Sunday, June 12, 2011

Four Years

August 2007 I read The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron with a great group of women online. One of the tasks was to write morning pages every morning. Three pages of whatever comes to mind. Four years on and I'm still writing my morning pages. I can't do without them. I can whine and moan or ramble on about all the little daily things in my life. I get answers to problems when I write. Answers that were probably stored in the back of my mind but the pages help bring them to the forefront. Well this morning I wasn't really thinking about much of anything except how happy I am with my latest nearly finished painting and I started on a ramble. I thought I would share some of it with you here.

Small doable actions do add up to a lot. Small steps, one foot in front of the other and you move forward. Forward motion is what you must always strive for. Its not about talent. Its about drive and perseverance. Its about always turning up at the easel and believing in yourself. Skills develop with continual practice and before you know it people will say you have an 'awesome talent'. You smile politely knowing you have skills that came from hard work not 'talent'. Anyone can do it! They just need to have the guts to just stick with it. They need to develop the self discipline needed to get through the long lonely hours in the studio spent in total isolation. They need to wade through the endless self doubt and fears and just keep going. The need to keep believing in themselves and keep the negative voices in their head quiet. Above all they need to keep believing in their dreams. Doable goals need to be set and when reached more goals need to be in place so you always move forward. Your dreams must always be clear in your mind and you must always have a strong belief that you will reach them. Focus on your goals and dreams so you can wade through rejection and criticism while retaining your confidence in yourself.

No attention is paid to grammar while I do my morning pages. I just ramble on. I do fight fears and self doubt constantly. I squash those negative voices in my head. When I started to paint I showed my work to no one. Not one person! Through hard work and the support of some wonderful friends (you know who you are ) I can now confidently walk into a gallery and ask the director if they would be interested in showing my work. My skills have developed to a point where I struggle less and enjoy the whole painting process more. I still have fears, I still have doubts and I still have negative voices in my head but my confidence outweighs them. Small steps, one foot in front of the other and you move forward.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


As you know I love to paint ordinary everyday inanimate objects. They inspire me. I do however get inspired by colour as well. Sometimes I might see someone in the street wearing a certain colour combination or an advertising catalogue with this seasons latest whatever and I immediately think of those colours in a painting. I took these leaves home the other day from a walk with Jack.

The green one is the usual gum leave colour but the yellowy orange and redish orange on the other leaves made me catch my breath. Can you see them intermingled with text on a canvas? Or is it just me living in airy fairy arty world?

Today I am going out in my pyjamas! Zoe has got a pyjama skating party and I am going too. No, I am not skating (too scared of falling and hurting something) but I will be wearing my pyjamas, dressing gown and ugg boots. I don't understand why they don't make street clothes that are as comfortable as pyjamas. As soon as I return home I usually put my pyjamas on. Not only are they comfortable but they have fun patterns and colours. I have also been known to paint in my pyjamas. I don't mean to. It just sort of happens. I would love to join a wearing pyjamas in public revolution hehehe.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekly Post (nearly)

I am trying to post at least once a week but I'm already two days late. I had a lovely mother's day yesterday. My Mum's birthday fell on mother's day this year so we had a family afternoon tea. Its always nice to have the whole family sitting around the table. Family, laughter and nice food is a good mix!

I cancelled my gym membership awhile back. They closed the pool and as that was the only facility I used there was no point in keeping my membership going. Instead of swimming and doing aqua-aerobics I've taking up walking. Not as good for my mobility but better than nothing. I take Jack for his daily walk in the local dog park. Dogs are allowed off lead at certain times and in the middle there is a dog enclosure where they are allowed to be off lead anytime. We do one to two laps of the whole park where some major sniffing and peeing is done by Jack. Then we enter the dog enclosure for more of the same. The whole walk takes about an hour. Jack likes meeting other dogs and having a bit of a romp. I listen to the birds. The squawking of the rainbow lorikeets and the warbling of the magpies are the usual sounds. But occasionally, if I'm really lucky, I hear the laughing of the kookaburras. The mornings are starting to get a bit of chill in them. Letting me know winter is on its way. The dampness in the air brings out the heady scent of the eucalyptus trees and I take really deep breaths.

Enough rambling. Time to get to the easel. Only about 8 weeks till I leave for Melbourne to deliver my work for my first interstate solo exhibition. As Laura would say... I'd better bust a move!

