I've been arting about this week and there's more to come.
So I've been asking myself "How do we gain confidence from our art?".
On Thursday evening hundreds of business people from across South Wiltshire and the Salisbury area gathered together in the city hall for the SW business of the year awards. I’m delighted to announce that I made it as a finalist in the Enterprising Women in Business category.
What is an art trail?
It is a great way to indulge your love of all things artistic, handmade and real. Whether you are exploring your own creative spirit, collecting art or starting your adventure into the creative and visual arts in Salisbury. There are venues all through the town centre, and further afield, which are open to the public from 2nd June-17th June.
Join our artists tribe!
I am a member of various different artistic organisations but without doubt my favourite is Plain Arts Salisbury.
Firstly it's my local organisation and it's always good to be able to network with like-minded folks around you.
Plain Arts runs two year membership scheme and we are currently at the start of our next two-years. And I thought I'd use this week's blog as an opportunity to tell you all about it.
I joined Plain arts back in 2009 when I moved to Salisbury. Despite being born in Salisbury I hadn't lived here for over 20 years. When I joined I was still a full-time teacher, and whilst I took my art seriously it wasn't my job and was not the way I paid my bills! Now however I'm a full-time artist and I'm still a member of the same organisation because it gives artists opportunities in the Salisbury area regardless of whether they are full-time or not.
Let me explain; probably the most famous part of Plain Arts is the Art Trail where usually around 100 venues and 150 artists participate in an amazing art trail for a couple of weeks. The trail will be running around this time next year... so what's the point in joining before then?
Well there are loads of opportunities that if you're even slightly artistically inclined you should join up.
Plain Arts offers loads of exhibition opportunities you can exhibit in a variety of public spaces like Wilton Road Medical Centre, Five rivers leisure centre, Boston tea party, and Waterstones. All of these are free exhibition spaces that don't take any commission. It's really good for any artist to have an opportunity to prepare for a solo exhibition no matter how small, to curate their own work and have experience of hanging their work. Sales might be slow at first but oddly enough my previous two exhibitions in these spaces have resulted in sales of prints, originals, and big commissions. Getting the word out there can sometimes be a slow burn but it's definitely worth it. If you're scared of mounting your first exhibition there are plenty of folks that will help you though. Its a really positive experience.
In addition there is Plain Arts Summer open exhibition, the deadline is fast approaching. The Summer exhibition is held in Salisbury library and has a really good following already.
This year Plain Arts have got some brand-new opportunities that we've never done before. There is an opportunity to exhibit in Saintes our twin town in France - thus making you an international artist! There will also be an opportunity to create work for an exhibition at Arrundels in the cathedral close. I was lucky enough to visit Arrundels a couple of months ago and was stunned by the exciting art collection there; enough to inspire any budding artist.
We have introduced talks and discussions about how to sell, present and develop your work too.
You can even get a discount in the beautiful independent art shop Noble art supplies when you're a member of Plain arts.
This September there is Plain Arts annual event "Paint off"! A great day where adults and children of all ages can come along and paint. It's always a really enjoyable day. It's in the Cathedral cloisters - what a joy and privilege to paint there. It's followed by Salisbury's Craft and Heritage festival, in which , Plain Arts artists are an active ingredient.
Over the past few years I have learned so much from this fantastic creative community. I've developed my work and my confidence and and now I am a happy, professional artist, running my own business.
So go on, join up today and let the artist within thrive.
Find out about Plain arts here.
It's all too tempting, to click your way to re-stocking your studio.
But few pleasures compare to walking into a bonafide independent art shop. Seeing all those gorgeous materials laid out before you and getting excited about what you’re going to take home.
I’ve been chatting to Sharon Noble of Noble Art supplies in Salisbury and I’ve got 10 reasons why you should go shopping there.
1. You get to speak to a real expert!
Online there's no help or advice.
Sharon is experienced and can help her customers. "After the closure of Compleat Artist Salisbury was left with a gap and as there was still an obvious customer base still present I thought I didn't want to waste nearly 18 years in art retail and everything I had learnt about materials". And thus, Noble Art supplies was born.
2. You can do a custom order.
With accounts with the main suppliers and also 2 good wholesale companies, Noble arts are happy to order in special items for you. From canvas to paint, from pencils to brushes.
