Managed to discipline my overwhelm and tackle the new paints last night. They arrived at the end of last week and I've found a fab wooden box for them to live in - and then left them, telling myself they needed to 'bed in'. The rubbish one tells oneself! In actuality I have a commission in oils for a lovely friend and she's selected one of my pastel landscapes for a beautiful antique frame that would really suit an oil painting more than a pastel - so I said I'd work up the one she liked in oils over the summer and that she could choose between the two when I return to the sunny south.
Simple it may sound, but when one's knowledge and experience is in one medium that's so radically different to another, it brings up a whole pile of baggage that was unanticipated and frankly uncalled for. Oil paints and brushes have been tinkered with (see previous posts) but I wanted to work in water-based oils to speed up the drying time and also decrease the fumes inhaled (although utterly gorgeous, probably not the best, especially when I work in the same space that I live in). New paints have been acquired - never an issue, I ordering art supplies and am lucky that Jacksons happily deliver to Skye. So last night I bit the bullet, did the Susan Jeffers' thing of facing the fear and started out. This is my first go and, as always, I'm glad I did.
What new thing will you try out on this summery Thursday?
"Don't be afraid of your fears. They're not there to scare you. They're there to let you know that something is worth it" C. JoyBell C.
The mist cleared a couple of evenings ago and I was able to see past the end of the drive for the first time in what felt like ages. Considering that I usually see the sea at some point during the day, it felt very contained for a while. It was lovely to see the skies lift and get to work with the pastels as the skies took on a really soft quality.
I do feel that think fog and mist (that stays for days rather than a couple of hours in the morning) is natures way of telling me to stay in and reflect. After years of defying this instinct and hitting the road as I wound my way around the motorways in the southwest (part of my job), it's lovely to have the opportunity to actually listen to my instincts. Possibly an attitudinal cop-out I know, but I'm still pretty immobile with the sprained ankle and so used the time to finish clearing through the huge piles of life drawings that have built up over the last year or so (see last weeks blogpost), plus all of the abstracts and landscapes. I totally overhauled the website too! That in itself has been an enormous task and one that is in constant process, so keep an eye out to see some of the new features (thanks to my lovely friend Helen for her invaluable advice on this). Amazing what can be achieved in during days of fog!
The reflection bit of the days of fog came in the form of a free meditation series that is ongoing from www.oprah.com. It's a three week programme that I just have on the phone via an app - anyone can register and participate. You may be a bit late for the first session but they pretty much stand alone so you can dip in and out. I call it creating space between my brain-cells and it just makes me think differently. Always exciting to have a new perspective. I'll share the outcome of my new plans as time goes on.
Happy Thursdays everyone!
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Utterly thrilled to be in the Guardian's Guide exhibition listings (Scottish edition) today! It's made my week :)
Beautiful skies have graced this part of the Hebrides for the last couple of evenings - and I had to try and capture them. The North Uist islands were in view with some stunning colours wending their way down from where the sun was setting behind the isle of Harris.
So my lovelies, is there a picture of mine that sticks in your mind from the last year or so of blogposts? - the picture below is the start of a much-needed clear-out of my sketches. You may or may not know that about a tenth of the pictures I create actually make it to the gallery and shop sections of the website - the other 90% are disposed of periodically. It's therapeutic but also something I put off exponentially, telling myself that you can't really make a decision on a drawing less than a week after making it (something I do actually buy into, although I can tell the day after with my landscapes oddly) and that I'll get round to it eventually because I ought to be creating, not discarding.
The upshot is that I'm not clearing out about a year's worth of life drawings and large abstracts - a couple of hundred drawings. The pile you see below will triple in size and helpfully weigh the recycling bin down which can be helpful to make sure that it doesn't take off in the frequent gale-force winds that like to dance around the Skye coastline.
The clearing-out and having a website overhaul are my aims for this week - the latter may take longer than the week but I'll aim to make headway over the next few days. SO, if there is any life or large abstract you've seen in the blog from the last year or so that you'd really like not to be dumped unceremoniously then please let me know. I'll keep the pile from the outdoor elements until Friday (15th July) and then it's going out to fend for itself. I'm serious, if there is anything you particularly like and it's not already been framed or marked for an exhibition then you maybe in for a lucky surprise pic wending it's way to you!
All responses will be carefully considered and searched for diligently - can't promise but it would be helpful if you could include the image in your reply it would be helpful so I can locate things. You're my audience, and it's you I look to for a gauge as to what works and what doesn't - what I think is ok may not tally with your thoughts.
(Haven't moved onto the landscapes or tangled inks yet, it's just the nudes and swirling abstracts for now..)
Delighted to announce my new greeting card designs are now available! Been meaning to get these in print for ages! They're available from LoveFromTheArtist.com which you can access my collection by clicking HERE.
LoveFromTheArtist is a non-profit community enterprise created to provide a facility that enables artists to sell their work online - primarily as greeting cards. They print the cards and send them to you direct - meaning you get delivery and I don't have to print anything! Yay! Thanks to Caroline Walsh-Waring of Scarlettart (don't forget to look her up on the site too) for making me aware of the enterprise.
I will be getting these cards for Lynne's Art Shed and for the Swindon Open Studios weekend (10-11 Sept - get those cake recipes (and respective cakes) ready for the cake stall!) but for now they're only available from LoveFromTheArtist.com.
Monday brought a really clear afternoon so I decided to take advantage of the fact that a clear line of Uist mountains were in view and was able to capture those (right hand side drawing) to the north of those I usually draw. Both of these are on my largest pastel paper and I still don't seem to be able to get the whole skyline in - can feel a hunt for bigger paper coming on!
As I'm posting my images on multiple social media platforms, I've been advised that it's prudent to watermark my pictures to protect copyright. I've found a compromise: there's a free app called Over which allows you to put text over your photos. So my website is now on my pics :)
Both of the pictures above are in the online shop (mounted, 20"x16") - just click on each image and it'll take you to it's respective page in the shop. If you want to have a browse through all the items, just click here.
The skies turned more subtle in their beauty last night and I'd forgotten just how much I love blending the clouds.
Also, just added the following picture to the online shop: