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


  1. Tough year! I think you are slaying it. I've seen so many gorgeous things from you this year. Xxx

    1. Thank you for being my dear friend and witness! You have helped me through so much! I appreciate you. Xx

    2. I am honoured that you trust me to hold your hand when things are hard.xx