3. Get up close and personal with texture.
Sharon and I are agreed, there's nothing better than finding a good brush. Nothing compares to selecting that brush in real life!
4. You can browse while making up your mind!
Browsing online is nothing like as much fun! There's been a lot of fuss in the news about an independent book seller in Yorkshire charging people to browse. But Sharon tells me "I am happy for customers to browse. Also someone browsing is a potential future customer". So relax and enjoy yourself!
5. It's a chance to see just how many colours there are in the world! Walking into an art shop is walking into an Aladdin's cave of colour. Take your time and choose well!
6. It's a joy. a social event!
You'll find like minded people. You'll be able to discuss techniques. Art materials are tactile it's great to see the products you are buying
7. Keep your Highstreet vibrant and full of luscious shops!
There's a campaign called just a card which was started based on a gallery "If everyone who walked into our gallery and said it was beautiful had bought just a card- we'd still be open" So, what can we do to make sure Salisbury keeps it only specialist art shop open? The answer to this is simple; shop local!
8. It's a great place to dream! You can imagine your next masterpiece, you can picture the colour palette you'll use. You can plan. You can buy exactly what you need, nothing more.
9. You'll have access to local knowledge.
Sharon knows many of the Salisbury artists and the classes they teach. If you want to find out more about the art scene, she'll more than likely know what's going on. In addition, Plain Arts Salisbury members get a 10% discount!
10. Get some inspiration.
From the shop window displays, the array of paints, brushes and materials and the inspiring people who work and shop there, you're bound to see something that will get your creative juices flowing!
See you there!
Last night I was sitting in a pub discussing art!
Loving art, making art. Buying art, selling art.
The five women I was discussing art with are all local artists and we will be exhibiting, selling and making merry at Salisbury Christmas market starting on Thursday (24th of November - 4th of December).
We were discussing our prices, how many cards to take, what size prints, where to place a print racks and how many originals we might be able to squeeze into our beautiful Christmas chalets. One of the artists, Sally Firino, told us about the "Just a card" campaign and it really struck me how important this is this Christmas.
Just a card began with a simple quote.
“If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought just a card we’d still be open.”
The buying public said they were often embarrassed to make a small purchase as they felt it appeared mean. People always need cards, but any item lovingly created is surely worthy of a purse raid...
Whilst you are doing your Christmas shopping, don't feel embarrassed if all you buy from us is Just a card - you'd be amazed at how that helps.
For an independent, sole trader simply setting up a small market stall is a huge undertaking. It's not just about getting enough stock printed and wrapped but it's about all of the things you have to do to make that stand beautiful, the checklist is endless: fairy lights PAT tested, tool box, exhibition box, card payments, shelves, boxes, cases, tables. Fireproofing your tablecloths! Seriously. There are any number of things, other than the items themselves that we will need to bring. This perhaps explains why some things that you buy from a local artisans might be a little bit more expensive than if you buy it in Tesco's, but I urge you, with all my heart, resist the temptation of buying a print from a big department store this year and buy one from a local artist and if you can't buy a print actually just a card is still appreciated.
I have done several art fairs, agricultural shows, and craft fairs this year and happily it's been a good year. But at every single event, without fail, I will hear other artists waxing lyrical about "if every single person who said they loved my work had bought something this would've been an amazing fair".
I also keep on hearing about people lamenting the loss of independent shops and restaurants, sad that the High Street that they walk down looks exactly the same as the High Street at the other end of the country because everything is owned by huge multinational companies. And how many of us have been very upset to discover that some of these huge companies don't appear to be paying the tax that they perhaps should be?
So this year my challenge to you is to go and buy something from an independent maker. If you're in Salisbury I'd love to see you at Salisbury Christmas market where I can absolutely guarantee there will be some amazing Christmas gifts for you to be able to buy for your close friends and family. But across the country there will be small independent businesses who will be delighted if you pop in and buy from them - even if its only a small purchase. We absolutely need the support of the people around us. There may be a tightening the belts happening this year for a variety of reasons, but whatever your Christmas budget try to make sure a small portion of it is spent in an independent shop, or with an independent artist, or with a local farmer. You might not be able to measure the difference that you make but if every single one of us started with "just a card", some independent businesses will be able to keep going into 2017.
