Feeling Better!

2010Article posted by Gilly

So, my exhibition is over and I’m over it! But confidence has been restored as five paintings have sold since the exhibition which has made me feel much better about myself.

It isn’t that I want to make a lot of money - although covering costs is always a good thing. It’s more about the validation of my work. Yes, I paint primarily for myself and I love to do it and no matter what I will never stop, but it is a boost to the ego when other people also enjoy the things that I paint, and that means so much more than the monetary gain. One of the paintings is now hanging in an office boardroom (fantastic!), another sold from Celtic Swan Gallery, the third from Mal’s Art Studio where the exhibition was held, and the others were private sales. So that meant a very Happy Christmas all round.

All of that makes me sound very egocentric, but probably the reverse is true. We artists are notoriously fragile and lacking in confidence and seem to need constant reassurance and encouragement!

I’ve been working on the demonstration article for ‘Australian Artist’ magazine and that is now complete, all of the text has been written and it just needs to be formatted and mailed. Hopefully I’ll get it away next week, then it’s just a matter of waiting to see when it will be included in the magazine. Probably a few months away, I should think. I’m quite pleased with the demo painting and I hope the editor will be happy with it as well. I’ve also finally prepared the paintings and profile to be sent to the web guru for Pastel Society of WA website, so should soon have a one-page gallery on that site as well. All of this work and I’m supposed to be retired!!!

I really have re-discovered pastels. In fact, at the moment I don’t want to be doing anything else. I’m loving how vibrant they are, the ease of application, the wonderful effects I can create, the way that I’m drawing all the time (my first love) and the velvety finish I’m achieving. My lovely daughter gave me a fabulous book for Christmas - Lesley Harrison’s ‘How to Paint Animals that Touch the Heart’. Her work is stupendous and very inspirational and I’m all fired up now to paint many more of my favourite animal subjects. (The book is actually out of print and my daughter had to search long and hard for it and pay rather large bucks for a copy.) Fortunately, when we return to Art Group at the beginning of next term a group project is to paint cats in pastel. My ‘pupils’ all have their own cat photographs ready but after I went through my albums to find an equivalent family moggy (it’s much easier to demonstrate techniques if we’re all painting similar poses and subjects), I decided that was too ordinary so I’ve substituted a wonderful tiger taken at a wildlife sanctuary. Well, it’s still a cat, isn’t it?

I’m also looking forward to beginning another watercolour as I haven’t painted one in ages and I’m scared I’ll lose the knack! Particularly as I need to plan another watercolour workshop soon which I’d promised for last year before time ran away.  So, for now, I’m packing the oils away. I’ve never felt really comfortable with them and they’ve taken up a lot of time. I really got pushed into using them at art group as so many people wanted help getting started in oils and it was simpler to show rather than try to explain. I will never put a brushstroke on someone else’s painting so prefer to demonstrate on something I’m doing myself.

I don’t have any commissions at the moment and am really enjoying the holiday season with no art groups or societies to attend. I can just do my own thing for a few weeks without stress. Hopefully, I’ll produce something wonderful! I always remember the old adage - my next painting will be my masterpiece!

Take care, dear Reader, and have a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.



Sally Hartley | January 31, 2010

Hi, I’m a friend of Mal Craig who introduced me to pastels, which I love.  I have been looking for a group which I could attend as I never seem to get the time to paint at home.  Am interested to know if you still have the group on Monday mornings, or if not another time.  I live in Greenmount which is not too far from Baskerville.
I have just looked through your website and have to tell you how wonderful I think your paintings are. You are certainly living my dream.  I saw your paintings in Mal’s Art Studio today and was very excited when the lady there said you may be having a workshop in April.  I would love to attend if at all possible.

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