Louella Odie in the studio, slow time
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Could you go where the wi-fi is weakest?

Following behind the yachts racing around the Isle of Wight last weekend I thought about why island living has always appealed to me despite the obvious inconveniences.

A miniature version of anything has the potential to beguile just by virtue of its size; think miniature art works, humming birds, wild strawberries or those tiny handbags which were in fashion last year. At the same time all that twee tininess can be frustrating, think miniature bottles of alcohol or stupidly small nouveau cuisine.

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what is original art, print, print maker, louella odie, karen mead
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Fine Art Prints, what is SO original about that?

Its Art Fair time in Hong Kong again.

Of course I love the idea that lots of people aspire to own real art. Part of the reason I am passionate about print making is because I like the democracy of multiple images meaning prices can be lower and more accessible to buyers. However Fine Art printmakers get all hot under the apron when they see galleries selling Fine Art Prints, all convincingly signed and numbered, which are not true originals but reproductions. It may be difficult for the uninitiated to understand the difference especially when galleries themselves are keen to blur the distinctions, and in some cases the people working there are quite uncertain themselves.

Here is my cents worth;

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Lino cutting demonstration-reduction cut-ernes Burton buttons-registration
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Lino Cutting – you thought it was relaxing? Reduction Printing explained

I am often asked if lino-cutting involves some sort of brain gymnastics because of the idea that working with the image in reverse seems to imply a need for slightly deviant thinking. The back-to-frontness of relief printing is nothing however (unless you are using text), compared to the terror which strikes beginner printers when they have to think in coloured layers which happens with multi plate prints.

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Lattice pattern-lattice scarf-fuck weasel brooches
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100 Days of Pronoia

New Year and all its resolutions is supposed to be an optimistic time of year, which is a burden if you are habitually negative. Like most pessimists I believe I am a realist, that is to say I don’t think things will always go badly but I do think a bit of shit in life’s sandwich is to be anticipated, and moaning about it and hearing others worry about potential bogey-men is one of life’s secret pleasures and essentially what gin and chocolate were invented for. All we can often do for our families and friends is to just be there to help stiffen their resolve and pour the drinks as they wade through horrible times.

That was really the function of the original Fuck Weasel that I made for Lauren. A reminder to her that your attitude is both armour and sword. I find shit-deniers much harder to understand than those who have a colossal venting whinge about life’s unfairness and then plough bravely on. In our family my husband is an optimist of frankly heroic proportions. This is surprisingly annoying to live with. He sees every domestic calamity as minor and most major disasters as mere irritations. Like the cartoon where the character can run off the cliff and keep going in mid air until he looks down and falls, my husband just refuses to look down. Ever. We call it his pronoia – a belief that the world is conspiring to help him or a belief that everything is great despite the evidence. I don’t understand it at all but I do envy how much more simple his universe is. For him there is only fixable-shit and ignorable-shit and therefore he gets things done.

For me there is shit-happening, shit-that-might-hit-the-fan, old-shit-that-I-haven’t-dealt-with, and worst of all; The-Big-shit- that-I-cant-yet-see and every shade of brown in between. It is often paralysing.

At the start of 2017 I have decided I would like a taste of this pronoia stuff. I don’t think I could sign up for a whole year but I am going to commit to 100 days of positive thinking and shit-ignoring which by my calculation takes me to April 10th, by coincidence the date of the first human-cannon ball act in London in 1877 and if that isn’t an act of positive thinking I don’t know what is.

For the next 100 days I will be wearing the rose-tinted specs and posting every sparkly and frankly tenuous grateful thought to counter the natural procrastinating grump which is me in the months after Christmas (sans gin and chocolate). If I promise not to use #blessed (to which I am severely allergic) please please can you point me in the right direction for some grateful thoughts?

Rats! already two days behind…..

1) Positive thought: two days behind on my positive thinking and therefore only 98 to go.

2) Positive thought for today: found a forgotten box of new pencils and got that ‘start of term’ feeling.

Karen