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artist's blog - september 2020 archive
September 2020

”Yes, there is life in the shadows!”

"Well, over six months on and we find ourselves almost back at square one, but life in the Devereux household has continued at a pace.

The garden has received an almost total makeover and is visibly ‘in shock’, garden furniture re-painted and at one stage I hardly recognized it as our patch! However, part of the lack of recognition was down to a gradual deterioration in my sight and a long awaited laser procedure on my eyes.

I had reached the stage where I was painting intuitively without being able to see properly – certainly no detail could be seen – and I finally temporarily gave up driving.

Having had cataracts removed and lens implants some years ago, apparently in some people a gradual ‘fogging’ builds up and laser treatment is required. Being a total wimp I delayed the procedure, until finally deciding back in January to go ahead.

However, the inevitable happened – due to Covid 19 cancelled appointment after appointment until at the end of July I was allowed to fight through the hospital regulations to enter an almost empty hospital to go ahead with the treatment.

Within a couple of hours, having had both eyes treated simultaneously “I could see the light”. More than that, I could read road signs, et voila I re-discovered that there is life in the shadows……… I still can’t believe it, shadows used to be just large black holes. The first thing I did on returning home was to take a closer look at the work I had been experimenting with and was amazed how much more detail I had created without seeing it. I am still fascinated by it and I have to say that my life is changed.

Fortunately the timing was impeccable – I had recently been commissioned to produce a large and highly detailed lively cartoon in ink and watercolour, and I have been reveling in being able to see every detail without strain, not to mention the colour. Character drawing has always been close to my heart, and far from going back in time I feel as though I’ve been propelled into another dimension.

Meanwhile, as Summer School at Missenden Abbey in Buckinghamshire loomed, whilst it was never going to be a huge event, with just a couple of courses running with strictly limited numbers, we were at least able to feel a little bit ‘normal’.

I was as excited as my students in having the opportunity to work together again, and all safety measures were strictly adhered to. We all very quickly came to accept it as though it had always been this way. We discussed the situation at times of course, but mostly were plunged into our creative ‘bubble’ and some fabulous work was produced.

Experimental Ink and Watercolours always attracts people who want to break a few ‘rules’ and this we did with untethered energy.

New courses are in the pipeline and depending on regulations which we all know are evolving all the time, do take a look at... for more details.

Meanwhile, back to the drawing board……….

                                   Jackie Devereux
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