January Challenge

Firstly, may I wish you a happy and healthy 2022.

I think January is always a bit of a challenge! This second New Year of a global pandemic is no exception. I’m aware that we personally are quite fortunate in the grand order of things, but at this time of year it’s not always easy to see beyond the immediate circumstances. Despite our continuing caution and many precautions as we are both pretty vulnerable, Boxing Day brought me a streaming cold, temperature and banging headache, and the Zoe Covid app recommended a PCR test which wasn’t available even to order until the next day. The welcome negative result arrived after a couple of days on New Year’s Eve; well done to the lab and Royal Mail. The bug, however, is still taking its toll and we weren’t able to join friends as planned for lunch today, so I was feeling a tad sorry for myself, if I’m honest.

I decided to start the January Challenge from 64 Million Artists to kick-start myself into action as I thoroughly enjoyed doing it in 2020 and last year, though the ‘Covid malaise’ of creative inertia took its toll on me in 2021. I think I did actually finish all but one in the end, but failed at the stage of collating the results when the fragile mojo deserted completely! I thought I’d give it a go again this year so this is the ‘one line self-portrait’ challenge we were set today.

I have a small notebook that I had great fun making in a West Yorkshire Archive Service workshop earlier this year and had decided to use as a sort of ‘commonplace book’ for 2022, so the January Challenge will start it off nicely.

Drawing and painting are not my forte, so this was definitely out of the comfort zone: I took to photography in part because I can use it to create the images I want but cannot create with pen or brush. The eagle-eyed may spot the tracing paper I used in order to set the portrait outline, too! Finally, in my own defence, I would just add that I really do feel as wobbly and rough as I look there!

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