Thursday, 29 December 2016

announcement









Now that 2016 draws to a close, I’m selling the few last remaining flowers at £40-£60  I wanted to give everyone a chance to invest in a one off piece of art. I never expected to sell so many, now over 500 pieces of work are scattered across the world, first time buyers and also repeat collectors of my work. The works themselves came from the large installations I created, I will not be selling them separately again. The last remaining paintings will stay on my etsy site but once they are gone!


picture: my work, tulip from the spring 2016




Wednesday, 28 December 2016

burn out









Its the last week of 2016 and I am burnt out. I recently noticed that I have burnt out, when anything good happens I am not happy about it, and when the recent incident of the woman in LA tracing my artwork and passing it off as her own, left me in bed for a day (very unlike me) because it became the cherry on top for all the weight of the stress of the year finally came down.
And course I have burnt out, I wrote down a list of all the things I have achieved this year for my recent newsletter and its epic, some people only achieve one of those in a year. And also all the other behind the scenes life and work dramas to go along with the successes, no amount of yoga classes and green smoothies could counter it all. I did that dreaded thing and googled/self diagnosed myself online, and it is defiantly burn out.
I felt so lost this year, thinking about things, over thinking, then just trying not to think at all, just total mental overload. Its tough, I got to a point when I needed multiples of myself, one to relax, one to do the accounts/emails/business side, another to go out and network, and another to actually produce the artwork and another to go see friends and have a life. And from total love of my job/calling this is the first time I have ever started to resent art and my art. With everything getting on top of me I couldn't see through the fog, so I was really relieved when I got told its burn out, that its coming from another place.
As I don't want a repeat of this year, I have done a lot of reading on how to tackle burn out. Relaxation, unplug, cultivate a non work life, get organised, sleep, etc. I am harnessing all these into things for the new year, writing up a list of all the things I want to change, bring forth,  I don't care how long it gets. I am a big believer that at any point every thing can be changed no matter how life changing it is. I thought it was my carer I needed to change but its actually how I approach my carer is what needs changing.

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. 
George Bernard Shaw


picture: Zohra Opoku





Monday, 26 December 2016

26.12.16









- this little bit of writing on wabi sabi found on Obsucra magazine. I know wabi sabi is having its moment or maybe its been taken over by Hygge, either way the principles of wabi sabi have always resonated with me in life and my work.

- rekindled my love with classic fm. perfect audio for giving space to the mind.

- Books I bought myself for Christmas which I am really excited about:

How to be successful by being yourself - David Taylor
The daily Stoic - Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
Art as Therapy - Alain de Botton, John Armstrong

- I am trying to declutter my life. One thing I have noticed about moving studios from my bedroom, to a studio, then to storage now finally to my new studio. I was able to dump so much in each move, makes me think how much do I actually need to create with also what work I really need to hang on to? This has shifted me into receiving either vouchers or experiences for presents. So this Christmas I was so chuffed to receive the ArtFund as a present I had it once before it was so useful 50% off at exhibitions and free entry to most places. And their app is great for knowing whats on around you.

- This Tedtalk needs to be listened to 3x to have all its valuable points sink in. I am now downloading Shawn Achors The Happiness Advantage onto my Audible.




photo found on pinterest
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Monday, 19 December 2016

19.12.16








- I started a petition this month to get businesses to shut their doors if they need to put their heating on. I want this to be a law! I watched planet earth and before the flood, and it shook me. I thought I sit here drawing paintings worrying about our climate but doing nothing apart from buying non impactful items, eating organic and recycling. I need to do more, everyone does. And this doesn't ask people for money its a 2 minute act of signing your name: Sign here.

- had such a fun and tasty meal with my family at Woky Ko in Bristol. It was in a shipping container!

- manifesting a place of my own to live in next year. Read Free and Native about manifestation and pretty much have the interiors mapped out via my pinterest board.

- The last of my paintings ranging from £40-£60 are available on etsy now. As from the new year I will be changing direction. More on this later.

