As a student of art, I was always inspired by Monet and our Australian Impressionists and sculptures by Michelangelo. Today, I am inspired by many artists and different types of art. I even did pottery for some time and my father-in-law built me my own wheel back in the early 1990’s.
I’ve recently created a beautiful and inspiring space in the house to paint. I set up a candle, fill my painting table with flowers for inspiration and sit in the window with my favourite music on. I have the most gorgeous view of my garden and the sun shines in on me. Its an inspiring space and I relax every time I walk in. I usually have several dogs sitting around me, so its a special creative warm space. I can leave things out and no need to move them (except when the cat drinks my brush water)!
I cannot draw to save myself and I am absolutely crappy at eyes!! I get sledged by the family for my creepy eyes still, so I’ve decided to paint them closed until I get better….work in progress there! I started by just hitting the paper fresh and now I try to give myself some pencil points to focus on prior to getting the brush wet.
Negative space is really challenging. Watercolour is very fluid and your paint can move around the paper very quickly. It doesn’t take much to use a brush stroke and fill a section accidentally and it’s virtually impossible to correct. Using the white background is very effective in building structure in an image, but it takes discipline to leave it empty.
I do love to set aside time to walk in and not be disturbed. Sometimes I’ll just do an hour or so and some days, I’ll spend most of the day developing something. Start a piece, allow it to dry and then develop it more. I can be inclined to go too far sometimes and need to learn to pull back.
I think I’m most satisfied with my painting of the Gerbera. I used a few new techniques and about 7 brushes and was disciplined enough to do a practice of the petals half way through to see if a certain brush stroke and brush size would improve the piece. Normally I just go hammer and tongs and see what the end product is after 3 or 4 updates (as each layer dries). I love to take photos of each step to see how I’ve developed the layers and remind myself of where I started. I’m always fascinated seeing the results afterwards. Like zooming into an image, there is so much more to see when you stop to really examine the light and dark in an object.
To date I’ve hoarded them. I plan to frame a few bigger ones and gift them…but a long way to go before I feel comfortable sharing them. I’ll use the A5’s for cards for now (if I can part with them). I am going to try and paint some images to use as labels for my preserves and jams and honey from the farm. Looking forward to have a distinct focus for the next series of pieces.