Exciting New Projects - The Founding of WAWA

Oh my...its been a while in between blog posts... A very big while. My excuse (again) - Busyness with painting thank goodness! I've also been busy joining forces with a couple of other groovy girls and founded a group - 'Women in Art Western Australia'. A group that we are hoping will offer a supportive network to female artists that primarily paint women as their subject. I'm posting todays introduction...by me! Enjoy:
copyright Mia Laing 2015 'Fringe Dweller'
oil on canvas - 2015
Isn't life an interesting journey? There I was, just a few short months ago, spending the weekend with a bunch of (mostly) strangers, workshopping marketing, media and business strategies for 'Surviving the arts' and thinking of little else than whether I would have a biscuit with my coffee at morning tea. I didn't particularly want to do this business course...no thank you, my soul screaming 'this will be boring; too hard; it's a beautiful weekend to be painting' and every other excuse under the sun, but resigned to the fact that I had already spent too many wasted hours pondering how to grow my art business with all this business stuff going completely over my right-brained head. Well, I survived the course, enjoyed it even and little did I know, that during that workshop, one brief conversation with 3 other women about what we loved to paint, draw and create, would lead us here, to the beginning of an exciting journey, to a place where Women in Art, Western Australia (WAWA) is born. I use the word 'born' almost metaphorically...as four women, as four mothers, as four artists, we all bring to the easel four unique and diverse backgrounds, imaginations, personalities and views on creativity. WAWA will give us, and eventually as we grow in membership, others, a nurturing, safe and rewarding platform to push us to develop our skills and ideas, to exhibit and create. My background is simple...I have always, always loved to make stuff. There are photos of me in the family photo albums over the decades, crayon in hand, pencil in hand, paintbrush in hand. Art is just something I have always done but never realised I could 'do'.
copyright Mia Laing 2015 A selection of paintings from 2014
I entered adulthood a bit lost as to 'what I wanted to be when I grew up'...art in those days was just not an option. I loved animals and desperately wanted to be a vet...but there was that little problem about my adversity to maths. So I decided I would go to university and study anthropology and archeology and these (of course!) would enable me to go live in the Congo and talk to the Gorillas...or to at least be a Zoo Keeper. Serious. I have a very good imagination. A little askewed at times. Needless to say, I left university after only 3 months...they didn't teach Gorilla sign language. Fast forward 2 decades...past a year of backpacking and nannying in London; the years of retail jobs; the whirlwind year of falling in love; past a fun year playing at art college; setting up home; supporting my husbands finance career and the incredible joy of becoming a mother to two beautiful girls...and it was only then that I worked out what I wanted to 'be' when I grew up...an artist. Endless hours reading picture books to my girls, lead me initially to pursuing a career in children's illustration. Every spare moment of my day, when the girls were sleeping or at kindy or school, was spent hunched over a drawing board, dreaming up words and pictures for children to love. It was one step forward, one step back, getting loved by authors and hated by their editors, selling kids bedroom art regularly, but feeling like I was no better than a factory worker, churning out the same stuff. Then I discovered painting. Real painting...at an easel, with oils...with vibrant pathalo blues and cobalt greens, crimson reds and paintbrushes. Oh the joy!
copyright Mia Laing 2012 'Joy'
oil on canvas -2012
...and I had the two perfect models, that happily posed for photo shoots, only needing ice-cream as payment! It's been an incredible 6 years since then... my husband finally realised that 'Mia' and 'Art' are synonymous with each other and that art is rather messy inside a family home and succumbed to building me my very own studio space. 3 years ago, upon completion of my studio being built, I launched 'My Mia's Art - Life at the end of a paintbrush.'...Facebook, Instagram, WordPress and Pinterest became my fellowship with other artists and art lovers. A virtual community that have cheered me on from the internet stratosphere; pushing me into a more prolific art practise, helping me through the tough times and allowing me to find a little voice in the art world.copyright Mia laing 2015WAWA is the next step in this journey. An exciting one I get to share with real people...in real time and with real coffee being shared! Welcome to the journey people... Let's do this! Mia. x
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