Notes on Excitement, Flow, Monotony and Spreading the Love.

•July 10, 2015 • 1 Comment

Rachael Pinks INBOX Discarded

‘Discarded’ currently on show at The Old Station Gallery, Rowsley.

I don’t write blog posts as often as I used to or as often as I’d like to. My posts have always been about a multitude of things: I guess there have been occasions when I’ve struggled with that and it’s stopped me writing posts. But a blog is one of those things that once you’ve started it and kept it going for a while (mines over 4 years old now) it’s hard to stop, or change to be honest…

These last few weeks I’ve grabbed some time to spend painting in the studio, I have been far too busy this last 9 months to spend any real amount of time painting: it is the truth and that is that: no which way that I look at it: I wouldn’t have had time and I didn’t have time.

But now things are moving and shifting, I’ve settled down into a system of getting my work & schedule completed at the gallery: new experiences and tasks take time to get used to.

I’ve also put a cap on the number of hours that I work as a Care Worker in the Community: it’s made a huge difference. I’m hoping to give my notice shortly: I’m waiting to see if my proposal ,for an opportunity that I’ve been offered, has been accepted… I know that I shall hear in the next couple of weeks. This thought in itself creates a huge sense of excitement. Care work has become hard, my hours and shift pattern has been changed with just 2 weeks notice. If you haven’t worked in care or a similar profession then you won’t know that you have a shift pattern: I can work out exactly what shift I will be working on any given day in the next 12 months: I planned everything around this pattern: exhibitions at the gallery, workshops, life drawing classes, visits to friends and family, holidays: the whole lot. Then with a short and impolite letter sent in the post: the whole 12 months of my planning wiped out. I cried, as I often do when something crap happens. I’ve dusted myself down and I’m leaving: at some point: hopefully very soon.

Got sidetracked there: Back to the painting, I ended up at the studio painting every day for at least 2 weeks (ish). A shift in thinking and painting happened along with one of those emails out of the blue which makes you realise there’s stuff out there to be done. And with that I jotted down a plan, on a piece of scrap paper, for 2016: next week that scrap will turn into a full blown plan that I’ll be sticking too: feeling incredibly optimistic and excited about my future.

Then there’s the flow whilst painting: that place or space that feels so damn good when you achieve it, I’ve written about it before in my blog: if you don’t know about it ‘google’ it. I remember some chap coming to my house and doing some market research a few years ago, 45 minutes worth of it, anyhow he asked me if I had ever experienced ‘flow’ and seemed shocked when I said ‘yes, frequently’… I’ve no idea why he was so shocked.

Back to painting: My painting had become monotonous for me: it lacked any sense of moving and shifting, or the capacity to do so: I’m sensing it again now, that thing that I seem to crave: development, with the 7 new pieces of work on paper that I’ve completed.

The new pieces of work are in a show, at the Gallery where I’m the Curator, which is opening tomorrow 11th July 3-5.30pm: join us in Rowsley for a glass of wine at The Old Station Gallery. I am so excited about the show: I haven’t had work in an exhibition for so long: my own doing.

I’m also excited to be showing alongside three incredibly talented Artists: Rachel Carter, Heather Duncan and Laine Tomkinson.

And then, finally, there’s something else that’s been on my mind: currently often thought about: and generated by a couple of bad experiences with people, it’s to do with spreading the love: something somebody said to me a while ago and something that I really get now, I got it before but I get it even more now. I’ve made a big change in the way that I choose to spend my money and who I spend my money with. I’m thinking carefully about people: good people, honest people, kind and generous people. They’re the people I shall be spending my money with, buying my gifts for friends/family from, my clothes, my everything that I need and want from. That’s spreading the love. Give it a go: it feels bloody marvellous!

“Dreams get you into the future and add excitement to the present.” Robert Conklin

Biting off more than you can chew and other ramblings..

•June 1, 2015 • 2 Comments

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I’m only writing this now, this afternoon as I’m feeling human again: like I’ve got a little bit of my life back that I’ve not clapped eyes on for a while.

I’ve just read my last post Shopping Trolleys & the math of time is simple it made made me chuckle a little.. due to realising that a couple of months down the line I’m still dealing with the same old issues: I hadn’t been saying no enough.

This all happened sometime in early May:

I had gotten to the point where I had said yes to far far too many things and the reality was I just didn’t have the time to do it all. So with a gentle nudge from Karen, my mentor, I realised I couldn’t go on as I was and that things needed to change quickly: completely exhausted and most probably heading for some kind of burnout: I know what that looks and feels like, because I’ve been there before.

With some sound advice I proceeded to cancel a few things, I felt awful doing so: knowing that I was letting people down.

After cancelling the first (over) commitment I felt immediately better, I then cancelled another and felt better again and then finally I decided to leave scheduling the next Salon exhibition at the studio for at least 2-3 months.

