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February already!

“To practice any art, no matter how well or how badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. So do it.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Yep, that's what I've been doing since my last post!

New Year and new challenges!!

The month before Christmas is never my favourite time of the year, all darkness, bad weather and early sunsets. I look forward to the start of a New Year and immersing myself in new projects.

This year I was encouraged by an artist friend to take my time, to nurture myself and to approach the year gently. Reading this, it may seem like I did the opposite of that, but the challenges that I took part in all helped me stay positive and more importantly, connected with other artists.

Like last year I started January with Tara Leaver's 21 day Instagram challenge . Tara is a wonderful artist, art teacher and mentor whose wisdom guided me when I returned to my art practice a few years back. The challenge is a grounding way to start the year, sharing insights about ourselves and our art with other participants and again, meeting new artists and hearing their tips, and tricks along the way. The group below are a selection of the work that I showed during the challenge and are some of my favourites from last year.

There are a group of artists who I have met on Instagram and, as one of them put it, am now insta-pen palls with. Many of them were taking part in art mentor and artist Cheryl Tave's, Insight Creative Coaching - 30 Day Sketchbook Challenge. I was unsure about taking on another challenge, but had planned to take most of January off from my studio, so decided to give it a go. Thank goodness I did! Cheryl provides insightful daily prompts that really encourage artists to dig deep into our selves, to question our art practice, and to take new risks with the way in which we engage with our work . I have 5 days still to go, but this will now become part of my annual art practice. I have learned so much about what I want to express in my art right now, and the sketchbooks have led me to the green shoots of my first new series for 2024.

Finally, (phew!) at the start of Feb, I took part in the lovely Michelle Young's United Art Space - Best Year Yet course. I joined Michelle's group last year, and through that have connected with many amazing, nurturing artists. Sometimes the life of an artist can be lonely, and although I'm a natural loner, I love meeting artists online and in person, where we can share experiences and cheer each other on. I love to have a structure to my life and it feels so grounding to have prepared myself and planned the year ahead.

Until next time!

Karen x

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