Yes I know, it's been a few months since my last update. No apologies this time tho. In my last post I mentioned I'd just bought us a home of our own. I knew this would be a biggie for me but I'm pretty sure I might have seriously underestimated just how emotionally overwhelming it would be (OMG but what if I don't like it there). While the whole world was telling me how very excited I must be I spent 8 weeks so mentally exhausted I became physically ill.. far out it was tough. But.. as the lovely lady who cleared my shakras told me (yes I was willing to try anything : ) I'm not one who goes off the rails easily (honestly she could see a train hurtling along with walls on either side so it couldn't derail.. funny!). I just kept going. I read somewhere once "God damnit I just don't have time for the nevous breakdown I so deserve"... that's honestly how I felt.
Anyhow.. thankfully it's all a blur now (literally : ) and we've settled in nicely thank you! And of course I love our home (OMG the relief : ) I especially love having a home of my own. That feeling of belonging somewhere again is so ridiculously awesome I even wake up smiling again.. so so nice! My journey since the day I left my marriage to the day I walked through my own front door has been incredibly tough but I made it.. I'm kinda pretty proud of that. Now I feel like I've arrived.. fiiiiinally! Hopefully there'll be no more train trips for a while.. lol.
Here's some of my new digs...
And this is the before and afters of my kitchen dresser which my Dad cleverly recrafted from a hidious old corner tv cabinet and I cleverly painted.. 6 coats and loads of patience but well worth the effort I think : )
And now for my art news... You may recall I also mentioned my Grow & Believe Exhibition in my last post which took place at Gemelli Estate during June, yes.. right in the middle of the nervous breakdown I didn't have : ) Needless to say I didn't get as much painting done as I'd hoped. They keep selling and I have to keep painting more... terrible dilemma : )
I did manage to squeeze this one out. It's titled GLOW because it really does.. maybe I was willing myself to do the same : ) It's available in my gallary if you like or you can see it in person at Gemelli Estate.
This is my latest and my very first in my new home and studio. Aptly named My Oasis it will be available for sale real soon... just Contact me in the meantime if you like : )
And I've sold these.. WOW!
Aaaand my most precious painting yet "Tulips With Attitude" (below) was purchased by a most amazing man whom I met just before purchasing my home. Somehow he's been able to overlook the fact that I was a crazy woman for 2 months, support me at my worst and find a way into my heart. Unbelievably, he has gifted my painting back to me. WOW.. so so kind! It now hangs pride of place in my loungeroom and reminds me every single day that I can create amazing art, that I deserve to be loved and that there are amazing kind hearted generous loving and supportive men in the world... and I've found one : ) Thank you for absolutely everything Greg xxx
Oh yes, almost forgot to mention... I was contacted by Angora Gallery, a contemporary fine art gallery located in New York's Chelsea art district asking if I would be interested in exhibiting!!!!!
Holy mother of the art Gods is all I have to say about that atm! I'll keep you posted.
So that's me for now I think. With all that behind me I kind of feel like there's nothing stopping me and my art now which is very exciting. I'll keep you posted on that too.
And just one final note to finish on... don't ever ever ever ever ever give up on your dreams : )
Seems life has taken over again and I'm finding little time to do anything but try to keep up. Lots of new and exciting things happening. I won't bore you with full details for now except to share that "OMG I BOUGHT A HOUSE !". More on that later.. once I get my head around the fact that OMG.. I actually bought a house!!! My house.. a beautiful home of our own! How unbelievably amazing is that!
And... I was invited by Rebecca at Gemelli Estate to show and promote my art in the "Wine & Art Trail" which is run during June as part of the Hunter Valley Food & Wine Month. This is very exciting.. I even have my name and title "local Singleton artist" in print, so I guess that makes it official now :) And a banner with my art on it... still pinching myself! A thousand thank you's to Rebecca at Gemelli for her support and belief. The exhibition is aptly named Grow & Believe and runs right through June...
Painting time has been delegated to 'fit in around everything else'. Have to say though I'm really happy with the strokes I made and feel like I've finally got this art thing happnin :) Head over to my gallery for more details if you like.
...and drum roll!!! My personal all time favourite!!! Love love love it.
