Wonderful gift from Jeanette Jobson

When Watermarks first started I visited all the contributing artists blogs, including Jeanette Jobson at Illustrated Life.  Watermarks is a small community of artists who make art from water. They all sketch, draw and/or paint water – the sea, the coastline, beaches, rivers, streams, waterfalls, fountains – in all contexts, styles, genres and media.

Anyway, just by commenting on one of Jeanette’s post on her blog, I won a watercolour portrait done by her. How generous is that? Boy, was I excited!  With Mum’s 85th birthday coming up I decided it would be great to have Jeanette paint a portrait of Mum, so I emailed off some photos.

Guess what turned up in the mail yesterday, all the way from Newfoundland? Not one, but two beautiful watercolour portraits of Mum. (my scans are not doing the work justice, sorry about that, can’t seem to fix) So now I am even more excited, because it means I can give one to Mum and one to my sister Ailsa.

Jeanette is a generous and talented artist; I am thrilled to have some of her work way down here in New Zealand.

Watercolour portrait of Pam Barker by Jeanette Jobson

Watercolour portrait of Pam Barker by Jeanette Jobson

Portrait of Mum by Jeanette Jobson

Portrait of Mum by Jeanette Jobson

Getting back out there

I haven’t entered much lately, or applied for many exhibitions either really, compared with what I have done in the last year or three. I’m not sure why. Maybe I was tired, listening to too much recession talk and being a bit lazy. Today I decided it was time I got over myself and got back out there. So I have …

I have booked exhibition spaces, applied for art awards, put my name forward here and there. To keep track of all the due dates etc I have printed out a new timetable that’s now on my whiteboard directly above my work desk. No more excuses!timetable

A whisper of grass

I have been working towards a couple of exhibitions, including the annual NZ Art Guild exhibition “Out of the Blue”, and have finally finished everything I need to get done. The last works will be in Monday’s courier. Yahoo!

This is the last work to be signed and made ready for hanging. It celebrates the wonderful warm colours of the land here in New Zealand as the first spring growth of grass pops through in the paddocks around us. It’s more about how I remember that time of year, and how it makes me feel, than about the actual look of the landscape. It is 10×10″ acrylic on gallery wrap canvas.

A whisper of grass

A whisper of grass

Da Vinci brushes

Yesterday I was in Hamilton, about 5 hours drive from here, and had the chance to visit Gordon Harris Art Supplies. I fell totally in love with the Da Vinci brush range. The ones I was looking at are only their hobby brushes but they are *so* soft and beautiful to touch. The bigger ones in that range are $30-40 each, so not exactly cheap in NZ$, but not extravagant either. 

I bought a 1 1/2″ Mottler, a 2″ Mottler and a lovely fine round. I can’t wait to use them. Has anyone else tried the Da Vinci brushes?


Adding to my arty postcard stack

evidence 011If I have a little bit of time I make postcards at my ‘work’ desk in my office. I have card, paper, pens, glue, collage, and stamping stuff on hand. I like to have a good stack of postcards and decorated envelopes on my desk so I can dash off quick notes to people. My handwriting is truly awful – bordering on doctor-quality illegible – but I think most people can read it, or at least guess that I was thinking of them 😉

Working on a project

I’ve been working on a boxed book project that involves photos, collage, paint etc. I made a start at the weekend, sitting at my home-office desk instead of in my art room – due to the almost sub-zero temperatures we’ve been experiencing my outside art room is off limits. Here’s a peek at the underlayers on the box the book will be housed in. evidence 009

Thinking about my art practice

Today I have been cleaning, tidying and de-cluttering. It never ceases to amaze we just how much “stuff” can come into our house that we really don’t need. Gifts, things through the mail, junk from work I mean to do something arty with…in the end, it’s all just so much clutter! I find too much clutter quite tiring so today 3 boxes of books ‘n things have gone to charity,and a few pieces are on sale on TradeMe (NZ’s Ebay).

While I was cleaning I was thinking about my art practice and questioning where my art has been going since I finished my Diploma. Party, I was starting to feel like I’m just puddling round, not achieving a lot. But on reflection I know that’s not true. In some ways I am not as driven as I was, but that’s only because I am being kinder to myself, and taking more account of the other pulls on my time.

I still have a rigorous art practice and definite goals. And the evidence is all around me; from my stacks of journals and visual diaries, art books, paintings in various stages, art supplies stacked up on a case beside my desk…check out these photos as evidence:

The moon in pastel

1 moon
For those who have visited my blog from time to time over the last three years or so, my moon obsession has no doubt become familiar. I am one of those people who suffer from “full-moon-itis”. You know what I mean. It’s full moon and you’re wide awake, making art at 3 in the morning, or drifting idly round the house longing for sleep.

The moon is waxing gibbous,  74% of full tonight. I know this because I have a moon calendar so I can see, as well as feel, the moon’s phases. As I came home from work tonight the sky was clear blue, the 3/4 moon was up and there were parallel jet plane trails just underneath.

I grabbed my camera…and the results make me want to get out my pastels next weekend and attack some full sheets of Colorfix. I’ve had a quick play with these in Photoshop, cropping and colouring. In any form, the moon fascinates me and when the colours are inverted – wow!