I am a bit late to the party!
All the best plans.........
Anyway, better late than never! So here I go - plunging in.
Hello, my name is Hilary - nice to meet you.
Why do I blog?
I started to blog for two reasons:
- I have an urge to get my work out there, to show it to people and to see what they have to say about it. Is that being egotistical or just a natural instinct? I am not sure.
- As a discipline. I find that knowing that people do visit my blog (the stats are always fascinating) spurs me on to be creative. I feel guilty if I have not blogged for a while - I feel I am letting my readers down. It is fantastic discipline when otherwise 'life' would just get in the way.
But now that I have been blogging for a little while, you know the most amazing thing? It's such a great way to meet people. Through my blog I am in regular communication with people who I would never have met - and all over the world too! How fabulous is that??
Mono print with stitch embellishement
About Me (because I guess we're all a bit nosey and anyway it's a good way to break the ice)
My blog has a slightly bonkers title - Living to Work - Working to Live. Nothing about me or textiles or art in there at all!
And that is because I lead a slightly bonkers life!
I live on the South Coast of England - Gosport, Hampshire - a small town just across the harbour from Portsmouth (home to Nelson's flagship 'The Victory' and Henry VIII ship 'The Mary Rose').
I live here in the official sense, because it is where I am registered to vote etc. But I spend most of my time in Milton Keynes some 120 miles north, because that is where the day job is. So my studio (my materials, my sewing machine and my creative mess) is in the rented house just outside MK.
My work/life balance used to be well out of kilter, and my kids would say to me that I lived to work. And now that I have an additional drive to create textile based art, the obvious choice for my blog name was Living to Work - Working to Live. I was trying to be a bit ironic.
Anyhow it stuck.
So now I troll up and down to Milton Keynes. Sometimes I spend all weekend there but usually I come down to Portsmouth on a Saturday evening (but go back on a Sunday).
The day job has nothing to do with the arts in anyway, though some of my creativity is able to be expressed in more commercial ways. Its a good job and I really enjoy it. Could I give it up? Well no - I need the money and I could not live off my art but sometime, as we all must do, I dream of winning the lottery and having more time to be creative.
About My Work
If you had asked me what I did a few years ago, I would have said I am a Quilter. But really I am a mixed media/textile artist. Most of my work includes stitch, but my materials are moving away from traditional fabric and I am now much more likely to be embroidering onto paper or tissue backed with wadding or felt. Snippets of fabric still find their way in, but mostly I start with paper now.
I also use a lot of paint and print techniques, and bit of good old cutting and pasting. Hence the description mixed media/textile.
I am a member of the Contemporary Quilt group of the Quilters Guild of the UK, and I go to Embroiders Guild meetings in Milton Keynes.
And what next?
Well. I am beginning to accumulate a bit of a body of work so I am thinking that I need to be a bit more business like about my art. Clear the decks a bit and allow me to buy more materials etc.
So this year I am doing an Open Studio event with two other MK based artists. This is potentially a big thing for me. I hope to get some feedback on my work that will then give me enough confidence to, perhaps, approach a gallery (golly - there I have said it! Getting all grown up about my work).
But, one step at a time! And I have to fit all of this in around the 'day job', helping my grown up kids from time to time. visiting aged parents, walking various hounds and trekking up and down to Milton Keynes (2 hours in the car is 2 hours when I could be at my sewing machine!)
Have a look around my blog - see what you like and perhaps say hi so I can find your blog too.
ps - these pieces below are machine embroideries - all framed.