Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Sensory Breakthrough

When you live with someone who has Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SIDS) and they ask you to take them shopping... well it's enough to make me hide under the duvet for a while.  Let me just say, this has never been an easy undertaking and usually leaves us all rather traumatised.  Okay, so I didn't literally hide under the duvet, but I certainly did delay this outing for two months!

So this past weekend, I finally faced it and I braced myself!!

Omgoodness!  Was I wrong... I didn't need to brace myself at all...  I ended up spending a beautiful afternoon with my beautiful daughter.  She not only showed me that she was prepared to work through her discomforts but she was also prepared to make good choices to look feminine and beautiful!  And beautiful she did look!  But what I found even more beautiful than anything else, was that she showed me such maturity and courage!  And it looked good on her!  Her determination to face her own stuff and rise above them will seriously stick with me for a long time!  #ProudMama right here!  She found these soft and pretty denims and it is the first time she's owned a pair!  Major breakthrough!

I think the best thing that happened by our outing, is that for the first time in who knows how long, maybe even for the first time in her life... she felt beautiful!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

#InMyStudio - Still deep in the #Postcard mode...

These are the #postcards I've done this week.
To me they are all so different.
They are all a complete surprise to me...
I wish I could tell you I planned them all.
But I didn't!
Some are easy and some really fight with me!
Some I almost throw in the bin but then convince myself to push through!

All in all happy with what I have to send out.
I still have about 5 to go... didn't I say that last week???
As fast as I am ticking off my list... more are being added!
But I know I will have to draw a line in the sand!

I have other projects that I have to focus on... I've spent the last two or is it three weeks really push through my list and pushing through finishing unfinished pieces on my easel but I think by this weekend, I will be ready to move on!

Feeling so excited about future projects!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

#InMyStudio - #EvolutionofaPostCard...

I haven't done this for a while but every now and again - I love sharing the #Evolutionofapainting!  But in this case I'm sharing the #EvolutionofaPostCard
And I think this one is worth it....
Still working on my PostCard list with the 20MinuteChallenge!

Pretty Scary... will I ever find her...
I am already loving her... I wish I could just leave
it here sometimes...

I really enjoyed this one and the process!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

#InMyStudio - Finishing unfinished pieces... at last!

I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be finishing pieces today!
It's major breakthrough for me... I can get so stuck with unfinished pieces.
And my easel was filling up again!
I guess by starting new pieces, it is a way of procrastination!

This was my replica of my #collaborative piece that I did for AnnieHamman.
I was absolutely stumped as to how I was going to consolidate this piece!
It was so busy that it kept sending me into sensory overdrive.

The first piece is kind of where I had got stuck...
So today I decided to start with what I could control..
I started putting dark around the wings and then started working on 
my favorite part of this painting - the chickens!
I lightened the ground and tried to soften the dresses without losing the beautiful details.
I really worked detail into the wings and lightened the background too because it had got
too grey and dark.  I love the whiter tones now.  I just love their hats!

I feel there is a story to this piece - I'm not sure what it is yet but I'm sure it will come to me!

 I drew this piece up in May but I just hadn't got to painting her yet!
I finally started this last week, in Acrylics.  I studied her all week!
I needed to tweak her scarf and today I finished working on her.
Her top was too plain and there was nothing too special about her.
I decided to see if I could make her dress at the top a bit more interesting
so I decided to add the lace and I can't believe how it finished off this piece.
She ended up way more serene and gentle than I had imagined!

I'm feeling so chuffed as now I only have 2 unfinished pieces left #InMyStudio.

Friday, 19 July 2013

#InMyStudio... PostCards and more PostCards!!!

These are the new cards I did this week... I have been using the 20MinuteChallenge to get my PostCards done quickly!  I've done almost 10 in the past week and a bit but my list doesn't seem to be diminishing because my list keeps growing... Even after these new ones I still have 8 to do!

Part of me feels like I can't move onto new work until I've got through my list!!

I am waking up early tomorrow to do at least another 4 and then I will have 4 left to do.  Maybe just maybe I will be able to get through all of them this weekend.

I would like to get into a rhythm of doing perhaps one PostCard a day for my 20MinuteChallenge but to keep them as free gifts to go with my sold paintings or as cards/gifts!  I have loved the postcard swap and I'm loving the challenge too.

