Yes, yes I know. This is ever so slightly late in the scheme of things, but here we go. Here is a list of the biggest and best things that happened to Noctiluna in 2019.
Are you kidding? It is obvious what this one is. After years of dreaming, salivating over Pinterest pins and planning, my beloved studio was finally built in 2019. Having a dedicated work space has been a total game changer. BEST GIFT EVER. All Christmases, birthdays and anniversaries rolled into one. I love you, studio!
Most Jaw Dropping exhibitions
I saw some great work this year, but here are two shows that really stick in my mind. The Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, packed full of her beautiful belongings was fascinating. I have always been a Frida fan, so this is really no surprise.
The unexpectedly wide selection of Chihuly pieces that we stumbled on at Kew Gardens was rendered even more stunning by a blisteringly sunny day. The colors seemed to pop and shimmer all around us. Yes. I should have known about the exhibition already, but to be honest, we were really only there because the kids wanted to try the treetop walk. This was a lovely bonus, and surprises make everything shinier.
I read sixty one, yes sixty one books this year. Goodreads had me hooked. I started the habit of listening to audiobooks during sewing and painting sessions, bought a sturdy handbag to accommodate a large hardback novel and never looked back (or up from a good book) it seems!
Circe was a beautifully empathetic rendering of a Greek myth that ticked my feminist and mythology-obsession boxes. I completely fell in love with the title character. Echo was by far the best audiobook I have ever listened to – absolutely beautiful musical interludes and great voices. I was hooked on Educated from the first page until the last. I could go on about other fantastic reads from the year, but I fear I would never stop. Thank you, thank you, thank you public library.
MINT PANDAS. Everyone and their toddler wanted a mint panda print this year. Which begs the question, when are the rose hedgehogs going to have their day? Not saying I have a favorite or anything…
Best Travel Location
The tea estates of Kerala in Southwestern India win this one hands down. We stayed in Munnar and enjoyed eye wateringly beautiful views of rolling hills and waterfalls and breathed welcome breaths of clean air after all the city smog of Chennai. My only tip: pick a place and stay there. Driving around the hilly regions was particularly hard on my stomach.
A Year of Collaborations
This was the year I ignored my inner cat (just a little) and actually reached out to other creatives for collaboration and companionship. Former colleague and artist, Nancy Totten, kept me company and taught campers to make fabulous books at the Noctiluna Summer Camp. Fellow maker Susanne Bennebo from Bennebokids joined forces with me to host a Holiday Open House event at my studio and eat our weight in cookies. At the start of the year, I received an Arts Fairfax grant which sent me to Glasgow Middle School to teach a printmaking project. But my favorite collaboration by far was with baby Sasha for a ridiculously cute photoshoot. 2020 already promises some really exciting collaborations, so keep watching this space.
I have always shied away from photos. My husband always complains that it is really hard to find photos of me where I am not looking down, or away from the camera, or have a large object held in front of my face. My first social media profile picture for Noctiluna was a cartoon monkey! In 2019, I finally overcame my anxiety of being photographed. I’m not sure what happened, but I thought screw it, you are who you are, just let them take your picture. Now you all finally know that I’m not actually a cartoon monkey (mentally inserting rude comments from my teen here).
Now that 2019 has been put to bed properly, I’d like to wish you all a very happy, healthy, and creative 2020. I have a lot of exciting plans brewing that I can’t wait to share with you. Love to you all. Go out there and have some wonderful adventures! x