Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Serendipitious Serenity - completed

I think this is finally finished (after thinking that about 3 times before and then fiddling again). You will see that some of the sand areas are softened and I have fixed up the shadow to reflect the shape of the larger rock. I have also worked on the rocks more and softened the colour of the rocks further back. You can see that better in real life.

I still can't get into wetcanvas (as they have been down with server problems for several days now) so I still can't acknowledge the photographer who graciously allowed this photo to be used.

In terms of the title in case you were wondering...well serendipity is a huge thing for me and my husband. Over and over again, things tend to happen for us and our businesses, just at the very moment they need to happen and things appear at the right time. We have got to a point that we trust that this will happen (which takes a bit of stress away, especially when it is things like financing new business opportunities and properties). So for this piece, it is about finding that moment of serenity when you just need it. And personally it is the sky at sunset that speaks to me most when I think about serenity.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

WIP - another seascape

Just giving you a quick update - I thought that I had pretty much finished this but then changed my mind so I've been doing some more work on the rocks today (which you can't tell in the photo as the paint was wet and it's all merged) and I think I still need some glazes to soften some areas too. So hopefully will put on final touches when babies are sleeping tonight.

I was listening to an interesting podcast from the cycling artist last night and she was talking about how different people are starters or finishers. She said that she was a finisher so was talking about the whole white canvas thing and how she gets over that. I think I definitely lean more towards the starter side of things. I love the white canvas and have no problem putting that first mark on it. It is when it is almost finished that I just want it over with so I can start on the next idea and I have to be very disciplined with myself to ensure that it actually is finished. Like the whole painting around the sides thing - I do paint around the sides as I go but when I am doing the tidying up, I often forget about those and then I think I've finished and then check the sides and they are as rough as guts. So I am definitely keen to get this one done as I want to do an oil portrait of my son Carter and I have the reference photo and they idea in my head and a large canvas that I can't wait to start.

Oh, incidentally this one is oil on canvas 800 x 600 x 40mm and is loosely based on a reference photo from wetcanvas (go wetcanvas). I'll check who the photographer is so that I can properly refer to them when this is finished. Wetcanvas is probably the largest art forum in the world and members post photos that are available for other artists to use for reference. Fantastic resource as especially at the moment while my babies are so little, it just isn't feasible for me to head to the beach at sunset or sunrise as they need me at those times of day. I do prefer painting my own reference photos generally, but when you can't get somewhere it is great to have this resource that you can get references off and are allowed to paint them as copyright prohibits you doing this with other photos on the net as it should be.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Finished - Carter portrait no.3

Here is the completed portrait of Carter. It is A4 on Arches paper and is done with graphite pencils. I'm really pleased with it. I can see my drawing improving every time which is really good. I just need to do one this size of my daughter Tayla and then get them both framed to give to my Dad as his 60th birthday present.

Speaking of Carter, I thought that I would show one of his latest artworks. It is acrylic on canvas 300 x 200mm and is currently hanging on our dining room wall. He loves painting and drawing and he got all inspired after we visited The Original Art Sale on Sunday and as soon as we got home, he wanted his paints. I point around to all the paintings in the house and say who has painted them and he really likes seeing his painting on the wall. He was so cute at the art sale, we let him walk rather than putting him in the stroller with Tayla and we told him at the start that he couldn't touch so he didn't. He would run up really close to a painting, and then clasp his hands behind his back and stare intently at it before moving on to the next. He found some really colourful textured pieces that he loved. So for a 21 month old, I think he definitely has some appreciation of art.

I haven't done much art over the past week as I have had a nanny here looking after the munchkins so that I can get work done. Horrible accounts that I can't stand doing, but I don't trust anyone else to do them as well and as accurately as me, so I have had days of MYOB. I've got one more day of that tomorrow and then once that is up to date, I am going to really focus on where I want my business to go. That is the Human Resources side of things. I've worked out that I really don't want to go back to full-time work in HR. I love my mummy time, my study time and my art time and I enjoy having this balance. I do however really want to do some HR work as I actually miss being "professional Melissa" and I miss my business suits (is that silly?). So I was in talks about a 2 day a week HR Manager contract role but I realised that this wasn't what I wanted either. So what I am going to do, is to set myself up doing HR consultancy with small businesses and make it easy for them to have the right employee practices and health and safety practices. I think there is a real gap in the construction industry in particular and employers are getting stung as they aren't following the legal requirements with things like H&S and dismissals etc. As my dear husband is in this industry, I've got a pretty good idea of what it is all about so I'm going to really spend some time putting thought into how I will market myself and setting up the basics. I'm really excited about it and I think that is what will fit best into my life now.

On a side note, I got the email the other day saying that I have been accepted for The Affordable Art Show down in Wellington shortly so I'm really pleased about that and will be sending two pieces done. Must go as I need to send a folder of drawings down to TLC this afternoon so I need to catch up and draw today. I've got my easel in the lounge and can draw while kiddies are playing at my feet (although Carter tries to draw on the bottom corner of the paper which is all he can reach).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

WIP - another one of my Carter

Yet another portrait in progress of my beautiful son Carter. I just don't think I can get tired of drawing my 2 children - perhaps I'm just slightly biased but I reckon they are the two best looking children in the world...ever!

