What do you do on a cold winter's day in Hamilton if you're an artist? You catch up with friends and do a studio session with them, maybe have a few wines and talk marketing, you know, just the usual stuff, well I do anyway.
It's not that cold in Hamilton today, but it's far from tropical for an island nation; I think we may have reached 12 °C today, so it's not exactly freezing, but the cold weather certainly doesn't help morale much when you're trying to juggle many balls like being an artist, art consultant, gallery manager, marketing guru, delivery person, best friend with an ear to bend, family person, mother, grocery shopper and have a life somewhere in between!
Today yay, I found some time to paint and prepare this blog post and get this; I even painted my nails! Now the nails haven't exactly worked out as I had to prep dinner, and they didn't stand up to that, but at least they're not looking the boring shade of nothingness they were for the past few weeks!
Today's painting session was spent at my good friend Bruce's studio (I'm still nagging him to get his website listed on his road sign, and he promises that it will be up next week, so anyone who knows him feels free to ask why it's not done if you happen to drive by and he hasn't got around to it!
Not that I don't have faith in him getting his sign completed, but you know what they say about plumbers and their leaking taps….well, he is a sign-writer, after all!). So my point is that if you have a website, you need to market it everywhere, you sell yourself, and hey, if you happen to have a road sign, then you should have it on there too!
We got to work relatively quickly, with only a short coffee break and a chat about art stuff. I had some small pieces to work on for the Dunedin show. One Size Fits, All here in Hamilton in August, and I wanted to get started on my latest cat piece that is destined for my next show, whenever that may be!
Bruce was working on a replica impressionist piece by Pablo Picasso, and by the end of the day, it looked pretty amazing, so I can't wait to see that finished. As an artist, you can see what's going to happen. You have to hold your tongue with comments like … 'if you just added this or took that away, it would look really cool,' because you know they know that anyway, and it's a process that has to be taken step by step to get to that final stage that we all want to see it at.
My latest paintings are pet portraits a small dog painting and a couple of cats dressed up; I forgot to take the photo of the dog with me, so I had to paint that one blind in that it was all from memory.
I think it looks ok so far, but it's still at that stage of needing finishing touches like the light reflection in its eyes, highlights that need to be added and the little extras I do to my artwork, so it's not showable until I've done that.
I've never been big on showing progress pictures, as it annoys me when people say ridiculous things like… "I think you need to do this or that to it' like you didn't know; hello, it's not finished, a dear helpful person over there!
What do other artists think about this? Are you happy to show half-finished work? I've seen others who work differently from me in that work in sections across the canvas, so it's obvious it's not finished; I tend to work on the whole canvas building up layers so it could look finished halfway through so it's understandable the confusion for some viewers who don't know my work well enough to see if it's finished or not.
Our lovely friend Karen turned up with some of her homemade wine, so we stopped for a tipple! We are winemaking buddies in that we share recipes and ideas and have a little wine club. It's a great hobby with a friend; any excuse for wine tasting, after all!
Anyway, it got too cold for me; the paint wasn't drying, so I headed home to sit by the fire and contemplate life! I feel so lucky to be doing a career that involves something I passionately love to do!
Posted: Sunday 27 June 2010