- fan of this interview that feundevon freuden did of Amy Revier.

- listened to Grayson Perrys descent of man. He just gets it, spot on and balanced. I want this book to be compulsory for everyone in schools.







Photo via pinterest


Thursday, 8 December 2016

skill of art making in a stagnant art world.







I was in a cab not so long ago, and me and the driver were chatting about jobs we had, and jobs we are doing now. I was saying how I am an artist and he said thats great and was nice to meet a real artist. I said well everybody is an artist really, everyone tells me they are an artist, and I guess we all like to paint and draw. And he told me quite sharply that 'no you are an artist as you dedicate your life to it. I made a bird box, that doesn't make me a carpenter, I do my accounts doesn't make me an accountant, its just something I can do". This to me was profound, I have always loved the freedom of being what ever, and not having a label, but I guess labelling does come into its own at some point.  By law you are forced to label your self, for visas, for paying tax; I myself am a sole trader because I sell my work enough that its not classified as a hobby. You suddenly push your self out of hobby zone when you starting pushing yourself harder at whatever that is you may be doing.
This wise cabby of mine also said it requires a certain amount of skills to be an artist. And this is the point I want to focus on. Where is the skill in art anymore! why haven't artists pushed themselves harder. Thats why to me Monet, Matisse, Turner, Hockney are all some of the greatest painters because you can look at their breath of work and there really is an evolution a constant style and hand that is theirs, but it does progress. And the progression is the constant curiosity into their world and the harnessing of a skill which to me is what makes a piece of Art.

Duchamp came on the scene set off a grenade and we have been stuck in the aftermath ever since, found objects have been around in my opinion far too long and the skill of art is being lost.
This takes me back to my first point where I said we are all artists, and yes we probably could be because it just takes enough gumption and lingo to get you there look at Martin Creed.

The art world is always trying to push boundaries to what is art, but they are asking the wrong question, they should be asking artists to push their skill in making art! And its the art they make through being true artists, born with these skills of depiction and looking, that will lift us out of this stagnant art world. At primary school we draw in art classes, secondary school we draw in art classes, and then you go to higher education and all those skills you learnt to be an artist goes out the door because of the contemporary art scene. No wonder artists are so confused by what to create these days. You are judged on your ability to keep up with the trends rather than you as your individual skills to create art.

With the work I produced for my first show it was about a process showing all the art I created in a certain amount of time some better than others but all are art. Because the whole 500 flowers was a display of me working on my skill. And I focus on this for my next show, on how to push my depiction further of the natural world. Its that pushing and constant drawing that has already changed what I draw, in just a year. And I believe by having this at my core, it will be my North on my compass.





painting by : Turner 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

of late







- ted talk listened to, good sense of humour, on the subject of 'likes' culture
Addicted To Likes | Poppy Jamie 

- wes anderson made a beautiful Christmas advert.

- went to see the new design museum yesterday as I adore the work of John Pawson and I loved the old design museum. To sum it up there is a lot of design just not much museum. You have this very confused permanent collection at the top of the building and then huge open areas with nothing in it. For a building which plays on so much balance and minimalist design they have lost the balance between being an exhibition space and just a very nice piece of architecture. The Guardian had a good review on the matter, and I too believe it will grow into itself but for now I think they have run away from the objective and purpose of this building and got sucked up into the lets make everything pretty category, which for experienced designers is a rookie mistake.

- rodin at the Courtauld blew me away. the quality of this mans work, you can feel the passion coming off the page. this was only two rooms of his work, but it was so well curated. Kept to the point and the framing of the paintings was so complimentary to the works haven't seen that in a while. It has to be my exhibition of the year.

- i don't buy art magazines they feel very stiff to me. However 'see all this' caught my eye. First issue out now, its based in the Netherlands so not all content is useful to a worldwide audience but the graphics and some articles are worth a gander.




image found on pinterest

Monday, 21 November 2016

of late







- can't believe this year with news, and I am just becoming aware through instagram about standing rock against the pipeline

- to watch and adore the programme planet earth 2 makes the above point so strong, should be a blanket no to anything that effects the earth, to long its been money over preservation. 

