A New Year Begins

2017Article posted by Gilly

It’s been four months since I last wrote my ‘blog’. I do not know where the time goes. And I haven’t been lazing around doing nothing, except on those 40ºC days and above when all one can do is sit and melt because even the artistic brain doesn’t function! Fortunately, this summer we haven’t had a lot of those. We’ve had some of the most amazing rain, ‘though, and for the first time in the 16 years I’ve lived in the Swan Valley, the river and tributaries have burst their banks and vineyards and paddocks have been flooded -incredible sights.

My article appeared in Issue No 150 of the Artist’s Palette in November last year and I was very pleased with it - ten pages of my paintings, text and the demonstration, and they even used one of my paintings on the front cover, which was a real buzz. So, worth all the effort.
And although none of my paintings sold at the St. Michael’s and All Angels exhibition that I mentioned in my last ‘blog’, my water-colour of wild rabbits did win The People’s Choice prize, so that was another happy little fillip.

Before Xmas I spent a day out with my good friend and fellow artist, Lynette Maisey, and we toured the Open Studios Art Trail in Mundaring, one of Perth’s lovely hills’ suburbs. It is so interesting viewing other artists’ work and work spaces which also included some wonderful pottery (had to buy a jug!) where we took some photos of the amazing kiln, the interior of which literally glowed with years of firing - idea for a painting! Also loved the beautiful calligraphy/scraffiti work of Judith-Ann, and the wonderful quirkiness of Neil Elliot’s sculptures and paintings. A fascinating day.

Also, before Xmas, my wonderful husband bought me a new car! Well, a 2014 model to replace my faithful year 2000 model, but this one is art-related because it’s an estate with fold-down back seats ready to carry a heap of paintings, particularly to my solo exhibition. I confess to shedding a couple of tears when my dear, old car had to be traded-in for the newer model. I’d loved driving that car and we’d fitted well together. This new one, with all sorts of bells and whistles, has taken time for adjustment on my part, but I’m beginning to enjoy driving it now.

Over the Xmas break I completed a small watercolour commission for a friend, she wanted a companion fairy wren for the one I did for her last Xmas. And my husband, impressed with the Porsche painting that I did for the friend in Ireland, (that turned out brilliantly, I was SO pleased and so was my friend’s husband when he received it for Xmas), asked if I would paint a similar composition of two Porsches that he owned when he was a young man in the United States. Not such an easy task as the photos he had were very small and faded and had been mounted in those old photo albums that used sticky pages, so not only had the glue seeped into the photos but they were stuck fast to the pages. However, I did manage to scan them into the computer and enlarge them, somewhat fuzzy, and he had a Porsche book that showed the same model as one of them so I was able to make sure I had the grilles and bumpers correct. So, I managed the painting, in watercolour, and mounted it in a pre-loved frame and he’s very pleased with it. It now hangs in our entry way next to the front door!

My ‘experimental’ painting with the modelling paste turned out OK, but I really think I prefer to create all of my textural effects with the paintbrush, so my subsequent painting of a beach scene with rocks and fallen trees saw me returning to my usual techniques and I felt much more comfortable and in control.

I had to meet with the curator of the ZigZag Gallery in Kalamunda - where I’ll be holding my solo exhibition - and she seemed genuinely appreciative of my style of painting and persuaded me to enter the Lions’ Club exhibition that was being held there during Jan/Feb. I did, and brought all three paintings home again, but I’m not too displeased as I need every painting I can gather at the moment as she’s asked me to present between 40-50 paintings for display!!! I think it will be closer to 40, especially as I sold two small pastels this week to a lady I meet when I’m dog-walking! She’d actually seen the paintings at the Houghtons exhibition and finally had the funds to buy them. So, I guess I can say, after all, that I did sell two paintings via Houghtons!!! But selling those means another two extra to paint! So I doubt if I’ll be entering many other exhibitions this year because it would be just my luck to sell and then have to paint even more! Never satisfied, am I?

Right now I’ve set myself another challenge, to paint the grandeur of the Kimberley ranges, an area I’ve never attempted before. This is in oils - I so love painting in oils - but I also have two small watercolour paintings commissioned for a lady in my Mosaics class who wants fairy wrens in one and a sooty owl in the other.  So, I’m keeping busy.

My wonderful daughter formatted the four new images I requested for my latest batch of greetings cards and they have now been printed so, to everyone to whom I send birthday cards etc., new ones on the way this year! I also toyed with the idea of having calendars printed with images of my paintings but investigation has revealed it to be financially impractical. I would need at least 500 to make it viable and there’s no way I would sell that many at my exhibition, so that idea has been abandoned.

And that brings me up to date again. Lots of work ahead of me, this year, but I’ll try to write another ‘blog’ again soon.

Keep those brushes swirling!  Gilly xxx


Anne Blake | February 26, 2017

Beautiful work as Always Gilly.  Particularly liked the painting of the Porsches, really well executed!

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