Crouch End Clock Tower
9 x 12 inches
“Watercolour is a wonderful, but underrated media, it’s unforgiving but can be terrifically satisfying if and when! But like all skills it’s important to keep practising.”Chris Baker
Chris’s Lockdown Story
‘The first image of Crouch End was made a few days before ‘lockdown’, the image of blossom was painted early on and is of my neighbour’s cherry seen through my window. It’s my very own ‘hanami’. The third, a conch shell, I chose to represent the theme, ‘light’, as if the shell is almost translucent.
As members of the Highgate Watercolour Group we’ve wanted to keep in touch with the other artists. We’ve been sharing work already through our Facebook page so it seemed a good idea to keep this up whilst we couldn’t meet as a group. We’ve chosen a different theme each week and posted the images after the day we normally meet at the Highgate Society hall in South Grove. It’s a really positive experience to continue to see the different ways that the same subject is interpreted.
I normally get out and about, visiting galleries, local further afield, sketching or making photos (which I play around with using Photoshop). For example, I took a number of photos at the London Aquarium as inspiration for paintings which were subsequently shown – and several sold – at our annual exhibition. I was due to go to Giverny in May, sadly cancelled. I’ve had to rely on my existing stock of digital images or on very local views (even of my own garden – lucky to have). I’m not really a fan of still life, except as a way of keeping up the techniques.
Unfortunately most of my paintings during this period have been quite small scale.
Watercolour is a wonderful, but underrated media, it’s unforgiving but can be terrifically satisfying if and when! But like all skills it’s important to keep practising.’
I’ve not been able to continue my volunteering activities, except remotely as I normally would travel to the office in Vauxhall once a week and attend arts lectures at Kenwood House, for example. Nor has the group been able to meet in person. But I have kept busy through my HWG activities (e.g. emailing members regularly, collating images and posting on Facebook with colleagues, making a YouTube virtual exhibition), and by seeking out online lectures etc. Of course it’s not the same as actually going to exhibitions, meeting friends and colleagues!
Text and images © Chris Baker