January has been a bigger month than I had anticipated. I’ve attempted to form a general plan for how this year of freelancing/doing-the-art-thing will be structured, but who knows how much that will change. I also did few weeks of house and dog sitting in a lovely bushy area early this month, which provided the perfect place for painting and thinking.
Some plans already for this year involve an exhibition at Tiny Tree Cafe in August (which I am also tying into my native plant calendar paintings), a tour with my sister in October, looking at running some painting workshops, trying to create a picture book and grow my little card business. I’ve always got about a hundred ideas buzzing in my brain but you can’t put your hands in too many pies (is that even the saying?).
I had two lovely commissions to work on this month. The first was something a little different to my usual style – a pet portrait. I really enjoying the challenge of creating a more realistic representation, as well as painting a cat for the first time!
The second was a little reef oil – I was pretty much given free reign with this one so it was so much fun to create.
I’ve been working on my Native Plant Calendar paintings. The one below is for December and features Flame Trees, Paper Daisy bushes and Yellow Box Gums.
When my hands get achy from painting I like to switch to a different way of using them so they don’t tire out. This is where clay and jewellery making comes in handy dandy. I’ve made up a bunch of clay earrings, with the theme of backyard birds and plants, that are now ready to be fired and glazed.
Another goal for this year is the enter a fair few art prizes here and there. I still won’t know for a little while about these, but I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed!
I didn’t make it to any exhibitions this month which is a little disappointing, however I think February will feel a little more settled time and location wise. On the side of these things I also always keep the card business going as well as introducing organic tea towels into what I now stock, (thank you year twelve business for giving me the motivation for these little ventures! 😂).
To help with the business side of things, I have been reading this book, ‘How to be an Illustrator’ by Darrel Rees. This has been super helpful in terms of the more basic and practical sides to art as business. It’s a few years outdated in some regards, but I’m still learning a lot. Along with this, listening to the Jealous Curator’s ‘Art for your Ears’ podcast has been a real treat.