Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A Great Month

The end of the first month of having my work out in the real world, via The Collective Store, is almost at an end, and it has turned out to be one of the most nerve wracking, positive, exciting, and busy times of my creative life. Leonie has set up a great venue and is so supportive, but I had honestly just wanted to sell something , anything , in my first month if truth be known, but sales have far exceeded my expectations, and I am excitedly heading into next month feeling very positive. Today I dropped in some more stock as gift cards and gift tags which had sold out. I included new ones using my lemon and burdekin plums, which were fun to look at with fresh eyes, as well as making some using my collages which turned out beautifully if I do say so myself, and I can't describe the boost all of this has given my confidence. Onwards and upwards from here I say.

So on and up to where??? Well I am elbow deep into some collages and the nectarine blossom and have had a great time drawing up some roses and peonies as my next subject. I find that if I have my next project ready to go and I am excited about it I will get a hustle on with the existing one to get to it. And my new collages are progressing, but the one I am excited to get back to is below, and while it is looking a mess at the moment, I know it is going to come together beautifully - not quite sure how or what the final product will look like, which is kind of what I like about collage, but it is such fun getting there!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Collage and blossoms

I must admit I have been avoiding the blog a bit at the moment. I have been finding that there is a bit of a conflict going on with me creatively and it has taken some time to sort through. It all started when I pulled out some collages to work on for the Collective Store and fell in love with the process all over again. I had been playing with some visual journalling this year and had been enjoying the process quite a bit and found that it was giving me an outlet to explore some looser work after the close concentration of botanical art.
I love Botanical art and find that I hugely enjoy completing these works, and I'm not sure if doubt and motivation issues have cropped up because for the last two exhibitions we have been required to complete natives, and to tell you the truth I am just not a native sort of girl. I like pretty, luscious flowers, and the mad bright colours and shapes of fruit and veg, and just can't get into the whole spiky, spindly native flower thing. I can recognise that they have their own beauty, but they aren't what I would choose to draw, and I think that has led to some frustration and compared to the enjoyment I had experienced doing the collages, I have found the need to do some creative soul searching.

I really enjoyed turning my designs into prints and cards for The Collective Store, and found it filled me with ideas for creating beautiful cards filled with lush roses and peonies, like the ones I photographed above, and beautiful delicate blossoms of fruit trees. I was starting to feel restricted by the more traditional botanical art, and think it is time to stretch my creative wings with it to reconnect with it on my own terms. I am sure this is also due to my growing confidence in the medium and in trusting my own aesthetic sense, and is a sign of moving beyond the early stages of familiarising yourself with an art form.
Having said all that I also realised that I don't have to do one or the other, and yes while it is a bit schizophrenic to go between mixed media and botanical art, it seems to suit me and I am excited about my creative life being able to go between the two when the mood strikes. It is like balancing order and play, and I am sure they will enrich each other. We hold many assumptions about how we should approach things artistically, but when you let go of those assumptions and limitations it is a very exciting time.. so I am feeling like I am embarking on a new time and direction and can't wait to see where it takes me. I think I need to rename the blog though.. so now to think of a more suitable name that more accurately reflects where I am heading.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

10 Things I Love About Autumn

I have spent the last few days working on my visual diaries and looking back at old artwork and came across this drawing I did years ago and it got me thinking about all the things I like about Autumn. There are advantages to living in a sub tropical climate and although the extreme weather of this summer hasn't given us much to love about Queensland it is still a great place to live despite the heat, and rains and floods, and cyclones. I think the best part of living here is Autumn which is just starting to show itself,so here are the top ten things that I love about my favourite season
  1. Cool mornings. I hate getting up and the cicadas are already going nuts, especially as I get up at an obscenely early time due to living in a house of early risers. To get up and go out and collect the paper and there is that cool light air wafting around is so energising. Not to mention that first morning when you need a jumper... I love that!
  2. No humidity!!! No more paper getting soggy, pencils grabbing on soft paper, watercolours that take forever to dry, or having to work with a fan going to keep cool!
  3. The light is clearer and the sky gets its beautiful deep cobalt back instead of the bleached out heat shimmer of summer and the sunsets are stunning. It is such great light to work in and I always find that Autumn is my most productive time.
  4. It is cool enought to get back to the garden. I look forward to giving the garden a good clean out and mulch and thinking about fllling the gaps left by the huge surge after the summer growing season and it looks so lovely the greens are richer, and the filtered light in the afternoons through the palms is one of my favouite views.
  5. Not having to wear sandals. I am so over standing in puddles when you get out of the car, having to tip toe through the afternoon storms, and bring on the clogs and loafers and my favourite soft leather slip ons.
  6. Eating veg at dinner instead of salad all the time. It is just too hot to eat steamed veg and roasted veg in summer, it is all about the bbq and salad, and I can't wait to get back into the kitchen. I am sooo over salad and am tired of trying to come up with ways to make it interesting. Bring on the vegies, soups and bakes and all things heart warming and baking, baking, baking!!
  7. Did I mention no humidity??? No more sweating and being blanketed by it every time you step outside. No more foggy windows and glasses that fog up when you get out of the car.
  8. Mushu goes absolutely mad in the mornings, after being too hot to run around all summer he is back playing puppies again, bringing all his toys to your feet and wanting the play all day and chase lizards and being the gorgeous fun little dog that he is, and of course he looks beyond adorable in his hoodie!
  9. Easter is on its way and lets be honest about a holiday based around receiving chocolate has to be something to look forward to, not to mention how great it is when we head up the coast and stay at our favourite holiday house!! All my favourite celebrations are in Autumn, our anniversary, Mother's day and of course Miss Phoebe's birthday.
  10. Driving with the windows down in the car.. no air con, and this goes for in the house too. No more having the house closed up and blinds shut to create the coool cave we need to get through the summer. Throwing open windows and letting the breeze and light back through is fantastic.
And of course there is also crisp apples, and pears, and figs, and the murraya blooming, and snuggling on the lounge at night under blankets, and red wine and and and.....

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Neglectful for a good reason

prints and cards starting to come together

 The weeks have flown past and I have been neglecting the blog, but all has been in a good cause as I have been unbelieveably busy being creative and getting off my back side and getting some work out into the wide world. I made a big delivery of cards, prints, and collages to the lovely Leonie down at The Collective Store in Wynnum. The Collective Store is an exciting venue for sleepy old Wynnum and it stocks a fabulous eclectic mix of handcrafted goods and artworks and Leonie is so supportive and encouraging, that it is a pleasure to be involved in the wonderful community she is building down there.

Some framed prints and original collages for The Collective Store
Getting collages ready and getting back to that side of my arts practice has taken a bit of time and effort, but I am slowly feeling comfortable with the different mind set and am looking forward to continuing exploring the series I am now working on. It has taken a lot of trial and error to get back to a process that used to be second nature, but it has been such a great experience to revisit something that I used to love so much.The first in the series is below and I am really pleased with the progress and excited to get to the others and see how they all look together.

Of course I will need to budget my time a little as I also have a piece to finish for a show with The Botanical Art Society of Queensland in April at Redcliffe gallery, so it looks as though a there are a few creative and challenging weeks ahead which sounds pretty wonderful to me!