Hello. It’s me.

That Adele is a bit of down to earth fun, isn’t she?  I think so.  

So.  I am popping in to say howdy, it’s been a while.  The eagle eyed may see I made some changes to my header and logo, but woefully, apart from this lament, there have been no new posts from me since last year.  The crime of all crimes for a blog.  

Often I’ve had a blog post in me over the last year – I have 18 drafts saved of me waffling in various degrees.  My big dilemma was, and still is – can I maintain a blog?  I’m not a natural at this social media game.  I wax and wane in my desire to communicate, which is not very helpful when you want to build a presence on the internets.

So I return to my blog remembering the main reason for it in the first place: this space is for me to spill out and order my thicket of thoughts.  Often my brain is has far too many tabs open.  But in between the seconds of thinking and typing, this mush of randomness forms into something more coherent.

Now I’ve decided:  I may post once a week.  Or once a month. Or, it might be snippets on a daily basis, instagram style.  It may be things you can relate to. Occasionally even useful.  Occasionally even humorous.

The big question is – what the bloody hell have I been doing for the last year then?  Well, I’ll tell you: art making, some good, some bad, learning, reading, getting on with living and children and dogs and houses.  And, closing in on what art I like to make, which is simpler, and includes surface pattern design.  Unfortunately, I can’t post as much surface pattern design work as much as I’d like, for various copyright reasons, but I try and share what I can.

Also, I may go on about gardening a lot.

 

 

Blame it on the sunshine

Since I injured essential body parts required for painting, I’ve really tried hard to keep making art any way I could, otherwise, y’know, the creativity fairy will fly off and grace someone else with her presence.

So for the first couple of weeks, I carried on.  Then last week, summer arrived.  It really did.  And I just wanted to sit in my garden, catch some rays, and think about tomatoes and sweet peas and pester my husband to cut the grass.

And here’s a thing:  I enjoyed not making art.  I enjoyed not being on Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest.  I enjoyed not blogging.

Blogging for me is how I order the chaos within.  Time to reflect, sometimes about something, often about nothing.  Being in the garden, pottering around, planting up window boxes…those things sort of replaced blogging – but not you all, my blogging gang!

Honestly, I feel like I’ve had a holiday last week.  And yesterday I really had that Monday back to work feeling!  Anyway.  I’ve spent some time catching up on domestic bores chores and had a little tidy in my studio, which sets me up for the next phase, whatever that is.  I haven’t quite decided!  But I have just purchased some acrylic inks.

In other news – injuries have suddenly taken a huge leap of recovery!  Hooray for that.  And framing some original pieces is still happening.  In fact, one of my jobs today, apart from saying hello to all of you, is to test a various shades of white paint for the frames. I limited it to four, otherwise I thought I might go insane.

Now to spend some time catching up with my wordpress feed and seeing how all the daily painting is going!

Studio of Somerset artist Vicki Hutchins
this is as tidy at the studio gets

Slips, trips and falls

 

Well. How ironic my last post was around my search for balance and being in the now.

On Tuesday, I tripped and fell badly, bashing up both knees but more catastrophically wrenching my shoulder – the painting shoulder!

Falling over when you’re past the age of 7 is just awful. Grown up bodies aren’t made for taking knocks like this! Well mine isn’t. The pain was so bad I almost puked on my garage floor. Too much info? Well let me tell you getting a bra on and off has been nigh on impossible since.

Thing is, when you hurt youself like this as an adult its such a big deal! It’s a bloody shock for a start. Which was why I needed cake and chocolate after. Medicinal.

Anyhoo. The whole thing certainly has stopped me in my tracks and made me focus on the now!  It’s amused me a little. What else has made me laugh a bit is my poor husband who, as you already know is the Patron Saint of husbandry, now has even more to do! If that is even possible.

So, what’s to do when your laid up? Thank Gods for Tim Berners Lee, as I’ve read all the web. Now I’m about to get on Pinterest so leave your username in the comments and I will look you up!

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this was painted pre – drama

 

Go big or go home? Nah, just a small one for me please.

Sometimes my posts are written and scheduled in advance.  Otherwise I’d lose my mind.  Others are as-it-happens.  Real life.  This is one of the real life ones.

Probably I should make this into some sort of “10 ways to invigorate your creative soul” but I don’t have it in me today – perhaps another time.  Also, if I sound pretty miserable, please don’t worry – I’m not actually.  I just feel sort of like being quiet.  And compared to my gregarious self that is mostly on show, this quietness might come across as something else.  You’d think wanting to be quiet would mean not blogging, but I find writing sorts out the clutter of my mind in ways that talking doesn’t.

Also I’m tired.  Did I bore you all mention I have chronic insomnia?  I know I know, everybody has terrible sleep.  I don’t know how mine compares to everyone else’s, but when I say I don’t sleep, I don’t mean I only get 4 hours instead of the regulation 7.  I mean I often don’t get any, at all, for many nights in a row.  It got so bad a few years ago, I had to give up a job.  It’s a real shame, insomnia, it’s hard to resolve.

Anyway, that’s not what this post is about!  (though if anyone has any wonder tips, please feel free to sling’em my way).  This post is about these two:

Values - work in progress by artist Vicki Hutchins
apols for the shine on the left one

They look pretty good in black and white.  I like to take photos of my work like this to make sure the values are working.  And I can see that they are.  But in colour, it’s another story.

