I am now about three quarters of the way through my boyfriend’s deployment (touch wood)! Rather than spending my days clock-watching, I have been filled with motivation to paint, plan and socialise!
So what have I been up to these last few months… apart from working full time five days a week?
Exhibitions: First and most importantly, I exhibited in the prestigious Marwell International Wildlife Art Society Exhibition! This is the largest wildlife art society in Europe, founded and organised by Pip McGarry. I was at the exhibition all weekend – with a stall on Saturday 30th August and as a steward on Sunday 31st.
It was a really enjoyable experience, although it made me realise that I am a relatively little fish in a big old pond.
I am a young little fish with plenty of time and enthusiasm to grow into a whale (or at least a tuna)!
Tutoring: Each week, I have been art tutoring a talented and enthusiastic nine year old girl. I talk and demonstrate her through the steps to create a beautiful and proportional painting of a bunny. Doing this makes me feel incredibly warm and fuzzy and has made me realise that I love teaching (people who are patient and enthusiastic about art).
Workshop: Tutoring has motivated me to organise my first ever painting workshop!
On the 28th and 29th October (half term), I am delivering a two-day ‘Learn to Paint your Pet’ workshop at Framin’ Art in Downham Market for 12 – 18 year olds!
The workshop will be kept to a small group, and we will cover everything the students need to create a masterpiece:
• gridding up and drawing out the canvas
• painting soft-focus backgrounds
• mixing colours
• painting eyes and noses
• painting long and short hair
• painting shadow and light
• finishing touches
Places are still available – please email me if you would be interested in attending!
Paintings: I have completed three paintings and am about to start on a Christmas commission.
Hob-nobbing: I went to fellow Wildlife Artist, Lauren Dobson’s, private opening of her exhibition at the David Shepherd Wildlife Art Gallery in Guildford. I met Lauren, got inspired to try out different techniques, and had an interesting chat with the gallery owner.
I tell you, there is nothing like living on your own to give you a kick to socialise.
Hostess: I have already had five of my friends / family come to stay with me in Norfolk for weekends. This has meant I have got good at whipping up food for a dinner party, and has spurred me to explore my local area – finding the lovely Wells Next the Sea, taking advantage of the rail line to Cambridge, and seeing wildlife at a nearby Bird Sanctuary!
Home time: I have spent a lot of time at my family home in Surrey, seeing my ‘home’ friends, having dinner dates, going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour, spending a weekend in Portsmouth with my sister, and going to a wedding! I am incredibly fortunate in that I can work from Norfolk or Head Office in Surrey, which means I can stay for longer than just a weekend.
New friends: I have finally been making friends in Norfolk. God bless the WAGs! Having friends in the same boat makes this weird experience much funnier.
My diary is still chock a block, and so is my to-do list (with tidying the house and gardening taking a real back burner).
Paintings: I have a lot of painting to do! This includes:
• Christmas commissions – two booked, more expected.
• A couple of paintings for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Award – deadline February.
Marketing: I need to continue marketing my art workshop, buy all materials, prepare my canvases for demonstration… oh and deliver it!
Old friends: I have plans to see a friend from university in London, have a girly weekend with my three best friends before two of them go to South Korea and Spain for the foreseeable, and go for a nice dinner out with work friends.
Tutoring: I also have some more art tutoring to do! The bunny isn’t finished yet!
All I can say is BRING ON THE NEXT FEW WEEKS!
And then I can collapse in an exhausted heap and hibernate with my Jack.