• Christine Bainbridge

2020 Art During Covid 19

Creeping out at dawn when no-one was up and discovering the delights of solitude, space and surprising encounters was the greatest joy at the beginning of lockdown. I learned about standing still and watching, allowing nature to come to me. Even wild creatures will stay a while if you do not move a muscle and often will continue to go about their business unfazed by your presence. But binoculars were an asset in bringing creatures close. Every morning was different, weather and light, atmosphere and emotions, always the expectation of surprise.

It was easier at first as dawn came late and piling on clothes over pyjamas took only a few minutes. As the sun rose earlier there were fewer wild encounters, and encounters with the few early risers meant I took time to dress appropriately. But warmth brought swathes of wild flowers and butterflies in the meadows and the growth of crops in the fields.

Many of my paintings are inspired by these early morning walks. In the landscape gallery look for local woodlands and hills.

During lockdown I had to resort to making do with materials in the studio and it was a time of collage, tearing cardboard and brown paper and working on any surface I could find. So notice the change in style of some of my work.

May came and Oxfordshire Artweeks changed to virtual. There was the challenge of learning how to make a video, and deciding that as it was unlikely that there would be any sales this year it was time to gift some art. In 2020 20 paintings had to go. Applying for a painting of choice proved popular, and those successful visited the garden exhibition and collected their picture.

As autumn arrives and I begin to look back, it is a delight to see how many paintings have been finished over the summer. One constant is the fortnightly change of the Wheatley United Reformed Church noticeboard. As this became redundant for church activities I turned it into a wayside pulpit, examples of which can be seen in the gallery.

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