Thursday 9 December 2010

Hermitage Bazaar

SNOWS HAVE COME AND GONE, ours the least whitened corner of all the white white country. Perhaps they'll come again (and I'll show you snow soon), but in the meanwhile I am busy in this warm nest of ours brewing a wintry painting and scheming schemes for keeping the wolves from the door.

Last weekend we had a pre-Christmas art market in the village hall. Here's my stall above - a table-and-clothes-horse affair all ivied and teetering with pictures. For stall-neighbours I had friends and artists Danielle Barlow, Virginia Lee, David Wyatt & Jason of England with their fine wares. And my two paintings for the Shared Legends project have come to England along with all the others and are on show til the 18th December at Rougemont Castle in Exeter. Here's the flyer with details. Do come along if you are nearby.

As the year wears on, I find myself a little workswept and crosseyed with Things To Do. Where on earth do the weeks go? Soon after lunchtime, the sun seems to go down again, and another day shuffles off to hide under the bedclothes. My Once Upon O'Clock order list grows longer, and as ever I struggle to find time to fulfil jobs like these where reimbursement is rather on the low side compared to the hours required to create. I have decided to stop taking any more orders for the time being until I can nibble a good way into the snaking list. Then, when I am open again for orders, the price may have to hoik a little. I am torn between keeping these clocks affordable for folks and making the enterprise a worthwhile one for me. I find that in all dealings it is best if the energy exchange is in balance, be the variables goods, money, time or favours. When the balance is off kilter one or other starts to feel drained or overloaded, and I don't want this to happen in my work. Worrying about money always pinches the creative flow. It is mighty hard to feel inspired whilst thinking about paying the gas bill. However, I continue to take on jobs where the payment isn't nearly enough, but the reward is great in terms of joy in the making, or forging connection for future possible projects.

So I have been thinking (prompted again by a recent blog commenter two posts ago) about the possibility of creating a little piggybank here which could help cushion things for me. It often surprises others that I am living pretty much hand to mouth, and I wonder whether this has just become a way for me, something I have stopped questioning. I never imagine not being poor, and mostly it's OK, I eat good food and am warm and happy. But the one thing that having enough would mean, would be a release from the brow-furrowing money anxiety that is such an every day exhaustion for those on low incomes. How I go about this is a winding path in itself, and one which I hope I am already a way along. Perhaps one day I'll be a proper illustrator, with books in book shops, perhaps one day when people ask me if I have illustrated books I'll be able to say yes! I am aware too that my head is much better made for thinking up stories than account sheets, so perhaps a worldly clip round the ear is needed in the hope of getting myself more business-minded?
Meanwhile it strikes me that many many of you love what you find here at this blog, enjoy reading the words I write and getting lost in the worlds I paint. I am pleasantly baffled at the kind emails I receive from the world over, still quite amazed that people like what I do so very much. So I thought, if each person who visits and finds conjured inside them a smile or a Good Thing, and who feels like it, drops a coin into my hat over there on the sidebar -> it might actually help. And I'm all for these crowd-sourcing web-wide threads of support that we see knotting themselves all over the cyberplace too. It would really make a difference. Thank you.

And now to more winter calls of "Roll Up": I've been looking through old suitcases of work, and found some paintings which I thought folks might like to buy. I sell originals usually because I need the coinage, and occasionally regret selling a favourite. But here are three strange offerings, photographed by evening desklamp for you to snap up, or peruse.

The first is one I've never shown you, because I wasn't sure about it when I painted it, but now I'm fonder of it than I was. It was painted about 3 years ago in oils on cardboard and is slightly different from my other work. It's scrubbier in its paint surface and there are little pieces of text torn from an old map scattered in the girl's hair. She holds the hoof of a strange wheeled beast, and what it all is about I cannot tell you. It measures 12 1/2" x 13 1/2", will cost you £400 and is called "Edges of This" :

this photo above shows the closest representation of the colours,
here below are some close-ups:


The second, you have seen before. This painting is based on an Inuit folktale about a woman, Kakuarshuk, who is trying to dig for children (this is the way they got babies in these stories) and was painted in watercolour on paper in 2008. It measures approx 14" by 14" and will cost you £400. Here's Kakuarshuk and her three babies-not-yet-born :

This scan below shows the colours truest:

The third is a softer wash of a painting, painted in 2008 too in watercolour and pencil. An old man and a young girl form part of this greenish dream, and a staircase winds up into her hair. The paper on which it is painted measures approx 13" by 13" and the painting will cost you £400.
"There's A Stair in Her Hair" he said :

And a scan showing the true colours:

Now if anybody would like to buy any of these paintings in the next week or so, just drop me an email. After that I'll be listing them on etsy with slightly higher prices to account for the shop fees.

