So I got myself a day job….

Some of you may be surprised that I don’t earn a wage from my art – crazy, I know, right….

My art is sort of a hobby that pays for itself and while this has been awesome and definitely helps with the motivation, it certainly isn’t bringing home the proverbial bacon.

We have a young family and live in a modest home which needs some doing up.  I have been blessed that for the last 10 years I have been a stay at home mum and (dare I say it) housewife.  It was a decision my husband and I took before we fell pregnant.  I would stay at home till the kids were in school – I managed to stretch that out till the youngest is nearly in grade 2.

So the opportunity came to get a job that was truly flexible and was happy for me to only work school hours (and that means not working school holidays) so I jumped.

Today marks day 3 in my corporate adventure.

I find that I am exhausted – even though my hours are only 9am to 2pm – and I don’t have the energy to dedicate to my art.

I am working to a deadline at the moment – one that has been looming for a while – but has nevertheless snuck up on me.  I am part of a group exhibition which I am actually excited about but my lack of artwork is a bit of a worry.

A few new pieces will be finished this weekend – and I have a couple of pieces already done – which is awesome considering delivery is next week.

I am hoping the tiredness goes away as I get used to my new normal.

My art will continue to be important – probably more so as I endure the monotony of a working life…

What does success look like?

I recently watched a very inspirational interview with returned astronaut Mr Chris Hadfield.

He said that he saw the original moon landing at age 6 (or 7)  and from that moment on he knew he wanted to do that – he wanted to be an astronaut.

He was asked about how he got there – what steps did he take to get to where he is today.

The answer seems quite simple.

He said something along the lines of – (I am paraphrasing here because I can’t remember his exact words) – work out what success looks like to you, and what is the next step in getting closer to that goal.

My definition of “success” is still evolving.

When I started this art journey I believed that selling a piece of art was what success looked like to me.  I made art and it sold.  Success!

I entered competitions – made it to finalist stage and even won a couple prizes. Success!

Then I was going to be brave … and … create a large body of work … and … have a solo exhibition … Success!!!

Walk through of A Mountain of Stars

A Mountain of Stars has outshone itself.  The work I created is stunning (yes I am a little proud).  It is cohesive – expresses an idea – and started conversations and up close examination of the work.  That in and of itself was a success to me.  When I remember how long I have been doing this and where I came from I count this solo exhibition as an enormous success.

Add to that, this was a first ever and I was nervous about the whole process, I sold more pieces than I ever thought I would!  I honestly would have been happy with just a single sale because that was not the sole point of the exercise – it was more about the journey and the personal goal to create work worthy to hang on a gallery wall.

The fact that other people saw the value in what I had created is tremendously uplifting.  It is the pat on the back that we all need – you are doing good work – you are on the right track – keep going…

So, my definition of success is still evolving.

My next steps towards that success are going to be baby ones – more competitions, more group exhibitions and I will be gradually working towards another solo exhibition.

I am doing something I love, I have the support of my gorgeous family (truly couldn’t do any of this without them), I have met some amazing people, and my art is touching other souls… Success!

A Mountain of Stars…

Opening night for A Mountain of Stars was two nights ago…

Oh man!  I had the best night! I felt like a celebrity!

I am so grateful that so many lovely people came to see my work.

And even more humbling is that my work touched people enough that they wanted to own it.

I am still floating!

Earthbound Stars (on wall) Eucalyptus globulus Pointillism gumnuts
Earthbound Stars (on wall)
Eucalyptus globulus
Pointillism gumnuts
A small selection of my origami obsession!
A small selection of my origami obsession!

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I have been warned that the come down after all the work and build up to a solo exhibition can be hard.

I have begun sketching out ideas for the next series of work.

I have begun the enormous task of cleaning up the studio – calling it spring cleaning doesn’t do the job justice.

There are a couple of group exhibitions coming up and I intend on entering a few competitions before the end of the year.

Keeping busy won’t be a problem – I have too many ideas.

