As the year comes to a close, I’ve finished the last of my Christmas commissions and now beginning to wind down for a welcome break over the festive season, I’ve been looking back over the past 12 months – and what a year it has been!
Every year, I set myself a personal goal to do at least one more ‘task’ than last year – a new exhibition, event or challenge. Each year since I began exhibiting, I have achieved my goal, building slowly but surely…this year though, has surpassed my expectations by a milel! I have managed at least 5 new events on top of my regular ones.
Here are some of the best bits of my 2017
My 1st new experience came in January when I organised and set up a group exhibition where I was responsible for everything! I’ve taken part in group shows before, but only as one of the artists, never as the organiser. The exhibition, called ‘Inspire Art’ held at Weston Old Town Quarry was a great success where the majority of artists taking part sold their work.
One of the highlights of my year was being invited to be Artist In Residence at Nature In Art, for a week in March. Nature In Art is a dedicated wildlife art museum in Gloucester – a fantastic place to visit, especially if you like nature, art or wildlife! I was able to paint all day, every day for the week in the studio where I also had a selection of my finished works on display. Meeting lots of like-minded people and talking art and wildlife was thoroughly enjoyable!
April/May brought North Somerset Arts Week which was another full-on 10 days of showing off a wide selection of my art. I shared a gorgeous venue, St Baranbas Church, Claverham, with 2 friends, Hayley Jones (Wire Sculptor) and Gabbie Gardner (Designer Jeweller). We had a wonderful time, sharing our Art with all our visitors. Lots of networking, sharing ideas and planning for the future helped to make it a very successful event throughout North Somerset. Following this, I was invited to have my work in two local galleries, which is always lovely to be asked!
In June, we had the TWASI (The Wildlife Art Society International) Annual Exhibition at Nature In Art, Gloucester. This year, I challenged myself to create a portfolio of works to fit the brief to be considered for the Christopher Parsons Award for Artistic Excellence – I was completely shocked to win the award!! My portfolio of feather images (with a silver theme to acknowledge TWASI’s 25th Anniversary) was later featured in the TWASI magazine.
July and August were filled with the new EWA (Exhibition Of Wildlife Art), formerly NEWA, up on The Wirral and a new exhibition called ‘Our World Imagined’ held at Hilliers Gardens/Arboretum in Romsey, Hampshire. Two very enjoyable exhibitions to be part of, I felt very fortunate to be exhibiting along side some big names of artists I have admired for many years.
September was a really special month – I had waited since May to celebrate turning 50 this year…I celebrated in style by taking an African Safari to Zambia with my lovely Mum (who turned 80 years young this year). We had a wonderful week making unforgettable memories watching elephants, leopards and lions; owls, eagles and bee-eaters; impala, warthog and crocodiles…so much reference material for the future!!
In October, there was another new exhibition which I was selected to take part in… Doddiscombsleigh Art Show near Exeter in Devon. For this exhibition, I was honoured to have my artwork chosen for the cover image on the exhibition’s facebook page and also on the front cover of the flyer/poster! This was a really well supported exhibition, a fantastic community event which was set up to raise much needed funds for the local primary school. A win-win situation for everyne involved!
Early November saw another ‘first’ for me – I gave a Talk/demonstration to the Bramshott & Liphook Arts And Crafts Society (BLACS) in Hampshire. Initially quite nervous at the prospect, I thououghly enjoyed the experience and telling my story gave me a huge sense of achievement. (Read more in my last blog here: https://wp.me/p2LeEq-GC )
The very next day was ‘hanging day’ for a joint exhibition ‘Natural Selection’ with my good friend/fellow artist, Hayley Jones at Weston Old Town Quarry. The Quarry has been a regular venue for us to exhibit together over the past few years – a cozy cafe, set in an old quarry which has been allowed to grow wild to attract wildlife, suits our work perfectly. Here, I showcased my feathers inspired by the beautiful birds I saw in Zambia. We had another successful show!
So, here we are in December…Lots of Christmas markets and craft fairs done and dusted for another year. Christmas commissions finished and delivered in time for the big day, and now its is time to relaaaax! I’ve had an amazing year but I have to confess, I’m exhausted and looking forward to recharging my batteries ready for next year. There are several events I haven’t mentioned here, but this has turned out to be a long post!
I’ve been a little quiet on facebbok for the past few weeks, but I’ve been very busy working away behind the scenes..in January, I’ll have some exciting news – so WATCH THIS SPACE!!!!
I’d like tosay a big THANK YOU for your continued support, it really means the World to me.
I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, enjoy the holiday season – see you in 2018!