2020 May

collage for May 2020
A collection of images posted on Flickr this May 2020

And so May began – Month 3 of our ‘lock-down’ as we started the move to self-isolating in March, before it became law.
With the lifting of the ‘shielding’ group and move to the ‘most highly vulnerable’ group, we were free to venture beyond the garden gate! So I decided that this was the time for me to recapture my driving skills.

Ford Fiesta fascia 2008
Inside my little 12 year old car

With PVS/ME and assorted ‘challenges’ such as shingles, I had found little energy to maintain my driving. I have my small (12 year old) Fiesta that I love – but as the years flew past the traffic on the local roads got bigger and faster and there was just so much more of it. So lock-down gave me an opportunity to re-learn my skills on very quiet roads. It had to be a slow process, as the ‘cost’ in energy was high – one small session could take days of recovery. But if I could persevere then the prize (several months later) could be – would be – that I was a confident driver again. Such a vital goal for us, as we have no support network here, and shops, garages, dental and medical centres are all miles away. Public transport is almost non-existent at the best of times, and there would be no taxi service or helpful neighbours to call on in a pandemic! I needed to drive! So a whole lot of energy, time and focus was spent on driving through May, and indeed through all the summer months!

painting materials
sorting out my painting materials for the new challenge

Rather ambitiously I also decided that the lock-down could give me a second prize – a chance to start my painting again. With the very limited energy that PVS/ME permits I had given up my drawing and pastel painting in favour of photography, as I could achieve more within the energy confines. So I had an Art room lying idle with lots of materials – and the constant wish to pick up where I had left off, which was the extension from pastel into watercolours.
If I was to be largely confined to the house and garden – it could prove to be a perfect opportunity to begin again with my journey into watercolour painting. So I brushed the dust off the books I had amassed, and looked through the folders and drawers, the cupboards and shelves, and began to explore and re-learn!

notebooks of colour charts
colour charts for mixing watercolours

My adventures in watercolour have had a difficult road to travel. In 2016 I tried and felt I was making progress – when shingles struck, and wiped out all my energy and all my watercolour efforts. So starting yet again in 2020 I began by revisiting my 2016 sketches so I could pick up where I had left off – so rudely interrupted by illness!
I love Cezanne’s watercolours – I think they eclipse his oil paintings with great delicacy of touch and depth of observation. And they are a masterclass in technique, brush strokes and the use of colour. So Cezanne is always where I start…. and I began by reworking a few of my efforts – sketches I had studied from the originals in 2016.

copying Cezanne
Learning from Cezanne. 2016 and 2020 compared

Hmmm! I have lost a lot of skill in the last 4 years!

Learning from Cezanne
Learning from Cezanne. 2 from 2016 and one 2020 compared

It is back to basics, and relearning in a big way! Get out the huge tomes on Cezanne, and study the quality photos they have of his work from pencil sketches to watercolour sketches, right through to finished watercolour works! If I needed something to stave off boredom while living in lock-down – I have found it!!

So on to June, and lock-down in summer
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