Changes, artwork and embracing awkwardness

Greetings, bold souls, we made it to 2022! In fact, tomorrow it will be February – yikes, a twelfth of the year is gone … I’d better stop dithering editing and re-thinking, and click publish! [If you’re reading this, you know I clicked ‘publish’!]

Today, here are 3 small lists popsicles listicles … first, some glimpses of where we’re at right now. Then, a brief wrap up of my art progress from the past year. And finally, some good podcast listens…

Observed changes

  1. Unless something changes – and it might – Urban Cow Studio Gallery, the iconic Adelaide gallery is :( closing down. I was picking up my artwork therefrom and while walking back to my car, there were actual empty shops in the centre of the city & quite spartan ‘crowds’ for a weekday … And although I admit I enjoyed the breathing room, I found it a tad eerie.
  2. Overheard conversation in the supermarket last week:
    1: “The supermarket don’t have <this thing we wanted> … what will we do?”
    2: “We’ll make do.”
    I haven’t heard the term “make do” for maybe decades …
  3. This weekend I went into a different supermarket that suggested via a sign to buy only what you need & leave enough for everyone! [Apologies, no photo!] I’ve never had the impression that supermarket owners/managers were trying to get us to go with ‘sufficient’ before…

These unexpected throw backs were brought on perhaps by the invisible presence of the omicron variant now swirling across our state (South Australia)…

[Forget not that the convenience of trucks-bringing-food-to-supermarkets masks where food actually comes from. Spoiler alert: the earth!]

Let’s take a overview of 2021

Having timestamped when we are today, here are some things that happened this past year, in my art/business:

  1. I created quite a few new artworks – kitties, still lifes, and some lettering. In the process progressing my #100PicturesProject. For those playing along at home, in real time I’m currently working on picture number 99! Woohoo! [Next time, remind me I said I’m gonna nominate a smaller project!]
  2. Fabulous Julie Frahm & I created a vibrant winter exhibition, in May/June, 2021. Julie and I brought the colour, light and flow to our FLOW(ER) Exhibition at T’Arts Cooperative in 2021. I reckon our work made a lot of joy & sense together… :)
  3. Created five new 2022 art calendars – the themes were general new art (Happy to Be Here), Garden Cats, Blue Cat Friends, (food and flowers) Plenty, and a new one with uplifting things hand-lettered Rainbows & Connections. Thank you for your support, dear bold souls … are you enjoying your January (now February) pages? A few 2022 art calendars are left – the online inventory has been updated, so click this to order online if you still want one, or a few are left at stockists.
  4. I’ve made the difficult call to stop doing commissioned cat art – though I’ll not entirely stop painting kitties – and stopped teaching in series-es of lessons called ‘blocks’ (ostensibly terms but not matching school ones). Lessons will continue in a more ad hoc manner, as one-off sessions.

Moving forwards & small changes

Even with most of the apps uninstalled from my phone, it seems like social media and advertising are still trying to chase me/us and get our attention, to get their messages into our heads and take over our time and attention. This doesn’t look to be heading in a healthy direction for individuals, nor likely to ease up in the foreseeable future.

Partly inspired by Sarah Wilson’s WILD podcast (see a few links below) intro advocating better quality of life through “… less bloody scrolling”, I decided to experiment with reducing my Facebook time!

Less time on socials has made for simpler days – with more time for making stuff, reading, breathing fresh air, and sudokus! After a couple of weeks, I took a stroll/scroll of the feed & comparisonitis quickly showed its judgey face. I’m thankful to my kitty for ducking in to nudge me out of the trance. Amazing how scrolling EATS YOUR TIME (it’s designed to) & doesn’t give it back, eventually spitting you out, dazed and regretful – and how is it almost (or past) bedtime?

