Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hello Goodbye

Finally received the DVD with my end of Foundation year review on Tuesday. I sat with my jersey half pulled over my face in embarrassment for ten minutes while my tutor Irene and another teacher from The Learning Connexion discussed my work. There were twenty photos of my art including pages from my workbook showing my jewellery and small animal paintings. Irene also showed the cat brooch she bought from me. Both tutors have recommended I go into illustration in the future.

However I still have not received my enrollment papers for Stage One and we're now at the end of week three in term four. I rang Irene yesterday and she found she had not ticked the right boxes to have the powers that be send me the paperwork and the cut off date for enrollments is tomorrow! I should receive everything today and just need to fax my enrollment to TLC but now I can't get an appointment to apply for a Training Incentive Allowance for three weeks! Grrrr.

Anyway yesterday at art group I did alot more work on my painting for next week's open weekend at Otane and finished it off this afternoon. I have called it "Hello Goodbye". Measuring 4"x8" it is in acrylics on box canvas.

Helen was very excited as she had taken my advice and rung the local Naturist club to ask if they would be prepared to life model for the Friday Portraiture Group. The lady she spoke to said she's be happy to sit for us next month and it even turned out they knew each other. Looks like we'll have a constant supply of life models from amongst Hawkes Bay's nudist population. I'm sure there'll be many people who are shocked but I'm really excited at working from the flesh so to speak instead of from photos and my course DVD. I have also been asked to paint some sample cat brooches to be shown to the owner of another art gallery further down the North Island. Will give more details if this works out.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Drawing A Non Wriggler And The Whole Fish Thing

Better session at portraiture yesterday. Our model was Jenny, Gleny's sister in law and although she couldn't achieve any contorted positions like the younger subjects she did keep perfectly still with no wriggling. This was my best effort although once again my pencil work is so cautious that it doesn't translate well on the scanner. Much better in person- that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

There were about seven people at the class which makes it very relaxed. I don't mind joking around in such a small group and they're very good at giving it back as well. Still lots of talk about hiring a nude model and Jacqueline got us fired up by saying her husband had volunteered but we were quickly deflated when she added he'd stipulated that we would have to draw in the nuddy as well. That ain't gonna happen!

After a panic that I have no new work for the open day in only two weeks I began a small painting of stylized fish on Thursday. Took me an hour to work out the design and transfer it to the canvas but I'm charging along now and should finish it by the end of the weekend. Maybe I might get another one done but our entry forms have to be handed in this week and I don't want to push myself too hard as I have orders to complete. Also received my entry form for the Creative Hastings Christmas Sale Thursday so have registered for that. Only a month away and I have nothing finished for it except a few cards. The Madeline Kahn song from Blazing Saddles will be my theme song till the end of December- "I'm Tired".

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Mecca of Art Supplies

Very tired from the big storm we've had here the past couple of days. Art didn't last long yesterday with everyone wanting to get home for a rest after a sleepless night of wind listening. Despite this I managed to complete blocking the background colours in on one of Gleny's commissions which I was happy about. Also picked up two entry forms for exhibitions coming up. Our open day in a couple of weeks for which I have nothing completed and also the Art Hawkes Bay exhibition but work doesn't have to be in for this until late January.

Two big excitements this week were getting a call from Electra on Monday to say that they're happy to sell my handpainted jewellery and rocks! Not only that but when Jacqueline arrived yesterday she told me a pendant had sold already. The other big excitement was a trip to Humanities Books on Tuesday. This Hastings shop stocks fine art books and a whole range of supplies even down to sealing wax! Entering it is almost like having a religious experience as you look up at shelves and shelves of paint, solvents, name it they stock it. However I was strong and didn't go for a wander as I knew I would be tempted. Instead I only replaced the acrylics I was nearly out of although I did splash out on a new shade of yellow called Naples. This is a softer buttery shade than I usually use and when mixed with ultramarine and a little white makes a beautiful shade of turquoise which is what I was after. I am definitely going back there but not until I have some cash in hand or a rich sugar daddy- which ever comes first.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Two young girls from just outside Otane were our models yesterday. Very pretty but the smaller one was a bit too little as she found it hard to keep still. Her elder sister at 12 did a great job though. I have begun completing the longer poses on my own white paper in the hopes that they will show up a bit better for scanning but apparently not. I think I'm too reticent when I draw so the lines come across as faint and weak. Sometimes people mistake this for being sensitivity.

Helen has suggested that over the warmer months we hire a life model once a month but it was difficult to think who to ask. I suggested they approach the local naturist club as I'm sure there are a few people there who wouldn't mind letting it all "hang out" so to speak. Everyone has agreed that we don't want beautiful as lovely people are not so interesting to draw. People who have lived life and have the marks to prove it are much more rewarding.

Sent some brooches, pendants and rocks with Jacqueline who is taking them to Electra this morning. If the management agrees that they're what they want then it could be a great sales outlet.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Family Connections

I was so excited about going to art yesterday but after about half an hour there I became very sore and found I'd left my painkillers at home. Not a good thing. However I finished a cat brooch although this cat looks a wee bit evil. However hopefully it will appeal to someone with a bit of a sense of humour. I am trying to get a selection of brooches, pendants and rocks together by Friday for Jacqueline to take to Electra to see if they'll stock them. Also began work on two cat paintings for Glenys who commissioned them for her daughter's Christmas present.

Tom likes teasing me about my penchant for working small. I do find it easier for me on a physical level but I also now realise that people equate small with easy and therefore aren't prepared to pay decent prices for my work. I am going to have to bite the bullet and begin to work on larger paintings. One lady I met for the first time at art yesterday (she hasn't been attending most of the year due to ill health) has a daughter who runs Katz Gallery in Carterton. She achieves $1,700 per painting. Strangely I had bookmarked this artist's website a couple of weeks ago when I came across it in a random search for pastel paintings. Small world that I would meet her Mum (another fine pastel artist) at Otane Art Group.

