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Lock Down April

Thursday 30/03/20

Debby Faulkner-Stevens

An artists life is, by necessity, generally quite a solitary one, so the lock down to help contain the coronavirus hasn't really affected the way I spend my days. Not seeing family and friends is hard of course, but I have been amusing myself writing illustrated letters to the grandchildren, and they are thrilled with the novelty of getting things through the post.


The joy of a good old fashioned lengthy phone call too - simple pleasures and so special in difficult times. Nice also, to have a circle of neighbours who all look out for each other and get shopping for each other when one of us bravely ventures to the supermarket.
Against all expectations, sales in the US have continued with the Seaside Art Gallery and the Snow Goose gallery both carrying on with their annual miniature exhibitions online.
I collected a stack of frames from my framers yesterday and am well stocked with vellum, so I am taking this time, when the pressure is off in other quarters, to produce some new work and to experiment with new ideas for the miniatures.
The glorious weather has meant Alan and myself have taken some lovely walks round an ancient bluebell wood just a short walk from our house. It has been very peaceful there with few people walking through it and so we were treated to the sight of a family of green woodpeckers shinning up a tree, and watched a pair of jays drinking from a pond that was ringed with bluebells and wood anemones, overshadowed by an elderly and twisted oak. All rather magical and lovely to enjoy it without the constant drone of traffic from the normally busy roads that surround the site.
The peace and steadier pace of life is rather wonderful, and I'm not the only one who has commented how they prefer this to the usual hustle and frantic bustle of everyday life in Milton Keynes. It will return one day, I'm sure, but I shall be rather sorry when it does.
Walking in the other direction from our house, we have the village and the canal where we have spent ages watching the patient herons waiting to catch fish or frogs. They seem oblivious to humans and we have been able to get very close and observe them as they stand, stock still, for minutes on end. Of course, taking binoculars or a camera with us seems to alert them to our presence and they fly off before we can get a photograph. Perhaps better to commit to the sight to memory ...


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