Remember too, if you pick up somebody's business card or postcard please stick it on the fridge for future reference as we would love to hear from you at a later date. I had an email from a lovely couple four months after they first saw a big painting of mine at one of the agricultural shows that I did this summer. They contacted me months later with an email asking if the painting they loved was still available. I was delighted to package that painting up and send it to them. I'm so pleased they kept my postcard so that they could contact me later on.
So start with just a card. And if you really really love the work and you're able to buy more than just a card then all the better.
You'll be making Christmas amazing...for quite a few of us!
Great Art in Salisbury this week.
I can't believe my luck being an artist, living and working in Salisbury this week; there are some great artists exhibiting right now, I'm spoiled for choice where to go.
Earlier this week, I visited the John Craxton exhibition at Salisbury museum. I can heartily recommend it. I'm going to be doing some workshops in the museum in the coming weeks with schools and I can honestly say there's plenty of inspiration for aspiring artists.
John Craxton, was very clearly influenced by Picasso during the 1940s and 50s. His work is a wonderful example of how to be inspired by other artists whilst finding our own style. I loved his Picassoesque portraits, there is a beautiful lightness to touch to the quality of his line.
In contrast some of his work created in the 1970s in Crete shows a style all of his own, as if he'd found his own voice. The palette is truly beautiful and his understanding of pattern and texture is fascinating. I found myself staring at the use of colour, how they sang and bounced when being juxtaposed.
As I left the museum on that sunny, cold afternoon an enormous hare went past on the back of a flat bed lorry!
It was the work of Sophie Ryder, whose work is currently being installed in the Cathedral close and it's wonderful to see it close up. Another excuse to make your way to Salisbury Cathedral close to see some magnificent artwork.
And in the library Bob versus Nav.
Bob Ford is a fellow member of Plain Arts Salisbury and his contemporay look at pop culture is proving popular and compelling. I defy you not to get sucked into his detailed work. You'll contemplate it for hours! He is exhibiting with Nav Juty.
Often it's Summer time that is full to the brim of arty opportunities, Summer exhibitions and plenty to see. But how fortunate we are to have such a feast for the eyes in Salisbury, with so many artists exhibiting in cold dark February!
Last week I wrote about the arts scene in Salisbury.
This week I'm focusing on why it's such an inspirational place.
Salisbury is an extraordinary and unique city. It's medieval city centre is build on a grid system during the 1300s. There are some fascinating little buildings all around the city that will delight anyone one who studies them.
The Cathedral is set in a beautiful close, it is such a luxury to be able to stand back from the building and admire it in all its glory. I still get a thrill out of hearing tourists gasp "wow" once they’ve walked through North gate and get their first real view of the Cathedral.
Inside the Cathedral there's enough inspiration to keep any artist going for an age. The architecture alone takes your breath away.
If you have a head for heights the tower tour is simply brilliant, the views inside the tower almost as amazing as the views looking outside.
Head further away from the close and you have the views across the water meadows, made famous by Constable and Turner and still hugely inspirational for local artists like me.
Out towards the city limits is the site of the original settlement Old Sarum, my studio overlooks the valley over to Old Sarum. Walking around its ancient ramparts offer yet more great views for landscape artists. The light across the Plain is incredible.
Head just a few miles from Salisbury and the world famous Stonehenge sits waiting for you. All weathers and lights provide a backdrop for this most beautiful of ancient monuments.
Most recently, in addition to landscape painting, I've been focusing on what is in the landscape! This rural part of England is home to sheep, pigs, and cattle, an I’ve been delighting in the faces of these beautiful animals. Inspiration from the landscape and the animals that live there, will form my next, newest collection. All will be revealed soon, on my website, but here's a sneak preview of what I've been up to.
How can I fail to be inspired when I'm surrounded by beauty?
Wherever you live, artists will compare the lack of arts in their area to a much more an arty place, and secretly wish they lived in the much more arty place. And if you're an artist in an arty place you'll wish you were somewhere where there was no competition whatsoever and you were the only artist in the village!
Actually us artists are often quite a positive bunch, but sometimes it's just nice to blame where you are for a lack of sales or a lack of action.
The thing is, I rather like living in Salisbury and the arts scene is rather good, and will get better and better the more people join in with it as artists, crafters, makers and visitors.
Here is my run down of where to see some art and where to create it.
