New Year – New Start?

2018 wasn’t one of my best years – I feel I’ve been relatively unproductive. I chose not to do the open studio art trail because I didn’t know how my father would be and I also was getting burnt out producing things to sell, even contemplating retirement!

My father is now in aged care after a period in hospital when illness caused a fall and deterioration in his condition. I will have more time now for my work but I feel sad for him as he wanted to stay in his own home. The nursing home we found for him is not far for us to visit & very nice with caring staff but he is getting more confused & forgetful. I am glad we managed to look after him in his home for so long.

My 2018 intention was to develop some new work – maybe do some workshops in painting or mixed media. This only partially happened because I found I was fed up with everything & it was an real effort to work. I have realised that I’m not a business person – I hate all the promotion, networking, social media, business planning & paperwork that goes with an art business. I have found social media very distracting  so I’ve been concentrating on Instagram and reducing my engagement with Facebook. I’ve closed my artist page on FB – can’t really close my personal page although I was tempted.

My work for the year was mostly dabbling – small pieces to keep doing something. I started doing a monthly art project, MAP, but only managed to keep it up half the year. I did submit a small quilt for the Berry Quilt exhibition & the SAQA auction. One online workshop I enjoyed was Accessible Screen printing with Dionne Swift (pics below) and I’ve signed up to print some scarves  for her next student exhibition. I also tutored a workshop, Painting & Printing with Dye, for a local textile group in October, my first for a couple of years. Towards the end of the year I enrolled in Dijanne Cevaal’s Travellers Blanket online workshop and have been enjoying some hand stitching – something I have tended to avoid until recently. I managed to get back to some dressmaking in 2018 and intend to keep it up this year. I now have some of my work for sale at the Nest Gallery in Darlington – its closed at the moment but will re-open in February.

I wish everyone a Happy New Year, hope its healthy, peaceful, creative & everything you wish for. My goals for the year are at the end of this post.

My aims for 2019:

  1. the big studio clean out. I feel overwhelmed by stuff & need to reduce.
  2. I will probably open my studio for the Arts trail this year but will change my approach to it.
  3. continue with my recent commitment to a fitness program.
  4. further reduce my time on social media but increase my blog posts.
  5. not worry about the business side of my art practice – just work.
  6. finish some of my work in progress & maybe even submit some for juried exhibitions – I haven’t managed to do this for quite a while.

Below: my best nine, most popular posts on Instagram.







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  1. I’m so sorry about your Dad. It’s hard to watch a loved one age and deteriorate. I agree that the business of art is not something I want to deal with and now don’t. I give my pieces away, as I must continue to work or there is no point in getting up in the morning.
    Good luck this year-may it be better.

    • Thank you Sandy. Yes, I agree, its great to have something you love doing that keeps you going. All the best for 2019.

  2. Hi Linda, Thank you for sharing. I haven’t managed to get the indigo dyepot re-charged, too busy over Xmas/New Year but hope to get a start on the traveller’s blanket next week. I always enjoy reading your blog and what you are up to. Cheers Jo.

    • Thanks Jo. Hope you’ve managed to get your dyeing started – I haven’t got very far, still stitching my sample piece & its on hold for a couple of weeks while I get my scarves printed. Seems most of us are slow to start! Xx

  3. hello Linda, sorry to hear about your dad, it’s a distressing event for anyone. Having encountered some personal issues myself and have learned that letting go if you havent the energy for me, is useful, then I can concentrate on what really get me. By the way I have a printing press if you want to use it, for dry point etching or lino. went mad in winter!.
    Contemporary Quilters is always looking for a professional to give a lecture or a short demonstration if you want a fun distraction.
    I have to say the traveller’s blanket sounds interesting. What is it? I’m stitching randomly on small cut up blanket squares when I need hand sewing, very soothing. Goodness knows what it will end up as. Anyway all the best with your work this year. Cheers Virginia O’K

    • Thanks Virginia. If you google Dijanne Cevaal, you should find lots, also on Pinterest. It’s basically stitching a journey – she uses muslin or kadi cloth front % back with a layer of flannel between because its soft & light & easy to stitch through. I’ll post my progress sometimes but busy printing silk scarves for the next couple of weeks.
      Wow, how great to have a printing press! Might take you up on that! A long time since I did etching but do Lino sometimes. What do you do with it, would love to see.
      I would be happy to do something for CQG if you think they’d be interested. They seem to have already done most things & you have a lot of talented members.
      Hope you have a creative 2019 too.

  4. Happy New Year, Linda. I hope that 2019 is more satisfying for you in all ways. The travellers blanket workshop was very relaxing for me & allowed me to spend time working through issues that were worrying me at the time. There have been 3 more blankets made since then.
    Kind regards Rae

    • Thanks Rae, I think my blanket is going to take a very long time, although I am enjoying the stitching! Well done on getting 4 done & hope 2019 is great for you too.

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