Thursday, 30 June 2011

Nearly there!

We're just getting back to normal after a month of illnesses. Just catching up on life and then I'll be back.


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Summer Solstice

A good day to reflect.  Half way through the year; I'm planning out the rest of this year.  I've been ill.  Looking after a chap with chicken pox, getting ready for Holmfirth and then the big push of going and returning;  I ran into a bug, and now I feel drained and diminished.  Strangely though, enforced rest meant that I found some space to think and reflect and teasle out my life.

I focused on what's working and what isn't.  I realised that my work is at it's best when it's truly mine.  When I create without thinking about how much I'll charge, or where I'll sell, or whether I can convert it to a product.  Trying to be commercial doesn't really suit me.  The hand made, the personal, the beauty of life expressed.  I love meeting with people and sharing ideas and discussing creative process.  So that is where I'm putting my proverbial eggs.

So, the rest of this year I'll be working towards the big exhibition at Sock gallery, Loughborough with some great selling opportunities along the way.  And I'll be promoting my workshops.  I'm not sure what'll happen next but if I don't love what and how I create, I can't believe in it and I can't then sell it.

The handmade life I believe in has been squeezed by all the things I shouldn't be doing.  So I have given myself time to get back in the garden and now we are eating the first of our crops.  Tonights Solstice supper was pasta with home grown broad beans and courgettes and basil.  Pancakes and allotment raspberries followed.  So yummy.

I've been railing against technology.  It was lovely to unhook myself from television and the computer and my phone.  I lay in bed and listened to radio four.  It lulled and reassured me through two nights of my body complaining about being alive.

And so I have tapped into the idea behind Unplugged Sunday.  I ran it past everyone and Big Chap managed to think of lots of things he'd prefer to do instead of watching television and playing on the computer; play games, build dens.  David wants to start to learn to play the piano.  I'd like to have a go at making pasta, and start to sew together the quilt that I had hoped to finish for Tiddler's second birthday.

So simpler, slower seems to be the way forward.  It's all my body and soul feel able to deal with right now.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Arc of Light 17x43cm
One Sunny Day 12x17cm
Sweet Song 12x17cm
Scar 30x40cm

Holmfirth Art Market

I had a great day at Holmfirth Art Market on Sunday, in spite of the rain and having to leave a poorly six year old at home. I sold well, selling four pictures and lots of ceramics, but more than that, it was lovely to talk to people about my work, techniques, ideas and inspirations.

You can see the film of the day here.  I seem to have been missed out!  Everyone around me is on the film.  I like to think it's because you couldn't see my stall for the hoards of people oohing and aahing!

Friday, 10 June 2011

New work

Bowl.  Ink, collage , stitch.  12x17cm

Collection. Ink, collage, stitch.  12x17cm

Orchid. Ink, collage,stitch. 12x17cm

Three Pears. Ink, collage, stitch.  12x17cm

Here are four new pieces that I've finished for Holmfirth Art Market on Sunday.  It was refreshing to create some still life pieces, and I feel I've come full circle featuring ceramics in my artwork.  In my work I work in a responsive way, often from memory, attempting to capture an atmosphere or a passing moment.  This series of artwork is inspired by mid 20th century printmakers and Japanese zen rituals, and the ideas of wabi sabi.

These pieces are part of an ongoing series I have in mind, and will be available to buy, unframed in my folksy shop.  

I've lots of lists posted around the studio, of things I need to take with me to Holmfirth.  I'm just hoping for a couple of good nights sleep first!

Dot to dot

Oh no!  Our big chap has been struck down with chicken pox. We're keeping a tally of spots....they're emerging by the minute.  I guess Tiddler will be getting them next.  Ho hum......calamine lotion at the ready.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Standing Still

"Teach us to care and not to care....Teach us to stand still." 

This quote comes from a wonderful book called 'Journal of a Solitude' by Mary Sarton.  I was introduced to it through the inspiring art journals of Sabrina Ward Harrison.  Both are well worth a read for creative sustenance.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


There are days when nothing goes to plan.  Time goes too quickly and the allotted space of time I have to do my work is just not long enough.  Days when I feel too tired, from sleep disturbed by a small soul joining us.  Days when I don't feel good enough at anything.  Those days I wonder what life is all about as I fall short as wife, mother, artist.  Then I found this poem:

i began as the mother of babes.

and i mean that, for i was born then, too.
all of the me that had begun,
the wonderings and wanderings of my first three decades,
melted away in the faces of those new babies
and i was born anew.

i spent the next decade tending.
and tending, i did well. it was my thing, apparently.

i grew into it, and i loved every minute.
you know that to be a gentle lie.
there were quite a few minutes of awful.  of anguish, even.
and so much comedy, uncertainty, dishevelment.
you know.

but now...
some of my babes are almost grown.
do not kid yourself about how quickly that happens.
do not kid yourself and do not miss a second wishing those
wonderfully intense, delicious early years away.

for it happens even as you are watching them.
they grow.

and as much as you need to lose yourself to care for those newborn babes, those littles-
when they have grown to your size almost-when their feet may be as big!-
it is then that you need to find yourself again.
you need to grow.

for then, as they come upon ten; at twelve maybe...fourteen certainly;
then you must find yourself in order to know how to guide them.  you must be the you
that you want to be,
so that the you they are growing up against and alongside, is the you that you want them to know.

for here's the thing:

in the end,
what you want for them most of all is to leave you.
to leave your house to become who they will be.
and when they are gone
who do you want to be left with?

my wish is that my own answer
is the me that was born out of mothering them.
and the man that's loved me all along the way.

by Tara Thayer

...and it instilled faith in me.  Faith to continue on this journey, faith that I am being true to myself and faith that I am enough....that I have enough love and energy to go round, and maybe I can take some of that for myself without guilt, or fear of failure.  

Today David and I have been together for fourteen years.  In that time we have supported each other to follow our dreams and we have achieved so much!  Top of the list are our beautiful children.  Recently heavy clouds have hung in front of my eyes but today I'm hanging out a rainbow to celebrate everything wonderful about our life together.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Getting ready

This week I'm getting ready for Holmfirth Art Market.  I'm there next Sunday, 12th June from 10-4.  I'm really looking forward to it.  Half term off with the boys means I'm chasing my tail, but I'll get there!   I'm looking forward to finishing some new work.  I've ordered some beautiful papers from Falkiners and can't wait for the post to arrive! roll of lovely papers came.

Paul Bailey has been kind enough to return the favour and feature me on his blog....have a look!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Another one!

The paddling pool is filled ready to celebrate another birthday.  This time, Tiddler turns three.  This little chap is easy to please; his birthday requests are for cake, sweeties and ice-cream.  That's my boy!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Acceptance....and three questions

I've accepted that this half term week I will not get done what I set out to do!  The sun is shining and the most important people in my life are demanding all my time and attention. The sun has started to shine again so it seemed sensible to have a picnic, do shoulder stands, play french cricket and practice cartwheels (it's been a long time!).

I've also been asked the following questions:

"Mum......Do cats have belly buttons?.......Is a blue whale larger than a T-rex?.......How many light bulbs give the same light as the sun?"

A bit of googling and now I know!

ps...yes, yes, 4 septillion!!

pps...What's a septillion?  1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
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