After a full month in lockdown and totally dependent on my computer to keep me connected to the world, I'm feeling a sort of strange fogginess that is a mixture of not knowing what day it is most days and scheduling myself too much as a teacher.
I used to teach in person, in the ever popular Victoria & Albert Museum in their wonderful Cast Courts. It's been over two months since I travelled to London to run my Friday evening events and it feels so strange.
I moved right before the lockdown and have been staying with my boyfriend at his new place which he just moved into also right before lockdown so his flat is in a state of unpacked boxes and bags with no way to update his new place. Because I've been staying with him, I'm not where I normally live and have limited clothes and art supplies. I miss so many of my belongings and can't wait to be reunited with the rest of my clothes and my bed with all the comfy pillows and all my wonderful art supplies.
Teaching online as an art teacher is brainwashing and though I love teaching my students, I wish for the days when I'll be able to work with them in the same room so I can see their work instead of trying to discern their faint marks via a video screen.
Zoom exhausts me. Just being online exhausts me and yet I can't escape as my life is zoom.
I need to go to a dentist to have a root canal redone and I'm really aware of the waiting and waiting causing potentially irreversible damage to an already damaged tooth so I take painkillers and distract myself.
How is this crisis happening in my lifetime? I'm still baffled by this and each morning it feels shocking to remember on waking that life isn't normal anymore and that it's probably the same shared thoughts of thousands of others around the world.
There's talk that next week the UK government will start the process of bringing us out of lockdown and I still can't imagine how this will go or how our lives will still be impacted by these events. I've enjoyed staying with my boyfriend and look forward to actually properly moving in with him but hopefully after he's had a chance to make his new flat a home with all the improvements he's talked about. Until then, I hope I can get a few months of time in my attic making art projects, listening to audiobooks and maintaining my online teaching and hopefully returning to teaching in person too.
It's been a strange time in lockdown and it's taught me a lot about who I am, what I need in life and those I want by my side. Very different values than what I had before lockdown, that's for sure.
One thing I love about lockdown are the long walks in the countryside that we've been doing and the strange routine that's kept myself and my boyfriend in place each day. It's going to be difficult when I return to my attic.
Artistically, I'm currently fixated on making a forest in a terrarium so I can have my very own personal forest to draw from. I think this is a feeling of not being able to grow things during lockdown. I'm also in the process of building a paper fairy house miniature which is an attempt to use only materials everyone has in their homes.
Otherwise, in my studio practice, I'm untethered and all my former creative projects are on hold so I feel disconnected and unfocused. I should be keeping up with social media and posting to keep my followers interested, but I feel like a boat caught on a windless sea........
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.