Thursday, 19 August 2010

A new space

Sometimes unexpected things have wonderful consequences. For months I have been struggling to find a quiet place to work in my studio. Unfortunately we have not been blessed with quiet, or even vaguely considerate neighbours, and as the weather warms they appeared to have taken up permanent residence outside, which was very close to the area I was using as my studio, which meant I also got to share their day with them. Not always conducive to working, and sometimes down right annoying. I have spent many weeks complaining  to Matthew and Phoebe and then it suddenly struck me that perhaps a move of venue might help.
For years the back room has been our dumping ground. It has alternately been drum room, exercise room, junk room and general horrible space, but then during the Easter break my lovely husband had gotten in and cleared it and painted it, and with the new carpet that we had installed in the rest of the house it had become a very swish and stylish exercise room. I mentioned on Sunday morning that perhaps it would make a suitable studio, but perhaps it was a little small, but before I knew it Matt had gotten in and started moving things, and by late Monday I had a lovely new space which is absolutely perfect. No more noisy neighbours, no more people trooping through my space, no more sharing the space with school bags, homework and that elusive pencil nabber that mysteriously steals pencils, pens and scissors when my back is turned, and instead I have this lovely little quiet room tucked away from the hustle and bustle.

Now I look out over the pool and the back yard, and while this is looking a bit end of winter sad at the moment, it is just lovely. The trees are all mature and create a lovely green privacy screen, and the reflections from the pool create a lovely dappled light, and even better I get to avoid the incredibly bright afternoon sun that made it hard to work in the afterschool hours in the old room, which makes a wonderful area for the exercise equipment as it turns out. I also have the space to myself and can even shut the door, so I am seeing all sorts of possibilities like being able to work in the evening after Phoebe is in bed and Matt is engrossed in the football. The simple joys of having a door, not to mention a the luxury of a space that is mine alone!!  
 I am feeling more positive and motivated than I have felt in months. I had no idea how much the noise and constant coming and going of the neighbours had been getting me down, but I feel as though I have had a new burst of energy. It has also struck me how we often overlook the most obvious solutions because we are so used to seeing things in a certain way. It really helps to think about things without the mental habits we carry around with us. Of course without Matt's hard work I probably would have dismissed it completely, but his enthusiasm and willingness to jump into things worked out wonderfully in this instance and I can't wait to see what having this wonderful little space will do to my creative output!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Too Many Possibilities

I return after a few weeks of very busy family time, and am ready to get back to it. Of course the weather is lousy and the paper is sodden from the unseasonal winter downpour, but the day won't be wasted, and I have plenty to sketch and explore and more than anything it will be great to just get back into some creative mind space.

The Florresense show for the BASQ was great fun, and it was such a great opportunity to meet and spend time with like minded people. Sadly I had no sales, but must say that it was very inspiring to see my work hanging there amongst the other work, and am happy to say it didn't look out of place at all! It is hard to describe the thrill of seeing your work hanging and seeing people stop and talk about it, and to get some encouraging feedback. The botanic art society is such a welcoming and encouraging group of people and they are generous with their time and willingness to share their experience with those of us who are much more recent converts. I was even lucky enough to meet another coloured pencil convert, Dale Farnell, and it was fantastic to get tips and ideas to experiment with.

So my thoughts are now turning to the end of the year and I am concentrating on getting some more pieces ready for the Brushstrokes From the Bush Show at Redlands Art Gallery. I have completed a piece of some burdekin plums, but would like to submit other pieces for consideration. I have taken some photos of some eucalyptus bark, which I think would make an interesting subject, not just for their beauty, but also because they offer some interesting compositional opportunities.

I have also collected some pictures of some native violets, which I absolutely love, and would look so lovely as a massed composition. I love these little blooms, and I love it when they make their appearance as a cool green carpet under our palms in our front garden.

Of course I have also found another native fruit to provide yet another subject, which is the beautiful little pink gems of the Syzygium Australe which can be made into jelly, and apparently jam also, so I think a day or two of drawing and playing with ideas is the order of the day so that I can have a clear idea of exactly what I want to do when the weather returns to normal and I can get started on them. It is lovely to be spoilt for choice and ideas, and one of the things I love about botanic art is there is never any excuse to not have subjects and ideas. A glance out the window, a walk around the block, a visit to the grocery shop, or a florist or garden centre and you come away with a million ideas and thoughts, and are reminded that you will never run out of subjects or possibilities!