Growth in Isolation

I first wrote this blog in March right after lock down and thought it a good idea to post again….IMG-20191127-WA0010Be Prepared….

Having been a self employed artist since 1973, I know what it is to work and life in isolation.   In this post I  am offering some tried and true suggestions taken from my own experience.

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 discipline – a word that many people shy away from today.   I believe that Discipline equals Freedom….

If I have a good structure in place, it gives me the freedom to do the things I enjoy doing….painting, cooking, writing, and so on…..


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 my 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 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 am seventy four years old, and thankfully in good 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 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.      Don’t forget to put 15th April into your diary when I will start a week at the School in Olhao –   just as if we were there……

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 – WASH YOUR HANDS…….:)

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.


58 thoughts on “Growth in Isolation

  1. Patricia

    Thank you Janet. Your art works are so lovely. I appreciate your post, the guides you present. routine and schedules, so topsy-turvy as my husband had to stay off work. now is begun to come back again.
    love this you said: “I believe that Discipline equals Freedom….”

  2. America On Coffee

    A beautiful share Janet! Isolation The daily routine, keeps us active. And definitely freedom comes with an orderly structure routines. My dog and cat have been teaching our family stretching techniques fir years, and we too heed. Hope that your week is filled with an amazing overflow of love! Your paintings and little Mille are superb! 🍂💐🍃

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you and you for your comment. I think we have a long way to go with this virus and so its vital to remind ourselves about these simple steps. Have a beautiful weekend. Janet 🙂

  3. whitefeatherfloating

    Janet, this is a very encouraging post! I have been considering changing my last line of my blog posts, because it says “…and give someone you love a big hug!” It has been that way for so long!
    Anyway, I had no idea you have been working at home since the 70s! That’s awesome! I began homeschooling our kids when my daughter was in 1st grade and my son in 3rd. I remember how hard it was to get us into a routine! Sadly, I never really achieved a set schedule, and now that they are grown and one is moved out, I still don’t have a set routine. It has just never been easy for me to do, lol! I do exercise pretty regularly and I do art almost every day. Doing these big portraits in acrylics forces me to take a day off a couple of times a week, though.
    Plus, we live where my husband works, so he takes his breaks and lunches at home. And I am never sure exactly when he is going to pop in! Anyway, thanks again for your encouragement. Routine is definitely something to strive for. 😁

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Painting and exercising every day seems to be a great start to a routine.

      Along with getting used to living by routine, I have also had to learn to adapt over the years as my circumstances have changed, something I think we are all going to need adding to our repertoire:). I love your big portraits….love the colours and drama. Janet X

      1. whitefeatherfloating

        Well, I try to at least draw some every day in my sketch book, but I don’t paint and exercise every day, except for my shoulder exercises I have to do. I had my rotator cuff fixed in November.
        Thank you! I do like color and it’s great to know they put across some drama!

  4. davidjrogersftw

    Thank you Janet for telling us about these many insights about environment management that we can use. You are an extremely disciplined person and careful and thorough thinker. And you produce such lovely and skillful art. Stay safe and happy. We will try to too.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you David….Discipline equals freedom….and it is the freedom bit that I Love:) Hope you and the family are all well and that your creative juices continue to flow. Janet X

  5. davidjrogersftw

    I love your thoughts on discipline, and I share them. I think I have been disciplined most of my life, as have you, I bet. Certainly as a serious athlete and for the last fifty years as a serious writer.

    Funny you should wish me free-flowing creative juices. I’m finsishing right now here in the early morning a sketch that’s really well written.. It’s done, but I like it so much I want to keep writing. (Must resist overwriting though.).

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      This sounds fantastic. Somewhat like a painting which is flowing beautifully – it’s knowing when to stop:). I once wrote to my parents many years ago and thanked them fo the gift of self discipline 🙂

  6. Nikita Sinha

    Happy to read this:) I do have loads to do during this quarantine period, but I guess I was just too scared to write it down as a daily routine. But the tip around having a purpose justifies it. Thanks!


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