Category Archives: art

Lockdown 2.0 – day twenty three

A familiar tale last night. Went to bed earlier tired, struggled to sleep, slept a bit, woke with pulsing head. Decided to go for a walk so between 03:15 and 04:15 I walked the seafront and through the town centre.

I posted photos and video clips at the time on my Instagram so very early Vitamin Sea posts from three locations on the seafront. I videoed the Christmas lights which were lovely as I walked down the middle of empty streets. I kept off the beach and feet out of the sea.

Once home I slept on the sofa for a bit sat up then returned to bed. Still awake by 08:30. I spent most of the day indoors, drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding too much screen time.

I started the drawing of one of my commissions, posted a pen and ink drawing in progress. Then made further progress with colour on wooded and grassy areas in the background.

This afternoon tiredness caught up and fell asleep sat on sofa again. We then popped into town so Anne could see the lights and get some shopping.

The evening has seen news watching but then a Sky Art recording with Brian Johnson interviewing Nick Mason of Pink Floyd. As I write this we have Wish You Were Here playing.

The target this weekend is to gradually get more sleep overnight if the head allows and less afternoon sleep. More walking together tomorrow and more artwork for me. Lockdown now has an end in sight but of course the conditions of whichever tier you are under ,if in England, looms too.

I selfishly am looking forward to being back in the shop and another possible commission request was made today and will be followed up on Wednesday while I am in the shop.

This morning’s good morning photo.

Lockdown 2.0 – day twenty one

So a slightly tired start to the day, yesterday’s exercise catching up with me. Some online admin. Re plans for reopening the shop from next Wednesday subject to tier allocated to us.

Some friends came over to Swanage and we met to have a coffee and chat, socially distanced on the seafront helped by the rain holding off.

Then we went for our daily walk and checked on the progress of the mud slipping down gradually. Some food shopping and home for lunch and then this afternoon I have made some progress on the hat commission I have.

So, great to see friends but tiredness a factor today as well.

Good morning Swanage post and a vitamin sea video both went upon Instagram this morning. Yesterday also more people read my lockdown post and then looked back at other sections of the blog which was a positive feeling too.

One of today’s Good morning photos.

Lockdown 2.0 – day twenty

I awoke early and was awake really quickly. Breakfast plans were changed and we went out bought some food in town and sat on the seafront watching the sea on a sunny morning.

We had our normal seafront daily walk but met different people, dog walkers, people exercising.

Start of today

I then got ready to go out for my second bike ride in a week, a sensible plan for one who tends to overdo it, get injured and give up. In my head as had an idea but I wasn’t sure how far I would get.

Ready to go

Swanage lies at the end of the Purbeck Valley. There are three roads between Swanage and Corfe Castle where I had cycled to last Wednesday. A second road climbs through the village of Langton Matravers and it is a long drag of a hill. This is the one I avoided using last week.

Then the third which is a narrow country lane that hugs the lower edge of the chalk ridge on the north side of the valley and the sand / clay beds that rest against it (geographer teacher knowledge). This was the route I chose today, it is undulating, it has lots of ups and downs but shorter slopes. I was very pleased that I only walked one uphill section for less than 200 metres. I reached Corfe in 48 minutes today, a lot slower than last time but I wasn’t surprised as it had been very energetic.

Approaching Corfe Castle along Sandpit Lane which emerges at the bottom of the hill from the village.

In measuring the route after it was just over 12 miles in 1 hr 48m so a lot slower, but it doesn’t matter. When I got home a I had to walk up our road, there was no energy left. I sat in the garden and Anne brought a tea down.

My approximate route calculated using a GIS app

We realised we had been going to buy some food for lunch in town so I suggested and we went for fish cake and chips at The Fish Plaice in the Town square and sat to eat on the sea wall. Again sunny weather. Walking home my legs were starting to seize up and I admit much of the afternoon was lost to resting but I am ok with that.

At the end of the afternoon a Facebook memory popped up about the state of my mental health four years ago, for a change I have linked to that in my blog post on today which is a new aspect as mental health posts have normally been on this account.

The evening will include minimal food and more resting. Next week I need to space the cycle rides out better so I can fit two in again.

Lockdown 2.0 – day nineteen

An earlier start and calm again in the bay. This time there was a sailing yacht moored on the outer edge of Swanage Bay. Moving furniture and items in bathrooms was an early task as both were to have new flooring fitted today.

A calm start

I worked on uploading information and photos for more of my art stock into my online shop and also some calls with customers. I could hear the flooring fitters but maintained social distancing.

Lunch was after they finished and then Anne went to meet a friend for a catch up and coffee. I went to the shop with my new stock. Cards were stored, extra photographs for the online store were taken and I put new prints into their mounts.

Picture for web shop

We both returned home and then went back out for our daily walk. Today we went to the Pier head and then along the bay. Being a weekday there were less people about but we still saw a few friends. The light was starting to go and the sunset colours were reflecting off the cruise ships, the cliffs of the Isle of Wight and Ballard Down at the end of the bay. I took a number of photos but it is never something that you can really do justice too.

