That’s what my job has felt like a lot over the last 9 months. Everything on a wing and a prayer. Making the step to go into business with my art has been a huge one. This is not one of those trades that is always in need and art, to us all, is so subjective. One person’s treasure is another person’s pig’s ear.
So 9 months ago I took the plunge. I set up this website, increased my presence through social media and it seems to be paying off. My work is selling, my following is increasing. I’ve opened an Ebay and Facebook shop and my commissions are increasing. I’m now looking to upgrade my website to the next level. Again a financial chance but I can only see were it takes me.
Over that time I and my work have changed dramatically. From a period of darkness has come a period of light. My work is bright, carefree and connected with nature and the world around me. I see colours and beauty that I never knew existed, that I feel no option but to put to canvas. The need to share it with other’s, perhaps as if to say there is always a light at the end of every tunnel. We will see it in time.
Believing in myself, my abilities and accepting that what will be, will indeed be has lead me to a serene place; in my work, my recovery and my life. However, I certainly can’t take all the credit for it. Without faith, belief in something greater than myself I would not be where I am today. Who knows what tomorrow, let alone the future, will bring. I know I only have today and I’m perfectly happy to live in it.
Today has been a most beautiful day. A day of soft hazy blue with a bright warm yellow sun encompassed within it. A day that literally felt like spring. The warmth, the birds singing as though they know the long, dark winter’s end is near and the scent. A scent known only to Spring.
It has brought to mind Spring cleaning. At least in the sense of bringing a new freshness, decluttering that which may have become mundane. A feeling of new growth. Of new life. A breath of fresh air after a lockdown of stagnation.
So I’ve redesigned my website giving it a cleaner, fresher look and, I hope, a touch more professional. As we have moved into the light of the new season I have felt the need to explore the beauty within the bonding and love of a mother and young together with a bright, fresh abstract approach as can be seen in my latest commission.
I’m looking forward to the journey into Spring and in to the bonds between Nature and Nurture. I hope you will enjoy what I have to share with you.
Let’s go crazy by Prince. I don’t know about you but I’ve occasionally felt like going crazy over the last 12 months. Crazy feeling I’m tripping over the children on a daily basis. Crazy that I feel unable to really get out anywhere. Crazy as I can’t see friends and family. Crazy that I feel as though I’m living in an almost constant groundhog day and even crazy, to some extent, with my artwork. God, grant me the serenity!
I’m trying to find my niche. Hence my work around well known individuals but with my own slant. I’ve also been trying to get my work out there more which can be difficult especially when you have certain organisation’s claiming copyright to individual’s images which are in the public domain. This has lead to a whole new level of craziness and frustration!
I’m trying to stay true to myself, painting what sits right with me but there’s always a conflict. At the end of the day I could certainly do with some sales coming through so I’ve now ventured out into professional prints of my work, both framed and unframed. I love my art making and have spent years developing (and still am) my techniques. I remember, on a daily basis, the importance of creating for the love of it and sharing that love with others.
Still, look and you will see; listen and you will hear; seek and you will find. I put my faith in what will be, accepting what is and having gratitude for the beautiful things I already have in my life. May 2021 bring you a more positive, rewarding and peaceful time.
<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">It's been some time since I last blogged so first let me say a very belated Merry Christmas and happy New Year!It’s been some time since I last blogged so first let me say a very belated Merry Christmas and happy New Year!
I’ve found it, particularly since the lockdown was reintroduced before Christmas, extremely difficult to get myself motivated. With the children no longer at school, and being 5 and 7 and needing a lot of my time, it can often feel like a groundhog type of day. Having said that I am grateful for having a number of sales come in over the festive period but more importantly I am grateful for my lot. I often hear the ‘slogan’ we are all in the same boat but that’s not true. We are all in the same storm but different boats. Some will find it fairly plain sailing. Others will continually patch and bale to stay afloat. Some, sadly, will sink and drown. We only ever really have a daily reprieve from the possibility of sinking too.
February 3rd also found me reaching my 1st birthday in recovery, an achievement that once again leaves me with gratitude and humility. I have only been able to reach this initial milestone with the support of fellowship and by simply keeping my focus on ‘just for today’. I only ever have any given moment to live in so I choose to live it. My latest painting, of David Bowie, is dedicated to a man, who whilst no longer with us, knew how to choose to live and enriched so many others lives.
May you weather this storm, and any others which may arise, by living Just for Today!