In the mean time I am still pinching myself – I promised myself that I would do this thing and now I have accomplished more than I dreamed I could.

I am going to set myself some more goals and work hard towards them.  Watch this girl fly!

A Mountain of Stars – 2 weeks to go – Getting exciting!!

With only 2 weeks till opening night I am finalising all that paperwork stuff that needs to be attended to … documenting each piece, pricing, naming, labelling, and artists statements… blergh…

I have never created a large body of work exploring a central theme before so this time the artist statement is actually relevant…

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Artist Statement for A Mountain of Stars

Today the five pointed star shape is one of the most universally used and recognised images throughout the world.

It is used in decorations, religions and emblems.  It represents so many different things to so many different people.

But why is that?

Why is that shape so ubiquitous?

The idea I am exploring within this body of work is that when humans first began noticing the world around them they saw the shape in nature.

This star shape subtly and subconsciously crept into our minds.

And, over time, the human race translated that into our own symbolic and written language.

As a kid I spent a lot of time exploring the bush near my home.  The shape jumped out at me.  And ever since then I began to see stars everywhere in nature.

The drawings I have presented here display the natural star shape I fell in love with.  I chose to use pointillism as I feel it is the best way to depict them because it has a very organic look.

Stippling is a very meditative art form, taking a lot of patience.  A single piece can take many hours to complete.  A steady hand is needed as a since dot in the wrong place can change the look of a whole piece.

I love that from a distance these works can look like simple pencil drawings.  It is only when one gets closer it can be appreciated that there are no straight lines and the whole thing is composed of a series of dots.

I strive to make art that is fun to create and beautiful to look at and I believe that these drawings achieved both.

Native Australian Blue Bell
Native Australian Blue Bell

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How was that? Not too shabby?

I keep feeling like there is something else I have forgotten to do….

Is there anything you forgot on your first solo exhibition? Anything you wish you had done? Or did and wish you didn’t?

The count down is real now…. I can’t wait!

4 weeks to go!

Right …. 4 weeks …. First ever solo exhibition …. Do I start panicking now?!

I keep coming up with ideas for new pieces… write them down

I fantasize about what they will look like framed … framing jobs get started Monday …

Freaking out that I haven’t named each piece as I created it … better make sure they are all signed too …

Worried that my obsession won’t make sense to anyone else … that is what the artist statement is for …

Have I created enough art? … doesn’t matter – it is a decent collection that will fill the space …

Butterflies starting to tickle as the time ticks closer … enjoy the moment …

4 weeks …. not panicking …. yet….

Star knot 3

8 weeks and counting…

Today officially marks 8 weeks till opening night.  It’s bare knuckle time.

I have sent out real ‘paper’ invitations.  Even the mayor accepted my invite to be a guest – although he does have to dash off to be official and open some other important function.

I am very close to having the 24 drawings I set out to create.  I have written my essay – artist statement.

I have come up with a dozen different ideas for other works – but – I have not allowed myself to get too side tracked… yet…

I have had mild panic attacks.  I have questioned my sanity.  I have been overly optimistic about how long a couple of the pieces would take to do.  I have been disappointed when the idea in my head didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to.

I have been on the biggest roller-coaster ride of emotions when it comes to my art.  But I wouldn’t change it for anything.  This process has taught me a lot about myself, and my work.

I still have some star shapes swimming in my mind so there may be more than 24 drawings… and a few 3d pieces too 🙂

I am very proud of what I have created so far and I seriously can’t wait to show it all off!

8 weeks and counting!

It’s official…. I’ve said it out loud…

I recently read somewhere on the interwebs that you should keep your goals secret.  Apparently the more people you tell, the less likely it is that you will achieve those goals.  I am not sure I agree with that ….

One of my long term goals has been to hold my own solo exhibition ….

I told a few people quite some time ago now that I wanted to do it and since then I have slowly but surely been working up to it.

Now I have told a few more people, booked a space, created more art and guess what?!

