Over this crazy period of recent months, I have rather enjoyed the freedom of being released from social responsibility towards friends, acquaintances and the lack of professional commitments. Enthusiastically I have embraced the work of completing paintings that have been ‘standing in the wings’, waiting for the finishing thoughts to be finally resolved. Only as the weeks passed have I begun to miss the small rituals and expectations that form part and parcel of the fabric of daily life: close contact with acquaintances; gallery visits to drool or scowl over paintings, either way it doesn’t matter, the interaction provided food for thought and conversation with others. One needs to absorb the physicality, the presence, of works of art to fully appreciate their qualities and shortcomings.
I have finally brought resolution to the previous study of this painting during this period of lock down. When I revisited it, the image had acquired poignancy and a patina that it had lacked previously. It has gone through many changes since its inception, not the least of which is that home has morphed primarily into a destination of safety and security.
The lone, isolated figure walking through the darkness was no longer someone returning following a hard day at work… and this led me to reflect on my personal experience of the last few months, which is probably not unlike that of many artists of my generation. I have no family to worry about and my only relative, my mother-in-law, is being well protected and cared for by her second son who lives close by.
I also have noticed the difficulty in starting any new work, although the ideas and concepts are mounting up. The future seems to be on hold and an unhealthy tendency has developed to look back and reminisce about my childhood, growing up in the back streets of a Midlands town, exchanging memories with others my own age who I have not thought about in decades.
Doreen Fletcher 2020
Going Home 2020 oil on canvas 76 x 61cm (30 x 24”) unframed