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We are just back from a week away in the Peak District and I had forgotten just how beautiful it was up there.
We did lots of walking as the weather was extremely kind to us and I even got to sit and sketch on a couple of days.
And we took in a lot of art when we visited Chatsworth house.
The wallpaper was AmAzInG!
There was a whole wall of Lucian Freud work.
And this Gainsborough – I didn’t notice until I looked back at the photograph that her expression is both quizzical and a bit sassy – both unusual for a woman in a portrait of that time.
And there were gorgeous Spring flowers to inspire everywhere.
Of course I meant to post here long before now but time just runs away!
I stole a few hours today to paint a little something, anything really – I can get right mardy if I don’t create something and I had given most of this week over to wielding a mop and bucket so I felt it was necessary for everyone’s sanity 😉
So I shall simply send my heartfelt thanks to those of you who pop in here and continue to support me and wish one and all a Very Merry Christmas. Claire x
This is the longest W>I>P I’ve ever had but finally my African Flower blanket is done (all but the edging).
Back in 2015 while we were mooching about on holiday, we passed a knitting shop selling off it’s closing down stock. Too good to pass up. I had already inherited a big bag of the dark and light grey Angora wool so chose a similar weight and fluff to match.
I got started pretty happily but then fell out of love with the colours and doing the shape. It’s sat gathering dust for quite a while…
But there’s nothing like the impending clear-up for family coming to stay at Christmas to galvanise a tidy up, sort out, throw away and get done mentality. And so after taking a deep breath and just getting it done…it’s done!
Todays calendar page is not wrong!
After a lovely busy Summer bursting with family affairs, teaching, holidays and other welcome distractions, today is the first day I find myself home alone and able to concentrate.
So I picked this interesting Hydrangea flower from the garden and got re-acquainted with my paintbrush. It feels good 🙂
I am grateful for the shape this artful life has taken and for the people who make it possible.
but they have since gone on to open a beautiful shop.
Alongside all the gorgeous vintage china for sale/hire and the beautifully curated things you just need to have, like the softest socks and eye-catching ceramics and pretty handmade buttons, they have been stocking some of my prints, cards and original art.
I went today to replenish the stock and had the prettiest and most delicious business meeting yet 😉
I’d recommend a visit especially as they are now licensed to sell Prosecco too!
I’m about to have an uncharacteristically unguarded moment!
Normally this is a place to show nice pictures and celebrate good things and as we all know, that is just one side of the prism of my life but I keep the mess, disappointment and thankless hard work out of the picture because self-editing is usually always a good thing. I know, you know that my life isn’t all flowers, nice colours and pretty patterns.
Like most creatives, I embarked on a public journey with my art in the hope that The Internet would find me opportunities that I would otherwise have missed. And sometimes that has been true.
I was totally stoaked last year, to be approached to design a teaset. A teaset for a franchise that runs tea-shops in three high-profile department stores, two of which are in London.
I couldn’t believe it – which was a good first reaction to have because it quickly became a ‘competition’ between me and some other un-named, undisclosed artists. My philosophy was to work hard for the two weeks we had on the project, over perform, feel satisfied I’d done my very best and wait and see.
Roll on a few weeks and I was as surprised as anyone that not just one of my design collections was chosen, but three!
Still not celebrating till the ink had dried, I waited on getting a deposit payment which eventually I did after some tenacious emailing.
Amazing, it looked like I was going to have three sets of china in production in 3 high street stores.
And then it went all quiet, my contact became harder to get hold of gradually becoming uncommunicative until I had to call closure on it myself. Poo! It’s all come to nothing. And no, I didn’t get fairly paid for all the work I did but that’s the downside of pitching for jobs which isn’t an unusual practice with creative endeavours.
It was lovely work too, which is partly why I’m putting it up here.
I guess the guy who approached me had just had a good idea which he didn’t think through in a practical and financial sense until way after he’d commissioned me to visualise it. I don’t blame him particularly but why is it that artwork is seen as such a free and easy thing to conjure up without an expectation that it’s fair to pay for all the hours of work involved. It’s so under valued in commercial terms and yet we all buy stuff because we like the design on it.
No design files exchanged hands but I wouldn’t be the first person to get ripped off- another reason to name and claim my work publicly.
I still like The Internet. Still happy to share my working life here, although times have changed as it’s not so much a community of artist friends as it once was. And I am still finding it brings goodness unexpectedly – take this lovely little package which Pat sent me out of the blue. Pat has bought a couple of my calendars in the past and is now using the patterns to craft brooches from.
It all goes around and comes around.
I had one of my little day trips to London earlier this week.
Primarily it was to see an exhibition (more on that another time) but I had a couple of hours to kill first and chose to have a wander around Notting Hill first.
It’s a great place to soak up the life of the rich and famous and to house-hunt (i.e. snoop around kerb-side looking at other people’s lovely homes!)
In amongst all the typical white London mansion houses are some picturesque painted ones.
This row at the top of Portobello Road was the cutest.
And Portobello market was full of things I’d have loved to bring home if I didn’t have to carry them.
So lots of window shopping but fun none-the-less.
Yesterday, me, myself and I took a little trip to the NEC to take a gander around the Sewing For Pleasure show. My interest in Textiles has got re-ignited since beginning to teach it at MAC and I was not disappointed by what I saw – here’s some of my favourite inspiration from the day…
Fran Holmes amazing fabric cabbages and Primulas.
This machine embroidery by Emma Villiger – I love the colours and the free machine embroidery that looks like writing.
A photo doesn’t do this piece by Maria Stoller justice – it was very translucent and floated gently around.
My favourite discovery of the day; Maria Thomas. Love her work and aesthetic and was very happy later in the day to take her workshop on appliquéd pockets.
This is the beginning of mine which I will finish sometime.
And lastly this clever piece by Janet Rose which describes with image-transferred words and maps a special place. And of course I bought a few goodies along the way too which I’m looking forward to playing with. Have great weekend yourselves 🙋