She Got Tired of Waiting
mixed media on canvas
121.8 x 91.4cm (48"x36")

mixed media on canvas
60.9 x 50.8cm (24"x20")

The Pre-loved Tablecloth
mixed media on canvas
101.6 x 76.2cm (40"x 30")

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hello Cyber Buddies

I am still alive. I am still here. I think about you (my cyber buddies) everyday. I miss you guys. My fault I know. With things getting busier and busier on the art front I was finding myself with less and less time to fit it all in. Now that doesn't make sense as you always have the same amount of time but what you do with it changes. I was spending more time on the business and promotion side of art and my studio time was suffering. Now I couldn't have that! No point trying to get your work 'out there' if you haven't got any new work to show 'out there'. As I do the bare minimum with regards to household chores I couldn't cull any more time from there. The only thing I could glean some extra time from was the time I spent on the computer. Its not only a time waster but its addictive! I have now got into the habit of checking emails and Facebook quickly once a day and gave up all the rest until I got on top of things. That's a lie. It wasn't till I got on top of things but rather till I got in control of my computer addiction hehehe.

Work is going well. I have been trying to get my work interstate. Adelaide has a good art scene but Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are so much bigger. Its true what they say, Adelaide is like a big country town compared to them and I felt I needed to get my work out further. I didn't have any luck no matter how many galleries I contacted. No one even acknowledge that I was alive let alone an artist. Hard to keep your chin up and keep going. But I did keep going and now I have a solo exhibition opening on July 1st in Melbourne WOOHOO! I ignored the little things like how to get the work there and how to pay for it all because if you worry about these things you end up doing nothing. I had to trust that things would fall into place. So far they have. I sold some work and that covered the exhibition costs and my friend Mignon is coming on a road trip with me to deliver my work and be there for the opening. Mignon's husband, David has arranged all our travel plans so all we have to do is pack the car and go! Couldn't have done it without them and I am humbled by their willingness to help.

The other thing I have done is registered for 'open studio' through the South Australian Living Artists festival (SALA). The festival is on every year. You have probably read about me rambling on about it before. My art buddies Mignon and Mandi are joining me. The festival runs from the 5th to the 28th of August but we decided only to open for two weekends. I can't wait. It should be fun. Hopefully we will get some visitors. I had to have a big clean up of course. Re-organised the space I share with Bob (Mr Messy) and had a big, big throw out. I was ruthless! Threw out nearly everything that wasn't nailed down. WOO what a cleansing experience. Also for SALA: Mignon lives right across the road from some trendy cafes. The cafes and other tendy shops have got together and hold a street party every year to celebrate SALA. The street is closed to traffic while art, music, food, wine and feel good vibes flow easily. Mignon's front verandah is the perfect place to display some art while the street party is on. Of course we will entice people to have a look with some free wine and nibbles.

But that's not all! I recently contacted another gallery here in Adelaide. I had a meeting with the director and her assistant just before easter. And guess what??? They liked my work so much they have offered me an exhibition. And guess when??? THROUGH SALA! So as you can see, I shouldn't be sitting here on my butt in front of the computer. I should be at the easel. Busy busy busy. Am I rich and famous yet??? Maybe not but I'm living the dream :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Work in Progress

This is what I have been working on. The floral ones are nearly finished but the portrait of Zoe has only just been started today.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Time Demands

There seems to be more demand on my time than ever before. Or is it that I am getting slower and don't realise it? Is it really February already? I took some time off anyway. I went to Naracoorte for the weekend for their annual Taste Festival. And taste I did. I over indulged in food and wine and thoroughly enjoyed letting my hair down. It was good to catch up with my best buddy Vanita. Good food, good wine and good friends ... great combination. Bob stayed home. He felt he couldn't take time off work.

Now its back to business as usual with me running around like a headless chook. The Moran Portrait Prize has come around quickly. I can't believe its been a whole year since I entered it. I really wanted to enter it again this year. I have started a portrait and I will see if I can get it done in time. I only have about 10 days to do it and as I'm not very skilled in portraiture I am not sure how I will go. I'll give it a go anyway. Now how I am going to raise the entry fee and transport costs I don't know. I won't think about that yet. I will just turn up to the easel and see what happens.

SALA (South Australian Living Artist) Festival registrations opened yesterday. I am going to register and have 'open studio' this year. It has been a goal of mine since 2009 and finally this year I am going to do it! I figure if I register I will just have to be ready, no excuses. I have asked a couple of art buddies to join me so it should be fun.

I have a couple of new paintings that are nearly finished and hopefully I will remember to take some pics of them today so I can share them with you.

A full day of juggling home duties, studio time and grandma obligations today. Will I manage to do it all??? Probably not. Will I care??? Nope!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Backgrounds

Here is a sneak peek at the new backgrounds I have been playing around with. I have been trying out a different technique. Not sure how much detail you can see on the computer screen but I left the pics large for a closer look. I still think I might add some text as it seems to have become one of my trade marks and I do love text whether it be printed or hand written.

For the blue background I plan to paint some red poppies on the top. Of course they will be larger than life. This canvas is what I call my small size 60.9x50.8cm (24"x20").

The red one doesn't seem to show all the detail that can be seen in real life. This one is for a painting of cutlery. A fork, a knife and a spoon with their all important shadows, much larger than life of course as the canvas is 50.8x76.2cm (20"x30"). Again some text still needs to be added using the image transfer method.

