Gently Does It…

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I’m easing myself gently back into my work this week after that lovely Christmas holiday.  My daughter has gone back to school and the house seems ominously quiet, so yesterday I busied myself with a spot of de-cluttering, starting with my bedroom which was anything but a peaceful sanctuary for sleep and more like a dumping ground for Homeless Objects and outgrown baby toys.

I unearthed quite a few half finished paintings which I sent for recycling (sometimes you just know they’re never going to be anything else other than half finished), and discovered a stack of canvases and mounts I’d forgotten all about.  I also found a new home for my fabric stash, which up to now has been stored rather untidily in a pile of carrier bags but is now folded into neat piles in a drawer.

I must confess, I was rather ruthless in my de-cluttering.  There was a heck of a lot of stuff that got thrown out or put in the recycling bin and I was shocked at the amount of junk I’d managed to accumulate.  There’s a huge pile of books and clothes for the charity shop, and a local childcare centre will be the new home for some of the baby toys which we’d hung on to.  Once I’d finished the hard graft, I burned some delicious essential oils to bless the room if you like, and it really did feel very fresh and new again.  Last night I had the best nights sleep I’d had in ages, uninterrupted and full of lovely dreams.  Waking up to see a little jug of flowers sitting on a vintage embroidered mat was heaven I can tell you.

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I find the helpful advice of the Flylady to be superb in all things to do with keeping house, so if you’re feeling the itch to Spring clean, check out her website.  Another great resource if you don’t naturally lean towards chores and the like is this book, Housework Blues by Danielle Raine.

Having a gentle week pottering and decluttering (which is such a marvellous thing to do as opposed to throwing yourself head first back into normality) has found me digging through my paintings and sketch books, and a painting I started work on way back last year is now resurfacing.  It’s called The Apple Pickers (the picture at the top of this post) and I’m really pleased with how it’s coming along.  You can just about make out the figures if you look carefully, as well as a veggie patch and a greenhouse.  This painting is an acrylic on paper and will be part of my solo exhibition at the Studio 61 Gallery in May this year.  I’ve also got a lovely idea for a box canvas, which I’m going to start work on next – again it’s a coastal themed piece but I’m going to be introducing an element of collage to it.

Something I’ve been longing to do for a while now, but never made the time for previously is the creation of an online art workshop.  I’ve finally got around to ordering myself a nice tripod for my camcorder, so that I can start making some tutorials.  I’m also planning a fully illustrated e-book to accompany the course, and am hoping to release this in the next few months.  I’ll keep you posted on this as things progress.

Before I go, I have to introduce you to a new resident who’s come to live in our little home.

Muffin

Meet Muffin.

Muffin is a Sheltie guinea pig (one of those with the soft, long hair) and the most adorable little chap you could ever wish to meet.  For the last few months we have been ‘umming and ‘ahhing about having a pet, but finally relented and went to get him on Saturday.  It was a huge surprise for our little girl who had been pleading with us for ages to let her have something furry to care for.  We are all enchanted by him, his little squeaks and bouts of popcorning (the ecstatic leaps into the air, apparently done when extremely happy) have rendered us helpless with delight.  I can’t quite imagine life without him now, he’s definitely part of the family.

I’ll be back soon, with some news about a new crochet project I’ve started.

Thanks for visiting,

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5 thoughts on “Gently Does It…

  1. What a beautifully therapeutic posting Julia. Love the new addition to your family….we used to breed Guinea pigs and they lived free range in our back garden [up to 30 at a time!] and I used to have classes full of children from our local school to study them…..oh happy happy memories. 🙂

  2. Julia, this is a wonderful New Year’s post, and I join you in some success in de-cluttering my own little apartment during the past week. I met some unexpected memories amongst various items, saving some, but deciding that others could now be bid farewell.

    Your painting is looking so beautiful. It’s been many decades since I used acrylic paint, but have been using some acrylic ink in the past months. How I do hope that some of other mental de-cluttering will yield more painting time for me in this glorious new year.

    Best wishes!

  3. Dear Julia, first I want to wish you wonderful New Year! Welcome to sweet Muffin, he is so beautiful! I have missed your paintings, colours and your creative inspiration! I have been thinking lately painting, but I’m not sure if I can share my time for that. I subscribed again with my newer e-mail to your posts. Hope to see your new painting, soon! x Teje

  4. I have a few things to share and because today has been a bit draining, I’m not sure how to make them flow together smoothly, so I’m numbering them.

    1. I’m very excited about the prospect of an online art workshop!
    2. I’m also inspired by your serene nightstand.
    3. I truly love your art. I love the way the repeated curves feel both active and peaceful at the same time.
    4. Whenever I’m feeling scattered or in need of inspiration, I make sure I visit your blog. You remind me to breathe deeply and enjoy.

    Thanks so much, Julia!

  5. Julia, I love your blog and your artwork. Actually I stopped by for some inspiration. I’d love to do some painting but never quite seem to find the time. Your words and your work motivate me! I smiled when you mentioned Flylady. I’ve been a fluttering flybaby for some years now, although looking at my messy house you’d never guess. Anyway, thank you for a lovely post.

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