Saturday, December 22, 2012

Zoology

Finally back in business and inspired to the brim. Sometimes changes, whether we want them or not, push us in new directions. 
Zoo1 (20 x 30 cm)
This week, I've been working on two series, Zoo1 and Zoo2. Small canvas' with acrylic and spray paint, shaping motives by drawing the colors and materials into weird shapes and sizes. It's a time consuming process, but never the less it's so much fun. More of these will certainly follow. You can check them out on my FB-page to read more details on their title etc.
Zoo 2 (20 x 20cm)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The turning point

Things have been very quiet in the studio these past three weeks. Due to a painter's block which I think originated in some serious changes in my personal life, I had no desire to pick up a brush. Until today. It occurred to me how this event had actually dragged me down emotionally, when I returned to priming canvas' and getting on with the painting, I left so long ago. I felt guilty for having left the studio with no wish to return. 

A series of 20x20cm canvas'...
As I was working today, I contemplated on the simpleness in priming the canvas' that I'm going to work on next. Planning the series of small paintings. I like the white surfaces on which the uncertain will appear soon enough. I like the utter blankness and not feeling any sort of pressure to apply colors, textures or anything at all. 

Christmas is upon us. This year my children are celebrating it with me and my parents here in our small flat. The tree is being collected tomorrow. I know we'll have a brilliant time all of us, but I have made no preparations what so ever yet. In Denmark we have Christmas dinner on the 24th of December in the evening, after which most people dance around the tree and sing a few carols. Then we open presents and have a peaceful evening. 

...
I know life goes up and down. Sometimes you lose motivation, but trust it to come back. Your brain works out for you how to get on. All the love and togetherness in our lives make out the glue that holds us together. Our emotions and melancholy can bring us down when losing sight of what seemed to be within reach. Trust your brain - it will sort you out!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Nothingness

These days are spent planning absolutely nothing. This has been going on for a few weeks now. Also doing nothing apart from daily rutines. Like most artists I too fall into these slumps, or sometimes I feel pushed. That's not the issue here. The first couple of times I was convinced that they were the end of my creativeness. For days and weeks I'd sit with my face hidden behind my hands in disgrace of having lost the 'ability'. 

Now a days I'm comfortable while they last. I relax and let go, in stead of pressuring myself into working in the studio - when nothing comes from it. This has given me time to do a bit of Christmas baking, making a few hearts from self-hardening clay to decorate the windows with and catching up with friends from near and far. 

There are quite a few blogs and forums out there on the topic, which I suppose will calm down the majority of struggling in-slumps. I luckily found that I practice more than one of the suggestions on some of the lists giving advice to painters stuck. So today I tidied up the studio, cleaned brushes, sorted colors and even cleaned a bit. 

It becomes a ritual to enjoy the simpleness of  doing nothing - deciding to not get stressed by the situation - instead chilling out knowing that one day the inspiration will return. The urge to do something all the time derives from our upbringing and culture - don't just sit there, do something! Breathe. Simply remember to breathe.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fighting the Bull

Today is the last day in the AEDM and I'm contributing with a bullfight of sorts. In this case I mean it more metaphorically than one might think - as most artists often do. 

'Fighting the Bull' (20 x 20cm acrylic/aerosol, canvas)
Today it's been proven to me that if you're in a crisis inflicted by some outer force and manage to stay strong, eventually you will come out stronger and thus have won the struggle for something better. No matter how big that bull first appeared in its fight against you.

I have to add that I am in no way a supporter of the bull-fights - there's actually nothing I hate more! But I will say that my best friend is perhaps the best matador on the planet! She's had to pay dearly for it, but has come out the winner. Well done, Trine!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fleeing the Scorpio

'Fleeing the Scorpio' (20 x 20cm, acrylic/aerosol on canvas)
Today's contribution to the AEDM by Leah Kolides is the second piece of an acrylic puddle with spray paint to create a strange, but marvellous effect. This one still has me intrigued a couple of years later, I still find new items in there. I keep thinking of the African continent with both its people and wildlife reappearing in the piece.

