If you’ve been following my posts you will see that art is my thing. I didn’t get dad’s excellence in music. That’s OK. It took a couple of years though to come to that conclusion.
I was given my first guitar by a flatmate of mine years ago. I felt like ‘the cats pyjamas’. The thing was I really didn’t have a clue. D A G was about the size of it. I was strumming while ’round the campfire or impressing my young nephew with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I am even horrified to admit I took said guitar on a holiday to India. My poor fellow travellers.
Cringe factor aside what the experience did show me is that I love guitars. They’re very cool. They can be your muse.
When I was a kid in primary school you would get the ruler over your knuckles for being left handed. I was left handed. I was constantly drawing in the margin of my school books so lots of rapped knuckles! School wasn’t my finest hour but it didn’t stop my doodling. If anything I found solace there.
Don’t let your creations go to waste. Take your first step in turning doodles into artworks that you can proudly sell and display.
Collect your doodles in a scrapbook.
When you run out of ideas go through your doodle scrapbooks.
Don’t expect work you produce to be your usual style.
It was the 60’s when my mum, an artist and graphic designer, introduced me to butterfly symmetry paintings. I was just a ‘little tacker’. You put a couple of blobs of coloured paint on one side of a piece of paper, fold the paper in half and press down. You open it up and wallah! Out pops this totally colourist creation that you stuck on the window and watched dry.
I loved those butterfly paintings. I loved exploring the way colours combined and blended. No skill required, just a love of colour and enjoying the experience. That’s when my journey began with colour.
Now these many years later I find that using colour is just a natural part of my artistic journey. I love colour.
How do you turn something that you think doesn’t look OK into something that you can use?
As an artist there are times that you just aren’t inspired. I sometimes have a spare canvas to muck around with in the meantime. Let that other painting dry. Don’t make it worse.
Document as you go
I always bang on about making sure you document your work as you go. There are times where you won’t be inspired. You will just want to throw the work away. You think it’s no good. You might even want to slap some gesso over it and start again. If you document as you go there is always some design element that will fly. Some great designs and abstractions come out of the ashes.
Salvaging your disasters
We live in an age of technology. You can make all kinds of changes to your work digitally. You might have Photoshop, you might not. It doesn’t matter. There is still a creative element that can be salvaged.
Take this one for example. Lost in the Forest. It’s nothing to write home about. I was mucking around.
Now cropped and enhanced I am already seeing with different eyes. The gold is more pronounced in the flowers. It almost looks like something you could put in a children’s book. Sure it still needs reworking but now I can see something worthwhile. What else can be salvaged?
1. I am now going to seriously crop out a section (image 1).
2 I will then put it into Photoshop for a basic crackle pattern (image 2).
I have also seen some Word programs that you can play around with images like this.
I have always been a person that has painted larger artwork. What I found was that large art looks great at an exhibition but the practicalities of storage can sometimes be a nightmare. That is unless you have a studio. Large artworks become damaged, and if not hung, can begin to warp.
In 2017 I decided to try out miniatures on our summer holiday up the coast. Thus began a collection called Little Treasures.
I used small canvas on board that I imported from the U.S.A. They are small at 4″ x 4″.
Below are some artworks of my Australian Waratahs. I love their intricacies. They are so beautiful. Over the years, and through the various styles they have been created in, I still go wow.
My first Waratah was drawn in colour pencil over 25 years ago when I was studying fine arts at college. It is a small A3 size piece. (image 1)
Another signature piece was a large acrylic painting on stretched canvas. Sydney Waratah was first presented at a joint exhibition in Rose Bay in the early 2000’s as part of my botanicals series (image 2).
2017 saw a change in focus as I began exploring the use of smaller canvases. I shifted from stretched canvas to creating smaller pieces on board. The style of Waratah Sky (image 3) is different to the previous two works with bold edgy lines and colour. Surprisingly I found this more challenging than my larger pieces.
The final piece here is a bit less intricate. Almost a sketch where I have just pulled out a few colours in pen and coloured pencil. I like it’s simplicity. (image 4)
Hope you enjoy a few of these as much as I have enjoyed creating them.