Cloudscapes in progress by Vicki Hutchins

 

These paintings are based on some hills near my home.  Well worth the hike, when you reach the top you have panoramic views towards Exmoor, Wales and Somerset beyond.

Now, they are work in progress. But I can’t decide if I love them or hate them.  Actually I just snapped my head up from the computer to look at them and I liked what I saw – this photo doesn’t really capture the colour too well either.  They’re more blue than violet.

These paintings are much larger than I normally paint – 12 x 12 inches.  Usually I paint small, between 5 x 5 inches up to perhaps 10 x 10 inches.  I have done the odd abstract that was 16 x 20 inches, but all my landscapes are small.  And I am so surprised and shocked at how hard I found it painting larger.  I have no idea how all you 30 x 36 inch people do it!

And so I’m frayed and feel run ragged by them!  And, I was also surprised at how much I fussed over detail.  I think over time I’ve got reasonably good at not getting tight, even though I paint small:  I paint on long handled brushes, I use a large brush,  I stand whilst I paint, mostly.  And so I can see very easily the whole painting.   With these pair, I fiddled about so much it threw me.  I didn’t enjoy it at all.  Though I used large long handled brushes, stood at the easel, I really felt on top of the painting.  I found it easier to get lost in it.  Has anyone ever experienced this with larger paintings?  I had it in my head that painting larger meant free-er movement and mark making….not so in my case folks!

It’s 4:30pm.  Which means I’m beginning to flag and it’s time to put the kettle on. Ciao.

The Instagram connection

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Well, this graphic is a little dramatic but I liked how it sounded!

It’s Friday night, I have a toothache, a ton of stuff to do and really all I want to do it have someone cook me dinner and bring me a glass of wine.  Oh wait. Someone is cooking me dinner. My man really takes care of me, and in case you think I don’t know it, believe me, I do.

 

I love Instagram.   I’ve mentioned it before here.  But, I just have something I need to get off my chest.

My approach to following accounts on Instagram is this:  I proactively follow people I am genuinely interested in.  Yes, mostly they are other artists, but I also follow people who’s feed show me things I wouldn’t otherwise see – pictures of glaciers, cute puppies, the snow in Boston last year, the view from a hilltop in Cheshire, the mountains of Estonia.

I never start following someone unless I like what they are posting, for it’s own sake.  And I don’t expect a follow in return (okay, that’s a lie.  There’s an exception to this, which I’ll explain later).Of course some followers aren’t going to follow you back.  Like National Geographic.  Why would they? And I don’t take it personally.

However, I do generally follow back most people that follow me first, unless I really dislike their feed (spammy, porny or just… not awful, but not my cup of tea either). And I kind of like that – I don’t mind reciprocating the follow, and I’ve met some fabulous people that way that I otherwise may never have come across.  After all, we’re all there for the same purpose:  to promote ourselves and what we do.

So that’s my two pronged approach – a proactive follow and a reactive follow, both equally valued.

Then there is this:  those people who spend their energy following random accounts they have no interest in, other than to garner a potential follower in you.  They might even comment and like posts.  They follow you.  You like their feed and follow back….and then they promptly unfollow you. It’s like they don’t know there’s an app that tells you who unfollowed you.  What sort of networking is this?  It seems so misguided to me.  And shallow.  I imagine in real life these people either used to sell used cars or mobile phones and wore shiny suits.

I’ve no problem with people changing their minds: sometimes you follow someone and after a while you find their feed is not for you.

Then there are other folk, who you kind of think might follow you back:  they have a similar number of followers, they make art too, so you have something in common.  And if they’re local to my region – well that just makes me so happy!  So I follow them for two reasons – one because I like what I see in their feed, but also because they’re local.  And I hope they follow me back, because who knows, one day we might bump into one another at some event or other, eh?  And then they don’t.  There is silence.

And this, I realise is the problem.  Whilst I have no shame in saying yup, too right I’m on Instagram trying to promote my work ultimately and grow an interested audience, I’m also looking for meaningful connections.  And I have found them with some folk – you know who you are 🙂

It’s this game of Instagram I don’t like.  This is where, sometimes, the veneer slips, the disingenuous stands out and it all looks rather self serving and meaningless.

Besides, I really can’t quite believe folk would want a quantity of followers over quality of followers.

Christ my toothache really has put me in a bad mood!  Time to chill and stop brooding.  Cheers!

 

Is Social Rejection the Key to Creativity?

As someone who is ill every five minutes (I’m amazed I still have friends, really), this interesting article provides some great points for debate.

Cody Delistraty

On the psychology of why rejection and loneliness may be necessary evils for the creative genius

View original post 1,862 more words

To blog or not to blog

I’ve been absent for a while….I’ve dithered a lot about blogging.  Whether to bother, who’d want to read it, do I want the obligation of *having* to post, what platform should I use (i.e. wordpress, an integrated one on my website, or blogger).  And whilst all that was taking up room in my head, I was forgetting the things I wanted to actually record in a blog.

This blog is for me; a tool, a means for me to consolidate and record where I’ve been and what I’ve done with regards to my art work. An online diary, I suppose, and an extension of the expression I’m compelled to create on a daily basis.

At this moment in time, I’m not concerned with newsletters, sponsored posts and plugging every word I write all over the internets (lets see how long that lasts, huh?)

Having said that, I love reading other artists blogs.  I find kinship in their hopes and fears – art can be a solitary way of life – and inspiration in their achievements.

So.  Now watch as I fail to post anything for several months….

Vicki