Here is a big shout out from me on National Stationery Week!! As a geek of immeasurable proportion for all things papery, I am celebrating the fact that the whole world will be turning to the sound of pages turning the latest stationery news for a whole week!!
Most of my readers – wherever , if ever you are- may be aware that I distract myself from the sorrows of the world by illustrating my way to happiness. I play all day. Simples. To enable me to pursue this harmless and endlessly enjoyable occupation I sometimes have to promote my goods on social media. ( That is where the sorrow creeps in, but needs must.)
So you can order a bespoke card from my Etsy shop – or even a handmade book, I love a commission!
For spiral notebooks or hardcover journals and stickers, your only destination is my redbubble store.
Please come and have a browse around – let me know if you want me to make you something more specific.
Etsy link : Etsy shopfront
Redbubble links ; My Redbubble Spiral notebooks and My Redbubble Hard cover journals
I am babe in arms when it comes to technology. I have embraced as much as I am able in order to indulge my creative urge to make something somebody else wants to spend their hard earned cash on. It has sent me down pathways that have totally discombobulated me, I have disgorged hours of my precious time in order to try and understand the secrets inherent in getting noticed on the Internet. I am exhausted. I come to you on my knees, pleading for some help. I need to excite your interest enough to bear with me.
Savour the moment
Walt Whitman helped me there, from his epic poem ‘Leaves of Grass’. Walt and others have helped me to find my soul. A decent thing to do in my humble opinion. When I found my soul, it wanted me to put way some of the things I thought were important, and find the preoccupations that left me calm, stable, comfortable in my skin. It is an ongoing process, and in that endeavour I read alot, I think a great deal. And then I play with illustration and share the fruits of my ‘doing’ with a multipicity of pursuits. I started by making handmade books, which interested others than just me, so I opened an Etsy shop and sold some on there. I even sold one of my tributes to Shakespeare to a University in America for an exhibition celebrating the 400th year of his birth. That was a yippee moment! Shakespeare tribute on Etsy
I have enjoyed a few of those moments on Etsy – working to commissions which have brought me closer to people at special points in their lives. It is a privilege to share a wedding proposal by working on the intended groom’s poem and illustrating it, a rare joy to be given the opportunity to bring someones love letters together and make them a memento for their beloved to treasure. I work alone, I spend alot of my time alone and the collaboration with others reminds me how good it is to connect.
My Etsy store needed more listings to become ‘seen’ on there – it is a very packed place to be – so I designed artist cards because they are less time intensive, and made it to nearly 200 listings! I work hard in my little Etsy corner – learnt how to handle Twitter ( without a smart phone!) , try to post on Facebook daily under my business page at Facebook and tumble, pin and stumble with the best of them.
So where do I need that help from you? I am not completely au fait with all the magic that happens amongst the backstage of the internet stage ( huge understatement there), but I am reliably informed by what you will know as an app, that I lack external links. ! Who knew? And not just any external links – oh no – those mischievous critters can fox anyone. I need external links that do not include ‘no follow’. Apparently.
Now I will try anything to make my web presence just that bit more visible – sad but true, so if any of you reliable web fellows can think of anything remotely helpful, such as me writing a guest blog or an article on how to be seen waving not drowning, please lend a helping hand. I can’t promise you Shakespeare, but I shall do my best.
Good day to all of you, and I look forward to your magnificence!
I loved collaging this together – I couldn’t get out of my mind the conundrum of art imitating life, or life imitating art, which is the right way round? So off I went and mashed together a lovely lady from William van Kooi’s ‘The Love Letter’, with a room from Jacobus Cornet, added a side table and a pot of flowers (Manet). I made the lady in the room less lifelike than the portrait of her on the wall, just to underline the point!
All the originals can be viewed in their full glory at the Rijks, but my digital collage is viewable on the Society 6 site.
BUAINIDH mi an earr reidh,
Gum bu cheinide mo chruth,
Gum bu bhlathaide mo bheuil,
Gum bu gheinide mo ghuth.
Biodh mo ghuth mar ghath na grein,
Biodh mo bheuil mar ein nan subh.
Gum bu h-eilean mi air muir,
Gum bu tulach mi air tir,
Gum bu reuil mi ri ra dorcha,
Gum bu lorg mi dhuine cli,
Leonaidh mi a h-uile duine,
Cha leoin duine mi.
I WILL pluck the yarrow fair,
That more benign shall be my face,
That more warm shall be my lips,
That more chaste shall be my speech,
Be my speech the beams of the sun,
Be my lips the sap of the strawberry.
May I be an isle in the sea,
May I be a hill on the shore,
May I be a star in waning of the moon,
May I be a staff to the weak,
Wound can I every man,
Wound can no man me
From Carmina Gadelica, Volume 2, by Alexander Carmicheal, 
Illustration is a digitally altered illustration from the original :
Plantarum effigies /è Leonartho Fuschio, ac quinque diuersis linguis redditae … by Leonhart 1501 – 1566
I love this poem and keep going back to it for lots of different projects. There is something deeply resonant in the melancholic longing that Yeats expresses, promising beauty and meaning, offering the perpetual challenge to discover the unattainable, the unimaginable.
The illustration is from a walk I took a few years ago in Christchurch England, alone and tranquil. Somehow fitting.
W B Yeats evocative poem ‘The Song of the Wandering Aengus’;
throughout his poetry, Yeats works with the inescapable polarities
inherent in being human. One is the gap created
by our ability to imagine perfection, to dream , to pass
into a world of mystery and magic, to imagine a life better
than we know — and the mundanity of everyday life.
We feel the pain when the imagined life makes the life we lead seem desolate, when the ordinary everyday is our only reality. It behoves us to allow our real lives to support our dreams and vice versa. This is how Yeats expresses the task, of living in hope of a dreamt possibility, forever.
Yeats is a favourite poet of mine, expressing the longing in the individual for something yearned for yet possibly unfathomable. The quest is the inevitable journey each individual must take. It is the perpetual drive to retain the mystery and magic in a world that is sometimes inhumane, hostile.
One more thing – read it aloud, it is music .
The collage is mine, borrowing from Rembrandt and the portrait of his son as Titus courtesy of the Rijks
‘There is nothing stable in the world; uproar’s your only music.’ Keats
Sometimes its all a bit too much