July 13, 2020

A new studio, a fresh start

Sometimes all we need is time to stand still and listen to our heart. I found myself doing this, at long last, while all the world has been upside down and back-to-front these past months and days.

You might remember way back in 2016 I took on a bigger studio space a few miles away in our local town. Well, for a good while it served me very well and helped me move forward as an artist. But gradually over time I began to feel something wasn't right, yet I couldn't put my finger on it. I was struggling to produce new art work, got lots of headaches, just felt very detached somehow and would arrive back home at the end of my day feeling exhausted.

Whilst we were all in Lock Down I couldn't get to the town studio so I spent more and more time in the little studio in the garden and it began to dawn on me what had been missing all the while. It was my connection to my inspiration, my need to be surrounded by nature, space, peace and quiet. So, I have returned to my roots as it were, given up the town studio and moved lock, stock and barrel into this tiny garden space.

It's had a bit of a re-vamp inside to fit everything in and now every corner is filled with arty things and crafty projects and all of my treasures. But I love it. Now I can pop in and out whenever the mood takes me, I can open the door to let the fresh air in, I can sit snug inside and listen to the rain drumming on the roof or feel the sun warm my toes as it creeps through the open door and I'm there to welcome all the wee visitors to the garden too!

I'm starting to feel the stirrings of inspiration again and there will soon be new art work on my table. The headaches ( a result of my being hyper sensitive to the strip fluorescent lights in the old studio) have completely vanished, and I feel my energies gradually returning.

At the end of the day, it feels like coming home to myself at last

March 14, 2019

How I started

Day 2 -March Meet the Maker. How I started.

Many moons ago I had a dream, to become a self-employed artist, I made a wish, set my feet on the path, made a plan. I gave up my old job, brought myself a new sketchbook, and set off on my journey. That was eleven years ago and through sheer determination, tears and lots of laughter I’m here today, feeling very lucky doing what I love and following my dream.

March 13, 2019

March meet the maker - my favourite things to make - wee mice

I've been away from my blog for so long I don't know where to start! I've had a long wintery hibernation and much needed days of rest. Before Christmas, a pesky virus really knocked me for six and instead of resting I fought against it tooth and nail, so my body decided to take charge and went into shut down and its really taken time to get going again. But I'm beginning to feel a wakening in my soul.
Knowing I needed to change my days and find a new rhythm or connect with one long forgotten, I've taken time away from social media, tv, radio, just trying to go with the flow of quiet time and listening to my heart instead of my head. Not so easy after years of oughts and shoulds. But it has been wonderful!

I'm tentatively poking my nose outside the door and breathing in the fresh air of new beginnings and exciting things!

Over of Instagram I have been taking part in the #MarchMeetthemaker by Joanne Hawker again this year. It's a lovely way to learn more about the artists and makers of Instagram. I'm loving reading all about other artists and makers so I thought I would share my posts here too!

Day 1 - Favourite to make and it was such a hard one to decide, but I'm going with my wee animal sculptures for they are great fun to create, and I love sewing their wee clothes too.

Back tomorrow with day 2!

October 25, 2018

Settling down to Autumn

What a busy Summer that was, the days passed by so fast, and my travels have taken me here and there and everywhere. It has been one of my busiest years in business yet with workshops and exhibitions, Pop Up shops and projects on the go. Trying to keep my feet on the group and remembering to Breathe has been a definite challenge.
 When I first sat down to compose this post  I thought I hadn't done much but as I started to write I see it's no surprise I ended the Summer feeling burnt out. So I'm trying to slow down again and find my own rhythm with of working. Changes need to be made!
 Amid all the rushing about there have been some precious moments, pockets of quiet and calm that I have been much thankful for. At last we finished the summer house (you can see the before picture above in the bottom right hand corner!) it has now become a wee oasis of quiet, somewhere I can retreat to when I need time out. It has a tiny log burner, though it needs some attention as it has been belching out smoke. We decided no electricity, for candlelight and solar lights are all that we need.
I spent my birthday visiting dear friends in the South of France with various members of my family, including my lass and her partner, the honeymooning couple! Such a hidden treasure tucked away up in the hills in the quaint village Embres et Castelmaure. Delicious food, good company, beautiful scenery all did much to help me mend. Then I had a trip to visit my beautiful Granddaughters and my eldest lass and a weekend away with Mr O!
 And so back home and into the studio, with pockets full of lovely memories, easing into this my favourite season of all. Autumn, it feels like a dear old friend, the trees all clothed in their final finery of the year. The colours always inspire and make me want to paint!

I had this snippet of a poem by Thomas Hood waiting in my sketchbook for a long while and at last I finally felt inspired to  work on it.
I built up watercolour washes and finished it with gold and bronze acrylics to give a hint of shimming leaves in the evening light. Beautiful old Autumn. I hope to get prints of this in my Etsy shop very soon. But i'm not quite ready to part with the original yet.
Happy Autumn all x

July 26, 2018

Sunsets, silhouettes and a painting

I always feel a rush of excitement when someone loves my work enough to commission a painting. It's a joy to work with customers trying to interpret their ideas and come up with a design that they will like.
The painting above was for a wedding gift and needed to have thistles and shamrocks in it, combining the bride and groom's Scottish and Irish heritage. I can't share the whole image yet as the gift hasn't been given! The sun I finished in 23.5 carat gold leaf so that it glimmers when the light catches it.
I always have my camera to hand for I love taking photo's and many of my paintings are inspired by the photo's I take near my home here in beautiful Dumfries and Galloway. You might have guessed that I love the gloaming, sunsets and silhouettes, quiet times and magical moments.
I love to take a moment to sit quietly in the garden at this time of night to listen to the world softly settling down to sleep. it feels like I have stepped into another time, another place. Just the sort of place for me to conjure mystical images to work into my paintings.
This last photo was the view I caught on my way back from home one evening, driving along the coast road, it was so dramatic I just had to stop and try to capture the light!

This is one of the things I love about living here in South West Scotland, the light and the sunsets, and every day when I drive along this road I feel so blessed to live here

I wonder, what do you love about where you live?