•October 23, 2014 • Leave a Comment
It’s one of those times of year, for me, that brings with it a period of reflection.
3 years ago, almost to the date (don’t ask me what date as dates are one of those things I’m not so good at), I was facing a huge amount of loss and heartache. A smidgen of hindsight then would have been good: as I would have known that life was going to be hard for a while: but that life was going to be better, happier and fuller. I would have known that there was 3 rich years of a belly full of good art and grand people ahead of me! Some very tricky bits too of course: but that’s life.
Life has started to shift and I can see a way forward. The last 3 years of grit and determination are beginning to pay off, with an offer of a freelance opportunity managing a gallery in the Derbyshire Peak District and I’m also setting up an art group at a school in Derbyshire. This in turn also means life is full: fuller than full at times. I now have 5 jobs, which all take up varying amounts of my time. And the reason that I gave up one well paid job 3 and a half years ago, painting, currently has little room in my life.
I met with my money mentor this week and I’ve had a massive shift in my money mindset: we worked out that following my first session in August I have increased my income by one third. It’s down to Karen’s mentoring, advice and amongst other things now being able to take decision making at a much slower pace and being able to say no, nicely of course.
This huge increase means I can now begin to pay off my debts: that’s the first step, although I have to acknowledge that my debts are miniscule in comparison to others: that I’m thankful for. The sessions really are helping me to see things much clearer, understand my habitual ways of thinking about and dealing with money. It also means that I will be financially better off at some point in the near future, I’m still facing a continued period of austerity.. Debts first: I need to be rid of them completely! Of course all this busyness and such like means I have little time to paint.
Another step will be to buy back time. Time to paint, that’s one bit I’m really looking forward to.
•October 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Salon 6 seems an age ago now and it wouldn’t be right to let it pass by completely without a mention on my blog. It’s taken a while to get round to it as life and work has been incredibly busy for the last few weeks.
Salon 6 left me exhausted, but a good exhausted. A truly great show I thought and so well received by so many. I’m chuffed to bits with how it went.
A room full to bursting with great work and such lovely people! I had 80-90 people through the door in just 3 hours (although my ticker/counter registered 91), an all time record I think and 3 sales too.
I’ve already started work on Salon 7 which will be in late January 2015.
For those of you who haven’t seen any of the photo’s online here’s a few of my favourites from the night:
•September 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Location: The Old Lock Up Studio is a beautiful historic grade 2 listed building in the village of Cromford which is available to hire for art/craft workshops and classes, the studio measures 550 square foot and has many original features. Formerly the village jail in the 1780’s the studio itself was the jail keepers living quarters. Prior to this it was one of the first dwellings/cottages in the historic village of Cromford: the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.
The studio is an artists working studio that provides life drawing classes, children’s art workshops and pop up exhibitions, it is also available to hire.
Facilities: Natural daylight through windows and skylight. Artificial light through fluorescent ceiling lights. Access to multiple power sockets. Tables. Chairs. Storage heating. Kitchenette for hot/cold drinks. Fridge and hot plate. Toilet and handbasin.
Suitable for: Art/craft courses and workshops.
Capacity: 10-12 people.
Catering: Refreshments, home made cakes and light lunches available at an additional cost.
Hire Charge: Full day rate, half day rate and hourly rate available: all include setup and breakdown times of 15 minutes maximum either side.
For further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
•August 27, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Salon – a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine taste and increase their knowledge of the participants through conversation. These gatherings often consciously followed Horace’s definition of the aims of poetry, “either to please or to educate” (“aut delectare aut prodesse est”)
The Salon events were founded in August 2011 by myself and Clay Smith, they have now become a highlight in this areas cultural calendar.
The next one night only event is fast approaching and will be held at The Old Lock Up Studio in Cromford, Derbyshire on 27th September 2014. Doors open 6.30pm until 9.30pm approximately and the event is open to all, so please feel free to join us.
This will be the first Salon exhibition that I have organised and curated independently, I’m incredibly excited with the lineup of artists and it’s looking like a great show that’s not to be missed.
Please click and follow the links below to find out further information about the Salon 6 artists:
Sarah R Key
lois Gardner Sabet
Stephen B MacInnis
•August 21, 2014 • 6 Comments
Upward Curve ~ Acrylic and Collage on Paper.
A little while ago I was going through a difficult patch, one of those times when quite a few things go very badly wrong in almost all aspects/areas of your life. It hit me hard and there were moments when I seriously considered jacking a few things in, mainly because the bad patch took it out of me, I felt absolutely shattered and exhausted.
But now I’m definitely on an upward curve.
Life is much improved and I’m finding a way forward with many things, I feel excited again.
Here’s the good stuff:
My children’s art workshops this Summer have done exceptionally well and I’ve now had 37 bookings. I have to say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them so far and there are 4 more sessions before the end of the Summer.
