3 Things I discovered in lockdown

1. I still enjoy painting and printmaking

The day before our first lockdown in March 2020 I brought paintings and prints home from my first ever solo show ‘Avenue of Dreams’, www.the-ropewalk.co.uk/2020/01/06/avenue-of-dreams/ ,an abrupt end with my plans for follow up activities brought to a sudden halt. Strange times.

The next exhibition had been delivered to the Ropewalk Gallery and although it was about to be hung as planned it was never open to the public. Videos appeared online and I really felt for the artist who was unable to visit her own exhibition or engage with visitors. My outside printmaking activities ground to an abrupt halt but I am lucky to have a small x-cut press at my home studio which helped me enter my first ever online exhibition, The Derby Print Open, followed by another at the Old Lock Up Gallery in Derbyshire. I delivered a painting to Bassetlaw Museum for 'Journeys', and sent prints off to The Fronteer Gallery, Sheffield for 'All Shall Pass'. A painting was accepted to the Cooper Prize exhibition, which although postponed was open to the public for most of June. Here I am masked at the Cooper Prize exhibition. All good.

2. I’m much more ‘outdoorsy’ than I thought

I found solace walking down to our allotment most days or doing some gardening and felt grateful for access to so much open space which brought me to another discovery - the fantastic ancient woodland that exists in and around Sheffield. What a revelation after only being vaguely aware of its existence pre-pandemic. Sometimes digging is fun!

Weirdly I enjoyed walking in the really cold weather best…. followed by a cold shower. The chill and the smells of woodland in autumn and winter helped me switch off as I gazed upwards at the sculptural forms of the trees, their solid forms unexpectedly rea