A Highland Spring

So I didn’t manage to update at all in February at all, but I have been resting and recovering and (on occasion) overdoing things and having to rest even more. The fact that spring is on it’s way is quite energising, though I do have to be careful not to do too much, which is sooo hard for me.

Most of last month was horrible weather-wise, wild and stormy and cold, which meant it wasn’t too hard to hibernate. It’s always telling of how wild it’s been when I have a build up of salt on my windows from the sea opposite my house. I failed miserably at trying to photograph that though. I did manage to get out and about on a few occasions and then found, after a week of visiting folk, doing my housework and beginning to tidy my studio, that I couldn’t get out of bed for a few days.

Then lying in bed, looking at the wild weather outside I decided that recovery is a bit like a Highland Spring. You get these lovely jewels of a day that remind you why you decided to live somewhere so far north and then come the storms and the lambing snow and the cuckoo snow (don’t quote me on which comes first!) and everyone hunkers down for a few more days. But progress towards growth and lighter nights continues regardless and bulbs sprout and leaves start to bud and everyone seems just a little brighter.

But the last weekend of the month was lovely weather-wise and it was if the Highlands decided to cheer us all up by showcasing how fabulous it can be. We had glorious sunny and relatively warm days and the most wonderful show of Merry Dancers (Northern Lights) with clear starry skies. I didn’t manage to get any photos of those either, but luckily my wonderful pal Lorna at Castle Cottage B&B did manage to get some wonderful shots which I’ve shared below. Do check out lorna’s website if you are planning on staying in the village, it’s great accomodation with lovely views and a very friendly welcome

Though I am so, so much better than I was, I had to enjoy, what I think has been the most glorious display of Merry Dancers that I can remember, from the photos shared on Facebook and Instagram by my friends and neighbours as there is no way I’m up to driving round the village after 9pm, by then I’m usually quite sore and ready to head to bed with a hot drink and a couple of paracetamol

However, I am trying to focus on what I can do rather than those things that still have to wait and I can do so much more than even a few weeks ago.

I managed to go back to my art group and do some oil painting and some drawing. It was so good to be able to meet up with arty folk again and they are so generous and supportive. I painted this wee painting of pears in about an hour, but first painting post op. I’m definitely keeping this one.

I also managed to head down to the Howard Doris Centre and met fellow volunteers from the Growing Group. We currently seeking funding to erect a poly crub and build more raised beds. After a consultation process last year to find out what people wanted from a growing project It’s hopefully the beginning of something quite exciting.

I delivered some paintings to the very able Ross of Freedom Framery He and partner Trish have got together with other businesses down at the smithy hub to organise a mini spring show, which starts this Saturday 4th of March and runs for about six weeks. These are three paintings that I made at the end of last year, but I reworked them a little bit and added some spring flowers. Ross is framing them for me before the exhibition.

I’ve also opened my Etsy shop again as I’m well enough to go to the Post Office now. It looks a bit sad at the moment with very few items on display as I had a sale before Christmas both online and at my studio. I sold more than thirty items, which was wonderful. I do have some new work ready, which I plan to upload some over the next couple of weeks, but it’s takes a while to photograph and upload everything so it might take me a while, but do keep checking in if you’re interested.

I’m planning to offer some prints of my work this year on Etsy and maybe some packs of greetings cards as quite a few folk have been asking whether I would considering offering that option, but more about that soon.

I’m hoping to get back in the studio next week. I’ve missed it so much but I am scaling back a bit this year and will probably have less work for sale. I do have an exhibition scheduled at An Talla Dearg  at Hotel Eilean Iarmain in October, with Aileen Grant Art and Steven Proudfoot and while that seems a long way away right now, it really isn’t, when you’re working on a body of work. Aileen and Steven always produce such wonderful work and it’s such a great wee gallery that I don’t want to let anyone down. I’m really glad that we’re on the calendar for October rather than June as we have been for the last few years, because there is no way I’d be ready for that.

Thanks so much to all the lovely, lovely people who have supported me over the last few months. The messages and little kindnesses have been wonderful. Thank you xx

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