Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Closing of the Year

I'm not normally one who ponders the changing of the year and the people who have come and gone through the year, but this year I seem to be feeling it.

This year has seen so many changes in my life.

I've gone from working full time, owning my own home, feeling secure and knowing what I want to do with my life through the whole gamut of losing almost everything.

I lost my home, first because in order to be safe from harassment and violence.

I lost my job because all of the stress involved with the harassment left me a nervous and emotional wreck.

i lost my security because I am always looking over my shoulder wondering if the people who had threatened me and my darling son were following me, had found me. I became paranoid and anxious, almost agoraphobic.

Now, because I had to change my plans, because I couldn't keep up the payments on my house, because all I had worked for and put money into was gone, I am facing the prospect of not being able to go to university to complete my degree. I've applied, but I have no idea how I will pay for it.

This is not to say I'm going to give up. I'm not the sort to just sit back and let the world walk all over me and not try to pick myself up and move on. I am more determined than ever to do what I planned to do. Finish my degree at Glasgow, to go on to do a Therapy MA and become an Art Therapist, helping people find comfort and growth in art, to use art and the creative process as a healing tool. If it works for me, it will work for anyone, because if there is one thing that this year really has taught me is that art is my saviour, my passion, my reason for being. Without it I would not have survived this year, and I certainly wouldn't be looking forward to all the positive things that are going to come my way next year.

2011 here i come, stronger, brighter and more powerful than ever before, because I have only one direction to go. UP!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Presents

I am having a home made Christmas.

There are 2 good reasons for making everything yourself.

1. People really really like handmade stuff

2. I really don't like to waste money on presents that people simply don't want, need or appreciate.

Now its not that i don't like my friends and family, its that i don't like the commercialisation of the winter holidays, be they Chanukah, Diwali, Christmas or the Solstice.

To this end I am struggling to make presents for my loved ones.

Presently I am battling with a cross stitch pattern based on one of my paintings. The software is just not happy with the colours I have picked and is insisting on picking dull browns and greys instead of the vivid yellows and blues of the original painting. I'm now resorting to picking each colour and stitch individually.

Thankfully the other presents have been fairly straight forward.

So here is wishing you a very merry festive season, and a happy healthy and prosperous new year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Personal Statement

I am applying to university.

This involves filling out a very large form, making choices and decisions about where to go and what courses to take, and then completing personal statement.

Ah yes, the personal statement. 47 lines about why a university would be foolish enough to accept me. Lots of things to talk about, lots of things to say, easy on the jokes and try to be grammatically correct and spell everything in ENGLISH please. No special characters and try not to sound like an idiot.

Yeah, OK. Let me just ponder it for a while.

So I'm this really talented, only slightly bonkers artist who until 4 years ago hadn't done any drawing since the first week at secondary school. Really honestly I am, look I can make pretty pictures, weird pictures, textiles and books. I do great things with books, totally cool.

Perhaps that wasn't the right pitch.

What do I say and how do I say it?

Here's what I got so far.

I cannot imagine my life without art, despite it only having been part of my life for the past 4 years. I have crafted continually all my life, and for me art is an extension of what I learned and developed growing up in a crafting home. My life revolves around the creation of art and crafts, and I work constantly on new projects, challenging myself to try new techniques and media, and to keep working with media that I have found difficult. At the same time art is therapy for me, it has helped me deal with the challenges that life has presented me with over the years.

My hobbies revolve around my family, home and art, and I try to combine these hobbies together. I have 2 dogs and spend hours drawing and sketching them. I always have a sketch book with me and I love to sketch people and their dogs whenever I am out and about. Don’t let this love of dogs fool you into thinking my work is twee, whimsical or cute. Far from it. I have an eye for the unusual, difficult and painful. I like to see the rough edges, to look beyond the varnished image presented to the world, and many of my projects during the Foundation Degree have involved looking at the discomforting truth.

Over the past 4 years my confidence and skills have grown, and I have done more than I thought myself capable of. Consequently I want to do more, present myself with greater challenges and see how far I can go. Going to University is the next step in the great journey art can take me on.

Opinions? Please?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Good News, Excellent News

I set up a website on a day when the weather was bad and I was snowed in, bored out of my brains and too chicken to drive my car in the snow.

It has already borne fruit, and I have finally sold my first piece of work! The day the website went live. I'm so happy to finally be able to describe myself as a professional artist.

That was the good news.

The excellent news is the offer of a small solo exhibition next year. Oh yes, solo, one person, all on my own, exhibition. Jumping up and down for joy and in amazement. Suddenly I feel like everything is coming together in my art life.

For now, thought, I have a mountain of work to get through and less time to do it in!

But at least I can call myself a professional now.

Don't forget to check out my website, link to the right.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Taking The Plunge

I'm snowed in. I am totally stuck in the house, mainly because the car is out there, somewhere under the snow that has blessed us here in Sheffield, and because I can't walk a long way because of my dodgy back, and there is almost no public transport running. I am here, at home, alone, bored and pretty much climbing the walls with boredom.

As a release from the boredom, I decided to have a look at website deals. You know the kind, build your own from templates, basic ones that don't quite do what you want them to do but near enough for now.

So now I have a website.

It is a bit dull at the moment, but will improve as I get more confident and better at changing the things I want to change without having to pay more each month. It also includes a gallery and I can add a paypal button if I want, although I am happy just for people to email me if they want anything.

I feel really proud of myself for finally taking the plunge and getting it off the ground. It all adds to the concept of professional artist!

the link is at the side of the blog, called, appropriately enough My Website. Take a look, then let me know what I should add to make it better, more interesting and perhaps even something you'd look at regularly.