Art Blog

Spring newsletter 2020

Isolation art under corona skies
I hope you are well in these extraordinary times and managing your isolation without too much stress. On the positive side, it’s encouraging us all to slow down, catch up with old friends via Zoom and the like, help our neighbours and enjoy some of the most spectacular, clear skies we have ever seen.

I wanted to share with you what I’ve been up to during lockdown and to give you a few museum resources to explore - and ideas for creative arty things to do right now that might give you some joy. The museum resources remind us of what’s awaiting us in our national galleries when lockdown ends. I certainly miss teaching drawing in them for Sketchout as my lunchtimes always provided a chance to sketch from their collections.

These times, whilst unsettling, are also providing artists like me an opportunity to engage with a wider art community online:

#portraitsfornhsheroes – is a great Instagram portrait initiative set up by @tomcroftartist Tom has invited artists to donate a free oil portrait to a nominated NHS frontline worker, created in lockdown from photographs. When the restrictions are lifted, Tom will arrange an exhibition of all the portraits. Portraits have already begun to roll in, including one from Alastair Adams, ex-President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. I have signed up, as have a number of my colleagues from the Lots Road Group
of portrait painters. News of my finished portrait will appear in my next blog.

#artistsupportpledge – is another great Instagram lockdown initiative set up @matthewburrowsstudio Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many artists around the world have found themselves without work, teaching, technical support, gallery work, exhibition and sales have disappeared. In an attempt to help alleviate some of this stress Matthew has instigated the #artistsupportpledge The concept is a simple one. You post images of your work to sell for no more than £200 each (excluding shipping). Anyone can then buy the work. Every time you reach £1,000 of sales you pledge to buy another artist’s work for £200. I am supporting the artist support pledge and am posting the works included in it in both Instagram and my StellaToothArtist facebook posts.
Currently I have some of the works in my famous actor series for sale for £140 +p&p and will be adding more during the coming weeks.

During my career as a portrait artist, I have primarily been commissioned to make drawn or oil portraits of adults, with most of these from life. But, since the birth of my great niece Daisy, I have found myself enjoying portraying her as she has grown, using high resolution photographs taken by her proud grandparents and parents. And, last year, a number of friends who asked me to portray their pets – also from photographs – helped me discover the extraordinary bond owners have with their pets through the photos they send in, and the enjoyable challenge of capturing the texture of feathers and fur! I appreciate why people are unable to commission at the moment, so I am taking the opportunity to produce new work. But, in the weeks and months ahead, if you, or your family or friends do want to commission a portrait do get in touch. Click here to find out what it involves.

Now the fun stuff, a selection of things to keep you entertained while we are all stuck inside.

Click here for fantastic virtual museum resources

For an excellent documentary about two David Hockney shows at the RA with interviews with the man himself click on this link:
Inside Two Blockbuster Hockney Exhibitions It's a feast for the eyes and mind with one of Britain's best living painters.The

Click on this link for Isolation Art School where you'll find some of the country's best artists giving tutorials on everything from how to stretch a canvas to drawing a portrait of your family member with Sir Quentin Blake. My favourites so far has been British portrait artist Jonathan Yeo painting "from life" in isolation via Zoom!

Finally click on this link for my own buskers and musicians gallery
At a time when our streets have emptied of buskers and the capital’s music venues are closed, my gallery of vibrant drawings and paintings of performers give us hope and remind us of the fabulous music that awaits us after lockdown. Email price list available

Stay safe, stay happy, and . . .

"don’t count the days of lock-in but make the days count"