Updated: Aug 21, 2021
Hi Everyone! Just wanting to check in and see how you are?
I am missing my students and all your smiling faces and have loved all the art you are sending through. I am glad that you are finding time to create.
This week I offered my free class "Things That Make Me Happy" to the Stage 3 kids at Springwood Primary School where lots of my students are. I have seen a couple in their google classroom, parents have posted on social media and emailed me their creations. I have loved that whole families have done the class together.
Some had done it last year and were surprised to see the differences a year later.
That makes me happy!
Here are Simone and Marlow's artworks. Marlow is a previous student and Simone is his mum.
The L- Word
For me, lockdown has allowed me to paint more which has been a positive.
I feel like what you see of my business is like the tip of an iceberg.
I seriously only spend about 5 hours a week painting.
The other 40 hours a week are spent :
A lot of this stuff is creative for example product creation like Not-Just-A-Greeting-Cards, using Canva to create my marketing images and self study.
Such a tiny percent is actually painting!
I have days/weeks of not a hint or an urge to paint, then I get into a slump and don't feel like my self. As soon as I pick up my paintbrush or pen, everything just feels right. I feel energetic. I usually have my music turned up and sing LOUD and son't care who is listening.
At the moment I am having a creative streak and I don't want it to end or be interrupted.
In the last 3 weeks, I have painted 3 paintings, have one work in progress, started the backgrounds of two others and have been writing and journaling a lot.
This last week was a week of inspiration.
A few years back I did a Life Book lesson with Australian artist Laura Horn and really enjoyed it. Life Book is a yearly online class taught by different teachers all over the world and run by Tamara Laporte. I owe my "after kids art beginnings" to her. I gained so many skills and such confidence from these classes. I have done it over a few years now.
Anyway, Laura's name has popped up over the years and did again last week. I discovered she has a podcast. She interviews other artists and talks about their journey from the beginning to now. So many of these artist are mum's like me, who realised they needed to eek out time for themselves when they became a mum. Time just to be them, time to tap into something creative, time to be still with their thoughts.
They needed to be more than just a mum. I am sure there are lots more stories not just of mums.
Lots of the women she interviews, I follow on social media or I have done their Life Book lessons. It was great to listen to their evolution.
I laughed and cried and nodded and shook my head.
I could relate to their words on so many levels.
I was inspired.
I was way more emotional than I thought I would be.
It was like I had found my art tribe.
I binged and have decided Fridays are now my Laura Horn binge listening days.
I can't get enough!
This week's episode is with Jenny Grant from Sweeden.
This is a painting I did in one of her classes a while back which was sold this year.
I had some great conversations, one with a friend who helped me realise why I am having such a block continuing my Botanical Girl series, and an admirer of my art and classes who said she felt like she had met a celebrity when we randomly met in person!
These two conversations were on the same day and lifted my spirits.
I like to paint intuitively rather than purposefully. I don't usually have an idea of what I am going to create, it just kind of comes out of the brush. Goddess Amaterasu and Nora & Marg, my wattle girl are a couple of exceptions.
I want to paint and embroider a whole series of Australian and NZ flower girls and birds. My wattle girl is the first in the series.
Now, forcing myself to come up with more is killing me. I just can't do it because it isn't intuitive. I need to get over it.
Same goes for commissions. I do them but I really struggle because it it someone else's idea and not mine. I stare at the blank page and go nowhere for hours. It always turns out better than expected but it is a very large hump to get over. I don't want the buyer to be disappointed either. When a someone buys one of my own paintings, they know what they are getting because I have already painted it. When they commission me, there is a lot of trust needed.
Helen Hallow's podcast, talked about sliding in sideways. Not getting stuck on the blank page. Do some writing, put some music on, light a candle then come into it.
I have been going for buswalks every weekend, mostly the same one. I don't get bored of it. It gives me the chance to observe the changes in nature.
Sunday afternoon after my walk, I was pumped. I felt on top of the world!
I put my headphones on, lit a candle, gave thanks to the women in my life now and past, who passed on their creative blood, grabbed my paints and a background I had painted a few weeks back and set to painting.
It poured out of me easily and the result is "Spring Is Almost here - a message of hope"
It is for sale but not in my shop yet. It is on a 35.5x46cm canvas board and is $360. Let me know if you would like it.
I picked up my brush again the next night, fully intending on starting my Warratah Girl. I started drawing her, I even googled how to draw a warratah flower and watched youtube videos. Alas, she wasn't to be that day.
This time Flossy-Bo-Peep appeared!
She is me before the shit hit the fan as a child, before a loss of innocence, a death and a divorce all in 1988. It was a cracker of a year.
It isn't all depressing though. Her message is about strength and resilience, about letting the light shine through the cracks.
My mum and Aunty have many nicknames for me and one is Flossy.
My Nanny used to buy me Darrel Lea Bo Peep lollies when I went to visit. I don't know if you remember them? They were a little jar of boiled lollies and they always got stuck on the bottom so you had to wiggle your little finger around to get them unstuck or find a knife or something. I loved those things. Darrel Lea have a limited edition bottle now but it looks like plastic and the label is different. Even the colours of the lollies are different :(
This is her so far-
If you follow me on social media you may have seen progress shots of both these paintings.
If you are not an artist I feel like it might be hard to know what goes into a painting so I always show the layers and layers.
I think I am done with the painting part of Flossy-Bo-Peep, I will be doing lots of pen work on her eyes, hair and the Bo Peep lolly background before she is done.
I will write more about her when I she is finished so stay posted!
On another note, seeing as though we keep going in and out of lockdown, I thought I'd let you know about my puzzles from Redbubble.
Redbubble is a print to order company so there is no wastage or need to keep stock.
I upload the designs and you pick what you want them printed on.
The puzzles come in different sizes from 30 pieces to 110, 252, 500 and 1000, so are great for kids to adults.
They come in a beautiful tin so no more crushed boxes or having to tape the corners!
Here is a close up of "Pensive"
and here are some others
They range in price depending on size.
They make a great gift even for someone doing it tough in lockdown.
Why not grab a bit one and settle in for some puzzle fun?
Well, that's it from me. It was a bit longer than I expected, thank you for reading if you got this far!
What are you doing to stay sane, active, mentally ok during lockdown?
What is inspiring you?
Make sure you get in touch and let me know how you are going.
Keep sending me your pictures!