Lillias August, our Patron, reflects on her artwork during the pandemic

Just a little note to let SEAW Members and Friends know about a project which I got involved in along with thousands of other artists during lockdown.  The Instagram initiative called the Artists’ Support Pledge (#artistsupportpledge) has been a massive artistic endeavour, initiated by Matthew Burrows, and has grown very quickly into a worldwide success.

Artists can advertise their work for sale on Instagram for any price up to £200. In this scheme, for every £1000 of art that they sell they pledge to buy another artist’s work. This enterprise is built on trust and generosity and supports artists who have suffered a great deal during lockdown with the ceasing of exhibitions, the closing of galleries and the disruption to normal teaching practices.

Big feather, little feather 7.8 x 25cm, and Lightbulb 11.25 x 14.5cm

I started by selling good quality prints of a previous series of paintings called the A-Z of Still Life produced about ten years ago. It was great to be able to offer affordable prints and, even better, I was soon able to buy my first painting. I then decided to paint original paintings but these had to be small to fit with the price restriction. They proved to be almost more popular than the prints and led to several commissions.  Altogether I painted 35 tiny paintings and have just two left for sale (see above) – as a result I was able to support more artists by buying their work. You can see more detail on my Instagram account.

The Artists Support Pledge inspired me to do a larger painting of a collection of little everyday objects, Lockdown A-Z (97 x 26cm), see below. It will be in the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London, in May 2021.

Some of the letters (A for apple etc!) are obvious; some are more obscure; some appear twice depending on your own translation; one or two represent two letters.  I noticed that quite a few seem to suggest ‘holding things together’ – what we are all trying to do, no doubt!  However seemingly insignificant they seem to be they all seem to have a meaning – probably a different one for each of us.

Here are some close-ups of the painting so you can see the detail.

part one


part two


part three

Editor’s note:

If you are a member or Friend of the SEAW you can win a Lillias August print by taking part in our “Holding things together” competition. Entry details in your email newsletter.