29 faces, three, four, five

I’m still behind – no surprise there! – but slowly catching up.

This adorable little fellow was face #3, painted on a 4x4in canvas panel.

He just looked so sad and hungry with his bib tied around his neck, all ready for dinner!
And he sold the same day I listed him in my store, which was kind of happy-sad because I only got to spend a couple of days with him.

What Time is Dinner?
What Time is Dinner?
original sold, prints available

This past week has been fantastic! good and not-so-good.
I actually overdid things a little and ended up with another infected throat, but that’s just about gone now..

On the up side I’ve had three full days of art this week (!) sold two original paintings, one print and two aceo prints.
Plus had my etsy store critiqued by the lovely Jen (and boy do I have work to do!)

And I finally realised what my word for 2014 should be: Play!

"Play" original on cardboard available (email me) archival prints available
original on cardboard available –email me
archival prints available

My word last year was trust, and boy did I get a lot of practice with that one!

So this year I think I’ve earnt some playtime, which I explored in this piece on 9x9in scrap cardboard – using every art supply I could think of, including nail polish!

Sunshine Girl original available
Sunshine Girl
original available

My fifth face is another unusual one (of course), because yellow isn’t a colour I use a lot of.
But in this case I just kept wanting to add more and more of it, and I love the effect!

It made her very easy to name, too!

I’ve been quite slack in visiting everyone else’s blog posts for 29 faces, Creative Every Day and PPF this week, so I’m making it a priority to visit at least 5 blogs each day next week.

See you soon!
jane xxx

The 3 best things I did for my art in 2013

2013 was the year that I finally began to feel that I had found my style, and really began loving my paintings.
I became comfortable calling myself an artist.


"Mim's Valentine" available as a print
“Mim’s Valentine”
available as a print

This is the third time I’ve done this review of the previous year, and each time it’s been incredibly useful in setting my direction for the coming year.

Feel free to use the idea yourself, and add yourself to the linky doodad below.

1. I took two online Art Courses

In January I took a self-paced course, Mindy Lacefield‘s “Paint Your Story“.

“Bring your Bucket & Spade”

It really helped me to develop my own style and gain confidence and speed in creating.
I learnt basic rules about shading faces and gave myself permission to make more mess.

Perfection, I began to realize, is an illusion.

Then in September, I began a year-long course, “Serendipity”, with Juliette Crane.

In it, she is sharing everything she herself learns over the twelve months.
We’ve been learning techniques (especially for when you get stuck), trying lots of new media, and seeing how Juliette solves different dilemmas as she creates her own beautiful paintings.

I feel like I’ve learnt so much already from this course, and it’s not even half-way done.

"Not on THIS Parade" original available
“Not on THIS Parade”
original available

The main thing I feel I’ve gained so far is more enjoyment in the process of creating. By seeing that someone as talented as Juliette gets frustrated with her paintings, covers bits up, redoes faces, gets stuck, I’ve become much more kind to myself as I lay down each layer.

I know now that every mark I make is perfect,
because it adds to the depth and story of the piece I’m creating.

(even if I end up covering it over)

2. Instagram opened my eyes

Seeing others’ work, connecting with other artists, and sharing my own art on ig was as important a step for me in 2013 as facebook was for me in 2012.

"Chocolate Sounded Pretty Good to Tom" available as a print
“Chocolate Sounded Pretty Good to Tom”
available as a print

Using hashtags (#) mean that my art is being seen and loved by a much wider circle of people, and it’s so easy to find lovely art by other artists – and people with the same interests as me.

I’ve met a whole new group of creative people, some of whom I’m now connected with on fb, and learnt about new ways of making art – like art journaling, which I’m loving so much.

What’s more, seeing my art alongside that of so many other’s meant seeing my own work in a different light.

3. I learned to trust

Most of you know that we had a rough year. The silver lining was a doozey, though.

I finally learnt to deal with stress in a more positive way.
I’m not religious, but I now really do know that there is a reason for things happening the way they do.

"You Rule My World" original available
“You Rule My World”
original available

I went through such a long dry spell and feel that my art is deeper and truer than ever before. It expresses so much more than previously.
And because I’ve been through that, I no longer fear that I’ll wake up one day unable to paint.

I’ve been there, the worst has happened.

And you know what? I came back stronger and better.

