions have been popular and in particular for gifts. I completed a local landscape completely remotely through Longridge Gallery for a surprise 50th birthday present. All the consultations were by email and FaceTime and this seemed to work well. Certainly the birthday girl was delighted by the result! Spending more time at home and restricted traveling has helped me to focus my attention on the wonderful views much closer to home. We are truly blessed in Lancashire by wonderful topography. I am also in the process of creating a new series of Abstract Expressive paintings. There are two key workers in my household who have continued to work through this extraordinary period. I have found the extra time in my studio to be the perfect tonic for escaping the anxieties of current day to day life beyond the sanctuary.”
If you are interested in any work from Steve, Adam or Ricky please do not hesitate to contact Longridge Gallery. Safe and distanced payment and collection or delivery can be arranged.
78 Berry Lane
Preston PR3 3WH
Facebook: @Longridge Gallery