You might want to use matches to draw out specific or random patterns, while you have to calculate at least 3 days for the 'puddle' layer underneath to dry completely. 



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wrestling the Elephant

About 18 months ago I was still using my flat, the kitchen counter and living room, as my studio, which was hectic, but cozy enough. And more warm compared to the cold attic room, that often cools down. This is one of three creations, which were an experiment for me. 

'Wrestling the Elephant' (20 x 20 cm, canvas)
I had seen a friend and fellow local artist do amazing things with applying spray paint on top of a very liquid solution of acrylic paint - almost a puddle floating on top of the canvas. After spraying the acrylic solution, I'd wiggle it a bit, use a match to draw out different patterns etc. 

This particular one was partly Ditte's doing, so credit to her. The three pieces are now living in my mothers home, as they were a Mother's Day gift to her. Although... I haven't seen them mounted on any wall, yet (it's only been two and half years). But we had fun and it was a useful process to me, although I'd be very careful about adding spray paint on top of any acrylic based painting. They tend to peel and crack over time. 

PS: Ditte used to have a website, but I am afraid I can't locate it anymore. The link above refers to her rather limited site on Facebook.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Morphed

It has been a complex week. So many things are changing, and I’m letting them, as I think I need the new perspective and look on life. I had to take a few unexpected turns, only to realize that I still have to stick to the path, I was already on. Not that there’s no room for looking in other directions while on the way. Keeping focus is simply just very good right now.

Give credit, where credit is due
Since joining Leah Kolides’ AEDM (Art Every Day Month) and CEDC (Creative Every Day Challenge), I’ve been introduced to a wonderful person and artist - Kirstin McCulloch, who owns and runs the blog ’Listening to the Squeak Inside’ and LilliBean Art. I had not imagined a total stranger to step up and help me with boring technical questions, but she’s walked me through some to me complicated stuff. Now I am wiser and we're not strangers to each other anymore! Thank you, Kristin.

'More'
(100 x 140cm, acrylic & charcoal on canvas, DKK 3000,.)
No More
The staring competition has come to an end. Last night I put the finishing touches on it and it’s not going to change anymore. Nor stare at me. Meanwhile another has been brought back - the ’Power’ piece looks very different now, as I decided to redo it, although I’ve kept the Native American hounds and the headline in it. More on this next time, I hope.

My boyfriend is visiting from the UK at the moment, and this frees up a lot of time for me. He is a wonder - he cooks, does laundry, cleans and fixes stuff, so that I only have to focus on being with my kids or work in the studio, when I’m home. He’s very good at helping me with keeping the focus and inspiring me to try new things out.

Prints are on the agenda next - and how to get hold of some with my artwork...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Movember

After having had a rather strange day - again - I am posting this as today's contribution to the AEDM by Leah Kolides, so go on and sign up, if you're an artist or merely creative! 

'Movember' - 2010
It was made two years ago for a group of very good friends, all male, who shared a flat in the high street next to the one I live in. They were all contracting here as engineers being bought in for their skills, which can't be found anywhere around here. 

They brought my attention to something, which hasn't really caught on in Denmark yet, except for the larger city areas, which is the MovemberAn awareness month for a male charity, e.g. prostate and testicular cancer and to raise money for research as well. They joined as a group and called themselves Team Okely Dokely (hint Flanders from The Simpsons), and all grew their own mo' the entire month. Some more successful than others. 

Most of them had fun with it, while others suffered to endure the torment of not being able to shave their upper lip and therefor struggled with their honor and not losing face. Following the strict rules and acting like a gentleman for the entire month, as a man with a mo' should, came along with the feeling of looking ridiculous for a few of them. On the 30th of November, they had a fancy dress party for all their friends, and I had to come up with the perfect gift... 

