Almost done…

This wee character is almost done – since this photo he has been fully painted, aged and is now waiting his two or three coats of varnish (this always takes an age – letting one coat completely dry before applying the next one…)

I am hoping to have him in my shop tomorrow!

I have been taking things a bit easy this week – it has taken me longer to get over last week and the weekend than I thought it would and I have been working a few hours at my p/t job – easing myself back in gently.

Today was spent filling out applications for events – the cycle of this artistic life – making, documenting, attending events and exhibitions, filling out new applications, awaiting acceptance or knock-back and making again. I would highlight the things I apply for here but don’t like to jinx the outcome – you know?

Tomorrow I take work to my framers and meet a friend for coffee. That of course is a big plus point – flexi hours! Saturday is date day with my husband and Sunday I shall sculpt more characters. I like the to-ing and fro-ing – the rhythm of gently stepping from one task to another, of each day being entirely different.

A great weekend…

Marek, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Hello friends! I didn’t get to making my usual monday mosaic based on my flickr friends yesterday as I was absolutely exhausted after a long week of working 12-15 hours a day last week and then 2 days at SOCK at the weekend selling my wares. I will never get over how lucky I am to be doing a job where I don’t mind a bit working 70+ hours a week in order to ‘get-things’ done – I am very fortunate and enjoy every minute of it. Yesterday though, I had a much needed day off and spent my time pottering in the garden which was lovely.

The weekend was wonderful. My first fair of the year and the first event showing my new work in the form of these latest clay characters. It is always lovely to meet customers face to face, both existing customers and people seeing my work for the first time. I was a little nervous as to how people would react to my new work but am delighted to say that people were very generous in their comments and feedback.

Marek – the character above found a new home as did all the jointed characters that I made. As I was rushing to finish them right up until the last minute (Friday night – nothing like cutting it fine…) I did not even get a chance to photograph them properly and this chap only had his snapshot photo taken whilst the lovely lady was off to get the money to purchase him! As ever, I was more than a little sad to see him go as I was very fond of him but I either make this my hobby so that I keep everything I make or I get used to the idea that this is my living and just enjoy the fact that others like my work enough to take it home with them! Of course I am ever so grateful that they do. It means I can continue to make more and support myself in this strange world of creating for a living.

I want to do a proper post about the event at the weekend and also highlight some of my favourite makers who were also showing there as the standard really was excellent but that will be for another day – I am still exhausted and officially start back at my part-time job today after some time off. It has been a real luxury being able to focus all my attentions on my artwork these last few months so now I am just hoping and praying that I will be able to balance returning to my reminiscence work 2 days a week with continuing to create and make as I have been doing. I suspect it may be a little tiring at first although last week is a good indication that my energy levels are returning even though I was losing the ability to string a sentence together by Sunday!

PS I did bring 3 characters home with me and they are now in my etsy shop here, here and here.

PPS I received so many lovely comments here on my blog, my facebook page and my flickr site last week but just didn’t have time to reply to them all individually. Please know that I am so grateful for your continued support and encouragement. Thank you.

xxx

Plodding along….

Another quickie post and another work in progress shot. I have a head cold, protesting shoulder and back muscles and am working long hours to get some of these guys finished for SOCK, but I couldn’t be happier. I have 9 new characters in progress altogether – a mix of these anthropomorphic creatures and some more puppets and although I am not entirely sure how many will be finished for the weekend I am enjoying seeing their personalities being revealed one brush stroke at a time.

More tomorrow! x

Mosaic Monday 21st March 2011

Mosaic Monday 21st March 2011, originally uploaded by gilfling.

1. the morning after a mad moon, 2. wonderist, 3. silent_moments, 4. New Tumblers, 5. Untitled, 6. clay lidded vessel, 7. brucia, 8. Cradled-Tug, 9. Winding paths. Oil on canvas 90 x 100 cm. 2011, 10. The Wall, 11. Red Connecting Line, 12. 9birds, 13. creamcourt, 14. N92, 15. at my window, 16. pas de deux

I am absolutely in love with every single piece of inspiration in this weeks mosaic (as I am every week of course) – you might be able to tell if you view most weeks that I am drawn to dark and muted colours and lots of texture and atmosphere – all such an inspiration in my own work.

Speaking of which – I am currently preparing for a 2 day contemporary craft fair which I am exhibiting at this coming weekend – my first of this year. I have been sculpting away all weekend and have quite the collection of new characters gathering. I will show progress shots as the week moves along.

Meanwhile please click through to the individual artists pages of the above mosaic to see more – it is like entering another world of wonders.

A Moment in Time…..

I am delighted with this new painting. Even though my characters don’t necessarily look like me, they have my thoughts, emotions and dreams. I don’t have much of my own artwork around the place but I think I may be framing a print of her for our stairway.

I sometimes struggle with knowing when a piece is finished – when it needs no more and no less – and in this case I got to the point where I knew she was almost finished and then I left her for a couple of days – the painted tree on her dress and then another wash of ink were all she needed.

The original painting is now listed in my etsy shop with a print to come soon.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend! x

Janek …. a collection of stories 2

As promised I wanted to share some more stories that were inspired by Janek. I don’t have any links for these people who were kind enough to take the time to write a story but I wanted to share them nonetheless as each one is so precious.