I  AM  HAVING  MY  FIRST  EVER  SOLO  EXHIBITION!  SQUEEEE!!  (insert enormous grin)

Nervous excitement ensues!

About 12 pieces are complete – with another 10ish planned.  There are essay’s to transcribe, invitations to design, blogs to write and more art to create.

I love the work I have been creating – it is all pointillism though – so if I look at you funny next time I see you, it might just be my eyes adjusting 😛

Here is a sneak peek of some of the work that will be showcased …

Origami Star I

The little red house

Knotted star I

Gum nut star collection

Notice a bit of a theme happening?

Yup – the five pointed star is the “star” of the show … These guys have been following me around for years and I am finally doing something with the idea.

I am creating a Facebook event so you can join us but I am also sending out real actual paper invitations to those that would like one.

Save the date – Opening night 7th August – Ipswich QLD.  Let me know.  Would be awesome if you could come.

(insert happy dance here)

Thought you might be interested…

So – I am going away for a few weeks… naturally this means that there is packing to be done.  I was going to take one of my favourite shirts with me but as the kids pointed out it is getting a bit worse for wear…

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So I did what any normal person would do a couple of days away from departure… I painted me a new one!

I started by transferring the image to the new shirt. My tracing paper was too small so I used baking paper to copy the original and then carbon paper for the actual transfer.

Then I used a product I haven’t tried before.  Derivan Fabricart marker.  It is a double ended pen with fabric paint as the ink! Genius! And very easy to use.  One end has a bullet shape and the other is a chisel which makes the mark making very easy.

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Next I used one of my acrylic paint brushes and Permaset Aqua Textile printing ink to fill in the colours…white first…

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Then some red and pink…

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Then back with the fabric marker to fill in the eyes, go over the black lines, and add the whiskers…

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The image is heat set with a hot iron over a tea towel and then a quick wash.

The end result… one happy lady!

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The whole project took about 2 hours (if you don’t count the washing and drying bit).  I am very happy with the way the paint and markers turned out on the fabric.

So much so that I would like to do more of this type of stuff – I am now wondering if I could do a bunch of star inspired fabric’s, calico bags, t-shirts, tea towels….. the possibilities are endless….

And Time Marches On…

Well – what happened there?

I blinked and it’s March already!

So far I have already completed four pieces for my planned solo exhibition.  I entered two into a competition,  (didn’t win anything but that wasn’t the point of it), and have created another two pieces for the annual local competition/exhibition Ipswich Art Awards, aaaannndd I have another two pieces planned for the Lethbridge 10000 small works competition.

I am so in love with my latest finished piece – I really think it is my best work so far!
But, I am keeping this one secret till the exhibition… you may have seen a couple of sneak peeks on my Facebook page in the last couple of weeks…

I will say that it is a children’s illustration inspired piece and it features a little girl and a wolf.

In between all this creative stuff I have been trying to update my CV and images on both this blog and my Facebook page.  Turns out I am not that great at record keeping – I never seem to find time to upload these pics… and I have to remember to scan or photograph them in the first place.

Anyway – I have to get some of this stuff done in the next few weeks because we are going on a family holiday at the end of the month and won’t be home for 4 weeks!  Really excited and looking forward to reconnecting with the little people in my family.

Needless to say the sketch book will be coming with me 🙂

A Healthy Obsession…

I am delving deeper into an obsession and developing my solo exhibition ideas.

It is very exciting to be thinking about this – I hadn’t realised how much fun it would be to create a large body of work based around a central theme.

In the past I have normally only done one off’s or a small set of themed pieces.

To create 24 to 30 pieces all with the same subject matter was a bit daunting at first but as I began to look through old sketch books and scribbled notes I became more comfortable with the idea.  It seems that the subject matter has been haunting me for years and now it feels only natural to collect all the fragments together.

I am really looking forward to seeing how these works develop …

succulent

obssessed

paperstars

starrynight