Friday, 26 January 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 4

Blog 4

This was already the fourth week of my Creativity Challenge. It was another week without painting, but I did some drawing and lots of felting. I slowly got into the rhythm of taking time every evening to create something. It also helped that I wanted to finish my friend’s gift in time.

I started with some sketches at the Ottawa Little Theatre on Friday. Usually, we have front row seats and I have enough light to sketch either parts of the stage or even some actors. This time we had exchanged our tickets and sat in Row K. Even though I was itching to draw there was just no light. I tried to draw in the dark but it was not working. I used the intermission the sketch a portrait of one of the spectators. At home, I reworked the rather sad looking attempt of sketching one of the actors in the dark with the help of a photo from the Ottawa Little Theatre website.

On Sunday and Tuesday, I did some drawing demonstrations for the kids of my two Cartooning and Drawing classes: Toothless from the movie “How to Train a Dragon” and a fox, respectively.
I also tried to sketch my daughter while she was driving. It was a nice exercise, but does not look like her at all.

The rest of the week, I worked on a felted skunk for a friend of mine. After 8 ½ hours of works the cute little critter called Flower is done.

On Wednesday, on my day off work, I went to the National Gallery to see the James Wilson Morrice Exhibition at the National Gallery with my artist friends Janis and Bob. It was amazing to see how loosely he painted while capturing so much detail on very small canvases. It makes me look forward to my next plein air painting trip.
Here is a link to the information about the exhibition from the National Gallery website:

Wednesday evening, I went to the Da Artisti Studio & Gallery to hang my paintings for their new exhibition. If you live in the Ottawa area, I would like to invite you to the vernissage which is today, Friday, January 26, 2018 from 3 to 9pm at 2565 Old Montreal Rd, Cumberland, K4C 1A1. The gallery’s opening hours are: Wednesday - Friday: 3:00pm – 9:00pm and Saturday - Sunday: 9:00am – 5:00pm.

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Friday, 19 January 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 3

Blog 3

This week, I struggled to make time for my creative projects. My plan was to shut off all electronic devices by 9pm, which I did not manage to do this week at all. I had to deal with a couple of private issues plus I needed to do a lot of marketing and administrative work for upcoming shows and courses. However, I was determined to spend at least 30 minutes on my projects, which I managed on all but one day when I spent just 10 minutes felting a couple of inner petals of my water lily. More often than not, I only squeezed in the time right before going to bed. It was definitely not what I had hoped. It is hard to break old patterns, but I I am determined to make some creative time every day a priority.

I continued working on my water lily, which is still not completely finished. It takes quite a long time to felt all the little petals of the centre of the flower.

When our 12 year old Australian Shepherd was not able to walk for two days at the beginning of the week, I got worried that I would not be able to finish my big project of felting him with his own fur, and started working on this body again. Right now, it looks like a big brownish wool sausage.

I also spent one evening preparing the first class of the “Cartooning and Comics” course that I teach at François Dupuis Recreation Centre in Orléans. Inspired by the current DreamWorks Animation Exhibition at the Museum of History in Gatineau, we drew Toothless from "How to Train a Dragon". If you love the DreamWorks characters, I can highly recommend visiting the exhibition that runs until April 8, 2018.

On Sunday, I also led a Vision Board Workshop; we had lots of fun. As all the boards are showing very private goals and dreams, I will not post any photos, but I will share with you some of the words that resonated with me on my vision board: endless colours, on the way of passion, beauty, animal portraits, beauty, bloom, exploring, as well as order and off the beaten track. These are some very interesting inspirations for the year 2018. It will be interesting to see what opportunities arise. One exciting opportunity is my participation in the new exhibition at Da Artisti Studio & Gallery in Cumberland. I am very happy to let you know that I was chosen to be one of the artists for their new exhibition.

If you live in the Ottawa area, I would like to invite you to the vernissage at Da Artisti Studio & Gallery next Friday, January 26, 2018 from 3 to 9pm at 2565 Old Montreal Rd, Cumberland, K4C 1A1.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 2

Blog 2

While the first week of my Creativity Challenge went smoothly due to my vacation at home, the second week was a little more challenging. Extra hours spent on the highway on Monday’s crazy snow day here in Ottawa and a bad cold that I developed in the second half of the week prevented me from going into my studio. Nevertheless, I managed to squeeze in some creative minutes every day.

I spent between 30 minutes and an hour and a half every day on felting my water lily. I do not have to many photos to show you, because felting is definitely not for the impatient. I did not even bother to take a picture every day, because you would not see a difference.

Aside from the felting, I created some sketches of some of the actors of “Alice in Winterland”. I was sitting in the first row, so I had a great view and enough light.

I also reached out to a friend of mine who has not painted for more than 20 years but would like to finish the last painting she worked on as a special gift for her family. She made good progress, and I was happy to be able to help her.

Have you started your own Creativity Challenge? If so, what are you working on? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment under the blog.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 1

Blog 1

Happy New Year! I hope you had a good start into the new year. As for the past two years, I started my Creativity Challenge again on January 1. My goal is to create something every day, even if it is just for a duration of 15 minutes. I will share my journey in my blogs. As I had this week off, I was able to go to my studio every day. I made quite some progress on my double dog portrait. The portrait of Alex and Candy is my priority right now. I am eager to finish this painting that has been standing in my studio for years.

Here are this week’s art projects:

January 1

Due to the lazy day after celebrating New Year’s Eve, I almost forgot about my Creativity Challenge but managed to felt for two hours. As I have all the petals of my flowers, I worked on defining the shape the petals. I am not sure you will be able to see the difference until all the petals are finished and put together in the right order to create the water lily. As much as I love felting, it is time-consuming, but at the same time very relaxing.

January 2

I finally made it back into my studio for an hour and a half. I knew that I had to work on Candy’s face again. I changed the position of the eyes and nose. It felt strange to work on the painting again after such a long time. It has been at least three months since a worked on it the last time, and it always takes a while to get back into the painting. Therefore, I hope that I will have a chance to work on it now at least twice a week until it is finished.

January 3

A person close to me needed support, so I decided to make another felted heart. Unfortunately, I was so eager to get it mailed that I forgot to take a picture. Here is a similar heart that I created before Christmas.

January 4

It was a very frustrating day due to the fact that I worked for four hours on Candy, but made little progress. After two hours had passed, I was ready to throw the towel. However, I persisted after a good walk with Alex and can see that I am closer to my vision of Candy. I just wish that I could have finished her portrait while she was still alive. It is a lot harder when you do not have a living reference to check for details. I am confident that the progress will get smoother when I do not have such big time gaps between painting sessions.

In the evening, I also continued my work on the water lily.

I hope my Creativity Challenge will encourage you to pick up a brush, pencil, needle, or whatever intrigues you to start creating. You will be more relaxed, have fun and increase the balance in your life. It would be wonderful if you shared your projects with me, either by email or by commenting to this blog. Let’s make 2018 a productive year!