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Art in Lockdown

On March 23rd lockdown due to Covid-19 began.

Not in our lifetime had we experienced anything like this and as I write this we appear to be in a second wave of the virus.

Creativity has helped me during this pandemic, but for others it has had the opposite affect. In this blog I hope to share my and others artists experiences of these surreal times.

For me part of coping with lockdown was to paint. It helped me escape those unending questions in my head about where the world was heading and whether we would know "normal" again. Even before lockdown when we were heading into the unknown, I had a strong desire to create abstract work and so I got out my paints and played around with colour and different ways of applying it to the canvas. I call it getting lost in the paint, a brief escape from the harsh reality of the overwhelming situation we were in.

original abstract painting Sue O'Sullivan
No Blues Allowed

This painting was my first piece created in the build up to lockdown . I called this No Blue Allowed and unusually I named it before it was painted ! I did this because I use a lot of Blue in my work so the blue paints were locked away !

The work was created by squeezing different colours across the bottom of the canvas and dragging them upwards with a window squeegee (a technique I first saw used by Swarez, an artist I greatly admire ). I then added paint to the side and swept it sideways across the work. I kept adding layers and moved the paint around with card and palette knives until I was satisfied with result. I really loved how this turned out . Although I love painting trees and the ocean creating a colourful abstract piece like this helped me feel like "I was letting go " just being in the moment of creativity.

Original Abstract painting in blues Sue O'Sullivan
Lockdown Blues

This was my next piece and yes the blues were back out. It was created in a similar way, I love the effect you get when you drag one colour over another. This work I named Lockdown Blues. Although it is an abstract work a little ocean and beach element crept in and I think, on a subconscious level, this was because I was missing the sea so much. I love travelling and don't know when this will be possible again, but I am grateful for the memories I have of the stunning places we have visited.

Original abstract painting greens Sue O'Sullivan
Forest Pool

Then came abstract number three,

Forest Pool.

There is a lot of texture in this piece and as I moved the paint around I got the feel of rainforest coming through. Trees and the colour green have a very healing effect and help soothe the soul. These artworks are definitely illustrating what is missing from life at the moment for me, the freedom to go out into nature when and wherever you desire and just breathe and let go.

Since lockdown I have painted many more abstracts most of which can be seen on my site gallery. The artworks featured here are sold but please contact me if you would like to commission a piece.

During lockdown I have definitely seen an increased interest in art, whether creating it or buying it. I think people need art in their lives. It brings colour to a home, can stir memories of a special place or time and in more normal times brings people together.

One of the big issues for a lot of artists has been the inability to interact with others. Lesley Linley , a watercolourist says, " I've produced only a few paintings during lockdown, the mood has been lacking since demos, workshops etc have been cancelled. I miss the interaction and the purpose."

This is a recent work by Lesley which she says was "just for fun"

You can see more about Lesley and her beautiful work here

One avenue I did find a way to interact with people was through twitter. I'd had an account for a long time but done nothing with it. Then I found out about lots of great hashtag hours where I "met" some lovely small business owners and creatives. Please get in touch if you would like to learn more about networking and hashtags on twitter.

I found myself being #Queen of bringing walls to life and then getting involved with #womaninbizhour where I started a weekly art challenge. This was just for fun but it seemed to help people take their mind off everything for a while. The challenge was set on A Friday and judged my me the following Tuesday.

One creative who has enjoyed the challenge is Janet Purves, an artist and card maker. She says, " really one of the loveliest lockdown happenings for me has been your art competition. Its given me some get up and go. Also inspired me to draw and paint creatures I would never thought of tackling before eg a lion or a zebra. Many of these fun challenges have gone on to become handmade cards in my

Another amazing artist I have "met" through twitter is Rachel Collier Wilson who is a creative with line.

She has shared with me her thoughts and work during lockdown

" I've made work which tries to bring craft into the fine art world and was really thinking of home life and interior design often conceived by women. There's a development of using wallpaper images for my backgrounds which I really enjoyed and is a theme I will continue with. I'm thinking about yellow wallpaper now which addresses the issue of mental health and people still needing to have a voice. "

The work on the right is Hare with tiled background

"I was also shocked at the increase in domestic violence. I created a series of linocuts from life drawings and combined them with an image of a net curtain. I sold a few and made a donation to the local DV charity."

This is life behind net curtains.

Rachel has also completed many pet portraits.

Everyone has their own way of coping with these worrying times but we will get through this. Please get in touch if you would like to share anything or maybe you would like to "try" art . I am happy to be of what help I can, no one needs to do this alone .

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