Sunday, 29 November 2015

yin yang

I have just got back from taking down my show. And right now it feels like it could be my first and last show. I knew by being ambitious with 500 paintings I would face obstacles. Also by having a show you would be open to critics. So I am going to split these posts into two sections the good and the bad. And like a yin yang symbol how you get the good and the bad into one, I hope to see at the end of it a balance. How the good will balance out the bad.

Japanese Noren Curtain - Linen - Natural Dye - Full Moon.

Yang -The Good

Believe it or not I am a huge dreamer, I believe that everything is going to be the best it possibly can be. I thought for this show, The Queen could turn up (I had invited her) I would sell all my paintings. David Hockney would hear about me and my work and make me his protégé. I see it as a good thing to think like this because if you dream big, big things happen. It has got a lot to do with hope and determination and a dash of insanity. So when the bad happens (see previous post) you are ready to keep looking for the good thing which could be around the corner. Like a phoenix in the ashes syndrome, keep rising from the bad things, even though it is an exhausting process.

Magic things that happened because and during the show:
-  Jane potrykus came down from London for the private view and took photos and said the show was brilliant.
-Absolute academy who I did day courses with came down from Cheltenham and wrote a piece about me.
- House and garden wrote an article about the show. And also loaned out 9 pieces of work for an interiors shoot.
- My friends wrote some unbelievably touching messages about me and my work.
- Polly of Bayntun Flowers who always shows me such hospitality wrote an article about me on her blog, and created the foliage archway to go over the door for my show. 
- Jacob Bodilly came up for the day to Bath to see the show in the evening and ended up helping out for most of the day. I was quite overwhelmed by the kindness someone I only met twice could show.
- the private view was rammed, queues out of the door, from all the walks of life. People showed up. 
- by dropping my phone down the loo, I can't answer calls etc while the phone drys out for the next two days in rice. Giving me the perfect excuse to switch off from the world. 
- esme winter turned up to the show with a present! two people I admire for their talents and taste.
- And the people who have brought me to this stage in my life Beavis and Chirsitne who tirelessly helped me to combat my Seizures. Christian Dunham who said I'd done good. And he helped me this year build up my self esteem after it had been beaten down by an abusive ex. Seeing both these people this week surrounded by my art work grounded me to acknowledge that I have come so far in such a small space of time. 
- my most amazing thing though is down to making my family proud. I have been able to show them with this show, that by them not doubting me it gave me the space for me to create my own path to be an artist. 

unknown photo

Yin - The Bad

I don't always see bad as something that should be feared. Through bad things, experiences happen, lessons are learnt and appreciation for the little things are seen more and more. But that doesn't stop them being anything but stressful or upsetting at the time.

- the woman I rented the gallery from put the wrong date in all our emails for my show so all my leaflets, press, posters, and flyers were wrong. But she had put the right date in the invoice. So even though phone conversations and 6 emails both said the 30th always check all the paperwork!
- people come in and say shitty things about your work. e.g 
I don't like your signature I think you have ruined your paintings with your signature. 
I think you have found your comfort zone with this show, you could of been more experimental.
Your signage is rubbish, hope you enjoy your alone time because no one will come in to see you.
- trying to take the show down and it is torrential rain transporting the paintings to the car.
- organising things for the show as much as I have enjoyed making the dream in my head become reality, it has consumed my mind and I have developed insomnia for the past few months. 
- the woman I rented the gallery space from telling me she is going to have a party for the show she is having for her work, in the hallway but going to have the party in my space. so stressing about security of my work, and generally pissed off that I am paying for a space to then have a party there. And expected to be cool with that. 
- I dropped my phone down the loo....classic 

There is more but you get the idea. 

Photograph of a solar eclipse, April 17, 1912

Monday, 16 November 2015


I am in a funny headspace at the moment. Purely down to the fact I haven't had a good night sleep for two months. So emotions are high. I even cried at Harry Potter the other day not at a particular sad part just when he arrives back at school and he looked so happy to be there. 
As I said very on edge emotions at the moment.
I can't blame it all on the show, because I am enjoying the work, its creative, interesting to see how people are reacting to the show. And above all its a huge compliment people are traveling across country to see the work I have produced.
It's the juggling act, I am putting on this show, still completing commissions for people and working at my part time job at the yoga studio.
I am completely run down, I wont lie, I have 4 mouth ulcers, heartache or disappointment not quite sure, also my back is a knotty mess, and tiredness has set in, so ready to curl up and hibernate.  However I am not a complainer I am a doer. So with these symptoms I have been looking for natural healing methods from my favourite sites online.

