29 September 2011

FOUR Exhibitions NOW ON!!!

Yes that's right... for FOUR days I will have work in FOUR different exhibitions. After the weekend it will reduce, and then I add on another, but come end of October will just have the one long term in place.
How on earth did I manage to do this. I'm almost baffled by it myself. Actually only One of the exhibitions did I apply for, was accepted and that's been in the diary for a few months. The six month display at Braintree Community Hospital. Yes, six months, another gobsmacking occurrence, and a big event for me. I put it up today.

Of course I didn't think this through in a thorough manner, or perhaps I just assumed otherwise. When I checked the boxes for dates to suit, I didn't take on board that it could, and indeed has, meant two Exhibitions going up in the same week - delivery of work 100 miles apart.
Exhibition Two, is of course the ERTF Concepts and Meanings in Norwich, which continues until 9th October. Of course I've known about this a long time, but final submission wasn't until July, way after One had been decided, and being selected, it wasn't a done deal at all... and I truly didn't expect to be chosen. So its on filling in the diary with details for this one that I suddenly panic over the close dates.  See
Number Three has been running a little while. Its one of these "it would be nice if". A quick invite/take up for Rochford Art Trail Taster Exhibition. As you can imagine now I'm starting to think what I can I put in this which isn't gong to be needed elsewhere.
Number Four, which finishes on Sunday, is the Primarily Colour Exhibition with The Material Girls. As I'm a new Member to the group, and only formally met them all in June, this wasn't on the agenda at all either. But I was asked if I could supply existing work on the theme to join in with them, so I have. See
Its needed a bit of thinking, editing, planning, not least with work away for six months, it also means the display methods will be tied up, and I do need my display easels etc for the Art Trail. Certainly a challenge. Above all I never expected this to happen in my art life, it could be a one off, who knows, and a few years back I would have talked myself out of just one opportunity, let alone saying yes to all of these. Sales would be nice, but hey we can't expect everything!! Its enough that I'm saying Yes to being out there and trying.
The old learning curve certainly shot up at a fierce angle for all of this.... can I sleep now please?

27 September 2011

And another thing....

So last night I decided I'd better make a List of what's to do this week. A list, is that me, getting old I need a list, and post-its on the puter, yes they are there, and the highlighter pen... and for seriously needing attention its the lime green post-its - really can't miss those.
I came up with 15 things to do this week, so OK number 15 was more "if all else fails eat chocolate" - but still.
Why so much... well some of the things are things I knew were coming up, just the other party involved now needs them sooner than I'd anticipated. Also in this art world of ours I do find a lot of "can you just..." - "it would be nice if..." and usually the task is small or manageable so the answer is "yes of course I can".  So why am I delaying and writing a blog post?  Well because it shows how suddenly things can turn and change in terms of art work, and also because there is a saying "that which gets recorded gets done".  I know only I will know if I do it, I could lie and pretend, but that's not me, also the process of writing it down helps to clarify what there is to do.
Actually its not the doing of I'm finding a challenge, I know if I work through steadily I can get it all done, its not overwhelmingly unmanageable. It is the fear though of missing something vital, or becoming so immersed I fail to see the obvious mistake, either written or what I've done wrong or not done at all. This is a problem when you are working alone, because you can't say to someone else, just skim your eyes over that, have I done everything I'm supposed to. Hence the highlighter pen, to show up every task to do, and another pen to cross them off! Actually a large tick with a flourish is very satisfying!!
I also find its not the doing, its the switching of the mind between one organisation and another. I have found that I have to finish one set of tasks, and then actually walk away from the worktable, get a cuppa, chill for a few minutes just to separate out what's what. Physically I can go straight from one pile of stuff to the next - brainwise its needs the separation, otherwise I find I start to mentally muddle everything up, thinking I've got to do X when it belong to another task. If its actual arty making then I can flit from one stitchy thing to another, but paperwork, admin, computer stuff, I'd rather deal with one thing start to finish before the next, even if that does mean sitting watching the puter whilst it does something.
Yesterday I received more paperwork with a "it would be nice if...." but at least that is giving warning about short notice, as in, the request proper might not happen until November.
I am actually enjoying the challenge of all of this... it is a new strand to my arty life to be so busy with a variety of tasks. (remind me I said that when I'm screaming)  I want to put a slideshow of Mini Art Works onto my website - not added one of those, so that might end up last on the list, think it might take the longest and might involve screaming!!
Good news ERTF Concepts & Meanings Exhibition OPENS TODAY - look at the blog for a tease of what's on offer. Hopefully more photos will appear at the event progresses.

