How did my painting flowers for inspiration come about? Come closer, my lovelies and I’ll tell you the tale.

When lockdown came, I thought, ‘That sucks, but at least there will be more painting time’. And then the busy-ness started: volunteering, meetings over zoom, growing vegetables in the flower beds, baking and so many other life-affirming activities that kept us feeling connected to other people.

Lockdown created an artificial state of isolation that runs counter to the human need to contact. Many artists said, ‘nothing changes. I work alone anyway.’ And that’s logical and for some it worked, but for many it did not. And I was one of them. I struggled to find the spark I needed when I went into my studio.

I’m always keen to support local businesses and my Instagram feed kept showing me the most gorgeous bunches of flowers from local grower, The Midnight Garden. Then she popped up with a post showing some of the most glorious peonies. I always remember my mother talking about how special peony flowers are because the plants can be temperamental. So I decided it was time to order a bunch from her.

Painting Flowers for Inspiration – with Friends

I was so excited about the peonies I had ordered that I shared the information on Social Media and immediately got a response from a friend to say that she would love to paint them. That idea created a spark of inspiration and I decided to set up a virtual painting day. When the flowers arrived, I set them up in my studio and invited Stephie Butler and Lori Bentley to come and paint with me over a Whereby video link. We had a virtual studio where we could chat and paint with one camera focused on the vase of flowers so we all had a view.

The urge to paint came back in a dramatic way. I had a thought to paint on a big sheet of paper with wide square brushes. The sense of liberation I got from making sweeping, expansive brushstrokes was wonderful. It was like taking a deep breath of fresh air.

Of course, it’s not as simple as having one painting session and a bunch of flowers. But there are certain subjects that inspire us in a particular moment. For me, it was peonies and the companionship of two other artists. I’m looking forward to the October workshop with Aine Divine even more now.

We all felt blindsided by the lockdown. No-one saw it coming. See if you can identify with any of this: Denial, Anger, Fear, Bargaining, Depression, Anxiety and, hopefully, Acceptance. I’m sure we’ve all experienced some version of these feelings over the past 4 months. I know I certainly have.

Now I’ve found the ways to deal with getting my mojo to return, I’m preparing to share them with other artists.

How has your painting mojo been behaving recently?