Angel Fossil – This piece is one of about 6 mini-oil paintings with a stone theme. They will all be featured here in the next weeks.

Size: 16 x16 cm
            6.25 x 6.25 inches  

Medium: oil on cardboard  

Story:  Several years ago, I had a period of working with soapstone; one sculpture of light sea green stone became, ‘Angel Fossil’. Right at the center of the wing form the stone is so thin that it is almost transparent. Most of the hand sized forms I made during this time resembled shells or stones that you could have bent down and picked up, either on a deserted beach or deep in the woods.

What I like about this piece: I like the whimsy and the colour in this painting.  Also, the spiral in the lower left hand colour intrigues me and confirms the bond that these forms had with shells.

Tip:  The paintings in this first series are the same format and very affordable. If you buy 3 at a time, with one simple *adjustable frame (no matte needed) for all three, you can frame each one in turn according to your mood. Contact me for images of the whole series at info@artwell.nl
* adjustable frames allow you to frame and de-frame pieces easily with just a turn of the swivel clips on the back.

Price: $25      €17      15 GBP         plus Shipping:  $5     €3,50      3GBP 
Please note, all work is delivered unframed 

Ordering info: Please click here.

Sustainable marketing

December 17, 2009

NEW!!  Featured Artwork page, scroll down and see previous post

Connected to the idea of sustainable creativity, ie creativity that can be maintained in a natural way, fitting with one’s lifestyle and capacities over a long period of time, is sustainable marketing. 

What bothers me about the current ideology of building up social capital via networks such as Twitter and Facebook is that generating poplarity is a means to an end. A friend of mine put it this way:   just as she’d become tired of people who invited her out to lunch then spent the time trying to sell her their multi-level marketing scheme, now she is fed up with people who want to be her ‘friend’ on Facebook , etc, when it’s clearly about building a market for whatever they are selling.

Another pitfall I’ve seen is that once you have a following, there is a constant pressure to maintain your visibility and keep coming up with new things to keep up the interest.

I’ve also seen how quickly some one can shoot to stardom, only to be dropped when the next hot thing comes along.

The remedy for this, if these kinds of methods don’t suit your temperament or ethics, is the old fashioned way of doing what you love with integrity, building up a customer circle organically, and developing up your own staying power by aiming for long- rather than short term results.

In her book, ‘The Soul of Money’, Twist refers to sufficiency and sustainabliilty as being based on values like partnership, gratitude, and valuing what you already have and using that as a prime resource.  This eliminates the need to acquire more and more followers, and shifts the focus instead to the social and other resources which are already close at hand.

Basically, sustainable marketing is quality over quantity. It is something you can grow into and grow with, that fits with your ideals, and nurtures you and people around you  as well as your business. That really is ‘win win’.


First featured artwork

December 16, 2009


Stone stories

      This piece will be available to buy for two weeks: Wednesday December 16 – Wednesday December 29th.     

See  ‘Intro to Featured Artwork’ page for info about this feature.  

A few words from the buyer, who is a dear family friend: 

‘I would LOVE to  buy Stone Stories.  I have such an affinity for stones and rocks ( cairn building among other things).  All the rocks around my garden were  personally toted by me up from the creekbottoms.   So if it’s still available, it has found a home and a home in which stones are highly prized’.   

Sarah here again: For me, as the artist, I especially enjoy how stories meet.  Candy, thanks, enjoy it and I’ll send it off this week!

Stone stories – This piece is from a series of mini oil paintings I did when I was trying to get more into painting and was not ready to tackle a larger format.  

Size: 16 x16 cm
          6.25 x 6.25 inches  

Medium: oil on cardboard  

Story:  In this series I often used stones as symbols. I associate it with the quote from Anne Michaels’, Fugitive Pieces’:  

‘I learned the power we give to stones to hold human time. The stone tablets of the  Commandments. Cairns, the ruins of temples. Gravestones, standing stones, the Rosetta, Stonehenge, the Parthenon’.  

