Friday, September 27, 2013


Kilchurn Castle
Hello Dear Readers!

This makes my third Friday in Atlanta... So we are already heading into my third week of being here! Time flies! Most of the past two weeks has been spent getting over jet lag which I finally seem to be over and letting my aching and injured shoulder relax and heal and that has now happily happened. I think I am mostly ready to rejoin the world. I am enjoying spending time with my brother and my nieces and I have enjoyed eating in different restaurants and walking in some parks and neighborhoods. Admittedly I haven't gone out much or explored much here yet. I stay in mostly during the week and research, plan, tidy and cook. This is like an incubation time. I know that something is brewing and I am using this time to rebuild and refuel for the next big thing.

There is always something around the corner, something waiting to be discovered and something to dream about and move towards. I must always believe this.

I have been thinking a lot about my Etsy shop, Artmaven and I am determined to make it bigger and better, offering more affordable prints and making my shop more of a priority. I have always had my shop running in the background, maintaining it in a more organic fashion while I focused more on exhibitions and gallery showings. I think it is now time to push the shop to equal standing. I will be working towards this in the coming months.

My ultimate goal is to be better able to support myself from my art and feel less worried about money. The past few years have been very challenging for me financially in this economy. I feel I have risen to the challenge in many ways and I am pleased that my art continues to sell here and there. I have also just returned from an amazing and life changing six months of creating art and being supported in Scotland thanks to my patrons and the funding of my project. I know I am one of the lucky ones, however it is still not enough to comfortably support myself and my plans for the future. I have two choices, I can keep worrying or I can take action. I must keep my eyes on the prize. As many of you might have guessed, I would really like to be able to live in Edinburgh, Scotland in the near future. I would like this to be more than a dream, a happy thought or a flimsy goal.

It actually scares me just to state my desire so plainly but in order to make it happen that is what I must do. Scotland felt like home to me and I felt at home in myself in Scotland. It is not just about my relationship with Stewart, it is also about my relationship with myself and what I want for my life and art and what is important to me. Scotland ticks a lot of those boxes.

I am turning this now almost seven year old blog back towards what the header says : "Ideas about making, marketing, selling and talking about art." I hope you will continue to follow along and join the journey.

With love and gratitude for all I have been given and with excitement for the future,


If you are in Little Rock, Arkansas you can see my work at the following places.

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
401 President Clinton Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72201

This exhibition offers viewers an opportunity to see contemporary, abstract works of art by Arkansas based artists. Artists in the exhibition are: Dustyn Bork, Megan Chapman, Donnie Copeland, Don Lee, Jill Storthz and Steven Wise.

Butler Center Atrium Gallery
September 13 - November 23, 2013

Click here to see the six pieces I have in the group exhibition at the Butler Center

Boswell Mourot Fine Art
5815 Kavanaugh Blvd.
Little Rock, AR 72207

Boswell Mourot is a fine art gallery featuring well-known and emerging artists from the international, national and local art scene. The gallery has a selection of my works as well as the combined works of myself and Stewart Bremner.

Click here to see the selection of my works at Boswell-Mourot. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I hear America singing...

As seen on the USA projects page this week. I wish I knew who created this. 

Dear Readers,

As most of you know, I have been back in the states for the past week. I am staying in Atlanta, Georgia with my brother Ben for awhile. Perhaps it is just a coincidence but I happen to be staying at the intersection of Edinburgh and Westminster. I am paying attention to all signs and I will take this as one.

Not too much has happened in the art world since I have been back. However as I mentioned last week, I am part of a group exhibition in Little Rock, Arkansas called Abstract ARt at the Butler Center. If you are in Arkansas please stop by and see the exhibition which will remain up through November 24th. I also have a selection of larger works at Boswell-Mourot Fine Art in Little Rock as well. Make a day of it!

This week I have been getting my Etsy shop set up again with the appropriate shipping rates etc from the United States. I also used a new app for my online shop on my Facebook Artist page which will make it easier for patrons to buy my art directly off facebook rather than having to go to Etsy as well. So far it looks like a good application. I also reached an exciting milestone of 750 friends of my art page this week. Thanks to all of my readers that are friends of that page. If you are not already please click here and then click like. Besides my blog, my facebook art page is the best way for me to communicate directly with you all and to share my latest projects. This week also saw the arrival of my paintings from Scotland. I am quite relieved as they were held in customs for a few days, but they are here now and in good condition.

I am very excited to incorporate some of the inspirations and colors collected in my photographs of Scotland in my new work this autumn. Stay's coming, I promise...

In other news, this week of being back in the states has been illuminating in many ways and also quite painful. Besides dealing with being miles apart from Stewart, suffering jet lag and feeling slightly displaced, I have also been dealing with an extremely painful muscle spasm in my upper trapezius. This is a pain I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. The spasm was caused by my travels and the stress related to it all. The muscle will release in time. Unfortunately, I had to spend money I don't have to see a Dr. here in Atlanta and now have a prescription for muscle relaxers...not exactly the welcome back I had hoped for.

