Vivid Colours

I was asked by a shop owner recently to bring in some of my work as she had heard of it and was interested in offering some for sale.  She gave a glowing description of how she loves to support local artists and has several whose works move swiftly through her shop.

So, a few days ago, I packaged up a range of cards and small art pieces and took them in. I laid a few of the cards in front of her – leaving more cards and all of the artwork in my bag. She swept her hand through the examples and said “No, these aren’t what I sell – too vivid.”

The viewing took maybe five seconds.

I gathered up the rejected work and put them back in my bag.  I didn’t offer her any more to look at and she didn’t ask to see them.

The impeccably attired, ochre clad shop owner then showed me through her little boutique, stuffed to the gunnels with imports from the UK and Asia in varying hues of beige and grey.   Amongst the neutral and impeccably exhibited artifacts sat the odd single hued floral jug. Small, ochre and grey prints in large frames with exorbitant price tags hung from the wall and fine scarves in shades of grey and beige with equally exorbitant price tags were neatly folded and stacked alongside matching, finely spun woollen driving gloves.  Some charmingly autumn hued cushions were stacked on a chair by the front entrance. When I asked where the work of the local artists was I was shown a few small printed ochre and brown greeting cards made by a university student. 

I saw very clearly why my work wasn’t her style, but did rather wonder why she had ever shown any interest.

We are all different and that is a good thing. The world would be a boring place if we were all the same, wouldn’t it? But I left wondering what it must be like to live in a world of dun neutrals and to be unable to even consider a colourful card.

Back home, I rifled through the examples I had packaged up for her and glumly regretted my wasted morning.

It took me a few minutes, but then I remembered that not only does playing with colour make me happy, but I have Marlene (#1 Fan) and all my other friends who applaud loudly from the sidelines and now and again offer valuable feedback.  Plus of course I have an unending supply of cards I can send off for birthdays, holidays and other celebrations. 

I marched myself back into my art room and spent a happy couple of hours making some more highly unsuitable vividly coloured art cards.   Hey ho!!

Oh well, that last one is a bit of a bust! A lot of a bust if I’m being honest. Overcrowded, overworked ….. And really! I don’t know why I decided to go doodle crazy with a white pen – but then, it was my last hurrah at the end of a long and somewhat trying day!

So, okay, let me leave you with this one then, today’s effort features Orlando

So tell me, when choosing cards do you look for more colour or less colour? Do you choose plain or intricate designs, are you attracted to Hallmark or local artisans work? There is no right or wrong answer and I don’t mind hearing if you don’t even like any or all what I’ve shown here – I’m just really interested in your thoughts. And thank you for sharing them!

365 Days – January

Didn’t the first month of 2014 go quickly?

I completed the first mile-stone in my year long project [whew!] it was a challenge at times, but I’m getting more and more into the swing of it.  What I have found especially interesting is to see where my attention goes in any given day – there is definitely a theme for the month.

I showed you the first 14 days here if you want to have another peek – and here is the rest of January’s cards – read them as you would a book and double click for enlarged views:

Jan 1

The second card with the sun celebrates the second sunny day of the year – the back has a note ‘two out of fourteen ain’t bad!’ a wry nod to Meatloaf.  The inception of my ‘Choose Joy’ painting is noted, and my brother and other siblings carry the last three.


These next six begin with a reminder to keep my thoughts clear, continue with the painting and past memories and end with the gypsy making her entrance into my consciousness.


I kept peace for my brother, birthed the gypsy and created a new garden as January ended.

Jan complete

Just one month complete and I begin to wonder how big is this project going to get?

Here are some thoughts from looking at these cards this morning.

My brother’s health is ‘stable’ and I continue to hold him in my thoughts.  It is such a wonderful thing to see that when we deal with our human mortality our instinct is to balance this with life.  Over the years I have lost many loved ones and been at many funerals and noticed that the conversation often turns to birth – stories of birthing and new-borns for example – and have come to see that this is part of our grieving process, for life and death are so beautifully entwined.  And here in January I see I have done the same thing, entwined as the month is with memories of siblings and aunts who were loved and lost, and who I felt draw near from time to time, while I grieved for lives cut short and unfulfilled potential, I birthed my own inner Gypsy [Narf7 gets full credit for her midwifery skills!] and ended by creating a new garden.  🙂

Life and death, life and death – being and becoming, experiencing and letting go, living and dying.  We experience it every day in a hundred different ways yet only become fully conscious when it is our own mortality we are faced with.  Personally I remain convinced it is just another door way we walk through, which unfortunately, once closed cannot be reopened for us to have another shot at this particular life.  Which is why I also think it is really important to learn the lessons we are here to learn and to love one another.  All the rest is rather unimportant and simply the means by which we learn [or do not learn] our lessons.

Right, down off my soap-box, things to do, lessons to be learnt and another day card to be created……

Thanks for coming by, I love that you did!  🙂