Hello and welcome to my blog, whether you’re a new reader or someone who has been following my work online for a while! I’ve blogged on and off for around the past 10 years or so; sometimes regularly and at other times sporadically. I’ve been meaning to get back to posting regularly on here for a while, particularly as I decided I would no longer have a mailing list back in May 2018. I found it was a lot of time and effort for very little gain, and my time would be better spent making sure my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts were regularly updated with new work, information about upcoming shop updates, and other (hopefully) interesting or inspiring content! I can reach tens of thousands of people this way, but only a couple of hundred via the mailing list, so this seems like the intelligent thing to do.
I’m someone who likes to experiment and try new things when it comes to my art; I try not to “play it safe" too much, so this year I’ll be branching out in new directions and pushing myself out of my comfort zone a little bit more. When you hit upon an idea that becomes popular, It’s easy to keep repeating that idea over and over. You know it will sell well or gain a lot of attention via social media (thereby helping to spread the word about your work), and it’s so tempting to just stick with that. However, to me, that’s not what it means to be an artist. I don’t just want to paint landscapes and birds. I’ve recently been working on a series of seascapes, and I’ve started expanding my usual colour palette to include greens and warmer autumnal colours, rather than my usual cool blues and greys. I occasionally like to experiment with abstract painting, and I like to paint on stones, slate, sea glass, beach pottery and other objects, rather than just canvas or paper. I use acrylics, watercolours, acrylic ink, gouache (including a new type of gouache called Acryla which has some of the properties of both acrylic paint and gouache), ink pen, coloured pencils, and so on. I’m starting to experiment more with hand-lettering and finding ways to incorporate that into my work. At the end of 2018, I had an idea to paint on vintage Observer’s Books and I’m truly enjoying creating artwork on these already beautiful objects - and it seems you love them too, so thank you for that! I want to expand into offering greetings cards, larger prints and posters, stationery, and various products with my artwork on them. I’m working on a few ideas at the moment which I hope to be able to share with you soon.
Writing has always been something I’ve enjoyed that is also very important to me, and with the encouragement of my followers on Instagram, I’ve been writing longer posts on there where I share more about my life as an artist and small business owner, and as someone who lives with sometimes debilitating migraines and anxiety. I don’t let either of those stop me from being who I am or from living my life, even though it’s not easy sometimes, and I try to pass on any tips and advice I’ve learned over the years in the hope that it will help others. I’ve also been through some pretty difficult times in my life (who hasn’t? I think if you get to a certain age and you haven’t had anything tough to deal with, then you’re very lucky!), but through my art and writing I will be trying to pass on what I’ve learned about achieving good mental health, dealing with toxic people, and generally just looking after yourself so that you’re able to live a better life. I’m also in the process of writing and illustrating a book about an entirely different topic - I’m currently just starting on that journey, so more about that another time! I’ve had to put it on hold for a few months as I became busy with other projects, but will be getting back to it soon. I wrote an article for Breathe magazine last year, and I’d love to start writing for publications on a more regular basis. As you can see, there are so many things I’d like to do and for many years I allowed fear to hold me back, but not anymore! 2019 is the year I attempt to do whatever I feel like doing, and I’ll hope you’ll join me on my journey. Let’s have some fun!