- my favourite magazine to read, and not just look at the pictures has a new issue coming out. Nourished Journal, look it up. And Bath folk magalleria will be stocking it.

- reading a history of pictures: from the cave to the computer screen, by David Hockney and Martin Gayford. thought provoking and art stripped to its bare bones. 

- there is not many things that I would want to be featured on but Desert island discs is one of them. People really open up on that programme because its not trying to catch anyone out I love learning about peoples playlists, and life in general. 

- by the looks of things I live on the BBC for most of entertainment. Also watched Peter Yorks Hipster Handbook. I hate labels for anyone I think it is very narrow minded and just a form of judgment. However this is an intriguing label as no one wants to be associated with it but there is a defiant strong tribe that goes along with it, mainly men. 

- if you are self employed and don't do this already, do it! I got together all my self employed group of friends to all go out for a Christmas party. Being self employed has its perks, for example I am writing this post in my PJs, but it can also be very lonely and you can forget to take a minute out and celebrate! 

- uploaded a few paintings I did this Autumn onto my etsy site. And just this weekend gone I got featured in The Times Christmas guide. My favourite painting I uploaded out of the bunch. 





Nolde, Emil Ripe Sunflowers 1930

Monday, 14 November 2016

of late







- Flo Morrisey wrote a song and starred in a video for awaveawake which I wish I could pull off their clothes. Those view counts on the video is me, as I adore the song. 

- Shaping Ceramics: From Lucie Rie to Edmund de Waal. looking forward to this. Even though me and Jacobs collaboration has ended I still have it in my heart to explore ceramics. i don't want to draw on them I want to make them. And this exhibition has some fantastic work in it. 

- went to hole and corners Spoon Gathering, made a spoon from cherry wood. Still have bruises on my hand from carving. Such respect to all people who carve wood. Also got to see my friends forest and found







emile nolde


Thursday, 3 November 2016

value









I have always gone with my instinct and greeted everything with an open mind to see what I might learn from the experience. one thing I am learning though is that each experience I go through I am starting to think about my worth more and more.
when I get a quote in from my agent on how much I should be charging, I think oh shit I charged 75% less than that. I am not a greedy person, but now its time to start putting my needs first over opportunity. I kept saying yes to everything to see where it lead me, but I have been in areas where the people you work with don't actually respect your worth. I recently got told a company could pay me £20 for a piece of work! I am in the situation where I am so poor because of the studio any work is income, but working for £20 doesn't do anything for the moral, thats pocket money, not art money. If anything it has put me off working commercially and just to focus on my exhibitions. I have felt for some time that my commercial work has been so difficult because I am not meant to be doing commercial work, who knows.
Like all things in life, you got to trust that if you say no to this that something better will come along. For example it feels the same as a lousy relationship staying in one because you are in a relationship, instead of moving on, and letting the good come to you. Thats what I have decided to do with my work, no more undervaluing myself. I have to put that message out into the universe that the yes path to opportunities no longer serves me. trust that the company that wants to work with me enough will pay the right price. 








echinacea, pinterest



of late












- latest audio book listen ' do less, get more by she wasmund'. started reading some of her blog, as I enjoyed the book so much. 

- looking a lot at ancient art, spending hours on the British museum website.

- of course I bought the new book by David Hockney on the history of paintings. watch this video, short interview. 

- found this gorgeous quote from Rachel Brathen.










edgar degas

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

of late










- two talks that appears in my side bar of you tube which have been stirring some thoughts in me today. about being honest to yourself. Talk 1. Talk 2

- freaked out and barely slept because of watching stranger things on netflix. but I am a sucker for something with good actors, script, soundtrack, cinematographer and winona ryder who is on top form.

