Well, as time continue clicking by, trends change and so we need to adjust and find new ways to attract clients and keep up with the times....is a new website what is needed? Time will tell....let's hope so!!
It is good to spend time creating and designing a new website though - I find it's almost as good as doing a good spring clean. It gives one the opportunity to throw out the old and replace with the new...although sometimes the old is just too precious too throw out and it comes along with the ride for another year.
As an artist and photographer I am constantly trying to improve on my last work of art or last photograph, and yet sometimes when I go through some of my old work I find myself thinking some of my older work is better than some of my more recent work. And then a month later I look at it again and think, NO....I've definitely improved and grown...such is the life of an artist - skill and knowledge may grow, but perception and mood is ever changing!
Regardless of my own perceptions though, I hope my new website is easy to navigate through, to find some interesting bits of art and information and to just enjoy browsing through. And if you spot any glitches or misspelled words, feel free to pop me a message and let me know!!
Every now and then every artist suffers from a lack of inspiration - I think...
I have a creative block every now and then when I just can't seem to come up with any creative ideas of my own, however I am still able to create art on request and most of the time this helps me get through a creative 'block'. Not being able to come up with any original ideas or concepts of my own can be quite frustrating though, as I wade my way through a seemingly thick marsh of empty, black nothing...
Through the years I've tried to find different ways to overcome a creative block and some of the below is a couple of things that have helped me in the past:
- browsing through other artists' artworks, online, in magazines
- browsing through some of my own 'forgotten' old artworks and finding an image or design to 'redraw'
- doing a Google search of a theme or object and choosing an interesting composition to draw it in a new way
- listening to music and letting my mind's 'eye' wander over the images that gets played in my mind
- redrawing a favorite art-piece from a favorite artist in my style
- creating a prompt list, or following someone else's prompt list, of things to draw (something like Inktober)
These are just a couple of things worth trying, but most of all, I've learnt not to stress about a lack of inspiration too much as this seems to aggravate the situation even more. And trying to force inspiration can sometimes backfire and affect my ability to even paint or draw!
Being an artist is not always sunshine and roses, sometimes its sweat and tears. And sometimes, as an artist, as soon as you find inspiration to draw or paint, your time is filled with the other important things of life.
Don't despair though - there is tomorrow, and new inspiration for a new day!
We are about two thirds of the way through 2022 and so far it has been a good year in regards to getting to practice some new digital drawing skills and fine-tuning my personal style (although I feel like I will be in a continuous process of doing this for the rest of my life).
I've had a huge project put on hold though, which has left me a bit lost at sea in regards to finances and time, and while still going back and forth on final elements of one particular design, the larger part of the project seems to be on halt indefinitely, or perhaps even cancelled - I'm not completely sure yet. This puts a huge drain on my creative energies as I've put a lot of time and effort coming up with unique designs, trying to capture the essence of the messages the people wanted to tell, the stories of the communities they work with, whilst trying to be inclusive of a huge array of different peoples and activities. I was proud of the designs I managed to come up with and felt confident in my portrayal of all the elements they requested. The team was encouraging and excited with the work that was being produced, had some requests for inclusions and changes, but overall the communication was positive...and then - a sudden halt to the project. Board members weren't on the same page with the visual elements as the rest of the team. Miscommunication...or perhaps a complete lack of communication, I'm not sure. I was assured that it was not because of anything on my part. And yet...as an artist, this still takes a bit to accept and work through. I am very flexible and able to adjust style or portrayal of elements, but it seems like there's some internal communications and ideas that needs to be ironed out before any artwork gets created - and so I still wait. In the meantime, I've had to find other avenues of income to make up for the loss of this large projects income, and so from next week, I will fill a part-time position at the Waitakere Arts Centre. This is a great opportunity to be more involved in my local arts community and get to know and help some aspiring artist. The Waitakere Arts center is located on the popular Corban Estates Arts Centre in Henderson Auckland, and I am starting just in time to see the Trusts' 35th Arts Exhibition go up and move into the Arena for the exhibition taking place from 3 - 11 September!