And that hat'll stay over there for passersby to fill with gold. Let no-one feel a pressure to contribute, but if you should feel inclined, maybe now's a good time.. before paypal and the rest of the internet implodes and we are returned to distributing pamphlets on the streets and selling paintings and tales at crossroads. ;)



Anke Weckmann said...

I can't afford a painting at the moment, I put a little teabag contribution into your hat. Because I want you to continue creating your beautiful work. Keep warm x

Von said...

Beautiful, magical work as always.I have posted a link with illustration on my blog of the Inuit folktale because it is about birth and acquiring babies.Hope it spreads the work a bit.I would adore to purchase it myself but am also in need of teabag money.Keep warm, keep doing beautiful work.The display was lovely.

Sarah said...

I always feel a little thrill when I see you have written a post, and I always find magic, beauty and wise words here when I visit so I am going to throw a coin or two into your hat! Hope it fills up so the ink and tea will not run dry.

Vickie said...

Rima you are an honorable and humble gal and I will always be glad to share my little with your little, for all together that's bunches! hurray!

Shelley Noble said...

Three things occur to me regarding this post, wait, four things...
1. Your words are often sublime. I save a line here or there to marvel at often. I share them with others who also marvel.

2. Your art is world class. You deserve to be supported financially. If the world was based on pay for talent, you would indeed never have to think of money ever again. But as we all have found this is not the case. It may not be fair or just but it does conclusively seem to be the case that talent, goodness, or deservedness in no way influence one's situation.

3. I am saving up to actually pay you properly to illustrate two folktale book ideas of mine that I think you will resonate with and love to work on. And printing books is an area of my experience that is very comfortable. So, these, at the very least will be published books that you have illustrated. Now, if you imagine that a large publishing house pays it's authors large amounts of money or gets them prestige of some kind, I can tell you the facts don't bear that out. I understand most big book deals give the author about $2/book sold. And further, self-published book, where the author sells the books themselves thereby retaining creative control (no small gift that) and more of the mark-up, gives 10 X's that amount. Plus, as long as we indeed do have the internet, the means to sell to your worldwide adoring audience is direct and meaningful.

4. You will do as you see fit, naturally, but I never like the hat/tip jar notion. It feels undignified for the artist to me. And unnecessarily so. It may seem to give more freedom to the visitors to donate or not as they choose but to be it adds an uncomfortable taste of need and poverty to the exchange. Personally, I suggest to people in this situation, with more talent than money currently, is to set up a kind of patronage. A subscription of sorts, whereby those with means can pay a small but steady amount to your piggybanks each month or year. An amount that doesn't bite too hard in the wallet but that adds up quickly in number, such that you know you've got a sure amount each month to rely on. Hopefully it will grow as well. Then we are invested in your talent as an artist. We become micro Medici, making up by public number for our size. You then are treated like the genius you are, given full and complete freedom to create. But not so fatted up that the fire in your belly gets quelched.

Raining Acorns said...

Enchanting work. So glad Von put us on to you!

Meg said...

Alas, the starving artist thing gets very old very fast.

Genevieve said...

I delight in reading your stories & I have a pinch to share. wishing you a warm & cozy holiday season.

HKatz said...

and another day shuffles off to hide under the bedclothes

You're a poet as well as an artist with a true gift for conjuring magic, beauty and folklore. I hope those wolves stay away from your door (and instead leap into one of your enchanted forest scenes).

Emerald Window said...

Hello Little Magic Woman,
I have shuffled some of my pin money into your hat. Sorry it isn't more, but when I get a little more Karma cash, I will share again. I see nothing wrong with the hat in the sidebar. We benefit soulfully each time we read your blog and look at your beautiful paintings. I am happy to pay a bit for that priviledge.
Having a patron is a fabulous idea, but they are a bit thin on the ground. An art rep might be a better idea.
Have you ever thought of printing some note cards? They are a good way to nip into impulse cash that folks have. I would love to buy some cards with your beautiful paintings on them. There are so many more people who can afford something for 10 pounds than 500 pounds. It adds up fast.
Good luck to you and I'll whisper to the wolves to disregard your door.

Lindsey said...

Hello lady. I think this is a grand idea. The gnawing sensation of anxiety is no friend of the artist. X

Snippety Giblets said...

I wish I could afford one of your wonderful pictures, my dear, and give it a loving home.

I think you are in good company with your donation button (I'm thinking of Ms Valente's on line fairy story for instance) and it's good to give those who love and share your wonderful photos, internet finds, and stories and poems a way of showing their appreciation.

Curt wants to direct you to this chap's "experiment" and manifesto which he admires greatly as a business model.