For the back and overall tiredness = ginger detox bath
Answers for the odd headspace that is going on = moon reading
Sleep tips, anything that will help me sleep! = 10 easy steps to sleep
for the heartache, that has many answers = wisdom, clarity , growth, hope

unknown picture

Friday, 13 November 2015


Since the beginning I have been thinking a lot about the pricing for my show. How much I should charge for each piece, should one be more expensive than the other?
I have come up with £40 per botanical illustration. Yes I know its low but I am not valuing my work as £40, I am allowing it to be £40 for this show. I have 500 paintings, and I am giving people the chance to buy an investment piece. My other work has already been valued at £1500. 
Having art on your wall, is only accessible to few these days, so I am breaking down the divide and keeping it that price for this show. I am not going to charge more for people who have more money and give freebies to those who don't, I am not Robin Hood. 
 Call me a romantic, but I want to make this show about the art allow people's heart to connect to a piece and fall in love with it, that they want it to be a part of their home. 
My show opens at 6pm on the 23rd of November and runs till the 29th of November.


Monday, 9 November 2015

where's my patron?

Who do you invite to an art show?
Once you have invited your friends, family, business contacts, clients. Who do you invite to widen your circle? I will be honest I am struggling to know, because it brings up the question where do I see my carer going? 
I know I want to be as successful as Hockney painting all the time, pushing my art style and not having the over hang of money worries. It is just knowing how to get there. 
The Turner Prize this year a nominee was an artist who hung fur coats on the back of chairs. I am a landscape and botanical painter coming into a world of contemporary and modern art. 
It makes me think where does my art work fit in. 
This might just be me thinking this but I feel the art world is stagnant at the moment. I am not saying the artists who are getting recognised aren't talented but there is no progression. Mainly I think because the new artists that are coming up now there is a certain box that they need to fit into to move up. Look at the exhibitions that are on at the moment in the big London galleries, the new art by artists who are alive like ai wei wei is again modern art, political, you have to read the sign on the door to know what the hell you are looking at, and 90% of the time the work isn't even made by the artist himself. Then you have other artist exhibition that are going on at the moment by deceased artist Alberto Giacometti. Work made by the artist, his own style, created a movement, and owned his craft. Love him or hate him at least Charles Saatchi was a patron to up and coming artists who bought up their work and people followed suit. He shifted the art world. Just like Ernest Hoschede did with the impressionists buying up Monet's work. 

I am calling out for the art world to get its new patron, mix it up bring back painting.
Artists who create their own work, not these directors. 


Saturday, 7 November 2015


A years worth of rain made a desert bloom. Look at every possible article you can on this, as this is the world just magic and unpredictable. 

atacama desert

set design

I always like meeting people who are in the set design world. I am so curious to know where they get all their props from. Simon Costin is someone to look at. Set design is defiantly somewhere I want to explore. Bit like how Hockney did set designs for the opera. 

simon costin

why the show

I had a meeting with a company in LA this year who apple set up for me. And this company works with fine art artists in a decorative way. Apple thought this will be perfect for you Lucy your work is quite decorative I can see this happening. So off I went to this meeting, where I sat and listened to this mans advice to me which was to marry a banker so I can dabble in my art on the side, also that he wouldn't touch me because I had no name for myself. Nothing to do with my work purely down to if I was famous enough to work with him. I noted this advice during the meeting and ignoring his previous sexist remark I asked so how do I create this name for myself? He said he doesn't know. Useful man indeed. I left that meeting and dumped the catalogues he gave me of his own work, that he asked to give to my big clients, in the bin and with the attitude i'll fucking show you, you arrogant twat. I decided when I get back to England i'll put on my own show. 
I kept thinking I needed to wait to get noticed by an art dealer, gallery or buyer to allow myself to have the name of artist. I know now it is a process in your own mind that you go through to build to get there. That is why I wanted to draw so many paintings. To perfect my style along the way and that if you put a certain amount of hours into your craft you then become an artist. 
So if you think about an artist you think about them selling work, having work in a gallery, and they have a unique style which is recognisable to them.
It has worked to some degree even before the show has even opened I have a gallery who now wants my work, I have already sold some of the paintings and I defiantly have my name out there because people recognise my work. 
I have to keep reminding myself that this all happened in 4 months. Only thing that is different now is that I believe in my carer as an artist and my work and maybe being true to myself has shifted things about in the universe to bring the things I hoped for into my life. 

musée rodin

Thursday, 5 November 2015

typical day

I don't think I could ever be in a 9 to 5 job I am too restless, and not to mention I have an issue with authority and people telling me what to do. That's why being an artist suits my personality, It allows me to create my own day and everyday is different. It does take ALOT of motivation, anyone who is self employed knows its up to you to get your income if you don't put in the work its not going to magically fall into your lap. I do get asked what I actually do, so here is an outline of my 'typical' day. 

