Surinder Beerh shared his lockdown journey with us, as well as some of his new pieces.

The last twelve weeks have not been easy at all. I had my son and his family move into our house due to COVID. They are based in London and my grandson is only 18 months. For their safely we all agreed that it would be best they moved in with us into the countryside and away from London. Best decision I think we all made.

With a house full I have to say it has been very difficult to concentrate on any matter. There is always a drama in the house which makes painting virtually impossible. I have always enjoyed the peace and quietness when it comes to painting. If I am in my own bubble then I tend to paint better or alternatively paint with a group of like minded painters. With no peace at home and no group to go and paint with life has been a struggle to say the least. As soon as I go into my studio my grandson somehow finds me and continues to knock on the door until I open it. Then insists on sitting on my lap and drawing. He just loves it. So indirectly I have created another artist!! It is a joy to see someone so young enjoy playing around with colour pencils and paints.

About my painting

I have enjoyed watercolour painting since my retirement.  I enjoy the way the paint mixes on paper and creates wonderful effects.
I continue to struggle as I never get it right. If I get one part of the painting right, then I always make a mistake somewhere else. It is a constant challenge to get it all right in one go. But that is what I enjoy about watercolour. Every painting is a struggle and one never stops learning.

I have always enjoyed painting Marine subjects – Boats, Ships, Harbours, Estuaries etc. Don’t ask me why as I myself don’t know. I was not born near a sea, have not owned a boat and can’t even swim. Yet I have a fascination for water related subjects.  I do like landscapes and townscaps too, but water always wins.

In isolation, my painting production levels have dropped dramatically. I like to paint reasonably fast as I find that I get my best watercolour results this way. With constant interruptions the results have been disastrous .  I have thrown more unfinished paintings away than I have even done before. Usually I can paint three or four paintings a week without a problem. They may not all be acceptable, but at least I can churn them out. During the lockdown over 13 weeks I have produced 20 paintings at most. This is just about half my normal production. Of those I think half can be discarded.  I also feel with no exhibitions, my motivation has dropped. The focus has gone and I seem to take a lot longer to produce anything half decent.

Usually I put my paintings in about 4-5 exhibitions during spring and summer. There have been no deadlines to meet and thus I have done far less. I don’t know if others have felt this but I feel tired not doing anything. I want to go to bed early as I am exhausted having achieved nothing.  I always like it when I am busy.

It sounds as if I am about to chop my ear off!!  Not that at all. Just sharing how I feel. I keep in touch with other artists and they all seem to feel the same.

It is not all doom and gloom

My walking levels have dramatically improved. They have doubled which means I have more energy. I have learnt to sketch a bit more and have produced small paintings which are quick and easy. This is something new I have developed over the lockdown period. Yesterday  for the first time over the lockdown period I went and painted plein air with a professional art tutor I know. That was excellent and felt alive again. We have undertaken to going out more often. Hopefully we are showing early signs of recovery. Let’s hope we can get out there and paint more often.

Here are some of my paintings that I have produced in lockdown. Looking forward to seeing you all in the near future. All I can say is keep painting and enjoy the time you have now. With the way the weather has been recently there are no excuses for not popping out to paint. Take care and stay safe!