Once every two years Plain Arts Salisbury hosts Salisbury art trail. That event alone has over 100 artists taking part all across the city and it's rather marvellous. The trail was in October last year, so it's not an art trail year this year, but there are still plenty of reasons to join Plain arts if you're an artist or want to find out more about the Salisbury arts scene. And there's a bargain to be had right now...
Many of the Plain artists exhibit in places that aren't galleries, and that's brilliant! The Medical centre on Wilton road host seasonal exhibitions, usually with about six artists each time. How marvellous it is, when you visit the doctor or the dentist, and you're greeted with works of art in the waiting room and down the corridors. Boston tea party, and Waterstones both host monthly exhibitions for local artists to showcase their work. The work in all of these places is for sale, but actually it's about getting art into public places and getting people to see it and love it.
There are some lovely galleries too, small ones like The Yard and Graham Oliver gallery which are well worth a visit. There is also New Red Studios; another gem of a gallery where boundaries are being pushed, questions and ideas being challenged in the context of art practice. Along with the much larger Fisherton Mill gallery, which is so welcoming and you'll find incredible diversity in the types of visual arts produced there. It's one of those places you return to again and again as there's always something wonderful to see.
Salisbury arts centre has regular professional exhibitions and some wonderful workshops to get involved in. Currently in the main exhibition space is Walking...Landscape...Memory. And there's the ever popular Dr sktechys, life drawing with a twist, on the last Wednesday of every month.
Studio 53 is a cracking studio gallery, it's tucked away in George street, but a treat awaits you when you find it. Their next exhibition is Suspended form and it opens on Friday 5th Feb. They have life drawing classes on Thursdays.
Salisbury Museum is a hidden gem. Set in the picturesque Cathedral close, it's easily missed, but my goodness there are some incredible exhibitions there. Last Autumn they had a wonderful Turner exhibition and some fascinating talks and workshops alongside it. The museum has just had a Hinchcliffe exhibition and on Jan 30th the John Craxton exhibition begins. It's worth checking out their website too, as in addition to their exhibitions there are usually accompanying workshops and talks from local artists and curators. I've done many painting workshops at the museum and I love doing them, in addition printmaker Sally Firino and sculptor Charlotte Morton, also feature on the museum's list of artists. The museum also does a young curators club one Saturday in every month, it's free and great fun.
Salisbury craft and heritage fair is in September and hosts beautiful work from local and national artists on the Cathedral lawns. The quality of work is extraordinary and good value as you are buying directly form the artist or crafts person; start saving and treat yourself to something beautiful.
So, I'm rather happy about being an artist living and working in Salisbury. At the risk of paraphrasing Richard Curtis, "Art is all around us"
Ever since I was very small I think I’ve hankered after a sea view. And now as an artist I think I want to give everyone a room with a view.
Like lots of people I associate the sea with holidays, whether its an overcast day on a British beach, or a tropical paradise; the sea often means well deserved R&R.
For us Brits, an island nation, we’re never further than 73 miles from the sea and I think there is a collective love and awe of the seas around us.
For quite a chunk of my 20s I lived very near the sea (about two rows back from it) and it undoubtedly still features in my work.
When I moved away from Bournemouth, my husband found us a house with an amazing view and a studio already build in the garden. The view isn’t the sea, but it’s wonderful, huge and expansive. On the North side of Salisbury ( the 7th best city in the world to visit according to Lonely Planet), we overlook the valley to see the ancient origin of the city, Old Sarum.
Most landscape artists are obsessed with light; the immense skies above me serve as a constant inspiration. The landscape below so often acts just like a seascape, reflecting the sky above, creating a mood and atmosphere. Reminding me, and ultimately any viewer of my paintings, of a place, feeling or emotion.
I am often working on landscapes based on the areas around Salisbury, but have most recently been working on my coastal collection. Largely inspired by the Dorset coastline, but also sometimes reminiscent of places further afield. The light in the sky can be bright and strong from the tropics, or warm pinks reminding us of the French impressionists, golden Italian light and even blue and grey shades of Britain. My experiences and the view in front of me inform my work.
There isn’t a political message in my coastal collection, nor a hidden agenda. It’s quite simply about giving everyone room with a view. Art can do that. Art can make our living space beautiful. We can wake up to a cup of coffee and a sea view in our kitchen, without moving house, so long as we have art.
