Saturday, 30 August 2014

Tracy Verdugo Giveaway

Linky to Tracy's e-course 

Here is a different blog post for me.  This one is the opportunity to win a place on an amazing e-course with Tracy Verdugo.  How much would I love to win a place here?  I just love her art, its amazing.  So much so I ordered her latest book which arrived yesterday Tracy's Amazing Book

Go take a look, it will blow you away.  Just think, the chance to learn how to do this, Wowza!!!

I am off to place my entry now, if I was lucky enough to win I will sing it from the roof tops and you will all know about it.

But, here is the chance to share in that opportunity.  So good that when I last looked there was 91 others trying to win a place and I hope to be the 92nd, there are 3 places available.  So, dont delay - get yourself over here to take a look and enter.


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Anxiety, Depression and Social Media

Art Journal Page

Anyone heart that saying, "If you think nobody cares try not paying your mortgage for a month"? - Of course your bank/building society do not actually care about you at all, just about your money.  But.. how about trying this one.  Dont post, or 'like' on Facebook for a week and see who notices.  If like me, you have spent years spending each day trolling through and making sure your 100 or so contacts are all good, being sure to offer any comfort or support needed to each and every one of them... sharing in their grief and upset, being sure not to post about your own problems so as not to bore anybody, being sure not to even say much in order not to offend anybody........ sure I do not need to go on, any fellow anxiety sufferer knows all this already.
Art Journal page with collage

Out of all the contacts and 'so called' friends on my Facebook page there are only about 5 or 6 of them who are actually aware I suffer from depression, this is the first time I have made it public and as not so many read this blog (though I 'might' share it on Art101) its not likely they will.
What brought me to this confession here? well one reason was the sad death of the great Robin Williams, which at the very least should make this illness more public.  Secondly was a recent post by one of the artists in group 101, a fellow sufferer.  Lastly was the reason I was tipped over the edge last week by a contact on Facebook.  This person was not just a contact but someone I know in 'real' life and have supported for many years.  Needless to say she is no longer a contact or considered as a friend, of course she did not know how I was feeling but then she did not ask either, or consider my feelings in any way.  Some days later and a lot of thought maybe she has done me a favor? 
Large Canvas, work in progress...
Back to the point, so I have not posted or 'liked' on Facebook for five days now - I have not shown support, commented or been involved with anybody on (or off) social media.  So far how many people have noticed, after the years of support and concern.. the days of being so sad by what has happened in people's lives, who often I barely know...........  Okay I do have a couple more days to make it to the week but so far I have ONE person to thank, she knows who she is.
The same can be said for other media, I have done the same experiment on.

Before I go on (and on) any further I must get to what this has done for me, and hope this might do the same for others.  If you feel you can do the same experiment, and can cope with the fall out it might just help how it has for me.  I do not feel dejected or feel sorry for myself I just realised how much time I have wasted on others who are so self absorbed they have not even noticed - those hours per day I have wasted making sure everyone is ok and lending support that maybe was not needed by me? but has most certainly been a total waste of my time, and has affected my own well being.  If it was not for the art groups I enjoy on Facebook I would delete my account and never return.. now trying to work how best to improve things, first will be deleting a lot of contacts, but not sure what to do after that.........must say though............not reading my 'feed' each day is certainly making me feel better.

Before I leave today's confessional I would like to leave on a positive note.  I am currently reading two books that are a real revelation for anyone suffering from anxiety and depression, these are 'The Mood Cure' by Julia Ross, and 'Potatoes not Prozac' by Kathleen DesMaisons.  I am also reading an autobiography on Freda Kahlo which is just amazing, I have always loved her as an artist and cant wait to start the 'portraits with the masters' course in September as I know Jane Davenport is doing 'Freda'.  See, more time now without the social media thing...

