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Finally February!

...aaaand exhale.

Well, I don't know about you, but that January lasted FOREVER. Usually I find that the first month of the year gets a bit tedious, especially after the mad rush of December leading up to the festive season. Back at work and the cold, dark, sogginess of winter persisting without so much celebration to break it up tends to make January quite a long last-slog of winter. This year, and I think anyone else who also struggles with winter will agree with me here, that feeling was only heightened by the continuation of the pandemic and lockdown. Personally, I have been struggling with a perpetual state of discontent from not feeling like I have achieved anything. However, thankfully I am one very organised and list-oriented lady, so I am able to look back on my months and see that in actual fact I have managed to achieve one or two things!

SO, enough rambling about the more dreary aspects of winter - what is there to celebrate from 2021 so far?

Well I suppose my biggest announcement is that my art has been accepted for an exciting event taking place later this year - the first ever artist-led exhibition at the Art Exchange Wakefield! There will be more information to come in the next few months but I am super excited about this opportunity to exhibit some of my work to the public again as well as getting to connect with other artists from around the UK. I decided to exhibit four original pieces from The Garden's Glory collection completed last year (view full collection here) seeing as I never got the chance to exhibit them at the time with everything being cancelled left right and centre. So I am very much looking forward to seeing my little artworks out for the public 😊. I will of course be posting more information as the exhibition draws nearer over on my social medias (@ruthgibsonartwork on Facebook and Instagram!) so keep yer eyes peeled!

The past month has also been pretty productive in getting back into the swing of things art-wise after my short break over Christmas. Commissions are back in full-swing, starting off with a lovely cat, followed by a little challenge of two teeny tiny portraits of a pair of little dogs. I have also managed to get cracking with some more portraits completed for the coastal-inspired series I have been working on for the past few months. I am really hoping to have it all finished by the end of the month but we shall see! I'm so excited to share them all with you, I am very proud of the work I have managed to create so far! Here is hoping that this year sees some more exhibitions going ahead so I can get these beauties out there!

The process of creating and staying inspired so far in these demotivating and unsettling times has definitely been improved by two things - The wonderful new work space I set up for myself over New Year, and (this is cheesy, sorry..) the power of yoga. But honestly, who can't feel calm and inspired with this view:

Not only do I get to look out to sea and the beautiful Ayrshire coastline when I'm procrastinating but I also have a little space for Harris to snooze at my feet all day 😍. I am so incredibly grateful for the ability to carve out a little space like this - it has made coming to my desk to work everyday even more of a pleasure and something to really look forward to!

Also.. the size of this desk is AMAZING 👀 (I need a bigger chair now 🙊)

Throughout January, as I say, I was also practising daily yoga again with the queen of yoga herself, Yoga With Adriene and her 30-day "breath" series. Over the years I have dipped in and out of a regular yoga practise to help with .. everything - inherent back pain issues, anxiety, fitness, breath practice, etc. The past year, however has been the first time I have really committed to daily practice, managing 100 days of yoga last summer, before falling off the wagon a little heading into winter as lockdowns stopped and started and my daily routines were thrown around. Using the beginning of the year and the opportunity of Adriene's new 30-day journey was perfect to get back into the swing of things and keep me focused and a little more energised in this draining time. Not only this, but after sitting down for sometimes 5-6 hours of the day almost straight-through, it's the perfect cure for the stiff, hunched up body to stretch out and get the circulation going again. I would, and do, encourage everyone and anyone to give yoga a go to see for themselves the power behind it - and Yoga With Adriene over on youtube is definitely the best place to start for anyone interested!

A perfect downward dog as demonstrated by RGA CEO, Harris.

Right, I'll wind up this now, by simply saying that I hope everyone is managing okay this winter, know that if you are struggling at all, you are definitely not alone in it. This has been harder than ever, especially on those who already find the winter a very difficult time. Keep breathing, keep moving and have a look at the flower beds and bushes - the buds are appearing, the shoots have come up and new life is beginning to spread through the earth again. Spring is so much closer now and with it will come warmth, light and hopefully, a little more living this time around. We're all in it together.

Stay safe, keep your hands clean,

Ruth x

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