So, life has been a bit chaotic, but getting better. I have not had the chance to properly relax and blog until now, although I have been creating a few things or two for upcoming celebrations such as greeting cards and making my own gifts for people.
I have actually taken my laptop to Starbucks today for a change – it has been a few years since I have done this. I used to make these outings wearing smart clothes to make me look important as I walked in to get my coffee. Not anymore. That was something I did in my younger days! I have casual clothes on just now.
A few weeks back, I was at Portobello Beach with my friend, Jenny, who I met at an oil painting meet-up group this summer. We started painting views of the surroundings then went to have a bite to eat at The Esplanade Bar & Restaurant. One of her friends passed by and joined us for dinner before heading home.
This morning, I decided to head back to Portobello on my own to finish my painting. Half way there on my bus journey, I realised I took everything I needed except the painting on panel itself. Looking under my seat a couple of times in search for it, I thought, “f**k!” So, I turned back to go home feeling rather annoyed with myself and decided, it is getting a bit cold anyway and it is also quite a journey to go home then head out again. I just was not in the mood to paint anymore. It is not like me to forget things easily, but it happens to all of us at some point. I will make another trip soon.
Here we were having food and drinks at the Esplanade Bar & Restaurant, as known as the ‘Espy’ to locals which one of the waiters kindly helped us to capture.
It was a great day had by all.
I spent a day at the Royal Botanic Gardens this week with a new friend of mine to learn how to use oil paints. I have never worked with oils before and it was nice connecting with someone who shares the same passion in art.
Our intention was to paint the blue poppies which had blossomed over spring, but they had begun to ‘die out’, so we escaped under the trees and painted this lovely view of the bridge and pond.
I hope you have a great day. I am having a Starbucks just now before heading off to my Swedish back, neck and shoulder massage appointment.
In February this year, I had attended an art therapy weekend at a Health and Wellbeing Meet-Up group. It was named appropriately for me at the time as this year has been a transition from last year by putting my focus back into expressing myself through art. It encouraged us all to share our experiences of our trials and tribulations through being creative and having the chance to talk about them to each other in a safe and supportive environment. We had guided meditation at the beginning of each session to help us re-connect back into ourselves. Some people there had not been in touch with their creative side since school years and others were more experienced and qualified. It was a relaxing and non-judgemental atmosphere which worked wonders for our confidence and self-esteem.
The art therapy lasted from Friday until Sunday. It was nice connecting with others and I found most of us slept better afterwards. Since then, I have been trying to work independently when ever the mood takes me. I managed to create a few finished pieces which is quite an achievement as I have not been feeling up to my usual standard of self the past three months. I thought by blogging about when times felt happier and lighter it would help lift me up and appreciate how far I have come with the help of others around me. It can be challenging for me to focus and put my mind into my art at times. When I feel good about myself the creative side comes out easier.
I do love my hot drinks. I visited an art café on my own before each session started at 10am. That is early for me to be in town. Something really has to be worth it to get up for at that time. It is an independent café where you can see the owners’ art studio and they have artwork up for sale and a mural. The café is called ‘Bon Papillon’ in Edinburgh’s Howe Street. I never knew about the place until now. I ordered a latte then I was told to pay at the end. So I went to the end of the counter. They actually meant to pay when I had finished! I got a laugh out of that. I said, “It is first thing in the morning. I am not awake yet.” (I actually was after a walk in the fresh air to get there.) A bit awkward, but it broke the ice as everyone tends to keep them selves to themselves. It is a small café and there was only one other customer on her own. It was a good start to the day.
I caught up with a new friend of mine when the art therapy weekend ended for a chat at Starbucks. She text me beforehand saying to meet there. I said, “I thought you did not like Starbucks.” She replied, “It is okay.” She ordered a hot chocolate for herself and treated me to a macchiato. She brought the macchiato over to our table in a small espresso cup. I was surprised at the size of it. I usually have the caramel macchiato as you get a proper sized coffee. She said “That is what you wanted.” I should of said ‘Caramel Macchiato’. The menu has changed slightly. I was too focused on our friendship and conversation to really care whether I got the one I wanted or not. I know I have found a friend I can soon be myself with. I am not one to sit with my phone in company. I feel it is important to give my undivided attention to someone.
I want to have deep friendships, but inviting an acquaintance/friend to get together for coffee sometimes makes me feel vulnerable. I often ask myself, how do people really see me? What if they do not like me anymore? What if I say the wrong thing unintentionally? The thing is, I do not always click with everyone I talk with even if I really want to as it is very challenging for me to start and maintain conversations, but through taking the risk to reach out and share my life with others, I have met some wonderful and understanding people who have changed my life for the better.
Hope you are all well.
‘I am an artist’ It is a lovely feeling of liberation being unapologetic about taking the time for myself to create art as a living.
This year is expansive with the start of endless possibilities. For the past couple of years, I threw myself into working overtime at my employment since finishing my studies and soon found I had spread myself too thin. I am at a stage where I can afford to have that luxury of doing less hours which will help me reach my full potential in the artwork I make. My creativity had become five percent; it was a hobby ‘on the side’. I can now create and sell my artwork at a permanent space locally at a local café while also taking on commissions.
For many years before moving to Edinburgh in 2012, I realised how I was surrounded by people who were negative and pulling me down, so I decided to be around other artists who helped pull each other up and inspire one another. From then on, my life had changed. It made a big difference to how I see myself and being able to talk about art, share techniques, ideas, etc., with others. I found that very encouraging.
As artists, being objective about our work can be one of the fuckin’ hardest things to do as we can be too emotionally entangled with it. This is why I also ask friends what they think as well to hear their perspectives. Sometimes they are nice and supportive, but this is a double edge sword because as an artist, I continue to push myself beyond that edge of comfort seeking to improve my skills and knowledge.
I am in the process of building up my upcoming exhibition. I do have days when it can be challenging to keep focused and motivate myself, but that is part of the journey at times when working independently from home. It still is early days, but I will soon find a way to work out a plan that feeds my creativity productively.
Anyway, I am away to prepare dinner now and settle down for the evening.
Enjoy the rest of your day/night, my readers.
This is the menu I had created over the winter months of 2016-17. It is a great start to show off my skills publically for the first time. They are all on canvas with acrylic painted background and added pen ink. It is an exciting stage of my journey as an artist as I now look forward to seeing how future projects evolve.
I will make more of a conscious effort on updating you guys a bit more on my progress.
Okay, I know, it is nearly the end of January. Traditionally, you would expect to hear ‘Happy New Year’ during the beginning of January, but whatever. 😉
As intended, I have successfully found a permanent art space to hang my upcoming exhibitions in a local independent-run café. Woohoo! It is free for me to use their space so the company does not gain any profit from my work. Pretty amazing! Details about where this is going to be will be announced soon as right now I am concentrating on re-designing a large menu for them on multiple canvases. I am excited to post a picture of the completed café menu for you all to see.
I am looking to buy my own studio flat this year in Edinburgh and hopefully I will be able to afford a personal art studio to work in too from home.
I will update you all later.