Monday, August 31, 2009

Motivation Monday

September...humm, are you ready?

Tomorrow we enter the final quarter of 2009. Amazing isn't it? Are you ready for a fresh start?

September is a great time to shift gears and to get into new routines. New beginnings are all around us. Children and young adults return to school. Vacations are over and a new season of recreational activities start up. There is a sense of change outside our doors as the daylight hours get shorter and the leaves start turning colour. There is also a sense of change inside our homes as we look at our calendars once again filling up with activities.

This is a perfect time to review your goals. What had you hoped to accomplish in 2009? As you revisit your list, start to think about the 122 days you have until January 31st. Review and refresh your plans. Maybe you have new priorities and interests. Perhaps you need to prune out some of those goals and ideas that can wait until next year.

Feeling overwhelmed by our tasks can cause our motivation to vanish. One way to feel less overwhelmed is to get organized. I suggest you grab a cup of your favourite beverage and sit down with a pen and a sheet of paper. Think about what is really important to you. Perhaps you would like to sign up for a fall class or perhaps now is a good time to join that local art group you have been meaning to check out. Whether you are making a fresh commitment to sketching more often, carving out regular art time, getting more exercise or healthy eating, September is a great time to refocus our direction. There are a whole 122 days ahead...I encourage you to 'seize the day' in these last four months of 2009. May these be the most satisfying days and weeks of the entire year. Go for it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

new wip and a botanical artist

WIP untitled, Coloured Pencil on Stonehenge, 5 3/4" x 15"
Copyright Teresa Mallen

Here is my latest work in progress. Peony leaves instead of rose petals! :-) With a width of under 6" and a height of 15", you can get an idea of how I wanted to crop this image tall and narrow. The peony I had photographed was white with one unusual reddish, pink petal and that is what interested me. Of course I got carried away and I have added all sorts of colour to the 'white' petals. I may tone it down by lifting some pigment. I'm not sure yet. I shall wait until I get colour all over the piece before I start making any adjustments.

Gosh, I hadn't intended to take such a long break from blogging but wow, August has just screamed by. I have been rather busy in my spare time so I guess blogging just fell by the wayside. I did some more test driving of vehicles once I returned from Atlanta and I am delighted to have made a purchase. I was out of town last week interviewing real estate agents with my sister (for the selling of our parents' farm) and we also had the property appraised. Of course the weeds are winning the battle but I do try to exert some control over the garden and my veggies are all ready to eat NOW. I wouldn't be surprised to wake one morning to find that I have turned into a giant tomato or zucchini. If things weren't busy enough, we are now painting our house. I mean this literally, no hired folks, just my husband and I wielding paintbrushes and rollers. Our house has wood siding that the previous owners stained a very dark brown colour. It is time to lighten things up. The veranda is already looking very fresh in its new white state. The rest of the house is going to be a yellowish cream. Forget petals on a bit of Stonehenge, our house is the real work in progress!

I mentioned in last post that I was going to chat about the Mock Jury workshop that I attended. I shall save that for the next post (I need to get outside painting!) but I did want to pass on some info for anyone who is interested in botanical art. The September 2009 issue of the Artist's magazine features the work of botanical artist Wendy Hollender. She works in coloured pencil! Woo-hoo. To download two step by step demonstrations by Wendy on drawing and colouring a tulip, click here. I discovered a fresh new twist on botanical art on her website - you can purchase a print of a poster that features hallucinogenic plants! Now that's different. Enjoy surfing the net, I am off to cover up more dark brown wood.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

back from the CPSA convention

Here is a picture of my home away from home last week while I attended the Colored Pencil Society of America's annual convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The meetings and workshops were held at this beautiful Marriott hotel in Duluth. Everything about the exhibition and the convention experience was fantastic and more than I could have hoped for. The art world may be filled with lots of big egos and arrogant attitudes but not when it comes to coloured pencil folks. All the people I met were friendly, kind and welcoming. What a joy to experience! Oh and they just happen to create incredible art too!!

This picture of the hospitality suite shows some of the works of art donated by CPSA members for a silent auction fund raiser. Seated at the table are Cindy Haase (CPSA Membership Director) and Gemma Gylling (CPSA Convention Director). Thanks Cindy for the impromptu tutorial in all things Twitter!

Here is another shot of some of the silent auction art. I fortunately found a time when this room wasn't busy. On the first evening when everyone got together for a meet and greet it was so crowded you could hardly see the tables.

The picture above is a portion of the goodies table. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars of free stuff is donated by various sponsors. The goodies were later bagged up and given out during a CPSA members meeting. I even managed to snag some loot!

While at the convention I took the opportunity to attend a workshop with Pat Averill. Pat is a very talented cp artist who received her fifteen year merit award this year. That means she has been juried into the CPSA annual exhibition 15 times!! Most impressive.

