Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Review

In reviewing what I've done in 2011, there are successes and forward movement and also some stagnation.  2011 has been one of my best years financially for art, despite a recession, with most work coming through online sales and commissions.

The creation of a local art group has been beneficial to have others to bounce ideas off and to produce group exhibitions.  This will continue into 2012 and hopefully expand.

I planned to create a body of work in the subject of water.  I did produce about 18 or 19 water-related pieces, but not enough in my mind to build a body of work, so more to add on that next year.  Time, or lack of, is always a challenge for me when balancing a full time job and pushing an art career hard too.

I wanted to increase the number of drawings produced and those have been minimal unfortunately.  I do sketch every day and always enjoy the process of drawing so much, but painting needs for exhibitions or otherwise seem to take precedence.  

Making time for the business of art as well as the production of art is essential and I've done a decent job on that in 2011.  I've created business cards twice a year, postcards on gyotaku, produced a book, The Gyotaku Project, in print form and as an e-book.  I keep my art resume, biography and artist statement up to date.  

Visibility was another area I wanted to concentrate on in 2011.  I made efforts to enter local juried exhibitions and had pieces selected for two.  I took part in two local group exhibitions and had a piece exhibited in Edinburgh at the Trees for Life charity fund raiser.   Other local opportunities slipped through my fingers due to work commitments and just not having enough time to coordinate entries.

I didn't manage to explore other outlets for card and reproduction sales, again a time factor.  There are only so many hours in the day and when I need to be able to meet and greet and show products to the market, my day job takes over.   More plans for that next year.

My aim for an exhibition proposal became just that. I created the proposal and image cd, but have not had time to research where I want to send it.  Aiming too high may be an issue with me.

Web Presence
In May I created a website to provide additional visibility and showcase my art besides my blog.  It continues to evolve and is updated as required.  A media and exhibition page also were created.  I pushed harder for a presence on Facebook and Twitter.   I have produced a year's worth of monthly newsletters featuring regular pieces and interviews with artists from around the world.

I have had successes and feel the year has gone well, despite not being able to fulfill all my goals.  I know the direction I'm heading in and will put that into words in the day or two.  I'll leave the last day of 2011 with a sample of paintings that I have produced over the past year.

Happy New Year and thank you for taking time over the past year to spend with me and my art. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Iced water

I took to the woods yesterday, wild and windy as it was.  There is a new bypass road opened a month or so ago and as I drive it in the morning, I see all kinds of opportunity for paintings.  By the water supply for Torbay, lines of trees are left standing, a wind and snow break for the bypass road and the little woods road that leads off into the forest, lake and beyond.  These trees are the remains of thinned out woods, stark, ragged and deprived of sun until now when the landscape was opened up.

I took a number of photos and have some concepts for new paintings.  I played around with some of them in Photoshop to see what I could come up with using various filters to produce effects that I may use in future paintings.

There is a thin layer of ice on the water and the sun would peep out from behind scudding clouds now and then allowing some reflections on the frozen lake between the trees.  This image is one that I created digitally from one of the images I took.  I liked the bluish tone, keeping that feeling of cold in the piece and altered it to a more turquoise colour.  I think I still like the first colour the most, which do you prefer?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pure Gold

  Pure Gold
3" x 5"   acrylic

Available for purchase here

A leftover gold foil wrapped chocolate was sitting in a bowl on the table, catching the light, so it seemed like a good idea for a painting.   These tiny chocolate drops made a fitting subject for a tiny canvas, this measuring just 3" x 5" and using the end of an acrylic palette.

Creating the tiny creases and shine from the foil is a challenge at this scale as detail isn't involved, more optical blending.  But I like the final result and may save a foil wrapped truffle from its fate a little longer to be preserved for posterity.

Monday, December 26, 2011



Snippets of time allowed me to finish 'dotting' this piece.  I'll straighten up the edges a bit, then its complete.  The original ornament hangs on the Christmas tree, even if its quite heavy.

The piece is about 5 x 7 on a 9 x 12 sheet of Bristol smooth.