Arlene's blog

Long overdue

I can't believe how long it's been since I blogged on here! Time really does fly.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas I had a number of creative projects on the go:

Creating a zine on the theme of 30 for my partner's 30th birthday
Creating three other items to go with the zine (an ATC, a painting and a story)
Making Christmas cards for close family
Making thank you ATCs for birthday gifts received
Designing and burning a pyrography piece as a Christmas present

GoMA Workshop and Fife Art Exhibition


On the 16th of October I went to a workshop at GoMA (Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow) called Deform. The description was: "You will construct, deconstruct, formulate and compose."

Focussing and a Random Thought

First, the random thought. This came up at my art group when the subject had turned to death and coffins, as a result of a programme a class member had watched about a young man dying of cancer. I remembered in Notes From An Exhibition (one of my favourite books about an artist who was mentally ill) there was a cardboard coffin, and the undertaker said there were instructions for the family to decorate it. I thought that was a fantastic idea - a lovely way to pay tribute to the person who's passed on.

Exhibition, Competition and Intuition

This blog is long overdue because of personal health problems, so apologies to anyone who has been disappointed with no updates for a while. The exhibition in Saltcoats, way back in July, went well. I submitted my works and I was pleased with how they looked framed. There was a diverse range of works in the exhibition and, although neither of my pieces sold, it was all good exposure. As the exhibition was held in the Heritage Centre, there were some interesting objects to look at and I did a number of blind contour drawings both inside and outside the Centre.

My Entries for the Upcoming Open Art Exhibition

I'm submitting two works to the New Cunninghame Open Art Exhibition, which is an annual exhibition held in Saltcoats in Scotland. It was difficult to narrow my works down to just two pieces but I managed (with a little objective help from my partner) and am looking forward to have them exhibited next month.

This first piece is called Midnight Railway and is in watercolour:

The second piece is called Shadows of the Fairground and is part of my Fairground series. It is also a watercolour:

One Competition Entry Down...

I've just posted my entry for the Leisure Painter competition as it has to be sent via post. The painting I chose to enter is called Crusade of the Kites. I've received some very positive comments on this piece and I'm pleased with my choice.

A&I Facebook Competition Results

Unfortunately, I didn't win the online Artists & Illustrators competition but I'm not too disheartened. I received a lot of votes for my pieces as well as positive comments. Here are the votes for my individual entries, which can be viewed in my previous blog and in the gallery:

Fire of the Dragon – 23 votes
Sunset and the Weather Bird – 25 votes
From the Eye of the Wren – 20 votes
Towers – 24 votes
Dream of a Nebula – 31 votes

Those are very encouraging results! Below are a selection of comments both about individual entries and about my entries as a whole.

Entering Competitions to Get My Work 'Out There'

I just discovered Artists and Illustrators magazine have a facebook page, and they're currently running a competition inviting people to upload images of their paintings. There are technically no judges in the competition: the painting with the most 'likes' wins, it's as simple as that. I'm not expecting to win but who knows what could happen if I try? If nothing else, it's a chance to get my work seen by other people for free.

Artists and Illustrators also have gallery pages (in the printed magazine) every month, and anyone can submit work for possible conclusion.

Entering This Year's Art Competitions

There are three art competitions I am considering entering this Summer:

  • Artists and Illustrators - Artist of the Year
  • Leisure Painter - Simply the Best
  • Aethetica - Creative Works

My first priority is the Artists and Illustrators competition. I aim to enter at least this one. Depending on time I have left, considering I'm working hard on my current series of artwork, I would like to enter either the Leisure Painter or the Aesthetica competition. Possibly even both.

Balancing the Necessities of Life and Art

How often do you have a fantastic creative idea that you are desperate to get started on, only to find there is no time left after doing necessary things like housework and catching up on sleep?

This is something I've found more challenging than ever over the past few weeks. A personal issue has resulted in little or no time or energy for art and, when I do manage to find some time, it's almost guaranteed to be interrupted within minutes. The result being that my paint has dried on the palette and has become unusable.

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