Growth in Isolation

I first wrote this blog in March right after the first lock down and thought it a good idea to post again.

Here we are nearly one year on and the virus continues to dominate our lives.   This says to me that we need to adapt ourself and lives so that we can stay well in body and mind. IMG-20191127-WA0010Be Prepared….

Having been a self employed artist since 1973, I know what it is to work and live in isolation.

In this post I  am offering some tried and true suggestions taken from my own experience.    (this photograph shows me when I was about 30 years old…at that time my son was nine and my daughter one)

At the moment a lot of people are talking about doing different things on line.   However, almost like New Years resolutions,  I have a feeling that if this goes on for weeks, months or longer the novelty of living this way might dwindle for many and so it is important to be prepared. 

My cottage garden in Wales with Christeve the Cat and friend on shed….This little garden taught me so much, not least of which was patience……til August 10 119A DAILY ROUTINE  

It is important to establish a daily routine that works for you.     Write it down.  

For single people this can be easier given that there are no interruptions.

However,  having raised a family I know what it is to live and work in a very busy household and at the same time stick to schedules. – not easy, therefore structure becomes even more important.

An added plus is that by establishing a good daily routine you could encourage others in your household to do the same.    A learning experience for everyone.

All of this takes a level of self discipline – a word that many people shy away from today.   In reality self discipline equals Freedom….

If I have a good structure in place, it gives me the freedom to do the things I enjoy most….painting, cooking, writing, sitting under a tree and meditating…..


Make sure there is a purpose to your day.

I knew when I went to bed last night that my purpose today would be to write this blog along with some watercolour painting,  reading a good book, and then catching up with my murder mysteries on I player this afternoon:)

However, someone else’s purpose might be to cook a lovely meal or do a jigsaw puzzle.   There are no rules, except to make sure you have a purpose.

Don’t wonder aimlessly through each day….this can only cause frustration and distress. 

Beautiful Brecon Beacons – Wales – watercolour/gouacheLandscape of trees, road and sky in blue, green and yellowEXERCISE

My daily exercise routine is fifteen minutes of stretching every morning.   I have been doing this for nearly 45 years, since my daughter was born.    It’s like brushing my teeth and makes a huge difference to my day and overall feelings of well being.

Throughout the day I take a walk and make sure to move around…i.e. going up and down the steps several times that lead to my studio.

Play music and dance…..guaranteed to lift the spirits.



Set up a space that works for you.    It can be as small as a card table.  (no one else in the house is allowed to use that space).

If you have work equipment, (for me my arts supplies) make sure everything is in order and easy to access.

Choose the best time of day for you to go to your work space.   Make it a ritual. 

Air circulation

Try to keep air circulation within your living space.    Always have a window open….and if possible have some plants to look after and benefit from. .

27164538_10156023231000396_5682597220846199362_oDAILY SIESTA

I will soon be 75 years old, and thankfully am in good physical and mental health, and part of that I believe has to do with my stretching routine and taking a daily siesta.    For me that’s around  3 p.m. and lasts for approx 30 mins.    It never fails to refresh.

My work day begins at 8 a.m. and pretty much finishes at 3 p.m.   After that I watch my favourite European box sets….and murder mysteries…Oh how I love them.      Then maybe in the evening read or write some personal e mails. or whatever else floats my boat………


Sleep is so important – and particularly today to boost the immune system.

To achieve a good sleeping pattern it is important to understand our own personal body clock.

I am naturally a morning person…and so wake with the larks, and go to bed at 10 p.m.    I like to read before going to sleep.


Keep it simple….which during the next few months shouldn’t be too difficult.

Although I have lived alone for a long time, I always cook for myself.    More than ever nutritional food and drinking lots of water will be key during this period.

Millie visiting the studio…:)P1110644

Back to the title of this blog….


I see this time as an opportunity for individual and collective change.   If we are able to turn this around into a positive and use this time to FOCUS on what it is we love and who we really are…..we might all come out of this a lot stronger and happier and find that we have produced some beautiful work……

I will be posting art tips and tutorials on a regular basis so that everyone (including me) can keep their creative juices flowing.      

More than every before it is vital to stay in the simplicity of the present moment.    ONE DAY AT A TIME…..

ACCEPTANCE will be key during this period.     Denial won’t work anymore….


May the magical hummingbirds be with everyone….spreading their unseen magic.

Oh and I couldn’t close without saying – continue to WASH your HANDS and to SOCIAL DISTANCE…….:)

A Bientôt

Over the years I had to accommodate

I had my first large solo exhibition at the Chester County Arts Association in 1976 – a year after my daughter was born.

44 thoughts on “Growth in Isolation

  1. fuzzybear1

    Thanks for your words and for sharing your art. I felt as if I was reading about myself! We are so similar. I am so glad I found you. I have just started to learn about and use watercolors. I will continue to follow you and hopefully learn to increase my skills.

    Sent from Linda’s iPhone


    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you very much for your comment. I am planning on putting regular tutorials/demonstrations on the blog…and so do hope they help. I will look forward to reading your blog. Janet 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      I think the key is not to try and change everything at once…rather one small thing at a time… Also do make sure to write down a daily plan….it’s so easy to be sidetracked. Hope your day goes well. Janet 🙂

  2. Writing to Freedom

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom and process Janet. I wholeheartedly agree about needing structure and purposeful activity, along with sleep, diet, nature, play, etc. Life and nature seem to be asking us to slow down, re-evaluate, treat each other and the planet better. If we do, we might just turn this into something wonderful. Hummingbird hugs and delight!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Brad. I am hoping that this will cause many positive changes. I normally live in a quiet part of London (right on the edge) but this morning, it was blissful…hardly any sounds other than the birds:). This will. be very painful for many people, but it could end up being a huge blessing in disguise. It all depends on how we re-act to it. Keep well and have a lovely day – Janet XX

      1. Writing to Freedom

        I agree Janet. It might just be the stimulus we need to reset our lives and priorities. I was noticing and enjoying the quiet walking yesterday too. Take care my friend.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Carol…Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I hope all is well with you….I am sure you are doing a lot of writing…which is good of course. Janet XX

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Andrea, lovely to hear from you. I wrote a post recently giving tips about living and working from home, something I have done since 1973! Routine is key…I am quite sure you’ll work it out and ultimately be very productive and enjoy it. Janet 🙂

      1. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Yes, and let’s hope that a vaccination is found soon….Regardless, however this pans out, it will hopefully give us all a new appreciation of the lives we have had. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Growth in Isolation — My Life as an Artist – dead city chronicles

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