Perhaps by next year I will exhibit a couple of my own pieces as well! In the meantime, I look forward to being part of this supportive and creative community and am excited to see what the journey with them holds for the future!
Have a look at the amazing work they are up to on their website.
After years of being urged by my husband to write, I thought perhaps starting an art blog would not be such a bad idea...although I have absolutely no idea what to write about here, or who would be interested in reading what I have to write...I guess just starting is a good thing to do...right?
So - as this is my Art page, I guess I should be writing about art...and with that in mind, I thought I would start with a couple of personal points about my art...
I've always viewed myself as an artist - from a very young age, about 5 years old. I think it was cemented in my mind because of a comment from my first grade teacher...I drew a cute little elephant and after seeing it, Mrs. Whitehead exclaimed: "Wow - you are such a good little artist!" This teacher is the only teacher from Primary School that I actually remember showing a true interest in me as a little person. Actually, she's probably the only teacher from Primary School that I remember! The rest are all just a blur...She affirmed me and nurtured me and my interests in my first year of school and set me up to be a confident learner and hungry for knowledge.
Since then, I always remember drawing. My friends continued complimenting my abilities and asking me to help them with any drawing assignments. I loved helping them figure out how to get things right, proportions and measurements of bodies to heads and perspectives. I loved seeing their reactions when I showed them a simple trick to manage to draw something that looked good. I realized that I had a natural talent for something that I could easily teach others to do as well.
When I was about 12 years old, my parents ordered me an oil painting set. The set included four small canvasses, a set of oil paints and brushes, a palette, oil and turpentine to clean and care for the brushes and a set of instructions on how to paint four different scenes. I remember two of the scenes - a old Cape Dutch house and a blue gum forest. These were my two favorite scenes and for the life of me I cannot remember what the other two paintings were...
The canvasses were no bigger than 10cm x 15cm, which meant I had to paint rather small and I remember being very proud of the way these two painting turned out...I couldn't actually believe that I was capable of creating these images from paint. My grandmother used to paint magnificent seascapes with sunset colors and I would stare at these for hours, imagining the brush strokes she used to create the reflections, the foam, the movement of the waves.
When I finally started painting I would do the same to my paintings - just stare at them and try and remember how I created the falling of the light onto the surfaces, the textures of the leaves, the shadows. A lot of the time it felt like it was all created by accident and that I had absolutely nothing to do with how it turned out. It was a strange kind of therapy, easing my thoughts into a state of not thinking, but just focusing on the tiny details being created by my hand and then afterwards seeing the bigger picture and not being able to recall how all the details brought a larger picture to life.
I never felt like I developed a particular technique that I would use again and again - even now it feels like every new piece I create is a new experience, an experiment to see how I can bring the image in my mind to life on the canvas or wall. And every time I still stand amazed that a piece of vision from my mind starts to appear outside of me, on a wall, on a canvas or on a panel.
Sometimes I find an old piece of art, in a sketchbook or hidden somewhere, and I stare at it, wondering what I was feeling or thinking when I created it...a piece of me on a page.
After many years of painting purely for my own pleasure and therapy, I started accepting that I have a skill and talent that other people are willing to pay me for and I started doing commissioned art. Mostly large scale panels or murals and a lot of the time themes and ideas that come not from within me, but from others - images that then pour into my mind from them, quietly in my mind waiting to be released onto a canvas. Doing commissioned art is a joyfully collaborative process. Once upon a time I was scared of creating art for other people. But now I really enjoy it. The satisfaction in being able to capture the ideas, images and stories of others are just as rewarding, if not more, than bringing my own imaginings to life. And it is sometimes a much better way to give expression to my creativity than waiting on my own inspiration to come to light. The stories of others inspire me to create art that stirs and moves other people, rather than just myself. Maybe one day I will hold an exhibition of my own works, but for now, I am enjoying being able to capture the stories of others with paint and brush in hand, giving expression to the imaginations of others.