22 September 2011

Counting down.....

Tick, tick tick… that’s the clock and also my brain. Its countdown time to delivering my piece for the ERTF Concepts and Meanings Exhibition in Norwich, opening next week. My piece was finished for submission, but I keep looking at it, I added a label to it, rather proud of my efforts actually, how sad it that – but the label is integral to the piece, not just identification of me.
I’m also sorting out the pieces for the ERTF shop. I hesitated over showing you what I’m offering, as you know the actual exhibition piece has only been hinted at here – because I believe visitors should have first look (might add it here part way through event). But I have decided to show you my intended shop pieces, hopefully to:
a) remind to take money with you, lots of opportunities to buy. Exhibition pieces will be for sale – but also in the ERTF shop, an opportunity to get small pieces of affordable art from the Members, also goodies to use in your own creativity.
b) the ERTF needs the sales, commission from the sales helps with funding for the organisation.
c) I NEED the sales, ha ha. Nice to sell something but as well as money received, its also very nice to know that others like what you make, a validation that you are getting something right.
So come along, I’m sure you will find items to suit every budget – early Christmas present buying, and the ERTF Members will be stewarding, so you can chat to the people involved with the Exhibition. I will be there on Monday 3rd October.

And still tick, tick, tick, as I’ve another exhibition to put up next week….
Plus tick, tick tick. The Material Girls need the hanging finished by our October meeting.
Another plus, tick, tick tick. Rochford Art Trail to make a postcard for and to prep for display.

14 September 2011

Fresh Air to Recharge the Soul

Well the madness of last posting continued for a while... the contract I received wasn't right so that had to be checked up on. The car eventually went off on another day, sigh. One or two other little tasks needing to be done for other things when you think its all finished, like him indoors saying your cheque hasn't been cashed from months ago. Huh, no-one has queried it, so that's added into the mix of sort out. Another quick email textile task and the email bounced back, arghhhh, thankfully must have been something in the ether cos it went through OK later. See I'm just convinced September is trying to be awkward. I do feel like some old hag, having to keep track of my life with highlighter pens - actually I think I need staff!
So since last week I've bought more staging to present my work on - the hospital project work is committed for six months, so that also means the presentation equipment is tied up. So lots of research on that, because although I have a record of when I bought the last lot, my notebook doesn't actually say who from!!! (or is it from whom?) Also attended local EG Branch AGM - I'm still the IT Rep!! Went to the monthly meeting of The Material Girls yesterday. Lots of things moving forward with that, and I managed to do the required paper tasks for that one.
Today I went off for a textile exhibition visit. As always time sucks away and its, go today or tomorrow or miss it. The venue was a the RHS Hyde Hall Gardens. Right on the top of a hill, I choose the golf buggy to transport me up and down - great fun.

I just love and spend ages just sitting and looking, its so peaceful. The exhibition itself was by the Chelmsford 93 Textile Group. I started at College in '92 having to do a Foundation Year, so this group was a little ahead of me, as I started City & Guilds properly in '93. So I have known many of the Members for all this time, some are also in other Groups so our paths cross frequently. And indeed today by chance I met some of them and had a lovely chat. The work was really lovely, small woven pieces as in 3" sq to large quilts, silk painting, to machine embroidery. There is something about 'embroidery' and flowers/gardens - they seem to go together. Of course I come home full of ideas... but none of them bearing any relation to what I've actually got to get on and do. But... as you've seen my efforts at textile flowers on this blog, you can rest assured the natural world has nothing to fear from me.