And I have sold these which is mind blowingly awesome, one of which is heading to the US and another to England to remind the owner of her sunny days in Australia... how good is that!!!
This week I created my very first range of prints. They are 'Digitally designed from my original acrylic on canvas artworks, printed using archival inks and individually signed'. I've been wanting to try this creative process for a while and am excited to see how they are received and hopefully look at improving and expanding my range down the track.
Available at Gemelli Estate or just email me if you like.
So between my house purchase, my exhibition and of course (for me) the inevitable roller coaster ride of excitement and fear, faith and self doubt, and a good healthy dose of anxiety thrown in just for good measure.. my brain has not been a great place to hang out of late : ) but we're hanging in there and learning to get along again! Because amidst all of that I'm well aware that I'm blessed in so many ways and I can't wait to create our new home with my boys.. I'll try to remember to take pics so I can share all the fun along the way.
Grow and believe.
Ok super quick update time because apparently we did have a February.. I must have blinked :)
Finished this one...
I started it back in October as part of Flora Bowley's Bloom True E-Course... lots of different layering techniques and mark making. I've included a before shot because my Mitch loved it so much at the before stage he got quite angry when I told him I was going to paint over most of it... took it to his room and wouldn't give it back :) So it's been in limbo for a while waiting for the right time to evolve. It's time had come! I titled it Hello Sweet Mojo because I reckon maybe I've finally found mine :) my mojo I mean, it's been missing for a while now. And I reckon it shows through in this painting.. so light and bright and carefree. Love it!
And this one...
Titled Eclectic Success.... because it's like my Nan's wallpaper, my Mum's tablecloth and my vase with some funky flowers... somehow they all seem to work nicely together though don't you think?
I went "down the river"!!! Big whoop I hear you say. Not for me! So much of my childhood was spent "down the river"... we lived right across the road from a beautiful spot along the Hunter River. It was my families play ground... so many amazing memories! And the first home I owned was also right across the road from another stretch of the same river... during the 25 years we lived there I spent many more wonderful hours "down the river" with my boys creating amazing childhood memories for them too.
When my marriage crumbled and we had to sell up our home I lost my beautiful river :( I haven't been back since. Not because I didn't want to.. it just hasn't happened. So we went back to "our river"... the same stretch my boys grew up at. It was quite emotional for me... like coming home again. I'd forgotten, or perhaps taken for granted, how incredibly beautiful and serene it is down there, and just how big a part of me belongs there. I could have just sat there on that little stretch of sand forever. We can't wait to get back there, next time with a picnic basket and our fishing rods.
I found this gem...
I have never been a fan of Jim Carey, more proof you should never judge a book by it's cover. And that painting! Who would have thought! I'm still not a huge Jim Carey fan but he now has my admiration and respect in bucket loads.
Warning!!! If like me you're not a huge Jim Carey fan be sure to skip to the 10min mark.. that's where the good stuff begins.
And I painted this one for the Beyond Blue Charity Day organised by a lovely local family who have had their share of tough times. I called it Plant Happiness and sent it off with all my love and support for those who need it most. I hope it found a happy home :)
So that was my Feb... a quickie but a goodie :)
Tried my hand at some pallet knife painting... flowers of course. I'd heard the trick with using a pallet knife is to plan, use loads of paint, be brave and go for it. And so I did...
Did I mention I've finally finally received a pre-approval for a loan to buy us a home of our own? Yeaaaah!!! While I simply cannot wait to find the perfect little place to make perfectly my own, a limited budget means "little" is literal and my list of "must have's" is getting smaller by the inspection. Finding the right place in the right area at the right price is proving to be a little (lot) tricky.
Never mind though.. not a bad challenge to have I guess. I've been doing lots of dream building and creative visualising, now it's time for the universe to do it's thing. "Ask, believe, let go, receive. Ask, believe, let go, receive". This is a few pages from my Dream House File...
I sold these three paintings. Huge thank you to the purchasers, Rebecca at Gemelli Estate and the Art Gods (sorry no link available :) for their support...
I recall this time last year I spoke about my hope and excitement for the year ahead. It had been three years since my marriage break down, things were much calmer, the house, the finances, the settlement, the court battles, the boys battles... all the incredibly difficult and traumatic stressful heartbreaking stuff was done, dealt with... the horrible hard yards were behind me. Or so I thought. Apparently there was one last hurdle... myself.
