Well, September came, the children went back to school and I threw myself into my work. An exhibition proved to be successful, and good old social media has helped me to make more sales and to network. If there is a negative aspect to all of this it has to be the lack of human interaction. I find it incredibly hard to accept invitations to pretty much anything! I have always been quite the recluse, I am not antisocial at all, I love being with people, but my instinct tells me to be alone, in my workspace, in my garden, in the woods.
Attending a workshop (all on my own!) and meeting complete strangers was a brief feast of human company and a real joy. I even joined in with a singing exercise which is something that scares me more than a little. But what a wonderful time I had, listening to speakers talking about ballads, folklore and art, seeing work made by some extremely talented and likeminded artists, then making a little silver talisman as a keepsake of the day. The workshop was run by The Face in The Trees, and I am sure it won’t be the last one that I attend.
I have been following the guidelines in a book called The Artists Way by Julia Cameron. I am writing the ‘pages’ every day (well, almost everyday) as soon as I wake. Not sure how this is helping me, but since I began this ritual I have been more productive and have made more sales than ever before. Perhaps this practice helps to download the unwanted thoughts that reside your head, dumping them onto paper and allowing the space to be put to better use. My yoga practice is also invaluable, my body benefits but my mind really really benefits, my thoughts are ordered and my attitude is positive.
Learning to ignore the negative is not as hard as it sounds. So many people think that what I do is a hobby, or make comments such as ‘if only I had the time to be creative’ or ‘if only I didn’t have to work’. I am not sure why they ignore the very real fact that I have two very real jobs, I am an artist, and I am a foster carer. I might be in my home more often than some, but I am working all day and I am on duty all night, and I love what I do. As a foster carer I know what negativity can do and undervaluing someones efforts is so damaging but I have learned to allow such comments to float on by ……. if you really want to do something you will always find the time.
My work is currently circular, something that reoccurs, I am painting trees, and intend to paint a tree for every month of the year. It is a joy to work on thick handmade paper and use paints made from earth minerals. I feel that I have gained enough momentum to keep on going, no shortage of ideas to progress, and never any shortage of new materials and methods to try. I have finally given myself permission to do what my heart tells me to, and to be heartened by the positivity that is being fed back to me by family, friends, new acquaintances and customers. I am truly grateful.
Here is my tree for November, one month in advance!