December 2020 at the art table
December rolled around and the need for rest became all too apparent. Emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted I stepped away from my art table and from social media with a head full of guilt but a body that wouldn’t allow anything but a slower, gentler pace.
The Winter so often comes with a desire to stay inside, snuggled up in blankets with good books and hot tea. This year the need feels greater and yet I also feel that’s what I’ve been doing periodically all year. Finding balance between rest, work and play is a lifelong challenge. I am learning to listen to the whispers of my body and mind before they turn into screams and use my energy as wisely as possible!
In the sketchbook
The sketchbooks remained almost untouched this month, packed away while electrics were being replaced in my rented flat. I did scribble a few portrait sketches in biro while watching Portrait Artist of the Year on Sky Arts. I draw quite rarely these days and it was a good distraction to focus on seeing and mark making with basic materials.
Instead of painting, I turned to journaling to keep my hand and thoughts moving. I found journalling prompts and guided sessions to keep me moving forward rather than stuck in repetitive worry. I can recommend @Inspiredtowrite on Instagram for writing prompts. The Unexpected Gypsy and Jamie Ridler on YouTube are gentle guides if you’d like to give art journaling a try and I’m considering going back to a more artful journaling practice in the new year.
The new Powertex tutorials had some interest and in particular the Powertex on glass guide had people creating gifts. You can find the Quick Guide to Powertex on Glass in the Etsy shop. It’s a basic instruction to an altered bottle with a supply list, top tips and project ideas for wine glasses and goblets and altered bottles.
On the bookshelf
Do you ever find yourself too tired and distracted to even read? I struggle to get comfortable this month while my injured ribs are healing and even curling up with a book is limited to short bursts. I went back to Lost Connections by Johann Hari after dropping it earlier in the year and Spilling Open by Sabrina Ward Harrison. Sabrina’s book can feel like a comfort blanket of sensitive and mindful thoughts and takes me back to a time in my twenties of joy and freedom. The colourful art pages are imperfectly perfect and her photographs are beautiful moments.
With grateful thanks
It is with grateful thanks that I close this year and look towards 2021. I’m thankful for simple things that have made life more manageable this year from the support of friends (and finding new online connections) to the view from my top floor window or the beach.
A huge thank you especially to my customers, students and followers who have continued to support my little art business. As I watched all other sources of income disappear, art fairs cancel, galleries close and small businesses struggle, I worried. For me and many, the uncertainty of this year has been a juggling act of adaptations and waiting. There have been moments of success and hope but it’s been a rollercoaster and I’m so grateful to have had good people alongside me for the ride!
As usual I’ll be running a sale in my Etsy shop from Boxing Day until New Year’s Day. They’ll be 20% off so if you’ve had your eye on anything, it’s a great time to get it. Thanks go to anyone who has been kind enough to leave a review in the shop too!
If you’d like to be notified of other offers or changes to the shop please consider signing up for my newsletter. I don’t send it out often but it’s a great way to keep in touch.
However you are spending this festive season and whatever feelings it brings, I hope you find a little time for yourself to make your art and find something to be grateful for.
Until next month from my art table,