Deep down I always knew this day would come.. the fear of facing it had been lurking inside me since the day I found the courage to leave. My life had been so difficult for so long (over 15 years), dealing with it had become my comfort zone. I knew once all the bad, sad, tough stuff was gone so too would my safety net, my out, my excuse for not stepping up and creating a better life for us. No excuses now. Just me. My moment of truth. Holy crap!
I felt incredibly vulnerable, raw, naked, inadequate, scared and totally overwhelmed by the emptiness of my life and how I could ever possibly fill it with happiness again. I have never felt so alone. Do I have what it takes to do this on my own? What if I don't? What if I can't? What if, what if, what if??? Anxiety engulfed me. Suddenly I was back fighting for some sort of normal. Something to hold on to, a foothold to stop me from falling and never getting up again.
Enter Kelly Rae Roberts... an angel in the shape of an awesome artist and creative business woman with a truly beautiful soul. Once again the universe had thrown me the perfect life line at the perfect time.
Yaaay... I'm back! Wow... in a blinding flash of beautiful chaos another Christmas has come and gone. And may I say, for the benefit of any other highly sensitive, extremely introverted, single working mothers... "Hal-le-lu-jah, thank God it's over!!!"
I know.. not very merry of me but what can I say... to be honest Christmas just isn't an easy time of year for me. I try hard to hold on to the magic but it tends to vanish into end of year overload by mid December and I'm counting the sleeps till Boxing Day. The season brings with it an exhausting (and expensive) mixture of lovely highs and depressing lows that I'm still trying to process and learn from in the hope that I can do it all a little better next year. And no matter how grateful and blessed I feel the eve before, Christmas Day itself somehow has a way of unearthing the lonely in me, underlining and highlighting it with added exclamation marks by the end of the day !!!
This year as part of my survival tactics I decided it wise to give myself some extra breathing space... along with the stockings and mistletoe I decided to also hang up my paints and artistic ambitions, just until after Christmas of course. To be honest I needed an artistic break, some time to let all that I'd learnt in the previous 3 months settle in to my being and hopefully meld into something unique to me. I cannot wait to get started again and see what emerges in 2015.
I do hope your Christmas was filled to overflowing with that special jolly magic that only Christmas can bring. If not I hope you know that it's ok, I hope you've done your best to feel the spirit... that's all we can ask of ourselves. In the words of Eric Sevareid... As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, then Christmas is. Now dust yourself off and get on with creating a better year ahead. That's my plan.
Bring on 2015 !!!
Don't worry... Christmas is always full of fruit cakes :) Phillipa Cullen... lol
We are very fortunate to have a fantastic little art shop here in Singleton aptly named “That Little Art Place”. It has an amazing range of products at very reasonably prices, and the owner Lisa is so supportive and generous. They recently ran a competition for artists again aptly name “Peepers” for which we were supplied with a little gessoed panel with our brief which was to create eyes using the medium of our choice.
I of course left it until the night before deadline and had little time to spare and little to lose so decided to throw something together using my amazing Liquitex Acrylic Inks. The art gods must have been smiling on me that night because the result just seemed to flow so easily from me and without boasting too much I do loooove my little eyes...
I gave them the title “Behind The Masquerade” because many of us (me) have learnt to hide the pain we feel inside by putting on a bright and happy persona… I did it for oh so many years. I will never forget one Christmas the place I worked at did this lovely thing where they sent a card for each staff member to all the other staff members and we had to write something nice about each recipient in their card… it was a lovely idea. When I received mine it was full of messages like… so bright and cheerful, always happy, always smiling. Little did they know how desperately unhappy I was.
But I think, underneath the brave and happy smiling face, behind the masquerade, the eye’s always tell the story and I think I captured that in my painting which is what I like most about it.
Take the time to look into the eyes of those you care about when you casually ask them how they’re going… that’s where the true answer lies. Then, if you don’t see that happy sparkle.. you know, the one that can only come from a truly happy heart... ask again.
