Thursday, January 3, 2013

Taking Exciting New Steps...

Here we are at the start of a new calendar year and I can't believe I'm about to enter my first art show!  Wow... how did that happen...??  : )

I've been very inspired by fellow alumni of the "Creative Courage" e-course who have done amazing things like found galleries and shops to sell their work, offered on-line courses of their own, pursued licensing opportunities and secured studio space outside the home.  But I didn't think I could do those things.... at least I didn't think I could to them yet (and I really can't say when I thought would be the best time, either!... lol...).  Fellow watercolour artist, Richard Wong (whose masa paper paintings I introduced you to a few posts back) had encouraged me to join some local art organizations and consider participating in some of their events.  Somewhere along the line, the inspiration and encouragement tipped the scales (in a good way!) and I submitted artwork that was accepted for a local art show in January.  The show is specifically for emerging artists.  Somehow that feels like a gentle way to dip my toes in the local art scene - to display my work along with other new artists who may just be as apprehensive as I am!

What pieces have I entered into the show...?  I thought you'd never ask...  lol...

First is an 11"x17" B&W photo of a maple tree.

I loved the backlighting and how it accentuated the trunk and branches.  When I look at the branches on this tree it reminds me of the branching nature of veins and arteries so I've titled this piece, "Patterns of Life."  

Originally there wasn't going to be a second piece entered, but just a few days before the deadline I finished this watercolour painting and decided I should enter it, too.

This watercolour is 6" x 12" on 140 lb Strathmore cold pressed watercolour paper and I've titled it, "On delicate wings".  Funny, but so many times before it was finished I quite nearly chucked this painting.  It seemed to go through an eternally "ugly" stage and it wasn't until I was nearly finished before I decided I was really rather pleased with how it was turning out.  That's a lesson for me - don't write a painting off too soon!

I tried something a little different with this painting and decided to leave the background with a soft washy look rather than painting in stems and leaves.  My thought was that the soft, blurry background would focus more attention on the detailed wing patterns.  I also tried some different paints.  

One new materials was the Shinhan brand of Sap Green that I used along with my regular Winsor & Newton, Da Vinci and Veniza watercolour paints.  I've read that the Shinhan watercolour pigments are suspended in something other than Gum Arabic and that they behave a bit differently.  While my initial impression is that they do behave a bit differently, I'll have to try the brand again to really know how much differently they behave. What I am pleased with is how intense the Sap Green colour was - it was really a challenge to water the paint down enough to get a light green. 

In the picture above, the Art Bars and paint tube are sitting on a "test piece" on which I tested whether the Shinhan Sap Green would "play nice" with my other watercolour paints.  I love how intense the dark Sap Green is while still maintaining some translucency. 

The other new material I used was some Derwent Art Bars (water soluble).  They are amazing!  Derwent Art Bars and Inktense pencils are going to be a permanent part of my watercolour painting kit.

So that's my exciting news for the start of this new calendar year.  Let's hope the viewing public like the pieces I've entered into the show.  If you happen to be in the Victoria, BC (Canada) area please visit the show!  It's running from January 9 - 20, 2013 at the Coast Collective, 3221 Heatherbell Road.  

I've also checked out upcoming shows... who knows, I just might get brave enough to enter more!

Thank you to everyone who has directly encouraged me or indirectly inspired me to enter this art show.  A special thank you to Stephanie Levy for her "Creative Courage" e-course as it and the support I've found in the discussion group that grew out of that course have greatly contributed to me having the courage to participate in this art show! 

So, what's everyone else going to do that's creatively brave?
: )  Fern