An Aberdeen painter is urging people to continue with their new found love of art.
Scores of people discovered their creative streak during lockdown, with many going along to virtual art clubs and making new friends in the process.
Neale Bothwell, who recently opened his latest exhibition at Castlegate Frames and Gallery in the city, hopes this will continue – and praised the likes of Turner Prize winning artist Grayson Perry for encouraging people to get involved.
The 54-year-old said: “It was great the way Grayson Perry mobilised the nation and encouraged people to explore their own creativity this should not end with Covid.
“When somebody explores their creativity it helps them to understand unspoken emotions and perceptions of the world around them.”
Mr Bothwell strongly believes any kind of art is beneficial on a personal level and can improve the wellbeing of entire communities.
He added: “Stamping your personality on any kind of artistic work pulls interpretations of the innermost essence of your being but can also touch others in ways you may never have thought of.”
‘Enjoy art and exploring creativity’
His latest exhibition New Paintings is centred on the changes he felt and observed over the last 18 months.
He added: “The turmoil caused by Covid has provoked me into using brighter and bolder colours and I hope that in some way they convey a message of positivity and hope.
“It’s my sincere hope that once all this is over there won’t be some collective knee-jerk reaction with people reverting back to seeking fulfilment from outside stimuli and instead remembering that enjoying art and exploring creativity gives an incredible sense of wellbeing.
“It’s so important to remember that anybody can make art, anybody can make marks on canvas, shape clay, anybody can use any medium they want to express themselves. And from this people can enhance their own self-worth and understanding and spread positivity to others.”
Graham Fowler, from Castlegate Frames Gallery said: “Neale’s latest abstract exhibition is full of life. With such exceptionally well-balanced composition in colour and shape they are truly uplifting.
“I couldn’t agree more with Neale, any kind of creative endeavour reaps huge benefits not only to yourself but also to those it inspires.”
The exhibition runs until October 16.