The excitement of seeing that little red dot!

I haven’t had time to blog for a while but I have been really busy with my artistic life and I have some exciting things planned.

Last weekend I exhibited at a local art exhibition together with my husband and father and to make it even more interesting we were all entering in the same category!   Perhaps luckily for the family, none of us won any of the prizes but we did all sell some work so it was very exciting.

I didn’t get to visit the exhibition until Sunday, and it was incredibly exciting to walk around the corner and see that little red dot on my picture!  I felt I had really arrived.  Especially, as it was a piece of digital art that sold.  I am very proud to have sold a digital piece done on my Samsung tablet.   Many years ago I visited London to see the exhibition of David Hockney’s digital work and it really inspired me to see that art can be done on any medium.

I love doing art on my tablet, and this week I discovered a great new app from Corel, which is a good development in the serious art market – I like the immediacy of having nothing between my idea and getting it ‘on paper’ –  no mess or complicated equipment, just your finger and tablet, and you can create some incredible effects.

I was just getting over the thrill of knowing that I was a proper artist when I visited an open day at our local university to see about doing a postgraduate Fine Art course.  I was so incredibly thrilled to visit the art college and see everything that I have decided to apply to do the course next year.   It is a huge step for me, for starters I will have to pay for it and support myself for a year which will cost about £15,000 – not an insignificant investment in my artistic life!    And at 52, it is a huge step to put my career on hold to indulge myself in doing my art for a year full time.   BUT, the excitement I feel at the thought of spending this time, on myself, is incredible, and I have decided to go with it and do this, just for me.

So yesterday, I applied, fingers crossed to see if I get accepted, I’ll let you know!

More soon!

Advertisements

Finally hitting my stride

Good morning!

I have been off work for over two months now and I finally feel like I am making the most of my time at home.  My creativity has been flowing – in photography and art and I have some exciting projects underway.

I have continued painting with the acrylics and have had a lot of fun with that.  I especially like painting with my fingers, it feels very real and authentic.

2015-03-24 15.09.55

I am thinking of wording to go above them, but of course they could also be greetings cards….

On thursday I was discussing how I see pictures with my husband – I have synesthesia (which I will blog about soon) and that might be affecting how I see the world – but I “see” photographs all around me and this has given me an idea of a photographic project – this is very exciting and I am enthused about what I am doing.

It is interesting that it has taken me so long to hit this vein of creativity.  I am a creative person but having a full time job, relationships, children, etc etc etc – real life – gets in the way and freezes the creative juices to such an extent that nothing happens.   I know that many prolific artists hold down full time jobs AND create, and I have done that at times in the past, but the last few years have been particularly dry.

Anyway, I am enjoying hitting my stride!

Early morning trip to see the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the sunshine and frost

Whoa it’s big 🙂

The USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier is currently moored in the Solent just off the peninsular where I live because it is far too big to fit into Portsmouth Harbour!   It is colossal!

I got up early this morning and it was sunny with a heavy frost.   My hands ached with cold as I walked along the beach at 7am but it was worth it, I beat most of the dog walkers and had the beach, and the view to myself.   I took a few pictures I am pleased with.  It took me a while to get one of the aircraft carrier that I was pleased with because I didn’t want to just take the usual pic of it in the sea (although it is very scenic with the Isle of Wight behind).    On my way back along the beach, I spotted this fence and rope at a cafe and chose to use them as the foreground.   I am pleased with the result!

Yesterday it was raining (actually it was hailing until it looked like snow!) so I stayed in and practiced some painting – I had a lot of fun, I bought some extra colours to compliment the ones I had and spent a happy afternoon doing finger paintings on rough paper.   I will use one of them for Free Art Friday again this week, not sure what my text will be though!

More soon!

Free Art Friday – a truly liberating experience

Last week was the first time I have participated in Free Art Friday (#freeartfriday)

I found it an exhilarating experience even though it wasn’t truly my art that I was distributing but a copy of My dog sighs work.    I was over the moon when I accidentally came across someone on Twitter who had found it and appreciated it!

