31 Aug 2015
4 Apr 2015
25 Sep 2012
It makes me feel childishly peeved actually!!! (Sad to admit, but true!)
18 Apr 2012
Well that's it ............. after 3 days struggle I have given up on this idea!!!! Did not matter what I tried nothing seemed right, and the painting just would not come together.
I have just finished wheeling the roller and covering it all with gesso.
So once again there is a pristine white canvas, 36" x 48", staring reproachfully at me from my easel !!!!!!!!!!!
Ah me, it's back to the drawing board ............................
22 May 2011
I had noticed advertisements for photo-imaging on wrapped canvas and recently had the opportunity to try this method out with a company called BAGS OF LOVE who are based in the U.K.
I must say that I found them really helpful and efficient. All I had to do was provide an image of my painting and choose the size of canvas, - 'Bags of Love' would do all the rest. Of course, from an artistic viewpoint the photograph needed to be, as near as possible, true with regard to colour and detail. The finished canvas arrived well-wrapped (and undamaged) in under two weeks. I was certainly pleased with the result and have since had a second one reproduced.
(photo-print on wrapped canvas)
4 May 2011
Life-drawing was the very first formal art class I ever attended. This was at the tender age of 15 when, after school was over for the day each Friday, I went to my friends house for tea and we then took the bus to the local School of Art in Folkestone, Kent, UK.
Tea was always the same .... poached mushroom stalks on toast of all things. I loved them!
Tea may not have differed but the life models certainly did ... a variety of shapes and sizes, both men and women. As I recall they were mostly what one might describe as 'mature', with lots of wrinkles and bulges! It was certainly challenging but we learnt a great deal, and it was the start of my life long interest in drawing people.
I hate to think how many years ago that was!!!!
21 Mar 2011
11 Jan 2011
I didn't make any New Year Resolutions .... which was rather cowardly of me. But if I had one of them would have been to get painting on a regular basis again. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't lifted a paintbrush or pencil for several weeks now and I can't seem to get going at all!
PAINTER'S BLOCK? Is there such a thing I wonder, or is it pure idleness? No, I just feel that I have no direction at the moment and keep waiting for inspiration! Even the merest 'whiff' would be nice.
Get a grip, girl, do!
25 Sep 2010
I feel that I want to branch out and experiment, that I should 'move on' from representational renderings to something a bit more original and expressive. Although I don't think my paintings are exactly 'photographic', to my mind they don't show much imagination or originality.
Imagination and original ideas do not come easily and I often wonder if such things are innate or if one can cultivate them through trial and error! Two books that fill me with hope for better things, if I can only keep on trying, are:
The Creative Artist by Nita Leland and The New Spirit of Watercolor by Mike Ward and I find both wonderful sources of information and inspiration, and surely as relevant today as they were 20 years ago. The first version of Nita's book came into print in 1990, and she launched a further book The New Creative Artist in 2006 (this one I have yet to get hold of).
Both Nita's and Mike's books (which I have written about on this blog before) are filled with ideas and advice, and are illustrated with examples of work by many exciting contemporary artists. However, I have to say that looking at paintings produced by others can not only inspire but can sometimes lead to feelings of despondency!! But I suppose its all about experimentation and, should one fall down, having the courage to pick oneself up and having another try ...........
Some of my problem lies in 'artistic constipation' ..... i.e. I have great difficulty moving out of my rather rule-bound mind-set. By this I mean that I tend to get so caught up in the process of producing a recognisable image that all spontaneity and/or imaginative interpretation tends to gets lost. I must also admit to other artistically stultifying traits such as 'fear of failure' and a certain miserliness with paint and materials!
However, there have been occasions when I have managed to produce something which I felt was a bit 'different' and more creative than usual. So I am really pleased that a recent 'abstract' painting of mine has been selected for the Anderson Park Spring Exhibition in Invercargill, while a more realistic painting 'The Red Shoes' entered at the same time was not selected. The successful painting was originally called 'Hear us, See us' but I have renamed it for this exhibition, and now feel encouraged to try my wings at something new!
