Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Forging ahead and other news

Only just over 5 hours left of 2013. Its been a great year for me art wise but now its time to look forward to 2014. The painting I am working on seems very appropriate in this respect as the blacksmith busily creates new from old.

I am really enjoying painting this piece now. The ref photo I am working from is taken with a flash in a dark area so the light in it is very flat and uninteresting. The joy of painting though is that I can change this to make it whatever I want.  I am loving developing the contrast between the warm light of the fire/ the heated iron he is working on and the cool light shining in from outside. I love the focus and intense concentration on the blackmiths face too. Painting it was a good distraction from the chaotic last 24 hours.

A couple of other artists sent me a message yesterday lunch time to say they had got a phone call from the director at Fallbrook (Signature American Watermedia exhibition hosts) to say there had been a big mistake and those who were accepted were actually rejected so to expect a phone call. I waited and waited but nothing. Several other people posted on facebook the same news or that their accepted and rejected paintings had been switched. Several people sent me messages to say sorry because they guessed that I too had had the phone call but I hadn't. I had to say that I had no idea what was happening.

After a sleepless night wondering if i was still in the exhibition or not and how on earth if the other painting had been accepted, which had happened with a few of my friends, I was going to get it framed and shipped in 3 days, I phoned the director.  She was not working today but luckily they phoned her and she phoned me back from her home. Thank you Mary

Apparently I wasnt contacted because my accepted painting Content-Ted is still the same. I'm still in the show and I dont need to get another one framed so it will be packed up in its box tomorrow ready to be shipped the next day.

I feel so bad for my friends who thought they were accepted but got the phone call to say they were not. Being an artist is not for the faint hearted. All we can all do really is to try to continue Forging Ahead.

May 2014 be a good year for us all. ((((hugs))))


Saturday, December 28, 2013

A sneak peak at some new works in progress

I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season. I have been having a lovely time watching the snow falling while curling up on the sofa in front of a lovely warm fire.

I have been painting a little but my progress is very slow. I started this painting back at the end of November and have only managed to finish the background so far. Still, I'm thinking positively...at least I have my first painting of the new year well on its way  :) Can you guess what my subject is going to be doing?

 I know many people like to read a book to relax, but I enjoy curling up or lying on the sofa and drawing with my pens. I can happily spend several hours a day drawing with my faithful furry friends beside me or at my feet. I just love the way Harry plops himself down sometimes watching me with his chin between his paws and back legs sprawled out behind him.  I couldn't resist using him as my subject again.

Drawing in pen really forces you to think so much about values and use them to build shape and form. Its such a fabulous way of developing an eye for value. Harry's fur is black but in some lighting conditions you can get wonderful contrasts in value as the sun, moon or other strong lighting source creates highlights and casts shadows on his shiny fur. I had great fun developing the shape and form of his velvety ear and the coarse hair on his paw this way. As you can see I still have a fair way to go on this drawing but I am really looking forward to developing Harry's facial features next... that cold wet nose and those oh so longing eyes.

So which do you think I will finish first, drawing or painting?


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winsor & Newton Award CWA 44th National Exhibition

I was very excited to get a phone call from Ruth Miller, show chair for The California Watercolor Association's 44th National Exhibition today to inform me that their juror Elaine Daily-Birnbaum, who is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society, the California Watercolor Association, and an AWS Dolphin Fellow  awarded my painting 'Spinning a Tale'  the Winsor & Newton Award. I feel honored to have my painting selected for this award when the quality of work in the whole exhibiton is so high with so many well known artists exhibiting.

The exhibition runs from February 14, 2014 to March 15, 2014.  The Artists’ Reception and Awards will be held February 21, 7-9 pm. I would love to be able to attend but it depends on when my surgery will be scheduled and if I am well enough.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Sorry for being so quiet here lately. I was admitted to hospital mid last week with a kidney infection and heart problems and am still in hospital while my doctors work very hard to make me more stable.

I have been taking my mind off all the monitors and tubes attached to me by drawing in pen.

I am dedicating this drawing and the message it conveys to some friends from Art Colony, a couple of friends from Wet Canvas and one locally who although are not able to be with me physically have been with me in spirit each day and who have been checking in regularly and offering support and making me smile.

I am calling this drawing 'Love' because it just sums up the love I have felt from them. Thank you all.