Shopping Trolleys & the Math of time is simple.

•March 12, 2015 • 2 Comments


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

slanted view 2

‘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


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 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:


Salon 6 at The Old Lock Up Studio

•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 Horaces 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:

Jackie Berridge

Louisa Chambers

Valerie Turton

Terry Greene

Steve Gresham

Sarah Fiander

Sarah R Key

David Manley

Mandy Payne

Alyson Morgan-Tansley

lois Gardner Sabet

Rachael Pinks

Stephen B MacInnis




Upward Curve

•August 21, 2014 • 6 Comments

Upward Curve

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!


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