The result was this collage including some of the most famous, infamous and prominent 'taches on the planet. It was fun to work with, although I only had about 24 hours to do it in. I was working day and night, but also knew it would be worth it. I dedicated it to the three boys living in the flat, which is why they appear a few places in the piece along with their personal Movember business cards.

It's basically a collage on canvas. The last time I saw it was last summer, mounted on a black brick wall - and I felt proud. They have all left now, but one - some have gone back to the UK, some to Australia and some have taken to the road to see the world. I respect them so much for having made an effort. I will never forget them. The last one, one of my closest friends, leaves on the 30th Movember.

Some of the 'taches are Tom Berenger, John Cleese, General Custer, Edgar Allen Poe and Frida Khalo. Which ones can you find?


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

AEDM


Today's contribution to the challenge is this, my 1st collage, which is now three years old. It was my first attempt after having had the door to the art world closed for nearly 10 years.

These days it's mounted above or kitchen table, where everyone eats every day. It's a conversation piece as much as 'I want to break free', because every time we're having company over, they keep looking at it and constantly discover new faces. Some of them are tagged below. 

See if you can find more!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

CEDC


Creative Every Day Challenge - for a month
A no-pressure challenge where you can post, whenever you have something to post, run by Leah Kolides seems to be just what I need here in November, where everything is a bit grey and dull. I became aware of her and her work through one of Chris Guillebeau's publishings. I adore her colorful style as well as her talks on her experiences with becoming a full-time artist. 

The old blood-dripping piece ’More’ still sits in my studio, staring at me - I try to ignore it, but tend to find myself staring back at it. Like in a competition, where one of us will eventually have to give up. I can only get to the studio after the sun's gone down these days, as I have late meetings at the school. Fortunately, I have a great artificial light above the canvas, so it is possible to work at night, but this staring at each other must come to an end first.


I’ve ventured into a new area of art; last weekend I bought a starter kit for sketching, which I’ve never really done any of. I only got it in order to work a bit more on the different ideas I get during the days, but as soon as I unwrapped it, I found myself doodling away on my logo. 

A dear friend, who’s now moved to Australia, gave me this idea for making my own stamp. I still want to go a bit more hardcore, as these look printed from a computer typing program. It is a long process and the results so far are simply try outs, but I like the sketching in it self. 
My boyfriend, who is turning out to be an encyclopedia and lovely assistant at the same time, showed me how to do my own chart of the different types of pencils. I’m still learning, but what a great idea. 

These are my contribution to being creative every day, today.

Have a great day!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Renewals


My new hangout
Recently I joined flickr and quickly came across the photographer, Alexis Mire. Her work is captivating and enchanting in a fairy tale-style, I haven't seen very often since my youth. I particularly enjoy going through her 365 collection and find a lot of inspiration for my changing view on our daily life and my own creativity.

I never used flickr before, but must emphasize what a great exchange and meeting place it is. Compared to other social media, this is actually the perfect place to meet & greet artists of all nationalities, all sorts of art genres and exchange not only appraisals, but also experiences and again - to get your name out there!

Favorite colors of the moment
Decorating the store windows in my mum's exclusive yarn shop is a treat, because she chooses to use my paintings as backdrops for the items put on display. The colors of the lovely yarns we choose are a fine supplement to emphasize the shades in my work. I don't think my mum actually understands what I'm doing, but she enjoys working with me and I with her on this level. 

It's become clear to me that I really have dived into neon-greens and orange, along with a deep purplish pink. I do think though that I have fallen in love with silver, which accentuates a lot of the dominating colors.

'More' (100 x 140 cm acrylics on canvas)
Another old canvas landed in the studio after the redecorating session. Strong colors such as blue, white, red and a hint of James Bond makes it a challenge to finish - again like with the last one, I have that feeling that something is missing from it. Everybody simply calls it the blood-dripping painting... 

