Sunday, July 29, 2007

Working On The Four Seasons

I have begun working on the final paintings in the Four Seasons assignment I am doing for my TLC course. First stage was when I was still living at Craggy Range Road. I had to make drawings of scenery and plants surrounding my home as well as charcoal drawings of a female nude. I then had to combine these into four drawings which were to represent the seasons. I am not confident working in pastel as I am so used to being able to put alot of detail into my work. However after sketching out my initial ideas in my workbook I was quite happy with the results and hopefully can correct any mistakes in the finished works.

What makes this assignment interesting is that each painting must be completed in a different way. Summer I am doing with a palette knife, Autumn (to the right) with pointillism, Spring with glazes and Winter a combination of the three. The paintings are being done on canvas board. Hopefully I won't muck them up!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Otane Arts

Yesterday morning Gina collected me at 9.15am and after picking up another artist on the way we drove to the Otane Arts and Crafts Corner for an art session. Cloudy and becoming increasingly colder it was an ideal day to go along and meet everybody. There were about 15 people there working on various projects. I hadn't taken any work along as I was there as a guest but Gina did tell me to take my little portfolio of work to show people and throughout the day nearly everyone came and sat and had a look and chat. A couple of artists even brought their paintings over to show me. They were a very friendly and encouraging crowd.

They are also lucky in having a New York art teacher there who is available for advice. She gave me a quick tutorial on drawing hands which is a particular bug bear of mine. By thinking of fingers as one unit instead of four separate objects I should manage to overcome my reluctance to draw them. I asked if it would be OK to bring along items that were giving me trouble and she said yes because if she wasn't able to help there would be someone else there who could. Figure drawing is my biggest challenge so I am hoping to improve in this area.

Funnily enough I came away with an order for a tiger pendant from one of the artists there. I also wore my own Demelza pendant which people seem to like. While I was nattering away Gina worked on a lovely card for her mother in law who sadly lost her husband last week and everyone signed it before they left.

Gina has asked me if I would like to go back next week and I have said yes. I am going to join the centre and hopefully can make some new friends and learn new skills. Although the day was very long for me (I got home at 3pm) it left my mind buzzing with all I had seen.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pastimes During The Big Wet

My trip with Gina to the painting club at Otane Arts and Crafts yesterday had to be postponed due to the dreadful flooding in Hawkes Bay. Stuck inside I managed to do a wee bit more work on my art course between venturing outside to check on the animals and bring in firewood.

I have been busily reading my pile of library books one of which introduced me to the work of an artist I had never heard of before. Ilene Meyer would probably be classed as a fantasy artist as her work seems to exist in another realm. Self taught (that made me spit as she's so good) she is relatively unknown in her native US but a huge star in Japan. Her book "Paintings, Drawings and Perceptions" doesn't give you much idea of her working methods or philosophy but it does showcase a wonderful selection of her paintings. She should give masterclasses in oils.

My friend Tanya took some of my work up to The Beacon in Napier where she attends craft classes once a week. She sold the two cat brooches she took plus a pansy pendant with one lady reserving a Maine Coon cat pendant. She also got me an order for another necklace and a tentative one for a full canvas painting of a lady's dogs. Hopefully these will work out.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Carol Duvall and Exhibition Preparations

My friend Tanya and her daughter visited Friday and brought along a video of The Carol Duvall Show with demonstrations on making polymer clay dolls and pens. Very interesting to see what ideas people come up with. I like Carol Duvall who must be one of the most enthusiastic hosts on television. She seems genuinely interested in all her guests and you do get the feeling she goes home and tries some of the projects she features.

Tanya brought along a few projects of her own for me to look at. In particular a lovely mauve wire heart with a crystal which you hang in the window plus colourful envelopes which she makes herself. We're looking for items she can sell at the Waipukurau Markets when we both finally manage to attend.

One thing I miss is talking to other crafters and artists as you do feel as if you're working alone at the top of a mountain. That's why the Yahoo groups I belong to are so important as they give you feedback on your ideas.

Not that I've been painting that much. I have been laid low with a bad back or else the kidney infection has returned. Yesterday I veged on the sofa and tried to watch a Learning Connexion DVD on oil painting but kept falling asleep despite it being an interesting lecture.

I have however decided which paintings I am sending to the "Off The Brush" NZ Art Guild exhibition later this month. I measured out the size of the half panel I have paid for and laid six little paintings which hang in the kitchen on the floor with a 15cm gap between them. These completely took up the panel so it doesn't look like I need to paint any more pictures as I thought I would. For once I won't be working up to the last minute. Now I just have to make business cards and a gift for the Auckland artist who has adopted me and will be collecting my paintings and hanging them for me.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Bit Of Fun

Get your visual DNA at Imagini. I'm a dreamer... surprise surprise!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The CWI Meeting. Well I did it! Maxine arrived at 1.30pm to pick me up and we spent ten minutes loading the car with my jewellery display stand and boxes of work. The meeting was held only ten minutes away in the Tikokino Community Hall and a couple of ladies came out to help us unload. They'd set up a large table near the door for me to put my stuff on and it only took a few minutes to set all this up.I'd just finished doing this when I heard someone mention my name and all 15 faces turned round as apparently I was meant to begin my talk. They all turned their chairs round so I could sit by the table and point items out to them. I muddled through speaking about EDS first and then talked about rock painting before explaining about painting jewellery. I finally showed them my paintings as well as speaking about my TLC course.

I'd also taken along the poetry book I had published when I was 19. Although it really only has poems I wrote between 14 and 16 people were still interested. All in all I sold $81.50 worth of stuff (cards were particularly popular) including two books, a pendant, two brooches etc. Eight people took business cards and a couple more asked me to keep things aside for them as they didn't have any money.I met a really lovely lady from England who moved to Tiko in January plus an old lady who apparently is great friends of my neighbour Irini across the road (the elderly woman who rides a motorbike). One of Maxine's friends was there and she has ordered a painting of her deceased donkey Solomon and has invited me to speak at her local CWI. Another person was an artist and I also met my landlady's German sister in law Gina. Gina is an artist and has offered to take me to the Otane Arts and Crafts meetings with her.

Afterwards the Tiko group gave me a box of ten jars of preserves (jams, chutney, pickles, fruit) as a thank you for speaking. They had laid on a wonderful afternoon tea with home baking. I could only manage one slice of a amazing nutty coconut biscuit. Maxine and I arrived home at 4.30pm so it was a long afternoon but I really enjoyed myself.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Preparations For "The Big Talk"

Only one day left before my talk at the Tikokino Country Women's Institute and I still have no idea what I'm meant to talk about! Maxine who has organized it has told me to take along my artwork and jewellery and she'll act as cashier (she wasn't joking). Apparently a reporter from the Central Hawkes Bay Mail will be at the meeting but hopefully she's focusing on another story and not mine.

Maxine also told me to print out some copies of previous work I've done, in particular this painting of a 1970 Ford Torino I did a few years ago. Up to now this has been my one and only attempt at a car. I was particularly happy that the chrome ended uplooking realistic. The woman who commissioned it was happy as well as it was her son's vehicle which he imported from the US although she didn't think she should pay me more than NZ $20.00 as she'd bought the canvas (at a cost of NZ $2.50!).

Donald Trump once said that he never knows what he'll say at a speech until he's in his car on the way to the meeting. Then he'll jot down a few notes and begin with a funny. He said in the end people don't want you to fail so you shouldn't worry that everyone's there judging you plus half of them aren't listening anyway as they're just waiting for the buffet afterwards. Now I'm starting to get nervous!

Monday, July 02, 2007