Pat's workshop was all about rendering water - standing water, waves, foam patterns, reflections, rocks with spilling water and wet sand. Pat is a fabulous landscape artist. What she is creating from her fascination with water is equally wonderful. As an instructor, Pat was very well prepared. We enjoyed oodles of beautiful ocean pictures as Pat shared with us many of her best water photographs in a large screen presentation. There were four exercises to complete and the day flew by. I was most interested by Pat's use of Paraffin wax and crayons in her cp art. I think this info will be very helpful when I consider creating something for the CPSA mixed media exhibition.

The picture below shows part of our workshop room as we regrouped following lunch. I believe there were about 40 people attending this session. I so enjoyed meeting Pat. Like everyone, she was so friendly and welcoming to this new convention attendee. Pat even joined me for breakfast one morning. Unfortunately we just didn't have long enough to chat. If you ever have a chance to study with Pat, I encourage you to do so. She is a wonderful, talented person.

Remember my Newsletter issue of November 2008? I featured Ester Roi's heated drawing board in that issue and I also mentioned the release of a smaller board in my March 2009 Newsletter. Well here is Ester and her husband Mario. I actually had a chance to watch Ester demonstrate how one could work on her heated board. It was thrilling to watch her work her magic. I love Ester's work. The techniques she has developed while working on this surface are worth exploring. Do check out her website - Ester has lots of step by step info and she is using more than just coloured pencils on her board - do go see. I am sure you will be inspired.

Perhaps you are sensing a theme here, but gosh, if Ester and her husband aren't just the nicest people you would ever meet anywhere. Absolutely delightful. Ester, Mario and I hooked up after the awards banquet for a good long chat. It was like we had known each other for years.

Here is a picture of myself and Ester just before the awards banquet.

I took lots of photos at the awards banquet but I will post just this one. This is a picture of the incredibly talented Jeff George receiving the top honours of the night, the CIPPY Award and CPSA Best of Show. The woman at the podium is CPSA President Kay Schmidt. Congratulations Jeff. Jeff is just the nicest man you will ever meet and I really enjoyed a conversation I had with him. I know that Jeff has achieved his level of success because of his determined work ethic. Jeff has a day job and all of the responsibilities the rest of us has. Despite this, for years now he has made it a point to work at his art everyday - even when that means setting the alarm at an incredibly early hour in order to squeeze some time in. Such determination and dedication to his craft has definitely paid off. The vast majority of successful people are successful because of good old fashioned hard work. May Jeff's fabulous art inspire all of us to work that much harder on our own creations!

If you would like to see a complete list of all of the award winners, visit the CPSA website. Also, please note that a DVD of the entire exhibition can be purchased from the CPSA! If you can't get to the exhibition in person, it is a great way to see the show. I was at the show and I bought one so I could remember it!

Before moving on from the awards banquet, I would like to congratulate Holly Bedrosian on winning an Award for Outstanding Achievement. I watched her piece unfold on her blog and it was a treat to see it in person. I had the privilege of sitting next to Holly and her husband at the banquet. I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet Holly in person. And yes, she is as beautiful in person as she is in all of those self portraits!

During convention week, there was a special reception at the gallery for all of the artists. Here is a picture of the Jacqueline C. Hudgens Center for the Arts, Duluth Georgia.

This next photo shows the entrance into one of the main exhibition rooms. Holly's self portrait is on the left.

Another gallery room....

Another gallery room, and woo-hoo I see a chunk of chard!

Now here is one of my favourite photos. This is none other than the incredible Linda Lucas Hardy posing with her amazing art. Congratulations to Linda on winning the Award for Outstanding Recognition. It was very well deserved. I have long admired Linda's work and getting to see this piece as well as her silent auction entry was a real thrill. Linda is truly one of the nicest people you will ever meet. She has such a warm personality, she is funny, intelligent and gosh who wouldn't love that Texas accent? It was an honour to meet Linda and to become new friends. Linda has a blog with convention photos and she even has said hi to me in a post! How cool is that? Didn't I say these folks were wonderful?

Well hey, here is proof that my Swiss Chard Mosaic actually made it there and is on the wall still...sorry for the reflections...

More gallery photos...

Another gallery wall...

Finding room for the 120 paintings wasn't easy for the gallery.

That's it for now. (Next time I shall share some of the ideas that came out of the Mock Jury Workshop I attended). It was a tremendous exhibition and I am honoured to have been accepted both last year and this year. I had such a wonderful time, met such wonderful people and saw such fabulous art. I am sure I shall attend another convention in future! I highly recommend the experience. All of those pictures and not one with a lampshade...humm...did she or didn't she? Ahh, that stays in Atlanta!