Today I’ve begun using the OmmWriter Dāna I for Mac. It’s a brilliant app with built-in music composed to spur calm and creative thinking, and it turns your entire screen into a background for writing, so all other distractions such as your email alerts, the ever-tempting browser-surf and the clock disappear, when you open the app. It limits my flutter and helps me focus, when I need it. And it’s free, although I have decided buying the whole package, because this helps me and for that, the creators will get their money.



Sunday, November 4, 2012

Kill your darlings


The rhythm of nature
About a week ago I attended a comprehensive seminar on wellbeing, communication and various psychological reactions and patterns in my daily work, at the school that is. The seminar was led by a head teacher and a psychologist, who's specialized in this area. I was very taken by her arguments and theories on basic communication, but during one of the breaks I had the chance to talk to her. We were talking about the location of the school, on the pasture with a lake that makes the southbound flocks of geese and swans stop by every now and then, a few horses graze there as well. The changing of the seasons always surprises me, even though I watch it happen every day.
MorphoRhetenorHelena (illustration by Creativetone)
During a regular day of work for me, I have a lot of 'to do's' in between lessons in the small office facing the pasture - and often I let myself be distracted by the view. The psychologist called it giving in to the rhythm of nature. She told me about some of the research in stress-related illnesses, where it's been proven, how patients suffering from severe loss of memory are helped to regain their memory by following this rhythm in the treatment. I can only speak for myself, but even though I'm not that forgetful (yet), I find it soothing and calming to just glance out the window where the rhythm will 'suck' you in and make you chill out for a few minutes before entering a classroom with 20 teenagers. I flutter a lot forth and back, up and down, balancing the many different goals, I've set for myself. Not only professionally, but also as a mother, friend, daughter, sister and citizen. Our lives and days are filled to the brim with all the routines, the have-to's and must-do-that's! It's sort of an artificial rhythm, we force on ourselves. To me it often seems clear, how our minds are trying to cope with it, when there are all too many signs and alerts, that our bodies and spirits cannot keep up. Perhaps we should force the rhythm of nature on ourselves in stead. Only for a moment, while remembering how we were once part of nature too...

Sparking motivation
This week I made the final touches on an old painting, which I considered done months ago, but had that distinct feeling about. The feeling that something was missing. While I was staring at it, getting more and more frustrated about it, not wanting to give up the original idea for it entirely, my boyfriend and true supporter forwarded me the weekly blog from Zen Habits' Leo Babauta in which he focused on the importance of not just doing what you love, because you have to, now that you've decided to put an effort into it - but remembering to do it for the fun of it! I only had to read that one once - I started fooling around with colors and shapes, applying radical changes and enjoying it at the same time. It took me a while to let go of my own expectations, but my best friend and artist, Trine, noticed, how I'd seemed to have gone back to my roots. 

Development is good, in my opinion, it's part of an evolutionary process in your work, whatever that is. But in this case I was overwhelmed with the joy of doing it. In retrospective I have spent a lot of time analyzing and refining my work progress and processes for efficiency, to get the most out of the limited amount of time I have to work on it. While doing that, I put my original motivation in the background. Even though that too is part of the evolutionary process, I think that originality must not be forgotten. It is essential and defines us all. Building the bridge between the two may be very hard, but not impossible.

I am thankful for my boyfriend, who can jumpstart me (probably without knowing it) after I've hit the painter's block. There's no pressure, hun :)

Kill your darling
I am still honored that people from all over the world 'like' my work on Facebook, not only on the group page itself, but the particular picture on OK Go's wall has likes in Moscow and Sao Paolo. In my opinion that is social media in the global village in its essence. It serves as a vessel for creating awareness, contacts and new approaches. There is a certain way of using it, which I am still studying to become better at, but it has me intrigued.

