Lockdown diary: The surprising skill I’ve gained during the coronavirus pandemic

Cher Petersen. (PHOTO: Supplied)
Cher Petersen. (PHOTO: Supplied)
Jay Braack

When the president announced the 21-day lockdown we all knew it was for the benefit of public health and safety. But who would’ve guessed what could be gained?

I tend to scroll through Instagram and Twitter and lurk on certain pages that offer both inspiration and a little aspiration.

It was here that I first learned that millennials and Gen Zers were using their time in lockdown to hone their skills, read books and do things they’d always said they would.

As someone with varied interests, I’d found myself looking into things I could never find time for, being either too busy with work or sitting in transit from home to work or work to home.

So I dug out the paint, bought a couple of new brushes, sheets of paper and an array of fineliners for lettering and buckled down to relearn the skills I’d long forgotten.

I’ve found myself carrying around a sketch pad and fine liner wherever I go, sketching and lettering, retraining my hands to do what they once did so naturally.

Flower painting
Flower painting. (PHOTO: Supplied)
Tree painting
Tree painting. (PHOTO: Supplied)

The last time I’d picked up a paintbrush was in Grade 12. So it’s been nearly eight years, but I’ve relearned painting so naturally, it feels like returning home.

It’s always been a place of comfort and self-expression and it, in turn, has become a form of meditation for me.

While painting and drawing, I let go on mental ramblings and unwind fully.

It’s allowed me to centre myself and get myself out of bed, which has basically become my office.

Since picking up a paintbrush again, I’ve found myself yearning to be close to my supplies, so I sit at the dining table more often. Closer to the colours and further away from bed body.

My posture is once again on the mend, and I find myself more relaxed and peaceful than I was at the commencement of the ongoing lockdown.

Painting may not be everyone’s thing, but for me dabbling about among the vivid brights and sharp lines has given me a renewed passion and the patience to deal with what’s still to come.