New Years Resolutions!

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I am getting a bit ambitious!

  • I’m having a baby this year
  • I’m completing a business course this year
  • I’m writing a book this year
  • I’m entering art shows this year (which I need to paint a lot of paintings for)
  • And, I’m beginning a challenge to draw every day this year

Who would like to join me? With that last challenge on the list I mean!!

I have done drawing every day challenges in the past; the longest one was about 2oo days. I have been looking back on the drawings I did during the challenge and remembering how worth while the experience was and seeing how much my drawing improved over those 200 days, though on most of the drawings I spent no more than a half hour on. The drawings in this post are from the Inktober challenge I completed last year.

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So, why?

  • Because regular practice is good practice and every day is pretty regular.
  • Because when I have to draw I can’t consider how I feel. I can’t decide that I will feel more like drawing tomorrow because today is the only day. That is one of the biggest reasons why people don’t get better at drawing, because they will do it tomorrow.
  • Because drawing every day will help with any creative blocks that do come up now and then. It will keep me creating, at least something, while I may feel totally uninspired.
  • Because sometimes I don’t think I have the time to just ‘draw for fun’ (as important as that is) and this will give me a time to be creative and explore different drawing ideas and also feel like I am achieving something bigger.
  • Because at the end of the year I will have a collection of drawings I can look back on and see how much I will have improved over the year. That is a really inspiring thing to be able to do!
  • Because the discipline of consistency and drawing a lot will help me to keep putting my ideas on paper. I have always identified with Da Vinci in this quote: “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”

That is the idea and the reasons and making it public now must only harden my resolve. So! Who would like to join me? Beginning 1st January 2017 to draw in any medium every day for 365 days!

I will share the best of my work on this blog from the challenge, but on my facebook page I will upload an image of every drawing I do throughout the year. Even if it is a total disaster, it is still a drawing.

Let 2017 begin!

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The Art of a Hut, a past project (a future book?)

Just over a year ago I had my very fist solo exhibition. I showed a collection that I had been working on for the last couple years. That was traveling to and tramping to about forty backcountry huts in the North Island of New Zealand. I named the project, The Art of a Hut. 

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I did so much work, traveled to so many new places, and wrote a heap about it on my old blog. It is a project finished and wrapped up except I still have so much of the collection of work, all framed so beautifully by my father and hanging like a memorial all over the walls in the spare room of my parents house.

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It’s sad for them to be locked up in that tiny room when there must be many people very familiar with a particular hut who would love to own an original drawing of it. So I have been contacting and connecting with tramping lovers through facebook groups, and it has been very nice to receive some lovely comments and inspire some people to draw in the bush themselves.

Since I began the project I have thought of writing a book about my adventures as an artist in the bush, and how I did it while earning no money, and how much I learnt about chasing a dream and making it live. The idea has haunted me! I have written down ideas and versions of drafts for a book, but this year have not worked on it. I felt a little discouraged and wanted a break from the huts to do other things. After all I was just married and living a new life! But the idea has not left me, and recently I became inspired again to write it, if only for myself. So the day after we bought a laptop I started writing and it has begun to pour out onto a blank word document.

I love writing and I am going to write this book for myself and write the kind of book I would like to read myself. Weather I ever publish it or not remains to be seen, but I am going to leave thinking about that for now and write. I won’t be doing it all at once, my main focus is on creating more art, but I want to keep consistently writing it all this coming year. Better watch out or I’ll bite of more than I can chew, already got a baby coming in April to occupy my time!

What gets an Artist Excited

Lots of things get an artist excited! But when it comes to selling work we aren’t excited about it until something happens. The thought of approaching galleries or advertising work is scary and we fear rejection. But if we are accepted, get into the gallery, or sell a piece, we get really excited. I might really be a real artist after all!

A few weeks ago, after a lot of egging on from my Dad, I rang a gallery and was welcomed to take in some work to show them. I chose four large paintings to take it, loaded them up in our dusty little car (gravel roads!), and took them into Masterpiece Gallery in Kerikeri.

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The owner happened to have just gone out when I arrived, but the lady working there sat me down and took my details and helped me with pricing the pieces. Then said I would have to wait for Ian’s decision and warned me that they already have too much artwork for the walls in their new gallery space. So I left my work their leaning up against the counter and tried not to be too hopeful.

Not long after I left I got a call from the gallery owner, Ian, who asked if I was still in town, would love to meet me, and my paintings were already on the wall. Now I got excited! When I walked back in two of my paintings were hanging facing the doorway. I chatted to Ian for a bit, a lovely and enthusiastic man who said positive things about my art and seemed hopeful that he could sell it! He likes to price the work in their quite low (from an artist’s point of view) so that work keeps moving and the strategy seems to be working for the gallery is doing well and there is always new work in there to enjoy.

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Currently two of my largest hut paintings are in the gallery. Murderer’s Hut and Rock’s Ahead Hut (above). So if you find yourself in the town of Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, New Zealand, be sure to go into the Masterpiece Gallery under the clock tower in the town center and check out my paintings, and all the other brilliant work in there.

Summer in Northland!

About a month now we have been in Northland and in the summer enjoying life in a little country cottage that we have been blessed to be able to stay at. It is an old cottage, that creaks and rocks when you walk across the floor. There are hundreds of sparrows nesting in the eves and in the trees around. The garden is beautiful with several rose bushes in full bloom, smelling wonderful and surrounded by a pretty rock wall. And the views in every direction are beautiful- so much open sky!

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I have begun doing some plein air paintings, a few smaller ones and a large one I painted from the kitchen window. Yet to have a photo of the finished painting, but will share that soon.

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