Fran White photo collage
Fran White

Fran White

The Sensation of Change

“I’m on the hunt for who I’ve not yet become?”

VERB: “to replace (something) with something else, especially something of the same kind that is newer or better; substitute one thing for (another).”

NOUN: “an act or process through which something becomes different.”

Whether it is incited by you, or it occurs organically, change is inevitable, and one of the few absolute certainties we have in life. Sometimes the past can hold us back but moving on is a slow and steady process that I have found is best nurtured, rather than rushed. It’s the little changes that occur every day that stimulate our efficient progress and help us to move on and grow. Taking our time, being kind to ourselves and honouring each step is important for smoothing the transition and a lesson I have repeatedly learned through my lifetime at significant moments.

Over the last few years, I have been taking small and steady steps to move on from my business as The Linen Shop, into my new desired life as a full-time artist, with the ultimate aspiration of exhibiting and selling my art. This process has taken some time, but I have taken a big step recently and closed my online shop and am slowly divesting myself of all remaining financial and administrative ties. 

Fran’s textiles

I was spurred on to this point by my bookkeeper moving to France, but it actually started with my de-registering for VAT & the realisation that, having been semi-retired for 4 years, the time may have finally come to close the online shop and take the next big step in to my future.

This final change has been significant and as such has had a profound effect on my sense of wellbeing with lots of emotions coming to the surface. The Linen Shop has been an intrinsic part of my identity for a very long time, and embedded into my life both physically and emotionally, so it has been difficult to let go of such strong bonds and divest myself of the remaining associated assets including stock and equipment. I will miss the face-to-face contact with the customers and the sense of control you have when running a business.

The previous times I remember experiencing similar feelings was going to boarding school when I was 10; my parents divorcing in my teens; getting married and having kids in 1980s; closing my Props Hire Business in 1995; going to College full-time and graduating in 1998 with a BA Honours in Woven & Printed Textiles.

All these significant moments brought about paradigm shifts in my life, and although sometimes painful, underpinned a period of strong personal growth. I know I can be hard on myself. I have high expectations and don’t necessarily give myself credit for the business success I have had. I can be my own harshest critic but, luckily when I’m feeling well, I can also be highly resourceful, resilient and diligent! I just really need to practice more self-kindness.

Fran and her textile business

This current paradigm shift comes at a time when other more subtle changes are also happening in my life. I became a Granny in 2013, which has been wonderful, and my Grandchildren are a constant delight in my life. My daughter is also transitioning in her life currently for potential pastures new. All of these things have opened up new possibilities for travelling and painting, which is exciting and couldn’t be more perfect timing as I now have more freedom, and space and time to reflect and decide what adventures to pursue. 

Fran’s grandchildren

I have the chance to grow and find the true me.

Never be what you ain’t.

Always be what you are.

Cause if you are what you ain’t

You isn’t what you are

31 May 1943
Mimi Powell , an American schoolfriend of my mothers on the day they graduated

I now truly appreciate being in our beautiful home, the countryside walks all around and being with my family.  I value more time in my studio – just pleasing ‘moi’ – not everyone else! And no more business worries.

Going forward from here it is my intention to establish a steady routine, balancing being in my studio, and general household needs. Dealing with artistic and personal paperwork and archiving artwork, photos and correspondence – I intend to improve my skills as a chronicler and practice more self-care and self-kindness.

No longer shall I hide my creativity!

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