Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Pushing It Out There...

I have a huge work week ahead full of creative challenges and exciting happenings
 so much so I actually sat and planned how to structure my time
 shocking I know, but the time has come for me to start being a bit less haphazard
 I have found all sorts of illustration work coming my way 
 which is exciting in that bungee jump off the side of an airship kind of way
  but more and more I find I wake up twitching with the fun of it all
 every day in the studio is different now, and full of opportunities to completely freak out
 not to mention I have some teaching projects in the works which I can't wait to share soon
 so every day is kind of glorious and overwhelming in equal portions
 which suddenly struck me as looking very different to what my creative life used to be
 and led to some very uncharacteristic introspection and reflection on my part
while I finally finished off this perfume bottle... it has been quite the process, but something about blues lends itself to reflection it would seem
and the planned post on liquid masking fluid and frisket will wait for another time
and instead I am going to share this rare moment that finds me being something other than my usual shallow pool

 I made all sorts of deals with myself during treatment for breast cancer
which of course is a total cliche, but it also happens to be true
you can't help but think about your life and how you live... it just comes with the territory
and somewhere in there I decided I was going to start taking risks, and jump at opportunities
because I can tell you now I didn't regret one artistic mistake or one crap painting.

I didn't lie around feeling like I had taken too many risks with my work or pushed it out there too much, not to mention turning down opportunities because I thought I had to improve my skills, or that I had to develop my work or whatever, or I wasn't ready for it or whatever other rubbish excuse I used to cover up for being chicken shit...

I did however, regret the drawings and paintings I hadn't painted 
all the ideas that I hadn't gotten to yet, or even worse, that I had discarded as too challenging, not to mention the opportunities I had passed up... those things all felt pretty unbearable to tell you the truth
it freaked me out that I had let negativity rule so many of my artistic decisions
I felt like I had wasted so much time hiding behind all sorts of excuses and a lack of belief in my own work... which was insane when looked at through the lens of bloody cancer

so I decided that I was going to lighten up work wise when I was through treatment
if an opportunity presented itself then I was running with it, I was going to throw caution to the wind and just see what happened... after all things had been pretty rubbish and I got through that, so maybe, just maybe I was stronger than I thought and if it all went pear shaped and people stopped reading the blog, or buying my paintings then in the scheme of things that was hardly a tragedy... the tragedy was the whole wasted time thing

I decided to completely to embrace painting whatever took my fancy
and be completely unapologetic about it
I love perfume bottles, tea, food, things around the house, not to mention my cuppa project
and packaging... I seriously love great packaging
so in the last six months I have been running with that
painting whatever feels right, pushing it out there
and taking on projects that I totally don't feel ready for
and you know what... work has been flooding in and I can barely keep up 
learning curves are crazy steep half the time but I find myself embracing projects and work that I never thought I would be able to take on
 and in amongst the crazy schedule and mad deadlines
I am finding I am actually really happy, like gloriously happy

Do I ever get overwhelmed or besieged by doubts... abso-freakin- lutely
do I get tempted to go back to my safe world and comfort zone
you bet your bippy I do
I freak out at times, and think I can't do it all, or that my work will be rubbish
that clients will hate it, or the whole thing will just fall apart
but it turns out I would rather be pushing it out there and maybe falling over than being back on that bathroom floor feeling like rubbish and regretting lost chances
and despite it being scary and uncomfortable at times it is completely worth it
so I hope you jump into something creative today that you don't feel ready for
I know I will be
happy painting all...xx

Friday, 24 April 2015

What Price Love...

Sinus man and I have been married 23 years
  which is a lot of snoring, farting, smelly socks and truly volcanic sneezes
  when you stop and think think about it
  he has been asking me to pull his finger for 25 years now, and still thinks it is funny
  he magically falls asleep watching any tv show that isn't sports related
  and every night swears he wasn't asleep despite the snoring, floppy head
  and ever so slight hint of drool
  but every now and again he does something that makes you forget all that
  and reminds you what a magnificent man he is...

