My love goes out to everyone. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis means we are all facing different, challenging and new degrees of separation. Countries. Cities. Partners. Parents and grandparents. Children. Siblings. Friends. Colleagues. Routines. Pastimes. Income. Basic supplies. Travel. Touch. Freedom. Control. Everything we took for granted.

I am with my 87 year old dad, and I’m glad and grateful that I’m with him at home. But last Saturday, being forced to choose between people and lands and ways of life still kind of broke my heart in two. I think I was in shock, probably like many of us.

My sister visited on Sunday, maybe for the last time for who knows how long, and we walked in Attingham Park. We stood on a bridge, a metre apart, and photographed our shadows shifting on the river’s surface. I saw spring buds on the trees, watched a herd of deer graze on green, and my skin warmed in the sunlight. The fact that nature is always changing gave me hope that things will eventually transform.

That night (the 15th March 2020) I decided that for every day that I am ‘here’ when I was expecting to be ‘there’ I will make an iPad painting of whatever wants to channel through me just before I go to sleep. I’m not a person to deny or suppress my feelings in the face of anything. I’ve learned I must let them ebb and flow, observe them, help them to evolve. My paintings are one way I can do it. Two weeks ago I visited the David Hockney: Drawing from life exhibition at the NPG in London. Seeing his iPad drawings was inspiration for this project. Tech-painting will be a new skill for me to learn and afterwards I can put the drawings into an ebook as a visual record of this unprecedented time and how one 57 year old human being living with an 87 year old human being in the United Kingdom, but separated from loved ones 7000+ miles away, handles it.

The paintings will not be overthought or planned or perfected. They’ll be just as they want to be in the moment, in the early hours when I might otherwise have been dancing Argentine tango or ‘rock and roll’. Really I’ve no idea what will emerge, but curiosity and exploration and adventure are me, so we’ll see.

I’ll think about how best to share the the paintings because maybe they will help someone else. I’m thinking to put them on Instagram @salchemy11 as I make them (so that if you’d like to connect with me about them, you could do it there), and possibly on Facebook (still considering that), but I’ll work out the best way to share them on this blog too. The old me might have wanted to plan to perfection before I started sharing anything, but the COVID-19-crisis-facing Sal says, go with whatever runs free and alive in you. And, creative expression is, for now at least, one of the few freedoms I feel we have left. So, I’ll just start and figure out the details later. My wish is that the focus on and output from this project alchemises into healing energy for the Universe and for us all.

The first three drawings are at the top of this blog post.

Take care dear friends.

#thejoyexperiments #salchemy #C19_degreesofseparation

The practicalities. The paintings will be made on an Apple iPad Air (3rd generation) with an Apple Pencil (1st generation). I’m using the free Art Set app.

I’ll be super-happy if you share my creations. Please use short quotes from the piece if you like, but always always link back to this page.

For any other use, please ask me first.

See the journey of my paintings and drawings over the years here:

p.s. follow me on Instagram? I post a little, more often, there…

Share art, share <3.
© Sally Townsend Blake 2020