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This morning I woke up feeling fragile after some sad news yesterday – the type of news that makes you feel grateful for your loved-ones, anxious about the fragility of life, the kind of news that makes you appreciate the smallest things…
I logged into my email account and was greeted unusually by loads of emails telling me my Facebook page was being ‘liked’. Jenny ,unprompted and not knowing of our sad state, had encouraged her followers to come on over to my page just because… It was a small ray of light today watching my ‘likes’ rise. It never ceases to amaze me how much community and encouragement can be found through like-minded spirits on the internet. Jenny - thank you for throwing out the invitation, thank you to all those who took up the call. It may have been a simple gesture from your end but your timing was exceptional and lifted my day. Thank you.x.
I’ve added a link to the left-hand side-bar if anyone else wants to connect. I will feel more accountable to keep it up to date and interesting now
I love other people’s ‘links’ post where they share things you hadn’t yet discovered yourself. So here’s a few good things I’ve found lately…
I have been enjoying this new weekly blog. Each Monday the The Reconstructionists celebrates a remarkable woman in history with a short write up (just enough to make you brainy at a dinner party!) accompanied by Lisa Congdon’s lovely illustrations.
Discovering the beautiful painting of Valériane Leblond.
Lapping up floral inspiration here
Have been reading Painter’s Keys by Robert Genn which is a twice-weekly letter to artists full of tips, facts and interesting things to know. (Found via Dana who knows the best links to share). This letter was fully of funny terms pertinent to artists. Hope it raises a giggle or too…
Snooler: A person who gushes over your work but who you suspect privately thinks he can do better but actually can’t.
Daddylongpocket: A man who buys a painting done by a woman who is suspicious that the sale took place because she has nice legs and she has.
Arstratto: A wannabe artist who knows how it’s done, knows all about it, talks about it all the time, but can’t bring himself to do it.
Lugg: A husband who inquires when dinner might be ready just as the artist has wax-resisted and is laying in a delicate wash.
Ungrept: A wife who doesn’t understand she’s living with a genius.
Continuing to love Anita Klein’s work and reading a book I got for Christmas – Through The Looking Glass. Did you know she alledgedly bought a house in Italy wth the proceeds of an exhibition…. I wish!
Well I hope you enjoy some of these and have a great weekend.
I have a new-found love.
Kind of like a crush. Actually no, more like a squash!
And it began in our new Morrison superstore amongst the vast array of freshly spritzed vegetables.
No it wasn’t some young handsome retail assistant but the vegetables themselves!
I love the range of patterns and colours and all the inspiration that it brings for design opportunities and painted images. Then you can cook and eat it!
The mushroom section has about 10-15 varieties – who knew mushrooms were so interesting. I love photographing them because they look like mini landscapes from the moon under a macro lens.
Or a secret fairy kingdom.
One particular mushroom was so smelly that the only way I could paint it was like this…
I was inspired by vintage educational posters to paint something with a botanical look to it.
Sorry about all the watermarking of images but someone recently used a painted design of mine to jolly up their leaflet and although they told me they done it, they didn’t respond to my heavy hint that I made my living as an artist! So it has made me resolve to avoid it happening where possible. Sad really but that’s the down side of t’internet I suppose.
I thought I’d pop in today and show you one of my Christmas makes. I was lucky enough to find a little set of this red rose china earlier in the year at a very cheap price but there were more cups than plates. Then I saw an article in Country Living for Teacup Candles I knew what I could do.
It turned out to be very easy to do and really fun! First melt an existing candle in a double boiler (like a bain marie). This was fun – it smelt great and looked like raspberry jelly. I used cheap candles from Ikea but just be careful that the candle is coloured wax all the way through – I first used one that looked red but actually had a red wax jacket on the outside (like a Babybell!) Once it had melted and dried again it went a lurid peach colour and I had to start over.
Then you carefully pick the wick out from the melted wax and cut to fit the height of the teacup. It didn’t really need pegging in place as you poured but more to keep it in place as it set again.
Then you pour in the melted wax and wait. This is messy so I’d recommend paper towel under where you are pouring. Once it’s settled and set (over night is good) you melt the remaining wax again in the double boiler and top it up in the cup so that it is flat and right at the top (it drops down on the first setting).
Then I wrapped and labelled it and gave it away I hope you give it a go because it really was fun and makes a great little pressie. So be warned my friends – it’s teacup candles for every occasion now!
PS: So far it hasn’t damaged the cups at all but I can’t guarantee it that it wouldn’t stain older cups and ones with perishing glazes… just a disclaimer there before you ruin Aunt Gertie’s Art Deco china and blame me!
Is it too soon to say that ‘it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’? I know it’s still only November!
We had our first taste of the spirit of things for this year by popping down the motorway to the Gloucester Quays Victorian Christmas Market yesterday.
There’s nothing like hot sugared donuts and hot chocolate.
At this market the stall holders make a particular effort to dress up in Victorian costume and there are Victorian reenacter’s wandering around and acting up and bringing a real spirit of occasion.
Add in a brass band ( a hilarious Scout/Brownie choir where not one child was trying to sing) and some twinkly lights and I feel the stirrings of excitement for the festive season.
It’s been a busy few days here… last week I went to London and visited the Country Living Christmas fair. I didn’t get many photos as there are so many people it’s hard to step back and see anything. But I did start my Christmas shopping – oh yes!
It was a lovely way to get into the mood for Christmas (which has to happen in November if you are the Responsible Present Buying Half of the partnership!)
Then on Saturday night I reached a proper grown-up milestone by going to the opera for the first time. We went with friends to see La Bohème performed by the Welsh National Opera. It is written in Italian, set in Paris and sung by Welsh people! It could have been more relaxing if I’d been fluent in Italian – then I wouldn’t have had to read the subtitles to know what was going on.
And finally, yesterday I delivered eight paintings to a new (to me) gallery called Greenstage Gallery.
This gallery is situated in the Hop Pocket Craft Center in Worcestershire. I’m very grateful to have another opportunity to exhibit some more of my work and it spurs me on to create some new work – which brings me full circle in my busyness