Sunday, 19 September 2010

Finding Time or Making Time

The last few weeks have been a bit of a haze filled with family functions, the flu and the normal end of term madness. All of this has added up to very little time to do any work, and while many of the tasks and events were enjoyable I have become steadily crankier without a creative outlet and I have really missed it, as have my poor suffering family. Now I am on the other side of it and have had a day to reflect it has turned out to be a blessing because it helps reinforce how important it is to have that outlet and space to sit and work, and how important it is to me. The frustration you feel while working sometimes is a lot more desirable than the frustration of not having time to do something that you love.

I also need to look at the way I work because the habit of needing great blocks of time is really restricting how much I can achieve and if I can flip my perception to working at any time when there is a moment available I will manage to avoid the frustration of this term, of course it also means that I will have no excuses so that will also be a challenge, and it will be interesting to see what sort of work I achieve without that cushion of excuses that being time poor can provide.

Luckily I took delivery of a new bunch of books including Painting Light with Coloured Pencils by Cecile Baird, The Botanical Palette by the SBA and Margaret Stevens, Botanical drawing in Colour by Wendy Hollender and 1000 Artist Journal Pages by Dawn DeVries Sokol, and so at least I had some great reading to keep me happy in the pick up line and whenever I found a minute. I have some great new reference books to keep me going and get the brain into art mode, even if for short bursts only. I did some of the exercises and while some books are more appealing than others - the artist journal pages for example prove awe inspiring, motivating and fear inducing all in equal measure!! - they all have things to offer to my work. I particularly love The Botanical Palette, not just because it is up to their usual incredible high standards in terms of production values and illustrations, but also because they included quite a few demonstrations and projects in coloured pencil which is so valuable.

To further offset the non working vibe I had going was the arrival of several beautiful tea cups from my mother in law. As they are downsizing they are going through the difficult task of sorting through cupboards and shelves, and we are the happy recipients of some beautiful tea cups, which I am sure will hold a special place for us for many years to come, not only because of their family associations, but also because they are lovely pieces in their own right. Having beautiful things around is so important to having an open frame of mind and of course the markets threw up some beautiful blooms yesterday and the stalls were full of reminders that spring is on its way and the sheer number and beauty of the blooms, such as the ones I have photographed at the top of this blog, are so inspiring. It is always wonderful when the house is full of fresh and colourful reminders of the seasons, and nothing lifts the spirits like a house full of flowers.

In amongst all of this I did manage to get some work done, other than sketches and exercises   - and yes Melissa I still have my sketches of the roses which I photographs for my last post and have made pages of notes and details and colour match swatches in the hope that I will get to them soon, but with a looming deadline for the Brushstrokes from the Bush exhibition at Redlands Gallery just around the corner I have been working on a piece suitable for that. I have already finished a piece of a burdekin plum, picture below, which I am really pleased with, but would also like to submit one or even, fingers crossed two more, for consideration. I have started on a black and white drawing of some native violets and the photo below is of the plant sitting on my desk that I am working from. I have chosen it because even though there are an extraordinary number of stunning eye catching native blooms out there, I absolutely love these delicate little blooms that grown all over the garden in those cool and shady spots, and I love the way they spring up out of nowhere and surprise you with their beauty, and they can be easily overlooked and taken for granted and I wanted people to remember that they are a native that we all seem to have hidden away in a corner of our garden.  So fingers crossed, with a new perspective on time management, my violet drawing will emerge quickly from the page and I will head into a new and very productive phase!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Welcome Spring!!!

You know it will be a good week when beautiful roses are to be found discounted at the grocery shop and cost less than the manky carnations and sad old tulips that you usually sell, and then as you head into the veg section there is a glorious overflowing box of artichokes just begging to be painted and drawn. So they all came home with me and are now happily sharing a vase in the studio being all fragrant and luscious at the same time.

It never fails to amaze me how textured the petals of roses are. I always think of them as smooth and glossy, but they really are quite matt and papery with a ridiculous number of gradations of colour on every petal. The artichokes on the other hand are so glossy and solid, almost plastic in texture and have such strong variation in colours, with their grey, purple and brown against the pale yellow and greens. Somehow these two opposites work together in the vase which is a bit of a revelation and makes me think I should be more adventurous in throwing things together in a vase, and I have had a great start to the day sketching and doing some colour studies this morning.

To top everything off it is the first day of spring and the world is looking great. I love being able to feel that first hint of warm breeze, the first sniff of jasmine and the heady scent of the murrayas in the afternoon. It just makes you want to be embrace it all throw off the jumpers and get drawing... so with that I am off to work on my hydrangea. Happy Spring everyone!!!