Friday, 31 May 2019

Say it... and say it again


If you want them to hear it, make sure you say it lots of times in lots of ways.

It is easy to say something to someone and just assume that they heard - and understood - you. Oftentimes they haven't! Don't be afraid to say something more than once and in a variety of ways, because what you say and what people hear is not necessarily the same. When you need a whole team of people to be on the same page with something, you can't say it often enough.




Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Bloom first


You can't be fruitful until after you've bloomed.

The usual way of things is for seeds to sprout, leaves to grow, and then the plants flower - or bloom - before they produce fruit. To bloom is defined as 'to come into or be in full beauty or health; flourish'. It makes sense that we need to flourish before we become fruitful.

So the question is: what does it take to flourish?

The answer will be different for each of us. The aim, then, is to work out what we need to flourish and then make sure we live a life that allows us to do that. Producing lots of leaves is all very well, but it doesn't lead to fruit.

You may think that flowering is not really you - you're not a showy tropical plant, full of large colourful blooms. But there are flowers that are much more subtle than that. It's not about how showy your flowers are, but that you produce them.





Monday, 27 May 2019

Outshone?


Are you happy to let others shine?

Do you throw shade or shine light?

This page makes me think of bubbles, and the radiating lines bring to mind shining light. Together these things make me consider raising others up and letting them shine. It may feel that 'if they do well, I miss out' but that is very rarely true in anything that matters.

Investing in people is always worth it, so let them shine - or even better, shine a light on them. Never let a chance go by to raise others up and give credit where it is due.






Friday, 24 May 2019

A welcome sign


Does a welcome sign hang over your heart?

Are you good at hospitality? I don't just mean the kind where you cook a great meal, but the real hospitality of making people feel welcome in your presence wherever you are, not just in your own home.

I have to admit, there are times when I don't feel hospitable. When I'm tired and crotchety, having to be welcoming does not come easily. I would much rather be on my own, waving a paintbrush around or curled up with a book. That's because when I'm tired I'm me-centred rather than thinking of the other person. Being hospitable means concerning yourself more with the comfort of the other person than your own.

A welcoming heart needs to be ready to be uncomfortable and to put aside its own agenda.






Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Fences


Are your fences trying to keep stuff in or out?

We all build fences, whether to protect our hearts when they've been wounded or to keep safe those things we wish to jealously guard.

Fences have their place. Wounded hearts need to heal and there are some things that need to be jealously guarded, such as our close relationships. (Being jealous is often given a bad rap, but it can be defined as 'keeping watchful care to keep'.)

It is good, though, to check periodically what the fences in our lives are there for. Are they healthy boundaries or isolating walls?





Monday, 20 May 2019

Turmoil


Trusting that the turmoil will calm eventually.

This page is made up mostly of blotting off the gelli-plate and using up excess paint. I use plastic credit-type cards as palettes, so when there is paint left over on them, I just scrape them off. This means that the layers are just piled up on each other with no thought as to how they will fit together.

It is a page of turmoil - defined as 'a state of great disturbance, confusion, or uncertainty' - much how I feel some days. What gets me through is seeing women in their sixties and seventies who are living fulfilled and happy lives. It lets me know that 'this too shall pass'.





Friday, 17 May 2019

Floundering


If you're floundering, at least your'e in the water and have ventured out of the shallows. Calm down and stop thrashing about. Relax and float. Breathe. You are not drowning.





Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Framed works




I've been working on a couple of things to frame for the Halewood CultureFest Arts and Crafts Exhibition. And here they are! 'Fly' and 'Seek the Light'. The differences in colour in the photos are because some were taken with my phone and some with my camera and at different times of day. Amazing the difference it makes.













Monday, 13 May 2019

Value


How can you expect others to value your work if you don't value it yourself?

I don't know about you, but I find it very hard to price my work. There have been times when people have asked me to make things and when I have given a price - less than minimum wage per hour for the amount of work I would need to put in - they have said no because it was 'too expensive'. So I started to charge less.

Recently I have started to wonder when I stopped valuing what I do. Why are my time and talents worth less than anyone else's? So this year I am pricing my work in a way that reflects the time invested. Those who value it will recognise and respect that.





Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Workshop prep


I've been doing workshop prep this week. There's a local arts event that happens in June called Halewood CultureFest and I'm doing a workshop called 'Here Comes Summer' as well as entering some work in the arts and crafts exhibition.

The pieces here are for the workshop. I'll be teaching people how to use stencils in a variety of ways, along with collage and drawing to make an A3 piece of art. This means I've been busy making stencils for the participants to take home, plus printing up a whole bunch of papers for them to use. The gelli-plate has been seeing a lot of action ;)