Paint, paint paint and art, art, art! I am so fortunate to be able to do what I want to duo at this stage of my life. If I were to give anyone advice on what to do after retirement, I would say, ‘Go out and challenge yourself to do what ou really want to do!’. It has taken some work, of course, but compared to my working life as a doctor (which I loved most of the time). It is a dream. Allowing for hiccoughs along the way, I have actually created another career around paint and art, art history, creative explorations and just having a go at stuff when I feel like it!
At the end of what has been a pretty challenging year for all of us, I thought I would pass on some of my highlights and also let you know just what I plan for 2022.
I believe that if you paint and call yourself an artist (took some time before I felt comfortable calling myself that!), you must keep pushing yourself to improve, to move out of your comfort zone and to engage with your inner creative voice (which is sometimes pretty hard to find)!
So this year I continued to be mentored with the wonderful Nicole Kelly on Tuesday evenings via Zoom. It has been a wonderful experience and I’ve learned so much about art history – particularly recent modern art (very useful for my Art History online art school series) and I have really stretched my practice (at least in my mind). I have really embraced painting en plein air.
I had no idea I could teach people to paint when I started doing art seriously, but I have found it an enriching experience. I have met all sorts of fascinating people in my classes – everyone has a story! It allows me to pay the rent at Lennox Arts Collective and that group has been so important to me as a sort of surrogate family. Many of you know that I have not been able to physically see either of my two children or my six grandchildren (one just born in September) since May 2019 because of the pandemic. It has been an absolute joy to be able to be with great supportive and creative people during this time. We also have lots of laughs and share ideas in class, so thank you to all my students and colleagues.
This has been a huge learning curve and has been shared with Narelle as we navigate how to produce an online art school (launched in July as Art, the Universe and Everything with Christine. Without using Zoom myself during 2020, when I ran a lot of classes online, being mentored on Zoom by Nicole, making videos for Colour in Your Life at the end of 2019 and recently being reinterviewed for the ‘Where are they now segment’, I might not have had the confidence to paint and teach on video. I have learnt how to edit and voiceover, make powerpoint into movies and all sorts of movie making skills with my sidekick, Narelle!
Fourth, Art Licensing
Another set of learning with Vinh at ArtSHINE, who has shepherded me through how to get my art onto product and to get paid royalties – takes time and effort, but received my first after nearly a year. As you can see, I just have a go at anything that takes my fancy and it keeps me out of trouble…..
So, they are the four main highlights this year – but many more things that my demented brain has trouble remembering!!
On to what is next?
Paint – lots more!
There will be lots more of this and lots will be en plein air as it was this year – it seems to allow me to really experiment and pushes me out of my comfort zone.
I will be continuing to have Wednesday classes. The last for this year is 15th December and the first next year is 12th January.The Saturday workshop time table is up for each month to June except May as I have booked to go to England to see family – so excited! I will also feast on art galleries and museums and bring back lots of travel sketches and information for both face to face and online classes.
Tech – online courses!
We already have Art Basics – Drawing, Paining and Colour as well as Prehistory to the end of the 18th century in The Inspiration and Fascination of Art History courses.
Next in Art History is The Rise of Modernism – 19th Century. Narelle and I plan to film how to paint as an Impressionist for that one and also to show how to plein air paint and life drawing.
I hope to have one in Sydney in April with ArtSHINE and of course, our own Lennox Arts Collective Christmas $300 and under exhibition starts on 10th December, so come along….here are some of my works for sale.
Last but not least, I have been invited to show my art at Tuscany in Tyalgum run by the lovely Kymrie, I visited her recently and took some of my art, cards and tote bags. It will be interesting to see how that goes. Kymrie has a gorgeous gallery/shop full of divine clothes, hats, gifts and set in the village of Tyalgum at the rear of Flutterbies cafe and restaurant. Tyalgum is a simply gorgeous village and a ‘must do’ destination for visitors to the Caldera/Mt Warning region.