Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Thursday 29 January 2015

Projects and deadlines


I thought I'd drop into my blog for a few minutes before getting down to work . . .

First, thank you for all the kind concern about my Ginger Studio Assistant, he has taken all his medicines and is so much better – in fact he is very chipper!

Next, another thank you, Cath Greene has awarded me this:

a Liebster Award for this blog. You can read more over on her blog Cath Greene, as with all memes it comes with rules, questions, nominations. I rarely take part in these, I know some people love them (#artchain on facebook is very popular at the moment) but I find them a bit of a chore - I doubt they are meant to be – maybe because I would want to take time and do the task well and think carefully about who I'd pass it on to and I really do have a lot of more important things to think about already this week . . .

Which brings be on to projects and deadlines

When I started this blog I was working full time on projects for publishers, supplying dozens... no, many 100s of illustrations for educational books. There were deadlines too, some were very scary indeed! For each publisher I drew a different style of digital artwork, sometimes I would have to swap styles 2 or 3 times a day. I began to think, "what if I was known for just being me?" – but what was me? This blog has really been about my search for my own 'style'.

Last year I had a solo exhibition of my prints, I was hugely grateful to Helen at the Church Street Gallery for inviting me to do this and everything was displayed beautifully (I didn't have to do a thing except deliver the work, turn up and enjoy) BUT - I have to admit that I didn't enjoy the experience, it was outside my comfort zone. Maybe that aspect of being an artist isn't for me, maybe solo exhibitions will always be weird/uncomfortable experiences? Will I do it again? Maybe, but I'll wait for the right time. The problem is me - incidentally,  neither do I enjoy coffee, scented candles, strawberries dipped in chocolate or musicals.

I love working on my own designs and prints, I really love producing my own range of cards and marketing them. But a little bit of me missed working with other creative people - writers, editors and art directors. I thought, wouldn't it me nice if occasionally someone asked me to contribute one of my designs to be part of their project . . .

. . . then, BOOOM! this happened . . .

So, if I'm not around on here, or Twitter or Instagram or Facebook (but I don't like FB much anyway) I'm sure you'll understand why. And, I'm sorry not to be able to tell you what the projects are but they'll gradually be revealed over the coming months. And I'll blog about them.

In the meantime, I still plan to make time to enjoy some walks outside and work in the garden - especially when the sky is blue! And I'll put my photos on Flickr.

A Bullfinch on the Cherry Plum tree
in our garden this morning

Well, I'd better tackle one of those projects!

Tuesday 20 January 2015

St Agnes' Eve - Ah, bitter chill...

I've just been reminded by a Twitter friend that today, 20th January, is St Agnes' Eve.

St. Agnes' Eve — Ah, bitter chill
it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;
The hare limp'd trembling through
the frozen grass,
And silent was the flock in woolly fold.

(you can read the full text of John Keats' poem here)

Night Flight, linocut

This morning the landscape around my studio was a perfect illustration for the opening lines of the poem... I was out early taking my car to a garage for its MOT/Service and then taking Cliff to work and driving home. A hard frost, -5C, made the views look muted in shades of grey and sage green. The trees dark and lit with a low sun, glowed red and purple and cast shadows that striped the full width of the fields.

I enjoy reading about the traditional feast days and customs that mark the changing seasons. Already we have passed Twelfth Night and Plough Monday, soon it will be Candlemas on 2nd February. One of my favourite web sites for festivals and special days is Project Britain set up by Woodlands Junior School.

My linocut edition 'Night Flight' has sold out but is still available as a card from my online shop, remember to use the discount code HappyNewYear2015 at checkout, valid until the end of January 2015 to get 15% off anything in the shop.

This week's news headlines from my studio

• I have designed a new trade catalogue for my greetings cards (click on the cover to view it) if you own a shop or gallery or know somewhere that might like to stock my cards, please drop me a line in the comments or email: studio at celiahart dot co dot uk.

• I'm busy working on some lovely commissions, but have been sworn to secrecy.

• my Ginger Studio Assistant is having the week off to convalesce from having a huge abscess, on his cheek, lanced by the vet yesterday. Don't even think about thinking about the vast sea of pus! He was very very brave and sat still and quiet without a sedative, the vet was most impressed and said he was 'a lovely little man'.

Stay warm
I'll be back soon