Helen had helped hang the mini exhibition at Electra on Monday and said that Kevin was happy with the standard of work. She told me that he would have happily walked out with my little patchwork rabbit and I was purring about this all day until my cousin Elaine brought me down to earth later on in the afternoon. She and my 94 year old aunt had gone to look at the exhibition and Auntie Kathleen had remarked that my picture would have looked much better just with the rabbit and without all the coloured stuff in the background! Just goes to show you can't please everyone all the time. Family especially.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Secret

Last week I managed to buy a copy of "The Secret" for just a few dollars so have been reading ten pages a night before I go to sleep. An artist friend had sent me a copy of the movie earlier this year and it had helped me so much while I was looking for a place to live that I wanted to learn more.

Growing up in a negative household where feelings were suppressed, fear was encouraged and lack of self esteem was the order of the day you were never surprised when life dished up nothing but drama and heartache. In fact we were praised for looking on the black side of things as this was being "realistic" and "practical". Money was the root of all evil, rich people got their wealth by screwing over others, it's no wonder my mother's three children have all ended up struggling financially. In the wider family the adopted children were told they had bad blood and brought nothing good into the family- most of us have ended up with major health problems and failed relationships.

Last November I read "Bad Childhood Good Life" by Dr Laura Schlessinger on the recommendation of an online artist friend and it really changed my thinking of who I am. I have never considered myself a victim but certainly I had been put down so often by others that I felt there must be something terribly bad about me rather than something bad about them for degrading me. I ended up thinking how dare they make me feel so bad about myself. I do deserve a good life. Then along came "The Secret" which completed the transformation.

I looked back at my childhood conditioning and saw how my thoughts had impacted on my life and how I had brought the worst down on myself. How being brought up to believe I was inferior because I was adopted and because I was ill I had allowed others to think they could treat me like someones unwanted rubbish. By believing I didn't deserve much in life the universe delivered trauma.

Changing my mindset to a positive one has been so difficult as the little negative voice in my mind still drones on in the background. However I am getting there. If it's a rainy day I don't say "I hope it doesn't flood" I say "Oh great I can get some more painting done this morning". I don't look at a stranger and feel fear that they're going to dislike me, I smile and say hello. If my joints are painful then it's an opportunity for me to rest and take time to read and talk to friends. If you have been reading this blog the past few months then you will have seen how so many wonderful things have begun to happen to me and how I've met so many fantastic people in just the past few weeks so it is working.

And yes there are the nay sayers who say "The Secret" is a rehash of other books. However authors do build on what has come before. There are really no original ideas. I know it has helped me and it has confirmed what I'd always known deep down but was unable to put into words. I have a long way to go but I'm getting there a step every day by changing my mindset and expecting the best from life.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


Helen's two grandchildren posed for us at portraiture this week. Both were very experienced models despite their age being completely unselfconscious and instinctively knowing what positions would prove challenging to draw. For the first few two minute sketches the children alternated. As per usual I began in charcoal but have decided that from next week I will draw completely in pencil as I have much more control in this medium (ie. the hands don't tend to end up looking like bananas).

For the longer poses the brother and sister posed together which was extremely challenging in both terms of time and also in capturing proportions. As there were only six of us in attendance I moved closer and was able to gain a much more interesting perspective.

This to me is the most pleasing composition as it was very difficult to draw with both children lying down plus it resembled the sitters. I was disappointed with one of my earlier drawings as it made the young man look much older but he was so taken with it that I gave it to him thus continuing my tradition of giving away my clangers!

This morning I had a call from Electra to say that both my paintings have been selected for the mini exhibition. Kevin helped me with the price as well ($65 each) and said that the little rabbit one in particular seemed to be getting some attention with people dropping their paintings in. Those lops are so appealing with their floppy ears and big eyes it's easy to get a reaction with one as your subject. Same as with donkeys.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Patchwork Rabbit No 2

Yesterday winter returned in full force so it was a cold morning at Otane Arts and Crafts. I fully intended to finish my patchwork painting but didn't get much done at all. Instead I put my head down today and finished the work half an hour ago. "Patchwork Rabbit No 2" is in acrylic and on gallery wrapped canvas so the pattern continues round the side. It is four inches square. I am entering this and my tiger head painting (this blog's avatar) for selection for the mini exhibition at Electra Gallery next week.

On the way home from art group Gaye, her two grandsons Alex and Nicholas and I stopped off to visit her friend Esther who has a beautiful property outside Waipawa. After a cup of tea in a sunroom looking down over a beautiful English style garden we went down to visit Esther's three alpacas, Thucis, Winter and Pollonius. I used up nearly an entire roll of film on these honeys as they were so beautiful with their huge eyes and long eyelashes. Thucis is a white Suri Alpaca so looks like he has dreadlocks all over his body while Winter was a fluffy white beast and Pollonius a chocolate Alpaca. I fell in love with the Suri and when he came over and bent his head down I bent mine only to have a soft kiss planted on my lips. Tasted most definitely grassy! Yes I am in love with this fibre breed. Ah to have some spare cash......

Speaking of Electra I received my hardcopy of the newsletter plus my cheque for "Two's Company" (the donkey painting I sold at The Festival last month) this afternoon in the mail. Will be able to pay a bill or two which is always good news. I also have two books to review, one in PDF file which is a pain as I hate reading at the computer, and the other a vibrant art book about Dean Buchanan. I have a couple of piles of books to get through at the moment which is my idea of heaven.