I decided I would like to do it again but didn’t realise it would be so soon!

I have been playing with painting and ideas all week and today was the solar eclipse AND International day of Happiness and I had two ideas of stuff I could do today.   I found the free art friday project was empowering – I can do something just for the fun of it, without worrying about it having a value (ie what someone would pay for it) – but on the other hand someone is going to see it and hopefully appreciate it, so you have an incentive to put some passion into it.   But essentially it is just fun.

2015-03-20 12.13.46-1

And I had lots of fun this morning, coming up with these two – I probably made a dozen copies and picked the best to release into the wild.     Again, leaving them for someone to find was exhilarating and it would be lovely to find out if they were found, but I know that probably I won’t ever know.

2015-03-20 11.37.35-2

And now, typically, I am having second thoughts, wondering if my work is good enough – wondering why I am pretending to be a proper artist!   Ah well, I guess it will take a lot longer for my artistic confidence to increase.  But I am really really enjoying the experiments.

Daily photograph – Day 12 – Spring has sprung in Hampshire!

OK, first off, I have an admission to make.  I can’t do the one picture a day challenge!  There are just too many pictures out there to take and it is such a beautiful day!    I went out today for a long walk around town and found several things that I wanted to capture – so I did.  I am not going to let a self imposed challenge stop me from taking the pictures I want to take.

But I have learned a lesson from the exercise – I have learned to take my time before snapping, to think and really let the picture come to you rather than searching too hard.     And I think I have come to value the shots much more highly, to treasure the good ones more – so it is not wasted.    And I will still post a picture a day for the 30 days that I intended.

It’s a glorious day here and this is some pussy willow against the blue sky.

I have continued to practice my painting and I am having a lot of fun experimenting and learning about using acrylics.   I have used watercolour and gouache a lot in the past but for some reason I have not tried acrylics before.   I love the way they mix and the way I can move them across the surface with my fingers.  Below is a practice version – I love the colours!  They really make my heart sing.

2015-03-17 14.20.03

I feel like last Thursday was a real breakthrough – as if I had been shown a whole new room of creativity and ideas that I didn’t know was there and I am having so much fun exploring the room and realising there are so many more things I could do.  And this is why I took time off between jobs, it’s taken a while to bubble to the surface 🙂

Photo challenge Day 11 – oops, I missed a few!

I have been busy with other stuff…. and I realised just now that I hadn’t picked up my camera for a few days.   So what’s going on?!   The weather has been lousy and I think I am so obsessed with light and shadows that on a dull day I just don’t see anything that makes me think “Quick!! I have to take a picture!” – so I haven’t (I really feel strongly that you cannot force these things, it will come or it won’t).   Also, since starting to paint seriously again after a few years of pfaffing around, I guess my creativity is split at the moment!

Anyway, today is gloriously (and unexpectedly) sunny and I was in the middle of upholstering the chairs when I looked out of the window and these shadows really called to me.    I love the mix of shapes on the fence, and then the texture of the fence behind.

I also love black and white in photographs – my art work is always extremely colourful but with a camera  I think I prefer the simplification that black and white brings.   It strips everything back to shape and texture.

I feel like I am really in the groove at the moment with having ideas and trying them out.   I am saddened that it has taken two months off work before the fog really started to clear but happy that it has – I knew it would come back at some point!

More tomorrow…. 🙂

One a day photo challenge Day 8 – tulips

I feel torn creatively now, obviously I am excited about my photography and all my ideas of what I can do with it, but now I have the painting ideas too!   I was so absorbed in painting today, it was a while before I picked up my camera.   The sun was just peaking through the window (on what was otherwise a pretty drab day) and the tulips looked gorgeous.  So here you are!

I took this time from work so that I could exercise my creativity muscle and it is certainly working so far!

Did I mention I am also upholstering two chairs at the moment?!   Maybe some pics of them soon too.

No-one has taken my free art friday pic yet!   Not sure if I am pleased it is still there or sad that no-one has claimed it!