The walk’s start on the seafront with great reflected light
The cliffs around The Needles on the new corner of the Isle of Wight were enhanced by the light.
A panoramic shot trying to capture the different light and cloud layers.
As the sun went down the reflection off the Isle
of Wight changed colour.

The mudflows we saw yesterday had moved even further and the clay / sand mix is still very wet. There is clearly more movement to come over the winter. Luckily the huts that sit on this stretch of the promenade are removed at this time of year.

Back during late lockdown 1.0
The beach huts with plenty of space in front
The same section today

I will continue to monitor and photograph what happens as the winter continues, while keeping myself safe. Last winter I observed people walking between a safety tape put up by the coastguard and the next section of cliff which had slipped.

As we approached the end of the wall the light colours moved onto Ballard Down, first the fields above and then onto the vegetated cliff face itself.

Light changes
Time to turn back

We walked back and then I had a zoom business meeting with some good news from different members of the group and by now we knew that shops like mine will be able to reopen subject to the tier the area is out under and it seems that I will be able to open on Wednesday December 2nd (subject to confirmation).

Dinner with Channel 4 news plus 1, we can now usually watch a whole news bulletin without becoming agitated and need to switch it off. Then the next episode of a series we are watching. Finally I blog today’s post at the end of the day.

The new routine is working well. Tomorrow I intend to go for my second cycle rides this week for some more intense exercise and then I have plans that will include a daily walk and drawing the two commissions I am working on.

I hope your day had positives too.

Lockdown 2.0 day eighteen

A new day, a calm start, my eyes were playing tricks on me this morning as I thought in the distance I could see large yachts (reading so many Vendee Globe updates) but it was the cruise ships as normal.

Good morning Swanage – calm bay

This morning we were both taking part in Zoom meetings so Anne was based upstairs on the computer and I was downstairs on the iPad. Mine was sailing club related again so another drawing of a different screen format today.

Zoom meeting artist

After lunch we went out for our daily walk and I took my new daily Vitamin Sea clip. Hardly any wind so it was milder, some drizzle later on and today we saw many more people including a number of friends and chatted plus had an interesting conversation about the slipping mud sections.

A sunlit end to Ballard Down
More movement of the mud / cliff
Looking back towards the town
Todays’s Vitamin Sea clip to share with friends who can not be by the sea

A tv evening and rest lies ahead.

Lockdown 2.0 day seventeen

Well one of those nights where a teaching linked nightmare meant I was fully awake at 05:25. So, I got up and did more work on my current hand drawn hat commission until just after 07:00. I had let me PY self get cold so went back to bed and some more sleep but up by 09:00 so not losing too much of the day.

This morning I took part in Swanage Sailing Club’s zoom AGM, ie listened, voted occasionally and also distracted by the little boxes so sketched 25 of the participants.

A zoom sketch

After lunch we went for our afternoon walk, it was drizzling to start but the weather cleared up. We headed out to Peveril Point first past the sailing club where I took my first waves clip.

Small waves at Bucks Shore below the sailing club.

Before we had set off I had noticed that Eddy D. The works barge was back alongside the pier. It came from Falmouth earlier in the week (ship watching apps). I took some photos with the camera as I would like to draw it at some point.

We took the shore path to Peveril Point. There were slippery patches under the marina houses and after the lifeboat station even more so. We stayed upright but someone else we had warned did slip but without injury.

At Peveril there was spray as incoming waves hit the exposed edges and clip 2.

Waves at Peveril edges

We walked back the road / upper route and dropped down to the Pier Head and then on around the bay. Social distancing was difficult at times as there were quite a few people about. We headed to the far end of the bay seeing some friends from town on the way there and back and stopped to chat a few times. At the end of the sea wall a final waves clip.

The northern end of the sea wall

We headed back via McColls and some supplies then home to sit, drink tea, eat biscuits and relax. So the routine is back and I feel much better for being up at a more sensible time of the morning. Getting art and exercise time in.

Later will be the Strictly slot. Tomorrow’s adventures involve both of us attending zoom meetings upstairs and down at the same time but different meetings.

Hope everyone is doing as well as possible.

Lockdown 2.0 day sixteen

A good start and up promptly the bay looked very still and quite bright. Even before heading for breakfast though light rain set in for the day. So a morning Good Morning Swanage post with the view. Yesterday afternoon later on I had posted two video clips of waves seen yesterday morning and afternoon, these were proving popular online.

This morning was scheduled for art work while Anne visited her mum. In the end I had a message that a cheque had been left by a client at the shop so after some initial work on latest commission hat I went and collected the envelope and cheque, went to the bank and then down to the seafront and took a short clip of waves hitting the Sea wall below the Mowlem theatre.

Back home I had some correspondence with my printer and two clients. The video clip was already proving popular so may become a frequent post item.

