Here to Ignite, Encourage and Inspire your Creative Flame
Please note: some items are repeated for the benefit of new subscribers. Thank you 😊
Hey there my friends I hope you’re all keeping well. I’ve been writing for Derwent, sending off a new commission proposal and video editing this week, as well as completing my latest painting – so in all it’s been a busy week so far.
”Your passion is waiting for your courage to catch up.” – Isabelle Lafleche. What a powerful quote isn’t it. And the more I read it the more it speaks to me. If it speaks a truth to you too, know that you’re not on your own. We all, as human beings, often deny ourselves from reaching our goals. Not because we can’t but because we wont. By this I mean that sometimes our lack of self belief can hold us back, our fear of failing or our mind set that says ‘we don’t have time’. And then there’s ‘imposter syndrome’ – the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills. Now that is a syndrome that many of us have felt – well now it has a name too.
So the above paragraph may sound all doom and gloom, but it isn’t, trust me. Firstly lets consider why we feel these things:
Simple human evolution can provide a lot of answers. Staying ‘safe’ is programmed into our DNA. In fact our daily lives revolve around it whether we’re aware of this or not. Just think of a typical day going to the shops for some food items. Our ‘keep me safe’ thought processes are probably in overdrive lol. Driving or walking – avoiding collisions, assessing road or pavement conditions, arrive at the store – stairs or escalator? Maybe stairs going in as our hands are free, but escalator on the way back out etc. Then choosing our food items – checking sell by dates, do our food items look ripe or over ripe. Even if we see someone else handling a certain item that we want we wont choose that one but another one that hasn’t been handled (not that we’ve seen anyway) and it goes on and on and on. So what does this have to do with art you’re probably wondering, well the answer is ‘everything’! If we’re prewired to avoid situations that make us feel unsafe, then stepping out of our comfort zone when creating can feel just the same.
So we have the ‘feeling’ and now we have the ‘why’. So what’s the answer?
Rationality – the quality of being based on or in accordance with reason or logic.
We need to rationalise our doubts and fears. Really what’s the worse that can happen? Maybe we use up a few sheets of paper or some paint with not a lot to show for it. But we can always start again. Want to try a new art medium? Go ahead and try it, don’t expect to be great straight away, just enjoy experimenting. Want to put your artwork in a local exhibition? Do it, and enjoy being around other likeminded people. If you sell your piece then its a bonus. Want to draw or paint a different subject? Just try it, you may just find your new style or a love for something you hadn’t considered before.
My artistic journey is simply that. A journey that had a starting point somewhere in my past. I didn’t start this journey knowing how to draw a Kingfisher for instance. We’re all on this journey together, so lets all enjoy it and encourage each other to step out of our comfort zones as we go.
Here is my completed Kingfisher painting and the YouTube video I created from it this week, enjoy xXx
There’s a video link towards the bottom of the newsletter regarding out of focus backgrounds. I’ll leave it in this week’s newsletter and then move on to another subscriber’s question in my next newsletter.
Wildlife Art Workshops for 2023
£60 per person
All workshops are held at Martin Mere Wetland Centre and 50% of all proceeds go straight back into conservation.
|January 21st 2023||Watercolour||Postponed|
|February 25th 2023||Pastel||Red Panda|
|March 25th 2023||Watercolour||Fox in Snow|
|April 22nd 2023||Pastel||Kingfisher|
|May 20th 2023||Watercolour||Toucan|
|June 24th 2023||Pastel||TBC|
|August 26th 2023||Watercolour||TBC|
|September 23rd 2023||Pastel||TBC|
|October 21st 2023||Watercolour||TBC|
|November 25th 2023||Pastel||TBC|
My preferred materials for the the pastel & watercolour workshops:
|Preferred Pastel materials:||* Clairefontaine Pastelmat Paper (I rarely use anything else now)|
* larger sheets are available and can be easily cut to size (this is what I do)
* Carbothello Pastel Pencils are a must have in my studio, available individually or in different set sizes
* Derwent Pastel Pencils are soft with a wide range of colours, available individually or in different set sizes, ideal for covering larger areas with their thicker pigment core
* Mungyo Soft Pastels – an affordable way to cover larger areas of a painting, and for adding base coats for your pencils to go on top of
* Pan Pastels – my ‘go to’ soft pastel choice, available individually or in sets, 92 colours in total
|Preferred Watercolour materials:||* 140lb (or heavier) Hotpress or Coldpress watercolour paper |
* 9″ x 12″ minimum size (buying larger sheets is preferable as they can then be cut down to size)
* Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolours are a great paint to get started with (I still use them for sketches etc)
* A variety of brushes, sizes & shapes, made from golden taklon which is a synthetic material. Here’s a link to the affordable W&N Cotman set.
