It’s that time again, and I have to say that it comes along quicker every year! Those of you that follow me and my work will know that I now hold an art show in Lyme Regis every year, all by myself. It’s good for me – it gives me something to aim for. And it’s good for you – it means you can watch me grow whilst helping you grow in confidence with my work … and I have been told it offers many of you personal inspiration too. From watching what goes on over the last 16 years as a professional artist I notice that some of you buy my work very spontaneously, which is wonderful and very heart warming … but equally so I realise and understand that many of you watch me for years and buy when the time (and other factors too) is right. I have had someone buy from me who was following me for 10 years! … it was a thrilling feeling from both of our perspectives – and it is a story that you artists/creators that are reading this must remember whilst along your own journey … when the dark times come (which they inevitably do) it will help you to see the light at the end of the tunnel and help you to keep moving forward step by step. I know that not all of you have taken art up as a business, you are doing it purely for the pleasure of it … but if you have taken this journey on as something you want to do to make ends meet then you will find that it can be challenging to juggle with and keep in balance the desire to create art out of the desire for the ‘purity within creation’ and the constant pull to create something ‘that sells’ from the practical need to pay the bills. Having worked for the first part of my life within the (relative) security of salaried positions I know only too well about changing direction completely, taking the huge ‘leap of faith’ and facing the testing times that come with self employment in an industry that is not only a ‘luxury item’ but over the last 10 years the ways of selling art has changed constantly, so keeping up with that side of things can be demanding to say the least … life is not dull, that’s for sure!
This year I have been working through the winter months and slowly opening further through the spring months with work that I feel is holding much confidence. I am happy to admit that it has taken years of ups and downs for me to reach this point … there are so many factors that can make this journey of an artist a pretty bumpy one! I tend to always show you my positive happy face, but without going into much detail on a personal level (I’m a pretty private person) I can now openly admit to you that parts of this journey have been hell. There were several times where I was ready to give up … and it was always at these times when someone came into my life, as if by magic and often only for a brief period, who would say just one thing that would help me to continue on. As an example, I was at an event where there were not many visitors (over the years you really begin the appreciate the saying ‘it’s quality not quantity’) … I had been there several hours with the naive anticipation of success propping me up through the morning … lunchtime I began to fall … honestly, I felt despondent. Unmet expectation can do that you. Then one lady suddenly appeared as if out of nowhere and said to me as she looked through my work ‘I love your work … you aren’t going to give up are you?’. This may sound strange, but those words were all it took … they shook me out of my discouraged trance and there I was once again back in my determined (and some have said stubborn) conviction that I am going to carry on and keep the faith. There are so many parts of the journey that are exhilerating and rewarding that it really is worth it!
Connecting with nature replenishes the spirit. And with this in mind in this year’s show I look upon our ancient lands and her fruits, along with glimpses of wildlife with respect and wonder. Throughout the infinite centuries earth has endured great toil and strife that, if you listen carefully, can be heard whispering among the shadows; yet despite adversity she still manages to hold a grace so astounding … emitting a gentleness that hums in her repose, harbouring mystery and promise – all opposites rolled into one. She is a beauty to behold and one of life’s great teachers. I attempt to be her voice offering another way to connect to her treasures. As with all of my art my aim is so that you can bring beauty, peace and hope into your home passing this message into every nook and cranny of your life.
If you are in and around the area please do come and visit me at ‘Nature’s Care’. I will be there with my trusty studio hound assistant to meet you … and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. I shall also most certainly be working on paintings in situ too – so you may find that interesting! If you are a Facebook user then please either click on the above poster or this link – you will be taken to the event page.
Meanwhile … keep on going … none of it can expand if you don’t. I’ll leave you with a link to this video …
Bye for now, Liz
© Liz Shewan, all rights reserved 2015.