I think everyone agrees that the past year has been rather odd. I’ve read so many posts from people over the past few months talking about how much they were struggling with lockdown and then, once this was eased, the anxieties of getting back out into the community with the continued threat of infection.
Throughout all of this I felt very fortunate. Lockdown was tough but I’ve been very lucky, none of my family contracted COVID and I live in a beautiful area of the country with lots of outdoor space so unlike many in city centres I didn’t have the claustrophobia of feeling cooped up. In addition to this, my day job pre-lockdown meant I spent significant chunks of the week several hundred miles from home, which came with long train commutes and stays in rather bland hotels.
During lockdown I was able to continue working from home, and whilst I lost any semblance of work-life balance the trade off with time gained by not travelling, and the excuse to indulge in some Netflix binge watching was a positive. Being based at home 100% also meant that when not working I was able to spend more time drawing and painting which I’m sure was also one of the reasons I managed to escape the stresses that others were feeling.
But over the past few weeks, people I know have been lost to this awful infection and with rates on the increase the possibility of another lockdown is all too real – with more lives lost and a devastating impact on the economy. While I’m not someone who usually suffers from stress, over the past few weeks I’ve noticed my sleeping patterns are a bit erratic which is a sure sign this whole experience is taking its toll. (On the plus side, waking at 4am has meant I got to see some amazing sun rises, but a few extra hours of sleep would have been a bonus!).
And now not only is it impacting my sleep, but I’m also struggling to motivate myself to paint. In an effort to improve things, I’ve spent a bit of time googling and reading articles and blogs to see how others deal with this. Coping strategies seem to range from stepping back and giving yourself a complete break, to just powering through and accepting what you produce might be crap.
If you’re feeling the same way here’s a few of the articles/blogs that I found most interesting.
My solution, and I’ll let you know if they work, is a combination of several of those outlined in the articles.
- cleaned and sorted the studio
- written a few lists – mostly ideas for new projects
- started a few new projects, not sure if any of these will produce anything good but hopefully if nothing else it will get me over this hump!
One positive I did spend a bit of time playing with the artroomapp that lets you import your paintings into room settings at the actual size so have managed to create a few shots of what my work would look like if you have “Ideal Home” type interiors.