Thursday, 18 April 2013

Fund Raising, AGD and a spot of Florentine Renaissance.

I am very sorry that I missed last week's blog. I thought of you all and sent a cheery wave and a little guilty grin to you via your Guardian Angels.  I went on a small holiday to Florence with my daughter, Fancy Girl, and my life went on hold. I love Florence, and adore Italian Renaissance paintings, so to take Fancy Girl around and tell her what I had learned years ago, was bliss.  I studied in Florence when I was at university, back in the early 1980s, and have always longed to be a Renaissance artist.  With my name, Antonia, I could have got at least part of the way there.  Antonia!  Artist-a! You one of us-a, you only seven hundred years-a too late-a but we dona minda!

Loving the door outside church in Florence
Here is a photo of me outside my favourite church, Santa Maria Novella.  I like this one because I posed for my daughter to take it, thinking I looked like I was hugging the door and loving the church.  Instead it looks as if I have been fired from a canon and have splatted against the door.  

Inspired by the Renaissance patronage and sponsorship system, the next step for Antonia! Renaissance artist-a seven hundred years-a too late-a! is -

Fund Raising for A Graceful Death.

All that I do from now on, will raise funds to create and maintain the A Graceful Death exhibition and project.  Thanks to the kindness of friends and supporters, I have raised enough money to paint Mike, the first of my four AGD paintings.  I have still to raise funds to paint the other three, and that will be my priority.  I am organising fund raising events in which I will be showing some of the paintings, giving talks on the work that I do and the stories behind the people in the paintings, selling the earrings that I make, selling the witty Every Day Angels and Fairies paintings, and if I can do so, selling cakes and tea. A great idea from Claire, who is helping so much and being painted for the exhibition, is to have a vintage jewellery, clothes, shoes and bags sale.  If you, dear reader, have any vintage things you don't want, please may I have them for the sale?  Turn out your drawers, look in your attics, go through your garages, ask your Aunty Norma, and contact me and, within reason, I will come and collect. Claire and I will sort it all out and let you know when we will do the sale.  If you live in the Carribbean and want us to come and collect your vintage stuff, you will have to pay for our plane fares and allow at least two weeks while we are with you, for us to make up our minds what to take. 


The 11 May will see a Life Board workshop here in West Sussex, in the Rose Green Centre of Art and Craft, 22-24 Rose Green Road, Bognor Regis PO21 3ET.  From 9.30 to 12.30, all materials provided, £30 per person.  Life Boards are a wonderful way to express yourself when words cannot be found.  It is a way to reconnect with yourself during times of loss or grief.  This is a quote from the Life Board literature -

"To create a LIFE BOARD, you sit at a table full of different papers, images, glitter, words, stick on jewels, butterflies, paint, hearts and so on.  You start to create, on the board, despite feeling that you have no idea where to start and what to do, a visual representation of who you are and what you are feeling right now"

You are all very welcome, come along and see what you can do. I have taken advice from the men who have done the workshops and have included Man Images too.  I was reminded that men generally don't want to stick pink hearts on their boards and cover it in glitter.  So I have some nice tough, strong stuff for the men in the workshops.  Quite right too, Life Boards are for everyone.  
From the 13 May to 15 May, I will be taking AGD to St Catherine's Hospice, Malthouse Road, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 6BH.  The open day for the public is the 15 May, and you are all so welcome to come and visit this wonderful Hospice.  I am here at St Catherine's through the goodness of a dear friend and fellow Soul Midwife, and palliative care nurse.  This will be a very special event, it is the first time the exhibition has gone to a Hospice.

On the 18 May I will be holding a fund raising talk and sale, in the New Park Community Centre, New Park Rd, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 7XY.   From 2pm to 4pm.  A dear friend and Soul Midwife Mandy Preece will be joining me to talk about the work she does and we are tying this event in with Dying Matters Awareness Week, which runs from the 13 - 19 May.  Mandy sits with those who are dying at the very end of their lives, and helps the families to vigil and stay present.  Her work is beautiful and profound.  I will entertain you with what I do and how I do it and I will sell you wonderful things that you will long to buy not only because they are wonderful, but you will be supporting the A Graceful Death project, and so will go to Heaven when you die. 

I will be selling beautiful handmade earrings, bright fun and colourful paintings of Angels and Fairies, and cards from my studio.  I also will be selling a new range of items that are created specifically to go with the end of life theme.  I am making such things as arm bands, memorial jewellery and items, condolence cards, and beautiful angelic gifts both for yourself and for those who need something thoughtful and special as they remember someone who has died.  I have chosen the name Graceful Goods for this range of goods, as it ties in with the exhibition and the theme of the end of life.

Around the 1 June, and yet to be confirmed, I am holding a day's fund raising and information on the A Graceful Death project, here in Bognor.  I am hoping to do this in the Regis Centre, in the centre of Bognor by the sea.  I aim to exhibit some of the AGD paintings and to talk again on the work that I am doing.  I would love to have some of my Soul Midwife friends come and talk on the work they do too for the end of life.  My Graceful Goods range of thoughtful and beautiful items will be on sale, alongside the Angels, Fairies, cards and handmade earrings.  

Back to today.  Back to life in my Bognor house.  I will leave you with a vignette of life here in Casa Antonia.  I sit in the gathering darkness of the evening tapping away at my laptop.  No one has been able to go to the door to turn on the lights, and as the light fades, our faces are lit in a ghostly white light from our screens, our bodies in total darkness.  Opposite me, Boy Giant chats to all of his friends on Facebook on his laptop.  Next to him, Other Son has left his laptop on standby as he has popped out for a while.  We cannot remove our eyes from our computers and as the darkness slowly surrounds us, all that can be heard is the tapping of keyboards and the occasional giggle as someone messages Giant Boy something outrageous.  Unless I assert myself soon, we will be here in a computer warp all night and lose our minds and never be normal again.  They didn't have this problem in the Renaissance.  Fie! My sons, off with your computers!  I have a notion to fresco the sitting room!  Mix me my paints and let us begin!

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