Oh and a nice little footnote… I sold my little eyes to the lovely Lisa at “That Little Art Place” who loved them too and will display them in her shop if you want to see :) Thanks for all your support and encouragement Lisa xx
Phew… I loved my 50th birthday celebrations but it’s also nice to be over that particular hill so to speak :) Aaaah… time to paint again and get on with living my dreams.
As I mentioned in previous posts I rather ambitiously (and insanely:) signed up for three E-courses by my three fave artists all at once and have been frantically trying to keep up with each for the past 6 or 8 weeks. I firstly completed Kelly Rae Roberts Hello Soul Hello Mixed Media Mantras which I looooved, then began Tracy Verdugo’s Paint Mojo and Flora Bowley’s Bloom True E-Course’s, both of which I’m about half way through, again I am just loving every ounce of both these course.
I’m learning soooo much, artistically and personally. Kelly Rae, Tracy and Flora are not only amazing artists, they are also such beautiful, creative, passionate, inspiring, ambitious, kind and giving souls. Their presence in my life right now is pure joy and divine timing... thank you again universe.
So besides partying :) here’s what I've been up to of late…
Lots and lots of layering and letting go. No plan, no expectations, no mistakes. Nothing but me, my paint and my fave music… bliss!!!
Ps. I feel the need to mention... none of these are anywhere near finished... all 5 of my current works are very much still in various stages of "the middle", as cleverly depicted in the illustration below which I can very much relate to! Except mine would be much much longer. Also known as 'the ugly teenage stage'... because every painting (and everyone :) goes through it.
Lots of noticing and sketching the world around me… shapes, colours, lines, the micro and macro. Wow… loving this!! We overlook and take sooooo much for granted. There really is magic and inspiration all around when we remember to look for it...
Lots of other fun creative stuff...
Not much time for much else… I promise my crazy layering techniques will morph into ‘something’ in the coming weeks. I have no idea what which is what makes it so fun and exciting. Stay tuned :)
Oh and I've sold some paintings at my exhibition at Gimelli Estate which is major exciting!!! Including this one to a lady holidaying from the USA who loved my art and is having it shipped back home… how good is that?! :)
October certainly has been kind to me. Life is good :) something I don’t take for granted and am truly grateful for. I hope November is equally kind to you too.
Yes… apparently I turned 50 last weekend. I don’t feel it and I’m told I don’t look it but we celebrated it anyway. It was very nice… a little gathering of 20 close family and friends for a relaxed Sunday lunch at my very fave WOW Café and Floristry (where I work). Delicious gourmet finger foods, surrounded in flowers, red polka dot cushions and lots of bubbles of course… very me! Plus a few lovely dinner dates with those who couldn’t make it. It was a really really lovely week. I feel blessed and younger if anything… I received so many beautiful compliments and kind words.
And I found the most perfect little sun dress to wear (cause that’s most important :)… the print was so lovely and painterly, I was even asked if I had designed it myself.
Here’s a few pics…
As far as turning 50 goes… I feel better now within myself than I have for soooo many years so I really don’t mind what number is attached to my life. What is much more important to me is that I find a way to take all the amazing lesson’s I've learnt from the last 50 years and use them to make the most of the next 50 (and beyond :) and along the way help as many others as I can to do the same.
I've been through and overcome some pretty rough times but looking back now I wouldn't change any of it… it’s been my journey and those were the lessons I needed to learn to finally find myself and create my own happiness instead of relying on someone else. I won’t settle for anything less than what is right for me now.
It seems my life at the moment is a lot like my paintings… a blank canvas, my boys are always the first layer but after that I have no idea how it will end up… I’ve learnt to be ok with that which feels amazing! Each day is another layer filled with beautiful possibility. I just have to keep adding layers, let go of expectations, enjoy the process and trust that in the end something beautiful will emerge. I can do that!
It’s very exciting! Thanks so much to all of my wonderful lovelies who made me feel so special this week. Bring on the next 50 I say!
I won't tell you the details of Tracy's amazing techniques, you'll have to do the course for that. But I will share with you a few of my poems. I did four because the process was just so much fun and I amazed myself with each one... it was a little addictive actually. Plus I don't expect I'll ever do it again I let myself totally enjoy it. Here's my faves....