Facebook was telling me that my 547 friends and followers hadn’t heard from me for a while. When I get 'head down & motoring' busy or I’m feeling a bit out of sorts, I do tend to forget to post on there. I think ‘I'll do that/say this tomorrow' and of course tomorrow doesn't ever arrive as it is always today then it becomes yesterday, and I still haven't popped by. The same happens with blogging. I have a number of started blogs, or a folder of photographs, but then something happens, or is it that it doesn't happen, and items stay unwritten until I sit down with that hat on and my fingers rattle over keys and a whole pile of 'stuff' gets done. Emails fly out into the ether, blogs get written, posts and pictures start to appear on Facebook & Instagram. A flurry of activity and a great deal of satisfaction achieved.
The main thing that has been taking up time recently is this 'White Butterflies Magenta Flowers' lampshade. I finally stopped painting it and sewed the butterflies on and then turned the flat to round. The client has seen photographs & her first word was ‘Stunning’ which is a bit of a relief as I really wasn’t sure about it! It is very different from my 'usual' blue themes.
Now it's full on with Christmas things and preparing for two SWI – Scottish Womens Institute weekend workshops on fabric collage. They will be making a tealight or picture and I need to get some examples sorted asap and also to sort through my fabric scraps which have spent some time ‘airing’ in boxes on the cabin decking… I need to check that everything is OK there. And write lists.... lesson plan.... materials.... equipment.... samples etc....etc....
This picture is of a lampshade that I made inspired by an old stone wall.
I've also started to get my Christmas hat on. I organise the Christ Church Winter Bazaar in Lochgilphead and it now has a great reputation for being the biggest and the best event in Lochgilphead, which I’m thrilled about. Taking place on the first weekend of November it really kicks off the Winter & Christmas Fairs and markets in the area. I’ve already taken a LOT of bookings including I think 11 new makers so it’ll be even bigger than usual! That's only seven weeks away, and then there is the Homestyle Argyll Christmas House .... with Friends .... Last year was such a success that we’re doing it again ….
All of a sudden, the month I thought was going to be quiet isn't!
The utter chaos that is my studio desk..... designs, with potential and without.... and rather refelcts the state of my head at the mo!
Many counties now have an Open Studios route at some point in the year. A weekend or more when you can see behind the scenes of the artists life. My local one is called Artmap Argyll. Dad has been involved from the beginning, eleven years ago, first as a Full member then more recently as an Associate. Mum then joined and was a full member, though rarely paints or draws now. I only plucked up enough courage to apply four years ago.
Originally Dad opened one end of the steading that is his workshop to put artwork on display, but after a couple of years we were inspired to empty what is known as the ‘Victorian barn’ and converted into a seasonal gallery space. You can see the change and the full story here www.studiobarnargyll. Now, as well as Artmap weekends we are open from around Easter until the end of September-ish, much depends on the weather.
Artmap is a difficult weekend emotionally & physically, the highs of plaudits, the lows of disinterested glances, even though you know you’re not going to be to everyone’s taste you still take it a bit personally. Being an exhibiting artist is exhausting, you have to be on duty all day, ready with a smile to welcome to everyone who comes through the door, ready to explain the why & the how many times over.
I never expect to sell a piece of artwork or lampshade so I'm always surprised and delighted when I do. Behind the calm façade & fumbling fingers as they struggle with the string tie up the parcel there's an excited little happy dance going on inside! Thank you!
Several people asked if I sold shades online… & I do so want to! But it is only me wearing all the hats in my business and with rural broadband not being what it could or rather should be, it's going to take me a while to get to that point. Slowly, tooooo slowly, it is being worked on, and I hope to have the proper shop up soon … (ish!) Meanwhile do visit us on the hill!
Author - Me!
I am a ‘Creative’ - designer/maker/teacher/writer, Art/Homewares/Creativitea Craft Kits/The Needlesmith.