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a quick update...

Hi everyone, just thought I would update you all on what I have been doing in the studio. After finishing a big commission I took a moment to think about where I was heading next with my art practice. My big news is that I have been successful in gaining an artist residency for 2019 in Scotland - I am terribly excited. I have a month on the Island of Skye and then a month on the Shetland Islands - chosen specifically for their stormy moody weather, I am sure I will be seeing lots of grey and clouds and storm fronts - YAY! Even though it is ages away, I have been really having to think and refine my proposals for these residencies and I think it makes you reflect on what you want to achieve in the next year.

Note - Ok, had to include a pic of where I get to spend a month next year - the little purple building with the red shutters - all mine (well for a month....)

At the moment, I am exploring a wide range of mediums. Working in oils, watercolours, encaustic wax, charcoal and ink - I am really aiming to extend my knowledge of all of these mediums. Working on paper, canvases I have constructed myself, working on panel, drawing skills, plein air skills, life drawing and so on - really trying to push myself with getting better across different areas. I guess in one way, the idea of the residency is what is pushing me. Preparing myself so that I have a range of skills and mediums that I can choose from in the moment when I am there, not restricting myself to just working in the studio, or just working from photos etc. Its quite exciting and I feel that I am on a bit of a learning curve at the moment. However one aspect of a learning curve is being acutely aware of how much there is to learn and how much better I need or want to be - sigh...

Anyway - One of these steps forward has been to paint plein air in public. While I have painted plein air before, this has mostly been on isolated beaches or quick discrete sketches that are not designed to draw attention to my work. Last month I spent a few days in Fremantle and used my watercolours to paint in public - right there on the streets of Freo. I was so nervous until I realised that no one really cares what other people do - a few glances at my work but nothing too scary... A big step forward for me!

Some pen and wash sketches from Freo...

Another step forward has been my painting in wax. After a wonderful workshop with Carly Le Cerf from Mount Barker late last year, I must admit I have been slow to get started with this medium. I don't think I knew what I wanted to paint using the wax as it is definitely different from my oil painting. However, I feel like I am starting to find my groove with this medium - finding my own voice and just really having fun with it. Much more abstract and loose to work with, I love the accidental marks and the way that the wax sort of does its own thing along the way.

Anyway - hope that has bought you up to speed somewhat ... lots happening in the studio and loving it... October will see Open Studios come around again - would love to show you everything I have been working on in my little studio space...


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