Beauty in radishes: Parisian tells lockdown story in watercolor

Agnes Goyet, a Parisian artist who documented life in lockdown in a journal during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, paints on paper with watercolours in her apartment in Paris, France, April 18, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) – From a bunch of radishes to a sleeping cat, Parisian Agnes Goyet has turned to her life indoors for inspiration as France’s coronavirus lockdown frees her up to pursue her hobby – art.

Goyet, who normally works as a real estate manager, is among many amateur artists finding new forms of expression as governments order confinements to contain the outbreak.

Professional musicians, chefs, actors and athletes around the world are also taking to social media to reach out to the public from inside their homes.

After nearly five weeks in her apartment, Goyet said that updating her watercolour journal had become a daily necessity, as an outlet to escape the pressures of quarantine.

“My journal of drawings is my door, my small opening to the world,” she said, showing off sketches depicting everything from her television set as it beamed French President Emmanuel Macron’s latest speech to her indoor plants.

“I think the lockdown has fostered a lot of creativity,” she said. “We find beauty in everything. Even a simple bunch of radish becomes pretty.”

Goyet, who has been posting her watercolours on Instagram, lives in a 94-square-metre apartment with her two adult children. Since the lockdown began on March 17, she has only stepped out to shop for groceries and once to go jogging.

She said she normally kept journals of her travels, and her usual subjects included nature, architecture and street life. Despite finding joy during confinement, Goyet added that she had one date in mind: May 11, when the French government has said it will start easing some lockdown measures.

“I wait for only one thing, which is to go back to a bistro, take a seat the terrace and to be able to draw outdoors,” Goyet said.

Reporting by Michaela Cabrera and Thierry Chiarello, Editing by Sarah White and Alison Williams

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