Free art friday – today changed my creative world :-)

Today, I had a wonderful opportunity, the artist “My Dog Sighs” (www.mydogsighs.co.uk) was giving a workshop a couple of miles from here – it reminded me about the key to nourishing your creativity.  You have to keep talking to artists, seeing their work, hearing how they work, why they work and also get to try doing their art for yourself.   Yes, copy their work, copy copy copy until you metamorphose it into something of yours.

The workshop was part of a wider piece of work by another artist, Jon Adams, called Democracy Street, and our task was to create a piece of work and then release it into the community as part of Free Art Friday.     I was thrilled when I found out that we were going to be mimicking the My Dog Sighs “Everyman” character – because I have long admired it and wanted to know how he made them (I had already tried to copy it with rubbish results!)

My version of the My Dog Sighs Everyman character.

My version of the My Dog Sighs Everyman character.

I made three pieces of art – done with my fingers (hence my picture of the day above – I wish it wouldn’t wash off I am so proud of looking like a proper artist!) – I am surprised that I have never done painting with my hands before, I use other implements such as credit cards but I have never used my fingers.

Two pieces have been released into the wild, hopefully to be discovered by someone – as I said, the theme was democracy, and the road was named after a notable suffragette so that is why I added this particular message.

I love that this woman stopped by my picture without noticing it! #freeartfriday

I love that this woman stopped by my picture without noticing it! #freeartfriday

Doing a piece of art that feels personal and then leaving it in the community for someone else to discover (and hopefully enjoy) was completely thrilling – I can see it would be quite addictive – just knowing it’s out there is a good feeling!

The last piece I did for my husband with a line from the song we had at our wedding (“Will you walk with me?”)

Mine is at the bottom of the picture below, with the real artists art work above!.  I am glad to say that my husband loved my gift.

2015-03-12 14.59.53I cannot adequately articulate how much today meant to me.  There are days when creativity is a hard slog and other days when you get a kick up the butt so big it sends you to a whole new level.  I feel inspired and excited and also very sure I have started on a new avenue for my art.  Obviously I am not going to copy the Everyman character, but there are parts of it that are very “me” and so I will play, and refine it until I come up with something that is authentically mine.

And when I do, I will absolutely be joining in with Free Art Friday and spreading the love!

Today was a very good day!

*So… what happened to your challenge of only taking one picture a day you say?  Well, today I didn’t, I took lots of pictures, but they were not arty ones and were on my phone….. I’ll get back to the photographic challenge tomorrow.

One a day photo challenge – day 6 – got my paints out!

Day six, I am quite impressed with myself for getting to nearly a week without cheating.   For six days I have taken one picture only, no deleting, and posted whatever I took.   I can’t say it’s been high art but it has been very interesting.   I have found it hard, not the bit about finding my subject for the day, they always jump out at me, but only taking one picture of it.  Normally I would set about trying to capture what I saw by trying different angles, different crops, different exposures etc.

I had a profound thought about creativity when I was painting the fence at 8 o’clock this morning – but unfortunately I have completely forgotten what it was, which is annoying and I blame old age!

However, interestingly, I just got my paints out and did 3 paintings just now.    All rather experimental and I am not sure if I have anything worth keeping but I haven’t painted for months.     My paints are held in various ice-cream containers and I loved the way they tumbled onto the desk in all their colourful glory – as if to say “Here we are!  What are you going to do with us?”

So perhaps there is a certain amount of creativity in me and if I am not using it up on photography, it’s going to leak out into watercolours!

Unfortunately, I can’t take a picture of my finished pieces to show you!

I am very excited about tomorrow.  I have the chance to attend a workshop with two local street artists who I greatly admire – I have no idea what we will be doing, but just to meet them and learn from them is a huge thrill.   I will be taking my camera and I think, I will probably be breaking my one a day rule tomorrow.   The opportunity to go to the city, travel on the ferry and the train and mix with other artists in an urban setting will, I suspect, be too much for me not to capture.

I’ll let you know tomorrow!