Good-bye 2011

My 2011 in pictures, originally uploaded by gilfling.

1. 1 1 11, 2. janek, 3. 26 2 11, 4. A moment in time, 5. Wildflower mouse, 6. Ola, 7. Once Upon a Time, 8. Fragments Brooch, 9. 4 2 11, 10. Rosalyn, 11. Aubrey, 12. drawing/sketch, 13. Marcel, 14. Wildflower rabbit, 15. playing with monotypes, 16. Celestine, 17. Ilya, 18. What might have been…., 19. Milo – retaken, 20. new painting, 21. WIP wednesday, 22. Aliena, 23. 28 1 11, 24. alexei, 25. playing with monotypes, 26. Marek, 27. 30 1 11, 28. WIP wednesday, 29. Lottie, 30. Fragments Brooch, 31. ink bottle 11, 32. sketchbook pages, 33. Introducing… Wilfred, 34. fragments of nature, 35. new painting, 36. Tomas – retaken

Hello friends.

Although I have not been blogging regularly towards the end of this last year, I still wanted to write a bit of a round-up post just to say good-bye to 2011 – always a good thing to do when looking towards the next year and the exciting  possibilities that lie before me.

My first blog post of 2011 came at the end of a difficult period, very soon after finishing treatment for breast cancer and although it was difficult to see through the haze of post-radiotherapy fog and exhaustion, I had high hopes for the year that was to come. I have not been disappointed and have been so grateful for the opportunities that came my way and for the progress I have made, particularly in terms of my artwork.

One of my aims was to spend less time on the computer and more time making art and although I have not been able to paint nearly as much as I had hoped, I have worked in a completely different medium in the form of sculpting clay and out of that my quirky and whimsical characters have taken shape and  become my signature work.

I began a sketch a day before bed-time and although this only lasted for a few months rather than the year that I had hoped for, it has given me the chance to get lots and lots of ideas down on paper for to be developed into other work now and in the future.

I wanted to spend more time in my studio and push my work in new and unexpected ways.  The clay characters were ideas that I had bouncing around my thoughts for such a long time (2 years perhaps?) and I finally got to bring them to life. I love them and the response to them has far exceeded my expectations.

I hoped to exhibit more and in 2011 I took part in 5 group exhibitions and exhibited at 7 well-established craft fairs (an increase from 4 group exhibitions and 1 contemporary craft event in 2010).

I began 2010 blogging regularly whilst recuperating and taking time off from work for the first few months of the year and the blogging decreased and tailed off in the latter part of the year and mostly during my busiest period of November and December. But that is fine, I was working hard!

I lost a friend and mentor, won my first award for my artwork, taught my first workshop in 2 years, didn’t update my website anywhere near as much as I should have, fretted about the precarious health of our house bunnies, celebrated my first year of marriage and my first year since my cancer diagnosis, took time out, learned to knit, lost one-and-a-half-stones in weight, went on a couple of camping trips, spent time with friends, carried on through the horrible post-cancer hormone treatment (still ongoing), had the most ridiculous accident and wondered what the future might bring in terms of the timing of my diagnosis and whether we will be able to have children.

In so many ways this has been the most incredible year and as this blog is mostly focussed on my artwork in terms of my progress there, it has been my best year yet. There are so many things that I am grateful for and even with the up’s and down’s of things that go on behind the scenes that I do not tend to write about here in any great detail, my life is good and I am a happy soul.

So we shall see what 2012 will bring! One of my main aims this year was to spend less time on the computer and more time in the studio and as a result I have not been able to keep up with the blogging world as much as I would like. But I continue to be grateful for and appreciate every single one of you who take the time to glimpse into this wee corner of my world to see what I am doing.

I hope you have all had a wonderful year and wish you well for 2012.

I am now going to spend the weekend tidying my bomb-site of a studio so that is fresh for a new start in 2012 and whilst doing that I will be dreaming and imagining all sorts of good things for the new year to come.

x x x