Lockdown Art


Lockdown Art

Lockdown has affected Skylark artists in many different ways. Some have found it liberating, and a good excuse to try out different ways of making art. Others have found it suppressing and very difficult to be creative.

For this month’s newsletter we are delighted to welcome William Frost (known as Wilf) as a new member of our Newsletter Team.

Wilf has been busy contacting a few of our artists to find out what they have been creating since Skylark has been closed and how the lockdown has affected their creative process.

We hope you enjoy hearing what he discovered.

'Making lino prints at home as I can't access my print studio'

Lockdown has made it impossible for me to access my studio. Usually I use a printmaking studio to make my Lino and chine-collé prints.

Because of the lockdown, I decided to try printing at home. Thanks to prompt delivery of supplies by some trusted art shops, I had the basic things necessary for lino printing at home. But I do not have a press, so I have been using a small wooden roti fluffer as a baren and a wooden spoon to handprint. (See video on my Instagram page)

It has been a trial-and-error process so far. In the beginning, I was quite unsure about the ink and paper balance – paper with a rough surface needs more ink on the Lino block to handprint. Now I am quite confident about what paper is best for printing without a press. Indian Sunn Hemp paper is a winner in this case, as the smoothness of its surface and its durability makes it ideal to print by hand.

So far I have carved and test printed two new blocks since the lockdown began. I think it is a good start. Now I need to focus on finishing my editions of these blocks, which can be very time consuming in the absence of a press.

'Painting on driftwood... a new direction?'

I found these these lumps of driftwood on the Thames beach near to Skylark Gallery and have had them sitting in my studio for over a year.

During lockdown I haven’t been particularly inspired to paint on canvas, so I thought I’d see what this driftwood would look like with my motifs and characters painted on them.

I love the story that these found objects carry with them. How old are they? Where did they come from? What journey have they had?
I am pleased with the result and I hope to be exhibiting them in Skylark Gallery when it opens again.

'Three masked characters painted in my studio'

They are a bit scary but maybe they show what I feel.

Do you think there will soon be designer masks where the logo takes over? I find it hard to breathe as my glasses steam up, so I’m still looking for the perfect mask.

All three original paintings above are mixed media acrylic on paper. Image size: 20 x 21 cm £75 each

'Lockdown Coiling'

I have been coiling pots in my studio in my garden. While I was looking for resources to send to my student, as part of my online teaching, I came across a video posted by an American ceramic artist (Giselle Hicks) in Facebook. I have coiled many pots before, but unlike my organic coiling, her work is controlled and geometric. She has inspired me to do something new. In contrast to my delicate partially thrown, small scale ceramic artwork, this work is bolder and bigger. I still typically pay attention to texture, edges and contrast between glazed and unglazed surfaces.

'This painting represents these past couple of weeks as well as my good hope for the future'

Click here to watch how I painted Petts Wood Deep, a landscape that somehow ended up in my Abstract collection… it is a headstrong image, refused any blossoms, no matter how I teased and cajoled.’Deep’ has been the working title, in every sense of the word, and it represents these past couple of weeks as well as my good hope for the future: beauty from ashes, pain, blame, sacrifice and finally, thankfully, hopefully, an unabated victory. Stay strong!

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