'The Light Shines' New painting March 2014

copyright Mia laing 2014 'The Light Shines'
Oil on Canvas 2014
Oh boy, am I ever behind in my weekly writings. Habit. It's slipped. Thank goodness my art habit hasn't gone the same way or I would be in major trouble right now! I finished this portrait last week. My first portrait in quite a while…my baby girl, all 13 years of her. I originally took the photo for a photography course that I did last year. My dreamer, looking to the future, catching the light. A few months ago, I was sent a link to an art prize in the eastern states of Australia, that I hadn't heard of before. The Shirley Hannan National Portrait Prize. It REALLY caught my attention…a portrait prize for realistic portraiture. Did someone say realism? No craziness needed? Yep. Pick me, pick me! Problem is, full face portraiture has been high on my avoidance list…its hard. Simple as that. It can go wrong at the slightest wrong twitch of a brush stroke. I am a perfectionist, I admit it, know it and I'm trying hard to fight it. Total (photo) realism and perfection is not where I want my paintings to go. I want to be more painterly, for brushstrokes to be seen and enjoyed. For an energy to be felt in every mark... but when I paint a portrait, my every habit screams to try to get it right. Perfect.
copyright Mia Laing 2014 detail from 'The Light Shines' 2014
Conflict of interests. Frustration and perfectionism upon canvas. I'm pleased with my first portrait in 6 months, but I've decided after much pondering, that I'm not entering the National Portrait Prize this year. I just don't think I've nailed it. It could be chosen as a finalist, possibly. Technically its fine, the tones are good, the drawing is correct, the composition ok…but I just don't feel it's an attention grabber (except to me because I'm emotionally attached to this beautiful girl.) To be chosen to hang in this show, whilst (unfortunately for my art career) living in one of the most isolated cities in the world, I would need to send the painting via a professional art packers, have it hung for two weeks and have it couriered back again after the show. Goodbye $350 plus dollars. I need to make sure, when I eventually enter this prize, that I'm entering a painting that I know 100% I'm gut and heart happy with. Two years until the next show. I'm aiming, God willing and with a huge amount of learning and improving on my part, to be in it. 2016. Watch this space. In the meantime my girl has an heirloom to grace her own families future walls. And I have a goal. Good feeling.
copyright Mia laing 2014 Entries for The Newman Art Show 2014
So, back to the studio…three paintings have left their place in the stack's that grace every spare wall and floor space in my home, for the Newman Art Show, which runs next weekend, 5th and 6th April. Opening night is next friday, when I get to hobnob with some of my arty friends, enjoy a glass or two of bubbly and hopefully, paintbrushes crossed, will get to see a couple of red dots placed next to my name. I was blessed with two sales at this show last year…three would be amazing this time around..but just one would also be good. None? Yikes. New painting almost finished…hopefully I can get my butt into gear and post it here next week. Newer painting also planned…hopefully I will start it midweek. Aah, the joy of projects finalised…and new ones to begin. Mia x
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