Sunday, October 02, 2016


Today I'm changing my life - and this blog.

I've been mulling over the future for some time. You may have noticed I posted much less frequently over the summer months.

I've decided that as I get older I want to spend more time being where I want to be, doing what I want to do, seeing what I want to see and being with the person I value the most.

In other words, two years past my very big birthday I want to retire and enjoy all the very many benefits of being a pensioner!  I've been one for ages but have not really made the most of the change in status. Instead I created another 'job' for myself - and that's what going to change.

My 'proper' retirement will continue to be active but with a change in priorities.

That means:
  • "Less is more": still writing but less time blogging - on Making a Mark. I'll certainly continue to cover the art competitions and the open exhibitions of the national art societies in the UK which I enjoy hugely. However there's likely to be much less coverage of other exhibitions - except those I'm particularly interested in and want to share.  I gave up trying to do daily posts some time ago and now make more use of Facebook. There will be fewer blog posts going forward. Hopefully I'll get better at translating what I highlight on Facebook into a weekly post on Making A Mark - and also get back to featuring individual artists more. I'd like to write more articles for magazines - if they'll have me! 
  • more time on the websites I do want to develop - that includes 
    • the two published to date for Art Business Info for Artists and Botanical Art and Artists. There's still loads of content that needs to go on both those sites. These have their own blogs as well - with shorter blog posts!
    • the two new websites I want to create relating to Fine Art Materials (currently a work in progress) and another site for resources for artists covering the basics e.g. drawing, composition, colour etc. The main reasons for doing this is educational - to highlight and make more accessible the resources that already exist on this blog and other great sites.
  • more time on making my own art. Having cataracts, writing a book and various injuries etc all  took their toll on the ability and time for making art and I got out of the habit. I now need to get back into good habits! Maybe even selling some - you never know!
  • more time visiting places I want to go and see - lots more gardens and galleries! I'd like to get back into regular sketching which took a severe knockback this year due to problems with walking and balance and needing to keep what I was carrying to a minimum.
a birthday trip seven years ago
the sort of place I want to be - visiting gardens and places where painters painted
He who must not be bored
while I sketch
- in another garden!
  • more time on going out with "he who must not be bored while I sketch". He complains a lot about me always being on the computer so I'm going to do something about that! We're neither of us getting any younger and we need to make the most of our time together. 
  • more time walking - to reduce weight and make life much more bearable as my bones and cartilage degenerates and soft tissue keeps tearing (I've been diagnosed with osteoarthritis on top of other joint problems). Getting the right balance between walking enough and yet actually remaining mobile continues to be a really major challenge (I seize up!). Achieving tolerable levels of pain would be great. 
  • plus much more time on an absolute essential which is leaving my current home and finding a new one - without stairs - which will be more suitable for the very significant problems I have with mobility from time to time.  There's nothing quite like being unable to move up and down stairs easily due to injury to get you focused on what are the real priorities in life!
Once I've got myself settled in a new place I'll be able to reappraise and change my life again.

What do you think? Have I got my priorities right?