My first sale: 'Faces Traces'
In regards to remembering the fun part of painting, I also recalled the event of selling my first painting. It had taken me a long time to finish it, which was back in the days before I actually had a studio, so the living room was where I'd work. A lot of experimenting had over time been taking place on the canvas, and I'd learnt how to 'kill my darlings'. Not only is it a heartbreaking process, the killing, but it can steer the purpose and goal with the piece in a completely different direction. 

I was so incredibly nervous when the sale was going down. The buyers were asking me questions about my inspiration, the colors and the theme(s). At that point I didn't actually think I'd ever make a sale, so leaving my baby in the care of others and being paid for it as well was an experience beyond all others. 

I was proud, but at the same time very anxious about facing the possible demand for my style and work. Could I actually create another one that would sell just as well? The answer to that became apparent to me only a few weeks later.



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Running out of space

Topics in the blog today:

  • creating a good work schedule (that works for everyone)
  • applying art on everything

Working vs working
I used to think that I was able to do anything, I set my mind to and that getting stressed out was merely a question of poor planning. Perhaps it's a question of putting too much on my plate, realizing that some people can have quite a lot on their's and manage it quite well, while others struggle to handle just a few things without losing grip.

Now, having decided to set new goals for myself, I also had to make the decision about when to work on achieving these goals. This decision was made on a subconscious level, but I've found that a lot of other artist's actually do the same, when they're planning their work. In my case it's a question of juggling the regular full-time teaching job at the local school with the routines of having kids and all that comes along with that and my desire and need to paint. 

First of all, it is relatively easy, once you've mapped out the different elements of your everyday life. The teaching job, I have, is a fairly good one. However, it takes up about 75% of my life and consciousness in general. Everything from planning each lesson to meetings with colleagues and parents, while running into your students daily when doing your grocery shopping or on your way to the dentist etc. It is more than often the last thing, I think about before falling asleep, and the first thing I think about, when I wake up. This job provides us with money to buy food and other vital things. I'm told that I'm good at it. 

Where I find it limiting is, when I have to follow the same schedule for 40 weeks. On the other hand it gives me an enormous freedom to plan around those 40 weeks. I can plan my weeks as well. The schedule remains the same and I'm lucky to have a few very good slots in it that enable me to work some early afternoons and one early morning. And let's face it - most people concentrate and focus much better, when they aren't interrupted by their children or other distractions. I'm one of those people. On the other hand I don't want to dismiss the kids, when we're all together. Our time together is so precious in our day and age, and I know they'll be moving out soon enough even though they're only 6 and 10 yrs old right now. So, I work (wether it's blogging or painting), when the kids aren't home. And occasionally at night when they're sleeping. It's not always, though, that I've got endless amounts of energy, but sometimes I get lucky. This gives me a total of about 16-20 hrs per week blogging or in the workshop, which is not bad. I wonder what it would be like to work full-time in the workshop.

Yesterday, I received a blog update from Robert Genn focusing on distraction issues in the studio - and I can only agree with him. He suggests the Pomodoro Technique to help bring back focus and intention. While my studio was only just set up this summer, I am still enjoying the private and personal workspace, which is secluded from the rest of our home. I used to work in what was a combined living- and bedroom, which suffered heavily under the dust that is inevitable no matter how much you air and vacuum the room. Some of RG's other suggestions to create a steady and productive workday will certainly come in handy to someone as fluttery as me. Thanks.

When there's no more canvas
 ... then it's time to look around at what else you've got, that you can paint on! I won't discuss the reasons for why there's not sufficient canvas in my studio, since it seems obvious. You either haven't ordered it in in due time or funds are lacking. 

Not long ago I began decorating old wooden wine boxes. It is a challenge to confine yourself to such a limited amount of space when you're used to working on relatively large canvas. An old friend once introduced me to the fun it can be to also decorate and paint on furniture, which in my case would include shelves and tables. But anything goes really. On my private Facebook-profile I have created a photo album to give you an impression of the last couple of years working on all sorts of hard surfaces.

