Artists in Lockdown - Katty McMurray
Are you still able to make work?
Yes I’m very lucky, my husband has had to close his framers and gallery in London and has taken to home schooling rather well - so I seem to have more time than ever!
I’ve spent the first few weeks getting to grips with social media and our website, I’ve had a lot of work to post out- A fair few customers from many many years ago have been in touch to top up their painting collections so it’s been a busy time. Currently I’m working on a few commissions and am looking forward to starting a new collection for the Autumn. I'm really hopeful our gallery will be back open on the beach by then.
How has being in lockdown affected your creative process and What is keeping your inspired at the moment?
Well it’s strange - I’ve been looking back over a lot of sketches from trips I never painted or finished painting - I recently started a collection of large paintings of Puglia where we have spent the last 10 summers... I just had the urge to paint Italy, I’ve spent every summer there for the last 50 years and I’m missing it - and as we probably can’t travel for a while I thought id bring Italy here! I’m finding myself thinking of lots of simple things I often took for granted; coffees in Brighton, flower and food markets, bluebells in the woods... I have so many sketch books to work from which transport me wherever I want to go.
Do you see your work changing after lockdown?
To be honest at the moment I have more time than I normally do but my youngest son is due to start secondary school this autumn so it feels like the start of a more intense period of working which I haven’t had for many years. I think I will be able to get more immersed in everything, it’s exciting - I have lots of galleries asking for work but I just haven’t had the time to supply them while I’ve been bringing up the boys. I've been painting and exhibiting for nearly 30 years now - I can't really believe where the time has gone!
'Butterfly's above Matera' is an oil on linen (90cm x 90cm )painted from sketches taken from the town of Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, just across the boarder of Puglia where we have spent the last 10 summers. Matera is one of the most spectacular places i have ever been to and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. We spent a wonderful weekend there staying in a cave a few years ago, but I never really go round to painting it... so lockdown seemed like the perfect time.. its only a start really, i plan to do more and maybe return after travel restrictions are lifted...
'Across to Otranto' oil on linen (77cmx 102cm) is a vista of Otranto in Puglia, I should be there now to celebrate a big birthday!.. so as we couldn't go i just felt like painting it to feel connected .. My mother is Italian and have a lot of family there and lived there in my twenties...I started these paintings when the virus was at its peak in Italy and I seem to have continued... I've got 3 more underway .. I'm dreaming of going back for a long sketching trip.