Reasons to be grateful #9 – misty winter sunsets like these

I’m at home with my parents this weekend. We headed out for a walk in the woods rather later than I would have preferred today due to various reasons and for the first few moments of the walk I was kind of annoyed.

But if we had left earlier we would have missed this wonderful misty wintery sun setting over the Severn estuary in the Cotswolds.

So we were lucky to be late today.

Reasons to be grateful #5 – walking in the woods with my best one

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One of the things I’ve been doing with this blog over that last few months is trying to keep track of some of the things I am grateful for, following this post about gratitude. I thought it would be fun to build up a little collection of doodles to capture these. Finding the time to do this has been a bit challenging, but I have enjoyed thinking about what to draw.

Over the last few weeks we’ve had some unpredictable weather here in the UK, swinging rapidly between spring sunshine and flurries of winter snow. We’ve been lucky enough to have time to go for 2 really nice walks in the woods, in between the snow showers and rain. I find being in the woods particularly relaxing and refreshing, and love the curving unruly forms of nature. A few weekends ago we came across some beautiful mosses, which were intricate in form and all kinds of vivid greens.

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My fianc√© (still getting used to calling him that) frequently have our best, most thoughtful conversations while out walking and not distracted by other things. It is often in the woods where we discuss what we would like to do together in the future, or scheme to create a joint project. So I am grateful to have that time and space with him whenever possible. I also find that when I am walking I have some of my best ideas. I think there is something about the rhythm of walking that may make different connections in my brain in comparison to just sitting in front of a screen or with some materials. So I am grateful for that different kind of ‘head space’ too.

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Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

On finishing things, summer down pours and downtime.

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I think summer has arrived in the UK. I love spring, and autumn, and am fond of winter.¬†I’m not particularly a summer person. I don’t particularly like the heat, and we don’t really seem to know how to do air conditioning. I seem to be particularly affected by fatigue, and struggle with lethargy when it is too hot, which may go some way to explaining why the blog has been a little under active of late. I have been taking lots of down time, lolling around on the sofa, and watching documentaries on Netflix. I was particularly moved by this documentary called Laerte-Se, and would recommend an afternoon spent with this.

Last weekend weekend we went to the Cotswolds, and went walking in the woods, one of my absolute favourite things. The trees, which are numerous in variety in that area, are an amazing shade of lush green at this time of year. While out walking this weekend we were caught in an amazing downpour. We stood for a while in a dry patch, surrounded by a curtain of these fat, heavy rain drops, saying to each other, ‘it will pass over in a minute’. It’s didn’t pass over, but instead settled firmly in. We ended up walking through the rain most of the way home. The air had been warm and sticky, and I found the delicious slip of water through my hair and down my neck refreshing and exhilarating. It has been some time since I have been caught in the rain like that, and I was happy for the experience. It made me think of how the amount of control we think we have other things is really an illusion. People make plans and Nature laughs.

However, despite all the lolling around and walking in the rain, I have been a bit productive. In the past I have always had a bit of an issue finishing things, as I have previously written about here. Recently, while not exactly finishing things, I have managed to bring two projects to a relatively satisfying conclusions. Last weekend I submitted a draft play to the Bruntwood Prize. I don’t really expect anything to come from that, but it feels a bit like drawing a line under the project, which means I can move onto the next one. In recent weeks, during my down time, I have had ideas for two new animations, so, patiently, watch this space on that.

I also recently opened an Artist Shop with Threadless, where I am selling prints and bags based on a series of artworks I have been working on for over a year. While the artworks themselves aren’t actually finished this feels like a satisfactory conclusion. I’ve even had my first sale, with I think was to my boyfriend’s mother. From small acorns, great oak trees may grow.