Putting on my big girl pants…

Today is busy, with the admin-y stuff that you can cross off your list and feel you have accomplished something useful.  And I am putting on my big girl pants and putting myself out there, because frankly I would hate to feel that people think I am spamming them, and so I never really push anything.

BUT…if you don’t know, then you can’t find me, or my stuff and so here I am.  I can’t spin this, that it is a public service announcement completely, but I also think that the information in this post can be of service to people, not entirely self promoting, so I can live with that a lot happier.

This morning I set up a link for a newsletter that will go out once a month, unless there is some super special announcement that you must hear about right away.  But in general, once a month.  It will be filled with links to any videos I have done, some pictures of arty stuff, book reviews, new listings and discount codes, and links to things that are good and art-filled, not just spammy about me and selling stuff to you.  I really want this to be a helpful kind of newsletter.  I have notes, copious notes on things I want to do, and have done since the start of the year.  But notes are not getting it done, so there over on the side panel >>>>>>>> is a sign up box, and I would be super excited if you signed up (you can imagine squealing, because actually when the first person signed up that is just what I did).  I am super grateful, with a big heart that you would take the time, so thank you in advance.

Now, if you have been reading the blog, (which reminds me I will need to update links), you will know I have done a couple of classes at Flutterbye.ning.com, which I am not linking too, because it is about to close, but I will link to the fabulous Amy that covered the costs of the ning group and provided the space for free classes.  She has decided to cancel the ning group and her classes will be found over at her website (linked to above) and her Facebook page over here.

As a consequence, I have started up a Facebook page (last night), which I would be super happy if you liked, over here.  And my class info will be found over there, as well as information on art I am creating and things going on for me and all sorts.  Because I am stepping up and putting on my big girl pants.  And believing I have something of value to offer.  (And really hoping that I am not completely delusional with a big head that will leave me stuck inside for ever and ever.) My Facebook page is also over on the sidebar, just to make things easy for you!!  :)

AND, I will also be setting up a separate blog for the Texture for Beginners class (in fact I set up the blog last night and now have to upload content), and putting the Altered Books Class somewhere as well.  Announcements will be made in the newsletter…sounds so professional!  That makes me give a little clap in a geeky kind of way.

And in other news I am busy painting.  And looking after sick children that seem to act as a tag team and trying to shake a cold that may sometimes feel like the plague.  And playing in my art journal. And dealing with video editing issues, and migraines and puppy toilet training and puppy “operation limit destruction”.

I have a tonne of these art cards on the go, about to look for shapes and find whatever wants to be found.


And I have these WIPs in progress…all big canvases…so far just using up paint on my palette and general mark making, but getting ready to go in and find some shapes.


And a close up:

WIP close up


And this one, which is what happened to this picture in the post! Still in progess…


And an oil painting I have started for the next challenge over at the Monthly Painters Challenge, but one I cannot show you until next month!

And a number of art journal pages in various states of undone-ness!


Monthly Painting Challenge

For some time I have followed the Monthly Painting Challenge.  Watching all the fantastic paintings that are produced.  And I thought to myself on more than one occasion how much I wanted to do something like that.  How much I could learn and develop, and be part of a painting community.

And then last month I saw a call put out if people wanted to join in.  And I immediately said yes.  And then as soon as I hit send I wonder what on earth I had done.  The art that is produced in this group is so good, who was I to think I was good enough to be included.  But I was also  super freaking excited, to go along with the vomit-inducing fear.  So all in all, a good sign I am pushing my boundaries.

And today is the big reveal.  The challenge this month was opposites.  And I played with a few different ideas, but I decided on opposite colours and planned out a sketch, and then decided to finish a painting first that I had already started at the start of the year.

And as that painting developed, it became my “opposite” painting.  Not the painting I had in mind, but whenever I got stuck, and this whole painting had had me stuck, I thought about what was the opposite.  So I decided on bright orange hair, and then that didn’t work with the background I had, so I turned the background blue.  Her face was bugging me, and so I wonder what was the most unlike (or opposite) thing for me to do, that was most unlike me, and I saw antlers growing out of her head.  Something I had always wanted to do, but I had only tried once on an ATC and it looked ridiculous.  And so to do it on a painting??  But I did.  And it was okay.

And then I decided that the colours of the antlers should be yellow rather than white, and to try some purple shading.

And it was about then that I realised I was painting an “opposite” painting.  And this was going to be the painting I contributed.