I wanted to jump into getting new art in my Etsy shop and writing and catching up on blogs and processing photographs but it was not meant to be. I just have to give it time and cut myself the slack I need right now.

It will all work out. I am looking forward to enjoying Atlanta and creating some art soon. It has been good to be around my brother Ben and my nieces and their cat Camper.

Until next week, keep fighting. The worlds needs you and your art.



Friday, September 13, 2013

We are nomads...

Another catch up blog post to get me back on track... Thanks again for your patience!

On Saturday the 7th, there was a lovely (and a bit more subdued than last night) goodbye visit with Maggie, Dave and Elaine at the Tourmalet. All of those folks are again blippers, part of the blipfoto community. Such lovely friends I have made here... I hate goodbyes. I just want to say again that these folks supported my project, bought my art and bought me drinks and let me know when things were happening in town and invited me to things and made sure I was made to feel welcome. Southern hospitality has nothing on the Scottish...

Hollyrood Park
On Sunday the 8th, we went for a wee sit in the park to chat and celebrate Stewart's upcoming birthday tomorrow. We met with our friends Craig, James, Graeme, Ever, Paul and even Sergio came around to the mystery spot in the park. We had snacks and some presents too. It was lovely to be outside in one of Stewart's favorite places on the last day of his 39th year. Holyrood park will also serve as inspiration for future work this fall. Such a breathtaking place in the heart of the city. 

On Monday the 9th, there were crumpets and jam for breakfast and lots presents to open and an Alabama Lane cake to bake and eat, all for Stewart who turned 40 today. Stewart's Dad and brother came over around mid day and then later we went to celebrate with Stewart's Mom where there was dinner and even more cake. It was a lovely day and I think we celebrated in style. I knew at the end of it I would have to say goodbye to Pat Bremner (Stewart's Mom) and I wasn't looking forward to that at all. Pat has been a power house of genealogy research, leaving no stone unturned. I am grateful for her passionate assistance and help. I also enjoyed all our outings together just talking and seeing things. Again, in the hospitality department and in making someone feel welcomed, Pat has this nailed. I will miss her terribly.

Campbell Castle. Dollar, Scotland
On Tuesday the 10th we had our last big adventure. Stewart's close friend James was lovely to suggest we go on another adventure and that the packing and everything else would take care of itself. He was right and I needed this sunshine and the Campbell Castle in Dollar, Scotland more than a properly packed bag. It was spectacular in every way. I made myself a promise on the top of that castle and one that I intend to keep.

The Campbell castle was amazing, the waterfalls and lush gorges were perfect and the hill tops and views and sitting in the sunshine was all fantastic. I will hold this day in my heart for a long time and again it will serve as inspiration for my work this autumn. 

I do love it. 
On Wednesday the 11th, it was my last day in town. We ran last minute pre-travel errands. Real foods (health food store) for plane snacks and Boots (the chemist) for something I can't remember... The best part is that while we were out we saw a fox! I had wanted to see a fox and there one was walking out of the St. James Centre car park. Fabulous! We watched it run down the street and turn the corner.

Today I mostly packed, cried and waited. I also shipped my 19 paintings back to the states and afterwards we went to the Tourmalet for a farewell coke and some onion rings where I was just too sad and cried on the bartendress Angie's shoulder and left without saying goodbye because I was too choked up to speak.

On Thursday the 12th, we couldn't ignore it anymore. It was travel day and my six months in Edinburgh had come to a close. Let's just say there were delays and 3 planes rather than 2 and I got into Atlanta, Georgia about 10 pm rather than 5pm as I was supposed to. Other than that the flights were smooth and I am now a confident solo traveler. I figured it all out, asked for help or made travels friends to make the day easier. I also watched some enjoyable films on the longest flight.

It was very hard to say goodbye to Stewart and to Scotland. I just had to keep moving, one step in front of the other and turn the corner and then just jump into the system of travel and stay in the now.

It was great to see my brother Ben at the end of a very, very long day.

So that brings us to Friday the 13th (ooh, spooky!) and another adventure begins...
I will be in Atlanta for at least the next six weeks or so.

On this day, my niece Emily came by the house and we chatted and then she took me out to lunch to a Mexican place called Raging Burrito. You know the tide has turned when your 22 year old niece is now buying the lunch. Then we went to a photography exhibition that was quite good and strange and Emily drove me to a store to pick up a few things before she headed to her volunteer gig. It is a hot, humid and sprawling car culture... I am in America!

Later in the evening, my brother Ben returned from work and my niece Elena came over and we all went out to dinner to Eddie's Attic. We sat outside on the patio and had some good food and a lovely pint of a local IPA. Once home and Elena back to her dorm, Ben and I stayed up talking until the wee hours.

For all my Arkansas friends and followers, especially those in Little Rock, I want to let you know about a special group exhibition called Abstact ARt that opens tonight, Friday September 13th from 5-8pm at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies. I am thrilled to be part of this group of accomplished Arkansas abstract artists. The group includes artists Dustyn Bork, myself, Donnie Copeland, Don Lee, Jill Storthz, and Steven Wise. The exhibition will remain on display until the 24th of November, so please check it out if you are in the area! Here are a few of my pieces as seen in the exhibition.

