Recharging... Where? What? Why?

I have not been very present or prolific on this blog lately.
In fact you could be forgiven for thinking that I had given up on it altogether. 
Well I definitely haven't...I just desperately needed a break...and some time out. 
Some recharging....in many areas.

I decided to give myself some time off and set the week after Easter weekend as a date to make a come back (on this blog). Now don't go thinking I had some kind of break down or emotional upheaval (not that there is anything wrong with that) but I decided to have a break BEFORE I ended up having some kind of emotional explosion! I think it is very important to recognize when one needs to have 'time out'! So here are some of my reasons for knowing it was time....

Firstly my parents had an unfortunate incident a while back where they were held at gunpoint in their home and from that point on we decided it was time for them to make the move to come and live with us. I am an only child and so I see it as my responsibility one day to take care of my parents should they need it (a personal choice). I don't want to wait until they are sickly or there is another traumatic incident that preempts this massive change. Moving out of your home is stressful enough and I wanted my parents to make the move while they are healthy and able to enjoy the time spent with us. I wanted it to be as stress-less as possible. That being said we decided to convert my large outside studio into a little cottage for them and do other building alterations to make a new outdoor studio space for me to work and teach from. I have a small but cosy and quaint studio inside our house that I often work in at night and that I use as an office space but it is not large enough to teach or run workshops from. Anyone who tells you that building alterations are not stressful is lying to you! Not only is dealing with builders, contractors and the list of snags that always pop up, stressful...try moving your entire workspace with years of accumulated materials, paintings etc and being in limbo while building alterations take weeks longer than planned (don't they always). Earlier on in the year, knowing that all of this lay ahead, I started to put things in place that alleviated some of the many things I do as I knew I needed to 'get through' this short phase, and remain sane...well as sane as one can remain when dealing with builders and contractors and living on a construction site! Writing this blog and putting pressure on myself to complete many little paintings was one thing I decided to put on hold. I took on  no further commissioned work and declined any extra teaching or workshop opportunities. 

Another reason was that since I fell down our stairs, broke my ankle/leg and broke my cycle of 568 consecutive days of little daily paintings, I had been struggling with what or why I was still doing these little daily paintings despite the fact that I loved everything about the concept of Paintings in the post. They had become so much a part of my daily studio practice and not completing  one every single day for a purpose just felt like something was missing. But to contradict this, I also found myself enjoying spending time exploring larger work again. I realized that many people associated me and my artwork with these little paintings only, especially people who had only just started to follow my journey. This is wonderful but there is also more to me as an artist than quick little daily studio studies and so if I have painted recently (in amongst the chaos and without a studio), I have used this time to explore and reconnect with larger more exploritory work again. You can see parts of my journey which I documented mainly on Instagram (click to visit my feed). When I started Paintings in the post I wrote that I was feeling flat and uninspired after working on a body of work for an exhibition and that I wanted to just sit and paint without giving the outcome too much thought, without mulling over and playing or exploring a painting for longer periods of time. I just wanted to document what I saw. Now I found myself missing that creative exploration terribly and found myself bored (a huge thing to admit) with little increasingly realistic studies, despite how valuable the process of completing them was for me. I needed to discover and explore again. I needed to take some time to just find myself again...

So where to now?

Well firstly, I have an exhibition coming up later in the year which will show both little and larger work. All my recent exhibitions have been purely Paintings in the post related. I have also decided to consider putting larger work back into galleries. I have concentrated so much on my online presence with the smaller little daily paintings that I did not put any larger work out there for a while (unless it was commissioned work) and it's time to reconnect with some galleries again I think. So what about Paintings in the post, you might be thinking? Well there is absolutely no reason why I cannot continue Paintings in the post. I love the concept of little paintings arriving by snail mail to collectors and followers all over the world, in little packaged parcels. Who doesn't love treasure arriving in the post?! Little paintings are SO very easy to post all over the world and my paintings have travelled to more far off places than I can ever hope to visit. There is something hugely satisfying in that thought. So I will continue to do these little postcard size daily (as in finished in one sitting) paintings and share them online and sell them via my Tictail online store. I value the process of painting these little paintings so much (I have written about this many times) that I have realized that they will always be a valuable part of my studio practice but they don't have to happen every day. I can also allow myself the time to work on more process based and exploratory work and other exciting projects too while keeping the little postcard size paintings selling in my online store. I did manage over the last few weeks to paint a few little paintings and they have been added to my store although I did not blog or write about them. An example is the little donut below. You can view a few other little paintings completed during my break (I couldn't help myself, I had to do a few) by visiting https://paintingsinthepost.tictail.com

Apologies for the extraordinarily looooong blog post, but I feel like I had a lot to share. 

