MAY 2020; four project suggestions

Monday morning art group (Whatsapp) and #orangeartgroup

It will soon be May and we may be able to walk out; we may be able to meet and hear the voice as we see the face and apprehend the new experiences after weeks of lockdown.

April was a very busy month and for me, a very exciting month with so many wonderful images and comments in response to the three projects. Thank you all so much for this interaction and exchange. I was aware of those in the background; I hope your image making went well and also that you show us whatever you have been making when you are ready.

The gift of time, (“hours fly by and seconds last forever”) was filled with what’s up exchanges, amazing opportunities to visit virtual museums, galleries, webinars; to read books, reflect, worry and wonder.

Underneath, the unknown continues to simmer and challenge our moods and self-management. I think we helped each other along and I thank you all for that.

The update about starting sessions again at Ruth Prowse is, June 8th. I hope to rent the studio from June to the end of October so that we can continue our Monday morning sessions and perhaps meet one afternoon a month to review work? By about 20th May I will give full details about this.


May be for May we should work with colours and memories of May.

We can “stay in touch” by sharing daily or weekly experience?

Project suggestion 1;

April was given to us by taking our routines away. Maybe during May a daily image-making process of exteriors, interiors, the daily colour changes, tree changes, temperature changes, is a good idea.

 A journal or calendar of how the autumn sets in and moves on. The levels of lockdown, the movement of the virus, the exercise opportunities and then, maybe the intimacies of what you are cooking and reading and doing.

Project suggestion 2;

There are images that come to mind and that are not so easy to draw; Maybe it is time to try.

Draw a giraffe, draw a pyramid, draw a person singing; paint a friend called May; (imagined or real.) Just draw your dreams and draw as your mind moves. Draw with words and with pictures. You will find yourself quite quirky and quite efficient if you take the expectations off your shoulders and allow your hands to work.

Draw from paintings and drawings in books.

Project suggestion 3;

 A few other ideas to contemplate or work with;

“May; although it is autumn, we remember spring.”

There is music and there are movies about May.

May is the 5th month with 31 days and is represented by the colour emerald.

 Mixing emeralds is very soothing especially in oils. Is the complimentary of emerald, ruby?

 May flower? May day? Google some of these events, names and phrases.

 Find in your research some sense or sensibility, a connection with something that stirs you. It may take the month of May to complete, slowly on a canvas.

 (include your daily “note” taking, x 31 days.)

Project suggestion 4;

Another idea for daily practise.

Use a piece of paper, square or rectangle (vertical or horizontal) of any size, large or small. (Start with scraps or pieces of old newspaper/brown paper bags.)

Use a square, an equilateral triangle, a half circle and a circle in each drawing and use one of these shapes twice.

They can overlap, they can be made with dotted lines, thick lines, thin lines…

The shapes can be of a similar size or different sizes in a single drawing; they can include the edge of the paper or touch the edge thereby making another shape. Actually, these lines will be making shapes and compositions, including the original format whatever size you decide to work on. (the composition is always part of the scale/proportion of the format, remember).

Once you have drawn your five shapes on the paper, turn the images various ways and see what your eye wants to hold onto most. You can then remove some of the lines, which will give you different shapes, different movements, a different sense of place and weight. You can add colour; you can keep it geometric; you can include texture in the way you apply colour or by introducing cut out pieces……. 

Hang it on the wall, keep an eye on it, play with it and then send us a picture, comments and questions.

On my website, under teaching (

I have taken notes from two books that I have enjoyed; Living with Picasso by Francois Gilot. (I don’t know how she remembered all that she has quoted him saying but I think some of the ideas are worth considering.) The book was made into a movie but I prefer the book.

The other is a copy of Matisse and Diebenkorn; it is Maggi’s book and has many interesting observations.

Keep in touch.

Best wishes from Jill