Friday, 17 October 2014

the 'C' word, seasonal of course!

OK so it is fast approaching, yes Christmas, sorry!

It is a busy time for many of us I know, so is it a 'Marmite' thing? Do you love it or hate it?

I have mixed feelings I'm afraid. Part of me loves it, but I also loath it too. I have been planning way ahead this year, only really from a business point of view. Creating enough stock of  artwork, hand painted tree decorations, card designs, that I'm due to collect from the printer next week and so on. So by the time we actually get to the big day I will no doubt be totally fed up with it all. BAH HUMBUG and all that. However I am looking forward to being at a few fairs this year, I do enjoy that side of it, hearing what the public think, seeing the excited faces of the children. As for the present buying, I'm sorry but I try to avoid the high street tat that gets churned out in their millions. I prefer looking for something different, hand crafted if possible, so head for galleries, craft markets and such like.

It's the commercial side that I dislike, the adverts start in September, just after the children go back to school, with the 'Have your sofa by Christmas' ads and from then on we are bombarded with toys, perfume and food ads, that are nauseating to say the least. The chef of the house panics about how to cook the turkey, and will it be enough? This makes me smile, after all it is just like any other roast dinner and if in doubt ask the butcher, he knows best. I have to say that though as my son owns and runs his own butchers shop, so it's a manic time for him too. I do the behind the scenes advert designing etc for him, so that has already started too.

I have loads to do before then, some lovely commissions, exciting ones too. So if the next few weeks could go slowly that would be great. So I'd best sign off and do some work!

Hers is a look at what I have been creating for the fairs, thinking I will be painting more soon too, as they are already selling!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

smell the roses

All too many times in life I have been reminded of how fragile our lives are. Every time I say to myself, 'it's time to live'. Well I actually guess I'm lucky. I have a roof over my head, a loving family, children I'm very proud of and I'm doing what I love, my art and writing. Okay so if I'm honest it barely pays the bills, but I'm happy in building my business, a name for myself, always in the hope of recognition.

I have achieved things I'm very proud of, the main one being a silver gilt medal at the Chelsea Flower Show a few years back, for an exhibit I designed and illustrated and my wonderful team helped me construct.  I worked for several years in horticulture and still have a passion for plants and beautiful gardens and landscapes.

Those landscapes still inspire me, as an artist and writer. If I hit a stumbling block for ideas, a walk in the woods or on the beach is sure to inspire. For me it's a reminder of the beauty there is in the world. With all the sadness and horrors that currently pour into our lives via the media, I'm saddened at humanity. I long to hide away in the beauty of the world, give me a small natural built home in the middle of nowhere to be self sufficient, write, paint and work with nature, that sounds like bliss.

We all have dreams, aspirations. The grass is always greener and so on. But sometimes, on those days where we are feeling down, we need to look at others and understand that we all have our troubles, our sadness, and take time to reflect that our lives are really OK. Count our blessings. Take time to smell the roses, watch the sky, the stars, hug a tree (yes there is an underlying hippy in me). Even in the city there is beauty, sit and people watch, take a walk in the park, kick through the autumn leaves, put a shiny conker in your pocket as a reminder. But above all take a few minutes each day to just stop, forget the rat race, the bills to pay, the worries about our children, our parents, just a few minutes for just you. Stop, breathe and still dream those dreams, work towards them but remember to live for now, we forget that all too easily.