You know when you have an idea, and an image develops in your mind? And you know that sinking feeling you get when it doesn’t immediately turn out the way you hoped?
This happened to me recently… I entered two local exhibitions with brilliant ideas of what I wanted to portray and I had several “aaha” moments where my inner light bulb went off.
The first challenge was an acrylic piece for “little red” at Arttime Art Supplies.
The brief for this piece was a standard sized canvas and a tube of red paint that was supplied to each artist.  You could create anything you wanted so long as the colour red featured somewhere in the piece.  I played with a couple of ideas and ended up with a celtic spider design.  The design process for this piece was fun as it allowed me to play with lines again.
I enjoyed working out where the lines would overlap and where the shadows should fall… the difficulty here came about when I actually started to paint it.  My first light bulb was when I discovered that I don’t know as much as I thought I did when it comes to acrylic paint and opacity and viscocity…
I very quickly realised that I was working with two transparent colours, and the composition wasn’t going to work on a black background. Because I had to use a “crimson red” which was the supplied paint and chose to team it up with “pthalo green” I had to fix things up on the run.  This involved lots of patience and repainting several areas to get the lines to look smooth and even.

Me with my work hanging in Arttime Art Supplies

Me with my work hanging in Arttime Art Supplies

Watching a documentary about street art and graffiti artists I saw the use stencil art in a whole new light.  I thought that I may be able to use stencils in some of my own work – especially the fiddly “ribbon” art that I like to do – this is something I am going to play with very soon.
The second challenge for me was the QT Art Awards.  I entered two pieces.  One piece was definately going to be a pointillism and I had the image I wanted to create in my head.
The lightbulb moment here was when I discovered the concept of complex simplicity.
The composition was going to fill the page, but I saw that doing so would take away from my original idea… the problem here was that I had already done nearly 70% of the work before I decided to change the piece completely.  So with a little over a week to go before I had to deliver my work I started all over again! Nuts, I know! But the finished piece looks amazing and I am sooooo very glad that I did change my mind.
The finished pointillism piece..

The finished pointillism piece..

The last piece really was a challenge.  I wanted to “say” something with this piece, it was going to be a commentary on the way humans have destroyed the natural environment for their own comfort etc… all very intellectual and stuff… any way…
The first idea was to do a tree with all the names of every extinct animal in Australia written into the bark…
Scribbly gums

Scribbly gums

The finished trees looked awesome as a piece of art in their own right and I couldn’t get the words to look right … so I scrapped that idea and started another …
I tried many variations of a tree – experimenting with styles and mediums, trying to get it to speak to me…
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Then the brilliant idea of seeing a power pole as being a tree dawned upon me… and then it was a bit of jump to get the two ideas together…
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I was still not completely happy with the end product soooo the night before I had to deliver it I did this…
Mixed media piece with watercolour, ink, pen, and coloured pencil.

Mixed media piece with watercolour, ink, pen, and coloured pencil.

And oh my gosh I am so very happy with it!  The photo doesn’t do it justice but it’s gorgeous!
I have had an amazing and very draining few weeks but it has certainly given me lots and lots of food for thought.  I am sure the work I will produce in the future is a continuation of this evolution of my art.