As Denholm Elliot’s character Mr Emmerson said in A Room with a View “Why shouldn’t they have their view if they want it?”
Go on, have your view, if you want it.
For years and years I've taught art to students under the age of 19 at GCSE and A level. And I've delivered lessons to improve their skills and develop their creativity.
So now that I'm a full time artist, I've been reflecting on the very best examples of teaching over the years and working out how to deliver meaningful, enjoyable, useful art classes to adults wanting to learn to paint.
One of my favourite classes (my favourite to teach and the students' favourite to learn) was traditional oil painting.
A bit of research told me that apparently there are too few art teachers teaching technique.
That might sound like a scientific approach, but perhaps courses on kickstarting your creativity, aren't what some people want. One gentleman, after going to an art class elsewhere, told my husband at work " I don't want someone to teach me how to be more creative, I want them to teach me how to paint properly".
So with this in mind I'm launching new art classes in oil painting - based on my old A level workshops.
During A level teaching we devoted one lesson a week entirely to learning new techniques in oil. It ended up being nicknamed the "technical bake" lesson, as it was on the same day as the Great British Bake off!
So each week, their portraits developed, along with their understanding, each time with me demonstrating the content required in the "technical bake", and them working on it.
It was intensive but incredibly enjoyable.
Something that became clear about teaching in this way, was the students' ability to apply the techniques they learned to other paintings later in the course.
They were intimidated by oils at first. That faded in time.
Oils are difficult and intimidating to get to grips with, there are a myriad of mediums and solvents, the paints themselves come in a dizzying array of quality, price, colour. Should you work on board or canvas, how fine should the canvas be? What does hue mean on the tube? Is that good or bad?
And once you've walked out of the art shop a couple of hundred pounds poorer, then what happens? Where to you start? You heard about the rule "thick over thin", but that's not really enough to go on!
Is it really possible to de-mystify the dark arts of oil, in just a few lessons?
Yes. Yes it is. I can give my students the benefit of my experience. I can help them use the techniques of the old masters with the joy of our knowledge of chemicals and solvents to help them create better paintings with developed skill.
I want to share the secrets of painting in a "grisaille"- the art of creating form through monochrome techniques. It can revolutionise the way you use oil. Then you have the foundation to add colour over the grisaille in glazes and thin layers. This creates depth in your paintings.
So are you ready to learn to paint?
I love teaching, I can help you improve your oil painting, I have a lovely studio for you to paint in, and I make a cracking cup of coffee. What more could you ask for?
My classes start on Wednesday15th October.
Take a look at my new creative studio. A space designed for me to work in, to create in, and to teach small classes in. I'm delighted with my new space. A new chapter in my life has really begun.
The first thing I needed to do was to rationalise the space. I needed an office space. I need to be clever with storage as I wanted to keep as much wall space clear to display paintings. I needed to completely change the sink area as it was a mess and simply not fit for purpose. I needed a workspace for students to take part in classes. I needed the entrance to welcoming for visitors. Oh my goodness there was a lot to do.
We started with the entrance area, which needed to accommodate my office area and a place for visitors to sit, enjoy and feel welcome and comfortable. I've chosen some laminate flooring, which looks like white washed floorboards. My Dad, laid the floor for me and it instantly helped me visualise how beautiful a practical space really can be.
I upcycled an old pine dressing table, which used to be a rather redundant table in the corner of the lower level studio. Now it's a whitewashed desk, beautiful and practical. A homemade and colourful calendar above the desk, to write all over, and my Right Brain business plan, next to me, to keep me inspired and focused. An old pine table, also up cycled and whitewashed to display cards and merchandise on, and a new book case. Some up-cycled directors chairs will complete the look in a couple of weeks. Today, I'm sitting at that pretty little desk, blogging about how beautiful my new space is. What a great feeling
The next area to tackle was the sink area.
I needed to change the orientation of the brilliant metal sink, to allow more than one person to clean up at a time.
I needed to change the cupboards and units to allow for more storage of solvents, mediums and tools. I needed plenty of work surface behind the sink allowing me to re use some solvents, letting the paint settle, thus preventing unnecessary waste to be put down the sink. The transformation is amazing and again, thanks go to Dad's expertise in getting all this fitted.