The more I looked the more I saw a hand holding a shell, but hands are not my forte.  Not even a little, and I was now planning on submitting this to an accomplished group of artists, so I decided not to include any strange mutations.  But I couldn’t get the hand out of my head, so sketched a hand looking at my own in the mirror.  And shells.  And made my daughter pose about 11 times with a shell so I could see her hand shape.  And it is still munted.  But the basic shape is there I think. And this is meant to be a challenge after all.  (The hand has been redrawn and repainted more times than I could tell you, and a few times I did just want to scrub it all out and cover it back up with paint, because really who would know??)

But here she is.  And I love her.  I love her eyes.  Strong knowing eyes I think.  There are hours and hours that are on this canvas.  Different faces and backgrounds and layers of things I was going through.  Some total crap.  But now I have an antler girl.  And as I stood staring at her, and watching her listen to the ocean in the shell the title “Finding new whispers” came to me.  And so that is the title.

And this is my entry!

And a close up…


Stepping out and ignoring my crazy fears

Sooo…I had intentions to be back much earlier than today, and then life got busy and things happened (excellent stuff and then some freaking heart bruising stuff) and my baby has had bad asthma, and I have been busy, and really, I was scared. So I did my usual of procrastinating myself into overwhelmed panic and didn’t know where to start or what to write about.

But here I am on this chilly Saturday morning as my boy-child has gone off to rugby, and my girl-child is rugged up on the couch, with what I think maybe every spare blanket we own.

So where to start…

I have been painting with oils…which frankly scare the bejeezus out of me, because I have stupid blocks in my head that only proper artists use oils, so a good friend gave me a pep talk and sent me on my way, and I am happy with the progress, though there is some fixing to do. But oh my gosh. It was not nearly so hard as I had in my head. Though I still love acrylics.

Oil painting portrait wip

And I opened an online shop! Which is super exciting. Pricing is super scary though, but I went with my gut which makes all decisions easier to live with I think. And I have more things in progress to be added, and I am hoping to add more smaller pieces each week, and that will just be super exciting. AND there is a link at the top to where you can find my shop, and a few things showcased, and on the side bar you will find another link, because I am making things as easy as possible for you to find me. And all shipping is FREE. No matter where you are. Free shipping. And so far all originals. ORIGINALS. I feel the fear and I am doing it anyway!

So I will see how this works out, but frankly nothing will get sold if it is not listed, so I forging ahead. Taking action rather than just thinking, and writing and talking about it.

So just to pimp myself a bit more, here is another link to the said shop and some of the ORIGINAL items that are listed.

Mixed media painting titled "Finding Strength"

Painting titled "Zombies Love Too"

Painting titled "Standing in truth"

A Day at the Beach

Painting titled: Out of the shadows

Painting titled "Jumping over the moon"





I have also decided to enter a juried exhibition. That makes me feel sick with fear that my pieces will be laughed out of the exhibition and also feel excited and goosebumpy. And really how will I know what will happen unless I try, so I open myself to the gifts of the universe…both good and bad. The two paintings are both acrylics, and they are big. 50cm x 60cm. And I loved working big.

They are the final result of my Flora Bowley workshop paintings I did. And I have quite a few more big canvases in progress, so it will be exciting to see what emerges on them. Her process matched my expressive intuitive painting style so much, and like any great process, my stuff looks like mine, not hers, so I recommend the workshop to everyone.

Here is the painting titled Fallen Angel.

Blooming True Layer 9 #2 (Fallen Angel)

And a close up:

Blooming True Layer 9 #2 (Fallen Angel) close up

The second painting is titled “Birthing new selves”

Blooming True Layer 9 #1 (Birthing new selves)

And a close up of the juicy textures and layers:

Blooming True Layer 9 #1 close up

And I am busy filming and editing my online class Texture for beginners which is really choc-filled with a lot of experiments and information (said in a very non-conceited and non-wanky way). And when it is finished will be a tome of techniques (at least that is the intention). I am currently filming my catch-all video, which I have decided to split into more manageable sections, but the class is hosted over at Flutterbyes, which has some great classes and tutorials by some great teachers who are all so willing to share with us and all FREE.

And I have other video tutorials, and journal videos to edit and upload.

And I am behind on my online classes I am taking, so I need to get caught up on those.

But I have done my blog post and am crossing this mammoth toilet-trained puppy off my list.