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.

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

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 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”.

 

 

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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!

Giddy Up…

Motivation… it is something that has been lacking recently…

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

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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…

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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.

 

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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 🙂