Notes on – Patience

•September 14, 2016 • Leave a Comment

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It feels as though I’ve been battling recently – with a lack of patience  – not mine I hasten to add – not right now. I’m working whole heartedly at keeping to my ‘Default Diary’ – certain days are for certain things – learning that being flexible isn’t always good and isn’t always productive – bending every which way for others can leave you feeling like your getting nowhere fast. Is that what impatience is – a feeling of getting nowhere fast?

Out of office emails are in place – they let people know when I’ll get back to them – most of the time they work – some of the time people can push those boundaries.. And then push again. It got me thinking and wondering why.

I stood in a very long queue a while ago – a man was visibly angry that he had to join the queue and demanded to see the manager – perhaps hoping he would get served – he was asked to join the – back – of the queue.. it got me wondering why he was so angry – so impatient.

And then a week or so ago – I stood at a check out waiting to be served – I was the next person in line.. a lady who worked at the shop apologised profusely and repeatedly – It took a while for her to accept and hear my reassurances – that I really didn’t mind waiting – at all – she explained that so many people get so very angry and so very impatient.

Then I thought is it a modern day thang? And why – it didn’t take too much to fathom – to work out – what might be going on – is it related to our instant gratification that we receive via social media and online services? We now expect or it has become ingrained that what ever we want – we want it now! And we get it now?

I was going to post a few quotes – here ->

I read a few articles – but they were too long – impatience.

One thing I’ve found helpful when dealing with my impatience is to ask myself – is what I’m waiting for – critical – crucial -paramount – pressing – serious – imperative – pressing – or can I wait… mostly I can wait.

Will something gawd awful happen – will I or someone else die – what will happen: if I wait?

‘It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?’
– Pat Schneider



Notes on – Difficult Conversations.

•September 6, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Self employment and the complicated lives artists lead often result in the need to have  difficult conversations with others.. Recently I desperately needed to have a difficult conversation – and I had spent far too much time dreading it, getting stressed about it and putting it off: fear was the my main obstacle and I knew, for sure, that if I didn’t have the conversation – things would stay as they were: I was truly miserable.

I asked around & got some advice – luckily I was inundated with some real golden nuggets from some pretty fabulous – friends, neighbours and peeps on social media..

I then bucked up buckets full of courage and had my ‘tricky’ conversation – the result has had a really huge & positive impact on my life, work and general wellbeing.

Here are my notes, sifted from the golden nuggets & advice I pocketed – Difficult conversations – go do it – and do it well – have your difficult conversation –


Be very clear and sure about exactly what it is that you want to achieve.

Then ..

Be clear about your rationale. Is your reason for the discussion valid?

Be clear about the issue in terms of whether its an action they’ve carried out or something about the person themselves.

If it’s an action (or non action), talk about the thing as an issue, don’t rubbish the person.

Know whether there’s anything they can do to change your mind/rectify the problem and if so, ask how they might manage change.

Empathise with any reasonable issues they’re facing.

Be honest and assertive and don’t do yourself an injustice.

it’s always worse before, than after.

Expect them to be unhappy/angry/disgruntled and if they are, ask yourself again ‘Is your reason for the discussion valid?’ – and be happy that you had to say it.

And – 

Write down and rationalise what you want to cover in this conversation – you may need to break it down into more than one topic/discussion..

Don’t ‘paper over’ – Conflict is another way of describing that we are all individuals and have differing views so not to be avoided/papered over. No need to think of it as confrontation – it’s an integral part of progress in nuanced human and social relationships. Negotiating through such situations is a life skill we all need to hone in on.

Also do your prep – 

Prepare for it just like an important interview – things you might say/offer things you want to include and bottom line things that must be cleared up!

– Three parts usually encompass those. Then try to anticipate their side/comments/ essential bottom line. A good result is something you can both live with – a win-win when you both want to continue the relationship (rather than retreating and loudly or silently slagging each other off.)

Also –

Try to de-personalise. It’s not about you and them. It’s about the point you need to make. Always keep the required result in mind. Recognise their view too..

I prepared for my discussion – making lengthy notes and looking at my options – I tweaked it and shortened it – using the advice above – had the discussion and to be honest couldn’t quite believe what was achieved –


So I’m passing the info on – sharing the golden nuggets – ABOVE ‘so other artists will fare better and be stronger and assertive in the complex world we now all operate in.’

Go forth and no more papering over.

Boundaries, Structure and PLANS

•August 15, 2016 • Leave a Comment


I haven’t written a blog post for an age *again. The last post was Dec 2015 – I think of writing one often – often at a loss as to what to write about..

I’ve decided to begin to write quick blog posts – on a regular basis *again.

Something that I’ve been continually struggling with for almost this past year – is time and feeling as though everything is a big, uncontrollable, pile of things and work to do – I’ve been stressed – too stressed and have spent some time reading about stress and it’s causes. It helped. There are things you can do something about and others that you just can’t – spend time thinking and sorting out the things you CAN do something about. Forget the others. It worked.

It’s not as though I haven’t been stressed before – I know it and the signs too well – especially within my former role as a registered care manager – I once had almost 2 months off sick with stress – I’d lay in the middle of a room at home and it would be the only thing that stopped me feeling so very very ill. I’d keep asking my doctor to give me some tablets to make it go away – they didn’t. I dealt with it and made some changes to how I was living and working – At that time I frequently worked from 8am until 9/10pm and I smoked 40 fags a day.

Anyhoot – my recent feelings of stress were a definite sign that things were seriously out of kilter – and I needed to do something about it – I’ve now structured my week and decided that I have to be fairly rigid about my working week if I’m going to make a serious go of this.

