It has been a while since I posted and as the year is coming to a close, I am thoughtful on what has happened in the past year. Early this year I decided not to continue teaching classes through my studio and to focus on my art.
I also joined the Stonetown Arts art group in St. Marys. I have also accepted a position of Gallery Assistant at the St. Marys Station Gallery. I have redesigned their website, maintaining their social marketing and help the curator, Cameron Porteous in assisting in the promotion of the gallery.
I was on a board of a non profit for over 12 years where I designed and maintained all their web and print needs. As I was nearing the end of my tenure, others took over my duties there. For the last 5 years, I have been looking for something to be a part of and to utilize my wide skill set and found a very exciting connection with Stonetown Arts and the St. Marys Station Gallery.
Next year shows promise of a sharper focus on my art. I have a 5 week show at the Station Gallery this January with my friend and fellow artist, Deb Dicker.
I am looking forward next year after the show to play with my fluid acrylic art. There is another Paint Battle in London next March that I hope to be part of again.
Next fall I have chances of selling my art with in September being at the Thorndale Fair, and later that fall at the Stonetown Arts Show and Sale and the Thorndale and Area Artisan Tour in Nov. for those looking for Christmas gifts.
It has been a while but I feel content that I have been making choices that follow my heart and are leading me to path that balances my personal life and my art.
As the concept goes, if you write it down, it will have a greater chance of happening so that is the impetus of this post.
I wish everyone a safe and warmth filled holiday season and all the best in 2019.
I was asked recently as to what directs me as to what I will paint. As someone who teaches, I thought this to be a really good question. What choices do I make before creating a piece of work? For my latest painting, I took the photo on the left below, on our trip to Alberta. This image was taken in Jasper. In this case, I loved the layering of the ground, trees and background.
As it is quite evident, my interpretation includes much different colours than the original, that's my artistic esthetic. I tend to work in strong colours and I am working towards being free-er with my paint and brushstrokes. As an illustrator who loves to draw realistically, I find it difficult to do at this time. That's the fun though, always pushing myself to get outside my comfort zone.
I have many paintings that I will be creating this fall from my travels this summer in Ontario and Alberta and with influences from art and architecture that I saw in Paris and Prague. This has been an exceptional year for travelling and I am looking forward to getting in front of my easel to put the ideas in my mind onto the canvas.
If you ever have a question for me as to my process, do not hesitate to ask.
I have always admired seeing street artists create beautiful images with chalk. Last year I met with Will Graham of Neon Crab tattooing and when he mentioned that he was a judge with the Expressions In Chalk event at Ribfest in London, I told him that I would love to get involved. I contacted them in the spring and was asked to send an image of what I was thinking of creating. A while later I was accepted as an artist for this summer's event.
My experience as a first timer is incredibly positive. The organizers and volunteers were amazing. The other artists were all welcoming and we helped each other on the morning of the first day to chalk out our squares. I have made friendships already and hope to see those I saw this year, back again next year (yes, I am hooked).
As Will stated over the weekend, it's not just about the artwork, it's also about the physical stamina that you need to stay out for 2 days from 8am to 6 pm to finish your piece. This year we encountered 40 degree weather. On saturday, there was almost no wind and we were out in the open. Sunday had a but more breeze which was better but the temperature was about the same.
I thank all the organizers, sponsors, volunteers and fellow artists for letting me feel like I found a new family. I am proud that I made the weekend with taking almost no Advil and I actually had a bounce in my step the morning of the second day. Not bad since I went out Saturday night and went to bed at 11 pm. I often preach that as we get older, we can continue to be active. This was one the main reasons I wanted to do this. to show to myself that a 52 year old has what it takes to participate and finish a piece under these conditions. I look forward to next year and create something memorable.
I have through the years had many discussions on the need for students, especially girls to get into STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering and Math) based programs. I personally like to focus on STEAM (where the Arts are included in the mix).
I came across an article recently, stating how creative thinking is needed more in schools and children need to play and be creative thinkers. The spoon fed method of teaching called rote memorization has created students who find it difficult to create new ideas.
This actually made me think of my want to move from doing Paint Nights, where everyone essentially paints the same image to teaching creativity where everyone create their own unique piece.
