Abstract Expressionist Absurdism then.
Updated: Aug 16
Hi everyone. Welcome to my first ever blog post. I have been busy these last couple of months. I dramatically changed direction in life by quitting a job that was causing me damage and starting to focus on doing things I love instead, like abstract painting and absurdist performance clown art. The last year or so has been perhaps the most difficult in my life which I have spent healing from trauma and I feel very grateful to be in a good place, feeling positive and energetic about my work, my life and what I have to offer the world.
My ideas have evolved since I first considered going self-employed. I was originally planning on setting up a painting and decorating and cleaning and gardening company, which also did murals and sold paintings..... Phew! Luckily a friend, Luke Bailey, was offering life coaching at that time and I decided to have some sessions with him. Through his careful questioning I realised that I was making things complicated for myself and I was putting lots of effort into plan B's. Even though I can do all those other things too it's not what gets me excited. I found it useful to hone what it is I do and it feels good to concentrate on my Plan A for a change.
So I made some logos and I sent them to friends for feedback. Then the self doubt crept in and I descended into a logo design pit of despair, questioning every tiny detail about the fonts, layouts and what I'm about. It was really useful at this stage to be working with Arts Marketing pro Clare Lowe who made the final decision which I'm really happy with. I needed someone else to step in otherwise I feel like I would be going round in circles forever. I then built a website, a Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter account and officially birthed SADie pHew! into the world. Clare is supporting me with my marketing, website and social media.
I am testing out my collaborative commissioning process with friends and look forward to sharing the pictures on my website and social media. Thank you to Zoe Wood who has commissioned paintings for a pet cat she used to have called Mr Schmoo, and also manifesting a future house, which involved a meditation exercise. Thanks to Elma Jenkins who is having a painting about the Freedom of Cycling, Charlotte Scott is having a painting about movement and dancing and to Helen Parnham & James Hill who are yet to decide. A double thanks to James Hill who is an Acupuncturist operating in Clifton and is currently treating me with a combination of needles and cupping. I highly recommend him.
I found the process of making a website useful for honing what my personal art practice is about. It took a long time to write my artist profile. It is so difficult. I grappled with feeling vulnerable and exposed and dealing with my inner critic making me feel inadequate. I have studied clowning and fooling with Holly Stoppit these past few years and learned techniques to deal with the inner critic which have been very useful. This is a big part of what my artwork is about: inner landscapes, masks, emotions, therapy, mental health and the physiology of trauma.
I am also part of an Absurdist Performance Clown Art duo, Hazmat & Covid, alongside Genevieve Davis, and we are delivering some socially distanced and ridiculous street performances in the next few weeks commissioned by Oblique Arts with funding from Arts Council England. We will start with The Bristol Coddywomple on Sunday 26th July, which is an ambling street performance in St Anne's from 6-8pm and should be fun and a great debut for this adventurous duo. We have been rehearsing for two months and are excited to bring Hazmat & Covid out to play.
So, welcome to my website and blog. Feel free to get in touch with messages of support and encouragement or support me via Patreon. Please let me know if you are interested in taking part in a collaborative commission, buying artwork or prints, digital illustration, murals, performances, or anything else. And lastly, thank you to all my friends who have been there for me in the tough times. I love you so much. You know who you are xxxxxxxx.