It’s been a tricky weekend work wise in some ways as my Husband has been away for the weekend, lucky bugger! However it will be my turn in September and I can’t wait. I am off to Purbeck for a weekend of Nordic walking with my group. I am beyond excited about it, and am going to have to start saving my pennies for it now!

Despite hubby being away, I made good progress on Cruz and I really feel he is starting to take good shape now. Read a bit more about him here.

I walked Saturday before my Hubby did a runner and I will be walking in the morning. Tomorrow I need to sketch out a double dog portrait, a border collie and two 16×12 retriever portraits. All need to be done and finished within the next two weeks, Shouldn’t be a problem, but I don’t want a panic.

In other news it is seeming like I have another little battle going on with the rankings, having dropped again. It seems to have been a huge rollercoaster this year, and it is hard work, but I am one never to shy away from a challenge! I wish I knew more about it all and why, or even better understood adwords so I could get a bit more promotion for my work. Facebook doesn’t produce much, not for me anyway, some pet portrait artists seem to do really well from it. I shall keep chipping away at it!

Anyway I thought you might like to see a photo of the artist herself at work!

There will be more on this delightful dog portrait this week when he has been scanned in and the final details put on. It is a jolly splashes dog portrait and more can be read about Jolly Splashes here and here.

Please do start thinking about booking in your slot for pet portraits if you are wanting a gift for Christmas as it will start getting busy very soon, and judging the way the new modern pet portraits, Jolly Splashes have been so popular this year I think slots will fill fast. Pastel pet portraits slots are normally gone by end of October at the latest, so please don’t delay!

As some of you may have read before I suffer anxiety and today was one of those days I woke up feeling OK, but the demons started creeping in. Silly things, and by the time I turned up for my Nordic Walk my head was all over the place. Luckily once I got walking and the endorphines started kicking in I felt it all melt way. It is so handy to have this in my aresnal now. I rely on my outside activities and I certainly feel them if I don’t get out each day for something. Even in the winter on the cold, dull, wet days it helps. I am learning to manage my anxiety better, I am 41, it has taken a long time and I still have a long way to go. One other a big thing that has made a huge difference is giving up alcohol. It’s been a tough as it has been part of my life since I was 18/19. I didn’t drink much before then, but got a job in a pub and it quickly became a regular part of my life. I feel so much better for being t-total. Some things are hard, but even they aren’t as hard as they used to be now I haven’t drunk pretty much for a year. Fighting anxiety is like fighting an invisible battle daily. Its one that has been part of my life for as long as I remember. Today I can safely say I was the victor!

Sometimes I talk about my anxiety and depression on here. I think it is so important not to be afraid to talk about mental health. It shouldn’t be a taboo subject. It is sadly, so that is why I feel I am doing my bit by talking about it.

Today was a struggle, the depression was all consuming, the anxiety was bad, but the depression was worse. It is like wading through mud, it is not just my mental health but something is up with my body, which is not helping and I am going through a series of blood tests to try and find out what is going on. It just means my mental health is taking a bit of a battering at times. I am also trying to lower my anti depressant dose slightly as it is the highest level. However if it needs to be upped while I fathom out what is going on then I will. But please, please if you are struggling at all with depression, anxiety, OCD, anything, there is help out there. Don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Well today was an amazing day. I had a lovely walk with my Nordic walking group this morning. Such a lovely group of people. I am so lucky to have found them. Then I got taken to lunch by my Dad for a carvery. Superb, and my little brother came along too which was lovely. Of course after all the exercise, followed by a huge meal, an afternoon nap was definitely required, so I did. It’s not often I take a day of. Apart from replying to a couple of emails this morning I didn’t pick up a pencil to 5pm. Result. Back to the dog portraits tomorrow though!

It seems like the battle of the rankings has resumed with google and it has put a website above me on how to make business from pet portraits. Their home page is very key word rich, which maybe why. I am not sure I can add an awful lot more to my home page, but I will take a look. I regularly add content to my website in my blog and I am not sure if they do. It sounds so boring doesn’t it, but rankings are so important for my business. It also just goes to show that unfortunately it is not just in my studio painting pet portraits, as much as I would like it to be.

I had a lovely walk with my nordic walking group this morning, which set me up perfectly for an afternoon of finishing off Cruz’s horse portrait. I had to make a tweak to her hand which can be viewed in the blog.