My email accounts for my 2 freelance posts now have auto replies – this post is *PART-TIME. And I’m setting about making new work and finding ways of working more creatively to increase the revenue for the studio.

I have new ideas and they have to be put into practise.

And with that –

Other NEWS – The Old Lock Up Studio will soon be opening it’s doors 2 days a week – kettle will always be on. Will let you know when.

Rachael x

Old Lock Up Studio

•May 11, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Go forth and plan.

•December 14, 2015 • Leave a Comment


“You can’t predict the future, but you can plan for it” – Saji Ijiyemi

A short post on discovering the joys of planning – oh boy I can’t , honestly, believe that I have the ability to get excited about PLANNING!

I’ve had a couple of dilemmas recently connected with 2016 and which direction to take/decision to make. I had the opportunity last week of a quiet afternoon to fathom a way round them: often we know the solutions to our problems – but we can have a tendency to cast them aside as unworthy: they then get buried in the depths of our memories – somewhere. Within an hour or so I’d sussed out what to do and then with some strange kind of never experienced before excitement I leapt on to completing a financial forecast for 2016… oh my I can’t believe I said that.

I made some major discoveries about the year ahead of me that have made me realise how I now need to sit down on a very regular basis to plan:

  • I haven’t got much if any available time left in 2016 for any other work/projects. A major problem I’ve had previously is biting off more than I can chew: and then suffering from exhaustion.


  • 2016 is going to be a grand year! The power of anticipation is a wonderful thing.


  • 2016 holds the real potential for me to triple my income from that of 2014 – 18 months ago I struggled to pay my rent and when a tyre blew out on my car I was devastated: literally. Who wants to live like that?


  • I’m excited about 2016 and my future – extremely.


“And I will never again underestimate the power of anticipation. There is no better boost in the present than an invitation into the future.” – Caroline Kepnes

For me the most significant revelation  I made  was that 2016 holds the potential for me to become financially secure – I actually hadn’t realised this, of course nothing is guaranteed – but it’s being aware of the potential that the future holds and how this can spur you on. Its a  huge change for me: the last 4 years have been extremely hard, there have been times when I thought I couldn’t cope with treading water for much longer, I’ve been lucky enough to have some pretty super people in my life. There’s nothing worthy about being down and out broke – I’ve found it awful, misery inducing and frequently very frightening. Sometimes I come across stuff online & now and then I hear people talking about money as if it’s something dirty – and  shouldn’t be sought. I know that money can’t buy you complete happiness – but it can change your life – significantly. And I’m looking forward to it. Money is a very curious thing – much more complex and deep rooted than I once thought – I’m still working hard at putting  Karen Sutton – Johal ‘s wise advice into practise and using her invaluable tools – I know I wouldn’t have got this far without her superb money mentoring.

‘Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.’  –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe






Why tidying up could change your life

•October 13, 2015 • 4 Comments


“Why the obsession with worldly possessions? When it’s your time to go, they have to stay behind, so pack light.”  – Alex Morritt

It’s been a while – quite a lot has changed in the 3 months since I last wrote a blog post.

I’m now entirely self – employed and left my care work post on 4th Sept 2015. Life hasn’t felt this right for a very long time: in fact I’m not sure if my life has ever felt as right as it does now. I miss the people that I cared for. Care work did me a whole lot of good: it’s a grand job that gets a lot of bad press, a very poorly paid job that should be a whole lot better paid. I don’t miss the bad bits about it – who would?!

I think leaving the post was akin to de – cluttering: life had become too full, too messy and just too much for me to cope with. Working so many hours: mostly non stop: took it’s toll. I’ve been on a bit of a de-cluttering frenzy over the last few months and It all started with an article I came across on line Why tidying up could change your life . I’d also been quite ill and I was struggling with everyday things: I knew it would make life instantly better and easier to manage.

It recommends that you de-clutter in daily steps – I went the whole hog in a day: to be honest I’ve never been a ‘stuff’ person anyway. But there’s always room for improvement – I piled my bed high with clothes that no longer fitted me or such like: bagged them up and took them to the charity shop. I then went through every nook and cranny doing the same. There have been a couple of things I look back and think –  I wish I hadn’t binned it… but hey it’s only stuff. I then hit my smartphone and my computer: you should see my email inbox: It’s to die for!

Now I’m going through my house a second time round and getting rid of even more ‘stuff’ gawd only knows why I hung on to 2 bottles full of beads that I hadn’t worn for decades and the false nails in there too: that I wore on my wedding day: all gone now. It’s feels incredibly good. This week I turned to my paperwork: why do we hang on to paper? I filled a black bin bag full of the stuff and organised all my tax return info and records.

“A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first. . . . When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar.” Victoria Moran.

I could go on – but I won’t.

The ‘Why tidying up could change your life’ article mentions thinking about why you want to lead a more minimal/clutter free life: it was easy for me to think why:

  • a simpler life
  • more time to spend on the big stuff
  • a wish to stop spending money on ‘stuff’
  • to reduce stress
  • to help with fatigue
  • to have that ‘clean sheets on the bed’ feeling on a daily basis – de-cluttering definitely gives you that.

As Erica Buist says “De-cluttering makes you feel like bath-time did when you were a kid: at best you procrastinate and at worst you put up a fight, but as soon as you do it you think, “That was fun: now I feel clean and can sleep. Why did I put it off?”

And a few words from Karl Pilkington – always a fountain of wisdom and truth – “It’s interesting to see that people had so much clutter even thousands of years ago. The only way to get rid of it all was to bury it, and then some archaeologist went and dug it all up.”

If you haven’t come across Karl before – google him – he makes me laugh – muchly!

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

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