Anderson Park Gallery Inc.
3rd October - 25th October
24 Feb 2010
14 Nov 2009
So I was interested to find food for thought with regard to 'teaching art' from this week's newsletter from Robert Genn .....
The art of teaching art (extract)
"............... While many art teachers insist teaching invigorates their own art, many others find at the end of the day there is little left of their own energy. Furthermore, the mere act of speaking and demonstrating may steal the thunder they must take to their own easels.
One cannot discount the value of skillful teachers who save students from potholes and pitfalls. In fact, in its best sense, the teaching of art is guidance away from the bad habits that come so naturally to many who struggle alone. In my experience, the best teachers are often mature part-timers who live in the real world. Perhaps the best one might be a private mentor. While these are hard to find, she might be persuaded to take a motivated fledgling under her wing.
Robert Henri, one of the outstanding art teachers of all time, notably said, "All education is self-education." In the best of all worlds, there is a balance--the passing of knowledge, skills and techniques by qualified instructors, and the determined work habits of dedicated and exploratory private workers to follow their own noses.
The "mystery" that our writer mentioned may be key to the secret. Unexplained and unvarnished with many words, the act of art becomes a doing thing that never ceases to puzzle and challenge. It wakes the artist in the morning and puts him to sleep at night. It's a constant and unending game he plays against himself, the joy of which lies in never being absolutely satisfied."
29 Oct 2009
Again we stayed overnight, meeting up with other acquaintances at various stages of the proceedings. Then picked up our paintings on Tuesday morning, before a nice bit of retail therapy in H J Smith department store, and the return journey home. Having eaten and drunk far more than was good for us we are all now on a diet!
We returned home to find that each of our entries to the Dunedin Art Awards 2009 have been selected for inclusion, .......... great news! And today I have had the satisfaction of selling two of my "Shearers" series.
Its been quite a long while since I have sold anything so it is very encouraging to finally do so.
17 Oct 2009
Here are some words of wisdom from Robert Genn's latest weekly newsletter. He really is an excellent source of inspiration and encouragement!
"Don't assume there is only one way. Don't assume that mistakes are a bad thing. Don't think for one minute that everyone agrees with what "good" is. Don't fall into the trap of thinking perfection is attainable or even desirable. Don't assume the existence of error. Art is not based on a catechism.
Art is something else. It is, for better or for worse, the bending of personal will. And while some artists may attempt standards such as academic standards, commercial standards or intellectual standards, there will always be significant creators who don't give a hoot about standards at all.
The main thing you need to think about is process. Your process. Individual decisions cannot be taken from some list. They are the result of your previous moves, including your errors. They are also the result of your noted winnings. This is how you-as-a-person becomes you-as-an-artist.
Funnily, in youth, we are often rigid. We tend to think there is some secret, some Holy Grail that will have great art appear on our easels. We may even dream that fame and fortune will arise from this correctness. As we grow older, we realize just how limiting were our earlier conceptions. Art is something else. Art is fluid, transmutable, open ended, never complete, and never perfect. Art is an event."
The Painters Keys - Robert Genn
29 Sep 2009
This week I was disappointed to hear that only one of the four paintings I'd submitted for the 2009 Anderson Park Gallery Exhibition in Invercargill, Southland, had been selected - this pastel painting called Winter Vase (the three 'unsuccessful' paintings were all acrylics).
However, one really good thing about the exhibition is that it involved 3 painting buddies and myself taking 15 paintings between us (in two cars) 'down South', and enjoying 2 nights away on a jaunt! Anderson Park Gallery itself is a beautiful "stately" house in lovely grounds with an excellent permanent art display, so it was well worth the visit.
It was also great to have a 'girlie weekend'.... and as you can see they are all mad like me!
Quite a long time ago I purchased some 12" square canvases ..... some were black and some white and I don't know why I did it, but it seemed like a good idea at the time! Since then I have tried a couple of ideas out on them with varying degrees of success (mostly failure) ... as it is surprisingly difficult to design a painting in a square format!