7am wake up mediate with OMG I can mediate app

7:30am check all social media and emails

8:00am start the day with hot water and lemon and this Porridge recipe by deliciously Ella
While I eat my breakfast, I either look at a magazine world of interiors, elle decoration, house and gardens etc or cruise pinterest, I like to fill my head with inspiration.

8:45am make up get dressed. 
Even though I don't really see many people during the day I still like to get ready as if I was going to an office and seeing a load of people. All my make up is from content beauty and I mainly wear things from whistles or hand me downs from my mum and combat gear don't ask why I just like the tom boy feel, and mens clothes are always warmer than women's and they have loads of pockets! 

10am I like to be at my desk, just to note I haven't taken all that time to get ready, usually procrastinate for a while. Now is when I say all the behind the scenes stuff happen, replying to emails. I take time to email everyone back and keep it personal. I never ignore an email, it is about having manners at the end of the day. Look at contracts I have got through. Write to companies I want to work with, nothing wrong with letting people know you exist. Research! research to me is key, if I have been contacted by someone or a company I will research them to the point of spying. I will look up what other artists they have worked with, have they ever done a project like this before, where they might be heading and where will this business with me end up, can I get another commission out of it? Everything is left to timing but doesn't hurt to be well equipped for the journey. 

12am I eat every 4 hours as I read in Ayurvedic diets you are meant to because it is better for your digestion. Eat and watch a tv programme usually something like gardeners world its calm informative and its half an hour. 

12:30 out the door and too the studio. My studio is about 15mins away from me down a country lane. You will not find it, its in the middle of no where.
First thing I do when I get inside is whack the heater on, it is a barn so it is freezing year round. Light a candle too lift the stale smell, and boil a kettle for some type of herbal tea. Mainly drinking matcha or Daylesford herbal teas. Then it is all down to what I am feeling that day. If I am moody or upset it will usually be a sea scape, if I am calm a watercolored landscape, and if I am meditative and want to just work it will be botanical. Botanicals come so easily to me they just flow out of my hand. 
I will stay here now till 6 or 7 depending how much I am getting done. Some will be for a commission but others is just for me you got to work and create pictures without the heaviness that it has to be good because it is for someone. 
During my time at the studio I can sometimes have a movie on, thats if I am tidying up or doing maintenance. But when i am painting it will be a podcast or classical music. I either like to be learning something or completely zoned out.
I do have breaks I go walking in the fields, or if I am cold jog round the field to warm me up. 
And throughout the day social media I have my phone on silent all the time, I hate to be constantly reminded that its there, I rather be in control of when I do and don't check my phone. 

And thats about my day, I will still answer emails and work later on when I get home, as a lot of my companies I deal with are in America so the time difference you have to work with that. To be honest I probably don't stop working till I got to bed. But I am happy. 
Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life
- Confucius 

John Ruskin

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

do feel

I just finished watching the TED talks with Rachel Brathen of Yoga Girl. And it nearly made me cry.
I have picked out these phrases that Rachel says:

-telling the truth about how you feel will inspire others to do the same.
-talking about your pain is healing.
-sharing your story is letting it go.
-we all feel the same things just not at the same time.
-being vulnerable is how we heal.
- when bearing your soul with the world, tell the truth. 

I do feel when I talk about something a lot it is my way of coming to terms with the event that has just happened. It is true by talking we heal. When my friends talk about a certain problem constantly it is time to ask the simple question are you ok? Instead of thinking they are complaining. I know this because I will constantly talk about a dilemma I am facing not because I don't want to let it go or that I like the drama, it's because I am hurting. 


song of the sea

Just finished watching my film of the year. Song of the sea, its an Irish animation. Can't quite take it all in the beauty , the story, the music and the magic. I am completely absorbed into everything about it.

song of the sea


When is it right to let something go? 
How do you know when to fight for it?
What you let happen now is what will continue?

All questions I ask myself probably on a weekly basis. Just because I find life throws at you obstacles that make you question, your self worth in my opinion. And when your self esteem is so low a slight trigger to past events is a familiar process. Trying to listen out to your gut, your heart, and your mind what they might be telling you sometimes can just be as hard. How about if you have been treated so badly before, that this is just the past experience telling you that the same problem is occurring and you should get out now? Instead of having patience to seeing what is around the corner. The bad is usually closely followed by the good. Looking for a silver lining in each situation. That is why hanging onto something bad can become a habit because the good is so closely behind it? 

 The answer defiantly comes with a question mark.
As I haven't quite worked this one out yet.

Renee Brown