Friday 28 February 2020

Still here, still painting

Once again I am wondering whether this blog has run its course. Every time I write a post I think I must do this more regularly but then I forget all about it and it is no longer in my consciousness and another three weeks goes past. I used to write twice a week but its now more like twice a month... on a good month! But I'm hanging on in there!

To be honest, Painting is taking up most of my free time and these are a couple of my most recent attempts. I'm not sure how finished they are, whether there will be minor adjustments or whether I might even paint over whole areas. It doesn't matter because I am loving it. I am loving it so much that I have now signed up for an intensive three month course called CVP. It was a big decision because not only will it require a fair bit of time but it has also been quite a financial investment. But change never happened without taking risks and I am ready for change. I'm ready to try something new.

So maybe my blog is ready for change too! Originally I set it up with the idea of recording my textile art as I embarked on a degree in stitched textiles. Not many of my original followers from those days are still around. In the intervening years there has been so much more... knitting, reading, family life and cakes... lots of cakes, but I'm not sure that is what I want to write about any more. It's art and painting that is lighting my fire... or perhaps I should say, Fanning my Flame, at the moment. I have set up a new Facebook page to share my art, where you will be most welcome to come and visit and follow me. And I think the website is almost done... I'll let you know when I have finished tweaking!

But just so you know the blog hasn't changed completely or gone forever, I'll share will you my latest knits for the grandson who really doesn't want to arrive!

There is a little cardigan from a knitsofacto pattern, a hat that I invented, that has been made twice (since the due date I might add) because the first time it was huge (I have no plans to go into pattern writing fortunately)... and a little bunny in a matching sweater from Little Cotton Rabbits.

Now all we need is a baby!

Now if you excuse me I'm going out to my studio to paint, where I will ignore the rain and howling wind,  while I wait for that phone call with news!
And the blog... I'm not really ready to give it up because letting go is hard isn't it? So I expect I'll see you again in about three weeks! 

Sunday 9 February 2020

Since I was last here...

You might have been forgiven for thinking that I had run away to join the circus but no, I've just been here, keeping my head down, doing this and that, nothing really worthy of writing about. I think maybe it has something to do with the time of the year, February always feels like a bit of a transition time... the space between the new year and spring arriving. Most days I have been trying to spend a couple of hours in my studio doing something creative. My 30 second daily commute is rather inspiring as the garden is awash with snowdrops and hellebores

It has been one of the lovely things about moving to a new house, that we are constantly surprised by what pops up in the garden. I didn't bother with my little commute today though... I've just sat inside the house watching fence panels come down. It's not safe out there!

I have been taking another short online course, this time with Este Macleod. I like her work and was interested in her techniques, but although I have found it a good course that is packed with content, it has been too prescriptive for me. And I have realised I don't want to paint like Este Macleod! I guess I already knew that but the journey to finding my own artistic voice feels precarious at times and it's hard to listen to that inner voice that knows what I want to do.

I did make a couple of finished pictures as a result of the course that I am quite happy with, although they don't feel authentically mine. There were a lot of very similar looking pictures from everyone else taking the course. But I figure learning what we don't want to do is just as valuable as learning what we do want.

I have also been making some acrylic paintings that have come straight out of my head - semi abstract landscapes inspired by my weekend in the Lake District last year.

Possibly not everyone's cup of tea but at least they feel authentically mine and that is important to me.   Even if a well meaning friend named the one below 'Blue Slugs on Autumn Leaves'. I believe it was an attempt at humour as he rapidly renamed it 'Tarns of an Autumn Dawn' which is far more poetic but I am trying to be impervious to criticism or otherwise about my work!

There's not a lot else happening really... I'm trying to create a new website specifically for my painting. My old textile website died quite a while ago but it was outdated and clunky to use so there didn't seem much point reviving it. I had to write html code if I wanted update it or change things which was a challenge to say the least. Now I'm battling with the challenge of Squarespace or Wix... anyone here have experience of either? I keep watching online tutorials that tell me how intuitive it all is but I'm not buying it. It might be intuitive to a twenty something but not to this old girl!

The running has had a bit of a hiatus due to painful knees. It feels like muscle pain rather than joints so I'm hoping I just need to take things back a notch. I was putting ice on them but came to the conclusion it wasn't really helping and just making me cold. The pain has gone now and I thought I might venture out for a gentle jog this weekend but I was working all day yesterday and I wasn't going to battle with the wind today. I'm not that silly... running is hard enough without adding in extra resistance.

I have also been knitting tiny little garments because after having a year of weddings in 2018 we are now about to have a year of babies. Eldest son and his wife have a son due imminently and then we have another two due later in the year. It is just a little bit exciting!

Oh... and I made a cheesecake which given the love hate relationship I have with this Aga was something of an achievement. The instruction 'turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven until cold' was a bit of a challenge for an oven that never gets cold and reminded me of why the only cooking I now do is what is absolutely essential. But we had friends over for supper last night and I felt I should at least attempt to make a dessert. All those cakes are a thing of the past though. You would think the weight would be falling off me but it's not!

So that's what I've been up to... what about you?