Michael Draper in Lockdown

Michael Draper is one of the many Project Ability artists who has had to think about making work in a new place since the first Lockdown began almost one year ago. His artwork has adapted and we’ve really enjoyed the artworks he has had in both of our Lockdown exhibitions, As Time Stood Still Part One, and Part two.


We caught up with Meredith Crone, artist and Project Ability tutor, to see how Michael has been managing during this past year. Meredith and Michael are speaking on the telephone weekly, and sharing emails with images of work in progress, inspirational ideas and other aspects of Michael’s studio life at home. As Meredith says below, it really does feel like a privilege to have the opportunity to see into the homelife of artists, especially at a time when we aren’t seeing the inside of anywhere except our own homes! Meredith kindly took the time to share some of his thoughts and observations about this new way of working with Michael…

‘It’s been so great to catch up with Michael for a chat on the phone every week !
He’s managed to take such a positive approach in dealing with lockdown.
Michael has filled his week with stimulating activities that help him keep his hand in with many of the things that interest him, even if that means he has had to adapt to new ways of approaching them.
After our phone calls Michael will send me an email with images attached of his latest artworks.
As these are often made over several weeks it is a truly wonderful thing to watch them grow and develop.
The drawing of a New York Harbour, for example, was literally like watching a stop frame animation.
It left me with a terrific sense of anticipation as to where Michael would take it next and when he would decide it was finished.
I’m really glad that particular one stayed as a drawing, although he has done some superb paintings as well !
Sometimes Michael also shares pictures he has taken while out walking, or sends me images of finished pieces of furniture that he has constructed for his family. He has just finished putting together a new desk for his artwork at home in his flat.
During lockdown it’s been quite a privilege for me to get such a glimpse into people’s lives outside the Studios and Michael is certainly someone who seems to be making the most of things in these challenging times.
It really is quite inspiring ! ‘   Meredith Crone
To accommodate his art practice, at home while the studios are closed, Michael recently upgraded his work space and sent us these before and after photos. The table easel is new and one thing he has really been enjoying is assembling flat pack furniture with his brother. Excellent job with the desk!

Michael’s subjects generally include places he has travelled to like NYC and also historical scenes. He has a sharp eye for architectural details and the line work in his drawings show the skill and patience he has developed. We imagine he also has a very steady hand in order to keep those city scapes and all of those buildings standing up straight! Michael normally has a very active life, enjoying swimming with Glasgow Seals and his art workshops at Project Ability and playing the ukulele! The swimming hasn’t been possible during Lockdown but he has managed to to keep his fitness maintained by doing daily cardio on an exercise ball at home. The ukulele lessons haven’t happened either but his tutor has been sending practice sheets so he can keep working. He has also been watching Youtube vids and teaching himself sign language too. In amongst these home activities Michael has been out for long walks, in places like Hoggenfield Park and Alexandra Park. He has been photographing some of his walks, and recently sent us this wintery scene…
It’s been a pleasure finding out a bit about how Michael has been keeping himself busy. He has been shielding with his mother and brother so the daily routines have changed a lot for them as a family. However, he has several activities that he has adapted to Lockdown, and it sounds like he has discovered some new interests too. It is nice to see the silver lining sometimes in Lockdown life, when it’s possible. Thanks Michael and Meredith for sharing with us and we really can’t wait to have you both back in the studios once again!
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