2022 sped past at lightening speed. During the year I walked mountains, moved home and business from coast to coast, renovated a house and drew over 200 new works of art. I also got shingles ... twice! I think I need to slow down.
Recovering from my first bout of shingles and a sprained ankle, I went on a 12 day hike in the Sinai Mountains of Egypt. I came out a different person, discovering a new level of resilience, peace and mental and physical wellbeing.
I needed it. Moving home, travelling across the South Coast of England from Devon to Sussex, with 2 cats and 3 chickens, was thankfully uneventful and Jennifer even laid an egg en route. Months and months of house renovation followed, which when working full time and without a bath or shower for 6 weeks (!), dented my optimism at times. But we finally managed to transform our dilapidated Victorian home into a contemporary, comfortable retreat by December and the rest is best forgotten.
But living by the sea is healing and discovering the South Downs has brought me great joy. I walk miles along this chalk land coastline and will swim any time of the year, and with a curious seal for company if I am lucky.
I attended the 40th birthday anniversary of one of my licensees: Allport Editions, based in Portland, Oregon. Founded 40 years ago, it is now run by the marvellous Mackenzie Jeans, who converts my American cityscapes and state themed designs into notecard sets and dish towels.
I discovered the joys of a camper van and headed to Derbyshire, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall at the end of a hot, English summer. I love discovering places I have drawn and the choice is endless in the South West, which still has a piece of my heart,
In October I headed back to America for a live art tour of some of the universities I create art for in New York State, Wisconsin and Illinois as well as Hershey Chocolate World in Pennsylvania, where I was rewarded with lots of their lovely chocolate. I discovered the amazing legacy that their founder, Milton Hershey had left, and which continues to support and care for thousands of children. As a foster carer, the work he did, funded by his company, resonated with me and inspired me to continue my work in caring for children in need.
Throughout the year I have created over two hundred works of art, most of which were commissioned by gift shops or book stores from America's universities. I have now created over 350 artworks and as such, have created a unique and everlasting archive celebrating America's finest educational institutions, converted into beautiful products by my licensee Neil Enterprises. It was wonderful to see some of these amazing collections during my recent trip. Here's Syracuse ...
We were also busy with introducing and printing postcards of my art, which have been a massive hit in 2022. I have had little time to create new works of art for my online shop so in 2023 I have promised myself and my cityscape fans that I will add at least 3 new designs every month. I already have a big list to work through, starting with Bradford, Milan and South Yorkshire ... three very different but equally, inspiring locations, which I can't wait to draw. As I sit here, in South Yorkshire at the beginning of the year, I can feel my fingers itching for my brush and ink! Wishing you all a peaceful and plentiful 2023.