Decisions, Decisions…

Notwithstanding various medical/dental appointments, this week so far, has been one of ‘taking stock’; collating work to take to the Melbourne Arts Festival. There are now three piles in the studio; definite, maybe and reject…. and it’s been quite a surprise seeing how many possibilities I have…

….and I am also amazed at what a difference putting the work in a mount makes; work I had discarded suddenly appears a ‘maybe’ when cropped and mounted…

I am not suggesting that all of the following will make the cut….not by a long way… but it’s been great to find I have more work than I thought…

 

 


…….now time for some decision making… (apologies for the photos…)

 

 

 

 

 

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Confidence…It’s A Fragile Thing….

Receiving the email informing me that I had been accepted to take part in this September’s Melbourne Art Festival, my confidence began to rise…just a little…I started making lists, organising equipment, sorting work, what needs framing, mounting, prints, cards etc…

A few weeks down the line and finding myself spending a fair bit of time away from home, away from my little studio, aka the smallest bedroom, and with only limited art materials and space, preparations have slowed down, not quite stopped, but definitely slowed…  and with that, comes a drop in self-confidence…(it doesn’t take much…)….

So today I have returned to my comfort zone, (I know, to progress, you should push yourself…but a little TLC is required..)….

Charcoal and ink and gestural marks….channelling Cei Bach in Ceredigion and The Derbyshire Dales…in my Seawhite of Brighton square sketchbook as well as on Cass Art mixed media paper…no pressure, just trying to remind myself ‘I can do it’…

….and eventually…

 

 

Try, Try & Try Again….

Having almost run out of white acrylic paint – obviously calls for a shopping trip – I have returned to the watercolour and inks… I love working with these; the way they flow and pool, the way they interact and the ‘happy accidents’ that arise really get my creative juices flowing…

I am slightly obsessed with indigo and the sepia FW Acrylic Ink and in my favourite square Seawhite of Brighton sketchbook I feel free to relax and let go, creating loose spontaneous work…

…then I try to do the same on ‘proper’ paper, you know, heavyweight watercolour paper……and everything goes out of the window…my arm feels constrained and all that spontaneity is gone….. It doesn’t seem to matter how often I tell myself it’s just a piece of paper there is a voice in my head screaming ‘yes, but it costs £6, £7, £8/sheet or whatever…’ so immediately there is the pressure to create something worthwhile….and the creative juices dry up….. I know I am not alone in feeling like this and I know it’s all in my head…. (just to say I am trying really hard not to add a ‘but’ here…)

However, having been accepted to take part in this September’s Melbourne Festival, the need to produce work has spurred me to keep on trying…practice makes perfect as the saying goes…. so another day, a different paper….

This time I am using Cass Art mixed media paper…

… I know the paper is not as expensive as single sheets of say Saunders Waterford or Arches watercolour paper, but it is still a decent quality and weight…so I continued…but I couldn’t understand why the colours weren’t matching my sketchbook work…. until I realised that although I was using Indigo, the sketchbook studies were done using Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour whilst I was working with the Daniel Smith Indigo watercolour on the paper…. same name but different…

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love the vibrant Daniel Smith watercolours…but in this instance I prefer the Winsor & Newton shade, especially the way it reacts with the sepia ink… so change of pigment and on I go….trying…

 

…here’s a Daniel Smith Indigo study…

…and here is a Winsor & Newton Indigo initial wash…which I like as it is…

….I will keep on trying…and eventually I will produce some pieces I am happy enough to mount and frame…..meanwhile…..I will add the rest to my ever-growing ‘reject’ pile or should that be ‘learning’ pile….

 

 

Another Day, Another Medium…

A new day, a different medium…yesterday was experimenting with mono printing (I will keep trying with this…), today I am continuing to experiment with acrylics… Until very recently I worried about this flitting from one medium to another, worried that it would appear I hadn’t found my artistic voice, whatever that is, but I have come to realise this is all part of my make up… I have always been a ‘heart on my sleeve’ kind of person (my Mum always says that my face gives me away…whatever mood I am in…).  My work is all about my experiences of the landscape, my response to it….and my mood…which leads to my choice of medium…watercolour, ink, charcoal or acrylics…so I am learning, slowly, to let this particular hang-up go….

Anyway, onwards with today’s efforts…. (with apologies for the photos, it is very dull here today…)

I might start with a plan but that usually goes out of the window and the work becomes more of a reaction to the marks I make…

 

I do find working on several pieces stops me from fiddling…..

 

 

I even tried different sizes…

…definitely need more practise with the larger sizes…..

Anyhow, this is today’s progress….one or two might make the cut for the Melbourne Festival….

I should add that whilst painting I have been listening to artist Rebecca Crowell’s podcasts via  The Messy Studio…. not sure what my choice of episodes says about me… ‘Habits of Successful Artists,’ ‘Being Professional,’ ‘Finding Personal Voice’ and ‘Cleaning Up Your Mindset an Attitude’….

What do you like listening to whilst working?

 

A Change Is As Good As A Rest…(and all that..)

Having been accepted to take part in this September’s Melbourne (Derbyshire) Festival I need to get creative…..! However, after having had a little break from my artistic endeavours – and it doesn’t seem to matter how short or long the break – that fear of ‘I will never be able to create anything worthy again’ kicks in…so rather than jumping straight in and picking up my paint brush (and produce work not up to my expectations….) I decided to take a different approach, to have a change…

I had seen this low budget mono printing tutorial on YouTube and thought I would have a go…..something different, no pressure, no expectations…

So here’s my attempts..

Getting ready…..

 

First attempt…

I found it worked best with a clean piece of greaseproof paper for each print…

 

I prefer these…

 

and this one is okay once I had rotated it….

Not sure if this will  lead to anything but at least I went into the studio and got creative…onwards and upwards now!