COVID 19 ART .... my journey to mental health

by Veronica

This is purely a fun piece to lift the spirits. During lockdown when we couldn't get out, I took up Art. I am a beginner so don't expect great things here below.

COVID 19. The world has changed. I think it is something we will learn to live with, like seasonal flu which kills thousands here each year in UK.

March 20th 2020, we went into Lockdown. Unchartered waters, never before. It was only going to be for about 4 weeks. We did not expect it to be for months. Being an active, busy sort of person, I was enjoying it initially but within days I was unsettled. Looking round the house, looking out of the window. I started cleaning the house, several times. I was lying awake at night… getting up and walking round the house. When I found myself polishing cutlery, I knew I had to get a " COVID outlet " for my own mental health.
I decided to try painting and bought a LOT of resources to set myself up...canvases, paint, brushes, pencils, gesso, easle, varnish, frames. .....

But where to go next...? YOU TUBE... Given that I wasn't able to go out and everywhere was shut anyway, I turned to You Tube. Marvellous tutorials are there to be found for those who wish to learn.

This piece is not me asking for everyone to say how wonderful I am. I am a beginner artist but I have been willing to learn to help my mental health. Art therapy has helped me.

Then our lovely BSG mentioned how he and my beloved Frank Beswick had written some light pieces and I thought my Art may help people to do something similar for themselves. I hope so.

Approach for a total beginner

Looking at YOU TUBE, I decided to try various skills that were shown and how to paint specific objects. I decided to use Acrylic paints as I am not confident enough to use watercolour which is very skilled. 

I purchased a lot of Acrylic paint. At first, I used lots and wasted lots but gradually I am in more control of my paint use. This is a question of experience. 

My husband has kindly framed and mounted various pieces around the house and I have been so prolific in 4 months that my house is now like an art gallery. 

A collage
A collage

April 2020

Lockdown was March and by April, I had ordered and received art supplies and made a start. I did not know what I was doing with my first piece or if I would even continue. My first attempt is bottom left on the collage above. Not my finest work, but it was my first and so I have kept it. 

The poppies bottom right though was my second piece. Everyone loved this and the comments gave my confidence. Including those from my big brother Frank.

By April 24th, my mood was sinking however and my Art accordingly was increasingly dark, reflecting my mood so I made a conscious effort to be light and positive. This helped my mood to lift. 

"The shed " below was an exercise in painting the texture of old wood but was my last "dark" piece. I have kept this and included it here because, my journey hasn’t been easy sailing. 

The dark shed

The shed
The shed

The Secret Garden

Therefore, May 1st was the start of my deliberate effort to lift my mood by positive art and I painted the "Secret Garden " whilst ostensibly wanting to learn to do stairs. 

This is everyone's COVID 19 favourite, People feel they are walking up and out of the dark times. This was precisely the effect I had wanted.  This was my work after a month's painting experience. 

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden

Texture in Art

Encouraged by improvement and reaction, I decided to experiment with texture in art, using gesso, an acrylic primer to put texture into my art. “The Wedding guest” “Angel watching over the night city” and the “Drying lavender” are my absolute favourites. 

Wedding guest "

wedding guest
wedding guest

Angel

Angel over the City
Angel over the City
Drying lavender
Drying lavender
Off to the ball
Off to the ball

Painting on text

This Flower Seller was more about painting on text in Vitntage French style than about art skills themselves. 

French Flower Seller

French Flower Seller
French Flower Seller

Creation

My niece asked me for a painting for her son's Baptism and I wanted something to be of suitable religious content but also of interest to a growing boy. 

Here I present, "The Moment of Creation".

Creation ( with an apology to BSG for the science ! )

Moment of Creation
Moment of Creation

Finally Reflections

I wanted to know how to do reflections in art so this piece came from a  You Tube tutorial. 

Walking in the rainy city.  Focus: Reflections. 

Walking in the rainy city
Walking in the rainy city

To Conclude; Art therapy

Art has certainly been a great therapy during this few months of Crisis. Choose something creative and you may find it helps you. 

Updated: 08/06/2020, Veronica
 
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Veronica 29 days ago

Derdriu

The brush strokes on ballgown, hat and angel were done with different sizes palette knives

Veronica 29 days ago

Derdriu

The brish strokes on ballgown, hat and angel were done with different sizes palette knives

Veronica 29 days ago

Derdriu . Your words mean a lot to me.

Noooooo . I never knew this but I am not surprised . It has been a superb therapy during our UK months and months of lockdown ....and we are all going back into Lockdown tomorrow.
I need to get my art box out again.

DerdriuMarriner 29 days ago

Veronica, Thank you for the pictures and practicalities.
They all are lovely even though I'm awed by the brushstrokes on the angel, ball dress and wedding guest hat; drawn to the rainy city; and smitten by the creation, flower-laden bicycle, lavender, nest and shed.
Do you know about the Basque children who relocated to England from Euzkadi after the bombing of Gernika and were encouraged to release negative, wartime experiences through art?

Veronica on 08/27/2020

My grandchildren aged 4 and 7 have started Art now. When they come here for day care we get all the equipment out and they LOVE it.

Mira on 08/27/2020

Hi Veronica, I will as soon as I can :)

Veronica on 08/23/2020

Mira, our lovely Wizzley friend, Hello,

Give it a try Mira. The beauty of it is you can paint over it if you don't like it.

Mira on 08/23/2020

I like the way you're growing as an artist! I have often thought of doing some painting myself, but for various reasons I haven't (yet). I find collages to be relaxing too.

As a side note, I've had enough of this covid too. Hopefully we'll get a vaccine soon.

Veronica on 08/11/2020

BSG,
Yes indeed Ty. My endeavour was never intended to do any more than to occupy myself during COVID Lockdown. When it is over, i may never pick up a brush again. But it has given me a creative purpose and outlet and I have found it a very soothing experience.
I have HATED Lockdown.

blackspanielgallery on 08/10/2020

Keep at it. Every artist had a first piece, then another, and so on.

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