Since being home; I have travelled to Doncaster twice; Derbyshire; Bedfordshire and Rhodes in the space of a couple of months! They all have merits, so where to start… With house clearance tales!
Coming home and finishing commissions and artwork bought on route through Social Media, was harder than I thought. Aside from the beautiful interruptions during the day, shaped like grandchildren whizzing around. It’s the fact that my artwork and supplies are back to being all over the house. My studio is still occupied, so my house has no chance at Feng Shui!
Once our children had both bought their own houses and moved out, I spent the best part of a year clearing rooms, in our overstuffed house full of years of memories and mementos. In the back of a kitchen cupboard, I found the likes of four new fondue sets and one used one, obviously tried out and forgotten about, way back when. We didn’t need any of them so into the charity bag they went, along with all other kitchen equipment never used, but was a good idea, or present at the time. I had Rubbish, Charity and Children bags, along with bras going to Africa and specs to somewhere else.
Apart from the life size coffin Paul made filled with all the Halloween axes; masks; chopped off hands and anything else gruesome you can imagine. The most difficult to offload was, and still is, the children’s stuff. It’s not the sentimental value, it’s the fact that they don’t want to have it cluttering up their house or loft but don’t want us to give it all away either. They believe it lives in our home and truthfully, I failed in my mission and a lot of it still does!
I supply a church raffle every month with a selection of raffle prizes, you know the wine bottle holder from Berlin, a birthday gift obviously meant for someone else! I make continuous donations to the charity shops and friends’ wardrobes for, I’m ashamed to say, clothes bought still with tags on, that don’t fit! This process is ongoing and what started off being cathartic, has become an obsession that is never ending. Financially it makes sense to sell everything, but the time it takes to photograph, upload, answer questions, wrap and post is a job in itself. A task that would, one; delay me from clearing, and two; delay me from creating! Catch 22, time and money, I know so many of you feel my pain; just clearing, then cleaning, one cupboard can take up a perfectly good afternoon, that was destined for a more interesting event.
I attended The Carlton Show in Bedfordshire with my art; the gallery in a Shed in Buxton, where my art is on show; the Art fair in Doncaster; oh, and popped to Rhodes for a cheeky week of sun with my Bestie!
As far as the Art goes it’s a slow process of putting yourself out there. I know I could be at a different event every month but its not that simple with Art. You need to find your market, your people, the ones that get you and so want your creations on their walls because they resonate with them. So, it’s a mission that is both enjoyable and frustrating.
(I learnt a lot from this exhibition. its so tempting to take everything you do so that there is something there for everyone right? wrong! it confuses the visitor, so I will stick to displaying one type of work in future)
I did have a new experience: I sold a piece of work to someone who was rude and uninterested in the process of that creation, or the where and why behind it. I wanted to tell her where in this beautiful country we were, how I caught a moment in time, where the sun rose and made the rocks reveal the glory of their geology, in the different coloured minerals built up over the centuries. How the rugged shapes against their shadows in the sea informed the composition I chose, but she cut me dead and complained about having to frame it. My lasting feeling was that I would rather not sell to the likes of that person. Art is so personal, I wanted my work back!
I felt so indulgent taking myself off for some end of year sunshine with my oldest friend but honestly, although I loved every minute of our adventure, travelling for months at a time is tiring. I couldn’t wait to lay on those sun beds with a holiday book, unrelated to learning; my goals or personal development! We stayed at Mitsis hotel and Spa in Rodos village, five star all inclusive. It was friendly; clean; big without feeling so; lots to do if you wished, even had its own amphitheatre where we listened to three tenors from South Africa! All inclusive was good however not if Vegetarian or Vegan, so I ate a lot of potatoes, great for swimwear!
(Chatting at the bar during the day and chatting watching the sun set of a night, just chatting…)
I have known my friend for about 45 years, and guess what? we did very little laying on the sun beds reading; we talked, and talked bit more and a bit more. An uninterrupted luxury that was so easy for us both. I appreciate men don’t converse in the same way with us or each other, but feel they are poorer for it. It can be cathartic, enlightening, revealing and counselling for those taking part. I know I am fortunate and am grateful for the love and respect we share. All to often this is not the case as you go through life. At my age the hope is your friends are there because you have chosen them to be. Developing intellectually and emotionally during your life, you start to recognise those around you that quite literally drain your energy, or their words or actions don’t seem to be in alignment with your values. In order to preserve your well-being you need to walk a path without them. You honestly feel better for it.
A few days after my return from Rhodes my annual CP girls’ trip was upon us: these women I have also grown to love, over the past twenty years. We are a diverse group of professions; our age range is split over ten years with me being the oldest at 55. However, we know that even if we don’t get together too much during the year, our annual trip, usually to Centre Parcs, will contain a mix of hilarious to heartfelt stories. Comical antics and games along with age and time related conversations that help whatever stage of life you are at.
(We have been going to Centre Parcs for about ten years, we have interrupted it with city-breaks to Bath; Barcelona and Portugal for big birthdays. Next year we are celebrating in Croatia but I know we will be back again)
I find women allow each other to get deep and meaningfully into a subject, are thoughtful and often holistic in their approach to a topic, which is what I love about their company. I have to say, this is a complete contradiction to my early years where I couldn’t think of anything worse than spending all this time in female company! I always had more male friends; finding their no-nonsense straightforwardness a sanctuary from the gossip and bitching that I found when mixing with girls. Its so nice getting older.
(Bedfordshire, cant beat spending time with these two)
I think I am allowed to say the C word now we are in November? So, with Christmas looming ever nearer, I am frantically trying to get art work completed as well as looking at other opportunities to earn money, otherwise how can we travel? more about that next time. We do have one more trip to end the year on, to Germany for New Year, can’t wait to tell you all about that, as well as thinking about new year desires… In the meantime, I hope you are surrounded with positive friendships that serve to love encourage and empower you.
A new Idea;
Bespoke; renovated; hand painted; personalised; children’s desk/furniture