Walking by Montgomery Canal
In England the lock-down eases and we are allowed to drive to a location for our exercise. As I am only a few miles from the border I hop over from Wales and walk a section of the Montgomery Canal. It takes some time to find a car park that isn't full. The world has changed. People generally just used to nod a greeting and shuffle by with eyes on the ground ahead. Now we stop and chat - keeping a respectful social distance of course. The countryside inspires conversation, have you see the lapwings? - aren't they beautiful? What about the tadpoles, hundreds of them swimming down the canal? I saw dozens of goldfinches along that hedge. The countryside has thrived in our absence. Furthermore, I held several conversations NOT about the pandemic. This new air inspires me to loosen-up my painting. I relay on intuition and gut to mix my paint and lay it on. I change the way I hold the brush. I try a different blue and yellow. I lay in a mark and leave it. I don't 'finish' the painting, I just stop, right when the effect is there - that first walk with new freedom, when you see the world afresh and in a different light.