Eileen wrote

“Janek is such a sweet n innocent boy and lonely. He loves trains and talks and talks of them. So much so that the other little boys become quite bored with him. He just can’t imagine why and so he sits and imagines where his tracks will go and who will ride along.”

Tracey wrote

“Dear Janek….I knew if I searched long enough I would find you….your are waiting for me….just like you said you would….You poor poor man. You look like a boy to others but if they looked close enough they would see beneath the cracks and flaws how old you really are. Yes you really have been waiting for me my dear dear Janek. You’ve turned to stone and weathered but your not lonely, you know I’m near you now. I’m waiting to be turned to stone too so I can sit next to you….and all the little people who will join us and only us, as they know the untold story of…………”

and Joe wrote

Janek dreams of carpenting,
he’s really rather good.
He carves himself a hopeful life,
from blocks of dreaming wood.
I ask him what he’s thinking,
he muses for while,
then leans and whispers happily,
behind a quiet smile:
“These sculptures might be awkward,
but these sculptures, they are mine.
I sand them down most lovingly,
with paper made from time.”

I hope you don’t mind me being so indulgent and sharing these – I have just enjoyed reading them so much. There are still more and I shall post those next week.

As ever thank you for reading. x

 

 

WIP Wednesday…..

 

A picture heavy post as opposed to the link and word heavy post of yesterday you will be pleased to hear! I am working on 2 paintings at once at the moment and I cannot even describe how good it feels to be painting again. I really feel that the daily sketches that I have been working on have helped so much in developing new ideas and compositions and just getting my hand and my imagination moving and working together. I would higly recommend it as a daily practice. I am excited about this new work and interested to see how it will develop.

Incidentally the colours in the two paintings above remind me so much of the underpaintings in ‘Paint along with Nancy’ – does anyone else remember that TV programme? I was only 2 to 6 years old when it was on TV but remember watching it so vividly and being absolutely entranced and thinking that was what I wanted to do when I grew up!! I could definitely credit Nancy with inspiring me to want to be an artist!

Last of all, after selling the above original in my shop last week I am delighted to now have it as a print after getting it professionally scanned today (although I was sad to find that my usual repro shop is no more so had to hunt to find another place that had a large enough scanner to do it  – such a sad sigh of the times). Anyway I have just printed off the very first copies and I am absolutely delighted with the results – it really does make for a gorgeous print! So now available in 2 sizes – Large and Medium. This is my first new print release for what seems like an age and it is good to have a new selection of work on offer – and hopefully there will be plenty more to come!

x

Treats……

Wobbly bowls from Roost Living (Photo from Roost Living)

With all that is happening in the world and the feeling of being helpless that I think is common to many of us, one thing that I am making sure to do, is to take time to be thankful for small things. To acknowledge the things that make my days brighter.

In many ways, last year was so difficult. I am not sure if I mentioned it here much but for most of the year my (now) husband was extremely ill for months and months after surgery. His illness overlapped with my diagnosis and my months of treatment (which I think I mentioned a great deal). An added stress was that for me, self-employment and sickness was extremely worrying in terms of our finances but I tried to put my recovery first and put the rest aside to deal with later. I don’t write any of this in order to gain sympathy, or to complain, more to share my experiences and to ackowledge that even when times have been hard, I still have so many good things going on.

 One of the things that got me through that time was reading the experiences of others. That and my absolute faith that things were going to get better are what helped me to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I feel like I am rambling a bit here and am not really sure of what I am trying to say, but I do know that things that I might have taken for granted before, I now am so, so grateful for and life just keeps getting better every day (as corny as that might sound). Funnily enough corny statements are par for the course these days and I don’t care.

So in an effort to get back on topic, I just wanted to highlight a few good things that have been happening around here lately. I already mentioned a few in my post yesterday. I have begun painting again and it feels so good. I have two works in progress – one of which you can see here. I feel my artwork has changed since last year and although I am not sure that I can put my finger on ‘how’ I just know that I am liking what I am doing.

After a year of having to cancel personal and work related events due to all that was happening and also not being able to book the events that I would normally have wanted to do throughout this year due to lack of finances I am pleased with the current exhibitions I am taking part in. For the first time I have also had galleries finding my work and approaching me to take part in exhibitions – I have a few really exciting things coming up such as this exhibion – The Art of Childsplay. I am really excited about it and we are hoping to get away for a few days in the Cotswolds when I deliver my work there.

I also wanted to share with you the photo above. I won 2 of these delightful wobbly bowls from the Roost Living Facebook page and they arrived last week. They are so pretty and delicate and look wonderful on our kitchen dresser. I really really love this lightshade which is only one of a few items that I am coveting from the website. One thing I hope to do this year (finances permitting) is to spend some time making our home more ‘homely’ – making curtains and framing up and hanging a whole host of prints that I have been collecting over the years.

Finally I also have one more treat planned for this afternoon. I am off to the hospital again – not for the endless days of treatment that were my journeys to the hospital at the end of last year – but this time for an afternoon of a skin-care and make-up workshop which is called Look Good Feel Better. I won’t write any more about it here as this is already the length of a novel but if you would like to read more then I shall be updating my other blog here very soon. (Edit – newly updated here).

I am hoping to return home a slightly more polished version of myself, sporting a smile and with the knowledge that I am indeed a very lucky girl.

(If you have reached the end of this rambling and link heavy post then I thank you for sticking with it and me – from the bottom of my heart. x)