I fear that it is a sad indication of the way our society has developed that those skilled in arts from your own kind to nursing, authorship, crafts, etc are struggling to get by while bankers, "celebrities" and politicians gorge themselves.

Expect a wee parcel from us soon xxx

Snippety Giblets said...

....sorry - I forgot to put the link !!

Peacocks and Sunflowers said...

teabags and ink
gold leaf and gingerbread
one friendly wink ;)

Heather said...

I love the look of your stall and it's trails of ivy set everything off beautifully. You are very sensible to reduce your list of commissions. Being overworked and feeling stressed would kill your wonderful creativity and to feel that making a new piece had become a chore, would be disastrous. I fear that your amazing paintings are out of range of my pocket, but I wish you well with them and am very surprised you are not already illustrating books. Good luck with everything and I hope that 2011 will be, if not prosperous, then at least lucrative and have a very Happy Christmas.

Anonymous said...

I really love the extra-added strangeness of the first painting that you are showing us for the first time, but sadly cannot stretch to it right now.

I have bought you a few teabags.

I'll post a link to this on Facebook and Twitter later in the hope that some will share.

barbara said...

Dear Rima, It is right and honourable that you give us the opportunity to give you something in return ... your sharing on the internet is a source of joy, wonder, inspiration, and encouragement to many :-)
Bless you :-)
The 3 works you show in this post are to me simply touching and moving beyond words ... on human, spiritual, and artistic level. Thank you dear artist and woman !!!
I won't forget :X

Oya's Daughter said...

Definitely going to keep the "pass the hat" in mind for when I have funds; I just sent all my karma dosh to a project on Kickstarter - and I thoroughly approve of this even if people may think it's "grubby"; just because one does what they love doesn't mean they shouldn't get paid for it!

Maybe try doing "kickstarter" for some of your animated work? (give it a lookup on google) I am amazed at how many people manage to get their projects funded and supported and you certainly have the talent.

Mark me up for a cuppa in a few weeks time, and I'll work that artist-karma, touch the Magic and pass it on.

Jess said...

Rima your work is gorgeous, I've no doubt there'll be lots of happy takers! (Or rather bidders!)xx

Catherine Luce said...

Strange how I just purchased some of your prints on Etsy before I read this post. I was thinking "I've been so inspired by your work and blog that I should really buy something". Must have been something in the air.
I'm a fellow artist but not starving only because I gave up being creative to raise my kids and help with the family pharmacy which payed the bills much faster. We do what we have to do but I do regret not having the time to grow creatively. Now that I'm back at it I realize how much I've missed it.
Have you sent your work to publishers, its hard to believe that you wouldn't be given a book deal?
Hope the print sales help a bit, looking forward to receiving them!

Bethany Scott said...

I have literally just stumbled across your blog, having searched for 'Jack Frost' in a vain attempt to find a book I read when I was younger. I found your breathtaking pictures instead, and all I can say is I'm speechless! I'll be visiting again; your works are so haunting, gruesome and wonderful, I absolutely adore them. Thank you :) I want to be an author some day, so maybe in the far off future could I please ask you to draw a cover for me?? ;) In the meantime, please keep posting! Lots of Love from Dorset x.x.x

Lrc said...

I will echo my delight with the others...and all creative people need a steady income to keep everything together and the teabags coming in. I always enjoy coming to your garden of words, stories,and images that often inspire curiousity. I will try to help keep the wolves from your door in a little way...

mama p said...

i also echo what others have said-- especially Snippety, for it ~is~ a sad indication! it also called to mind the fact that when i was young, i ended up avoiding making my creativity my 'career', and i went to something else that assumed would be more properly paid. and here i am so many years later, hand-to-mouth as i'd feared but no creative life to speak of!! the lesson is to keep at what you love, methinks. and never to fear asking for a hand! i love your clever button :)

mythopolis said...

I would do it if I could, Rima. Times are tough here too. It rains thru the ceiling in the bedroom. I have a small 4-room house. I live in the front room now. I am doing these applications for help to get my roof fixed. But, it gets complicated. When you are poor, you have not much to put on the bargaining table. And that, is that. I am not whining about it, since I have seen worse times. You can do this. Your art is wonderful. I can picture this in my mind. You will get through these times. Whether or not you know it, you are an inspiration to me to keep trying. D.

Josh said...

In the states, we have to support our public television/radio channels with almost entirely with donations. Rima provides us all, free of charge, with a rich and fanciful blog full of language, image, story, and glimpses of artistic, rural and nomadic life.

Beyond that, she is also a gatherer of wondrous things without peer. I have never found a web aggregator capable of pulling together the range of quirky, fascinating links as she collects and shares using her raft of sites (Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, StumbleUpon). Among my personal favorites, tweets about BBC radio programs I could never otherwise have known existed about the Kalevala and an award winning short-story dramatization of 'Moss Witch'.

