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  • Andrea Durnell

New beginnings!

I have been avoiding writing a blog and even having a website for so many years that I can no longer remember why! What changed?

When I am exhibiting at an art fair, I get asked a lot of questions that I am not sure I adequately answer on the spot. Most of them are from people who are genuinely interested in some of my work or my process or who are curious about what it's like to be a full-time artist.

I am really fortunate to be able to have this as my day job and this blog will be a day-in-my-life, off-the-cuff, running explanation of my own experiences as I work my way through Hat Season, Doll Season, Show Season and Off-season, which is everything in between carving and making my hats. This could mean food, antiques, art, my carving, wool felt, travels or the dog!

I am not sure how frequently I will post. It may vary according to "season". My free time varies from one week, month, year, to the next, and my first priority is my art and fitting it into the rest of what makes my world go round. I will aim for twice a month to start out. Right now I am at the beginning of Hat Season which means I am in my studio for some fairly long hours.

There are an infinite number of ways to "be an artist" and none is better or worse than another. I didn't decide to be one. It became clear over several decades of doing other things that I am at my best when I am creating. Selling has been more of a happy accident than a real goal or concerted effort. Of course, I do have to meet the considerable expenses of doing juried art fairs, but if my point in being there ever becomes about the money, I have told myself that's when it's time to stop. Quality of life. (Take time to smell all the roses!) Authenticity is an imperative. Originality. And, one-of-a-kind work. That one is mostly because I am really awful at anything repetitive. I am a fountain of new ideas, but ask me to repeat one and my eyes will glaze and inertia takes over.

So, why do I create? It is almost a compulsion. More than one artist friend of mine has said something to this effect: asking an artist to be something other than an artist is like asking a dog to be a bird or a bird to be a cow. They can't be anything except what they are, and neither can we.

Welcome to my world! Cheers!

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