The other night I casually asked him how much he loves me
and if he would do anything for me
to which he answered ... a huge amount and of course ... whhhyyyyy
suddenly it clicked that I had that glint in my eye and while in the distant past he might have tried to back out and save himself from whatever I was about to inflict upon him, he now just graciously asks... what do I have to do

Just try some yogurt for me I say...

what's wrong with it? it's out of date again isn't it? why cant I just smell it?
why do I always have to taste it? why can't you inflict these things on Phantom?
after all that is one of the benefits of having a child isn't it... getting them to do the stuff we hate... and a few other choice comments

I let him have his little rant then informed him it wasn't out of date or anywhere close actually
 which made him even more suspicious
and led to a grudging ... bloody hell just give it to me

 and then I handed him these beauties... sweet potato and cinnamon flavoured and carrot and apple flavoured yogurts...  awesome packaging but slightly scary flavour combos in my mind... but he just peeled back those lids and dove in
not a peep of dissent, not a moment of hesitation
not even a trace of fear crossed his adorable face
he was nothing short of magnificent

In fact he informed me they were delicious
and unlike him I required a lot of coaxing and sniffing
but after a  taste I had to admit they were a lot better than I had expected
 I was envisaging a weird baby food type deal, but the flavours were nice
the texture however was a whole other matter, and not my cup of yogurt at all
though Sinus happily polished them both
then he even washed the containers and handed them over to me
knowing full well I only bought them so I could paint them
he is a keeper through and through I tell you

so a huge thanks to Sinus for sacrificing himself for the sake of my artwork yet again
and a public statement that he is magnificent seems like the least I can do in the situation
I am off to the grocer to see what new marvels I can find to inflict on him
so happy painting all...xx

I did a post of Tuesday that includes a video demonstration of me painting some carrots... it seems that veggies are quite the theme at the moment...
click Here for the post...

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Carrot Painting Demonstration....

Look at me posting for a second Tuesday running
 and it isn't just pics and chat like it normally is
 I made a video of myself completing this carrot painting
 which I split into two parts so it isn't too epic
 I also did a narration, which was really fun until I heard the playback
 and realised that Sinus and Phantom may in fact be right
 and I may have a voice that is a touch nasal
 but by doing the narration it saved you from hearing me with a chipmunk voice
 as I had to speed the whole thing up so that it didn't take 25 minutes
 and when you speed the images, it also speeds the soundtrack
 which made me giggle like crazy but wasn't great if you want to hear what I am saying
 So here it is... a carrot painting demonstration...

happy painting all...xx

Friday, 17 April 2015

Some Thoughts on Chocolate...

It is no secret that I love chocolate
 in fact there are times when I do believe I may have existed on it alone
 but times change and I now aim for a more balanced diet
 which means that at times I now supplement chocolate with other food groups
such as vegetables
 and real vegetables... not pretend veg like corn chips or tomato sauce
  hey if there is veg in the title I am calling it veg

though if I am totally honest I love vegetables and always have
 for many years I was a vegetarian
 but that doesn't mean that at any time I would have picked veg over chocolate
now however, things have changed... seriously... stop snorting
I am trying to come clean here with you all and your scepticism is a touch off putting

What happened was that while I was being treated for breast cancer
I found that chocolate tasted pretty awful... which was scary in and of itself
plus the only food group that never made the nausea worse
that never once upset my treatment induced glass stomach was vegetables

despite finishing treatment a year ago
 I have found myself unable to shake the veg habit
so in the last few days I decided to test myself and draw up some Easter chocolates
and yes I chose ones that I don't particularly like
and some of them are off limits because they have gluten
but in the past that would have been no impediment
chocolate reigned supreme no matter what

but here is the proof that you can actually grow and change
because I painted the bloody things without sampling one
weirdly the white chocolate one did get consumed though I have no clue by whom
as both Sinus and Phantom swear it was each other
and quite frankly I don't care to know who it was as I would have to think less of them for eating the stuff... I will say it here and now... white chocolate... not chocolate in my book
but all other little snack bars were intact and remain so even now... just not interested
and even more shocking is that I have had green vegetable juices twice this week
I carrot believe that I have done that
and while I am on the subject I am in need of vegetable puns so lettuce get working on that
ok maybe I am taking it a bit far now
but veg is my new best friend

So instead of beeting you up with more vegetable puns
I will reassure you it is not my only friend and I still love and adore chocolate
I just get it in a different form these days
and it is with this stuff ...Crio Bru brewed cocoa
awesome stuff and I have also done some illustrations for them which has been great fun
 because the packaging is almost as delicious as the flavour
which is choc full of antioxidants and things
so wins all round... happy painting all... xx

Tuesday's blog post...
I actually blogged on Tuesday as well this week
and am going to attempt to get back into the twice weekly swing of blogging
and plan to use Tuesday blog posts for a bit more about how I do things,
what I use and some tips and tricks... maybe even some videos
so ask away if there is something you have always wanted to know
not saying I will get to it any time soon, but you never know... xx

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

A Better Start ...

