A day in the life of an artist: Week 5

Nov 05, 2022

Welcome to my new weekly blog posts documenting my first 100 days of being a full time artist. I am running a daily diary on my instagram stories and this weekly blog post of what I've been up to, what have been the challenges, the surprises, what I've learned / discovered etc.

This is my fifth week and I have been enjoying the beautiful Scottish landscape and exploring new galleries.


So what's happened?

Well halloween is our anniversary so we try to make sure we are away and this year is no exception. This time we are up in Scotland and have tagged on visits to a couple of galleries.

Before we left the Blue Tree Gallery in York got in touch to invite me to exhibit with them next year. I was really pleased to be invited as I've not exhibited in York before and this gallery has some wonderful artists already exhibiting with them. So I will have a new collection for their exhibition starting in March. Busy busy busy! 

So back to the holiday. This year we decided to visit a different part of Scotland this year, Loch Awe, mainly because the cottage we rented is right on the Loch and I can't resist being in or on the water and this place came with kayaks! 


Paula Dunn Artist in Scotland


We also visited our favourite place in Scotland, Glen Coe and the wonderful Buchaille Etive Mor... my favourite mountain ever!


Paula Dunn Artist at Glen Etive


And explored Neolithic burial grounds which reminded me of being on the West Coast of Ireland and visiting the Ceide fields.


Neolithic burial grounds


On the drive up to Scotland we stopped off at Dockside gallery to drop off some work for their Christmas show unframed. This is a new gallery to me so it was nice to be able to go and visit this wonderfully bright space just a short walk from the centre of Berwick. It's a fabulous gallery and I am so pleased to have been invited as a "special guest" for this exhibition. I have the following 3 small paintings included in the show which opens on 15 November.


Paula Dunn at Dockside gallery


After Berwick it was on to Edinburgh to visit another gallery to discuss exhibiting with them next year. More about that next year when things firm up.


The challenges

Knowing when to say no! As you can see I've had quite a bit of interest from galleries this month but trying to judge how much I can take on is difficult at the moment. My head is still in the space of trying to fit in a full time job but I do think I have a pretty busy schedule ahead of me next year.

So even though I was on holiday the note book came out and I sketched out what I was committed to doing and what I need to focus on when I returned from my holidays.

This sketching out helps me to dump all those ideas and thoughts so that I am not using up loads of brain energy trying to remember things. It also helps settle the need to get back to the studio immediately to crack on with the painting. First I needed to think carefully about what paintings were need for which event, what would work well, the types of statement pieces etc. However, now that I've done that I've realised that I am going to be super busy for the next 6 months.


Planning with Paula Dunn Artist


What I've discovered

This is the first time it has hit me that I am not going back to work at the University. Whilst on holiday I found that I was no longer checking my work emails to "contain" any dramas back at the office. I had some wonderful times working at the University but I am glad to be out of that environment and in control of my work.

Don't get me wrong I check my emails regularly and will respond to messages from clients, galleries etc when I am on holiday but it's different when it's your own business and you do get to choose who you work with.


What next?

Next week I shall be straight back to painting for my exhibition with the Northern Lights Gallery in Keswick and getting my demo paintings ready for release to my subscribers later in the month. 

Check out my daily posts on my instagram stories for some sneak peeks.

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