Friday, November 1, 2013

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Shock Horror........I am leaving Clevedon Craft Centre

I have had a wonderful 2 and a half years at the Centre.  I am pleased I went there and also that I expanded into a larger studio to do more teaching.  I have learnt so much and gained so much confidence in  myself, my teaching and my Art work.

But the time is right to move on. The teaching has become so successful that it has started to dominate so much, that I no longer have time for me, my family or my own Art work.

The aim when I when I moved to the larger studio was to teach in the winter to help when no visitors were around in the quiet months.  But the visitors never really materialised.  Last year I put it down to the bad weather but even with the fabulous summer we have had,  the visitor numbers have been very low. So to be able to stay at the centre I expanded my teaching, and overloaded myself.  I cut down some hours earlier this year,  but have had to raise them again for the winter.  It became clear that I was teaching to stay at the centre to be able to paint,  but in order to stay at the centre I was having to teach so much that I didn't have time to paint.....vicious circle.

I had planned to stay until March but when I was on holiday we did some sums and lots of talking and realised that with the extra cost of electricity for the heating and lighting through the winter, I gained very little by sticking the winter out,  so I may as well call it quits now.

I am not giving up OH NO!!! I have learned now what my priorities are and I now have the skills and confidence to go for it.
This means setting up a Home studio,  for any of you that follow me on facebook, you will know I am in a major sort out mode at the moment, so now you know why.  My studio will initially be in a spare bedroom,  but come the end of the winter we will look into building a studio in the garden.  I will still teach,  but probably only Beginners groups and Day workshops but only when I have the time.

I am working towards a Summer exhibition and also am looking at spending some time at the coast painting.  I will approach some galleries and I will also now have time to visit some other Artists and perhaps works on some collaborations I have been thinking about.    Being in the studio has stopped me doing many of these things, as I always felt I had to justify the money I was spending, so did as much as possible there, which was limiting.

Things I will miss

The company - Painting is a very lonely task and there was always a creative person around not only for a chat but also some feedback.  I have made some good friends and met some very talented people.

Having a place to go, to paint away from home - Its much more of a motivator than at home, with all the distractions, so I will now need to push myself much more.

Some of the students - some have become real friends over the last couple of years.

Things I wont miss

Some of the students.... need I say more

Being constantly on show - you have to keep your space tidy in case visitors come.  My work is on display at every stage and as some of you will know, work in progress can looking shockingly awful for a while, and people don't hold back on comments just because you are in the room.

Being constantly up-beat for the students -  no matter how you feel,  you have to put a smile on your face and be positive,  very hard all the time. No time off for any illness.

Being cold  -  To save money, the heating is only ever on when the students were in, so most of last year I associated painting with being cold and wore a couple of pairs of fingerless gloves and my coat whilst doing so.

Working weekends -  for the last 2 and a half years I have hardly seen my husband,  I am looking forward to getting to spend some more time with him and visiting my children and other family more often.

Enjoying summer - A warm summer holiday --- bliss,  the last 3 years we have holiday'd in the winter months as I needed to be at the centre during the 'busy' summer period. I also can now also have the odd weekend away yay!!!

" People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it"

George Bernard Shaw

I know some of you will think I am mad! but as from the 31st december I am moving onward and upward.  I have handed my notice in and told all my regular students.  It is sad but I am also very happy and at this moment have no regrets.  Those of you online, will see me more often on Facebook and Twitter and I will get an online shop up and running.  Also if I have said I would love to come and visit,  I may actually have time to do that now.....

Watch this Space

Janice x


  1. I'm sure that you are making the right choice Janice for both you and your family, and that you will look back at your time teaching and inspiring others at the craft centre with fond memories. Good luck for the future. Julie

  2. Best of luck Janice - at least you have no regrets about not trying!

    1. No regrets at all Stephie, I would n't know what I want if I hadn't done it x

  3. Good luck for the future, can't wait to see your new studio and all the beautiful new work you will be producing!
    Clare xx

    1. Thanks Clare, I am getting excited now :-)

  4. Good luck Janice and good for you, I understand every word you said and is the same for me. Never at home never have enough time for anything else and painting is the last on my list each day and the cold!! Brrrrrrrrrr trying to keep shop warm for the customers at the mo but dreading the Elec bill. Keep in touch Hx

    1. Thanks Hayley, I will definatley keep in touch and good luck with whatever your future holds x

  5. sorry that you are closing down....however, I am glad you did is always better to get to the end of your life, look back and say "I tried" rather than....I wonder what would have happened......You have made many new friends, some that will now always be your friends....and I am sure the experience will have enhanced your life. Enjoy whatever you do in the future and enjoy the new quality time with your family

    1. I really have no regrets Brenda, which is always a good thing xx

  6. Janice you have put into words the exact thing that is happening to me at the craft village, where I have my studio. I have just started teaching to 'survive' being there. I would just like to say that I was more productive when I worked from you will be too, and I never had to worry about paying the bills on the unit!
    Before reading your blog, I had already made up my mind to leave the 'village' I really feel it's not what I thought it was going to be.
    I would like wish you every success as you continue with your art career. I look forward to seeing your new paintings on FB. Enjoy this new phase in your life and stay warm!
    Best wishes
    Debbie :) x

  7. Thanks. Debbie, all the best for your future, keep in touch and let me know what happens x