It’s been a long time since I last posted here, mainly because I have been otherwise occupied. This year has been very busy for me professionally. Since January I have taken part in 6 exhibitions including 2 solo shows and 2 ‘Invited’ exhibitions, I’ve sold work through two craft outlets and other work has sold from the exhibitions and also from commissions as a direct result from the exhibitions. If that wasn’t enough, I have curated a showcase exhibition in partnership with the RHS and managed to secure 2 part time contracts as a freelance in the Arts and Heritage sector for 2 very different institutions, something I am delighted about as the work for both is so varied. The icing on the cake is that I have also been accepted to start a Masters Degree (part time) on October. All of this won’t leave me too much free time over the coming couple of years I think.
In between all this work I have managed to fit in some interesting exhibitions, the best of which is the current retrospective at Tate Modern of work by Georgia O’Keeffe. Most people will know her for her sensuous flower paintings, and while this is OK, there is so much more to O’Keeffe than flowers.She has long been an idol of mine, it would have been amazing to sit and talk to her about painting and the landscape she clearly adored. A real pioneer, woman and Artist. The exhibition closes at the end of October, so if you get the chance, do go and see it. I am definitely going to see it again before it closes – there’ll never be another opportunity to see so much of her work together in one place outside of the USA again I think. The exhibition did inspire me to paint a small still life composition using a badger skull (found by and) belonging to Daughter 1 with some garden flowers.
“After Georgia – still life with badger skull, cosmos and coneflower”
To stop getting too stressed out by all these different pressures I have recently taken up hand weaving. It is challenging and there is certainly a lot of ‘jargon’ to learn, but I have managed to warp up my loom and have even made some progress with a small piece of cloth. Throwing the shuttle across the shed and then beating down the yarn is very relaxing. My cloth isn’t very even yet, but I am beginning to get a sort of rhythm going and with that the weave seems to be improving. It’s early days yet and definitely a skill which needs lots of practice. Still it is a great way to slow things down and be less ‘connected’ to the assortment of electronic gadgetry that dominates most of our lives.
Number One Sample – cotton yarn on cotton warp thread
So what is in store next? I have a couple of small exhibitions in the planning stages for 2017 and 2018 which will keep my artistic practice going; while my 2 jobs and my forthcoming studies will see me challenged intellectually. All in all I suspect I have a very busy couple of years ahead.
Think I’m going to need the weaving….