Learning to be kinder …

It has been a long time since I felt motivated to write.  In fact, the last time was about 6 months ago just after “reset day” and now I am due for the latest lot of injections in a couple of days’ time.

It has been a busy few months with the end of the year rolling round and the new one starting quietly.  My normal end of year re-evaluation and word selection was slightly more meaningful this year.

My migraines affect my thought processes and my anxiety.

I was feeling quite down and sorry for myself thinking that I hadn’t met my goals or lived up to my own expectations.  When I updated my CV earlier this week I actually surprised myself with how much I accomplished last year despite my illness.

I had entered work into 12 separate exhibitions.

1 acquisition award, and 1 sale, at the Ipswich Art Awards.

The landmark2a

 

Number 11

 

I had a piece selected to tour as part of the 2018 Queensland Regional Arts Awards Tour.

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I’ve made a number of sales, and now have a range of prints and cards available.

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Art Before Housework on Etsy

So even though it “felt” like I wasn’t doing as much as I had promised myself I still managed to tick a few things off that enormous to do list.

Learning to be kinder to myself is one of this years’ goals.

 

 

Inspired …

I am not a nerdy artist.

I have not studied formally.

I don’t know all the masters by name.

Casually chatting with art people and hearing names like  Cezanne, Degas, and Michelangelo always makes me feel a bit like a fraud.  I have heard these names ( I mean who hasn’t) but I couldn’t point out their work in a gallery from sight – I would have to read the didactic to tell you who was who.

My nude line work has been inspired by the likes of Matisse.

 

Some of my black and white pointillist (or stippling) work has been compared to Aubrey Beardsley and Albrecht Durer… (I had to look them up too)…

EsqKargot

 

And now I am working in colour… something I have been moving towards over the last 6 months.

Which brings me to a new work that has been inspired by Georges Seurat.

Lilly Pond – Work in progress….

lily oond 1

This piece has come about because a lovely (and clever) friend, Tammy Linde,  asked if I would like to exhibit some coloured pointillism pieces in the foyer of a musical she is directing called  “Sunday in the Park with George” with the Ipswich Musical Theatre Company.

The play is based on Georges Seurat’s relationships whilst working on his masterpiece “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” .

Naturally I had to look him up.

Immediately I find parallels between my work and his – I felt connected to him – I understand the time consuming labour intensive method he used…  his most famous painting took over 2 years to complete.

Seurat used pointillism on a massive scale.   He was on the forefront of a new way of seeing, part of the pioneer neo-impressionists movement.

Whilst Seurat used paint, I use pens.  I am relatively new to the use of colour in my pointillist work.  Layering of colours can bring depth to a piece, and agonising over the placement of each is something I can totally understand.

Tammy’s idea of showing the audience what a pointillist piece looks like up close so that they understand more about the artist and what is happening in the play, is just pure genius.

It is forward thinking like this that hopes to highlight the bond between visual and performance art.  Quite simply the artist Seurat inspired the playwright and they have both inspired me,  and I am happy to say that this mini exhibition will feature 2 new pieces paying homage to the style of Seurat.

I can’t wait to see the play – who knows how many others will be inspired to go on and create something wonderful.

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 – 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)

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

So … I’ve begun art journalling …

This past year has been unkind to me.

I would love to say that the universe sent me challenges that I was able to conquer.

I am not sure that would be true.

My words for 2014 were “change” and “purpose”.  How accurate that turned out to be.  Instead of writing about the fulfilled aspirations for 2014 I find myself rewriting the same list.

This time it is a different person writing that list.

I have a different outlook on life because the universe sent me those challenges.  I understand things from a different perspective.

I have the same aspirations as I had for the beginning of 2014.

Some were achieved, for example we are in our gorgeous new house with amazing studio space, some got started, and some were just left by the wayside.

This year I have added an extra one.

I intend to focus my creative energy towards a solo exhibition.

It is an idea that has been hanging around for a little while and now I think I have enough in me to produce a large body of work.  The inspiration behind the work is something that has been wiggling around my brain for over 8 years now and the original seed came from my childhood.

So, in line with the whole “change” and “purpose” idea, (change a bad habit and be a tiny bit more organised, and create work for the purpose of an exhibition),  I have started an art journal of sorts.  I am documenting all the little ideas to do with my exhibition theme and finding other scribbled notes from over the years and collating it all into one place.  It may sound silly but this is actually amazingly cathartic for me – it sends me another message that I am truly doing what I love because I have been doing it subconsciously for years already anyway.

I hope 2015 is the energetic, uplifting and positive year I need.

May the universe smile kindly on all of us.