Exercise Three // Julie Airey

May 22 2020
Hi Julie,   to kick off exercise one,  where are you? 

I’m home, sitting at my studio table, contemplating the gorgeous sunshine day and my ‘distant’ view over a river estuary - watching the dog walkers and the ‘once/twice a day’ exercise outings. Maybe I should be out there….

This is my ‘thinking’ spot - where I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time - it’s possibly not good for me….

Today I am feeling very blessed to be here and have this space.



How has your process changed since staying at home?


My process hasn’t changed because my workspace has remained constant, however I would say that it has slowed down. I work best and most creatively under slight pressure and the absence of time constraints has impacted my focus.


I’ve also found the lockdown scenario unsettling and have been prioritizing family. We have sadly had a Covid death and my heart goes out to all the other families out there who have experienced the same – it’s devastating and extremely hard to comprehend.


Today, finally, I felt a shift in mood and some new energy - phew!


Whats last or current song you listened to (no cheating, we all have naughty


My first ‘listen’ in the studio this morning (and pretty much every studio day) was/is Amy Winehouse, ’Back to Black’. I love it - very loud!


and the last or current show/film/video you watched ?

Ozark – Family gathering @ 9pm every night until we finished it…


What are you reading right now?

I am a late convert to Audible books - thinking it would be great to listen while working in my studio - not so!

I am far too distracted and constantly have to rewind – just too annoying. I love them now for the mundane jobs in my life, perfect for watering the garden!

I have just finished ‘The Heart’s Invisible Furies’ by John Boyne - the narrator has the most delicious Irish accent. Voices are so important - my other favourite narration was ‘The Goldfinch’ by Donna Tartt. I felt bereft when it finished.


What’s the last thing you cooked? (recipes welcome!)

Nigella’s ‘Lemon Polenta Cake’…for the numerous coffee breaks we are now taking…. just a skinny slither is perfect - I’m sure the recipe is on-line….


 What's the next thing you are going to cook?

Tagliata with rocket and parmesan and my husband’s favourite little square roast potatoes on the side…very wasteful but they just seem to taste, and look better in squares… I cook them constantly…he’s a creature of habit.


If everything in your house was going to be the same colour what colour

would you choose?

Most definitely shades of ‘off white’.

I love interior architectural space. Off white shades enhance this, constantly changing with light and shadow and outside views from windows (another obsession of mine) are never compromised.

Most rooms here are painted in just one ‘off white’ shade - walls, woodwork, shelving, cupboards – it is very calming and panders to my excessively perfectionist personality! I just read this back to myself …ummm ??!!

Today Farrow and Ball ‘Slipper Satin’ is my perfect neutral.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse  ?

I have two and they both strike fear into my husband’s heart for different reasons….

I’ve been thinking’ (and) ‘By the way’.

Do you have any superstitions?

No - but I would rather not fly on Friday 13th, or cross on the stairs, or ______


What makes you laugh (feel free to share any videos, memes, record a

joke, your pet)

My friends.


 Which artist-living or dead would you like to share your quarantine practice with? Why?

Perhaps Grayson Perry - he would talk and talk and I could just listen lockdown away....


Or Marlene Dumas for cerebral/practice development - (and because she painted one of my favourite contemporary paintings – ‘The Painter’) and is also good at talking…


Maybe Vermeer, no talking because I would be completely in awe of him, he could paint and I would watch with my mouth open.


Sorry that’s three –



Exercise 2

Write a drawing prompt you would like someone else to receive:

I’ve taken up jigsaw puzzles during lockdown and am having to argue the case that they are not a complete waste of time! I read that they are great for brain function.

I’ve just bought a stunning Gustav Klimt one – Portrait der Frederike Maria Beer – I can’t wait to start on those edging pieces.


Draw/paint a piece to be made into a great jigsaw puzzle – it’s all about the details…


We are probably going to get through a lot of these homework sheets - so

write a question for other people that you want to know the answer to ?

My work is about vulnerability – before Lockdown/Covid, what made YOU feel vulnerable…. if you can remember!!!


We are putting together a mixtape -  what’s your go to song for dancing ?


Brown Eyed Girl, Van Morrison / I Gotta Feeling, Black Eyed Peas

being in the studio ?

Daydreamer, Adele & Amy Winehouse on repeat…

chilling out ?

Killing me softly, Fugees

falling in love ?

Can't take my eyes off you, Frankie Valli / Wonderful Tonight, Eric Clapton and perhaps lets throw in Perfect, Ed Sheeran


For  Exercise Three, we ask our artists to  pick one of the following subjects as a starting point to make some work using an A5 piece of paper/cloth/whatever you like to the size  with no restriction on media. These will be published on our website and available for £110 each.

  1. Still life: pick 3 items from your surrounding and recreate them

    Still life – Deconstructed – Spring bulbs, container, wire 1 / 2 / 3


  2. Draw the last text you received/Page 15 from a book you are currently reading 7th sentence down

  3. Draw the last exhibition you saw/in style of the last exhibition you saw


 Check out Julie's exercise three pieces here !