- had the best time at westonburt arboretum last week. in awe of nature. 









mariah nielson instagram 

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

art fairs










last friday I attended Frieze art fair. I was scouting for galleries, but I couldn't see myself being part of any of them there. Not because of the caliber of work, but because my work just doesn't fit. I am not worried, as I found the work very samey. However Edmund de Waal stood out for me, and if I had the money I would love a piece of his works. There is something spiritual to be said to his work. You know that feeling you get when you hold something which is full of memories, I get that from his work. 
Across the park was Frieze masters, totally different feel and atmosphere. Everything was more paired back, the feel was less anxious. And the works on display was just beautiful. I particularly like the ancient artworks they had, pieces of roman temples, Egyptian bowls. I am a huge fan of ancient art. It solidifies my belief that art is more than just the name and the price tag, its something built in us. Humans have always wanted to create art, it's such a natural process. And art was around before art committees and the need to display something from decoration purposes. 








Head of a Buddha, the London gallery Tokyo

of late










- Blue jay film, haven't seen it yet, but it has that wonderful believe in love feel to it. 

- I am in huge admiration of Alicia keys for not wearing makeup anymore. Think this is a brilliant movement, to highlight the pressures of women having to look a certain way, to be seen as beautiful.

- documentary done by vogue on health in LA, I want to do the two hour dance trance, to release blocks. 

- a film on climate change, done with leonardo Diacaprio and National Geographic. 

- Donna Hays new book, is all I want to eat at the moment. 

- probably the best thing in life ever to be written. A true testement to that true love exists. And how powerful words can be.  










pinterest

Monday, 3 October 2016

imitation









The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.
Conan O'Brien

I have been mulling over this post all week. And most likely for a long time before that. I have always struggled to write whats in my head down on paper. I guess that is why I paint because what i am feeling I express through my art. I deleted the last two posts as they were a distraction from what needed to be said. This post is about copying, something that has agitated me all my life, since I was aware of what it was. However this will be where I draw the line. It has plagued me for so long, zaps my energy and paralyses my work.

I will write this post in true honesty, laying it bare. As to air it, understand it, and then let it go. I would also like it to help someone down the line, who may be struggling with the same issue.

So apparently I am copying, so I was told last week. My flowers aren’t original and I copy another artist’s work. This fellow artist, I have now lost a job and been blocked from a gallery who approached me and then said they couldn’t take me on because of this artist had contacted them. It has been tough.
Years of painting, over 1000 flowers painted just in the last year, hours of time put in to perfecting my skill and craft. Hundreds of exhibitions visited and books read on art, to be told you are not the artist you think you are.
Two words to be said to that, fuck off. Never in my right mind would I copy this artist work, let alone another artist. At times I thought they had copied me.
I will see it from their point of view, I can see similarities as we both draw flowers on paper in one color. But guess who else fucking did, Matisse, Elsworth Kelly, Louise Bourgeois, Georgia O’keefe, Monet, Hockney, Van Gough, Tracey Emin, Picasso, John Ruskin, Hokusai, Asian art in general  ancient art, and way back in those bloody caves there are naïve plants drawn on walls in black.
Drawing flowers isn’t treading new ground, for any artist.
I paint flowers as I adore nature. Nature healed me when I was so ill with a brain injury, I would have to be assisted to walk into the garden and I would sit there with my plants, doing a little weeding, planting some seeds watching things grow, feeling connected to mother nature. It is these moments that go into my work. It is your life stories, places you have been, things that have spoken to you which as an artist shapes what you paint and how you paint it.

My last point is, that I disagree with the statement that nothing is original anymore. Why keep going, if this is true. Through out time we have periods where we dress a certain way, our houses look a certain way, that is what makes up our history. And without originality from creative thinkers we wouldn’t have the future. So originality exists in every era, no year is the same it just evolves slowly. And if we slowed down to notice this, we wouldn’t be so pessimistic, that being unique is dead.

Conclusion being copying only exists when you are unable to think for yourself.
I know my mind, and I dream big, I think long and hard about things, I notice the world, my mind is full of thoughts, and I am sensitive which makes me feel everything. I am not the same as you and you are not the same as me, and that is said to anyone and everyone.

