Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cats and More Cats

A beautiful Autumn day today. It was so nice driving through the countryside with the trees turning shades of red and gold. Gine and I got to Otane mid morning and I began painting two more calico cat brooches to send to Katz Gallery in Masterton. There are so many exhibitions coming up that I haven't had time to paint for that working on jewellery right now is a bit frustrating but it's a more reliable source of income than paintings which may or may not sell in this uncertain economic climate.

I always get inspired by seeing everyone's different paintings on Wednesdays. So many different styles and mediums that it makes you want to try everything yourself and of course there isn't time. It also helps to know that others have the same hang ups about their work as yourself but that there's someone around who will help you over your self imposed hurdles.

At least this week I finished something. Finally got the cat pendant done and away in the mail to Canada yesterday. I love painting tabbies as they have such sweet faces.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wearing My Black Velvet Hat

I sat on the sofa steaming with two wheat packs watching a DVD of "Pride and Prejudice" and drawing. Helen from my painting group had taken a photo of me when I least expected it at our Art Deco lunch on Waitangi Day. I begged her to delete it but she went and had it printed and gave me a copy. However I decided to see if I could draw a good likeness of myself and unfortunately I succeeded despite my best attempts to make myself resemble Keira Knightley. Damn those portraiture classes!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Old Friends

It's been a stressful week with Tobermory goat going downhill and finally dying yesterday on ANZAC Day. After he'd been put down I sat on the sofa and drew portraits for two hours which helped calm me down somewhat compared to Wednesday at art group when I was so distracted I barely got anything done.

I have finally finished hanging my paintings round the house. In the hallway by the front door I have hung "Old Friends" which was my Art Hawkes Bay entry earlier this year. The dog is my Mishka whose life is dominated by two things: an insatiable need to eat and his compulsion to lick the backside of any living thing. Also cats rule his world but he takes this as a matter of course.

This coming week I have a few goals to complete. Firstly to finish another folder of work for TLC course. Secondly complete the cat pendant as well as four cat brooches that have been ordered by a shop. Thirdly work out what paintings I am going to enter for the Otane Arts Exhibition over Queen's Birthday weekend. Fourthly get back to spinning and finally try and get some more writing done. I also have lots of outside work to do before the weather finally turns bitter. Better get on with it.....

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rainbow Nudes

I actually got some painting done this week. I have an order for a pendant which I took along to art group Wednesday completing over half of it. When I got home I found a parcel containing the three paintings I sent down to The Learning Connexion end of term exhibition. Not one sold but a photo of Hippy Cat No 3 was published in the catalogue.

Thursday I was out all day as I had an appointment for my biannual EKG. Embarrassingly this was done by what looked like a 12 year old male trainee technician. While in town we went to Mega Mitre 10 which was having a sale on tools as I needed things for the sculpture part of the course. I managed to find a tomahawk, three chisels, a wire brush, a file, a hacksaw, 10 metres of sash cord and a packet of picture hooks for $36.00! I was intrigued by the fact the file was called a "bastard file". Rich was amazed at my ignorance but as I told him although I used to hear Dad call his file that I always thought he was just swearing!

Friday was another life drawing class. I tried to incorporate some ideas my tutor came up with re colours. The twenty minute sketch is on red paper but I decided to go pink to make the picture pop. My scanner is small so I've had to cut out the hands, legs and feet but it gives you a general idea.

The second one was done in just ten minutes and I think it does show a sort of frantic panic. Ah well we're there to learn. I only drew in pastel and charcoal this session to try and keep my work loose and free. I don't know if this always works for me. I must find a book in the library on pastel drawing as I haven't got to grips with it yet.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Almost Civilised

I hadn't heard any more about the WorkForce workshops for artists that we were interviewed for a couple of months ago so I fired off an email yesterday and received a reply today. Gine, Martina and I have all been accepted for the course which begins next month. What was even better was that Gine was here when I got the news so I was able to share it with her.

The past few days I have made a last ditch effort to finish the last of the unpacking and turn the rooms into a semblance of civilisation. The dining room was stumping me but Gine suggested I move the kitchen table under a window by the sofa and she moved a coffee table into the middle of the room which makes it look inviting. The larger table I will be able to work at in the winter as it is near the fire. Now that the unpacking is completed I can resume my art course with a clear conscience, especially as the next few days are forecast to be rainy and I'll be stuck inside.

Helen recently lent me a wonderful book featuring the work of Anthony Ryder. He draws nudes from a classical perspective and his art is just amazing. In the good old days students were encouraged to copy from the Old Masters to learn about technique so I decided to do this with some of Ryder's work. This will be in my workbook for my tutor to see but I was so happy with my first drawing I wanted to post it here. I hope through doing this I can begin to incorporate his techniques into my original work.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

On My Mind

I am a "you must eat your vegetables before you have your dessert" sort of person so I haven't felt guilt free enough to spend much time painting the past month. If it wasn't for going to Otane I wouldn't have done anything creative at all. However I managed to finish my piece for the New Zealand Art Guild 2008 Collaborative Work "On Your Mind". I was sent a wooden rectangle with the background colour of cadmium red and buff already painted in. This was to be left alone as it forms part of the whole work which won't be seen until the NZAG Exhibition opens in July after which the whole work will be auctioned on Trademe.

Of course the theme "On Your Mind" made me consider leaving the wood blank but I sat with a scrap of paper and drew without consciously thinking for about ten minutes. What emerged was interesting. I went back to the topiary tree which was something I drew a great deal of several years ago. I guess that represents new growth or a new start in life. The two toned heart represents two people very close to me who are extremely ill at the moment. The golden sun above this weeps healing tears onto the heart representing all the healing and positive thoughts being sent to them at the moment. I find I definitely enjoy painting on a wooden surface for a change plus getting something completed a month before the deadline was a really nice feeling as well.

Helen's husband Jack completed making the second easel for me which is now in the dining room waiting to be used. It's just wonderful and will mean I can paint large paintings in comfort instead of being hunched on the floor for hours. My other easel is at Otane for use there with a sticker "Jen's Easel" marking my territory. ;o)