Over the past couple of days I've been starting to think about the journey I've been on in 2018 - it sounds cliche and a little corny, but it really has been a journey - and a blooming good one! This time last year I was in a very different place with my art - just starting to feel my way around what was out there and the possibilities of taking it forward... roll on to this December and as I look back there has been so much change and forward movement with it all! However, I also realised how long it has been since I blogged - so thought I better do a quick catch up of the last few months as they have been busy!! I've included plenty of photos too! (The little chap at the top is a Long Tailed Tit - my newest linocut card for this Christmas).
October saw my second workshop at The Farthing Gallery Workshop in Kenilworth. It was a fabulous day and the ladies produced some great linocut prints - this was the start of the Christmas season as some of the ladies made their festive cards! I really hope they continue to print as they made some great images. I think my favourite part of the workshop is where they print their linocut for the first time - that's a part of the process that always gets me too - the feeling of relief of it working after spending so long carving the lino, and also the "Oh goodness - I actually made that!!" feeling when you peel the paper back for the first time and see what's been created!
I also finished off a new print in October - ready to launch at Discover Gather Give at the beginning of November. #ProjectPuffin - otherwise known as Jack Puffin. It was one I'd wanted to do for a while - and once I had finally seen a Puffin at Bempton Cliffs in the summer, I was able to start - it was based on a drawing I did from a great photo taken by my lovely friend Sarah, and it is called Jack after her little boy.
Discover Gather Give - Contemporary Arts Fair - on 2nd/3rd/4th November at Stratford Town Hall was a fabulous experience - I was over the moon to have one of my Dodo images chosen to be on the flyers and banners advertising the Art Fair - on the drive in ready to set up for the PV on the Friday I spotted one of the roadside banners for the first time - I may have squealed a little! The fair was excellent - such a wonderful relaxed vibe and a beautifully curated selection of a wide range of artists. I met some wonderful people - artists, customers (both new and returning) and mum and I had a lovely weekend. Friends travelled over for the PV too which was really lovely. Judith - the curator and director of the event really works hard to think of everything for the event and this is what makes it such a varied and beautiful fair - plus the great setting too. Hidden behind my trusty doors was a large bust of a chap who worked very well as my hat stand!!
November and December were busy with fairs and bits and bobs! Next up was the Craft and Flea event at Coventry Cathedral - my doors looked very small in the vast Cathedral. An amazing setting for a fair! I also launched my hand stamped Christmas Cards and started to offer a Naked Card service via my website too - cards can be purchased without the cellophane wrappers they need to keep them clean at fairs. This has proved popular with the orders I've received :-) I also stepped away from etsy and decided to try and concentrate solely on selling though my own webstore. I have more options doing this with selling products, although it's hard work getting the word out and about about it!
Some of my framed prints were part of Slate Art Gallery's Christmas Pop-up at The White Horse too - unfortunately I was too poorly to go so no piccies :-( Then it was on to Christmas Wildfest at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust's Brandon Marsh centre - the first time I haven't had to explain what the birds are on my cards and prints as there were plenty of bird enthusiasts!! The following weekend I managed a last minute spot at the Santa's Little Makers Market at Fargo in Coventry where I had a change of elf helper and my Dad came along for the evening. Plenty of Christmas songs and getting into the Christmas Spirit!
December also saw us attending the Private View of the Coventry Open for 2018. This is a biannual event where artists in and around Coventry can enter their work to be part of an exhibition at The Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry City Centre. Three hundred and thirty pieces of art work were submitted, and 99 chosen for the exhibition. I am very proud to be one of the eighteen artists to have two pieces of work selected for the exhibition - so White Tailed Eagle and Wren are currently hanging in the Herbert in Coventry as part of the exhibition. I have my name in a catalogue and everything! It really is a great exhibition with a real variety of works - well worth a visit! Plus there is a 'Peoples' Choice' vote too - so if you fancy popping a slip in the voting box..... ;-)
It really has been a busy end to the year! I have to finish with my thank yous - firstly to Dave and my wonderful parents. Dave for having to share the house with me and the mess and clutter that comes with my printing, trying to store my art stuff, pictures and fair-going-bumph around the house as well as for his ongoing patience with waiting for me to 'just finish this bit'!! *heart*
My mum and dad for just being awesome and giving so much of their time to come and keep me company at different fairs, helping build my doors to be able to use them to display my work and just for the belief and encouragement that they never fail to give me. Thank you xxx
And then also to everyone who has given me the opportunity to do so many of these fabulous events this year. Thank you. I have met so many fabulous people over the year at different events - artists and customers - and thank you for your kind words about my work - it keeps a little light going even when sales aren't going quite so well!!! Never underestimate the importance of 'Just A Card'. It really does help and support independent traders - one card can make all the difference! And thank you to all those who have bought my work over the year - be it a card or a print. I still have to pinch myself sometimes!
Thanks also have to go to Rich at WreckedAngle Framing- he always creates fabulous quality handmade frames for my prints, and has helped out at last minute times too - please go and have a look at his website!! There's more on there than just picture frames!
2019 is beginning to be planned: starting with new prints and drawings to be made at the beginning of the year and then hopefully getting some fairs booked in too and I will be exploring venues to be able to teach more linocut classes as well - keep your eye out! I will be returning to Warwickshire Open Studios in the Summer in a new venue which I am Very Excited about :-) More to come on that later....
For now, thank you for reading to the end - and I wish you all a fabulous 2019.
P.S - to keep in touch with what's going on you can sign up to a newsletter HERE (I promise I don't send many!) as well as being able to follow me on twitter, instagram and facebook - all links can be found on the 'Welcome' page too or by clicking on the words! Thank you xx
Here we go...
The ramblings of a linocut printmaker.... and other artistic adventures!