Category

New ventures

Have some bl**dy fun!

By Dressing up, Filming, New ventures, Talking art

I’m going to say it quietly but I have a sneaky suspicion that I’ll look back on these weeks of lockdown with, if not fondness, then a sense of satisfaction. Okay, so the consecutive days of walking more than 10k steps have waned although I did (annoying boast alert) walk to see the sun rise over London this morning. Not only was it was glorious but I did all my ‘steps’ before 6am. Naturally I then went back to bed and was woken up by a very bemused postman. I felt that I had to explain in detail why I was in my dressing gown at 10am. I really, really didn’t!

Anyway, my sense of satisfaction won’t come from a newly honed Olympian-worthy fitness regime, nor from my massively reduced outgoings. It will come from a feeling that I’ve learnt so much about how to do things differently. Sometimes this has come with a realisation that I need to let myself ‘go’ a bit more, in a manner of speaking. Actually, this ‘letting go’ thing wasn’t a lightbulb moment as much as something that was put to me from a friend who has a lot of experience in the entertainment industry. Have some bloody fun, he said, and if it all goes wrong blame it on lockdown.

So, having settled nicely into a way of working with the green screen, I changed everything and started a new version of ‘Pepped up by Paintings’ called ‘Curated canapés and cocktails’. I cannot tell you how hard I find working with props, if you call piping devilled egg filling into perfect opaque white half spheres ‘working with props’. Except that these ‘props’ weren’t perfect to begin with; some of the spheres were so far to the edge that I was extremely doubtful that the filling would hold, and then I completely fluffed EVERYTHING I was supposed to say, to the point that it became gibberish, and had to start again which entailed scraping all the filling out before the next take. Twice. Now you know why I didn’t want to eat the eggs. And also why the bag eventually collapsed.

The biggest revelation from all this was that I shouldn’t try to ‘act’ ever again. A slightly exaggerated version of myself is fine, but I’m absolutely not an actress. Meryl is safe for which I’m certain she’s profoundly grateful.

I suspect that I’ll be tweaking the presentation and production of these videos for some time until I’ve honed my craft to the best of my abilities (!), but for now I’m loving the fact that I’ve sort of been given permission to play. I’m not sure who is doling out this permission but I really hope that the result is something that is fun to watch. And if it goes badly wrong, I’ll blame it on lockdown.

The trials and triumphs of staying at home

By Instagram, New ventures, Talking art

Here we are at the end of April all settled into our ‘staying at home’ routines. To ‘zoom’ has become as ubiquitous as to ‘google’ and 2kg dumbbells are probably selling on the black market for prices you’d normally associate with precious stones!!

I think I’ve finally mastered the art of the Instagram live. There have, however, most certainly been some technical hitches. I lost a couple of recordings and had to redo them without an ‘audience’ which was horrible. You might think it doesn’t make much difference as I can’t see anyone anyway and there’s even less interaction when I turn off comments, but I imagine you all in the room with me which is more of a boost than I can tell you.

The first hitch came about because the internet was properly rubbish and I kept cutting out which was irritating but I couldn’t do much else. The second was a killer because it was my fault… my camera memory was too full to save the recorded ‘live’ once it was finished. Imagine! You could say that I was unimpressed. It actually led to my only mini isolation meltdown to date. I can highly recommend the soothing qualities of a jigsaw in these situations. This one was a collage of photos from a beautiful holiday with some girlfriends from last year so every so often I’d find a piece of one of their gorgeous faces and get misty eyed all over again. But the jigsaw worked its magic – and kept me up until 2am.

Mistakes and meltdowns aside, the thing I love about human nature is the way we adapt. I can’t be the only one to have been wondering what the world will look like for the next few years. I’m guessing, for example, that I won’t just be able to waltz into the National Gallery with a group any time soon. I can’t really process this if I’m honest, but I’ve started to do the next best thing which has been to think about an online offering. It can’t just be about replacing a gallery tour, although I’m happy to get online with you and do that if you’d like me to, but I feel that it has to offer something a little bit quirky. I have a plan. It’s in gestation but I hope that by the time I’m writing my blog next month you’ll all know about it.

So, let’s keep on keeping on but allow ourselves to get excited about all the wonderful innovations that are blossoming because we’ve had to do things differently. It’s really rather inspiring when you get the technology right.