Which hat?

It has been a very busy few months in my house.

I have been working in a day job for what feels like, forever, a very long time, but in actual fact has only been about 3 months.

I have found the transition from stay-at-home-mum to working-mum to be an interesting exercise for me personally.  In between getting normal houseworky stuff done (which, let’s face it, has never been a huge priority) and looking after and feeding kids, and doing artwork I find that there is little time in the day to do much else.  I am constantly juggling which hat I need to wear, and when – it can mean that I am four different people all in the space of a few hours.

And that is why this blog has just sat for a while.

However, the end of the year always brings a touch of urgency to me – a list of accomplishments tallied against the list of goals, each marked off and either postponed to next year or counted as a win.

Last year I gave myself  the words “Change” and “Purpose” for my focus.

I also had a major goal of my first solo exhibition.   (Which was awesome and I felt like a freaking superstar for the night!)

This coming year, 2016, is still a bit of a mystery to me in what I want from it – I am not sure what to ask the universe for …

In the mean time, I will begin with a small list of goals.

I am already planning some new fabulous work, and I would love to have another solo exhibition.

If all goes to plan, at this stage I will have artwork in exhibitions each month right up to April.

The first of which is a group exhibition curated by the Ipswich Art Gallery team.  I am among 18 artists whose work was selected for the “People-Place” exhibition in January.  It’s pretty exciting to be selected again to exhibit amongst some amazing talent.

I have created 2 new works based on my interpretation of the theme “People-place”.

Limestone Street

This is a large Pointillism piece – in colour!! Titled “Limestone Street” after the street in which this gorgeous old building stands.

The second one is about the same size as the door – but a stained glass window design based on the native Australian bluebell Whalenbergia stricta which featured in my solo exhibition.

As it is still a work in progress I have just included a sneak peek of the detail here:

Bluebell - Work in Progress- Detail

Remember how I said change was one of my words – I think I kind of like the colours….

Anyway – I have better go put my maid’s hat on and fold some laundry so that I can actually get to the couch and put on my artist’s hat 🙂

 

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 🙂

Have I told you I love my job?

One of the nicest things that has happened to me this year is getting a part-time job in the local art shop. (Check it out here http://www.arttime.com.au/).  When I say part-time, I mean one day a week, with an extra shift thrown in every now and then.

I haven’t worked in a full-time job since before my babies were born, so that’s about 8 years ago now.  I always said that if I went back to work it had to be something I enjoyed and the hours had to work in with my kids.  So the Saturday morning thing totally works for me and my family.

And I work in an ART SHOP! 

I am surrounded by inspiration and fabulous art materials. 

At the back of the art shop is a gallery and working studio.  Local artists are able to hold solo or group exhibitions (of which I have attended many), and several different art classes are also held there. 

Coming in and seeing the latest exhibition hanging or walking past a watercolour student working away on a new piece always fills me with a joy that is difficult to describe.

The readily available art supplies can be a little dangerous though, especially when one needs to “focus” on one’s upcoming exhibition and not get distracted by interesting side projects.  Like wanting to try printmaking because of beauty in the pieces of the current exhibition.  Or seeing the potential in a new design because of a book in the corner library.

I love that I am always learning new tricks, and new ways of using different materials. 

But one of my favourite things about my job is the wonderful people I get to meet.

I get to talk to some of the most interesting and creative people every week.

I am constantly being surprised by how many talented people are out there.  And most of them are only too happy to talk about their creative processes, to pass on a gem of an idea, or proudly show a picture of what they are working on.

It’s encouraging to see that creativity is alive and well. 

The artists who come into the shop vary in age and skill level, there is a huge variety of disciplines and paraphenalia, but the underlying common thread is that we all love art.

When I get home in the afternoon I nearly always head for my studio to sketch out an idea or try out a new method.  After a day of breathing in the dust of inspiration it is hard not to scratch that itch.

The muse constantly whispers sweet nothings.

Sometimes feel bad that I am paid to come to work – to me it is not work…

I love my job!

 

 

Stealing time…

I am a Mum.

I am an artist.

But I am a Mum first.

But I am an artist trying to carve out some sort of a career in between all the things that being a Mum involves.

This means that some of the things that I should be doing – like washing, hanging, folding the laundry – mopping, vacuuming floors – wiping benches doing dishes – gets sort of left till I can squeeze it in between other Mum things.  Picnics, play dates, reading books, playing hide and seek or tickle monsters are all more important while my little ones are still little and want my attention.

But I am an artist.

I sneak away while my children are playing a game of treasure hunts outside so that I can write this blog post.

I slip into the studio while they are eating breakfast to quickly scratch out that idea for a new piece.

When it gets too hot outside and we spend some time watching a movie together I get time to work my latest pointillism piece from the comfort of the couch.

Organising a crafty session means I can bring out my acrylic paints and we can be artists together.

I know I am stealing time – but hopefully they won’t notice.

And if they do then I hope they realise that I am doing something I love, and that if you find something that brings you joy you don’t have to wait for the perfect time to do it.

Just squeeze the most out of the time you do have.