A New Year A New Regime!

21st January 2016
Well that is the general idea anyhoo. I must admit juggling the social media networking of TnT-Photoart, Briar Ridge Books and Elemental Tangents across Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest took their toll last year and the promise I made to myself to get on top of this site fell yet again to the wayside. Now it seems I am looking at instagram I must be mad!

Getting Elemental Tangents published and out to shops was and is great fun but time consuming especially with Briar Ridge Books titles ongoing as well. If only the money were there for a professional advertising team. There are it seems never enough hours in the day, days in the week, weeks in the month and "O', Look" 2015 is over and we are already almost at the end of January 2016.

Needless to say I find it hard I would be lying if I said otherwise, still coming to terms even 10 yrs on that I am not the girl I was energywise, sharp thinking wise and brain functioning wise. Having to relearn things due to memory loss and the inability to leap out of bed in full functioning mode get me down. Having to pace myself gets me down even more. I miss out on live music festivals and even local gigs as I cannot drive home for tiredness and dislike night driving immensely, those new bright lights triggering migraines almost immediately.

Living with fibromyalgia and adrenal fatigue were hard enough but I coped despite the excruciating sciatic pain and rotator cuff injuries caused by me arguing with a 2 tonne printing press and the press obviously winning. Being diagnosed diabetic on top of that seemed to be the nail in the coffin and my coping abilities were not as I had hoped. I have a hard time getting going in the mornings, especially the cold dark mornings. SAD lights fill my home and I am still feeling like a sloth on darker days! Going out with the camera alone is now not a viable option I stumble far too often and driving anywhere is not the pleasure it used to be, though I still adore it but not for the hours I used to be able to achieve.

Looking into a smaller lighter camera to make the pain in the neck and shoulder easier whilst photographing anything is proving exhausting as well as frustrating. I need something for gig work and something totally different for landscapes. I cannot wrap my brain round these tiny wee hand held cameras. I come from large camera's, Bronica's, Mamiya, Rolleiflex, 5x4 plate cameras, big equipment, huge great room filling enlargers, Cibrachrome processors, film setters and printing presses. I now have the shakes and worry that a small camera will heighten camera shake making work soft and out of focus. My eyes are not as sharp or focused as they once were and I really am hoping that by going out more I will get back this ability but honestly I don't know and it scares me. Photography, photographic print, reprographics and litho print have been in my blood since I was 10 and learning in a darkroom after school with a brilliant chemistry teacher. To spend a lifetime doing what you love is utterly fantastic and despite it being an extremely demanding and stressful occupation the rewards of producing high quality work for the best of the best far outways the niggles of daily grind. To see the jobs you have worked on out there on the street, on busses, bus stops in shop windows and hotels or even delivered to your home address in the form of direct mail is a thrill. Picking up high quality food containers, all types of packaging in stores and thinking I designed this still gives me a kick. As does each and every time I am in a bookshop and I see someone pick up Briar Ridge Books titles or Elemental Tangents and the smile come over their faces as they peruse the pages then take it to the counter. My heart leaps at every online order and I doubt I will ever stop feeling that thrill of excitement that my work is bringing joy to others.

This year I am working with a local artist a fantastic lady, Catherine Downes watercolour artist, Catherine approached me after seeing Elemental Tangents at The Church Stretton Arts Festival last July, telephoning me to discuss producing a book of her sketch books art. To bring them all together in a book encompassing many years work in one place but keeping the elements of personality and sketches true to their original form. It has been wonderful to do. We are approaching the time where we start proofing and with luck TnT-Photoart will be publishing 'Catherine Downes, The Sketches' in late May well in time for a couple of large exhibitions Catherine hopes to be signing copies at and obviously in time for the 2016 Church Stretton Arts Festival where Catherine Downes is guest artist.

As I was coming back over 'The Long Mynd' Monday after a morning of more X-Rays at the hospital and afternoon of needles at the acupuncturist I had to stop and stare at the vastness of the landscape. The sheer immensity of the skies and the beauty that surrounded me. I doubt I will EVER! Tire of seeing the beauty that is South Shropshire of her hills and moors. The diversity of her light and her enshrouding mists. I may have gone through stuff I would rather have not gone through but I am truly glad that I found a home here. So this year I aim to get out more and post more and start sharing more the beauty of that which surrounds me luckily right on my doorstep.

However it would not be me if I didn't hit the oceans and the mountains sometimes for they are my high my fix and the place I feel completely free and that I can fly and achieve anything but also humble and very very small.

This year is a big year for me I hit 50 I don't feel 50 I don't mentally feel any older than I did my very first day on the job and I am blessed to still have as friends folk from the companies I have worked at over the years. Talking of friends, very dear friends are treating me to a week in Scotland in September so yes indeed there will be times with mountains, lochs and the sea to be had.

For now I leave you with a hopeful promise that I will upload more images. If not recent I will endeavour to edit more of the archived work I own and get this space alive with meanderings and pictures of my travels and tangents.

I wish you all the greatest of blessings for 2016 and truly hope that the year is good for you all.


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