How different a single month makes....this time last month, I had so many things I took for granted, like being able to go outside to the market and walk to the cathedral and interact with people in my events in London.
Now I've been on lockdown for just a week and have gone out for food late in the evening to the corner shop, just once in that time. Shelves are very empty of things that I want to eat like, sweet potato or cucumber or strawberries or just any berries or any veg. I found a bag of frozen veg during my trip the other day to the corner shop and felt like I'd hit the jackpot which isn't how I expected my life to be at this stage.
What an eye opening learning experience this is, to be participating in a nationwide lockdown and realising how very dependent I have been on so many things and how if I just changed what I need vs what I want and how to obtain these thing then how much better off the planet and myself might be.
I dearly wish I had a garden or somewhere that I could grow fruits and vegetables without needing to go to the shops all the time for their produce. When this pandemic lifts and we're all able to come out and go about our lives again, I plan to sort out this garden need so I'm better equipped for a healthier future.
I've been having to conduct my art events online which has been a challenge but is fun once I understand how to do it all. I'm not a techy person so when I realised I needed to adapt my events for online, I spent a week learning how to transpose everything I teach into an online format so that my students could get more for their money and still get to socialise with each other.
Our online classes are small and not like how we used to be when we met at the museums and quite a lot of my students who prefer to meet in person have either left my group or dropped off the radar.
I find that I'm thriving in isolation as it's time to think and time to create that I've needed. So I feel as if I'm on a strange badly funded artist residency that leaves me still very much unnoticed but able to work on projects I'd previously not been able to give much attention to. It's just the first week of course, so perhaps my feelings will change in a month from now. But currently, I'm delighted to have so much time to myself and my creative projects and I hope I can create some structure to get as much accomplished as possible.
Below are two photos....on the left a snapshot from one of my online classes with everyone trying to get into a position to draw their own feet which was a tricky and amusing thing as we all became temporary contortionists while scribbling away furiously! The second image is of the aftermath of my class and the sketches I generated while sketching with my students and an example of how I was holding my foot with my hand. A fun class with my wonderfully talented members!
I think that once we're allowed to go out and meet up again in public, that some of my events may remain online to cater to those people who have difficulties joining in to the in person events. It's been interesting learning about some of my members who have not been able to attend my regular events due to long term illness or anxiety issues or because they just live too far away and I hope that they'll keep attending my online events even when I return to doing regular in person events. I'm meeting such wonderful new friends. In some ways, I'm glad we're all on lockdown, because I'd never have gotten to meet so many people if it wasn't for this current experience so perhaps that's some good to be had from our social distancing time.
I will leave it here with the hope that in the next blog post, the virus will be less and that my family and friends will be unscathed and in good spirits with hope on the horizon.
My name is Franceska McCullough and I'm the owner and artist of Toothpickmoon. Here I will share my studio practice in all it's forms.
*Disclosure: The links I'm using on this blog will only ever relate to the products I myself use in my own practice.