After lunch some downtime as drizzle set in and bay views limited. I will go out for a longer walk than just the shop and bank. Pleased that routine is working better than the days without one.

Good morning photo
Damper afternoon photo
Thursday morning at Peveril Point in strong westerly breeze
Thursday afternoon with less breeze to north of bay
Friday morning waves against sea wall in mid bay

Lockdown 2.0 day fifteen

Bed earlier yesterday tick

Up earlier today tick – although aching body from yesterday’s cycle ride affected sleep. Before breakfast and a lack of sunrise due to cloud I made an Art for Fun Lego skier figure.

Lego skier, made when I couldn’t sleep well this morning

Exercise together tick – this morning we walked out to Peveril Point, some shopping and collecting an online order’s cards from the shop before an on fort delivery as local. This afternoon a second seaside walk to the north end of the path / sea wall again, drier today.

Swanage pier, the old pier and the headland of Ballard Down very clear in the sunshine
Looking across Durlston Bay, south of Peveril Point
Long breaking waves over the top of the edges
The gradually extending mudflow / land slip at Burlington Chine
Bright sunshine but a strong westerly breeze

Art work – I did the delivery and collection of cards this morning, this afternoon I have worked on my current commission this afternoon and finally had a new commission come in today from the same person who commissioned two pieces that I finished earlier in the month.

Unlike yesterday’s mist, today it was still mainly bright

Extra energetic exercise – not today as I have set the target that by next Wednesday I will do a second cycle ride, two in a week.

Today was a good day. Hope you had a good one too?

Lockdown 2.0 day thirteen

Today, realisation has hit home that over the last few days my routine has gone to pieces. Slowing down is not an issue but I need a clear structure in my daily life or my mood and mental health flattens and then has a tendency to dip.

So the solution is:

– alarm in the morning and an earlier start

– have allocated exercise daily together as a couple

– look for opportunities to do some more energetic exercise e.g. the cycling I did during lockdown 1.0.

– have regular art time, including completing last commission I currently have / sketch / produce new drawings / admin for the business / work on the online store and advertising it

– earlier to bed

Also today, this was brought home by my participation in the Kings College, London RAMP study that is looking at the impact of a pandemic on mental health.

So today – got up late, but did get out for a daily walk by the sea, did work on my final commission piece as some business admin., did some sketching.

Drawing aspects of the local maritime chart onto the hat commission.

For those subject to mental health concerns or already taking medication or receiving therapy the lockdown is a difficult time. Considerations including finances, health and job security all add pressure plus the isolation through the rules. If you are finding yourself under pressure and struggling to cope please contact The Samaritans, MIND etc. Do not struggle alone.

Lockdown 2.0 day eleven

The forecast …

Ok, well we want to go for a walk so when should we try?

We went out at about 11am and we headed uphill to Durlston Country Park to the south of Swanage. The walk starts quite steeply up our road, drops then rises again for half a mile to the castle (built to look like a castle).

The restored Victorian pleasure grounds

Durlston received lottery funding to carry out restoration work on the grounds built by George Burt who was an important stone trader in Swanage with his uncle John Mowlem. He developed his estate at Durlston during his retirement which started in 1886. The castle was built by a local builder based on an iron frame behind its stone cladding.

It was breezy now as we had turned southwards towards the wind.

One of many rest areas to watch the view, here looking out over Peveril Point the headland on the south side of Swanage Bay and Ballard Down, the northern headland that leads onto Old Harrys Rocks.

The benches were part of a project to design a range of different features to sit one, they are solid, will last and on warmer days are a welcoming place to sit.

Anvil Point lighthouse

Once we reached the castle we took the top path that becomes the drive to Anvil Point Lighthouse which is now automated and offers holiday accommodation. Once we came out from the woods we hit the full effect of the wind, but it was still dry. We walked down to the lighthouse then turned back towards the castle along the Clifftop path past Tilly Whim caves, former quarry that then became a tourist venue until the caves became unsafe. Here the waves hit the rocks to produce large amounts of spray. A spectacular sight. At this point it rained for a short while.

The water streaming of this rocks shows the dynamic nature of the link between the waves and the rock eroding (wearing away)

Then along past the castle and Burt’s giant globe for a well deserved takeaway hot drink.

Durlston cliffs
The castle and globe above
The front of the castle, entrance closed due to the lockdown

As we walked back through the woods we saw below in Durlston bay some surfers who we saw catch a short wave.

Surfers onto a wave

The rain started and we got home damper but refreshed from a good walk and a rush of wind in our faces. The rest of the day was based at home including putting up another picture – one that I had drawn in pen and ink from our trip to Squamish, Canada last Easter.

Much taking it easy and later I blogged about the power of feedback after receiving a message from the recipient of a commission I had drawn just over a week ago.

See Blog post.

Now I am writing this and doing some management work on my photos on the computer.

Thanks for reading