I love autumn! The colours, the warming food and drinks, the pumpkins, the crunchy leaves, etc. etc. So I was really pleased to add my ‘Autumn’ Powertex artwork (see picture) to my exhibition at Forge Coffee in Culworth. Lizzie Coulter and I have lots of lovely pieces to view and buy at the exhibition for the whole month of October.
Amid the craziness of this summer, I had a wonderful few days at my lovely Cornish Valley View cottage. I was joined by my friend Sara and we got stuck into a few challenges from my Adventure Challenge book (Friends Edition). I must say, we’ve got a bit addicted to revealing the next challenge and the mayhem that usually ensues!
Despite the typical British summer weather, I’ve had a fun, busy time this month, including a trip to Ardington School of Crafts to run a Highland Cow Powertex workshop and my first shift as a volunteer in the gift shop at Upton House.
The most enjoyable part of my summer was the three-day Curious Creatives Art Retreat in the Cotswolds. We stayed in the dormitories of Kingham Hill School, with cabin beds and common rooms to negotiate! I celebrated my birthday whilst there and my ‘dorm mates’ made it a lovely day.
I wholeheartedly agree that ‘laughter is the best medicine’! I didn’t know anybody at the retreat but the shared giggles and humour brought us together and turned into guffaws and hysterics by the end of the week. I don’t think I’ve laughed that much for years and it was such a wonderful feeling.
As well as holding some excellent Powertex workshops I’m taking on a new challenge this month as I’ll be volunteering in the gift shop and plant centre at Upton House, a National Trust property near me.
Stunning Upton House was the country retreat of Lord and Lady Bearsted in the 1930s. Lord Bearsted was a philanthropist and avid art collector so I’m really looking forward to getting to know more about the world-renowned artwork on display at the house.
I’m moving about more and recovering well from my hip operation – being a good patient (mostly!) and, with my physio exercises, teaching myself how to walk properly again. We had a fun and challenging trip to France for a family wedding last month, I must say that ‘extra assistance’ at the airport and on the plane was a godsend, we had a marvellous time.
I’m easing myself back into tutoring and workshops this month and I’ve also got a treat to look forward to – an art retreat to learn a new skill. I say ‘easing’, I’m actually getting booked up and need to do some preparatory work for the upcoming workshops so will be quite busy in the next few weeks.
April is Stress Awareness Month, a chance to increase awareness of the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic. Whether it’s work-life balance or juggling family pressures, we all feel stress and it can lead to feelings of overwhelm and increase mental health problems if we don’t address it.
With International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day in March, it’s a chance to take the limelight a little and turn some attention on me. This month, I’ve definitely been rediscovering my ‘Happy Place’ – sharing my love for Powertex and all things crafty with people at Artistic ReTreats workshops!
I recently did what lots of people are having to do – I took on another job, a ‘side hustle’ as it’s sometimes known! For me, it’s not about needing to earn extra cash so much, I’m lucky in that regard, but it was more about getting out a bit more and not being so solitary.
I suppose I’m taking on an extra job to improve my work-life balance which might be a bit topsy-turvy, we’ll see!
Are you full of the January blues or raring to go with new vim and vigour for 2023? I’m feeling a bit of both if I’m honest!
I’m certainly not a fan of big New Year’s Resolutions. I think they put too much pressure on us and are difficult to maintain, which is why a huge percentage of resolutions are abandoned before the end of January. But I do believe in the benefit of making small adjustments to improve our outlook, and above all being kind to ourselves.
I’m having a decluttering/taking stock/forward planning kind of month this November! It’s a slightly enforced quieter time – under doctors’ orders to work on relieving some pain in my hip through physio exercises – but it’s given me the chance to look back on a different sort of year and have a really good sort out of all the clutter that accumulates in the house.
Plus, my Mum is coming to stay this Christmas, which is always a good incentive to get decluttered!
I learnt a lot about colour at my recent Newlyn School of Art course. I love colour and use it widely in my Powertex creations but there’s always something new to take in and explore! I felt like a beginner artist again at times during the course and it reminded me that mixing colours can be quite confusing.
Whether you paint with acrylics, watercolours, oils or inks, mixing colours to get exactly what you want is an art form in itself! Here, I’ve brought together some of the basic skills and some tips that I’ve picked up along the way:
The wonderful thing about art is that it is all around us. We might not notice it or consider it to be art, but the music we listen to, the billboards we pass on the street and the books we read all surround us and enrich our lives every day.
I recently came across this koi carp canvas that I made a while ago. It reminded me of how underrated and amazing stencils are! Some artists think that stencils stifle creativity by giving the same consistent image over and over again but I think you can make the most wonderful creations using stencils, especially in mixed media layering.
As we head into another heatwave, it’s that glorious time of year when our gardens burst into colour. I marvelled at the gorgeous rich colours on my recent trip to Spain and I relish the sight of the bright pinks, oranges and purples when I get a rare moment of peace in the garden at home too.
Colour plays such an important part in our art and summer creations seems to glow with an extra zing and fizz! Powertex art supplies are so versatile, I love using the bright jewel colours of the acrylic inks and paints to create a striking canvas or sculpture.