2020: A year best left undescribed

As it’s the end of almost certainly the worst year in living memory (certainly in my living memory) for the people of the first world, it’s the usual time for reflecting on how things went and considering what they might be like in the next year. I suspect I’m not alone in hoping that 2021 is a marked improvement.

On the plus side, there’s the news that we have a number of viable vaccines being rolled out, and, with luck, the Tory government over here in the UK will discover that they’re not completely incompetent and corrupt, and we’ll actually get an effective rollout. I’m not holding my breath on that one. Over the last year, the government has shown that not only is it hideously corrupt (see: contracts for PPE) but also incompetent to a level that even a banana republic would find embarrassing (see: literally everything else). Someone more optimistic than me might hold onto the slimmest hope that this time the Tories won’t fuck it up.

What I am looking forward to is a gradual return to model shows. As it stands, Salute has not yet been cancelled, but I suspect that’s going to happen, as I can’t see a show of that scale going ahead in April, when the vaccination programme will presumably still be getting going. I believe the earliest show I have some confidence of being able to go ahead is Scale Model Challenge over in the Netherlands. That’s actually an excellent start for the show season to get started on – it’s a brilliant show that I thoroughly enjoy, and it should be a great way to kick it all back off.

That is, of course, assuming the UK isn’t still a pariah, given both the pandemic and Brexit. I am married to an EU citizen, though, so I might be able to smuggle myself in a suitcase or something.

Anyway, what has 2020 been like for my painting?

Initially, it was a bit of a write off. I didn’t have much of a routine, and all the disruption of moving to working from home sort of put me off for a while. On top of that, while I’m not terribly competitive, I do like to have shows as deadlines for my projects. With all the shows being cancelled left and right, my impetus sort of evaporated. It took quite a while to get back into the swing of things, and I had to make a concerted effort.

In the end, I actually ended up probably more productive than I have been for years. Not only that, but I think 2020 has been my most creative year. As you’ll see from my summary image, I managed quite a lot and across different genres and media. Pretty pleased, really:

Not pictured: duck commission and a couple of other pieces I gave to friends.

Notably, I hardly did any of my original plan. Lady Gaga is still sitting undercoated and begging me to finish tidying the sculpt, I have an assembled bull, and I’m still putting off some of the other things that would require sculpting. However, I did get Putin done, and I’ve started my still life project. I think five of those will do, not counting the vegetables (because the composition isn’t up to scratch).

And on that note, here’s my latest tiny frustration:

In case you’re wondering, it’s a vase and I’m making some sunflowers. Lots of tiny pieces of paper to make the petals. The bit of plasticard will be a smart phone and I’ll add a coffee cup for composition.

It’s actually been weirdly difficult to come up with ideas for the series. I tried looking up modern still lifes, but they’re honestly mostly terribly contrived. ‘Here’s my iron next to four pieces of fruit and an antique candlestick’ sort of thing. They’re not a reflection of life at all, merely exercises in composition. It’s a bit sad, really. What I’m aiming for is a series that suggests that life is going on somewhere nearby, so the scenes need to be more naturalistic.

It also occurred to me that these are all scratch builds so far, which means I can enter them in a different category where that’s available. That’s novel.

2 thoughts on “2020: A year best left undescribed”

  1. Hi Fet. I just finished reading the feature on you in Fantasy Figures International. I really loved the process you outlined in the interview so here I am!

    Weird a year as it was, it’s great to see so many of the fantastic pieces from the article featured in yor roundup here. Not a bad year at all as far as your creative pursuits go, as you said.

    For me 2020 was the year where I really decided to push my painting for the first time. Where before I was primarily an army painter with the pieces I out the most work into being centrepieces and characters for same, I acquired a few boutique miniatures and busts and even entered the Eavier Metal Eadbanger competition on Facebook (didn’t win anything, mind!).

    Looking forward to seeing what this year brings for you. What I’m hearing is that we shouldn’t be expecting any big, in-pwrson events til 2022, but here’s to another creative and productive year regardless.


    1. Glad you liked the article! It was weird being interviewed like I’m someone famous or something.

      It’s good to hear you’re also pushing into the more ‘artsy’ side of the hobby. I was a gamer for years, when really I was only into it as an excuse to paint. I found busts and larger-scale pieces were a good way of getting into it and figuring out all the bad habits I had to break (and still do, in some cases). If it helps, I also didn’t win anything in Eadbanger this year!

      I’m still hopeful that SMC will go ahead in October, but that’ll no doubt be heavily reliant on the vaccine roll-out (and not discovering that it only works for six weeks or something). Unfortunately, I hear that the Netherlands is having issues with its vaccination programme, so it may well be 2022…


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