Welcome to my annual debrief... a reminder of sorts and a personal note to keep on keeping on. Its so easy to doubt our artistic and creative journey, to only note the failures or down points along the way, but by doing a debrief, it's an incredible reminder of our achievements and successes and can help us ponder the year ahead. You can read about 2017 here .
2018. Wowsers...you have not been easy...again.
I started this year with the promise to never let anyone or any circumstance steal the joy and refuge of my art. I came out of 2017 tired and disillusioned and in great need of breathing space between the juggles of my home and art life. I promised myself a sabbatical of sorts... but that certainly didn't happen!
The year has ended on a very low note...I lost my much loved Dad in November, right in the middle of my youngest daughters final exams for finishing high school (and just when she had recovered from a particularly bad bout of Glandular Fever which saw her hospitalised and off school for a month).
Boy, has the last two months been hard. It was such a shock to lose a parent who lived life to the fullest. I've taken the last 8 weeks to quietly ponder life and family and all it means to me. Dad loved life and lived every moment he was given. He was incredibly proud of my art and 2019 will very much be painted in his honour.
Its been an epically busy year. 47 paintings and a whole pile of little ones I'm not counting; 6 more paintings than 2017. Record.
39 wildlife/whimsical paintings, 4 still-life, 3 underwater, 1 landscape. Ha...and this was my 'year off'. It's so interesting to compare these figures to last year, which had a greater cross section of different genre, 14 still-life, 8 landscapes, 6 figurative, 13 wildlife and pets.
I was also involved in the inaugural Perth Art Upmarket which was awesome; Pup Art for Guide Dogs WA and the 70 Violins Project. How I loved all these projects and they were a great distraction from my usual art award and prize calendar which I pulled back from this year.
2018 saw me finally do a major overhaul of my website, with many thanks to Kristy Morton for her knowledge and skills adding a shop function to my page. (I'm a little behind on uploading my latest prints though...Oops. Message me with any queries on these or any originals available.)
Greeting Cards Here We Come!
My most exciting news just recently, was signing to Lalaland. Oh my, am I ever excited about this! February will see the launch of 9 of my whimsical images as greeting cards, leading into possible merchandise later in the year. Available in 100s of merchants Australia wide and internationally and with each card or giftware printed with my web details, it's a very exciting step forward with a brand that is committed to supporting its artists. I will be sure to let you know when the cards hit the shops. Ive seen the proofs and they are lots of fun.
This year has also seen me join a monthly "Mastermind' group with Amanda Kendle, a local legend with her marketing knowledge. Professional art journeys are 50/50 art and marketing (social media, blogging, paperwork and emails). Its a tough gig some days and thank God there are people such as Amanda helping to keep us creatives using the left side of our brains too. Though she shakes her head at my rather lackadaisical attempts at keeping on top of my blog and newsletters, she does it with a twinkle in her eyes. Thanks lovely. Mind you, my computer has given me a huge head ache in the last few months and after 3 in store repairs and umpteen phone calls to Apple specialists, it has finally been replaced with a brand new one...2019 is sure to go a little smoother on the blogging front!
The Year Ahead
2019 is shaping up to be a busy year...my eldest daughter is leaving us to live overseas in late January, to study Yacht design in Milan Italy...Yep. Creative, intelligent talent, living her dream. Bel will be in Milan for 6 months and then undertakes an internship for a further 6 months somewhere in the world. So very, very proud of her and guess what?
I’m going too!
Well, just for two weeks but still... Milan. Oh boy. A girls trip with my two daughters before university starts for them. Then Im going back again in April with my mum and then again with hubby (I hope)...got to take full advantage of having a daughter living in Italy, surely?
In between jet setting, I will be painting like a crazy lady toward various big projects. I hope you stay with me during this next 12 months. Your cheering will be very much needed as I juggle it all!
I'd like to take the time to thank each and everyone of you for following along with my art journey and particularly for your support and messages during the very low times over the last few months. Your support is invaluable and the various pep talks along the way helped me dig deep and keep my paintbrushes moving.
Thank you to my galleries, Gallery Aura, Gallery 360, Repeat Offender, Bluethumb and in advance to Lalaland for the faith you place in my art and for helping me guide it into the world. Thank you also to my favourite brush company Rosemary and Co and to Art Spectrum for the high quality paints you consistently deliver.
You can follow along with my art antics via my newsletter here.
Wishing you all a very happy New Year, filled with good health and the love of family and friends.