Since moving to Bristol, I’ve occasionally been going along to an evening called ‘Chat and Draw’. As it says on the tin, people meet up and draw. It’s upstairs in a pub, you grab a drink, draw and get to know people. Not only was it weird going along to something like that not knowing people but also I felt like I hadn’t drawn in ages either. So it was strange getting back into it. You can draw anything you like, so as predictable as I am I’ve been drawing houses! Eventually I hope these drawings will inform a new set of works similar to the painting Two Up, Two Down which was such a hit on the arts trail. Painted on cardboard and mounted on wood the images of ordinary houses. #newworks
There is one thing I managed to squeeze in in-between teaching. In November I got involved in an event called the Totterdown Arts Trail. The weekend of the 19th/20th, me and my auntie-in-law opened up our home to the people of Totterdown and showcased our art work! What a feeling it was to open up our home like that and have people wander in and admire our artwork! I’d chose to exhibit in the hallway of our house, setting up The Great British Caravan along one wall and placing two older paintings (Two Up, Two Down and The Outhouse) on the others. As visitors came in and out they could also take a look at my cards just below the mirror. We had plenty of visitors and lots of kind words. It was lovely to speak to new people and hear their views of my work. It’s the first time I’ve put myself out there like that. I’ve had exhibitions before, but usually the work is left and you don’t hear the opinions of the people who see it. I wasn’t expecting to sell. I was proud to be showcasing myself in Bristol, proud that I had professional cards with my name and artwork on, (cards that had envelopes and cellophane wrap!) and after selling a few of those I was very happy.
However in the very last hour of the two day event, interest started to grow in my paintings! A lady walked in asking ‘where’s the lady who paints the caravans?’ I’d never been described as that before, word was spreading! She loved my paintings. She was about to buy a few cards, but I thought what the hell, I’ll ask her how much she’d be willing to pay. She ended up getting herself a bargain, she was so happy- saying she’d put it in her kitchen. I suppose it was good karma because minutes later another lady came in enquiring about the caravan painting with the E.U flag- and she was happy to pay full price! What a feeling! Just when I thought my day couldn’t get any better, a lady who I’d spoke to earlier came back wanting to buy one of my older paintings- Two Up, Two Down. She said ‘it was the most striking thing she’d seen on the whole arts trail!’ What a compliment! She paid full price and took it home to put somewhere everyone could see it. So in just an hour I’d sold three paintings! Some might I’m an artist.
So what’s been keeping me so busy all this time? The reason it took me so long to update my blog was mostly due to how busy I am in my new job. I mentioned I had a few things up my sleeve for this year and this was one of the big ones! Relocating to Bristol in September I began this incredibly exciting job. I now teach primary school kids fun and engaging art lessons. I am an Art Specialist teacher, teaching alongside the curriculum throughout the academic year of 2016-17. Travelling to four different schools all over Bristol, can be quite a challenge- I have a lot of names to remember to say the least. I plan and independently lead what I hope are really creative lessons that the kids love. It’s a testing yet thoroughly enjoyable role- most of the time! But I do love it when a child comes over bursting with pride with what they have achieved that lesson. Or I see one of them in the corridor, they ask if they have art that afternoon- which they do, and they give me a huge smile and say YES! We’ve made some pretty cool things already, these are some of my favourites.