Friday, January 29, 2010

Art Goals for 2010

So, time to think about my goals for this year. K. starts school so I'm going to have more time. More time means I'll find more to fill it with, so I'm going to have to watch I don't over-schedule, and it may also mean more time-wasting, which is very easy to do.

I've been reading a few blog entries over at London Art Girl by Lee Tetrault. She has just written a blog post about setting goals and attaining them, or not as the case may be, and giving yourself some slack if you don't reach your goals due to unforeseen circumstances. I liked what she was saying, so it got me thinking about what I want to achieve this year. I'll focus on the weekly stuff off-line *g*. (And, on a side note, this particular blog entry about 30 second sketches is something I'm going to do. I like the idea of seeing where my sketches take me.)

Things to learn this year:
I am going to learn some watercolour this year and see if I can play around with some acrylics and oils too (but watercolour is the main goal here). I've seen a lot of pastel paintings with watercolour underpaintings and I'd like to give it a go. I'd like to have an understanding about how watercolour works.

BACG offers pottery classes so I am going to get my hands a little muddy and see how it feels. If I like it, I'll continue. If I don't, that's okay and at least I'll know.

I want to enter two paintings in each of the following shows: Blacktown City Show (Feb), Castle Hill Show (Mar)and Lane Cove Art Awards (Jul). I have been told of an upcoming art competition in May, so I have to prepare something for that, also. I'll have to find another show/exhibition for later in the year.

I'll be aiming to spend three mornings painting and one evening each week, which is quite an increase on my time up until now. As I have to paint away from home, I think this will work quite well.

Set up a web site or blog just for my paintings. This blog is more for my personal arts and crafts, not a business oriented blog, so I would like to set up something distinct from this.  I want to aim for some more commission business, especially with animals (dogs/cats in particular).

I think all of this is pretty good for a year. In amongst all this, I'll be volunteering at K's school in canteen and maybe reading if they need it. K and I are both going to be learning new things this year, and it should be fun.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mischief - WIP#3 - Border Collie Pastel Painting

So... I spent Australia Day morning painting, at BACG with all the needlecraft group sewing and chatting around me. It was fun. They are a great bunch of people and I enjoy spending time with them.

I didn't get as much painting done as I would have liked, what with gathering more information for the newsletter and looking at the quilts and crafts they were all working on. But I'm not complaining - I was just happy to get some painting done after such a long break. Back to class next Tuesday night.

I spent quite a bit of time correcting the eyes. Still a little more work with fine detail on them - they are much improved. Spent quite a bit of time on the dark fur, and removed something I had drawn in on the left hand side of the pup, which wasn't working. I'll finish this in class and once this is done, I am going to try my hand at watercolour, which should be interesting. I'll share the results as I go along

Friday, January 22, 2010

School holidays almost over... and the year ahead

I seem to have disappeared into the vast sunny days that are summer school holidays, which is very strange considering how long it is since I was in school. But K. starts school in two weeks so I have made the most of the free time with her until that important day. Painting has taken a back seat until 3rd Feb.

There is no dedicated space in my home in which I can paint. As I use pastels, I don't like the idea of spreading pastel dust all over everything and into the air-con. None of us needs to inhale pastel dust unnecessarily. Once school goes back, so too do my art classes at Blacktown Arts & Crafts where I can make use of a really great work space, and a great tutor, Dawn Robson. This year, with a little more time up my sleeve, I'm going to take a pottery class, just to see what it is like to get my hands into some clay. I've already shown I like to get my hands dirty with pastel dust, so why not a little clay too?!

The best thing about being an artist is that I can plan my time around K's school holidays as much as possible. I do feel some guilt that I haven't done any painting since before Christmas, but that is mostly because I wanted to have more paintings ready for the shows that are coming up at the beginning of this year. Blacktown Show is on 19-21 February, with Castle Hill a week or so after that, and if I want to enter anything in the Easter Show I have to have my entry form in next week.

In preparation for the art shows, today I visited The Art Scene in West Ryde to get 5 pictures framed. Their framers are fantastic - always really helpful. Two paintings I just had framed in stock frames so they can be removed after the shows - they won't be for sale (Amy the greyhound painting is for a friend, and my self portrait was an exercise rather than a painting to go on the wall - but both can go into the Blacktown Show, as I don't have to sell paintings that go into that show). The Highland Cow will go into Castle Hill Show as will either my painting of Lake Phewa or the Canoes (which I am thinking will be called 'Anticipation' - many thanks Karen! - unless I come up with something I like better). The 5th picture was one for K, that was given to her at the end of 'The Queen of Colours' performance - it will finally go on the wall.

I met another pastel artist at the Art Scene today. I always really enjoy meeting other painters who love pastels. She had a beautiful portrait of a terrier and a portrait of a man, both done on Canson, which were really delicately done. Another good thing about getting worked framed is that you get to see others work as well! I'm going to have to find out if there is a pastel society in NSW - I'd love to spend more time with other pastel artists.

In the future, there are two art shows in May that I have to prepare paintings for, and I want to set up my art blog, separate from this one which includes everything creative. I am going to learn watercolour this year (or at least the fundamentals), so that I can incorporate that into my pastels if I wish or, if I have any skill with it at all, paint a few watercolours as a change from pastel. At least I will be able to work at home with watercolour which is partly why I have asked to learn it this year. A workspace, not too large, with good light will be all I'll need.

All this, along with my commitment to prepare the Blacktown Arts & Crafts group Newsletter each quarter, and K's first year at school, will keep me busy this year.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Christmas holiday

I have just returned from 12 days away up at Tuncurry on the mid-north coast of NSW. Hubby was able to come away for only 5 days of this so K. and her Granny and I stayed on for the extra days, which included a visit from K's cousins for a couple of days.

We spent much time at the beach (as did everyone else in town), had lots of walk (most of them at the beach) and ate lots of yummy food.

But I'm glad to be home.

Now it's time to start getting things ready for K. to start school in a couple of weeks, to put together the second newsletter for the Blacktown Arts & Crafts Group, and to do lots of painting as there are a few shows coming up in Feb and March.

Here are some pics from the holiday (no painting pics or crafty pics as I had a little break from that too)...

Seen on our first early morning walk to collect fresh bread and the papers

A group of kids built this great sand castle, only for a little pest
to come along and knock it down in the few minutes they were away from it

One of the many and varied dogs we saw on our travels. K loves dogs
so we had to ask to pat every one we saw

Just a 'few' people at the Rock Pool

We had some great weather, mixed in with some overcast days - 
but that was okay as it gave us an excuse to laze around reading and playing

Even the bad weather days were  fine enough to be out walking and
collecting shells on the beach

I love these beach paths down to 9 Mile Beach, so did K!