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As per my last post, I’ve decided to focus on drawing again and for a while. I’m determined to keep drawing until my success rate improves. Right now, unless I have one of those surprising moments when the drawing flows off my hand successfully on the first attempt, it takes upwards of 4 “warm-up” attempts to create a piece I am satisfied with. I’m seeing and feeling success and that’s most important. I’m also learning to accept the warm-up period as a part of the process rather than the pain I have to go through to get to where I want to be. And I invested in a large role of delicious Stonehenge paper so that I wouldn’t feel limited by how many of the very expensive sheets of paper I had left (thanks to our sales at the Sidney Fine Arts Show which replenished the art supply fund!).

I’m looking for work which feels loose and simple enough to not look over-worked and which has line and edge quality which is both pleasing and awkward. Some smooth, precise areas and other messy, course areas; Balance and feeling and an interesting person, gesture or look.

And I’ve planted the seed in my mind to create a large work of a combination of drawings of several people – an epic piece. We shall see how long it takes to get me there. And then on to the painting which would come out of the drawing! It may be a long road but at least I am seeing small successes and you know I just LOVE the process.

The Pondering Girl
The Pondering Girl, charcoal on Stonehenge paper, 11“x 14“


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Nurturing a Style

Valley of the Five Lakes II Studio oil, 12"x12"
Valley of the Five Lakes II
Studio oil, 12″x12″

Yesterday I painted this larger version of Valley of the Five Lakes. I guess that makes the first little one a study?

Valley of Five Lakes, Jasper Studio oil, 6" x 6"
Valley of Five Lakes, Jasper
Studio oil, 6″ x 6″

That first version is one of my favourites. It records such great memories and I love the colours and looseness. However I am still just learning to paint landscapes and in my mind was the question of whether the first one was a fluke. And while I still prefer the first, the second was a more conscious learning experience; colour matching, atmosphere as the greenery recedes and the mountain appears and capturing the light on the creek water. I also noticed a style of mark making occurring which I had used naturally in another of my favourite paintings (below – that one was done en plein air).

Winter Meadow, Aylard Farm Plein air oil, 8"x10"
Winter Meadow, Aylard Farm
Plein air oil, 8″x10″

Is this me developing a style? It definitely feels natural and yet I am learning through practice and by looking at the work of others who I admire. I am coming to understand that a personal style is both nature and nurture.

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Art Summer 2014

The Summer of Art has begun, and it’s going to be a busy one!

I’ve been holding on to patience and excitement following the submission of applications for the Sooke Fine Arts Show and the AGGV Moss St. Paint-in. The results came down recently and Andrew and I were accepted into both shows!

For the Sooke show, all 3 of each of our submissions were accepted. Because the jurors change every year, and it’s not a themed show, you never know if your work will be accepted. I’ve had none, one, two and now all of my pieces accepted over the years. This year I will be exhibiting 3 portrait sculptures and Andrew chose 3 beautiful portrait drawings. It’s all portraits all the time! An interesting aspect of this is that my portraits are all male and Andrew’s are female. I do believe that’s a sign for me to get on the female track… and I plan to do so by having a lovely friend model for me. She has glorious strawberry blonde wavy hair and a sweet fair complexion. I can’t wait to get started.

For the paint-in, I was caught a bit off guard by being accepted to the Sooke show because it means I won’t have my sculptures with me and I indicated that I’d be doing a small-scale portrait sculpture as demo activity. This year I’ll learn from last year and scale down the number of art cards and prints I bring and focus on my ceramic plates and how best to present them. Last year was our first at the paint-in and I was a deer-in-the-headlights. People LOVE to talk about art, so I will focus on this social aspect and doing a little demo rather than standing there catching flies with my mouth open in awe. Awe of how many people there are walking by (and dogs!), how happy everyone is and whether or not people like my work! I will relax. I promise. 🙂

Both shows are an awesome chance to see how many talented artists there are on the island, view some amazing work (and appreciate those who are still growing in to their art) and to interact with not just the artists but patrons who love to talk art.

And I hope to see you there!