After the buzz and euphoria of being selected for my first exhibition has settled, I realised I have fallen off the wagon in terms of blog posts. I’m still working behind the scenes to complete my collection before September, but I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed when I think about how do I market this body of work.
So I spoke to a friend about my challenges and she suggested I start from the inspiration behind the collection….duh right? My tiny breakdown and her words of advice also came at the same time that I had to compose my artist’s bio for the exhibition and it made me really think about the ‘Why’. And since as the saying goes; people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it; of course much thought needs to be placed into that area.
With that thought in mind, I leave you with another teaser…starting from the bottom and continuing over the next month with a documentation of my thoughts, process, materials, challenges and successes in compiling my first collection.
A month or two ago, I did a couple of posts on my decision to submit some pieces for an upcoming exhibition in Trinidad for new and emerging artists. As the heading states, I was successful in obtaining a space along with 14 other local artists!
I happened to come across the call for submissions quite by accident on my social media and of course saw it as a sign. Funny enough, after deciding to submit, I came across a YouTube video from Stefan Bauman about improving your painting by selling your work. two things happened for me at that point; I saw this exhibition as giving me the ability to experiment with non-portrait work and focus on more local scenes and also to produce pieces for a specific purpose. Yes, I know we produce art for the love of it, but as a new artist it can feel pretty daunting just painting for painting’s sake – this was a great goal to work towards!
Receiving the news that I was successful was pretty overwhelming – it confirmed for me I was on the right path finally taking up art. I felt a bit validated in my decision and it gave me the boost I needed to continue. I am already working on more submissions for more shows!
After my scarlet macaw painting, I mentioned that I was working on another piece for consideration at my local art gallery for new artists.
Living on an island, one of the perks entails the ability to have pretty close access to the water and increases our modes of transportation options. In that light, we have a ferry I use to get to work and one of the sights is this shipwrecked boat that’s been rusted out and has become a perch for both seagulls and fishermen.
One of the challenges of this piece was painting rust for the first time, and not just a small section, an entire boat full! Challenge accepted! With the help of YouTube I discovered some helpful videos to improve the realism of the decaying boat with a palette consisting mostly of burnt and raw umber, sepia and some indigo. Painting the textures involved some tricks of the trade such as salt and the paint splatter technique for the whites and aged nature of the boat’s hull to show the accumulation of years of decay.
The sea and the reflection on such a large canvas (18″x 24″) was another exercise in patience and speed. Patience in knowing the process had to be done in layers and not being unhappy mid-process and speed to ensure the paint didn’t dry before I needed it to to apply another swipe with my brush…especially since my largest brush at the moment is a flat 16! Crazy, I know!
So here’s the final result of all the experimentation. Have you ever done a seascape?
Taking a break from my regularly scheduled program to work on a project which I happened to discover browsing social media. There’s an open call for new and emerging artists in my country; so after hesitating on it for what felt like hours, I decided, the most they could say was no right?
With that said and done, I had a long week off work coming up (this week) and saw all of this as serendipitous. Of course everything falls into place when you’re trying to pursue your passion right? Right?
So anyways, the call allowed 3 – 5 pieces from local artists with the deadline of June 11th. My initial schedule proved to be rather ambitious as I spent my first weekend feeling uninspired and pressured to do something I wasn’t in the mood to undertake. So Netflix won that weekend and then my idea for my first piece hit me on Monday; fauna native to my country!
My Facebook page has some video of the work in progress on this Scarlet Macaw I decided to paint and let me tell you filming deserves another blog post of its own! Altogether, I painted it over the course of 2 days and while animals and birds aren’t my focus, this was actually a nice break!
So one piece down, 2 – 4 more to go! I already started on my second, so stay tuned for more on my progress with my next one. Hope you like!