Today is “reset” day…

Today I had my needles…  I have just had over 30 injections into my forehead, jaw, skull, neck and shoulders.

I have an invisible illness.

I haven’t talked much about this journey … I am not very comfortable showing my vulnerability…  it doesn’t define me… but it does shape parts of my life.

Over the last 4 years I have suffered with severe chronic migraines, almost daily.

Early last year I had a turn and the migraine medications I was taking stopped working. After much angst and searching for answers I found a new neuroligist and we started botox therapy.

It is not fun.  It hurts.

A needle phobia means I feel physically sick before and during the procedure.  I get a dry mouth and sweaty palms.  If it wasn’t for the fact that my gorgeous husband drives me there and holds my hand I might not go.

I have to have these injections every 12 weeks.  Every 3 months I sit and cry and have my needles.

This time round I tried to be strong and stupidly put it off for a month – I pushed my appointment out to 4 months.  Not a good idea.

I am not a lot of fun when I get my migraines.  I am not as productive.  I don’t feel like doing much of anything.  So I have to suck it up and have my medicine.

It is not fun.  It hurts.  But it works.

Today was “reset” day.  I have just gotten home from having my needles.  I am going to bed to rest.

Tomorrow I might draw.

Tiny Dancer

 

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.

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)

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

Just a moment…

I know that I have been a bit slack on this blog lately, but I promise I have a really good reason.

I have been busily getting ready for my largest group exhibition ever.

When I say large I mean the most amount of work I have ever had on display at one time, the actual number of artists involved is just four.  A comfortable group of friends who share a love of art.  Here is a link to details of The Image Makers exhibition… https://www.facebook.com/events/457818967605835

As well as being mum, wife and my normal Saturday morning job, I have also been doing my Artist in Residence thing with 4 & 5 year olds at kindergarten.  This has been an enormous amount of fun and a huge learning experience (more so for me than the kids I think)…

Painted Pinch Pots

And so my priorities have been even more skewed, away from housework, than normal.  I have to admit that parts of the floor are getting decidedly crunchy, and there are two baskets of laundry that have sat there, in the lounge room, not sorted and un-folded, for nearly 2 weeks.  (Shocking, I know).

But…. I have completed and framed 11 pointillism pieces, and 12 nudes, made labels, created catalogues, promoted the bejeebus out of the exhibition …

And, as a side note…

I am also very proud to say that one of the pieces I submitted to the Home Grown Exhibition was chosen to feature on the invitation … a personal achievement that I am very excited about…

Home Grown DL invite 2013  v4 (1)-1

That’s my bumble bee piece!

And so now, as we come closer to opening night of The Image Makers (Friday 22nd November) and most of the preparations are completed, I am able to take a moment …

To breathe…

To contemplate…

To enjoy…

I am taking a moment, to be grateful for this moment – to be thankful for all the circumstances that have lead up to this moment…

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!

 

 

The interconnectedness of all things…

I believe that everything happens for a reason but also that things happen because we make them happen. 

One of the things I hoped to gain when I when I first started putting my stuff out there was to meet other artists.  I knew I needed guidance and wanted to develop a network of like-minded people who would give me the encouragement I needed to keep going.

What you put into something ultimately comes back to you…

I joined art clubs, went to exhibition openings, attended workshops, and life drawing sessions all this in search of arty companions.

Being part of the arts community helps you open your eyes to the talent hidden just beneath the surface.  This journey towards becoming, developing into an artist, has seen me meet some of the most amazing, talented, genuine, and accepting people.

Over the past 3 years I have met photographers, painters, sculptures, poets, musicians, songwriters, jewellers, dancers, authors… people who speak through their work… through acrylics, oils, encaustics, words, music… people who use collage, multi-media, photography, fibre in ways I have never seen before.  Artists who inspire me through their work.  People who encourage me to try new things, to push my own creativity.

Every single one of them are so generous and giving of information, of sharing their knowledge or love of a particular skill with others.  Because part of the joy in creating is the joy in sharing that process with someone else.

I am very lucky to have been given the opportunity to work part-time in our local art store and here I have met even more artists.  People who have been working professionally, teaching for years, and others who have just begun to rediscover the magic of making marks.  Some want to broaden their interests in retirement, still others who bring that joy through their work with the elderly or disabled.  And parents, fabulous arty parents, who encourage their little charges to nurture their creative sides.

I am an over-thinker, I fret, and I suffer from self doubt.  I went looking for encouragement and mentors, and I made connections with fellow artists.

Instead of finding what I thought I needed, I found new friends….

 

 

 

 

 

PS:  Wordpress has just informed me that I have been blogging for 1 whole year! Go me!

 

PPS: On Friday night I was MC at a Solo Exhibition.

A first ever solo exhibition for my lovely and talented friend Rachel Brennan (www.http://rachelbrennanartblog.wordpress.com/) Go check out her stuff!

A lot has happened since we last spoke…

Last time I posted on this blog it was just before the QT Ipswich Art Awards and I talked about the pieces I was entering for this local competition, that was way back in April…

Well – I am very pleased to be able to say that I won an award in that competition – 2nd prize in fact! 2nd Prize in the Drawing Category for my piece “Simple Joys” – the pointillism piece I agonized over!

"Simple Joys"

 

And – I sold the other piece! My mixed media “Tree of Life”.

 

 

DSCN3734

 

I am not sure which one shocked me more to be honest!  Winning my second ever art prize – or selling a piece which I was fully intending to hang in my own home, because I believed that no one else in the world would be able to “see” my vision for the piece.

Since then I have started and scrapped a couple of other pieces for the “Tree of Life” Series (yes, I work in series’ now!)  I can’t seem to get that image right – but creating the original piece was a bit of an angst inducing experience – so I am guessing the next piece will also come from this sort of angst.

I am also working on a series in an “animation cel” style.  This is proving to be enormously fun and naturally more learning is happening.  My whimsical cartoony characters are coming to life in new ways..

And the Cow Jumped Over the Moon

 

And, of course, there are more exhibitions to prepare for – “Stimulate the Senses” in August and “The Image Makers” in November.

So the work/play continues…

Even more exciting news comes in the form of an amazing opportunity through my daughters kindergarten.

I have been asked – and graciously accepted – the chance to act as “Artist In Residence” and teach young children the joys of colour, texture, and pattern through art…

There are no words to describe the honour I feel at being allowed this important task.

It will only be for the last semester of the school year and I am a bit daunted by the idea,  but I strongly believe that if I can impart just the tiniest bit of my love of creating onto these precious young minds then I have done a good thing.

Who knows, I might inspire the next young Margaret Olley!