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Raspberry Thief Newsletter 27th October

Hi, thank you for your comments about last week’s newsletter. I’m glad the content was useful and thought provoking.

This week has been a good week here in Yorkshire. The rain has been relentless but with that Autumn treasures appear. I spotted a Fly Agaric for the first time on my patch, and a few more have appeared since. I’ll be capturing them in my nature journal this month.

I’ve been busy making up handmade nature journal books and some exciting new products for a couple of stalls I’ll be doing next month. Which is something I haven’t done before, so its all a learning curve and a new area. I really thrive on this, on learning and getting my teeth into something new.

I also held a live session over on Patreon, sharing our trees from our current tree nature journaling project. The project runs until the end of December, so there is plenty of time to come and join us. It was lovely chatting about our trees and practicing blind contour drawing together. I drew a branch from my apple tree for the North, and a White Poplar leaf from the West.

Which moves on nicely to my weekly bookmark shares 🙂

1. . Wendy Mac is a wonderful artist from the US who I came across during Covid lockdown.

Wendy’s bio

‘Wendy MacNaughton’s work is based in the practices of drawing, social work, and storytelling. She combines the practice of deep looking, listening, and drawing to create stories of often overlooked people, places, and things. Wendy has worked on varied projects across mediums and fields, and in collaboration with numerous groups and individuals, but one thing stays consistent: Wendy uses drawing as a vehicle for connection.’

Wendy held a kids drawing class every week online during this period, and it is no lie to say it saved my youngest daughter during that time. A wonderful heart warming class each week, so beautifully done, using art and creativity as a way of expressing emotions and connecting with the wider world.

Last week Wendy shared a wonderful new project called ‘Draw Together Strangers’ all based around ‘blind contour drawing’. She sets up a table and pair of chairs in public, and invites complete strangers to draw each other. She’s asking if you’d like to have a go where you live, and gives a full detailed description of how to make it a success. An artcle was also published in the New York Times

2. The current copy of Resurgence Magazine dropped through my door this week. I’ve mentioned it before, founded by Satish Kumar. I reviewed his wonderful book Soil, Soul, Society over on Patreon.

‘Resurgence & Ecologist magazine addresses the environmental, social, and spiritual challenges and opportunities of our time. It provides a voice for change that is driven not by fear, but by a love of the Earth and its many life forms. Recognising the interconnectedness of the crises we face; it seeks to inform and inspire a just and thriving future for all.’

It’s always full of beauty and wisdom, around the natural world. Two articles in this edition are connected with trees, and resonated with me. Particularly with my ongoing Tree project it’s available to read online for free.

A shared passion for both trees and song inspired artist Emily Unsworth White and musician and songwriter Maz McNamara to create the Hedgesong Collective. Here they explain how it came about’

Two musicians gathering songs about trees. Do you know any songs about trees?

Its also beautifully illustrated by Molly Lemon

3. I’ve also found these two resources useful too this week.

‘My aim was to create a Contract of Self Care as a free, downloadable resource to support a best practice model for artists who have a social practice as well as participating members of the public involved in their projects. Also to explore ways of working as a social practice artist that is sustainable for artists with physical and mental health disabilities. Developing a Contract of Self Care to support artists in avoiding Burnout.,

A great framework to use when creating, planning or being in the middle of a project.

I’m not a member (yet), but I’ve also found the Artists Union website really helpful this week.

‘….is designed to help artists and their employers to determine fair pay for artists’ labour.

AUE objects to fee-based 'opportunities' and the normalisation of this practice within the arts sector. Fee-based opportunities further disadvantage freelance and precarious workers and exacerbate inequality.’

This page is a great resource to work out how much is a fair wage for a working artist.

I hope you’ve had a good week. There will be no newsletter next week as I’m taking some time off with my kids. See you in November.

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