Once you're used to the brush reacting slightly different to a hard surface as opposed to the somewhat bouncy canvas, you discover new techniques and alternatives to the big surface. Besides, it's fun - and that too has to be important!

Oh, by the way - I sorted out the time settings on Blogger. Phew, was beginning to actually be envious of myself NOT living on the West Coast of the US, preferably San Francisco or L.A. Now I'm back on the East Coast of chilly Denmark facing wintertime.













Saturday, October 27, 2012

Someone must know

For some reason this blogger-thingy believes, I live in California, and so my posts are published very early in the morning. Fact is I'm an hour ahead of GMT. I'm in Denmark. In the province. And even though I place myself on the map in the settings, I still get the Pacific Daylight Time. Sorry for being such a blogger-novice, I am sure there is a way to change it. And perhaps someone out there to help me.

Today I'm going to air my thoughts about different stuff:
  • benefits of working with charcoal
  • amateur vs pro
  • OK Go and going global
Charcoal & dust
Charcoal is such a gentle and easy material to work with. I've got two different kinds, one round in its form and one square, each very different in texture and fastness. It is easy to apply to either canvas or wood, while it creates shadows and shapes that are easy to 'push around' as needed. I can't quite remember, what I used before I was introduced to charcoal. From then on the pastel crayons came into use, which helps create a firmer depth in the colors or their shadows. In time the 'finger painting' part came along - got down with it and got dirty!

Recently I coincidentally discovered a charcoal pencil. Not a regular pencil, but one with proper charcoal. This may seem ridiculous to many artists out there, however I don't have access to more than one rather limited art supplier in this town, but there's an office supplier, who sometimes takes in different supplies for art amateurs, and some of these are good for usage in various ways. This pencil enables me to add much more detail to the work. And I love working with it. It's cheap, so I'll have to go and get loads more, before they're sold out and never get in stock again. As to shopping online for materials and tools, I have found myself to be a bit old-fashioned as I need to feel and see the materials and tools. The upside to this method of buying is, that sometimes you actually discover tools, you didn't think suitable for what you're doing, but turn out to be just what you were looking for, without knowing it. 

Amateur vs pro
While on the subject of hobbies... I still haven't done a complete exhibit and thus I must render myself to the hobby-state. Or must I? When is a painter professional? After a sale? After 10 sales? After entering a gallery? After publishing a book? I don't know. Even though I feel professional and have sold quite a few paintings over a short period, I must admit, that my self-esteem still has a lot of growing up to do. I am very humble, I suppose. 

On the other hand, some of the amateur artwork I have seen can be split into two categories; the first being the creative steam vent, a lot of people use to direct their focus away from rutines, stressful events or trying times in their lives. It's important and functions as a creative extraction fan. The other is well thought through. It derives from talent that is either nurtured or just sprouting out, sort of out of control. And it's simply not for sale. The ongoing discussion about what defines art - well, if it's the price you put on it, mine is regular crap in many artist's eyes, or so I think.

OK Go & going global
About a week ago, I posted a random pic of one of the wine boxes, I re-decorate on the Facebook-wall of the band OK Go. One of their lyrics had popped into my mind, while working on it, and it somehow fitted perfectly with the Buster Keaton-clipping, I'd added. The next day, the band itself had 'liked' it - this was not expected, or what I'd try to achieve. But the fulfillment of being seen by someone, who is not only famous with their 37+ million views on Youtube, but who I admire for their output and own creative thinking - well, I was flabbergasted to say the least! A few other fans of their's have liked it too, and you sort of grow with amazement over the fact, how social networking can also work. I've been noticed by someone outside of my town...


Where I live, Facebook is primarily used for keeping each other updated on how you feel, where you are (physically and emotionally), which dish you're cooking, what your kids have just said that was sort of funny and who did what to hurt your feelings etc. Way back I used it for that as well, I'm no saint. But coincidentally sharing your work because the inspiration for it came by sort of randomly while still conveying an important message, and getting the immense feedback is a whole new way of using social networks to me, which I must admit, I appreciate much more. I recommend it to all artists. I love it!

