Owls in the Heart tree

Where does inspiration spring from? I sit and people watch in coffee shops, doodle in a sketchbook, or stare into my coffee, ideas start to form. Or perhaps, I might get inspired leafing through a magazine, or sifting through piles of vintage buttons and old aprons. Sometimes it strikes at inconvenient times, I often catch myself drawing in the steam from the shower…….

The inspiration for “Owls in the Heart tree” came from my beautiful Forest Pansy tree. In winter its branches are bare. Dark pink blossom blooms briefly in spring, followed by tiny, exquisite heart shaped burgundy leaves. In summer the leaves grow to the size of my hand, in autumn they turn yellow and softly fall.

I have been dithering about opening an Etsy (click here) shop since last year. But I have had a push from life. On December the 31st I am being given the boot, retrenched, made redundant, sacked, fired from work! No, don’t panic, I haven’t done anything wrong. Due to funding cuts from the government, the course I teach to young adults with mild intellectual disabilities is being discontinued. It’s a sad feeling, wondering where all my lovely students will go and I have been doing this job for ten years so it will feel quite strange not being there any more.

So, I have taken the plunge and opened a shop which you can visit by clicking on the Etsy Shop button on the sidebar. So far I have a few prints in there, but plan to add original paintings and soft owls too. I would love to know what you think of my shop. I know it is very difficult to make a living from art and craft but I really would like to try. Perhaps also having a part-time job somewhere else too will be needed, hmm but what kind of job? I’m tired of having a job where I bring home worries about my students, I’d really like to try something different. No ridiculous suggestions please, like the ones my husband has been giving me!

“Owls in the Heart tree”

Detail of “Owls in the Heart tree”

Forest Pansy in bloom


50 thoughts on “Owls in the Heart tree

  1. Wonderful art! I love the shots of the leaves! All of these are beautiful!
    I am sorry to hear about your job… and I am sorry for your students too. I am sure your etsy shop will do very well! Your art is AMAZING! 🙂

  2. First things first: I would buy your artwork. I absolutely love it! Secondly, I also lost my job a year ago due to government budget cuts and looked at it as a second chance. It’s possible to use this opportunity to do something that you can enjoy and rest your mind, all at once. A bookstore, an arts district part-time clerk, something creative that doesn’t involve you being worried when you get home. I wish you the best 🙂

  3. I love your owls. I can only imagine that they’ll do quite well in your etsy shop. I’ve not heard of Forest Pansy tree before, but think that it looks beautiful– especially with some owls in it. 😉

    [Thanks for visiting my blog. That’s how I found you– & your owls!]

  4. I also work with adults with learning disabilities and know how hard it is not to bring work home with you. I hope this forced change will be a positive move for you. Your work is lovely and I wish you all the best for the future

    • Thank you! I think the main problem I’m having at the moment is worrying about my student’s futures for next year. Once they are all settled, I think I might feel more settled too. 🙂

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    I love your little upcycled owls – so simple (in a good way) and yet so full of character.

    Sorry to hear about your job. I have a part-time completely non-creative job as a bookkeeper which suits me perfectly. It *is* hard to make a living from art and craft, so it really helps me to know that there is some regular money coming in regardless of whether I have sold a little or a lot this month.

    I’m sure you will work something out, and I hope your shop does well.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with me. I know I will have to get another paying job soon. It has been so depressing at work this year with all the cuts, that I think my motivation for looking for work has been almost non existent. But I really have to move on from that and start applying for things, soon!Thanks so much for visiting. 🙂

  6. Your Owls In The Pansy Tree is lovely. You have a great gift, and I’m sure you will have success selling your work. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away. Persist, you’ll get there.

    We have an arts center in the region where children and adults take classes from working artists– any chance you could get involved in something like that? You’re a teacher already, you’d be a natural– and I expect you’d be bringing home a lot fewer problems! Good luck. : )

    • Mark your comment has really touched me. I was having a very down, self doubting day, so bad I almost packed away all my art materials. Reading your journey towards doing what you love and need to do, really inspired me. Thank you so much, Jen.

      • You’re very welcome, Jen. It’s easy to get discouraged. I’ve been there many times. A friend told me once that despair is never an option. He’s right, of course. But the temptation to give in to it can be very strong.

        Have faith in your gift, set realistic short-term goals, take a long-term view. You’ll get there. Oh– if you haven’t done so already: use all the social media tools: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Take some time to learn how they work, and set up accounts. They’re a good source of “likes” and recommendations that you can use to grow your business. Be patient with yourself, and keep smilin’– wishing you the best! : )

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