Karen had also suggested that I find a meditation/visualisation video/soundtrack on youtube and start doing this daily when I felt things were just getting too much. It took a little searching to find the right thing: but when I did I proceeded to listened to it 4 times in a row: it immediately soothed my racing mind, my anxiety and eased the tension in my legs. I then listened to it regularly until I felt I could manage my too too busy life. And I’ve now got it saved so that I don’t get into that mess again. Maybe my selection of meditation won’t suit others, but on the off chance here it is: 

I now plug in my headphones and relax.

I’ve just finished a stint of working 14 days, and we’re talking full on stuff: 6am in the morn until mid to late evening most days, that is crazy living and just down right stupid thinking: that’s what you call biting off more than you can chew. That’s without the commitments that I cancelled and no way to choose to live.

Today is my first day of a 7 days off stint from my council post: I’m a care worker in the community: sometimes a difficult job that involves seeing and dealing with the worst bits life throws at us humans. Yesterday I took off my uniform and flung it in the wash basket.. It felt bloody good to be honest. Today we’ve hung the next exhibition at the gallery and as we left I just suddenly felt like me again. My life had become a heaving mass of deadlines and work: and I mean heaving.

I think there are several things that made me take on far too much and I’m beginning to work them out. I have this thing with famine and feast: it seems that I have had months where there’s little or no work where money is scarce and I struggle to get by: then all of a sudden I seem to get a load of offers/bookings and because I’ve been so starving for money and for work I say yes to them all… not anymore

And then there’s this thing that’s suddenly appeared in my life with what seemed like no warning: the age thing. All of a sudden I felt a bit passed it, I’ve begun feeling tired and ache like I’ve not done before: my zing isn’t always there: it goes walk about on a frequent basis.

Amongst all of these goings on I’ve had fleeting moments where I’ve considered going back to a full time well paid job: luckily only fleeting, because I know it would kill me and I’d not see me zing ever again.

Shopping Trolleys & the Math of time is simple.

•March 12, 2015 • 3 Comments

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It’s been a while since writing a post & I’ve often thought ‘I must write a post’ and then decided not to (based on not knowing what to write about) or I’ve gotten swept away with other stuff…

Some of that stuff was the not knowing whether I can make ends meet stuff, the living in fear of the car breaking down and having no cash to fix it stuff, the I really do hope this is the last month of scraping pennies together stuff. Luckily it’s ended, with a lot of hard work and some solid, sound  and motivational advice from Karen my money mentor.

Then today I came across an article online, by/from Kevin Ashton’s book ‘How to Fly a Horse’ that seemed to capture a lot of what I’ve been working on in the past few months. Time (the lack of it) and saying no.

I’ve had to work really hard at saying no to people who ask me to ‘do it cheaper’ or can we discuss your rate, price etc etc..  One of the things that has really helped me to say no is something that Karen said to me (I can’t remember her exact words but it goes something like this..) These people who ask you to cut your prices are walking around the supermarket and filling their trolleys with food, are you? Why should you not be able to afford to do this at the expense of those people…

So whenever someone asks me to drop my quote/price I just think of shopping trolleys. After all money has a huge connection to  and with time. The more I lower my prices.. the more hours I have to work and the less time I have to spend on my ambitions, passions, friends and family.

Here’s a snippet from the article (it really is worth a read).  ‘How to Fly a Horse’

‘Saying ‘no’ has more creative power than ideas, insights and talent combined. No guards time, the thread from which we weave our creations. The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know.’

So how have I been spending my time? in the studio? Nope. Painting? Nope.

Getting organised, staying focused, setting up systems and ways of working.. I’ve been so busy that for a time it has made everything seem like a jumbled mess, and a huge muddle of tasks to do, email in boxes full to bursting and a whirling spinning head. Armed with my fabulous default diary and putting a limit on the amount of overtime that I do I am now making headway!

Time ahead to spend in the studio? Yes! Time for painting? Yes!

Goodbye 2014

•January 1, 2015 • 2 Comments

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‘Slanted View’ Acrylic and collage on paper, 2014.

Since starting this blog, April 2011, I’ve written a short pre new year blog yearly.. a little late, and a bit of a hasty one this year but here we go!

Another 12 months on and I’m looking back and thinking how the heck did all of that happen in just 12 months. It’s been a tough year in a lot of ways and I’m hoping this year will be a little more settled, a little more productive and a lot happier.

Having said that there’s been some really grand moments and again I’ve met some wonderful people!

I’ve put together a slideshow of some of the great moments of 2014.

A big fat thankyou to everyone that has helped to make 2014 a good year: all my friends, family, new acquaintances, new friends in Cromford & Derbyshire, old friends that have been in touch & for all the kindness that many of you have given & shared with me, thanks to all the artists that took part in the Salon exhibitions during 2014!

All the very best to all of you & may 2015 bring with it health, love & happiness!

Some reasons to be cheerful: in no particular order:

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Buying Time

•October 23, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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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.

Salon 6 ~ It would be rude not to.

•October 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment

SALON 6

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:

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The Old Lock Up Studio available to hire for workshops

•September 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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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: rachaelpinksart@hotmail.co.uk

 

 
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