07 September 2011

Mad, Mad, Mad

What's happened?  A new month and utter madness has erupted!!!  I always knew September/mid October was going to be a trial for me, which is why I had to draw up a timetable to work out what and where and when and who, and custody of the car etc.  The latter irritating, because it should be serviced today, not turned up for it, several phone calls later and can't collect it today, will try again Friday.  Argghhhh.  I had today all planned out and by 9.30am its all awry - only thing to do, put the kettle on!
I can't believe what's come into my inbox in the last 36 hours or so.
As the EG IT Rep I've had to send out things for that, relatively easy, except the puter kept deciding to add in extra addresses to the Group listing, duh - why do I want to send things to an ancestry email.
I've also things to do as the ERTF Web Manager - again not onerous, just switch brain from one organisation to another, and making sure I don't muddle the two!!!
Material Girls also have some paperwork tasks to be completed, asap.
And the Contract has arrived for my exhibition at Braintree Hospital.  So I need to read that, look at what's required for that.
I've to label up my pieces for the Rochford Art Trail Taster Exhibition, and deliver those tomorrow - I know a 5 minute task which will turn into some stupidly long time.
Oh and I must find an idea for the Art Trail postcard I need to make...
See before all of this happened, with no car, the plan was to quietly get on finish my things for the ERTF Shop, make my small postcard for RAT, literally clear the table, and then have a fresh start tomorrow on the bigger stuff.  Now, I need to look at emails, get out the post-it notes and a highlighter pen, to make sure I don't miss something amongst all this information. If the cat could make me lunch, that would be a good idea, heck if it could make lunch it ought to do the ironing as well....
If all else fails.... there's always chocolate.... and cake....  may be chocolate cake???

05 September 2011


Despite what him indoors thinks, I actually don't buy a lot of art supplies - in fact I can't recall the last time I bought hand embroidery threads.... I've got mine from years back, my gran's and others donated to me, as well as what I was buying when doing C&G - so the biscuit tin of threads has increased to a huge box, and I mean huge. I keep a record of everything I buy - partly cos I'm registered Self Employed and partly so I can properly cost out anything.  I do a lot of searching around for the best prices - beware P&P is often prohibitive.  I get a bit fixated to track down best prices and what products are really called by manufacturers, not the fancy names given to them by individual shops.  Repair Tissue for instance I've been using since mid 90s, and I know it by at least 10 different names.   I do however wrestle with my conscience, best use of my money versus taking trade away from small businesses.  Unfortunately mail order is often the only way to get what I want - because its not available locally.
But above are two of my latest purchases which came this past week.  I always have a little play with everything - would make more sense if I kept all this info in one place, but it usually goes onto the next blank page of my sketchbook.
The paints - wheeee so pleased with those.  Golden Fluid Acrylic.  I won these on Ebay - a pack of 10 brand new sealed, for just under £25 inc p&p,  On their own they are around £5.50 a bottle - and I discovered the bright red is over £8.  I have some others of these, so I know how they work,only need a small amount, good job at that price!!  I love products which do more than one thing, so acrylics as they will go on paper and fabric suit me fine.
The threads, sigh.  I have been thinking about these for months and months.  They are King Tut - and what's been drawing me in is that the variegation changes about every inch - whereas other threads 4"-5" or more.  But I'm not a quilter, so I wasn't sure if they would meet what I'd want to do with them.  They are 100% cotton too, not normally a fibre I go for.  Again quite a considered outlay when you don't know what they are like, which is why my hesitiation - and what colour?  However Barnyarns offer a Try Me, at the cheapest price I could find for them - max of 5, but they choose the colours.  So this is what I got, and I love them.  Did my little test, stitched beautifully, on zig-zag the colour change is about every 4 stitches, yipeee!!!
Embroidery magazine came too this week, waving to Gina who has a piece in it.  So lots and lots to absorb and play with.... goodies are almost better than a supply of choc (I said almost!)