Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Five Challenges

With New Year resolutions a long and distant memory for many people, I am only just now making a few of my own. Inspired by friend and fellow blogger Dianne in one of her earlier posts this year, I feel now is the time to get organised and motivated. So, concentrating on what I would like, (want isn't really the right word and my Mum has always said that 'I want' doesn't 'get') to achieve and focus on for the rest of this year, I have followed Dianne's efficient strategy of a top ten checklist. Well sort of, here's the first five.

1: The Blog:  Starting with the blog, a few changes have already come into effect, as I really want to focus on posts with more work in progress, step-by-step projects and trials. There was a really good response to my step-by-step chilli post and I know you all like to see what's on the drawing board. Also, I will try to get back in the habit of posting a couple of times a week, to keep things fresh and up to date.

2: Tuition: Leading on from the blog is the tuition. I have really enjoyed getting back into teaching and although workshops are very different from a formal school classroom setting, I feel very much that this is an area of my work that I would really like to develop. My first workshops this year have been extremely successful, with a waiting list for places. The venue have been very pleased with the response, with lots of lovely comments from the students. Here's hoping for some more dates, later in the year, and perhaps some more venues.

Lily Bud Workshop
The chilli pepper workshop

3: Challenge: I feel that I really need to introduce some challenge to my work, something to really stretch the skill base. Keeping within my comfort zone has become a little too comfortable, and before I get stuck in a rut and become a bit of a one trick pony, I am going to paint lots of different and more difficult and unusual subjects.

Looking at pieces by artists I really like, I can see where I can improve my own work. it's important I think to be critical and honest about your painting and to identify areas of strength and those that can be improved. This 2004 piece by Regine Hagedorn recently caught my eye. Her rose paintings are just exquisite, gentle but with a real depth of focus and detail.

A beautiful study of rose Bouquet d'or
by Regine Hagedorn
Published in 'The Golden Age of Botanical Art
by Martyn Rix 
4: Daily Painting: A couple of years ago, I took part in a 30 day painting challenge which involved leaves, and last year there was a lovely daily project to paint found things. Much as I would have loved to participate in this one, life got in the way. This year, I am taking part in the Nature Trail sketchbook exchange, which is already giving loads of scope for daily additions.  

The next page ready and waiting
A green theme methinks for April.

5: Exhibitions and Submissions: This one is terrifying but necessary. As you know, I have been gearing up for the SBA annual exhibition in May. Of course, this is not the only exhibiting opportunity for botanical artists and I hope to offer my work for consideration in a few more exhibitions this year. This part is mostly down to confidence, (funds) and a level of conviction in your ability as an artist, something I find quite difficult as I am surrounded by so many highly talented individuals.

My first exhibition.

Next on the radar:

The Studio; New Equipment and Kit; Fieldwork; Research; Feeling Good.


shevaun said...

Great idea to make a list, Jarnie. It really helps to keep you motivated and focused. Great to hear that your classes are doing so well.

Claire said...

That's great Jarnie, you sound very organised and know what you want. Keep inspired! x

Marina Cerra said...

This is just great and very inspiring! I have just yesterday taken the decision to really focus all my artistic effort on botanical painting and try gearing up to enrol in next year's SBA distance diploma course. It is very encouraging to know that even established artists like yourself feel the need for a challenge (or more!) once in a while. I admire your work and loving your pages in the sketchbook exchange. Hope to see your work at the SBA exhibition :)

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Yes, Dianne really got me thinking about organising myself properly this year. Thanks Shevaun xx

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Hi Claire, yes this year I am taking the bull firmly by the horns :) x

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

That's great news Marina. As a graduate of the SBA DLDC myself I can see why you would want to do it. It will be great to hear how you get on. it will be a great show this year, so do enjoy it. x