January 2018 x2 paintings

I work full time, enjoy going to the gym a few times a week, like to spend time with my boyfriend, like to spend time by myself, enjoy practicing yoga, enjoy painting, reading, meeting new people, bettering myself and my lifestyle, have a business I’ve recently set up in my spare time, plus loads more bits and pieces fill my life.

The hard part is fitting it all in, prioritising what is best for me vs my relationship vs my professional development vs my passion vs my health…

I’ve had a rocky couple of years with dissatisfaction at my previous job, lacking a sense of purpose, lacking direction, feeling caught up on the merry go round of life and sometimes not knowing if I wanted to be on that particular ride or if I’d prefer to stand at the edge and mind the bags.

Anyhoo, fast forward to 2017 when I worked really hard at recognising the areas I wasn’t happy with and putting a plan in place to do something about it.

Fast forward again to present day, and every day is so busy and full and a real balancing act to fit everything in but also a great lesson in time management and prioritising (2 things I’ve always been very good at, thankfully!). I feel a huge amount of satisfaction and personal uplift from so many different things (I think I must be one of the easiest people to buy for) and I’ve realised that if I only commit to doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but regularly, then I can maintain that sense of well-being and reap the rewards in day to day life.

Put simply, one of my many goals for this year is to complete 2 paintings a month. Yes I could do, and would like to do, a lot more. But I’m realistic enough to know that it will be at the mercy of something else. If I happen to do more than 2 a month, fantastic. If I only do 1… ok it wouldn’t be the end of the world and it is a goal I’ve set for myself and nobody else, but I would be disappointed because I know how much I benefit mentally and spiritually from painting; I can ride on the high for days on end.

So there we go, that’s one of my goals, and I’m pleased to say I had a 100% success rate in January and I’m on track for the same in February!

Here are my two January pieces…I’d love to hear what you think

I’m really pleased with how the first one turned out. I had no idea how it would evolve or how it would end but simply carried on until I felt an inner peace when I stepped back to look at it.

I had every intention of layering this one up. I recycled an old canvas which I’d started to paint a field of poppies on but never finished. I’d made hardly any marks on it though and suddenly felt like ‘it was there’. So I stopped! (Which is often the hardest thing to do!)

Watch out for my next update on February’s paintings to see if I manage to do the two or even more!

Just a quickie

My weekend:

Relaxed;

Indulgent;

Inspired;

Creative;

Green;

Irish;

Ate too much (I mean really, who puts a full tub of roses in their guest bedroom?!);

Didn’t exercise enough;

Spent quality time with people/dogs I love.

Last week was a crazy-busy week for me. I needed a couple of days (weeks/months would be good too) to switch off and get back to basics again.

Recharged and gathered thoughts, ready for coming home and getting lots done.

I had a lot of thoughts and ideas for a variety of projects – arty and non-arty – and I’m looking forward to getting on with them. I only wish I had more time to dedicate to them all!

I’ve had a few people contact me for commissions over the last couple of weeks, which has been nice. I’m very short of time since I’m completely overflowing with ideas and inspiration at the moment, but I feel like I’d like to paint a couple of commissions this year.

Whilst waiting in the airport, my boyfriend and I partook in a round of Pass the pen(cil) to pass the time 🙂 :

In summary, life at the moment is a blur and a complete hive of activity. I’m enjoying it though and it has all (so far) been very rewarding. What a first month! 2018 is set to be a big one, I can feel it 😬

Behind behind the lens

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to have my artwork shot by two photographers from Liverpool Chinatown Photographic Society, Bill Plews and Wing Wong. To have a couple of very talented, very busy people (one of whom I’d not yet met!) offer their valuable time and experience to help me out in this way makes me feel very fortunate and appreciative. I am so eager to add content to my website but have been biding my time until I have good quality images that I can use. Needless to say, I was very excited to get things moving!

This was also the first opportunity I’ve had to really stand back and view my work from a distance, and also to see it all laid out together as one (all important) ‘body of work’. I knew I was happy with each piece individually, and I know I’ve been developing a style of my own which is evident simply by glancing through the paintings. The chance to finally stand back and see how they all look alongside each other, though, was long overdue but well worth the wait. I feel like there was a cohesive collection, with a common theme or style running through it.

1.jpg

Next I need to process the images then I’ll be able to upload them to the gallery for you all to see. I don’t have Photoshop but have downloaded a free trial of Paintshop Pro, a photo editing software. It’s going to take a little time for me to get back in the editing swing of things but hopefully i’ll be able to squeeze it in sooner rather than later and I can keep the momentum going. Does anyone have any experience of using PaintShop Pro at all?

Other exciting news is I went straight out to buy myself a DSLR camera 😀 I’m really looking forward to being behind the lens for myself next time!

