As I look out my window and see that neighbourhood homes have been adorned with festive lights, I realise that Christmas is fast approaching and another year has suddenly flown by.
It's time to reflect on the last 12 months or so and give thanks for good health, a wonderful family, loyal friends and all the lovely people I have encountered in art events.
The year started with teaching at the McGregor Summer School, which was scheduled for 7 days but with sudden announcements of lockdowns, it was reduced to four and a half. Nevertheless, the organisers managed to pull it together and thankfully, all the students made it to my classes and we all had a fantastic time. Light effects in watercolour was the theme, so with social distancing in place with attendees spread across a huge room, it called for a new modus operandi . For the first time I taught with a computer and huge screens to show examples of images I would normally just pass around. This was repeated with the McGregor Winter School as I was invited back to teach my 7th workshop there. I count that as a real honour as tutors are chosen from feedback and recommendations. Another Brisbane lockdown came into the equation on the first day, but despite all the problems that could have made it impossible to continue, another successful event prevailed. What a stressful time it must have been for the organisers though. I am always grateful for the team that keeps things running smoothly.
The rest of the year saw about another 30 workshops to teach and thousands of kilometres travelled. Four colour pencil workshops for the Coochie Art Group on Coochimudlo Island, others for Bienarte in Brisbane, a first time in Mapleton and even a couple in my home town of Gympie. The monthly workshops at Framed Just For You are always a pleasure as I often have 'regulars' attend who have become good friends. Just last weekend I taught watercolours for the Glenmorgan Art group out at Meandarra, a tiny town about 5 hours drive from home. The heavy rain posed some anxiety for us all as no-one knew if they would make it home or be flooded out! All made it though safe and sound back to their families. I did hear today that the town might be cut off due to flooding in the adjacent areas. Such is life in Australia.
April gifted us with another grandbaby, our ninth, born to our youngest child. It is such a pleasure seeing our children grow to become parents themselves and actually do a great job of it. Haha! :-) I will never tire of welcoming new babies into our family, they are such a joy and there is always plenty of love to go around.
This year also brought about some firsts. I was invited to be interviewed and to conduct a painting demonstration for The Online Art Society via Zoom. Hopefully I'll be able to upload the large file on my website so you can see the recorded part of the demo. TOAS also invited me to take part in a Zoom question and answer night, along with some other artists. Now that I know how to use the program and the new video camera I might try conducting some online classes next year.
Another first was a trip to Cairns to take part in the Australian Watercolour Muster.
My painting "The Gardener's Reward" was chosen as a finalist and was displayed in the Old Court House Gallery. It is now getting ready to be shipped to Italy for the Fabriano in Aquarello international watercolour exhibition and conference 2022. Very exciting.
Other group exhibitions included the DuReitz Art Awards where my watercolour "The Awakening' was also chosen as a finalist and The D'Arcy Doyle Art Awards on the Gold Coast saw another watercolour, "Profusion' sell to a local art collector.
Creating an eBook was yet another first this year. This is a 30 page instructional on using colour pencils and is available to download HERE. It is free to download until the end of the year.
Other exciting news was having an article published about me in the local "Gympie Living" magazine in the November issue.
This week I will be hanging some floral themed paintings in a new gallery in Brisbane. The exhibition is titled Down To Earth. More details HERE.
My home studio classes have expanded to 2 days a week now and I am enjoying sharing my space and not having to travel! I used to drive a 2 hour return trip for my weekly classes, so I consider it such a blessing to teach from home.
Workshops are starting to get booked for next year so please see my new page for details. Plenty more will be added as the year progresses.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all and I hope it is filled with joyful times with loved ones. Remember the REASON FOR THE SEASON!
What an interesting year it has been for us all. Quite an understatement actually! I really feel for those who have lost jobs or have had to spend a long time in isolation or worse still, have lost loved ones due to illness.
I am happy and extremely grateful to report that I personally have had an amazing year. My husband and I have finally been able to buy our very first home and we have moved to Gympie, a town just north of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. After 44 years of renting and paying off other people's mortgages, I can't begin to express the joy we are experiencing to be free of that and to have a home that we love in a country town. Gympie has all the amenities we need and there's a fantastic regional art gallery here as well.
https://www.gympie.qld.gov.au/gallery The exhibition that's on display this month is very inspiring.
One of the blessings with our new house is that is has a downstairs area perfect for a studio. I have been busy painting walls and ceilings, getting everything ready to be able to host classes and workshops here. I'm really looking forward to sharing this space with students and would love to see some familiar faces here as well.
In the meantime, I am still travelling to teach workshops in other areas. The borders may be closed but there's still my workshops available in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and all the way out in Quilpie. See workshops here
With all the changes involved in setting up our new home and gardens, the personal art time has been on the back-burner. I miss it. However, I have just completed a commission where the client needed a copy painted of an old newspaper image from the 70's that had been printed onto a canvas. Quite the challenge, as the image was not very clear, especially in the lightest and darkest areas. (see the photo above.)
With Spring just around the corner, I'm looking forward to more flower photography to find those images that just have to be painted. There's advertising to source for my home studio too and perhaps schools in the area to approach for afternoon classes. I really do enjoy teaching teenagers that are keen to learn to draw and paint. Any leads would be appreciated! Starting out in a whole new area is exciting but it can be a little daunting.
Expressions of interest are also welcome for any workshops or classes here and/or in other areas. Commissions are invited too.
Please contact me any time.
Hope to see you soon,
I'm an artist and a passionate art tutor living in Queensland, Australia. I began seriously following an art career not long after my youngest of 6 children started school, never expecting that teaching would then become my profession.