My parents finally move into their beautiful new cottage on our property in just a few days time. I'm  SO excited to have my Mama close by! I also have a beautiful new studio that is full of light and surrounded by beautiful trees...I feel privileged and hugely grateful for this. I also feel like I have some purpose and direction back in my art making practice, something that I think came tumbling down around me when I tumbled down the stairs. I was SO hoping to make 2 whole years (yes 730 days!!!) of consecutive little daily postcard size paintings. But it wasn't meant to be. I'll take 568 though...I think it was a darn fine effort even if I say so myself! 

Lastly I hope I make you think about learning to recognize when its time to 'take a break', 'give something up' or have 'time out' when you know you need it. Sometimes we are just so hard on ourselves...I chose to be kinder to myself...I hope you can be kind to yourself too. 

It's good to be back!
(SHEW for someone who professes to be a painter and NOT a writer that's an awful lot of writing...YIKES! Candice Caldwell if you are reading, I think I need an editor... there are bound to be mistakes that I overlook! Ooops!)

Much love and I hope you continue to follow along and encourage your friends to follow too. Remember to sign up to my mailing list to see future posts. I promise they will be shorter!

That's all from me for now (finally), cheers Heidi

PS (not quite finished) A little peek at my new studio space...I am loving it...

Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art


Daily painting #754 Rosey blue

Daily painting #754 8"x8" oil and mixed media on primed panel (unframed)

We are in the process of building alterations at home. I have a studio space/office that I use inside our house but I also have a much larger studio space outside where I teach from 3 mornings a week and paint my larger works from. This studio space is being converted into a cottage for my parents to come and live with us. Another out-building which has been used as a glorified storeroom for ages (i.e. not really used at all) is being converted into a new studio space for my larger work (and to teach from). We live in an old home with lots of character and it has been transformed over the 12 years we have lived here. Our home borders natural park land and so my new studio space, which is quite elevated, is going to look out into the tops of the trees. I am so excited about this...I love a room with a view! We have amazing birdlife and a troop of resident monkeys that live in the trees. However, building is never fun and I will be glad when it is all complete! 

As a result of all the chaos in my house, trying to find my mojo in my studio yesterday was quite hard. I found it hard to switch off from all the interruptions and get my head completely focussed on painting. I shared on social media a larger painting (you can see it here) that I have been working on and for every step forward yesterday, it felt like I took one step backwards too. Like a dance. Dancing is good for the soul right? So I stayed positive and kept painting. This morning instead of heading straight back to that Tango(tangle) or Cha-cha, I did a quick little study "Rosey blue" and then took some paintings I wasn't happy with and changed, altered, patterned, messed and generally played with paint to rework them (you can see this on the link too). It was a liberating way to start my morning and despite the constant drilling, hammering and thudding from outside, I enjoyed the dance and found my own beat. It's fascinating how some days things just work for you and some days they just don't. 
Dance anyway I say!

The view from my new studio space started to reveal itself as they bashed out the wall for a large window.
It made all the chaos of the day worthwhile!
Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art
(Click on the highlighted writing to view gallery of available little paintings)


Daily painting #753 Blue with blackberries

Daily painting #753 oil on primed canvas panel (unframed) 6"x8"

Every time I go into a local store, I see the beautiful berries first thing as I walk through the automatic  doors. Whether it is the fact that I love to eat all berries or whether it is their beautiful jewel-like rich colors that catch my attention, I am not sure. Either way I couldn't resist these gorgeous blackberries which are anything but black. They have the most beautiful, rich colours and the magenta juice or stain they leave behind is my best (well besides eating them of course). I had to summon all my will power to place them at the back of the refrigerator (out of sight...you know what I mean) so that there were blackberries left to paint this morning!
Yummy, juicy blackberries with a little treasure off of my studio shelf!

Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art
(Click on the highlighted writing to view gallery of available little paintings)


Cream and strawberries #752

Daily painting #752 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

New Year, new energy and time to focus on some exciting things for 2017!

Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, food, friends over, celebrations and awesome holidays at hotels with amazing food does not bode well for sugar-free eating! Lots of our good habits started to slip as the holiday wore on! But then it was holidays...and Christmas...and New Year and I am not going to beat myself up about it. 

Instead we are straight back on a sugar-free crusade and the best part of it is that the whole family agreed that the moment we arrived home from our holiday, we were all on board for a sugar-free lifestyle again! The interesting thing is that all four of us noticed changes again as sugar started creeping back in...changes in skin, weight, irritability and moodiness, altered sleep and both my daughter and son at some point had stomach cramps and funny tummies (particularly after eating puddings, chocolate etc). The dreaded 3am monster woke me nearly every morning, despite the fact that I was relaxed and on holiday and should have been sleeping like dream! I felt tired all day with no energy and at night I couldn't sleep! The frightening thing is that I can't even say we consumed large amounts of sugar...just the odd thing creeping back in and lots of eating out and celebrating...what a difference it made! Scary stuff!!

So strawberries with maybe a little drizzle of cream if I am feeling decadent is about as close as we are all going to get to any kind of after dinner treats for a while! I am happy about that!

I have been splashing, sploshing, experimenting and being brave with paint for the last few days, to try get back into studio mode! Its SO good to be back in my studio! I have also been reworking some large canvases that I was working on last year....but I always come back to spending some time doing a quick little study. So a little painting for you today. These little studies ground me. They make me observe, be still and contemplative and really focus my attention. They are like my little studio meditations. 

Wishing you all a fabulous 2017...it is good to be back!

Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art
(Click on the highlighted writing to view gallery of available little paintings)


Daily painting #751 New Year bunch

Daily painting #751 22cm silver circle, oil on primed surface

My last painting for 2016! 

A fun little bouquet on a silver circle. A bouquet of flowers from me to you to wish you a happy and healthy 2017! I look forward to all that 2017 has in store for me and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your interest in my work. I am looking forward to some exciting things in 2017 and can't wait to share them with you!

I am going away until the 5th January for some quality family time and for the first time in over 3 years, I am not packing my paintbox. I feel like I am leaving my right arm behind! But I think my family deserve some undivided attention from me and so no painting on this holiday...only family time (and maybe a good book). That means I will not be sharing paintings or work on my blog or any social media sites until I am back in my studio on the 6th January. I am going to be bursting to paint by then and will hopefully feel renewed, refreshed and energized for all that the new year has to offer!

So in 2017 may you be brave, be fierce, be grateful, be kind...may you find time to do something new or do something that challenges you...be excited, go out and make things happen...and most important of all may you be loved and give love abundantly! 

2017 is almost upon us...may it be gentle and peaceful and kind!

Happy New Year wishes from South Africa
Much love Heidi

Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art
(Click on the link to view gallery of little paintings)


Daily painting #750 Christmas reds

Daily painting #750 8"x8" acrylic on primed panel

My house is full of beautiful blooms for Christmas and so I could not resist just one last little painting before I close my studio doors to enjoy Christmas with my family. Some red blooms from my home to yours...to wish you a wonderful and blessed Christmas. May you enjoy the time with those you love. 

Thank you so much for your interest in my work and Merry Christmas to you all!
lots of love, Christmas wishes and blessing... Heidi 

Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art


December SALE

It is hard to believe that there are only 10 days left until the start of a New Year!!
2016 has been an awesome whirlwind of ups, a few downs and plenty of painting. It has been an awesome adventure and I look forward to lots of exciting things to come in 2017.

With only 10 days left of 2016, that means only 10 more days left of the Paintings in the post DECEMBER SALE, so pop on over to my Tictail store here, click on Daily paintings and see which ones are still available. A few of the ones shown above are part of the December sale....

10 days left of 2016....yikes...happy holidays!

Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art
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