I love watercolour painting, and for me, it is one of the new, positive things that has come out of the pandemic. I have enjoyed the learning and discovery of different painting methods, and like most things in life, I hope to become better with time.
I moved to Donegal just before the pandemic from Northern Ireland. Although the move was not far, it is much quieter here and I am fortunate enough to have breath-taking scenes on my doorstep. With the lockdowns, my ability to explore this county was limited, but it brought another perspective towards life which gradually grew on me. It became a welcome break from the routine and business of the old “normal”, swapping long commutes, bad traffic, long shopping queues, busy public transport for the joy of no commute, more sleep, no traffic apart from meeting family in the hallway.
Long hours of sitting in an office disappeared with new remote working arrangements and the noises and chaos of the old daily routines gone with it. Everything seemed to have slowed down and there was more time to refocus on myself. I began to notice the beauty of my surroundings, whilst walking in the woods or beach. The leaves, trees, flowers, rocks, mountains, wild animals, the beach for the sunset, tides, the sound of waves, change of weather and colour of the sky. It sounds silly but true – my heart was filled with moments of joy, smiles, excitement, and appreciation for where we now live and are thankful for life more than ever.
Like a lot of people, I realised there was more to life. I started to look for new hobbies. I like travel, going to museums, galleries and believed there is always a lovely story behind a good piece of artwork.
When most people think about Donegal, they think about the scenery – despite the four seasons in a day. The uncommercialised natural beauty all around does its best to impress every visitor. Therefore, it did not take long to decide it would be a great idea to pick up a bundle of watercolours and brushes and try out painting as a way to record such beauty. I was very attracted to the shading variations that one drop of watercolour paint can create, and I decided to set up a blog https://jinandcoart.wordpress.com/, and Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/jinandcoart/ to collect all my artwork.
My sister in law also introduced my artwork to a local printing business based in Downings, and it is amazing to see my art transferred onto cushions and many other household items that have been sold as far afield as Australia and USA, https://pixalili.com/collections/peng.
I am still an amateur watercolourist, but I hope someday my artwork can go on one of those gallery walls. In the meantime, I just keep on learning every day.