Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Venturing into the Unknown

I realised the other day I have been writing this blog for thirteen years this month, which coincided with me thinking again that perhaps it is time I stopped. I'm no longer very sure who my target reader is or whether they are still reading and I am no longer very sure why I am writing. As I write less and less frequently it is feeling as though the blog is gradually fading away and maybe that's the way it should end rather than with a big announcement from me. So I'm not here to to say that this is my last post (although it could be) but I'm not sure when I'll be back again.

Last time I was here I spoke of feeling a bit 'flat' and I know a few of you identified with that feeling. We're all getting a bit fed up with the current situation yet know it's far from over. But I'm not one to stay feeling that way for long and the last couple of weeks have been quite exciting. The Open Windows project was hugely successful and far exceeded my expectations. I ended up creating over fifty drawing in the end, of 71 people (five of them twice), 11 dogs (2 of them twice!), 2 cats, 2 goats, an owl, a budgie, a sock puppet and Iggle Piggle! I sat outside and spent my weekends drawing, stopping to chat to visitors who came to see the portraits as well as those just passing. We have got to know our neighbours better and made new friends in the village. It became quite the talking point.



We were lucky with the weather too and of the eight days it was only last Saturday that was wet. I started out sitting outside but as the rain started I retreated to just inside my front door.



I sat for a while working (more about that in a minute) but as the rain became heavier it was obvious that no-one was going to be hanging around looking at pictures in my window, so I called it a day. But Sunday I was back outside for a great last day. If it hadn't been for the virus, Open Studios would have taken place as usual and I would never have come up with the crazy idea of filling the forty panes in my living room window with portraits of friends and neighbours. Sometimes it takes a change of circumstance to make us think outside the box and venture into the unknown.


And so to my next venture into the unknown which is online teaching. I had occasionally thought it was something I might try one day, but there was never any real incentive until of course, all of my face to face teaching stopped. And so for the past three weeks every spare minute has been spent recording and editing videos and adapting one of my most popular courses into an online course which goes live this Saturday.
It is rather exciting but slightly nerve wracking too... I haven't quite finished editing and uploading the videos (that's what I was doing while the rain kept me inside my doorway at the weekend). Enrolment for my Machine Textured Landscapes course has already opened and I'm discovering how much time it takes to answer all the questions that keep coming in and keeping an eye on everything. A bit like walking around a classroom checking on everyone I suppose. So although it has been keeping me awake at night it is mostly VERY exciting!


So if you fancy learning how to stitch your own landscape like the one below you can find out more by clicking on this link


So here I am venturing into unknown territory, not sure what the future is going to hold... and already thinking about the next big new idea. So maybe I shouldn't stop blogging just yet or you will never find out what that is. And it's a good one!

15 comments:

  1. Please don't stop. On the other side of the world I love to hear what you are doing. Would love to do your on line course but sadly we are now not farmers but renting pensioners and I really can't come at something that costs a ot (only as our exchange rate is not good) anyway I could do it on my own if I could but age and stage is catching up. Love what you do.

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  2. I will be sorry to not have your blog to read. Thank you for all your posts over the years. irene in northern ireland

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  3. I think it’s fine for a blog to change over the years just as we do. Mine started after retirement but I wonder what it would have looked like if I’d started it before. I’m sure you’ll be back Gina and I guess it’s ok to blog little or often. Go with the flow as they say. Your loyal readers will be here wishing you luck in your new ventures. B x

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  4. Good to hear the Windows project was such a hit (and what a brilliant idea your portraits were). I kind of get what you're saying about blogging; it's certainly changed over the years. But I do hope you'll continue to post whenever you get the itch. In fact, I'm going to say it. Don't you dare stop!

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  5. Don't give up yet - I enjoy reading your blog posts. I have become very lazy and not posted for ages. Good luck with your latest venture. I am sure it will be a success for you.

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  6. Such a shame I live hundreds of miles away, would have loved to stop and admire your portraits, and have a chat. Good luck with your online course, I hope it gets off to a good start. Let me know if you need any help with technical bits and bobs (online teaching is my job). It is hard work to get things up and running but I find my courses get better every year, when I tweak content etc. The courses mature like a good red wine. I am sure yours will, too! I'd love to hear how your new adventure turns out. Most of us readers have your blog in the blog list, so whenever you write a post, we'll know :-)

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  7. Hi Gina, I quite understand about the feeling of lack of engagement with the blog. I think as other media have come along, particularly the immediacy of Instagram, blogging has perhaps become more of a chore.

    I've loved reading your blog, your successes and failures, your honesty about those, have kept my own small creative ventures enjoyable and in perspective.

    I really appreciated your openness about your family,and your son's struggles with mental health. My own son went through a mental health crisis a year or so ago, and reading your blog entries helped me to understand and help him.

    Good luck with your new venture, I'm sure you will be great. Please still share your terrific cakes!

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  8. So glad your Open Windows went well Gina and best wishes for your new venture online!

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  9. Please continue with your blog, I've been following you for years and enjoy your thoughts, art, textiles, cooking and book reviews. I also follow you on Instagram. Did the rose cuttings from your previous garden root?
    Best wishes for your new venture from me in Devon.

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  10. Virtual choirs and online teaching. So much of life has changed so abruptly. But it's good in a fresh way!

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  11. So pleased your Open Window event was such a success. It all looked fab. And here's to your next venture!

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  12. Great to see your terrific portraits, and then to bump into you at the pub! All the very best with the online teaching. Hope to see you properly soon, and that you continue to blog at least occasionally. Take care. T x

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  13. So many changes in our lives, I like your project of painting your friends and neighbors and your window display. I hope you keep on blogging, no pressure to have a lot of posts. I just post when I like.

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  14. Although I understand that after so many years you might quit with the blog I can tell you that all these years I read it with great pleasure and would dearly miss it. For me it is the perfect mix of art, cookery, and all things English. So I hope you will continue in whatever frequency.

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  15. Your new venture sounds wonderful and exciting, I hope it continues to be so, without keeping you awake at night though. I do love to come a visit here and like others have said I will continue to do so when you feel like there is something you want to write about.

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I love getting your comments and I love to read what you have to say so thank you for taking the time! I reply when I can by email... or if you are a no reply blogger, then I sometimes post a reply in the comments.