* A white mixing palette or a white plate will do
Nine new dates for 2023 have been confirmed by Martin Mere Wetland Centre One running each month, with the exception of January, July and December. Workshops will alternate between Watercolour and Pastel, but feel free to bring along any art medium you wish if the subject is something you would like to create from. All workshops are suitable for beginners. More information can be found over on our exclusive Art Workshop page on the Martin Mere website as well as on the Workshop page of my website. If participants would like further mediums or subjects added then extra dates can be slotted in to suit. So if your passion is coloured pencil or you love acrylic or oil painting then just let me know.
This Red Panda project was the subject for February’s art workshop over at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre.
|Art Safari in Uganda||Postponed|
|Patching’s Art Festival||13th – 16th July 2023|
|Exhibition of Wildlife Art||28th – 30th July 2023|
|North West Birdwatching Festival||14th -15th October 2023|
Patching’s Art Festival – an international four day art event celebrating the best in art & craft. Open to all there’s something for everyone, the chance to meet over 250 artists, a lot of which will be demonstrating (including me demonstrating for Caran d’Ache). Plus ‘hands-on’ workshops and art material offers all set in 60 acres of beautiful Nottinghamshire countryside.
Exhibition of Wildlife Art – ‘an exciting three day show featuring the work of some of the world’s most talented wildlife artists. The biggest and most successful, open selling, exhibition of Wildlife Art outside of London. All exhibited work is for sale and many artist demonstrate whilst there.’ I’ll be demonstrating whilst exhibiting there this year and would love for you to drop by and say hello.
North West Birdwatching Festival – Open at 8am, start your day by watching the spectacle of thousands of wild geese leave the roost before heading for breakfast in the Martin Mere restaurant. Over the two day there will be an array of guest speakers and exhibitors, artists and photographers including photography workshops, guided reserve walks, and more. I’ll be exhibiting and demonstrating throughout the weekend and would love you to drop by and say hello.
Art Safari in Uganda – a two week tour taking in some of Uganda’s best national parks, optional gorilla and chimpanzee tracking, visiting a rhino sanctuary and so much more. With a maximum of 6 participants this art based safari ensures you’ll have all the natural world of Uganda has to offer, plus plenty of 1 to 1 guidance from me when you need it to enable you to capture all that you want on paper or canvas.
Q. I really enjoy pastel painting but struggle with backgrounds. Any suggestions would be welcome.
A. Many people feel intimidated by backgrounds so you’re definitely not on your own there. A simple way to start is by creating a bokeh effect. It’s easy to achieve with a little practise and once you begin to gain confidence can be used for out of focus foregrounds too. If you’d like me to create a video concentrating on more detailed backgrounds just let me know using the ‘suggestion box’ at the bottom of the newsletter or via an email, whichever you find easier.
I may not always have a video on my YouTube channel to go alongside a subscriber’s question, but when I do I’ll be sure to add it.
Okay that’s it for today folks, time to settle down with a cosy warm drink, an old black and white movie and my hubby.
Thank you once again, as always my friends, for spending some time with me today, and please feel free to leave a question or suggestion in the contact form below.
Wishing you all the best, until next time, as always, stay safe and stay creative, Kerry xXx
Questions & Suggestions welcomed