Working from home

It’s been quite a week. I’ve started working from home, along with my four year old co-worker who is also home with me. The Arts Centre where I work has now closed to visitors, and all events have been cancelled for the time being.

The School of Art has sadly, sensibly, closed its doors. I’ve brought home all my paints and brushes. This was an opportunity for me to realise just how many art materials I have stockpiled. When Cass Art has a sale I just can’t help myself. And whenever I pop into the art shops in town, just for a bit of charcoal or a new paintbrush, I end up with several other items that I didn’t know I needed. I don’t drink, go out, gamble or otherwise splurge my money – it all goes on paint and brushes! No wonder I am always skint.

My home studio is just the corner of my living room so I’ve had to get everything tidy and organised. My daughter also uses the living room as a playground so it’s very much a multi-purpose space. After putting my stash away in drawers and boxes, it’s now looking pretty good! (Apart from that teetering pile under the desk – I’ll get to that eventually).

It is so, SO important to have a designated space for painting and creating. When my kiddo was very small I used to keep all my art materials in a box and on a high shelf, so that she wouldn’t get her little paws on them. This meant that it was such a faff to get my supplies out that I rarely ever bothered. I am pretty limited in the amount of time I get to spend painting – it’s usually either when the kiddo is in bed (when I am often too tired) or when she is at her dad’s house. So it’s important to be able to have all my gear readily available – I can then hit the ground running.

Today I had some time to myself while sprog was at her dad’s house (and apparently having road-kill pheasant for tea – who knew she was such an adventurous eater?). I packed my sketching kit and headed up the hill for some very therapeutic fresh air. Spring has sprung! The gorse was in full bloom and the sun was warming up the flowers, releasing their coconuty scent in the air.

It felt really good to just sit in the sun. I’ve spent too much time at home, listening to the radio, fretting. I did a wee spot of sketching with watercolour and coloured pencil.

I’m so very fortunate to be able to work from home, and to have lovely outdoor spaces to escape to while we ride out this horrible pandemic. Right now my thoughts are with all those people who are on the front line of this. The NHS workers, the cleaners, supermarket workers, delivery drivers, and many more. Things are going to get a whole lot harder before they get better.

I am quite prone to anxiety, but I reckon if I keep painting, drawing and getting outside, then I can keep my worries under control. Turning off the radio helps too.

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