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."
ee. Cummings.







Katsushika, Hokusai, 1760-1849: Grasses

Friday, 30 September 2016

of Late











- free and native post great weekly run downs of what she is looking at. I really like these frequency posts she puts up. My room is practically like a spa at the moment with this music. 

- I have always believed the forest speaks, now there is scientific proof! fascinating Ted Talks

- this Matisse painting, caught my eye for the colours and there is something I am not sure of in her expression. 

- Bought a box full of Palo Santo wood. It is my favourite smell at the moment. Palo Santo raises our vibration, uplifts the spirit and brings good luck. Find out more via Ashleey Neese.

- my favourite cafe in Bath, Society Cafe have teased us with a photo of their Oxford outpost serving Matcha Latte. Haven't had one since San Fransisco last year! for a none coffee drinker this is very exciting to me. 

- saw this film get praised on the BBC film programme. And it deserves it! felt so good to laugh while watching a film. Good comedies have just dropped off the radar for me at the moment. Defiantly recommend the hunt for the wilder people. 










anish kappor?

Sunday, 25 September 2016

of late










- my week suddenly became very busy preparing for the Daylesford Harvest festival, where I was painting on site then pinning them up on plywood beams I had bought, to create an installation of plants painted in harvest time. I really get into my displays I come up with, I feel its part of the process to creating a big work. 

- dr james fox presented another brilliant documentary. This time about contemporary art. I love his face when he talks to Martin Creed, just can't hide his emotions that he isn't convinced by him. 

- It is roughly a 2 hour drive to Daylesford from where I live. It was such an early start which I don't mind. While driving I saw that it suddenly has become Autumn. I always feel there is just one day each season where you finally notice everything starting to change. It was just magic. 

- Listening to radio 2 and heard this interview with Derren Brown. Never paid attention to his work before but his new book has defiantly spiked my interest. 
From the interview in Huffington post:
Brown sees happiness as the absence of worry and stress. If we can release ourselves from anxiety, we can achieve a state of tranquility that the philosophers Pyrrho and Epicurus called Ataraxia, he argues. “It isn’t really a thing in itself, it’s more about when you take all of the frustrations and the anxieties away. And then, they’re quite easy to pin down and deal with. What you’re left with is this sort of tranquil calm state, and though I don’t think it’s the answer to everything, I think it’s a much more helpful model of how to be happy.”It’s also about accepting that you can’t have it all. “The ancient idea was to limit your desires,” he explains, “because if you limit your desires to what you have and what’s available to you, or what’s freely available, you value those things more and you’ll value your happiness much more easily.”Consequently, there is a chapter in Happy about lowering your expectations. “If you’re angry, it’s because your expectations were too high,” Brown reasons. “Rather than trying to control everything through self-belief, you don’t try and control the thoughts you can’t.”






Yves Klein, Yves Peintures, 1954




Sunday, 18 September 2016

cutting the intake












I get to Sunday each week and think what do i want to do? Which isn't to do with work, as all my hobbies are to do with work. Even going for walks easily becomes a process of scavenging for things to draw, or views to come back to and draw. Following your passion is just doing the things you love everyday but making it into a business. However now that it is a fully fledged business, registered sole trader, income to make from what was the things I would escape from, is now work. I am finding I need new activities to take on which will help me de zone. I have started swimming again, when I was at primary school to the beginning of secondary school I was a fantastic swimmer, being prepped to be on the junior olympic team, however I was so dyslexic the extra english lessons took over. The love of the water has never stopped, even if my swimming style has decreased to more of a slow paddle. Like with yoga when you are in it you forget everything else that may be going on. It is a great task to listen to your own voice. 
Speaking of your own voice, I feel I have to address my social media. I came off Facebook over half a decade ago now, and never looked back. Part of my hermit nature to not be on there and the distaste for people to know everything you are up to without even asking, its just laziness and lacks true friendship; just pick up the phone. Same goes for my instagram I get that itch to shut it down, for the same reasons. However that would be a foolish move, because so much of what I do and income comes through being on there and promoting what I do. 
I attended a yoga workshop on Friday, the teacher said yoga is about making the moves work for you and so goes for everything else in this world. She spoke about how our phones dictate our lives but really it should be the other way round make it work for you. 
My friend who owns a shop unfollowed everyone on instagram, friends, family business contacts etc. I thought this was a risky move for business, but she explained she didn't want other voices disrupting her inner voice. And that is what has happened to me, I am so overwhelmed by everything. It isn't a case of not looking at your feed, I have to think where do I want to look? A cull is in order to alter my intake. Get back to what it is that sparks joy (marie kondo instagram clean) and basically it is the one that gives me facts ,places, restaurants, those are the accounts I engage with. 
I'll post some of these up in my 'of late' posts. 