It’s that time of year were we once again remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. I find that word is often bandied around with little meaning or understanding of what a sacrifice actually is. We are asked, in this time of epidemic, to make sacrifices. Don’t meet with friends. Don’t meet with family. Stay at home. Are these sacrifices? I would say not. They are intended to keep people alive regardless on your viewpoint of whether it’s false or not. Next time you hear the word sacrifice perhaps a thought for those who truly made the supreme sacrifice should be at the for front of our thoughts and feelings.
I’ve attempted to pay my own personal tribute to all those who have fallen and will unfortunately continue to fall through a new exploration in oils. I find oils very forgiving. Mistakes can be easily wiped away for a new start allowing me, I hope, to blossom through a new medium. Mistakes, starting again and blossoming are something they will never have to chance to achieve.
Perhaps it’s that time of year, as the leaves turn to golden hews, the mornings are crisper and the days shorter. Change is in the air. But then change is always in the air. The question is only; should we fight against the inevitable flow of life or do we accept and embrace what will be. To allow ourselves to be swept along on the winds of change.
I have come across this ‘unknown’, this fear, this opportunity both through the commissions that are coming my way and through my changed outlook, in recovery, towards life and thus my art. My paintings had reflected so much darkness, within addiction, as indeed the coming winter will reflect it. But the summer months, along with recovery, have brought me a new sense of lightness, colour and vibrancy which has set me free from the shackles of darkness to the exploration of light.
This change has by no means been easy. My work always relied on that sense of darkness, of my inner sadness and fears. It was a part of me and therefore became a part of my work. Now, the veil has been lifted. I can see the world and the beauty within it as I have never experienced before. Change can bring anxiety, fear of what is to come but it can also bring growth and with it a constant new beginning.
In recovery I’ve learnt to have faith in a power greater then myself but it’s not always that straightforward! Worry, anxiety and fear of what is to come, of the future can mean it can be difficult to let go, to surrender to what will be and allow myself to be taken on a journey that I am but a participant of rather than the organiser.
A day on the beach kite flying with family brought this home to me. The kite was found, intact, abandoned in the rocks. We had received a gift for no cost and flying a kite again felt so exciting. But the wind was powerful, determined to rip the kite from my hands. What if we lost grip? What if the wind tore it away, never to be seen again? How would the children feel if it was to be lost so soon after it’s discovery?
I could feel the power of the wind, something greater than myself, as it pulled the line taught. Grasping at the kite. Choosing where it would take it. Causing the kite to dance in a beautiful, colourful blur to it’s own tune. Nature was the master, I merely it’s puppet. Once I could accept that I was merely a player in it’s theatre, that I could let go of the fear of loss and embrace the thrill of the powerlessness within me, my faith in what will be was restored. Like the kite I must throw myself to the wind, to a power greater than myself. Then and only then can I truly experience life as I’m meant to. As it’s meant to be.
It’s been a while since I last blogged, mainly as I’ve been putting a lot of work into my other creative love, working with wood. There’s something about a feeling of spirit, of connection, of a natural interaction when working with nature.
This contrasts so sharply with my latest artwork. A Rainy Day in London. A theme I’ve been thinking of trying for a while but also something away from my usual style. The overlapping bustle and oppressiveness of an urban landscape as opposed to the simplicity and calm of a natural backdrop, a being I focus on to keep me centered on this journey called life.
When Life gives you Lemons…(the title for my latest work) why not paint them! In these unusual and unsure coronavirus times life seems to throw curve balls at an incredible and completely unpredictable speed. It sometimes seems like one problem after another to be surmounted. But then that’s what we do, we adapt. we look at the lemons and decide to make lemonade.
Someone once told me, “Treat every problem as a challenge as every problem has an answer.” And they do. Sometimes the answer is simply there is no answer at the moment! But every cloud does have a silver lining, there is always a positive to be found. Even when we don’t want to find it. Just for today, when life gives me lemons, I’ll damn well paint them!
It feels, just as it does in the direction my painting is taking, that I am beginning to come out of the dark in more ways than one. Just last week I was interviewed by a local reporter from The Wrexham Leader about myself and my work which was a very nerve wracking experience, as I find it uncomfortable talking with those I don’t know.
However, I found that gave me the courage to put together a virtual gallery tour of my paintings in my studio. Something I would never have dreamed of being able to accomplish in the past. Again I felt so nervous but feel so pleased with it. A small task for some maybe but a huge step forward for me.
Perhaps a lot of my new confidence is coming from the amount of commissions I’m being asked to produce. My latest, below, was an album cover of ‘The Levellers’ for a couple’s 15th anniversary which was also posted on a Facebook fan page and received some lovely comments. Creating art is an amazing experience but getting my profile out there is a lot harder! I’m grateful to my partner, Darren, for all the encouragement and hard work he puts towards increasing my artistic profile online.
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