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.

20170712_152938 (2)

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

20180113_095438

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.

 

 

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 🙂

 

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…

photo (20)

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.

photo (22)

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

photo (21)

Then some red and pink…

photo (24)

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

photo (23)

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

The end result… one happy lady!

photo (19)

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….

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.

Giddy Up…

Motivation… it is something that has been lacking recently…

I could blame it on my shamozle of a studio ….

image

The result of having lots of things packed up ready for the sale of our house (which seems to be somewhat put on hold)… I have to admit that this has certainly added to my general lethargy… but I am lucky to even have a space to use!

Or I could use any number of other excuses, some of which I am sure we have all used at some point or another…  my kids started a new school, my husband has been sick (apparently the “man-flu” is a real thing), my house is a mess and I need to clean it (oh, hang on… ummmm, can’t really use that one can I?)

But the truth is far simpler… I am being lazy … so I need to shake myself out of this slumber and begin work in earnest!

One way I read about – whilst I was procrastinating – is to start writing lists.

This might sound like a simple thing but being able to cross things off a list actually sounds pretty good to me…  Smaller more manageable deadlines, lists and more time dedicated to actually producing artwork… Sounds like a plan to me…

image

 

With the November exhibition calling, and a few competitions in between, plus some other personal goals I really need to pull my finger out!  In the meantime here are some pieces that I have sketched out ready to work on.

 

image

It’s not like I am lacking ideas… just got to get into it again…

The unorganised housewife

Do you ever wish that you had a super power that gave you more time in the day? 

My friend and I were having a chat the other night about how busy we both are at the moment.  Between doing homework (we both study), looking after the kids, running a household, family and community commitments and working on our respective small businesses there isn’t much time left over for “me” time or to simply get creative.

I worked out that I need to be more organised with my time. 

It’s not that I don’t have the time – it’s just that I am not very disciplined with the time I do have.  Somehow I always end up staying up really late, and feeling terrible the next morning, because I have set myself some ridiculous deadlines.   And I am the type of person who constantly has more than one project on the go, my mind is always ticking over with other ideas of things I would like to do – if only I had the time…

One of the things that seem to get away from me is the mess in the studio…  before I start any new project I have to tidy my space only to have it be a total jumble the next day…

I am extremely lucky to be able to have one room of our house dedicated to my art.  I started out with a corner of a desk in the home office, and then moved to a desk of my own in the corner of the lounge room and graduated to this…  somehow this room doesn’t seem to be big enough anymore. 

 

Here you can see at least 3 projects that I have started.  And believe it or not this is actually tidy!

Anyone who has ever been invited into my home will tell you that I give the illusion of being organised and have an immaculate house.  I am also extremely lucky that I have a very accepting and helpful husband… without his help I am sure we would be living like those hoarders you sometimes see on telly.  After all, my philosophy really is Art before Housework… well let’s face it the reality is that it’s Anything before Housework… for example here are the 3 baskets of laundry I am ignoring in favour of writing this…

 

They are clean – I just haven’t found the time to put them away – yet!

This week I have to finish a portrait for a competition I have entered.  I fussed and fidgeted with several idea’s and then settled on doing a pointillism piece, which looks fantastic and will be gorgeous when it’s finished BUT it is taking forever because it contains several dark shadows and is naturally humungous!  The size of the piece is approx 38cm x 38cm, which doesn’t sound too bad till you realise that there are NO straight lines and everything is done in thousands of tiny dots created with the tip of a felt pen!  Apparently I enjoy this sort of torture!

If you throw in a couple of sick kids, self imposed pressure to create new work for the markets, and the competition deadline, there really isn’t much room for procrastination – but I have to admit I am guilty of that too!

I really want my art to become a full time occupation for me, so I have decided that I need to start treating it more like a job instead of a crazy hobby.  One of the things that I need to do to make this happen is to be more accountable with my time – sounds easy enough… I went out and bought myself a diary and whiteboard for the studio wall.  I have started a to-do list.

I am also going to have to slow down a little, finish a project (or two) and allow myself to take the time to relax and enjoy the creative side of this adventure.

Hopefully these simple little changes will help give me that super power control over time…

Andrea 🙂