Associate member Rob Ellis finishes off our ISOLartION posts. Thanks to all the members and friends who have actively participated in this series. We have enjoyed our studio visits and will miss reading about the art being created during social/physical distancing. We are currently gearing up for our selected exhibition, and are leaving our artists in peace to work on their submissions. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and our Exhibitions page for news of our exhibition.

I’ve no doubt I’m a bit late to the Isolartion party but I took photos for my first ever portrait commission this morning and, since I wasn’t any kind of a portrait artist at the beginning of lockdown, I’d say things have changed for me a bit.  Did anyone else participate in the Sky Portrait Artist of the Week (not the Year) live streams on nine Sunday mornings during lockdown?

Celebrities at home were painted from the screen by artists who had previously been successful in Portrait Artist of the Year, also at home.  And over two thousand of us normal folk joined them in painting a portrait each week.  The works were posted on Instagram (#mypaotw) and the following week the judges decided on three top entries.  Needless to say, watercolour barely featured since there is a huge bias in the art world towards oil/acrylic/graphite/mixed media/coffee  – anything so long as it’s not watercolour!

Nevertheless, I gritted my teeth and entered something every week and now I have a portrait commission for my pains.  It’s true that even then I was asked to use acrylics but they are getting watercolour.  I only hope they like the result when it’s done.  They might not even notice!

Rob Ellis – beginning to pick the lock….

p.s. Here’s a picture of my “studio” since it’s a glimpse through my studio window!


Having received the photo of Rob’s studio, we were instantly gripped with monitor envy and guessed that we would get lots of inquiries about it. Rob tells us it is a Viewsonic VP2458 24” screen which can swivel from landscape to portrait orientation.