With this heat we are having (42.9 degrees Celsius yesterday, thats just over 109 degrees Fahrenheit) I have just been working on backgrounds. Backgrounds are about splashing paint and stamping etc. Its more like intuitive play and that seems to suit these hot days where concentration levels are at a low.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Paint Touched Canvas

Paint touched canvas today. First time this year. Now all is right with my world. I made a little makeshift studio space inside. Its too hot in my studio with no air conditioner and a tin roof. I started splashing around some paint and I liked what happened so I splashed some more. Then I added a bit of stamping and now I want to added some text with the image transfer method. Its a little bright. I used red (well its a red hot sort of a summer day) and now I need to tone it down just a little because its very very red! No more time for chatting. Need to get back to the painting ;)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Getting Started

I have resigned myself to the fact that the festive season means about 6 weeks of slow to no movement in the studio. Instead of fighting it I have made allowances for it. Now I face the problem of getting started again. Its hard to get back into a proper routine of household chores and studio work. Basically, I am procrastinating. I just can't find a start. Even now I am sitting here on the computer when I should be working. The weather doesn't help. Its forecast to be 36 degrees Celsius today (about 97F) and that is just too hot for the studio. It really heats up in there when the sun beats down on the tin roof. Still that is no excuse. There are plenty of things I can do towards my artwork without having to be in the studio. I could set up some still live displays and photograph them ready for a painting. I could bring some work inside and start on some backgrounds. The list goes on. But I sit here sighing and typing away trying to find a really good excuse not to start. I have a busy year ahead of me so I must pull myself together and just do it! START!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Granddaughter is Awesome!

Imagine this :
15.5km (9.6miles) of bike track
over 36 degrees Celsius (that's about 97 degrees Fahrenheit)
and a bunch of kids and some adults skating to raise money for the flood victims

please give generously

and they're off

Zoe the Awesome!

Zoe the Awesome skated roughly 12 to 13km (7.5 to 8 miles). She collected $300 in sponsorship from friends and family and on the skate the Skate for a Cause Group collected $566.60. Zoe has been so upset by all the news reports about the flood disaster that she really wanted to do something to help. She was so happy to be able to participate in the Skate for a Cause which, by the way, was the idea of her skating buddy Jaidyn who is only 13. Watch out world there are some amazing kids making their mark!

Oh yeah and by the way, I made a pretty good water boy, even though I must say so myself :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Re-Introducing Myself

Hello all. I seem to have wandered off the blogging trail. Its almost like I need to re-introduce myself. Hi my name is Uta, I live in Australia and I eat too much hehehe.

Just wanted to let you all know that the terrible flooding you would have heard about or seen on tv is not near us. It is in another state. All the loved ones in that state are ok (thank goodness) and so are their houses. Its just too horrible to talk about. I have never seen anything like it and I get really emotional when I think about all those people and animals. Zoe (granddaughter aged 9) is joining a group of friends and attempting to roller skate 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) to raise money for the flood victims (through donations and sponsorship). Its on tomorrow and its forecast to be hot, poor things.

On the art front, this year has gone off with a bang!!! Last year was a bit of a fizzler. I really didn't produce much and spent too much time trying to get a hang of the business side of things. Without too much success I might add. This year however, doors are opening everywhere and I am trying to have a peek through all of them. Peek ha, I am trying to go through all of them and all at once hehehe. I had an email from a winery in the Barossa Valley asking if I would be interested in exhibiting with them during SALA (South Australian Living Artists Festival) this year. Ha ha, me??? interested???, OF COURSE I AM!!! And they asked me!!! I will find out for sure in the second week in February if I got the gig. The SALA Festival is on every year in the beginning of August. And for those of you who don't know its when the whole of South Australia turns into one big, fat, juicy art gallery. Every wall, every nook and cranny has art on display from galleries, to coffee shops, restaurants, hairdressers, boutiques AND WINERIES just to name a few. I have already decided to have an open studio sometime during SALA which will allow people to come and have a look at what I do. The street where my art buddy Mignon lives always has a street party for SALA and we decided to have some art on display on her front verandah for that event. Just before SALA I am having a solo exhibition in Melbourne (my first interstate). So that is four events (including the winery, I feel confident) that I need art for and they are all around the same time. I don't have that much art in stock. I need to work my butt off! Weeeeeeeeeee! Wish me luck. I estimated that I will need to do two paintings a week to have enough work. I can do one a week while still maintaining the household chores etc. So you know what that means? The household chores will not be done very often between now and then. Oh boohoo.

I will try to be a better blogger again and let you all know how I am doing in my frantic efforts to jump through all the doors that have opened for me. I have missed all you guys!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy Times

My son got engaged! No date set for the wedding but it will probably be sometime in 2012.

Troy and Leticia (Tish)

Its been a hectic time. I will do a proper post soon. Happy New Year to all my friends and cyber buddies.