 

Away with the fairies

I seem to be spending my days (and nights) somewhere between reality and the responsibilities that come with that, and some kind of dream-like fantasy world that ticks all the boxes for living a satisfying, fulfilling, exciting, prosperous, challenging, fun!, varied life. No prizes for guessing which one I prefer…

What to do, what to do. Well I know full well what to do. Head down at work, keep on keeping on and doing well, but always keeping my eye on the bigger picture. You see, my dream-like fantasy world is a dream at this point but I have absolutely every intention of making it a reality, and the sooner the better as far as I’m concerned!

I’m not sure how much to divulge right now, not for fear of jinxing any potential success, but because I want my focus to be on the doing and not the talking. I’m buzzing with excitement and impatience, the reality-filled hours can’t pass by fast enough but at the same time I’ve got so many things to do for my other focus that there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love/value/need/can’t function without my sleep. Lately, however, I am lying in bed with my body tired, knowing I have to get up early for work the following morning, but my brain is an absolute force to be reckoned with and is definitely taking some convincing to quieten down for a few hours!

The following morning is the same, no matter how early I wake up, that’s it. My brain heard me. There’s no going back to sleep once the dragon is unleashed. I know once I get a few more weeks under my belt i’ll feel a bit calmer and like i’m on top of things. For now though it’s a race against the clock and I’m determined to win!

 

No experience required

I enjoyed a great couple of hours recently with a friend I met a few months ago at a shamanic journeying meetup (that’s a whole different blog post!) in Liverpool. Being a busy bee means I struggle to get to them on time and I’ve not been for a while, so it was good to catch up with Alan and share ideas around blogging (you can pay Alan a visit here), writing, photography, art, and general self care and wellbeing.

I take a lot of enjoyment from spending time with likeminded people; I have a lot of interests and understandably not every person in my life aligns with all of them, so I appreciate the ‘same wavelength’ chats and informal brainstorming sessions when they happen.

Alan introduced me to the art of Pass the Pencil (there are more examples on his blog), which I had never done before.

It’s very simple. All you need is:

  1. a piece of paper,
  2. something to draw with,
  3. preferably 2 people sitting opposite each other, but I suppose you could always pass from one hand to the other if you’re flying solo… 🤔

Essentially each person (or hand) draws a line without lifting the pencil off the paper, whilst ensuring their new line crosses at least one existing line. The results are fun, abstract, spontaneous, collaborative drawings/doodles/whatever you like to call them.

I honestly really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it as a loosening up exercise before settling down to create whatever you’re working on, or even just as something to do with a friend if you’ve got 5 mins to spare. No artistic talent required! Just the willingness to let go and see what happens 🙂

It was good fun surveying our masterpieces when we finished, turning them the other way round so we could see it from each other’s viewpoint. All kinds of fun and unexpected images came up! Try viewing the images from different angles and see what you can make out.

img_6501

If you’re looking for a lighthearted, relaxed way to pass the time, pass the pencil! I’d love to hear what you think and if you give it a go for yourself, let me know if you enjoyed it as much as I did 🙂

Early morning musings

I’m full of ideas again (still?). Tiring myself out with it all (but in a good way, surely?) and at the same time can’t sleep because there’s so much to do!

(Well, truth be told, I went to bed at 7pm because I was so worn out and have woken up at 4.30am – much to Maggie’s annoyance. I suppose I’ve had enough sleep really. Not the lie in I was aiming for though… )

Anyway, here I am in the middle of the night, propped up on Big Ted, thinking arty thoughts.

To frame or not to frame? (Probable future blog post title)

How do I want my website to look?

When do I include a ‘shop’ section?

Ring the framers at 11am.

What is my end goal?

What is my current goal?

Don’t forget to plan an exhibition.

Am I creating content I want to create or am I creating what I think other people want to see?

Am I doing both? It’s early days yet so probably difficult to tell at the moment.

I want (need, really, if I’m going to maintain my own level of interest) to stay true to myself and my ideas. I’m not a world famous artist (yet!), I’m learning the ropes with regards to websites, blogs, marketing etc, I’m fitting this in around a full time job plus other general life commitments.

I don’t know what people want to see. Maybe they don’t want to see anything! The plan is to create content that I enjoy and am happy/proud to put my name to. Law of averages means someone else out there in the Big Wide World will enjoy it too.

I intend to continue on my little self-initiated journey, doing what feels good and what feels right; documenting it as I go. There’s really not much more to it. The whole reason behind the name ‘art and sensibility’ is I really tap into all of my senses and that’s where I draw (excuse the pun) my inspiration from.

Ooh, speaking of authenticity, I must create some certificates to go with my artwork. *adds to mental to-do list*

Right, now I’ve rambled on and got that out of my head, I wonder if I can get back to sleep for a bit…