All of a sudden I have my painting mojo back
 not that it was all that absent, more that it was easily distracted
 and it was a bit of a task getting into the swing in the studio each day
 once I got going on things it was all fine
but the normal triggers I use to get going weren't really cutting it all of a sudden
I am gloriously haphazard in everything except for my routine when I start work for the day
that has been more or less set in concrete and you interrupt it at your peril
but for the last two weeks or so I get in the studio each morning
and find myself staring at the desk with the same attitude I usually keep for exercise
I know it is going to be great once I get going, but it is going to hurt to get started

So I was going to be heading into the studio with a touch of trepidation this morning
but luckily I was at the shops yesterday I saw this nexba iced tea
tea, watermelon and great packaging means it was the holy trinity of must buy for me
three of my favourite things in one lovely can... how could it not be great
so instead of my usual pot of tea
I started my studio day this morning with this tin of wonderfulness
and I sailed into a sketch of it with ease
and before I knew it the paint was going down with ease
It is bloody delicious and actually tastes like real tea
and it was fab to draw, so all round a great start to the day

so great I decided to attack this month's GoodnessMe illustration
it has been stuck at this first layer of paint stage for a day or so
and has been giving me all sorts of grief
I try to keep them fresh and different and I look forward to painting them each month
but this one had been troubling me a bit and not quite coming together the way I wanted

but thanks to the magic start with the drinking and painting of the iced tea
I was feeling pretty positive and energized
there isn't anything better than one drawing and painting going well
to get you in the headspace to tackle something that has been not going so great
I jumped in and got it finished off and it came together in no time
I am thinking maybe this nexba stuff is some sort of magic creative juice
happy painting all...xx

Friday, 10 April 2015

A Black Hole Week...

Mug from Boo Martin

I have no clue where this week has gone
 I haven't been in a chocolate coma
 which is surprising in and of itself given the season
 but time has somehow disappeared in some weird way
 and I have almost no recollection of what I have actually done this week
 so perhaps I was in that chocolate coma after all
 I did do a couple of cuppas paintings for the Cuppa With Friends Project
 and they are just a perfect sort of way to get back into the creative swing of things
 but outside of that it has been a big creative black hole
 must mean there is big things around the corner I think
 all that repressed creativity is going to come bursting out
 which is always something to look forward to
 happy painting all...xx

Teacup from Laila

Friday, 3 April 2015

Sinus The Easter Killjoy...

I feel I may be in for a disappointing Easter
 as it is has started with Sinus putting the kibosh on my brilliant plans
 these plans have been hatching for a week or so
 ever since Phants and I arrived home to the street in a mild uproar
 as a whole flock of burly men were trying to herd a mini horse into a yard
and we are talking mini mini horse
there are dogs bigger than this thing in our street
it is adorable, and surprisingly hard to herd it turns out
which was funny on a whole new level

so the mini horse lives at the house that used to have geese
and I must say if he managed to swap those noisy bloody geese for a mini horse
then I am popping out and buying some geese tomorrow
plus the horse has a cubby house for a stable... awesome right
so plans were that I pop down and ask horse owner man if I could borrow said horse
and then just have it at our place when our guests arrive for easter lunch... no warning
and no mention would be made... just feign complete nonchalance at its appearance
just have them arrive to find a mini horse in our yard... brilliant right 
though if I could convince it to curl up in Mushu's old bed it would be even better

Phants agreed that it was a brilliant Easter plan
and despite us having a very amusing few hours discussing possible names for the horse 
Cadbury, Wayne, Phineas, and Harvey were all in the mix...
but despite the genius of the plan I felt that Sinus may be the stumbling block
so when I ran it past him I also mentioned that it may be a dual purpose set up
as the grass in the back yard is so long
you need a scythe and a packed lunch to get to the shed
mini horse could take care of that at the same time
but in typical Sinus fashion he said a very definite no freakin way
and started muttering about horse dung and bloody stupid woman
and no amount of pleading from Phants and I have swayed him
he is resolute in the ruining of the greatest easter lunch entertainment ever

So I have had to console myself with some painting and drawing of easter eggs
I painted up the bunny I had bought for Mushu as he always got a gift as well
and I painted up the white chocolate egg that I got for Sinus
because I am never going to eat that sucker... white chocolate is not my thing
and despite what Sinus said I did not put my thumb through the back of it on purpose
it just turned out to be surprisingly hard to juggle... 
happy Easter all...xx