They do say 'all things happen for a reason.' With lists written and the diary filled with plans, out of the blue an email arrived. It asked, 'could I take a stall at The Kist during Wigtown Book Festival, because there'd been a late cancellation?' With only 7 days notice, I took the chance and said 'Yes.' I hadn't applied to take part this year, so there was no time for the usual preparations, but still managed to get the display stands out of storage and the artwork organised in time. All of this kit slots into my little car, almost like lining up the squares on a Rubik's cube- well sort of.
It was the 20th year of the Wigtown Book Festival and, as usual, there were the great , the good and the celebrity speakers, giving talks at a host of literary events. There is always a fun, welcoming atmosphere in The Kist marquee, where a selected crew of artists, makers and speciality food producers gather during the event. I looked forward to it and it was a successful event for me, with sales and such a lot of positive feedback for my artwork. It was also an exhausting 5 days for me, as I can, and do, suffer from 'people overload' – that's when I say, 'yes, it's lovely to meet you all, but can we stop now, please?' That's when I'd disappear for a couple of circuits of the outside of the marquee and then return, a lot better able to cope.
Afterwards, with only 2 days to pack it all away again (phew!), I was packing a suitcase and putting my printmaking kit into the car. There was a school talk and demo to do, on developing sketch book ideas and lino printing. The talk and demonstration went really well. The children were very interested in my sketchbook work and so enthusiastic to be involved in making their own prints. The staff were really supportive and lots of prints were made, using different methods, at the 2 sessions- a total of 60 children, aged 7-8 years old took part. As the first session finished, I was amazed to see the corridor outside the classroom door, was a colourful, patchwork river of prints, all lined up to dry.
Sadly, schools don't have spare money in their budgets to 'buy in' artists, so this was me 'giving a little something back.' Let's hope that seeing my sketchbook of art experiments, hearing my thoughts on exploring ideas, not worrying about 'making mistakes' and telling them to have fun and play with their ideas, will see them being even more creative. Children are so curious and as expected there were lots of questions about print making and then there were the unexpected, like . . . . how old are you? . . . . do you really live in Scotland? . . . . where did you get your jumper?
Last week, my website was finally up-dated with more recent information, plus, works that have sold. Any newer work, not sold, will be on there around the end of the month.
The 'Energise' exhibition opens at the new Kirkcudbright Galleries this weekend, organised by, Upland, the arts organisation. A mixed media work has been selected for display. It's very personal to me, being related to my trip to Chile in 2009. It's also very different to my usual work and I'll be interested to get feedback about it. Looking forward to seeing the exhibition, which is on the theme of climate change and conservation. October is turning into a very busy month too!
Right now, I'm working on ideas for the Spring Fling open studios application process, inspired by my visits to The Smithy. The application deadline looms in 11 days time and I'm hoping to be selected to take part again in 2019. Fingers crossed.
with positive thoughts,
Cherish your journey . . . .