Monday, 18 June 2012

The Shell Grotto

A weekend down in Kent was primarily a family visit for my nieces naming day.  The rain didn't fall, the sun shone, just the wind blew.  A lovely Saturday was spent at my sister in laws home celebrating little Kitty.  I completed the picture I did for her last week, which I can now show.

23 x 23 cm
On the Sunday we took the train from Whitstable to Margate.  We were interested to see the new Turner Contemporary Gallery that has recently opened.  While we wandered through the old town I spotted a sign for the Shell Grotto.  It reminded me that I had seen a piece about it on the TV programme Coast a while back.  Intrigued we walked along a back street and eventually came to Grotto Hill!  Half way up the hill we entered the shop where the grotto is located.  At the back of the shop is an archway which you enter and then go down chalk steps.  Underground you are greeted by the most magnificent sight of thousands of shells decorating the walls.  It is unclear what the grotto was made for and unclear when it was built.  But the designs are very Pagan, the link is here as the website can give a much better explaination of the grottos known history  All I know is it was an amazing place, unlike anything I have seen in Britain before. The photos were taken with my iphone so are not the best quality but you get a feel of it.  Well worth a visit if you are in the area!

The Turner Contemporary was good too.  Tracey Emin's exhibition She Lay Down Deep Beneath The Sea was great.  I was expecting not to like it ( never got the unmade bed thing) but I did.  I had to distract the eyes of my 8 year old occasionally from quite graphic sketches but really lovely fluid work in blue gouache. The building is great too, what a boost for Margate.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Learn to walk before I can run

Eventually I would like to earn some kind of living from my artwork.  I currently work two days a week as a child minder and one day in an office. My child minding career finishes towards the end of July.  From that time onwards my funds will be less but time will be greater to devote to my creative work.  This has been the plan and goal.  Its now or never to do what I truly love as a living! At the moment it sometimes feels as if I'm not getting anywhere, just an endless rush to complete creative work in between jobs, family and household work.  I have to stop and remember that at the moment I'm doing all the ground work for this time.  Doing website, facebook, twitter promotion takes time away from the creative time but it is all necessary.  This week I have been busy doing personalized cards for friends and family. This of course has taken time away from the promotion side.  Hard to balance it.

But on the bright side another commission is in the pipeline which is great.  Also an interest from East End Prints in Shoreditch that I have to follow up.  So really its all going well, I just have to remind myself of this and learn not to run before I can walk!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

To blog or not to blog?

Its been over a week since I did my last blog - not good!  This is the first time I have felt a bit funny about doing the blog, part of me thinks, what is the point, does anyone really read it and does it really serve a purpose? But you know once I start putting these words down I begin to enjoy it.  It somehow releases the jumbled stuff in my head and puts the weeks creative events in some kind of order.  I often get frustrated when I haven't put pen to paper for a while and the longer that goes on the harder I find it to sit down and create - I get kind of scared of starting a project. This has been the beauty of doing the blog since January as it does put me under a little pressure to produce something.  I think we all need a little bit of pressure in life.

I have been busy with personalized cards.  One for my lovely Mr B, it was our wedding anniversary last week.  Just a small little card but heartfelt. The other one was for my dear friend Sarah whose birthday was celebrated on Saturday.  I got a wonderful response from friends who were there when Sarah unveiled her picture - even tears came to eyes - Wow!  I stupidly didn't take a photo of the completed picture that was framed.  The picture shown is pretty much the completed version.  The finished one had a few more branches , butterflies and birds around the edges. Through this I have been commissioned to do a personalized illustration for Cinzia and her family which I'm really looking forward to starting.

So yes to blogging even though it may never get read or may not mean anything to anyone else.  The key is it helps me in my creative development!