Elizabeth Blackadder - Japanese Garden

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

lately









- film to look forward to = Miss Hokusai 

- trying to get better with a routine each day. And I feel like a lump at the end from sitting so long. Start the day with morning yoga with Adrienne. And then a swim at my local pool in the afternoon. forgot how much I loved swimming. 

- i gave up on reading the news long ago because it was so depressing. And now giving up on the Sunday supplements too and also general magazines all together. Life is simple and I think who ever is writing these articles are full of insecurities surrounded with midlife crisis, age and basically what the other person is doing. However i still love a magazine to sit down with as I like the newness of current ideas. In Bath there is a good independent shop which sells a variation, I picked up  Nourished Journal from there. 

- autumn comes, so does porridge mornings. but I have the 26 grains book to keep it lively. 








Red beach, Paracas, Peru

Friday, 9 September 2016

blind hope










I have noticed I only ask for advice when I am put in a situation where I have to face my fears. Commitment, my insecurities, and anything to do with my heart. I feel though I have had a particular story in my life unravel to deal with all these things in one big leap.
However one thing I noticed from all the advice given there was no hope to any of it. I am talking about matters of the heart people. Why is it when its something to do with an impossible situation and its something to do with heart, it is immediately given the cut your loses attitude. I give myself that advice too, I mentioned last time I cut things before they have even had a chance to bloom. I do that with my artwork too. Something I had crumpled up in the bin the day before I come back and see it was actually quite beautiful.  I just think being hopeful can only get you somewhere even if its not the destination you set out with, you are still moving. And focusing on one destination is controlling the situation, trying to make it perfect, and perfection isn't happiness.  I believe you got to have just blind hope that things will work out, not just in relationships but life generally. I am in the art business after all it has the most uncertain future I am running on blind hope.









Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum NY

Thursday, 1 September 2016

harvest moon











It is my favourite month, new beginnings happen in September, its the cusp of seasons. And everything starts a new round from businesses to home life. There is so much energy right now, and the first time all year I was able to set my new moon wishes. Something clicked, blocks cleared and I knew what I really wanted, the clarity was there behind the barrier of fear. 
This new moon reading is to good not to share, from my favourite Laurence Spencer King. She tells you also how to do your new moon wishes. 









pinterest

in recent times










- two films coming out with rachel weisz who I have huge respect for as an actress. Denial and the light between oceans

- had the pleasure of meeting the two creatives behind forest and found. it is great to chat to people about ideas and the world you are in. even though the creative life is a lovely job to take on it is a business at the end of the day and its great to swap stories. Their studio is also in a custom made shed, which had so much character and life to it, my eyes were darting everywhere taking it all in. 

- put on a 25% discount on my etsy shop, not because my work needed a discount, because I wanted to say thank you to everyone supporting me. Type in THANKYOU at checkout to redeem voucher, its valid till the 7th of September. 

- i kept seeing pictures of my work floating around on pinterest which is wonderful, but sometimes not the best quality. Big prompt to me to set up a board with my work on it, with descriptions and good quality images. 

- free and native has written an excellent article about hormone imbalances








Georgia O'Keeffe. Black Lava Bridge, Hana Coast-No. I, 1939