It’s so helpful to be able to look back on the steps I’ve taken along my path since the beginning of 2011.
I hope that you’ll give it a try and let me know how you go.

Cheers, and happy PPF!
jane xxx

Make Waves!

It’s time to stop worrying about what other people think and just have fun!

More finger painting fun with this girlie, and although she’s not quite as loose as the last two I’m still quite happy with her.

Make Waves - original mixed media girl painting - etsy listing

I’m not quite sure whether she’s actually holding a picture with waves on it, or it’s on her dress.

Originally she was supposed to be holding it, but now I just don’t know…

Make Waves - original mixed media painting - detail

I quite fancy her hairdo, which is a freestyle bun type of thing, slightly off to one side.

My own hair is kind of frizzy and never does what I want, so this is definitely a look I could achieve without much effort, but it probably wouldn’t look as good as hers and would flop in my eyes.

Make Waves - original mixed media girl painting - detail

Speaking of frizzy hair – or feeling frazzled…  We’re into the third week off school here, and I think the kids are getting kind of fed up.

(remember we booked our week away at the wrong time & the kids scored an extra week off, so it’s crazy around here right now)

The bickering became unbearable late last week, and my wonderful mother invited them to stay at her place (separately) for a few days.

What a godsend. And no, you can’t have her – she’s mine.

Make Waves - original mixed media painting - detail

It’s amazing how easy it is to care for just one child, when there’s no-one around to bicker with! I can’t believe I thought it was hard work having just the one – what planet was I living on???

(no offense to parents of singletons, it was hard work – but as a singleton myself the bickering was a revelation and a half)

Anyhoo, I need to go break up another fight, I’ll see you all around at paint party friday.
I’ll be the one with the frizzy freestyle hairdo.


Something New..

I’ve been doing a bit of finger painting lately, as part of my continuing efforts to loosen up, have fun and try new things.

Something New - original mixed media girl painting - etsy listing

It seems like every time I do manage to loosen up a bit, I do really well for one or two pieces.

But then I gradually backslide until I’m doing waaay too many hard lines and I begin to lose that impromptu, expressive feel.

Something New - original mixed media painting - detail

I really love the loose, organic feel I’ve found with this piece.

I especially like how the body and red bow or scarf on her head just appeared to me out of the background as I was finishing her face.

Something New - original mixed media painting - detail

The two canvases I’ve done since have moved further away from that feeling, but I’m really quite happy with them, too.

I’ll share them with you later this week and you can tell me what you think.

At the moment, it’s looking as though I need a big sign on the wall, reminding me to just let go & become a loose woman..

Today, I’m linking up with Inspire Me Monday.

Easter Bounty

Firstly, sorry to anyone who was brought down by my pity party last Friday.
I don’t usually write about my health because we all have our crosses to bear (no Easter pun intended) & I’d rather talk about something nicer, but I just needed to vent.

Easter Bounty - mixed media girl on 4x4in canvas panel - etsy listing

Thank you so very, very much to everyone who left me a lovely comment, you brightened my day and I felt like each one was a warm hug.

This week I was diagnosed with arthritis in my hands, but I was so strengthened by everyone’s support that it has just made me feel more determined to keep going.

So thank you xxx

Easter Bounty - mixed media painting on 4x4in canvas panel - detail

We had a quiet Easter morning here, just the four of us plus my mother.

The egg hunt, the chocolate, the hot cross buns, the chocolate, the kids on sugar highs and of course not to forget the chocolate.

Easter Bounty - mixed media painting on 4x4in canvas panel - detail

Next week we’re all heading off to Port Macquarie for our annual week away, so this week will involve lots of packing and nagging the kids to do their own packing.
Which I will probably do myself on the night before we leave.

Usually, the term holidays here usually follow straight on from Easter, so when we booked our trip we thought it was during school hols.

Unfortunately, this year is different and we’ve discovered that our holiday is during the last week of term – ugh!
This is L’s first year of high school, and it means I’m missing out on parent teacher interviews.

– There’s no way we’re missing our trip though, I *need* that walking-on-the-beach, collecting-stones-and-seaglass time. Priorities, right?  😉

Easter Bounty - mixed media painting on 4x4in canvas panel - detail

I hope you all had (or are having) a wonderful rest and recharge over the Easter break, and if you can’t rest at least recharged your creativity somewhat.

I’ll see you all after the 13th, when I should have some interesting news to share.. 🙂