However, I have recently been chewing over an idea for a series (will I be able to manage more than one painting though!) which I hope will fit the bill. The inspiration comes from some photographs that my daughter, Debbie, took in a shearing shed when she visited us from UK in August this year.
Here is the first one - it is acrylic and done mostly with a palette knife.
10 Nov 2008
This weekend I am off inland to Maniototo area in Central Otago, to a tiny place called ST BATHANS:
"Beneath the Hawkdun Range and the Dunstan Mountains is the tiny township of St Bathans. With a present population of 5 people and one hotel, it is a far cry from the days of 2000 people and 13 hotels. Situated beside the beautiful Blue Lake (created by the sluicing and channelling of the gold diggers), the intense blue colour of the lake is caused by the mineral content of the surrounding cliffs. The 120 metre high hill the lake site was, is now a 69 metre deep hole, the deepest mining hole in the Southern Hemisphere. The adobe (sun dried mud brick) buildings, notably the Vulcan Hotel, reflect a theme common throughout Central Otago."
I have been invited to attend a small painting seminar being held by members of the Pastel Artists of New Zealand as guest demonstrator. I find the thought of trying to demonstrate in front of my peers terrifying in the extreme - but must follow in the footsteps of the early settlers with determination!
I will be staying in the local hotel ... it is said to be haunted, and I hope to keep you posted on that aspect of the adventure ..............
Anyway, the first evening (Friday) we are meeting up for a social get-together and are taking something towards a communal supper. Should be fun!
3 Jul 2008
Last week I was browsing through some art books and found (and bought) this very interesting one:
Title: The PASTEL BOOK - Materials and Techniques for Today's Artist
Author: Bill Creevy (1991)
Publishing details: Watson-Guptill Publications, New York ISBN 0-8230-3905-6
In fact, the reasons I was drawn to the book were the exciting sections on pastels with mixed media, in particular the sections on using Soft Pastels with Acrylic Gels or Modelling Paste, Oil Pastels with Acrylic Medium, and making Pastel Monotypes.
Since buying the book I have had a brief try with Acrylic Medium over Soft Pastel but admittedly without much success ... so I feel that this may take a while to conquer! But I did manage to produce the following in Oil Pastel plus Acrylic Medium:
Another piece of good news is that my 'Tips for Acrylic Painting', together with one of my acrylic painting demonstrations, can now be viewed at Creative Spotlite. If you have not visited this site then it is well worth a look ... masses of art information, tips, demonstrations and links!
26 May 2008
Well, in spite of it being a cold, wet and grey day yesterday I'm happy to say that our local Head to Head Art Tour was very successful! Participants reported a good number of visitors during the course of the day, doors opening at 10am and closing at 5 pm, and a steady stream of people.
I had over 80 visitors come to view my work (+ a toddler and one dog!), and the interest and comments were very stimulating. In fact, the event did a lot to blow some life into my artistic embers! And I even sold a painting which was icing on the cake ...
(acrylic on canvas, 40cms x 50cms)
4 Apr 2008
First of all there will be an exciting event in May when a group of more than 20 local artists are getting together for a 'Head to Head Art Tour'. The artists all live within the vicinity of the bay which runs between the heads of the Matanaka peninsula and the Huriawa peninsula, and will be displaying their work for one day. Some will display in their own homes or galleries and others will get together in local halls.
My house is the very last one along the Huriawa peninsula and I now have a small gallery area all my own in our new basement extension. The extension comprises a large lounge (which I will also use to display a few paintings), a bathroom, and the 'gallery' which has a small kitchen area at one end.
I have spent today happily hanging some of my paintings in my new gallery!!!! .................
18 Feb 2008
The Lawn Bowls season will be coming to an end in about a month's time and I hope to be blown away by new ideas and a desire to get painting!!! Meanwhile, I have at least had a good tidy-up of my work space! Well, its a start .............