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Roseanna Chetwood


'FREE SPIRIT' - A Lockdown challenge

'Free Spirit' was my lockdown experiment, a personal challenge that pushed me out of my comfort zone. The canvas was something I had snapped up at a bargain price and stored for years not knowing what to paint on it. I'd never tackled such a large canvas before, but inspiration struck me during lockdown and I was determined to capture the raw energy of a galloping horse.

I wanted this painting to reflect a sense of grit and determination, mirroring the perseverance we all needed during those challenging times. Working on such a large scale demanded that I work at a fast pace. Most of the subject had to be painted in one sitting in order to get the effect I wanted. The paint had to be wet in order to achieve the desired sgraffito markings, too much of a delay would jeopardise revealing the bright underlying  yellow.

Adjusting to the bigger canvas  required a different approach too, everything was a little alien to my usual studio setup. I had to upgrade my easel to handle the larger 1m x 1m canvas, and two huge daylight lamps kept the lighting consistent. Plus, I had to get used to wielding larger palette knives and handling bigger quantities of paint.

In the end, though, it was all worth it. 'Free Spirit' encapsulates my lockdown experience. A reminder that even in strange and uncertain times, we can choose to push through and keep moving forward.


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