Change – how to cope with it and embrace it.
It is that time of year when it is all change. Here in England, the children are going back to school, my wonderful flower boxes are beginning to look disheveled and the leaves on the trees are just beginning to turn. Summer is coming to an end and thoughts of knuckling down to tidy up and get ready for winter are on the ‘to do’ list.
Over the summer I took an amazing art course which taught me so many new things in such an easy to assimilate way that I am now at the beginning of a big change, too.
My artwork today has been about my fish and their habitat. The bubbles in their tanks have been of particular fascination to me. It has also been about seeds, seed heads, dried flowers, structural flowers and colour. Lots and lots of beautiful, bright colours.
Here is where the course nearly had me in tears. One of the tutors said that bright colours equal Toys R Us and beautiful muted colours equal Anthropology. I thought my life as an artist was over. Don’t get me wrong, I like muted colours but I like bright colours more. What was I going to do? Did this mean that the work I have done before doesn’t hold any weight? I really worried about this until I realised, that is their opinion. People who have bought my work in the past have bought it because they want bright cheerful colours in their homes or work space.
But my work has changed, and my focus has changed too.
Surprising to me, when I have been struggling to assimilate and use the information delivered to me, the direction my experimental works have lead me. I have never thought of myself as a still life painter but my current series of works are just that.
Seeing the shopping bags standing on the kitchen counter as they were being emptied but still surrounded by the items Mr. S had been to purchase (he does all of our food shopping because I hate it), inspired me.
I am in the process of producing a series, probably of 12 pieces, to be shown during the next couple of exhibitions I am taking part in.
If you want to see the work in progress, I post on Facebook and Instagram daily and I slip the paintings in there from time to time. Also if you sign up for my newsletter I will be featuring all the paintings there at the beginning of October. The details of how to follow me on any of these platforms, are given below.
Changing what we do and how we do it is a pretty scary process and we are inclined to dig our heels in, preferring to stick with what we know. However, if you can embrace change then normally something better will appear.
How do we embrace change? The first and easiest thing to do is to change your daily routine. If you get up every morning and spend the first hour of the day drinking coffee and reading the newspaper, go for a walk instead. You will see the world around you in a different way.
If you have been putting off clearing out that big cupboard because it is such a huge task, just do one shelf and then treat yourself to doing your favourite thing for the next hour, reading or looking at Instagram.
If you find that every time you deal with a bad situation in your daily life, be it rubbish being thrown on your lawn, people speeding down your road, your neighbours making too much noise, bad service in your local store, coffee shop or maybe you have really serious stuff going on that annoys, dealing with the delays getting to work, medical appointments which feel so long away you thing you could be dead by then, elderly parents who want all your time whilst you have children whose needs you feel should come first but you are stuck in the middle and feeling unappreciated. The list is endless and can allow dark thoughts to enter our heads: are we good enough? etc. Well yes you are and you can change that pattern by changing how you think.
My latest thing is whenever something rattles me, rather than allow it to upset the day, I think about two things:
Babies giggling uncontrollably (check out YouTube videos I’ll wager a fiver you can’t help but smile); and the first Christmas we had our kittens.
We were living in the USA at the time and had bought a 20ft tall Christmas tree. They had enormous fun climbing to the top and tumbling through the branches. We didn’t use any of our normal delicate decorations that year, half the tree was on the floor by Christmas Day, but they were so funny to watch, and it just makes me smile thinking about them. Smiling releases endorphins which make us feel happier and calmer and helps us to deal with the negative stuff which crops up.
So in the run up to the Christmas festivities, if when thing get fraught and tempers fray you can discover strategies for dealing with situations you find difficult, if you can change the way you approach life, you will be the winner and new and different experiences will emerge.
Here is a sneak peak of a couple of the new series I have been working on.
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I have been asked to be a guest artist with the Teddington Group of artists and will be taking part in their exhibition at the historic ‘Strawberry Hill House’ in Twickenham on the 27th, 28th and 29th September 2019, so exciting.
My work will also be on show with the Dorking Group of Artists from the 11th – 13th October at Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking and at the Banstead Art Group exhibition at the Community Hall, Banstead, Surrey from the 24th – 26th October.
If you would like to visit these exhibitions I would love to see you there and if you would like more details please contact me via my website https://alisongsaunders.art/contact/ and I will be happy to respond.