Taken together with her art (lest I forget her art!) at her Etsy and Once Upon O'Clock shops, and we all know there is no part of the Internet quite like Rima's corner of it. (Sorry, Rima, but that's the truth of it.)

So, all you long-time devoted commenters, and all you thousands of lurkers who've felt awkward silently following Rima's life all these years (Yes, I mean you) Support someone that has had the good graces to warm our cold monitors and place wondrous things in our paths all this time, so that she may feel that much freer to continue being exactly who she is.

There, that about sums it. ;)

Anthropomorphica said...

I know that existence well, it's rare that a creative mind has ahead for business and many of us are indeed hand to mouth. My coins are flying into your hat, a small donation but my blessings to you are tenfold.

Anonymous said...

I have loved your blog for some time now and am always thrilled when you post something. I would love a piece of your original art (especially a clock) and hopefully will be in a position to buy something one day soon. In the meantime, I will send a grateful token for so many hours of pleasure you have given me free of charge. Much love and luck to you in the new year.

jerilanders said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terri Windling said...

The 3 paintings you've posted are beautiful, Rima!

With love from our corner of the village, Terri

Joan Tucker said...

Rima, I added a little something to Paypal; for the amount of joy, delight, and magic that I have received at your blog a small token of respect is nothing; I have purchased your prints on etsy and lust for a clock as do so many. Artists need not be poor-
you deserve the best,but in the place of current riches, you have been given magic.. a commodity sought after by sages and kings. Magic words, magic images, magic dust. Blessings, Joan Tucker

Griffin said...

"we are returned to distributing pamphlets on the streets and selling paintings and tales at crossroads."

Hmmm, now there's an idea! No money, just people exchanging help and kindness as we ought for a pamphlet or a picture... or both. Hope the little bits help however, since money is still in very crude health.

Sarah Greenman said...

As always, your work is enchanting!

Katie said...

here here! Good on ya, Rima :) I sent a little something your way...if I can't come and have a bit of coffee with you, at least you can have a coffee on me. :)

Goblin & Griffin said...

Hello Rima,

I agree about how important it is (and how challenging) to try and keep the energy exchange in balance in the buying and selling of art!

Having spent much of the last three years burrowing through a multitude of illustrated children's books to read to my son, I must point out that simply having a published book should not necessarily grant someone the title of "proper illustrator".

Having also spent much of those same 3 years completely enchanted by the illustrations, pictures and tales you share here, I must point out that there are limited number of current artists as deserving of the "proper illustrator" title as yourself.

But I think that self-publishing is something worth serious consideration.

A Rima-illustrated children's storybook is certainly most thrilling to imagine, but even a Rima art book collecting many of your most favorite creations would be a treasure. Perhaps there is a website out there that could convert some of your digital image archive into a bound paper form to be available for puchase by the many who have enjoyed their visit the the Hermitage.

Have a wonderous Solistice!
-Monica of the Masks

Sara Gothard said...

I congratulate you on your artistic heart and lack of business sense! It may not be without its worries, but I think it has its compensations, too. There is honor in busking, on a true or a cyber street corner and I am happy to pitch in my pennies. Thanks for sharing your work and words.

Tiffany said...

Dear Rima,
Have you heard of - you could maybe make your own book of prints and sell them, as suggested above. Also, it's a great way to 'put yourself out there'. If you were going the way of seeking a publisher, then you could send them a book of your illustrations. I wish you lots of luck. I will be saving my pennies in the New Year (fingers crossed I get the job I am being interviewed for tomorrow) to pay for our clock. Have a happy christmas and prosperous new year. x

Amas Veritas said...

As we say here in the southern United States, "Bless your heart, you sweet baby!" I thoroughly empathize with your conundrum. I struggle to keep up with a constant wave of requests for piano and voice lessons all while holding down a full-time blunder of a job in town. While I dream of owning a book/coffee shop where I can live and work in relative peace and creatively manipulate my surroundings, trying to calculate where moderate security ends and success begins ultimately results in bafflement on my part. At least you're living out your dreams and making use of your abilities. I envy and worship you completely. :)

Acornmoon said...

I always enjoy my time spent here, reading your unique way of phrasing and admiring your mysterious other worldly images.

I hope that you will find the support you need to carry you through the coming months and years to come.

Wishing you a joyous Christmas, "Once upon a Time" sends his love.

LittleInsect said...

There go the coins into the hat, for the many hours of pleasure I have had reading your blog, and experiencing your world.

Street artists and musicians have passed the hat since medieval times, and what is the internet, if not the world's most used highway?

We put coins into the hat to show you how much we appreciate you