I’ve always been a fan of Spring.
So when I was approached my wallpaper manufacturers, Milton & King, to design some floral wallpaper for their range, I jumped at the opportunity.
I submitted nine ideas (this might have been the most difficult bit – I have too many ideas!), they chose a few, I repainted the concepts at a large scale and we had them photographed at a high resolution so that the wallpaper could be designed in house.
And now it’s real! I’ve held it in my hand and seen it on the wall.
Even better, my three designs are being launched right now, at the Downlands Art Exhibition (I’m a proud past student, past staff member and current parent… so there’s a bit of a connection!).
So wherever you live in the world, if you have a nook, wall, or entire room (can you imagine?!?!?) that would look good dressed in Shiny Happy Art, now it’s possible! It’s on the Australian site now, and will be available to the rest of the world next week.
I know art-making makes me happy (as I type that, I remember the time I did a presentation about ‘making art’ and three of my friends came up to me at the end and told me that everytime I said that it sounded like ‘making out’ 😂😅🤣 – anyhoo, both are good).
All you need is something to draw with, and something to draw on.
I recommend starting with regular things, like sketching your keyring on your shopping list, or your earring on an opened envelope.
If you’d like more guidance check out my website and try a ‘Blue Wren’ drawing class, perhaps ‘Shiny Happy Sketching – in Quarantine’, and if you’re still loving it, ‘Shiny Happy Drawing’ is a workshop I’m still proud of after 3 years. It’ll REALLY get you drawing – and happy!
So I’d add just one word to Bob’s quote – I’d say we’re a SHINY happy bunch!
- You get to explore a topic, or an art supply, with purpose.
- You create an impressive body of work.
- You have the opportunity to see your skills improve between artwork 1 and Artwork 8 (or 12 or 20 or 31 or 54 or 100)
- You can take a photo of your collection and FEEL THE FEELS of a joyous job well done.
I started deliberately painting/sketching themed collections last May (remember #5minutemay
?) and haven’t looked back. Last month it was #shaaustralia
and right now it’s all about #shabridgerton
I’ve settled on a goal of 12 pages/artworks/whatever each month (because 31 was an uncomfortable stretch!) and it’s all systems go.
What subjects are you interested in? Is there an art collection project in that? How much time do you have? How many would feel comfortable for you?
Remember that one sketch or painting is one thing, but boy, a collection FEELS AWESOME.
Just pick up a brush or pencil and let’s go!
I’ve had five Zoom calls with lovely Shiny Happy Art Club Members this week, and I found myself recommending SAMPLERS a few times.
These two are on Scrap Book Covers (I use them for planning) from 2017 and 2018.
The thing with Samplers is:
– you get to practice colour mixing
– you learn about your own art supplies (whether you have a little or a lot)
– you have a ‘go to resource’ when you’re wondering how to start mixing a colour
– if you fill a page with marks like this it looks impressive! You’ll feel like an artist!
I have only become a convert to Samplers in the past 5 years but now – I just love them. I do them for every art supply I have. It’s time well spent.
So I encourage you to make time for a Sampler this weekend. Do at least a page (or a book cover!).
If you’re a neat person, rule some lines. If you’re not (like me) just go for it. Mark your colours across the top of the page, and down the left hand side (label them) and then get mixing your grid of colour.
I’m often asked about different art supplies… and it’s true… I do have a BIT of a collection 😉 (I remember an old friend and student, Ros, saying that coming to my studio was like visiting an art shop but being allowed to try everything 😅 ).
What I’d like to do is CHALLENGE YOU TO GET OUT THE ART SUPPLIES YOU HAVE – or at least one box of them if you have a lot 😉 – and MAKE THIS THE YEAR THAT YOU USE THEM – not necessarily to produce art for your walls, or to even show anyone.
To use them, either love them or loathe them, get to know what they can do.
DON’T KNOW WHAT TO PAINT? Start with a colour chart – you’ll impress yourself. Seriously.
WHAT’S NEXT? Drop by here and see what I’ve been drawing or painting – then do that. Simple. Decision made.
Because you won’t get any better at painting or drawing without actually painting or drawing. And each time you paint or draw there is learning to be had. And QUANTITY will lead to QUALITY.
These are the supplies I have on my desk at the moment – different brands of acrylics, mainly, and they all act slightly differently. Some are more transparent, some are more expensive, some are thicker others more fluid – by using them I build my ‘library of knowledge’ about them.
So let’s do it, huh?