Also doing much more art some of which will be added to my Etsy shop in the future, takes time though to cure and varnish things, then have them photographed and listed when I would rather be painting.  Here is my shop ETSY SHOP

One more thing (now I sound like Columbo) this was a great observation from an artist I watch on youtube also on the subject of social media, maybe she words it better than me The Frugal Crafter

Thank you to anyone who has read this far, and thank you to Iris who is usually the only person to comment:)

Monday, 4 August 2014

Artsy Blog Hop

Around the world Artsy Blog Hop

Image by Minerva Levinston
Borrowed from Iris Impressions

Today is my first blog hop, so lets hope I get it right – I was asked to join in by Stephanie from Two Raggy Doodles, you might want to read her blog post Here 

How Does My Creative Process work.

Well, there is a question I have never asked myself before, I just get on with it.. well I say that but often spend the entire morning looking at facebook and interacting with my fellow artists, especially those on the Art 101 group who are my favourite people and always an inspiration.  Not only showing our own artworks but also things we have seen around the internet or art books we simply must have to further our techniques. I do have rather a lot (is there such a thing as ‘too’ many?) art books.  But I just love to learn, never in all my 48 years have I loved learning so much, every day can be filled with new idea’s and colour.

When I have an afternoon free though I then try free myself from the computer, and go into my art room – I am very lucky to now have a large room filled with all my supplies and two large desks and a few easels for me to play with.  It is rare I do know what I am going to do in there, I might be feeling not so confident.. in which case I will open up my art journal – as there I can work for me, nobody needs to see what I do, its my free space.  If it’s a better more confident day I will work on a canvas in the hope it might turn into something I am happy enough to put up for sale, or to one side for a local exhibition which is one of my dreams.  At the time of writing I have thought of just working on paper for a while, as often I am really happy with what goes on in the journal but it is there to stay, on paper I could maybe frame my work or add it to my shop.  If/when I ever find out were I might even do some prints.. not quite got around to finding somewhere local to do those yet.

I think my creativity comes from what I see around in life, books or the computer.. I have such a poor memory it depends on what interests me enough to stay there when its time to get the brushes or pencils out.

How does my work differ from others of its genre.

I am not always so sure that it does. With seeing so much of others artwork around I often feel I am still similar to what is around me, and not quite found my own style as yet.  Many learner artists are in the same boat.  It is not something I worry about yet, as a fellow artist says ‘do what you enjoy’ is the most important thing and your style will emerge so that is how I look at it.  My style can change on a daily basis, but that is all part of the fun and enjoyment.  I saw an artist today say how she is not sure how her dream started she was just busy doing what she enjoyed – how wonderful is that? And she is very successful indeed.

What am I working on now.

I have recently developed a total addiction to collage, I am loving it.  Though I say collage this is more collage and mixed media, as I will collage the paper and then paint, or paint and then collage or mix the two, also adding inks and pencils.  I have almost every book on the subject, or on my wish list – I think there are about 4 left I do not own as yet, and I read and absorb everything on the subject each evening.  This is the first face I did, not perfect I know but I just loved the process and have many plans circulating in my head of collage pieces yet to arrive on the canvas or paper.  The whole subject totally fascinates me and I am admiring all the artists who work in this method.  I am attending a big exhibition in a couple of weeks and I know the collage part will interest me the most.

Why do you do what you do.

In short, because I love it.  A day without art is a day I rarely enjoy.  I feel very lucky that I can do this, my only regret is that I did not do it sooner and believed my art teachers who said ‘you are either born an artist or you are not’ followed by how sorry they were that despite my enjoyment I was NOT.  It was then another 30 years before I picked up a pencil – I hope no child is ever told that now.  Each day to look at a blank canvas or page is a delight.  Even waiting for the next exciting art book to arrive in the post is thrilling, the next must have art supply or colour of paint – I feel sorry for those who do not have such joy in their lives, and blessed each day that I do.

Lastly please check out my chosen blog hoppers, Lucy Brydon and Art by Jayde to learn more about them and share their process. 

I met Lucy through the Art 101 group, I have adored her work since I first saw it, and hopefully at our insistence she will soon make video of her process as I find it so fascinating and beautiful.

Jayde I have not known so long, but again admire her work especially her latest collection of a tribute to Klimt which is amazing, her blog is a delight to read too.

Thank you again to Stephanie from Two Raggy Doodles for inviting me to join the blog hop and talk about my art.