Renee

Expanding your business, naked people and going to the gym (lunch, obviously)

For 35 years I’ve wondered how my life would have panned out if I’d accepted my place at art college.  I can’t even remember now with any degree of full clarity why I chose to turn it down and embark on A levels instead.  I didn’t even finish those…  Meeting Winston and Nicky lead to my job in Hamleys and, after all, why would any 17-year-old choose to do anything more creative than sell balloons?! I met Marion there and the rest is history, but I always hankered a bit over the lost world of art.

For ages I’ve talked about joining an art class, so a chance meeting with Ed, a tall, very handsome man with a beard and a bobble hat who runs a life drawing group, set me zooming off along a new path – albeit a slightly bumpy, uneven one with overgrown brambles to battle through.  But battle through I did, and my first week’s collection of sketches was, I believe, fairly acceptable for a beginner.

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My first ever three-minute sketch of someone’s bottom!

I posted a selection on Facebook after the class, a move which prompted a lot of laughter – as well as a fair few emails and texts from people who are, apparently, happy to model for me during my practice period.  Having naked friends and clients posing on my sofa is perhaps not the most appropriate thing for a Tuesday morning though, so I might have to rethink that one…

Getting into a completely arty mood, we had Sunday brunch at Somerset House then wandered around the beautiful Courtauld Gallery for a couple of hours.  We also spent an evening watching reruns of Portrait Painter of the year to give me some style inspiration.  It’s distracted somewhat from poetry writing and I’m feeling very enthusiastic about sketching… So, if you’d like a portrait hand drawn by me in 3B grey pencil, distorting your main features, elongating and squidging up all the wrong bits and generally making you look fairly abstract, please do get in touch.  (We’ll pretend it was meant to be like that!)

Back to business, I had a meeting this week with one of my favourite clients – at the David Lloyd gym!  While some of you might think that sounds like a fun morning, the thought of a workout does not inspire me to get out my to-do list and quickly scribble it on.  The lunch, however, certainly was fun, as was the meeting itself.

It’s so nice to see clients branching out, expanding their business offering and making a success of whatever they do.  And of course it’s lovely when they come back to me with repeat business for their newly branded company.

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Beautiful staircase at the Courtauld Gallery

The Courtauld Gallery houses the famous painting of Van Gogh with his head bandaged after he hacked off his ear in a temper.  It’s one of many recognisable artworks that London’s so lucky to have, and the one that always gets a little Don McLean singing in my (unmutilated) ear.  “Now I understand what you tried to say to me, and how you suffered for your sanity – and how you tried to set them free.  They would not listen, they did not know how; perhaps they’ll listen now.”

If you sometimes feel like your business is driving you insane and no-one’s listening, talk to me about a new approach.  Maybe it’s time to structure your social media in a new way… let’s chat here: @WeekendWitch.

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