John Threlfall Artist in Lockdown

By Mary-Anne Bartlett on 7th May 2020

So here in Aberdeenshire.…..the cancellation of all exhibitions and the closure of all the galleries for the foreseeable future means that I have had time to play with some other ideas that I have wanted to do for ages. For example, I have been working on a series of portraits of/for family and friends with a view to ‘putting them out there’ to generate some interest and even commissions.
   
My thoughts are often in Zambia.  I’ve got the time now to work up some sketches from our fantastic trip to Thornicroft last year. I don’t quite know which ones I am going to use so have posted a load of them!  Ahhh, I find myself wondering when we’ll be back in South Luangwa. I love Thornicroft and all. I’ve been going through Judy’s photos and…sigh sigh!!

My daily (dog) walk into the mixed Birch and Scots Pine woodland has been a wonderful solace, tonic and inspiration. We are so lucky to have these beautiful woods within a short walk of the house with the bonus of horizon wide views along Deeside to the still snow streaked mountains of the Cairngorms.

Last spring I painted my way through the woods by way of getting to know them intimately, specialist pine forest birds such as crossbill, siskin and redpoll alongside other woodland specialties such as willow warbler, tree creeper and tree pipit in the open glades. It is also lovely to have many yellowhammers and tree sparrows on the adjacent farmland. This spring however I have been writing my way around, reacting to sightings, sounds and experiences and putting together a series of haiku like verses by way of mapping the progression of seasonal changes. One of these days I will put last years sketches and this years writings together!!

I certainly feel that this period is an opportunity to be grasped and made use of, to explore ideas and possibilities. Who knows what may come of this?

I’ve also been busy baking bread and cookies during lockdown!!! They’re not bad at all!