Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spring is in the Air

I just love spring when everything in the garden is bursting into bloom. And the scents in the air just stop and make me smile. I am lucky I don't suffer from hay fever!

wisteria is my favourite and reminds me of the garden where I grew up

peach blossoms with the promise of summer fruit

jasmine outside our bedroom window smells delightful

orange blossoms and looks like a big crop this year

Now onto some work in progress. I am trying to paint white objects and I didn't realise how hard that is. Not only do you have to put in the shadows but white objects can't just be painted in white. They have to have quite a few colours to get them looking right. Below is a not yet completed painting that will be titled 'White With Two'. Its been a real learning experience and quite a bit of looking at books to see how others have painted white objects. Any tips would be appreciated. I have left the painting for today and will look at it again with fresh eyes tomorrow.

Time for me to stop thinking about art and think about cooking dinner instead. Don't want to though.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Revelation

Firstly I would like to announce that I was accepted into the Adelaide Art Society. Hip hip hurray!!! Last night was their monthly social evening so I decided to attend that and meet some people. It was just so great being with a group of fellow artists. I was part of a group instead of feeling the odd one out like I usually do. And on top of that they had home made scones with jam and cream and chocolate cake! It just couldn't get much better than that hehehe. On the way home I was feeling pretty happy with my world and I suddenly had a revelation. You know those moments where it seems the clouds part and there's a ray of sunshine and a chorus of angels singing (even though its night time)??? I will start at the beginning but be warned I am rambling. In August 2007 I read The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron for the first time. One of the tasks in the 12 step program was to describe your ideal life, to think about your goals or dreams, to really work out what you wanted. I had no idea what I wanted. I had this vague sort of dream that was way off in the future but that was all. Silly really. How are you meant to reach your goals if you don't know what your goals are??? I continued with the tasks in the book and little by little my vague sort of dream started to take form. I started to understand what I really wanted. Once I had the goal worked out I started working on ways to attain it. I started reaching for that goal, for my ideal life. Sometimes I strayed from the path, sometimes I stumbled and even fell but I kept on going. Somewhere in the future was my ideal life. I could feel it. Here comes the revelation part. Last night while driving home I realised I AM ALREADY LIVING MY IDEAL LIFE. Its not somewhere in the future, its here and now! Ok a lot of you will be saying "Der I could've told her that" but its something you can't be told is it? Its something you have to realise for yourself. The dream is not yet complete. The ideal life still needs a little tweaking. I still need to earn a good income from my art and I still want to be more 'known' in the world of art but they are minor details that will work out very soon as long as I keep on living the dream. Yep all is right with my world.

Small Work Number 5

I have now completed all 5 paintings that I want to enter in The Small Works Prize at Brunswick Street Gallery. I have enjoyed doing them but I still much prefer to do larger works.

Just a Couple o' Pears
mixed media on canvas
25x30cm (10"x12")

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Small Work Number 4

I had a great day in the studio today. I finished another small work. One more to go and I've already started it! Deadline for entries of The Small Works Prize isn't till Sunday 21st November so I am ahead of schedule. Still have to work out the most economic way to ship the work to Melbourne.

mixed media on canvas
25x30cm (10"x12")

I have decided to apply for membership to The Adelaide Art Society. I thought it would be a good way to meet other artists, to learn and share and network. I have my application form all filled out and I have an appointment with them tomorrow afternoon to show them some examples of my work. Fingers crossed I get accepted.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Studio Update

As my studio is a shared space with Bob's man cave, I had to come up with a way of hiding the man cave mess. I thought cupboards would suit Bob better than shelving to hold all his stuff. You can shut the door on cupboards and not see the disarray. I took over the whole organisation of his space much to Bob's horror hehehe. I sorted all his stuff so it is now easy to find everything. I put all the painting gear together and all the plumbing and welding stuff all have their own space. The power tools are all together etc. etc. Bob had to admit he liked it. I have put a lot of time and effort into this and it still wasn't quite right. I decided I had to make a clear division between the spaces. I plan to have open studio during the SALA Festival next year and didn't want the studio to look like a corner in a man's shed. I ended up buying some old wardrobes which I not only used to create a wall but it also gave Bob more storage space.

my space as you first walk in the door

in the distance is my desk

walk around the shelves towards the desk and this is the lounge area

the lounge area showing off my new 'wall'
beyond the wall is the man cave

the lounge area showing one doorway into the man cave

the back of wardrobes painted make a good wall to hang artwork

that's my desk looking from the lounge area

and back around to the door that leads into the garden

I still have the yard in front of the shed to clean up. That's where I have put all the things that I decided to throw out. That is my next mission.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Step Forward

I recently entered a competition through a gallery in Melbourne. Only 50 entries would become finalists to be judged for the prizes. First prize $5,000 and second prize an all expenses paid solo exhibition in the gallery and various other prizes. I received an email from the gallery. Unfortunately blah blah blah, another rejection I thought. I read further and to my surprise it said unfortunately I was not one of the 50 finalist but I was in the top 75 and that they liked my work very much. And here's the best bit, they invited me to have a solo exhibition either this year or next. I have been trying to get into a gallery in either Sydney or Melbourne for awhile now so I am very excited with this development. Next year would be better for me as there is a lot to organise to get an exhibition worth of work over to Melbourne. Plus I have been developing a new series and I want to have time to get some of these ideas onto canvas. I want to use altered paper to create a retro wallpaper look for the background but its still early in the development stage. To quote Laura "I'd better bust a move". I bust a much faster move when I have something to work towards that has a deadline.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Cherry

I am planning on entering the Small Works Prize at Brunswick Street Gallery in Melbourne. Works are to be less than 30x30cm (12"x12"). There in lies the problem. I have trouble with such small paintings. I like to do paintings with a bit of size behind them so they hit you in the face visually. I usually paint things much larger than life. So how can I do that on a small canvas? The answer is painting small things! I am aiming for at least 5 small works and below is my first one.

mixed media on canvas
30x25cm (12"x10")

Also note my new watermark, created by my daughter Julia, to add a bit of protection to images of my work posted on the net.

I have been spending much more time in the studio and I must say I feel so much better for it. Its not that I'm giving up on the promotion side of things but I have stopped obsessing over it. Bottom line is I need to create in order to be complete and when I spend too much time away from the studio I become ..... well, I become unhappy. Life is way too short to be unhappy right?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Junior MasterChef Australia

For those of you who couldn't watch Zoe on Junior MasterChef Australia here's the link to the full episode. Just warning you, it is an hour long show and Zoe's heat is not on till next week. Its a great show and it makes me remember how much fun the kids had making it.
Zoe is wearing a pink beret so she is very easy to spot. You can see Julia and me in the audience too. I am round one in the front row wearing a bright green jumper hehehe.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

As Yet, Untitled

Its not quite finished. Still needs to be signed and a couple of coats of varnish. This painting comes from my Sydney trip. We caught the ferry to Luna Park and had a ride on the carousel. Some of the horses were 100 years old. The old steam driven engine was still there but no longer in use. Carousels remind me of Mary Poppins when the horses jump off the carousel and carry them off across the countryside. Its still my mum's favourite ride. The music, the lights and the motion just speak of times gone by don't they?

mixed media on canvas
91.4x121.8cm (36"x48")

Junior MasterChef starts screening on Sunday night 7.30pm on channel 10. I just can't wait to see Zoe on tv! I am going over to Julia and Zoe's place on Sunday night so we can watch it together. Three more sleeps :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wrinkled Ladies

I love this!!!!!