Coronavirus: Artist swaps views for vacuum cleaners

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GardenImage source, Ed Isaacs
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Ed Isaacs shares his pictures on social media daily

A self-isolating artist is drawing his surroundings every day after swapping landscapes for wheelie bins and a vacuum cleaner.

Ed Isaacs, 69, describes himself as an "enthusiastic urban sketcher" on the streets of towns and cities, but the coronavirus lockdown has forced him to look closer to home for inspiration.

The Wolverhampton resident shares his pictures on social media daily.

"I thought, let's make a record of this slightly weird time," he said.

Image source, Ed Isaacs
Image caption,
He described this day 35 drawing, a view from his house, as "Lockdown Landscape with Wheelie Bin"

Mr Isaacs said the drawings may take up to three hours, which was unusual for urban sketching.

His efforts from home had all been in black and white before day 26, when he "plucked up some courage and added a watercolour wash".

"I wanted to make a point to the world at large. Anything can be the subject of art," he said.

"Just by focusing on what was immediately around the house, wheelie bins, vacuum cleaners, you can be creative."

Image source, Ed Isaacs
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On day 32 he said it was "a bit colder today so sketching back in the greenhouse"
Image source, Ed Isaacs
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On day 34 he tweeted "the jolly old sun has come out today! Time to sit outside and draw the compost heap"
Image source, Ed Isaacs
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On day 36 he said he thought it was "time to reintroduce the Dyson... Here it is majestically situated outside the utility room and [under-stairs] cupboard"

The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists member, from Tettenhall, said he believed one of "the great pleasures of doing this has been the positive responses on Twitter".

After starting self-isolation on 17 March, he said he had no worries about not having ideas for the drawings, saying "you can never run out of subjects".

Image source, Ed Isaacs
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It all started on 17 March, when he tweeted: "So it’s looking like it’s going to be urban sketching through the window for a bit... so here’s a bit of the garden this morning"
Image source, Ed Isaacs
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There was a view from a bedroom on day 13
Image source, Ed Isaacs
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On day 17 he was drawing the utility room, when the "dog wasn’t in his basket"

Mr Isaacs is not a painter, but does other "large-scale" artwork in a studio.

His work as a consultant over social housing and urban regeneration ended three years ago and he decided to focus on "creating", even though he was "not an artist by training".

The recent good weather has helped with his daily work depicting his surroundings - creating "pen and ink drawings with a colourwash" using "direct observation".

He said: "I'm enjoying sitting outside. I'm not praying for rain."

Image source, Ed Isaacs
Image caption,
Ed Isaacs has previously been out urban sketching in Amritsar in the Punjab
Image source, Ed Isaacs
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Mr Isaacs pictured with what he described as a typical piece of his larger artwork, ‘Heath Town Cow’ 2018

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