Making the most of Lockdown

April 18, 2020
An image from A Year on the Jurassic Coast
Strange standings after a storm on Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock

Thank you to everyone who has bought items from my new online shop. New products are being added all the time so do keep checking. If you need a birthday present or a greetings card, just choose what you want and follow the simple and secure payment process.

When lockdown began I was, like many others, in shock for a while. All the plans I had were wiped out instantly. I had been working towards Dorset Art Weeks at the end of May, but this event was immediately cancelled. I normally look forward each week to meeting my grandchildren from school and suddenly I was unable to do that. Shopping became a huge obstacle when I couldn’t get an online slot anywhere. Normal life had been rubbed out overnight.

Now, over 3 weeks into lockdown, I have adjusted to every day being the same. Highlights of the week are the egg deliveries on Saturdays, Riverford veg deliveries on Tuesdays and Abbotsbury Farm shop arriving on Thursdays with meat and cheese etc. I have finally managed to arrange an online shopping slot and am beginning to feel ‘in charge’ again. There’s nothing worse than feeling out of control of a situation.

I soon realised that I now had a unique opportunity to paint, draw and write everyday without interruption. I felt a mixture of excitement and panic. No more excuses – ‘I just haven’t got time!’ I am now in a routine of getting on with my next book, A Year on the Jurassic Coast, a facsimile sketchbook in the style of A Year on Chesil Beach. This will be a slighter larger book as I am covering a bigger area. Luckily I have a lot of photos and found objects such as fossils, shells and pebbles to use as reference. I feel sad I can’t go to the beach, but it’s too far to walk and a drive would be seen as a non-essential journey.

I am enjoying producing a variety of sketches inspired by my travels along the Jurassic Coast. As a child we used to visit my grandparents in Lympstone, a little coastal village near Exmouth, which marks the western end of the Jurassic Coast, so I have featured this at the beginning of the book. I started by thinking I would represent the coast in a logical order – West to East, but I found myself mixing up different locations at different times of the year. This seemed a more natural process to me and has the effect of contrasting the variety of the coastline – from the red cliffs of Devon to the chalk and sandstone of Dorset.

The book should be published by June or July in time for (hopefully) the return of normal life. So do keep checking this website for the launch. I will update everyone again soon with the progress of my book and, in the meantime, here is a preview of some of the images. Stay safe everyone and I look forward to seeing you in person at my next exhibition.

Turnstone at low tide, Lyme Regis
Oystercatcher foraging in rock pools, Portland
Hares, Oystercatchers and Shelducks at Rodden Hive, The Fleet, Chesil
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