Monday, 15 July 2013

#InMyStudio - Uncomfortable places...

I want you to know that I used the the same reference for these pieces...  
Except they were painted almost exactly 8 months apart!
The left is an OilPainting on CanvasBoard and the right is an AcrylicPainting on Card.
It was a #selfportrait assignment that Misty gave us as homework for when we got home from Italy!

I don't know how to feel about my painting session this morning.
My 20Minute Challenge was totally uncomfortable and made me feel a little sick to my stomach.

The "new" girl really rubbed  me up the wrong way and I was a little cross with her when I went off to shower!
But as much as I was rattled, she had at the same time completely captivated me!

It was only when I got home and put these two images together that I understood what was going on inside!
I am hoping when you see these two images together you too will also understand!

I don't know what to say... except to me, it looks like they were painted by two completely different artists.

Have I changed this much in 8 months!

She isn't pretty and she's far from perfect and her face isn't symmetrical
but she's kind of beautiful in an odd alluring way!
And dare I say it, but I'm more drawn to her than my perfect painting!

I think because she's kind of rebellious in her imperfections - rebellious to what people expect me to paint!
Perhaps even rebellious to what I expect myself to paint!

There is something in me that all through my artistic journey - that over blends,
always leaning towards making it flawless and picture perfect!
Maybe it's my own need to be this... you know - the good girl.  The perfect girl!

Maybe it made me feel so uncomfortable this morning because she is actually me...
the contrasting sides of me being so exposed!  Even to myself!

Sharon Tomlinson said to me this morning, "You excel outside of your comfort zones".
I think she's right - it's in the uncomfortable places that we discover truths, truths about who we are and what we are.
I carefully say, let me be uncomfortable if it means I will continue to grow!!!

Because I'm desperate to grow, not only as a person but certainly as an artist!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

#InMyStudio - Grace - it all started with a drawing...

At the start of #FacetoFaceWorkshop - I did this pencil drawing!  Just for practice!
I knew I wanted to paint her at some stage...
So I drew her up on a 10"x14" canvas and just left it #InMyStudio

It's one of my main aims in the next while to finish my unfinished pieces, so this morning,
I picked her up... I didn't mean to start her and I certainly wasn't inspired to paint her and I can't even say I was in the mood to paint...

And the next minute she flowed right out of my brush - literally!

She feels kind of old fashioned and as Digby's cousin said - a little Grace Kelley'ish!

So I've aptly called her Grace!

I love how my GraphiteDrawing inspired this and yet they look so completely different.
Everything is different, the lips, nose, hair and mouth!
But I assure you when she was drawn up on canvas - she looked really similar!
I love how adding the paint can just change everything!

Today I not only surprised myself but also my hubby!
And that always feels good!

Can't wait to finish her!

#InMyStudio - 20MinuteChallenge

A while back, I signed up on TheTroddenPath - just to stay in a community of artists (found lots of my arty friends there) but also to catch inspirational short video clips of people sharing their skills, their art etc.  One of the groups I signed up for was the 20MinuteChallenge.

I immediately loved the concept!  Because it would certainly help me loosen up with my paintbrush.  And it would certainly help with my overblending and challenge the need to always create "the" perfect piece, which to me on all levels = freedom!

So I've decided to include this in my new morning regime... after my #morningpages - well I think I might already be addicted!

I set the alarm and I did it as if I was being adjudicated.  So when the timer went off - I threw my brush down!  Sound a little crazy - right!  Yes, but I did manage to amaze myself!  At one point I was even shaking!  She is far from perfect - but I love her, just as she is.

It felt incredibly free and nervy.  Don't get me wrong - I don't feel I need or want to race through every single piece I do - but it's a great exercise!

With the #FacetoFace postcard swap - you won't believe it but I'm still receiving postcards.  I already sent out 15 before and now my list is back up to 11 new postcards to send out.

It has totally overwhelmed me... 

So I decided the #20MinuteChallenge is a great way to do these cards!

Happy to say I've already done 4 on the list this week - hoping to do a few more today and tomorrow so I can do another send out next week!

Note to self... don't let that list get too long again!

#InMyStudio - great art week...

