Penny Newman is an accomplished plein air painter, and has found being confined to the house during lockdown quite difficult as the countryside is her studio. Here is her story of this painting.

Where are the elephants by Penny Newman
Where are the elephants by Penny Newman

I’d like to name this painting something like ‘Where are the elephants?’


It started off life as the last outdoor pen sketch that I did when Linda Purdy and I had our last painting get together at Diss just before the lockdown started. It was a wet, grey March day and with heavy rain threatening, it was not a day to continue with the piece and get my watercolours out on-site. But whilst sitting and drawing, a local man came and talked with us and said that during the 19th century the circus visited each year and set up on the green where we were sitting. Sadly, an elephant died and is buried somewhere under the green. Which was a huge event, and then … the very same thing happened again when the circus visited on a subsequent year. What are the chances? There is local speculation as to where the elephants are buried on the green – but no one seems to know for sure. Quite a story.

Anyway, I am primarily an outdoor painter and having to adapt to working at home away from the places that I like to visit and paint. So, I had a go at painting this at home on a much sunnier and warmer April day during lockdown, but tried to keep the feeling of the grey, wet day in March that it had been. Have I succeeded?

A bit of searching led us to discover an article about the elephants and a recent hunt to discover their resting places. Read all about it here

Online fun

Penny shared two pieces of online fun with us:

  • Perry Grayson’s artclub in case you hadn’t come across it yet.
  • Quarantine with art video – give yourself an art history test and see if you can identify all the art and artists featured. (check your answers by following the link in the information under the video)