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Happy New Year! | Looking back on 2021 at Kate Bird Art |

I can't start this blog post without saying a massive thank you to all my wonderful customers and followers for your support this year; every like, comment, share and purchase really means the world to me. Thank you all so much!!


I started 2021 off by completing a piece that was inspired by our lockdown Christmas. My family and I were so lucky that we could meet up at a local part of the New Forest for a dog walk and a festive picnic lunch. We fed the birds so we could watch them whilst we were eating, and this is where idea for the drawing was born. As I was watching the birds, I thought it would be a nice reminder of the day if I created a drawing of the different birds gathered together, it was symbolic to my family in a way as my surname is Bird; then I thought deeper about how it represented the pandemic as well, how everyone came together and supported one another. Which is why I titled this piece 'Coming Together'

Next I launched my new and improved limited edition prints. These had been a long time coming, as the printer I'd ordered back in August 2020 didn't arrive until December! But they were absolutely worth the wait, I am so proud of the quality of them; the colours are so vibrant and you can see every pencil mark, it's as if you were looking at the original! I carefully selected a double mount that complements each artwork; created a Certificate of Authenticity template; then had to process each artwork image to get them to print the right size and colour; once printed I then just had to assemble them all, complete the certificate and package them up. So, it initially took me quite a while to produce each print 😅 but I've been able to fine tune my process so it doesn't take as quite long now. If you'd like to know more about the print making process, check out these two vlogs:

You can see the full range of my prints here


Once I'd launched the prints, I took an online course that had us collaging to find a colour palette, mark making and creating abstract background, all of which lead to me creating the first piece in my mixed media series; the colours I picked, peach, brown and earthy green some how made me want to draw a hare, then the mark making gave me ideas for sketchy grass and the backgrounds inspired a abstract washy watercolour background. And here he is, 'Gaze' 🥰

This piece was then followed by a songthrush, blue tit, goldfinches, monarch butterflies.

I created the butterfly piece because the Monarch species has been denied endangered species listing despite a decline of 99% in the last 40 years. The main reason for their decline is a combination of climate change and the loss of their primary food source, Milkweed. I entered the original drawing into the Sketch For Survival Exhibition, which is a charity event that raises money for conservation charities, my drawing sadly wasn't picked for the main exhibition and auction, there was an incredible selection of artworks submitted, but it was still displayed online, so I hope that my artwork portrayed their story and helped promote the need for urgent action; 1.2 million were recorded in the 1990s, now there’s fewer than 2,000 butterflies!


I finished the last drawing for my calendar in June, which was my red squirrel 'Beatrice'. I'm pleased to say that my calendars went down very well, thank you so much to everyone who bought one. Some were bought as christmas presents and I've received lots of lovely messages these last few days to tell me how much the friend or relative loved it 😊


In August I had my art group's annual exhibition. This was a great success and it was

amazing to see my work displayed all together.

I ended up in quite a bad episode of creative block after finishing the squirrel. I was still doing art related tasks; ordering the calendar, exhibition prep, and I had a stall at a local event too; but I didn't draw anything for nearly 3 months. This was due to a combination of things really, I'd reached my goal of producing new artworks for the calendar and hadn't set anything else to work towards; I handed my notice in at my day job of 9 years at the end of July and got a new job as I really wasn't happy there anymore and the work/life balance was too 'unbalanced', then a couple of things happened there that pushed me to make the decision to leave. This had all caused a lot of stress and anxiety for me; and I'd generally just put too much pressure on myself and burnt out. I'm glad I had the calendars to order and the events planned otherwise I really don't think I would have done anything art related at all!


But thanks to reduced stress levels at my new job; some much needed self care and my art group starting back up again, I started a new drawing of my puppy in September. I had to put this drawing away though shortly after to complete some christmas commissions, but I have started working on it again now 🙂 I am going to make sure I pace myself this year and look after myself better, I've set 5 goals for the year, and I'm just going to take little steps at a time towards them.


I had a couple of very different commissions! One was a church, the first ever building I have drawn! and the other is a forest scene, this one is the biggest landscape I have completed, it's A3, the others I've done have only been A5! I'll be sharing those on social media very soon @katebirdart. If you're not on social media, you can stay up-to-date with my art journey by signing up to my email newsletter, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up


October brought the first craft fair since 2019! Then I had another 4 throughout November and December. It was so lovely to be back doing them! One of which was a Farmer's Market in Beaulieu (New Forest) and I have just been invited to join them on a monthly basis! Which is very exciting!! The next market is 12th February. I am going to be adding some homeware products to my inventory this year and this market will be a great place to test the water with them 🙂


So, that brings us to the end of 2021, and what a year it's been eh, we all thought 2021 would bring an end to the madness but here we are again 😷 But we won't dwell on that... 2022 WILL be better!!! Let's all affirm that!


Happy New Year! I wish you all the very best for 2022, may all your hopes and dreams come true.


Take care,


Kate




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