Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fear of Failure

'Promise' - watercolour - sold
Bad words!  It comes to all artists, but it is one thing we can control.  When we're children we find love and acceptance by pleasing parents, teachers, friends...then later in life you find yourself painting... friends and family begin to notice and give paint to get into some shows...that acceptance always feels so good doesn't it?  That's human nature.  But those feelings of acceptance wane after time and true happiness in painting goes deeper.   
Love and respect yourself first. Try and explore what's right for you... thrill yourself with new discoveries... let yourself dive into the abyss of the might 'thunder in'(my hubby's old paratrooper expression for when your chute doesn't open) dreadfully....or you might get to a new level of understanding, and do something that really rocks your boat!  That is success in painting.  Rocking your own boat.  My mother always told me "Don't give your energy to people who make you feel bad"...turns out it's valid advice about painting for others expectations as well.(the ones who don't paint)
When you're learning painting, you have to give up the fear of failure...I mean really, why would you want to hold onto it anyway?  It's a mean girl. It makes you feel bad, like you cant do anything.  Listen to your heart.  It wants you to come out and play.  
...On another note, I'm delighted to report that my Thursday morning and afternoon Time to Paint classes are now nearly full.  One place left in each of them. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

the arbor that Dave built

We have a new garden arbor on the side of our house this weekend, thanks to Dave. While I was at the art and craft show, he was sending me photo updates of its progress...we used to have an old structure in the space, but it wasn't serving it's purpose very well(too narrow) so he recreated this one with seating and open latticework on the sides. I LOVE IT!! It is a south facing position, so it will be a wonderful spot to sit in the spring sunshine with a cuppa, and ponder the garden's inspirations. 
Mr. Lincoln in my garden August 24, 2013
Today I'll plant a clematis on one side and I think maybe even a new climbing rose on the other. It feels already like we're into fall, even though it's still August.  Our yard is covered in fallen leaves, although I think it's more due to the drought we had for 2 weeks than any cold snap, but the nights have been getting cooler. 
This morning my artist friend Bonnie Brooks is taking some of her art to Quinns of Tweed, and asked me to go along for the ride. woohoo! friend+art gallery+road trip=my idea of a good time!



Friday, August 23, 2013

40x30 commission work and Kaleidoscope

I'm working on a commission, a larger version of a painting I did a few years back.  Today I got a lot of the body colour done, and it is beginning to come together; adjusting of tones in some areas will be needed, but at the moment I cant see just what it needs...been a long day of painting. I have yet to add the seagulls too.  Working with the larger brushes is a refreshing freedom compared to the small mini's I've been fiddling around with over the past few months, though the vigorous blending and moving the paint around with them is a strain on my right arm(the one that had tennis elbow a couple of years back; it healed but still acts up when I over use it). 
This Sunday in beautiful Bloomfield, Prince Edward County, is the Kaleidoscope craft and design show, from 10am-4pm.  I'm going to be participating in it, and I will focus on showing my paintings.  I will also bring some of my craft and designs along too.  It's the last show of the summer for me; I cant believe how fast August has flown...been so busy there's hardly been any time for blog posts...heh heh...well somehow I think life will go on! Here's an image from last years Kaleidoscope in the big red barn at Fields on West Lake.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

cottage minis and o what a weekend

This Saturday (Aug 17th) is a little festival called MusicWestport.  A festival of music, yes; but also Spring Street in Westport will feature artisan tents and I'll be in one. Westport is one of my favourite villages just 45 min north of Kingston.  It's cottage country, so these new little 'cottage minis' will be coming with me, and I'll be painting some on site too.  This year has been an experiment. I signed up to participate in lots of art shows on weekends; taking The Gallery at the Porch Door to events instead of waiting for the public to come here... it's worked well, networking a wider reach of clientelle, although occasionally it inconveniences customers who might plan on popping into the gallery on weekends. However in those cases usually a suitable time can be arranged easily by contacting me.

Well were we surprised!!  this past weekend was Dave and my 35th wedding anniversary.  Our three daughters all arrived to celebrate with us Friday night, giving us an incredible scrapbook they had compiled of photos and notes from a variety of friends and family who Holly had contacted months ago to contribute.  It was such a beautiful present, not to mention a great deal of effort.  Then after they presented the scrapbook they informed us that the next day was going to be a huge party, here at the house!  Well what a party it was!  Many friends(some from the past)and family showed up, and of course there was a bolo tournament(because that is just what we do!! ha ha) and food and campfires (yes 2!)at night. The young people all camped outside around the yard, and the older gen slept inside. Even the porch gallery was pressed into service and became a bedroom for the night!  What a time we had. We are so moved and grateful for our wonderful daughters and their crazy plans...what fun!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

boathouse minis

My garden and life in general have been taking precedence to my painting this past week.  We had an absolutely wonderful long weekend, gorgeous weather, no real commitments, except Dave and I had some puttering and jobs around the house and garden...but we love that. We intersperse them with a capuccino on the deck, or a beer or a martini in the late afternoon. In the evening we have been challenging each other to games of Crokinole.  Usually Dave wins, but I can give him a run for his money! ha!  Yesterday I did get going again on painting some mini blocks (tiny oil paintings)to feed my desire to paint...boathouses, and dreamin of the coast, what else? ha.  
Another exciting thing for me is that I had a call from a client to ask for a commission...and guess what...she wants a larger version of Everything About It, But Nothing in Particular ...I'm really happy to oblige, as I love painting landscapes of the coast!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

birds eye views

I love birds eye view perspectives. Many past works have featured landscapes, townscapes viewed from above. I especially like it when the view is from only a few stories above...creating a dollhouse, miniature world version things.  I was digging in my studio drawers this week and came across this watercolour which I did in 2001, when I lived in Point Lonsdale, the time I was interested in recording the fun things that our life there included...which was the Ripview Swim it's very illustrative...but one thing I noticed is that it also has that same 'from above' perspective.  

Anyways, lately I've been perculating ideas to do a painting of Halifax harbour, to add to this birds eye view fetish of mine. 
 John Hartman's wonderful contemporary abstract aerial versions of cities, are marvelous and inspiring; he does big scale paintings that have such power.  
But what I'm interested in doing is something on a smaller scale, perhaps even a little friendly(?)...but short of getting up in a balloon above the harbour, I'm not quite sure how I'm going to get much of a resource to use other than my own imagination...which is fine...but also a scary too. For now I'm sketching out thumbnails, ideas to see if I can work up something, then get enough courage to pull out a canvas and begin!  stay tuned.