My paintings on display as part of Abstract ARt. Photo by Steven Wise
My paintings on display as part of Abstract ARt. Photo by Steven Wise

Now, I am caught up and my blog schedule will resume and will be less journal and more art every Friday! Thank you again for going along on this adventure with me. I hope you enjoyed the glimpses of Scotland, my latest series and learning more about my life as an artist. We are nomads... yes. we. are.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Round up: This life well lived...

Dear Readers!

A quick catch up place marker blog. I am writing this on September 18th but back dating it for my records. Thanks for sticking with me during this hectic time. I know last week my Friday blog showed up on a Monday. So in this post I will catch you up with everything that happened between Monday the 2nd (after I wrote my last post) and Friday the 6th and then get back on track soon I hope.
Stewart looking at my two works at the Arts Complex group exhibition
On Monday the 2nd I ran over (well, I took a bus) to the Arts Complex to pick up my two works from the fabulous group exhibition. It was another marker of something ending and I walked out of the building for the last time for the next long while. The Arts Complex is an amazing space. An ugly building hosting a small city of artists within a larger one. I am so pleased I was able to get to know some of the people there and to participate in the exhibition. I will always look back with fondness. I was happy to get the paintings back, the two I showed there are two of my favorites from the series.

A snap shot of one panel from the tapestry
On Tuesday the 3rd we went to a protest in front of the parliament building which was convenient because I like to mix my activism with art and after the protest we went inside to see the great tapestry of Scotland. 

The great tapestry was mind blowing. My eyes teared up several times just marveling at the project but also at the content. Scotland's people should be so proud. Later we sat outside parliament in the perfect weather and then walked through the park to Stewart's Mom's place for dinner. It was another lovely day.

On Wednesday the 4th there was some last minute art making. I have been commissioned to do a small paper piece (the same size as my patron rewards pieces) for someone's birthday. It was interesting to paint in the same style as my family work but for another. I also worked on one last and very late patron reward painting that got lost in the shuffle. It is not ideal conditions to make art when I feel so scattered but it is calming as well. Art is the constant in my life and has been now for 17 years but really so much longer than that. In the evening, our friends and creative wonders, Ever and Paul came to dinner. It was a joy to cook for them and to have them over to Stewart's flat. 

the sunset, a reward at the end of our 16 mile walk
On Thursday the 5th we took the best 16 mile walk ever. We walked along fields and beaches from Longniddry to North Berwick, Scotland. I took a lot of pictures of this gorgeous day, all inspiration for the work I hope to make in the fall for my Etsy shop. I loved the colors in this walk and the feeling. I am so glad we did this walk as I needed to clear my head- that part didn't exactly work but it was still so beautiful and it was so great to spend such quality time with Stewart in nature. Breathtaking. After my work has been so family based I am flirting with a nature based series and this walk really did provide so much material and inspiration

On Friday (today) we went to my favorite pub The Tourmalet, my home away from home, to meet up with two of my favorite blippers (photographers from blipfoto) Andy and Steven and Stewart's friend Philip came as well (he is now a blipper too). It was great to chat and laugh even though in the end I knew I would have to say goodbye. Andy is like my Scottish big brother and just a great guy. I am so glad I have become friends with such great people. I do love the internet for all the connections and amazing adventures! 

I know this blog has become a bit more like a journal while I have been away and less about what the tag line says under my name up there but just know it will veer back on that path soon enough. 

Thanks for following along and coming on this adventure with me. All of this will influence my future art. The colors of the sea, the rocks, the lichen, the timbre of a voice, the space that surrounds me, it all goes into the work and makes for a good life. 

at the start of our long lovely walk

Monday, September 2, 2013

The one where I post my Friday blog on a Monday...

My solo exhibition at the Abbey Mount Centre

Everything is winding down and these six months are almost over for me here in Edinburgh. It seems unreal but at the same time when I look back at all I have experienced, tried, witnessed, created and learned it had to be over a period of six months. 

The art is down from the gallery walls, the studio is cleaned up and the key is returned. I am doing last minute tourist things and trying to spend as much time with Stewart as I can before I leave on the 12th. 

My studio keys returned
I am trying to take one day at a time and savor each one. I don't yet want to weed through my stuff and think about what I need to pack, leave, or ship back. I don't want to think about any of that. I see events coming up in Edinburgh that I will miss in the near future and it makes me sad. I have to figure out a way to come back here. Thinking and dreaming of this keeps me going.

I love it here. I love who I am here. I love what I can do and see here. I love how I am understood and supported here. I love how the wind feels on my face here and the colors in the shrubs and the sky. I love the women's voices as they talk on the bus. I love the "Hiya!" from the bartendress when I walk into the Tourmalet to get a drink. I love the stacked and layered buildings, the cobbles and knowing that the sea is near.

I love all my patrons and supporters for giving me this opportunity. I love them for supporting me for the past six months and for allowing me to have a better quality of life with less stress and more time to work on my art than I have had in years. I will never forget it. 

I have nine more days here and I aim to make them long, slow and lovely. 

With love and gratitude,