Salon 6: the next Contemporary art show at The Old Lock Up Studio is on 27th September 2014 and there’s a really exciting line up of artists. I’ll be writing a blog post shortly about this.
Following my last blog post I was contacted by a mentor and coach called Karen Sutton-Johal, as time goes by I’ll mention every now and then the work Karen is doing with me.
Karen contacted me to offer to coach/mentor me for the next 12 months. The mentoring is concerned with money mindsets, profit and entrepreneurial/business advice. I had my first coaching session recently and I have to say I’ve found it incredibly rewarding and useful. The first few steps have seemed quite small yet they have had a really big impact on my relationship to and understanding of money.
During the session I told Karen that I had an interview the following day for a full-time post: we discussed it and Karen said ‘you don’t want the job do you?’ I didn’t, I had convinced myself that I had to get a full time post so as to improve my current financial situation. Karen gave me a task to do and told me I already had a solution to my problem I just had to allow myself to see it. Within 2 days of being given the task I’d found several ways forward and chose 4 of them from my list. Today I set the ball rolling and I’m feeling confident that within a few months I will have made a huge step forward. The work that we are doing together is making a real difference to my financial outlook. I’ve never set up a business before and although there are some things I have got to grips with there are many areas that I need the support of a good coach to fully understand them, especially money as we just aren’t taught about this properly at school.
I’m incredibly busy at the moment and days go by where I literally do not stop, but I’m feeling so excited and optimistic about my future!
•July 17, 2014 • Leave a Comment
The last blog post I wrote earlier this week The Spaces In Between wasn’t an easy post to write, I wanted to get back to writing freely again, that was all.
However it resulted in something pretty great happening and someone getting in touch with me explaining that they would like to meetup and discuss the possibility of working with me: providing money mentoring and profit coaching to help me realise my goal/dream.
Well today I met with them and they have offered to coach me for 12 months. Needless to say I’m feeling very positive. As time goes on I’ll write some updates: I plan to get my blog back on track, as I do my life.
The title of this post is a reference to opportunities, my blog had over 200 hits the day that I posted ‘The Spaces In Between’ and some of the hits were people reading some of my old posts: which in turn led me to read some of them as well, many of them I had completely forgotten about and I found a few little gems.
I came across one that I wrote in 2011 And so the year is almost over where I wrote about opportunities and how they can quite easily pass us by, completely unnoticed. If you click on the link above it’ll take you to the post: the links there are well worth following/reading etc if you are interested in seeing and grasping opportunities as they arise.
I just want to also say thanks to all you lovely people that have liked my post on FB, retweeted it, read it and got in touch with me this week: very kind and greatly appreciated!
‘The Little reed, bending to the force of the wind soon stood upright again when the storm passed over.’ ~ Aesop
•July 14, 2014 • 4 Comments
I began writing my blog just over 3 years ago: one morning at 4am ish when I’d had another sleepless night worrying about my forthcoming redundancy: of course then I had no real idea of what was ahead of me. I had no real idea of how to write a blog or what I’d actually write about and my blog has really continued that way. I’ve written about my redundancy, about leasing a studio and the struggle it’s been, about crowdfunding, about aspects of my life that have been difficult, about artists whose work I love, about my work, about the ups and downs of my life.
I’ve had people thanking me for being frank, I’ve had people tell me that some of my blogs have helped them and inspired them, I’ve had people tell me that some of my blogs have made them cry and I’ve had people tell me to stop writing about such things as being broke or being depressed: because it’s just not the done thing,
The last few months have been incredibly difficult for many reasons: I finally sold my house in March 2014 and everything connected to that house was finally settled: no more solicitors letters going back/forth. Then the struggle financially that followed: paying my rent and bills on a care workers wage, keeping the lease paid for on the studio at one point was almost impossible. During May I had to sit down and work out how many days I had left before I needed to give notice on the studio: the prospect of giving notice quite honestly filled me with dread. Then with just 7 days left it all fell into place: now there are 5 of us sharing the studio and with the profits from the life drawing class the studio is sustainable. Things financially are still incredibly tight, but in fact it’s been a great lesson. I’ve realised, even though I’m already very thrifty, that there was still room to tighten my belt even further.
Then something happened that pulled the rug from right under my feet: I’m a firm believer in crying when sadness hits: in the last couple of months there have only been a handful of days where I haven’t.
And I’m now at the point where I’ve picked myself up and I’m back on my feet, apart from the odd day when I have a glitch.
But the aftermath that the last few months of my life has left me with is going to take me a while to catch up on: endless piles of paperwork and forms to fill in, emails that I haven’t had the will or the strength to reply to and other such stuff.
And through it all I’ve always had painting on my mind, I have work to do and ideas to try out. That in itself is enough for me right now.