Fortunately I taught design thinking for 10 years and now I have the opportunity to instead of applying it to digital design, I am working on courses on how to help non artists to be creative and current artists to stretch their knowledge. I am now working on creating those courses. I have already been teaching Intro to Painting for Non Artists which has been very well received. My plan is to build on this introductory course and expand from there.
My focus is on teaching adults and seniors and my plan is to offer to retirees a creative outlet for them to explore.
I am so blessed to be able to help others to be creative and to show non artists that they are not limited by their lack of prior knowledge.
Intuitive Painting is a method to explore your own thoughts and ideas in a critic free environment and to tune into your own inner voice. This is a huge one for me and I am sure is for most people. You are allowed to nurture yourself and learn techniques to express your thoughts and feelings. This approach to painting is focused on mindfulness, creative permission and the act of spontaneous expression.
Creativity in it's many styles, stems from the strong belief that it is fundamental to a person's health and well-being. To let go of our pre conceptions is one of the most important part of the process, and the most uncomfortable, at first.
I am so excited to follow this path. Who wants to join me on this adventure?
In London, Kathy Smith is the first Creative Age ambassador and from what I can see, she is the first in Canada. I achieved my accreditation this past Sept. and look forward to working in the community to foster creative endeavours for seniors. Since last spring, I have been fortunate enough to go to senior's homes and teach painting classes. I look forward to growing in my participating of helping, not only seniors, but adults as well on learning how to paint and draw. I have started this by offering classes through my studio. I have some Learn to Paint classes which are running but I plan to add half and full day seminars as time goes on. This is my focus for many years into the future. I am so fortunate to have a studio where I can not only teach but create my art.
There are those who aren't allowed to play with creativity at a young age and that when they are older, have such a yearning that they follow their heart. I have many fine art friends who create beautiful work and took up their art in adulthood and are successful.
Others have worked in their office jobs all their life and once retired, have decided to start exploring their creativity.
Everyone has their journey. As a person who was given all the latitude to explore my creativity growing up, I want everyone to have what I have which is an opportunity to explore their own creativity.
I have started a Learn to Paint for non painters and the feedback has been amazing. The people who sign up are brave in that they are giving themselves permission to enter into something that they have no knowledge of. When they leave, I see the spark of excitement of learning more.
I am a member of Creative Age, a group focused on creativity in senior years. My mandate is to be teaching for the next 20 years from my studio and at various locations. I taught design at Fanshawe for 10 years and am a graduate of BealArt and Fanshawe Design. I have a passion for teaching and I task anyone reading this post to consider their interest in the creative arts. I specialize in drawing and painting but there is also dance, yoga, theater and other art forms to choose from.
There are so many psychological/physiological reasons why creativity is helpful to the aging person that only help with their quality of life.
Pick one that excites you. Pick a bunch, much like a buffet and see which one keeps your interest.
I am so thankful the 2017 and the opportunities that appeared to me at the end of the year. That is why I am so excited for 2018. I have a platter of options to choose from and I look forward to seeing which ones are most prominent by the end of this year. My path isn't precise but that's ok. I am at a point where I am very open to new opportunities. I don't have to know the end game, I just know that it won't be boring.
I set a goal at the beginning of this year from an income standpoint, and I reached it by the end of this October.
My teaching at retirement homes is going well and am looking forward to new locations in the new year.
I have also been playing with a new art form for me (acrylic pouring). I still will do more realistic, or representational paintings and illustrations because I do enjoy that too.
My aim for next year is to increase my art courses and one day seminars. That with my retirement home classes, I will be as busy as I choose to be. I am very grateful for my community at supporting my business. It has been a great surprise that I have had so many clients from London, Ilderton, Lucan, (Port Dover!), Thorndale, St. Marys and other smaller towns. I have a beautiful studio in my home perfect for hosting paint events and at create art.
I never anticipated it at the beginning of the year that I would have 2 businesses showcasing my artwork that are for sale but here I am. I am considering creating art and having them shown in a gallery by the end of next year.
When I decided to take my destiny in my own hands and make my business work a year ago (yes, I started all this exactly one year ago), it was one of the best decisions of my life.
Thank you to everyone who has been with me on my journey. Hugs to all.
Am I grateful? Absolutely. I look forward to 2018 and all the opportunities that it presents.
This blog is to showcase my ongoing work.