The main body of the studio has been transformed by removing the cumbersome old drawing boards and replacing them with worktop space with storage and stools beneath. I still have plenty of space for big easels and chests of drawers for sketchbooks, paints and rags. The white flooring bounces light from the daylight bulbs making a beautiful space to create beautiful works of art.
I am utterly thrilled with the result and can't wait to deliver my first workshops in my new space.
It was well worth all the effort to make the transformation and huge thanks to my family for helping me make this possible.
That’s quite a claim to make.
Last week I was hanging artwork in Salisbury Medical centre. It’s a collaborative exhibition with other artists from Plain Arts Salisbury, we have Private View on Monday 28th July 6-8pm.
Back to the point, Art makes you better. We are hanging our work in various corridors around the medical centre. There was a thoroughly lovely atmosphere while we went about our business unpacking paintings and trying not to get in the way. I was very pleased with my little corridor once I'd finished hanging.
I doubt very much if I’ll sell. I don’t mind one bit if I don’t, because that’s really not the point. The point is still that Art makes you feel better.
I know this to be true.
Earlier in the year I was suffering from severe anxiety and panic attacks. It was most unlike me; usually I’m gregarious, one of life’s doers, one of those folks who can get on with it, generally happy and healthy.
Suddenly (though it must have been creeping up on me for sometime) I’d lost my sense of humour, wasn’t sleeping properly, or eating properly and felt pretty grim. Gradually there appeared to be no pleasure left in my life. Everything seemed to be one endless to do list with no respite or joy. I got worse and worse. Eventually my ever loving husband asked me to visit my Doctor.
Salisbury medical centre happens to be my medical centre. There was something so very powerful, hanging up paintings in the very place that less than six months ago, I was sat, blinking back tears, with my stomach in knots and my heart beating out of my chest. I didn't know if I'd ever feel normal again.
How could I have recovered so quickly.
Three things really.
1. A very good GP who reassured me, gave me a short term prescription to get me back on my feet, made follow up appointments, listened carefully, believed me. And she recommended Mindfulness.
2. I took her advice on the mindfulness. There are two books which really helped Ruby Wax’s "Sane new world" and Mark Williams’ "Mindfulness - finding peace in a frantic world". There’s lot being written about mindfulness at the moment, some people write it off as “bunkum”. They're wrong- it’s amazing.
Williams describes mindfulness as
"an integrative, mind-body based training that enables people to change the way they think and feel about their experiences, especially stressful experiences. Mindfulness pays attention to thoughts, feelings and body sensations to become directly aware of them, and better able to manage them, it has deep roots in ancient meditation practices and also draws on recent scientific advances. Mindfulness is of potential value to everybody to help find peace in a frantic world”.
If that sounds lovely and easy you’re only half right! It is lovely but it’s difficult at first. If you’re so anxious that your brain is buzzing the whole time, it's surprising difficult to try and slow it down, you have to practice and concentrate. But it really does work.
Evidence from Neuroscientific studies find:
3. Art. Art makes you feel better. For some of us the practice of creating artwork might be the most mindful thing we do, we can get pleasure from it and sometimes it feels as if we are fulfilling a need. A need to create. I can forget all other things when I'm at work on a canvas, I have to be present, my mind doesn't dwell on the past or worry about the future. I'm in the moment.
For others, art gives them pleasure when they look. A picture can remind you of a place or a feeling. Many people feel calm or joy looking at a sea view. When there isn’t a sea view in the Doctor’s surgery, why not have some paintings to look at instead!
There’s also something so lovely about local artists fulling up public spaces with artwork, and meanwhile the visitors are able to look at real art, made by real people who live up the road. They can discuss the work with other people, strike up a conversation. The people who work in the building too, can have something interesting to walk past each day.
I can't really find the words to explain how blessed I am to be able to feel well again so quickly, and the joy of putting artwork into a public place, where people come to feel better.
I hope visitors to the practice enjoy the artwork. There are plenty of different styles on offer, different strokes for different folks; hopefully there's something for everyone.
The work might spark a discussion, a query, a thought, a memory. All good.
Art, can raise a smile, provoke a debate, give you warm fuzzy glow…and can make you feel just a little bit better.
If you are in the Salisbury area, please feel free to come along to Private view on 28th July. Alternatively you can go to the see the exhibition during normal surgery hours 8am-8pm each weekday. Ask at reception on the way in.
Enjoy art; it makes you better.
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