Howdy, my friends. After much pondering and procrastination (is 20 years of it enough?), I have made a firm decision on the future of my work as an artist.
Of course, my decisions are my business, but as a follower and supporter of my work, you are important to me and my changes might affect you so I want to share the whats and the whys.
I am shutting down the print business as it be. All the products in the shop are going away.
The good news is, the time I put into this area of my business will be redirected to amplifying my true creative work, narrative painting.
I turn 60 this year, and finally, I feel ready to let go of this part of my business. Over the last few years, I have found myself constantly asking these questions.
* How is my time best (most potently) used as a creative person with what is left of my life?
* What story do I want to tell in the time left for me?
* What legacy can I leave behind through focusing my actions and efforts over the coming two decades or whatever straw I draw?
* How do I want to use these years?
How I spend my days will answer all these questions. These ponderings have led me to the decisions I've made. I have tried to summarise what's going on below to get you in the picture. I will no doubt provide more jottings on this rearranging of my direction in the future, but I wanted to get this missive to you immediately so you are ready for what's happening over the coming month to take advantage of it if you wish.
* CHANGE OF BUSINESS - I’m changing my business direction, and closing my PRINT business. Yep, this time it's going away (and the imagery as you have known it). This means I have to get rid of stuff to make sure I stick to my decision and also where I am going I won't have the city convenience of continuing to supply the large and varied products. I have over the decades tried to delegate the business, but it always ends up back in my lap, so I surrender that it is mine to resolve fully if I truly want freedom from the responsibility of it.
* LAST PRINT SALE 70% off - (At this price I am only recovering costs on items I already have in stock). The gigantic PRINT CLEARANCE SALE – will last for a maximum of a month or maybe less depending on how the stock goes. I will give you fair warning if I am shutting it down if you are my newsletter list. Then its bye bye for them. **Starts this Wed 28th July.** Will send out a newsletter to launch.
* ORIGINAL PAINTINGS - HUGE ONLINE AUCTION - Beginning 5th August, there will be an Original Art online auction to clear my studio of the original paintings I can't take with me, (keep an eye out for the newsletter). The works are from my stockroom, private collection, old and new, experiments, archives, all of it. Some are framed, some not. You will be the judge of whether something has any value in the auction. Don't be shy, have a crack at it even if you have been a print buyer in the past. Starting bids will be low. Once it is open, you will need to log in and then will be able to bid from your phone or desktop, but I will send all the details to you in the newsletter prior to and through the auction weeks.
* SELLING MY HOME - I’m downsizing my home in order to focus on my new direction, not, coffin-sized yet :-), but will be much more modest and EASY to care for, so I can spend more time on my painting. A few clients have asked about purchasing my home over the years so thought I would mention it. A few pics are below, contact me if you want to buy it! :-) I'll list it on open market as soon as the art sales are done and I can clean up, but all enquiries are welcome in the meantime if you are serious. It’s an amazing property and hard to give up, as I have spent a motza of $$$, blood, sweat and tears on getting it just right, with security, solar, views, fruit trees and so much more, but it's time to move on. With the kids gone, the business smaller its time. Here is a slide show Photos from a couple of years ago. The garden has grown much since then and looks wonderful)
* STUDIO ARTISTS GEAR AND STUFF SALE - For fellow artists, at some point amidst all this, I'll have an excess ‘art gear’ sale, including easels, frames, materials, canvas and other stuff. Stay tuned to the newsletter for this announcement in the coming weeks.
* CARPET BOMBING NEWSLETTER - Also know I will be doing a bit of a carpet-bombing of my mailing list (sending out every couple of days) and social media reminding you of the sales over the coming weeks/month, so please forgive me in advance and resist unsubscribing me for doing it please? I promise at the end of it all I will return to my once in a blue moon newsletter so as not to drive you mad.
* If anyone has gift certificates outstanding you better act during this time or the pickings will be very very slim.
* FOCUS - I’m not retiring; I am getting more focused as time is running out for fluffy padding in my life. I have been wanting to do this 'plan' for a good 20 years. Distractions and life events, in general, have got in the way. The time is right now.
* MAJOR PAINTINGS - This is my **MAIN MOTIVATION** for this life change. To finally allow me to just be an artist in painting. I will be painting a limited number (maybe 12 a year) of major high-quality LARGE narrative paintings to be made available for purchase directly to the public with my mailing list as first priority notification. These works will be at the higher end of the market price-wise and more on the rare side. Quality, not quantity is the aim here.
* NARRATIVE THEMES - The focus or subject of these works will be around my stronger more powerful human condition storytelling and things I care about - the legacy I want to leave behind
* BOOK OF DELICIOUSNESS - I 'hope to' (technology permitting) release a delicious glossy collectable book at the end of each year featuring the paintings from the year with some written word (by me) around the narrative. My intention is to do this to share the imagery and stories with the broader public in a more cohesive fashion - keeping the story together and giving a collectable and content-rich product to the world. An affordable one.
* VERY SMALL EDITION OF COLLECTABLES (maybe) - I am considering releasing a very small number of limited edition prints of these 12 major works each year with the book at year-end. They will be on paper only, small, unframed, signed and not comparable to the original painting (more like collector's items). They can be shipped worldwide with ease from my under my rock cabin in the wilderness, via pelican or pigeon (possibly wombat on stormy days) but I'll let you know).
* CHARITIES - I will do my best to continue to help charities with some limited screen-print stock I’m holding back for this purpose. But the usual imagery will not be there. This sale is it, folks.
* I WILL BE ACTIVE AND PRESENT PUBLICALLY - I will still be active on social media and newsletters, and sharing with you the progress of the major paintings and my machinations in the studio as usual, and all imagery from the past years. I hope to make more videos, where I get the storytelling happening to bring cohesion to my past narrative works, which have in many cases never been heard. I will pull them together.
* ONLINE TEACHING - My online art teaching courses will continue because I like helping other artists to tap into their creativity, and this is the easiest way to share that globally and for me to stay focused on my creative work. I am not sure about live workshops yet (due to my location). I will remain open.
* WRITING - I currently have a number of books that need completing, including the Artists Voice which is close to done and memoirs, as well as others. There are many other projects ongoing.
Lastly, I hope you understand that if I don’t do this, I will explode, just so we are clear.
I fully understand that to be an active and functioning artist is to be an entertainer who goes into hiding to create the entertainment and then jumps out and goes… DA DA! That will continue.
Very Best Helen
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