Friday, January 11, 2013

goodbye 2012......a year in review

2012 was a year filled with the word BUSY !!!
all kinds of BUSY...
a massive year for me business wise, personally, as a mum, creatively, as a student, as a wife learning to live seperately from her hubby (only geographically), as an exhibiting artist, as an employee, as an aunt, as a friend and as myself........
the year began with my move from my beautiful home in Nornalup to our unit in the city of Albany to accomodate our childrens' education needs. the plan was to be "drive in, drive out" and spend our weekdays in the city and our weekends in the country. what we underestimated was that whilst Nigel was busy running his business in Walpole and I was being Mum in Albany that this dream of having weekends in Nornalup was not very realistic. kids have sport on weekends, friends they want to catch up with, etc. etc. So what we have done is learn to take each week as it comes. this has meant that the kids and i have not had nearly enough time in Nornalup, but hey. that is just the way it is now. for another year or so at least. as my guys grow from young teens into adults there is all sorts of change and  growth. my primary job this year has been to ensure that i am here to support my middle boy through his TEE and that my teenage daughter has a shoulder to cry on, someone to laugh with or a safe place to retreat when the world gets a bit too much. i feel that this has been achieved, so we all move forward into 2013 with excitement and not as much trepidation as last year in our new environment. 

 home sweet home

creatively this has been my biggest year of change to date. i started the year off by enrolling full time in certificate 3 of Visual Art. i completed five units including art history, painting, drawing, digital media and printmaking. i LOVED it and although it may sound completely cliched i found that i was pushing up against creative blocks and personal barriers i never had to explore before. i became frustrated in drawing class when the good old "perspective" issues made me want to retreat into a corner. i struggled with breaking down a beautiful, intricate image into an abstract work in painting class and i continued to stuff up my colour mixing techniques. i learnt that i am extremely impatient.....hmmm. perhaps this is not news to those who know me best. i like to think that my lack of patience comes from my need for perfection in things..learning to commence a project with less limits, rules or constrictions has been very liberating. it is something i am still working on, getting in to that headspace as i approach new works, but i am trying. very hard. 
collage using pieces from our "mark making" exercise

the biggest challenges for me this year definitely came with exhibiting my work in three very different shows.
firstly, my application was accepted for me to participate in the 30x30x30 artist challenge in Darlington, Western Australia. you can click on the link below this picture to read all about this wonderful event which i found to be quite a strong learning curve. i actually surprised myself at how easily i managed to complete the works. i had so many ideas that i had to reel them in and focus as to what i was actually going to put onto canvas, but in the end, with some advice from a fellow artist, i honed in on what i needed to get out there. and it was very well received. i found myself feeling completely overwhelmed at the support, encouragement and feedback i received on opening night. so many of my family, friends and colleagues were there and i felt very grateful to them all.

secondly, i exhibited at the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk in Walpole, Western Australia as part of the Southern Art and Craft Trail. this was a beautiful experience made special by my fellow exhibiting artists. i again teamed up with Justine Gamblin and this year we welcomed wood artists Clive and Jenny Kendrick into the fold. Julie at the Tree Top Walk was an amazing facilitator and it was a delightful 10 days. you can read about this exhibition by clicking on the link under the picture below.

lastly, but certainly not least, was my collaboration with Janelle Peterson from Bam Bam & Sugar (link to her facebook page). i met Janelle in printmaking class in february of last year and we instantly hit it off with a shared sense of humour, a passion for daggy 70's/80's music and the fact that we are the same age. together we hosted our very own Pop Up Gallery in the Bay Merchants building at Middleton Beach, Albany, WA.  our gallery was open for a week and we had our work together in a tiny (3mx3m) space. what evolved was a wonderful week of creative energy, great peer support, networking with other artists, supporting each other through our days, sales to friends and strangers alike and pretty much a very groovy, fun, rewarding, exhausting and beneficial week of sharing. we will be back there again for two dates in 2013 and are looking at bringing in two other artists to join us on this Pop Up journey. there are lots of great photos and stories about this week (which was 11th-17th December 2012) on the le papier facebook page, so head on over there to check it out.

i guess if i am honest i could tell you that my years has included plenty of "head spinning" moments. some of these moments where from overwhelm, some from being proud of my achievements, some from discovering that i could do things i never thought possible and some from just the fast pace of the year flying by. i had many moments where i felt like yelling out "stop the world. i want to get off!!!"
so as i move forward into this new year, i do so with one promise to myself. that is to ENJOY the moment. savour success for all that it is worth. learn to let go of old feelings, of insecurity that have held me back. i promise to keep doing what i love so that those around me can share in my happiness. my husband, kids, parents, sister, brother in law and friends have given me so much to be grateful for. they have allowed me to develop and grow towards recognising my potential and for that i feel blessed and loved.
bring on 2013.
it is going to be great.