What I like about this piece:   the overall colour scheme, I find it soothing. And I like the moonshaped stone in the top left hand corner,  it is still in my garden somewhere-a curious ochre colour, pitted and weighted when you hold it in your palm.   Also, the little sliver of golden on the left hand side, to the left of the terracotta coloured stone looks like a split in a curtain where light from a magic realm is peeping in.  

Comments/tips:   I’d suggest framing this simply. Here is what it looks like in a simple wooden silver leafed frame: 


Price: $25      €17      15 GBP         plus Shipping:  $5     €3,50      3GBP 
Please note, all work is delivered unframed 

Ordering info: Please click here




Michael Nobbs,  an awgrad friend, wrote about ‘sustainable creativity’. Faced with chronic fatigue syndrome, he  had to find a way to keep creating despite physical limitations.

His journey from being a driven, stressed artist, trying to complete large paintings, to slowing down and making small, easily finished drawings has been beautiful to witness. It is nothing short of a radical change in consciousness over a relatively short period.  As often is the case, his journey has parallels to my own process of calming down and letting things unfold, rather than forcing things to happen. 

Michael’s ideas about sustainable creativity have to do with finding out how to keep creating despite obstacles. How to keep going, even when you do have to draw in bed.  And how to take small steps, and keep taking them until you build up a body of work.

Once committed to this process, you find that not only are you building up a body of work, but a supply of disciplines and habits as well that enable you to keep working.

I would like to add to this theme by bringing in my own recent insights…on ‘sufficiency’.  Used in Twist’s, ‘Soul of Money’,  to mean ‘enough’, this concept is another tool on the path to more gently supporting one’s creative self. 

Book excerpt:

‘I suggest that if you are willing to let go of the chase to acquire… always more and let go of that way of perceiving the world, then you can take all that energy and attention and invest it in what you have. When you do that you will find unimagined treasures….’

I read the book 2 years ago, but it seems to take awhile to actually integrate the new insights deeply enough to effect a real change  in one’s life.  For me, creative sufficiency is about realizing that I already have enough-  of a lot of the things I’ve been chasing after for the last several years.  Once you start basing your view on ‘enough’ rather than lack, it seems as if the world gets softer and more open.

One practical example of this in my life is that for various reasons (to make my business financially successful, for example) I’ve felt obliged to accept every commission that came my way whether it was something I wanted to do right then or not. The rewards of this were, admittedly, substantial: solving a customer’s problem,  financial return, the satisfaction of completing a job well, and the chance to create using my skills.

The down side was the stress of too much work at the same time; I kept getting rerouted from my own projects; and I had little time to give my home and my health the attention they needed. But most of all, I realized  that I was working hard trying to generate new work, when all along I’ve been sitting on a treasure; we must have hundreds of pieces of sellable artwork here at home. Because neither Rende nor I do galleries on a regular basis, it just keeps stacking up.

And because I was often working to other people’s briefs and deadlines, I haven’t had the time and focus needed to find a way to move  the work we already have.

So for me, the beginnings of creative sufficiency is appreciating this huge resource, and making it a priority to get it out to the people who will appreciate it as well. I plan to do this mostly through my blog and site, so stay tuned.

And on the subject of sustainable creativity, I have decided this coming year to be more selective about commissioned work and focus mostly on the above as well as completing and designing my dementia book in small steps,  developing my webshop  and  my creativity workshops.
Already I feel more relaxed, less driven, happier, and….more creative!!

Later: I’m starting with a mini oil painting on board series, see ‘Featured Artwork’ category. The first one has been posted Dec. 16th and will be available to buy for 2 weeks.

New work etc.

December 13, 2009

It was nice to sit down today and finally  have a session with my materials. 
All the commmissioned work from the past 5 months had me speeding along
accomplishing things. It was hard to slow down enough to play.

This one was done on heavyweight terracotta coloured charcoal paper, first a layer of sketchy acrylic and then oil pastels. I love the colours.

Michael Nobbs has invited me to appear  as a guest blogger on his site.  I’m enjoying the exposure to a new group of people and the thoughtful feedback.  Michael is an awgrad friend of several years and has inspired me with the authentic way he has adapted his art to the internet. I learn a lot from him. I also love his drawings, and own some issues of his ‘Beany’.