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