Friday, December 29, 2023

2023: Year in Review

I can't believe it's that time again but here we are. It's time to take stock of my art life for the last year and share it with the few of you who will read it. 2023 was a complex year. I think most humans can say that. I think the last 5 or so years have really put us all through the paces. But to quote Maya Angelou, "Still I rise." I hope you are rising too. 

I get pretty overwhelmed trying to summarise my art year in one blog post. I am going to try to keep this one a bit shorter for my sake as much as yours. Usually, I do this in a month-by-month format and use previous blogs to remind myself but I don't think I have that in me this time. 

Work: I created two new bodies of work that I am proud of, as well as a few stragglers, and several works in progress. 

Sales: I sold 13 originals, 10 prints, 2 t-shirts, 1 tote. 

Exhibitions: I participated in 2 group exhibitions both at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall with my studio peers. 

Gallery Representation: I am represented by Solo Gallery, Innerleithen, Scotland. Fabulous gallery! Gallerist Kate sold two of my original paintings this year. 

Stockists: Blunt Knife, Edinburgh carried and sold my Polly, Mabel, and Vera Prints. They have closed up shop for now. Keep your eye out for future happenings... 

Open Studio: I participated in 2 Open Studio Days on the 3rd and 10th of December. First Open Studio since before the pandemic. It was good to have the public in the studio again - thanks for your support.

Fundraisers: I launched a fundraiser to benefit Bicycles for Refugees (to support them in their robbery recovery): We raised £325.28 thanks to my lovely patrons. Thank you!

Mentoring sessions: I offered 2 sessions of mentoring this year with a wonderful Scottish painter. Thank you for trusting me with your process. I also donated my time to advise many other artists during the year as well. Pay it forward.

Friday Studio Blog: I wrote 52 weekly posts. Thank you for checking in here. 

Tuesday Studio Video Visit: I produced 22 weekly video visits (I missed 30 videos and I am okay with that). What will happen in 2024? Subscribe to find out.  

Artist's work I collected/supported: Jenni Douglas, Julia Laing, Mairi Brown, Fiona Thompson, Cyan Clayworks, Tim Bremner, Jacqueline A Higgs SSA, Stephen Bithell, Tokes Sharif/Studio Brae, and Catriona Clark. Thank you for your work. I love living with your creations. 

Scottish Artists UnionI continued to attend the Rep Training sessions that started last year. I participated in parts 2 and 3 this year and took on the position of the Lead Rep for the union, working with the rep team and initially shadowing more experienced team members while learning on the job since June. I have progressively become even more involved in my position since September. I am honoured to be part of this small, hard-working team. Doing work that I find meaningful and empowering is a gift. I am grateful for the opportunities and experience that I have been given by the union and the trust shown to me by the team and my fellow members. 

Join a Union!

Training and Learning:

Scottish Artist Union Rep Training Part 2: 5 sessions

Health and Safety, Fair Work Contracts, Rates of Pay, Insurance, Intersectional approaches to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

Scottish Artists Union Rep Training Part 3: 4 sessions

Neurodiversity, Casework, Members Enquiries, 

SAU Learning Programmes Attended

One Shared Owner: ‘Artist-Led Organisations in Scotland: Survey and Mapping of Activity’ an overview of the key findings.

In All Our Stimming Brilliance: Neurodiversity in Contemporary Arts Practice (3 Sessions)

First Aid for Mental Health 6-hour Course - Accredited SCQF5

Self-initiated study: 

Offered through TUC (Trades Union Congress): Online Education Courses
Earning Digital Credentials in the following:
Facility time awareness
Universal Credit
Health and Safety and organising
Real Living Wage
Menopause Support in the Workplace

I also attended The Scottish Union Learning Annual Conference.

Besides my art and my union work, I made time to read books, watch films, see Interpol, listen to loads of music (on repeat) walk in nature, meditate, and enjoy some culture and my friends. I really enjoyed photography this year as well (a medium I have always enjoyed but mostly kept for myself). I especially enjoyed my family members who visited from the States! 

I also grieved, and got COVID for the first time, and then just 3 months later, I caught some horrendous cough that was going around and yet here we are. I felt frustrated by social media, society, and the heaviness of the strife around the world. Yet, still, I rise. We rise...

I hope you are well, happy, and inspired wherever you are, dear reader. And if you are not, that is okay. Tomorrow is another day. The world needs you and the gifts you bring. 

Thank you to my patrons, Solo Gallery, my monthly and one-off Ko-fi Supporters (you all have no idea what your regular support means to me - thank you!), Thanks to the Scottish Artists Union and my friends and family. Here's to 2024. Peace to all beings. 


I dedicate this post to my beloved Theo. The best cat in the world. I miss you with everything and still talk to you all the time. Tears come and my throat tightens. You are in my heart forever. I also dedicate this post to my dear patrons who are no longer with us. I have been fortunate to have been seen and understood by some amazing people and that is a gift that sustains me. Thank you. I will keep fighting. 

My family of charcoal dust. x

Friday, December 22, 2023

Contemplation, rest, and gratitude

Thank you to all those who have supported me in the past, present, and future. I can't do this without you. You are a vital part of this dance. 

I will see you again next Friday for my 2023 year-end review blog. 

May contemplation and rest find you in the next week.

With love and gratitude, 


Friday, December 15, 2023

Online Studio Sale Continues!


Thanks to everyone for coming to Open Studios on the 3rd and 10th of December. I always love seeing your faces. Thanks especially to my new patrons.

My Annual Studio Sale is Online and happening now. I am thrilled that patrons are picking up some new pieces for their collections. Thank you for supporting my work, it means more to me than you can possibly know.

Many of the selections continue to support Bikes for Refugees as well. So that's extra wonderful. The small paintings that are professionally framed in white tray frames would make an extra special treat for you or a loved one this season. They can be sent in the UK via 
Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed and get to you or them by 1pm the next day during the week. You can also pick something up in person. My studio is open by appointment. Send me a message if you would like to visit.

Visit Solo Gallery online and in person for a selection of my available works. They are located in the beautiful Innerleithen, Scottish Borders.

I have been thinking about my art a bit differently over the past couple of weeks and have some new ideas and plans for the future so please stay tuned. 

Like what I share or just want to say hello and support all the work I share? Consider buying me a coffee or two. Thank you.

Friday, December 8, 2023

Online Studio Sale & Sunday Open Studios

My Annual Online Studio Sale is happening now. I am thrilled that patrons are picking up some new pieces for their collections. Many of the selections continue to support @bikes4refugees as well. So that's a win-win. In the past month, we have been able to donate £195 from the sale of art to the deserving charity. Thank you! 

My portraits are also available for sale. There has been a renewed interest in them so go have another look. 

If you are in or around Edinburgh, the studio will be open to the public from 11:30 to 4:30 on the 10th of December (Sunday) at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny Street, Leith. Find me in studio G23 for Fine Art, Prints, and Commissions. Our studios are also open by appointment.

These artists and makers will have their studios open on the 10th:

I hope to see you in person and or online this weekend. Thanks for your support and enthusiasm for my work.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Open Studios! Join us!


Join us for Open Studios at The Out of the Blue Drill Hall! Several resident artists and makers will have their studios open from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm on Sunday, December 3rd and Sunday the 10th, during the Christmas Market.

I will have loads of small original works for sale to benefit Bikes for Refugees - Scotland SCIO that you can view in the flesh and purchase. I will also have never before seen works created this year that I can't wait to share with you! See you in Studio G23. 

Here's a wee sneak peek of my part of the studio in the form of the Tuesday Studio Video Visit.

Hope to see you there! Good luck to all my peers. I see you.