Often on a sub-consious level, I use many lyrics in a poetic sense in my work. Extracts from different songs and artist become relevant at one point or another. Sometimes they are erased, while at other times they are emphasized. To me it's essential to listen to music while I work. OK Go never struck me as a band, I'd quote in my works, since it's their visual creativity that is perhaps the most striking of all to me. Poetry by Patti Smith (the New York poem) and an old Edith Piaf-lyric (The Autumn Leaves) included in paintings sold off very quickly, but also Bombay Bicycle Club (Dust on the ground & Ghost) had a way of finding their way in there and sold off too!

On that note, some of you might think: "Hey, that's violating the copyright laws!" I was a bit nervous at first, but someone shared this quote by Jim Jarmush (film director and artist) on Facebook (!) one day:


“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.”

Thanks, Jim - it's what we in the teaching world call intertextuality. You could also call it inspiration. You see it in films, shorts or motion picture, plays, novels, any sort of artwork - even political quotations are used in many different ways out of contexts. Less we forget Arnie's 'I'll be back!' You hear it more often than you'd care to admit. In any case, I thank the muses for inspiring me and being there in times of darkness.
The pieces in which I quote the above mentioned artists can be seen on either my Facebook-page or on Flickr.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nobody knows...


After a couple of days filled to the brim with distractions, I've settled down with morning coffee, a calmer mind and plenty of ideas to put in this blog. The kids are off to school and I won't have to go for another hour.

'Edith' (100 x 140cm)
The hecticness of it all derives from a lot of things, which I'm certain other people are no strangers to in this day and age. Juggling a job to accumulate a sufficient income, kids, ex-husband, household, my parents and my true work, painting, is becoming a challenge, that I somehow have to learn how to tackle. It can drive me into a dim mental darkness, if I start thinking too much about what I want, but haven't got - where I should count my blessings on my way to achieving, what I want out of life. Since my divorce I've taken up painting again, and I find so much fulfillment in that, that I have decided to make it my future. Before actually having sold five pieces since last summer, I thought of it as a hobby. One day, I realized that I could stick them in one of the many empty shops here in town. 
Putting myself out there
So I spoke to the landlady of the one opposite my house, which is in a pedestrian highstreet. Loads of shoppers daily. She was very accommodating to my request and even gave me a key to access the place my self, re-arrange the exhibit, when I saw fit. Stuck a notice in the window how to reach me... Before I knew it - I think only two weeks had passed, I sold my first two pieces. Of course with a discount, because the customers - a local couple - bought two. 
'Cold Core Fusion' (100 x 140cm)
Then a long time passed, the tourists came and went, loads of interested people. Sold a small piece to a friend, who borrowed it first to see, if she could live with it. Eventually, she found out, she could. Meanwhile I spent a lot of energy working on older pieces, to make them ready for a sale, even 'copied' one piece, which my children prohibited me from selling. The minute it was put on display in the shop, it was sold off along with another piece. The tourists, who bought them, were from Germany, and I prided myself in reaching a more international audience. Perhaps one of my most nervous moments, when standing in front of a group of 6 customers, examining each painting, viewing them over and over, asking me a lot of questions about them - and then buying two! I was sweating for several hours after that sale. 
It's been quiet for some time now without sales. I have spent this time working on a Facebook-fanpage for the artwork, with only a few followers, but I don't mind. If they join it organically, I assume it's the best way of knowing, if people actually do like my work. Also, I'm trying to construct a website, which is the more tricky part. It takes time and also money, which I'd rather spend on materials, but if I want it....

The point is, that no one really knows of me yet. It gives me a sense of security mixed with frustration. Because I do really want to get out there, but all in due time. Meanwhile I will work on sorting out the 'hecticness' and try to manage life in a fashionable manner, as they say.

Off to work...