It sure is a practise though. The lessening of TimeEatenUp does reveal awkwardness in days, sometimes the need for decisions what to actually do! I’ve noticed my own tendency to want to fill gaps, make the day ‘neat’ and ‘productive’. What even is a neat or productive day? Why is it so unfamiliar to go about a day simply being a human, doing life? Is this spaciousness?
And, why are we so avoidant of awkwardness? The only time our days don’t contain awkwardness is when we edit them down to just a few highlights! Life contains lots of natural awkwardness, I think, and perhaps we could do well to embrace awkward, not be so uncomfortable with needing to pause & think, or correct ourselves, or have a longer thought … (panicked scramble) quick let me find a screen or a snack …

As another experiment I let go of pay TV last year, which leaves me with Free to Air TV as a TV resource. I reckon I’d get more reading done if I didn’t watch TV. Baby steps…

Great things I’m reading and hearing

Here are some recent episodes of favourite Aussie podcasts I’d recommend:

  1. Sarah Wilson’s WILD podcast episode where she spoke with Emily Atkin, a climate and corruption journalist. Learn why rage is a useful emotion to tap into to deal with things-so-big-we-can’t-really-think-of-them-much-less-act (ie. the climate crisis). I think that’s also the one where they talk about the types of lying that fossil fuel companies employ. Eye opening…
  2. Here’s also a link to Sarah’s article about ScoMo’s leadership in these times of climate crisis – from TWO YEARS ago. (Lots of references). Quite disturbing to read! Here’s the one where she explains how fossil fuel companies are duping us about our plastic use, trying to make us feel guilty for our little transgressions, meanwhile getting away with their planet-destroying sized ones, often with delaying tactics. Ugh.
  3. This episode of Better Than Yesterday with Osher Günsberg features (most of) 22 big ideas for 2022. Or read all 22 on instagram. I like the idea of people with temporary jobs (politicians) having long term accountability for decisions they make, and I’d like to add an idea: “What if … we didn’t produce plastics (or anything) which we can’t deal with the byproducts/waste/aftereffects from?”
  4. On the theme: should we sue Governments who are making bad climate decisions? Here’s an article that suggests we do.
  5. With the ‘Australia Day’ holiday behind us, I’m a little disappointed with myself … to be honest, upon reading this article I’ve work to do. Some approaches to learn from in this article. Both articles are by Summer May Finlay.
  6. I like to read The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown each year. My first copy of the book went astray and there’s a wait list for a library one … happily I saved up for a fresh copy & can read once more! So human, life-y, encouraging. Fun to catch up too with her research – and sometimes sisters – on her podcast, which she signs off with the warm advice to “Stay awkward, brave and kind.”
  7. Let’s wrap up the list with a bunch of good news… this list of 192 ways the world got better in 2021 from Reasons to be Cheerful, David Byrne’s good news website. Some of my faves are the earlier leafier Springtime, and kids riding bikes to school in great swathes.

I’m grateful that people in all kinds of media are saying what they see, & grateful to be able to point/link to them. What are you listening to and reading?

Thank you!

Truly thank you! I dearly appreciate your support … your interest, readership, encouragement, purchases (prints and paintings, cards, prints, calendars & lessons) – you lift my spirits and help keep the lights on.

Take enough gentleness breaks, while getting on with what you can and must.
Peace and light,
Meg x o



PS I’ve just updated my inventory of 2022 calendars. Now the year has begun, most stockists have a couple left and are lightly discounting, so I am too. Go here to grab one of the last calendars!

PS2 If you want first dibs on my 2022 exhibition (<< more on that soon, woohoo! #impressedwithmyownplanning) artwork, join my mailing list, the Tangerine eNews Tribe shall hear first …  On my mailing list you also get my blog posts (like this one) direct to your inbox once a month, and access to the downloadable, printout-able art gifts in the Tangerine Treasury! I’ve had heaps of nice feedback on being on the mailing list. I love this one:

“I absolutely love all of the color and joy in your emails. When I see a new one, I don’t know whether to open it first (Eat dessert first) or leave it for last (Save the best for last). Either way, it’s been a long time since I’ve so enjoyed venturing into a new area.” ~ Barb”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.