I always start with the eyes and I'm loving seeing the drawing come out of the whiteness of the page. Got some drawing books arriving any day now from Amazon so all excited about that!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Original Art Sale - this weekend

I've got 4 pieces in this event so fingers crossed for some sales. Given the economy at the moment and the fact that art is now a real luxury item with families struggling to pay for petrol and milk, I really don't have my hopes up too high.

I also have some work in progress at present, it's just at that "ugly" stage so not worth while posting. I'm also half way through yet another graphite portrait of my son (my Dad wants portraits of both munchkins for his birthday which was last week) so in daylight tomorrow, I'll photograph progress and post it as I have been slack with my blogging over the past week.

BTW, the piece below "Eve Contemplating" won Most Creative use of Theme in the NZ Art Guild Challenge so will be posted on the front page of the NZAG website soon.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Something different....'Eve Contemplating'

Just slightly different from the last post! This is called 'Eve Contemplating' and is my entry for this fortnight's theme challenge with the NZ Art Guild which is 'Nature' and has to incorporate colour theory. I won't go into the spiel here about how this fits but there are some deep and meaningful meanings behind this one.

It is very much so mixed media, including tissue paper, textured paper, acrylic, and with an oil over-painting. The colours are much more turquoise and there are layers and layers of glazes that are not showing up in the photo at all and iridescent colours throughout too. The size is 750 x 375 x 40mm and it feels good that I got another painting done today. I might do a little bit of touching up tomorrow but I wanted a simple image as the background is very very deep and layered in real life.

Anyway better go and cook tea for the munchkins!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Caitlins Sunrise - completed

Finished this last night and I am pretty happy with it. All that is left to do is sign it, a cost of retouch varnish and then hopefully it should be dry enough to deliver to The Original Art Sale next week. I used Liquin throughout, so it should dry fairly quickly, although I am finding that now I have moved my studio to the garage and that it is winter, that paint isn't drying as quickly.

Here is a map of the Caitlins. This was taken near the Nuggets lighthouse which is M on the map below if anyone is interested. From what I understand, my great or great great grandfather (can't remember which) was the lighthouse keeper at a number of lighthouses around New Zealand, including this one. My Mum also took some photos of the lighthouse that she gave to me, so I might try that at some stage. For those outside of New Zealand, this map is of the right hand bottom of the south island.

The painting is oil, 750 x 500 x 40mm, painted around the sides so will not require framing. One interesting thing for me, was that I painted this entirely with just a small 6"x4" photo for reference. More recently I have been utilising my fantastic printer and blowing up larger prints. I actually found it good using a small photo as I was more concerned about the overall feel and the composition as a whole, rather than getting hung up on the details like I can do. Painting this flowed really well (so well in fact that yesterday, which was a public holiday, when the babies awoke from their afternoon nap, I couldn't bear to stop so instead I woke up my dear patient supportive husband who had just gone to sleep himself so he could look after them so I could keep painting).

I've also managed quite a bit more progress on Carter's latest pencil portrait so hopefully will finish that today. The said subject is in daycare today which makes it much easier to draw as he is at that exceptionally "helpful" toddler stage where he wants to mimic everything we do, and if I am drawing, he would rather help me draw on my piece or paper rather than his.

Monday, June 2, 2008

WIP - Caitlins beach at sunrise

Here is a work in progress photo of one of the many paintings I am working on at present. This particular one is based on a photo my Mum took a couple of months ago when she went down to the Caitlins on holiday. I've just checked with her on the phone and this particular photo was taken off the beach near the Nuggets lighthouse. I'll hopefully get a whole lot more down tonight when babies are sleeping and if it all dries in time, then this one will be heading to the Original Art Sale here in Auckland which is now less than 2 weeks away!

Still a lot to do, general tidy up of the sea and sky, define the rocks and paint the sand dunes at the bottom. I do enjoy painting seascapes.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

NZ Art Guild Annual Exhibition

'Make it Memorable'
Opening night:
Tuesday 1st July 2008 at 6:30pm – free entry – all welcome
Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna Beach, Auckland
July 1st - 30th 2008
Monday to Friday 9 - 5 & Saturday 10 - 4
The NZ Art Guild would like to formally invite you to the opening of the 3rd Annual Members Exhibition "Make it Memorable", which is being held at the Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, Auckland on the 1st July at 6.30pm..
Not only are we showcasing a stunning array of original New Zealand art by 63 artists from around NZ, but we will also be unveiling this years Collaborative Project, "Reach Out"!
Reach Out is a large, awe inspiring artwork comprising of 90 individual paintings completed by 88 NZ Artists.. At the end of the exhibition this one-of-a-kind artwork will be auctioned off on TradeMe with 20% of the funds raised being donated to the Mental Health Foundation of NZ.
The NZ Art Guild is proud to be working with the Mental Health Foundation of NZ to enable individuals, whanau, organisations and communities to improve and sustain their mental health and to realise their full potential.
We would be delighted if you would join us in the opening celebrations of this fantastic exhibition.
For more information go to