Oh man I had a great week #InMyStudio this week!  Working part-time and painting part-time isn't easy, that in-amongst being mom and life too!  With also squeezing in fitness and being social (because I think given half a chance - I could quite easily be reclusive :-0).  When winter hit for various reason - my routine went flying which meant my studio time was compromised.  Although I've always loved routine especially when the girls were younger, I wouldn't say I am completely routine bound.

But about 18 Months ago I decided to pursue my art more seriously - like I would if it were my job or if I was training for a marathon.  I started keeping bank hours #InMyStudio... whether it was sharpening pencils, tidying up, keeping my blog and website up to date or sorting my photos.  I had to set time aside to paint.. I have been doing that for a year now and not only has it made me so incredibly happy but I've seen such growth in my journey.

Last week I managed to get on top of my workload and my ironing pile... So I knew my studio time was going to happen this week... I've also committed to getting up early to do #MorningPages and also to do a 20Minute painting challenge before life happens!

MorningPages to me is a lifestyle and I love that time!  And the #20Minute Painting Challenge not only starts my day off with my paintbrush in my hand... but I can have a settled heart knowing that I've already painted today and I don't have to worry all day whether I am going to get any studio time!

And like anything we do in life if we want to be good at it - we need to train for it... so for me time in the seat is what it's all about!  And it sure does help when you are also passionate about it!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

#InMyStudio - Reclaiming Hope

I did this chalkpastel drawing about a year ago when I was in the #OpenStudioWorkshop - just before I headed out to Italy!  I called her Hope perhaps because she filled me with so much hope for my trip... I remember being so emotional when I finished her!

As much as I love chalk - they are hard to keep because they are always shedding even if you use fixative.  I was about to move Hope onto the bin or something!  I needed to do the background and I've been wanting to fix her mouth forever!

So for years there was something I always wanted to try - I wanted to put water over a chalk to see what happens... I had heard it becomes like using watercolors.  But I guess this piece wasn't the best painting to do that with because I had used fixative but also huge amounts of chalk!  So  it wasn't easy to work - I had serious painter's cramp afterwards...
I started adding water and also added acrylic paints too!!!

She's now moved from a drawing to a painting and she feels amazing!
And at last, I fixed her mouth and neck and the background!

I feel like again I've saved this painting and reclaimed her from the bin!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

How Blessed am I...

I am friends with a wonderful lady from Texas, sweet Betty Wilkins!
I know one day soon, I am going to meet her in real life!
And it will be a great honour when I do!

The truth is I am a huge fan of everything Betty does, there doesn't seem to be anything she paints that I don't adore.  And true to this, when she shared this sweet lady online.
It was love at first sight!

I love the textured background and I just love her soft edges so much... and the colouring!
And of course, I just love those #flowrsinherhair.

I know Betty received many postcards in the postcard swap and she has been working hard through her list to send out on her side...  So I asked Betty if she could make a PostCard print of this for me and I would buy it from her.  I didn't want to interrupt her list otherwise I would have offered to buy the original.

My sweet friend decided to send this original postcard beauty to me instead of a print...
WHAT!!!  How awesome is that...

You deeply touched my heart today Betty - thank you!!
Seriously... how proud am I... I have 3 Betty Originals!

Friday, 5 July 2013

What a Weekend!

It was a seriously busy weekend, which meant no time #InMyStudio and I had chores too... like a bucket full of ironing to finish, before my family completely disowned me.  And I had some work work to do too.  I am also still clearing out things that can reduce clutter.  I'm always looking for ways to streamline.

By Wednesday my #PostCard layout was ready and waiting to go up... So I suggested to my hubby that we get them up before the weekend starts.  I couldn't bear to go another weekend without that.  I thought I had a complete set but after 2 trips to the post office last week - I'm still receiving beautiful postcards... And I believe there are still some in the mail.  I'm busy putting together another set to go on the adjacent wall.  WOW - how blessed am I to be connected with such generous and amazing artists from all over the world.  As a result of this... I'm heading back into my studio to run off another batch of postcards to reciprocate!!! 

I can't tell you how happy this little gesture of putting up my PostCards made me.
My desk and studio space is visually beautiful and the most incredible thing...
is that I get to see this and sit here and be in this space everyday of my life.