The Isolation Art Challenge

I joined the Isolation Art Challenge because I thought it would be a good way to keep up my art practice. We’ve been doing house improvements recently so I haven’t had much time to get on with anything substantial, and this seemed a good way to give myself a couple of hours of productivity every so often and maybe I can work some paintings up from them later.


The challenge was generously set up for free by ArtTutor.com during the lockdown, the idea is to paint/do some form of artwork every day, they provide the theme and we the subscribers interpret it. It’s reached 24000+ members and still growing! I’m not sure if everyone is posting an artwork, I’m not managing to paint daily, I’ve only done 9 so far, but that’s probably 9 more than I would have done! It’s useful having a given theme, for that’s one decision already dealt with, although the next decision still remains to find what to draw or paint.

Day 1, EDIBLE. My first contribution, it’s extremely dull I feel,  a back to school feel, why on earth didn’t I do a nice colourful and luscious pear? The intention was a quick sketch, but I got too fussy. The dullness also emanates from my mood at that time, we were only one week in, we’re now at six weeks and I’m used to lockdown now, it feels less like a waiting game and more like normality.

Day 2. TIME. My grandmas clock plus dandelion clocks in our field. Only time for quick sketches, I‘m very lucky to live in countryside so I can get out to walk our dog and sketch, there‘s not a soul in sight, in fact there never is in normal times, so life hasn’t changed much for us.

Day 3, INSIDE. As I mentioned we’re renovating a couple of rooms in the house so I’m having trouble finding time to do this project. All efforts have been drawings so far because they’re quick to do, I’ll do something in colour eventually.

Day 4, WILD. (Failing miserably in doing daily paintings) This is 18 year old Lucy asleep on my lap. We reared her from the age of under 2 weeks, so small that she fitted in the palm of my hand. I found her all those years ago in the wild, tiny and alone, and mewing vociferously, I imagine she dreams of being a tiger, she certainly acts like one sometimes….. some animals are never grateful! 

(I wrote and drew this on 3rd April little knowing she would soon be leaving us for good, poor old characterful Lucy died on 15th April. I miss her enormously, she was very much part of our lives)

that’s it for drawings for now, I’ll post the other 5 later, I may even have more to post by then.

13 thoughts on “The Isolation Art Challenge

  1. Great drawings Liz; I love the drawings of Lucy and the dandelions particularly, with their lively, energetic lines. Great stuff, especially with such pressure on time 😊

    • Hi Phil, thanks! I just learned that I should be on day 42, so, on day 9 I’m failing dismally! Luckily they’re are very laid back about it, with 24600 members what else can they do?!! ( Sorry I still haven’t found time to watch the video link from your blog, I’m saving it for a calm evening.) I hope you’re coping in the city, it must be quite difficult there.

      • Well day is nine is a lot better than nothing!
        Berlin has not been too bad, but I’d love to have beer in the country instead, get out and experience the spring all around. 😊

      • I really sympathise, I can’t imagine how it must feel for those in apartments, we are so very lucky living here. There’s going to be one hell ova party once restrictions are lifted!

  2. Lovely drawings, Liz! Sorry to hear about Lucy but so nice you made that drawing. Sounds like you and Graham are busy on the house once again so good luck with that. Looking forward to an inspection visit when all this lockdown is over. Keep those drawings/paintings coming! xx

    • Dear Marie-Claire, another person Ive been thinking about and meaning to write to! How are you both, hope it’s not too claustrophobic there? They’ve banned cycling here, much to Graham’s disgust, I can’t imagine they’ve done the same to you in Rotterdam.? keep well, hugs invisible to you too! xL

      • Hey sweety, It is weird times here. We can still bike but we need to keep bike size distance. Oh dear, poor Graham, another reason to come to Holland! It is all kind of too digital, everything and everybody online, teaching, meetings, both school and friends. Just Saturday we had drinks on skype with Pe en Stijn en Teun and Fien. Who is living in a caravan near Utrecht and loving it! I am trying to work in my studio but find myself strangely distracted by? I don’t even know. However, I make my daily collages/drawings, so I keep kind of busy haha.
        It is so good to see your drawings and what a lovely idea, the art challenge!
        We were talking with our friends, during yet another online drink session, and we talked about the summer… not much chance of a holiday. But if we can we would love love love to see you two! And if the gite is available we just rent it. However, that is all if, and if, and more ifs. Fingers crossed, it would be so great to see you. lots of digital kissis and hugs from all of us here.
        xxx marie

  3. Christmas 2018 at La Crabouille, sitting at the kitchen table making preparatory sketches for a project that had come in via an e-mail and that required I start straight away to meet the deadline. Lucy is outside, peering intently at me through the window pane. She yowls and pats at the window to test whether it’s open. It isn’t. She stares harder at me. More yowls, louder, and in a rising pitch. I get up and cross to the window to unlatch it. In she comes. She sits companionably on a chair next to me. I go the tap to get myself a glass of water, and when I turn back she’s curled up RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF MY DRAWING, a scattering of garden ‘bits’ around her. She gives me a stony look, daring me to move her. I pick her up firmly and put her to the floor. Pause. She stalks with stiff-legged hauteur to the kitchen door to be let out, and I oblige her. Back to work at the table. Not two minutes later she’s at the window, again, patting at it. I ignore her. She rears to her hind legs to emphasise the urgency, patting harder, her claws making little scratching noises, stopping from time to time to pierce me with a stare emphasising her meaning. I get up, cross to the window and let her in. This happens repeatedly throughout the morning. I must have let her in twenty times by the time G passes through the kitchen and says “Just ignore her.” I try to. I really try. But Lucy just thinks up more attention-grabbing strategies. Now she’s putting her shoulder to the panes, and her yowling has passed from urgent to Banshee-shrieks of rage. You come in, Lizzie, and go to the window to let her in, saying as she streaks past “Oh poor Lucy, wouldn’t Clive let you in?”!!! Lucy leaps to table, to stand defiantly in front of me, her nose inches from my face. Very slowly and without unlocking her gaze from mine, she sits on my drawing hand – the pencil still between my fingers – in the middle of my sketchpad!

    • That’s a wonderfully evocative description of her, you can imagine how much we miss that character stomping around, I used to get up every night about 4 am to feed her and let her out, it’s weird sleeping through the night after all those years of slavery!
      I miss those mornings reading by the Rayburn with Lucy fast asleep on my lap, she would sleep so deeply and soundly almost nothing would wake her, I even perfected the art of walking in a squat with her still attached to my lap if I needed to reach for my tea on the table!
      I think that’s how she was originally lost by her mum, who had probably moved all the sibling kittens to safety whilst Lucy was in a deep sleep.

      Thanks for the lovely photos Clive, much love , xxL

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