Friday, October 24, 2008

Another Day Another Nude

I've been good and finally finished a folder of work to send to my tutor. I also have included all my latest portrait work including this watercolour pencil drawing of our six-month pregnant life model. This was the first time I had ever worked with watercolour pencils in a class situation and have to say that despite the fact that they do look wishy washy and pale in colour for indicating tone and shadow they're wonderful. It would be great to eventually work up a full painting from one of these sketches as long as I can remember skin tone, light direction etc.

Coming up to the busiest time of year. I have entered two paintings in the "Art For Tender" event at Electra Gallery in mid November. Also have a few to go into the Otane Arts and Crafts Open Weekend on the 1st and 2nd of November. Then it's time to get ready for the Creative Hastings Christmas Sale. With tough economic times facing New Zealand and the rest of the world it's hard to know how much will sell even in the run up towards Christmas. However I think artists are like gardeners- eternal optomists. No matter what happens you always hope for the best no matter how many slugs nibble at your begonias.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Critiquing and Catty Cuties

Yesterday we had a critique on paintings that several people brought along to the art group. I still find it extremely interesting how paintings can be "fixed" or improved by something as simple as removing a tree or darkening a background. I had taken along my "Celtic Mandala" painting completed for the New Zealand Art Guild Awards earlier this year. I was still unhappy with parts of the work as I felt they didn't gel with the main focus which was the Celtic Cross. I came away with several great possibilities to try and spent last evening an hour cutting out pieces of paper and placing them on the canvas, trying to work out whether adding decoration would improve the painting or just make it too fussy and busy.

Sometimes it is very difficult to know when to stop work on a painting. You can overwork a picture to the point that it can appear very technically proficient but aesthetically dead. Probably why I tend to work on tight deadlines- a lack of time removes the ability to do too much damage. Maybe it's a type of perfectionism that causes artists to keep coming back and back to a work, trying to make it better and better but really just making a right mess. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is something you only acquire with practice and experience.

I finished three more cat brooches this week. They look slightly Indian with the bright and sometimes clashing colours edged with gold but I am enjoying experimenting with so many different shades and patterns. The older I get the more attracted I am to "shiny".

I took them along to art group and it was interesting to see who liked what. My friend Gine favoured the subtle green feline whereas others loved the red and pink of this jazzy individual.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Love Jazzy Cats Style

Yesterday I finally finished my Jazzy Cat painting which I've titled "Love Jazzy Cats Style". It is acrylic and on a 4" x 4" square wrapped canvas. It is one of four paintings I'm entering in the Otane Arts and Crafts Open Weekend on the 1st and 2nd November 2008.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Rob Guest, The Law Of Attraction and the CD

Heard today that Rob Guest died last night aged 57 from a stroke. I remember him way back when he used to sing pop songs on variety programmes here in NZ. The past few years though he has gone back to theatre and starred in Les Mis and Phantom both of which played here to great acclaim.

I've spent the last week getting over my shock news from the landlord. Every time I felt stressed I would go outside and chip away at the Oamaru stone marquette I'm meant to be finishing for my TLC course. Yesterday however was art day at Otane. I didn't think I would be able to concentrate on sketching but it turned out to be a good session as we had two young girls as models. Olivia is the granddaughter of one of our members and had modelled for us before. However being school holidays she had a friend staying with her and so they both posed rather self consciously with quite alot of giggling. It was interesting to try and capture their different facial features as one girl had a more oval face. This image is one of two twenty minute sketches I completed that I was fairly satisfied with.

Tuesday I collected the CD Radio Kidnappers had made of my interview two weeks ago. Lent it to Gine who was working the day of the broadcast and she and Gay listened to it in the car on their way to art. They were very positive about the whole thing which was a relief as I wasn't too sure how I would come across on radio.

I am currently reading "The Law Of Attraction" by Esther and Jerry Hicks. It was a precursor to the popular "The Secret" philosophy which an online friend put me onto nearly two years ago. Where it really helps though is that it just doesn't tell you to think positively but gives practical advice about how to rid yourself of negative thoughts and explains how emotions play a huge role in attracting experiences into our lives. It definitely has helped calm me at the moment, allowing me to visualise the place where I want to live rather than thinking of all the difficulties that I could encounter finding it. After a childhood of being taught to "think the worst as then you won't get a nasty shock when it happens" it's good to realise that you don't have to live in a world of negativity and doubt and that you have more control over your life than you think.