Self-Isolation, but very little Art

It’s strange, since setting up the new website I have dithered about the “blog” should I blog, If so – how often? Is blogging dead? The usual jumble of thoughts that can chase a monkey mind!

A few days ago, I saw a comment from a garden blogging friend Victoria;- I first met her many years ago when a gaggle of garden bloggers and a collection of textile artists published their blogs regularly. There are a few people who I met through the internet at that time and they have become very dear friends, (You know who you are, Michelle and Elizabeth)

As world events are rushing on at a ghastly pace, with Covid-19 and the fact that we are now confined to home, blogging again seemed like a thing to do, but it has proved harder than I thought.

Initially when the UK government said the vulnerable will have to self-isolate for three months, I thought whoo-hoo – I am an artist, wonderful, 3 months of uninterrupted studio time, and part of me still feels like that, but the truth is that I have struggled in the studio.

The exhibitions and fairs that I thought I would be part of, may or may not happen. The ones early in the year won’t happen – the ones later in the year might happen. I always work better with the slight pressure of a deadline, and so to some extent the uncertainty of what the future holds has pulled the rug out from under me.

What is unexpected is that instead of free days to peruse my creative muse – the logistics of self-isolation seem to take up so much time! Checking in with the groups I belong to, (and the news) bookmarking sites that may give my creativity a prod, even though I know deep down I will never return to them, getting calls from friends I haven’t seen in ages, which is a delightful treat. Checking in on (the news) my Mother daily – by phone – as she is also in the vulnerable group and lives on her own. Worrying about my adult children and my grandchildren. Asking neighbours who can still shop to pick things up for me, trying to get a slot for online food shopping, requesting a volunteer to get my prescriptions, and phoning some elderly friends who I know live alone. Oh, and let’s not forget my daily walk! (And the news). When written down, these things are small, not mind blowing, the minutiae of everyday living. But it’s the thinking about and organizing them that I find fills my mind.

Leaving all that aside, what have I been working on? I was invited to put some of my notebooks in an exhibition entitled Costal and Maritime. The covers for these books are made from hand-made fabric paper, which is painted, stamped, stencilled, cut and pieced to create a textured and unique cover for each book. 

I always do a little research when I am working in my own sketchbooks, I didn’t know that crabs had 10 legs or that their blood was blue … but I do now

Fabric-Paper note book covers

Coming Up for Air

Not perhaps the best “snap” but it was a quick picture I took on my mobile phone before the private view of the Folklore and Fairytale exhibition.

My two pieces are happily hanging in the local gallery Ty Meirion. The whole exhibition looks fantastic, the 20 + artists have pulled out all the stops, the result is quite magical.

And now what? It is as if I have run out of steam, just a little bit! Many of my friends are taking part in a variety of craft and art fairs over the Christmas period. Shedman is creating some lovely wood items. I, however decided not to do any fairs this Christmas – which is kind of weird.

Nevertheless, I do need to move on with something – (other than making new curtains for the kitchen). So it is back to drawing in the sketchbooks and making plans for what I will do, and when, in 2020

PS – In case you were unsure, mine are the two coloured ones in the middle!

So, Why the new Website?

Random Sketchbook Page

There is not a straightforward or easy answer to this question!

Sadly over the last 18 months health issues have stopped me from being as active as I would like in the garden …. to put it simply;- I developed an allergic asthma to the garden (amongst other things) – not so great for a working gardener.

Around the same time, in our village a new Art Gallery opened. Small but perfectly formed and an absolute joy to visit. I was being gently coaxed back into the Art World

While I have been doing “Small Art” – bags, notebooks, brooches etc. It has been a delight over the past 6 weeks to be working on two bigger pieces “The Storyteller and “Metamorphosis” which will be in the in the fantastic mixed exhibition by a number of artists at the Ty Meirion from 22nd October 2019 – 5th January 2020. Doing this work has reminded me that this is so much part of who I am.

Testing my theme

After a gap of 10 years, it would appear that I am creating a new website, and this is my first post!

In the studio I am working on a piece called the story teller – a detail is shown below he is still very much work in progress