Friday, 2 January 2009

An Amazing Year

2008 was an amazing year for me, artistically speaking. It was a year full of first time experiences. It has been an emotional roller coaster - swinging from believing I could do anything to having complete confidence crises - I hope I am starting to find a balance now.

Review of 2008

In January I started painting for the first time ever, although at quite a basic level. Now that I have rediscovered clay I'm not sure if painting is something I will work on improving, but never say never! I also started writing this blog to document my progress, which I'm glad I did because looking back through the blog I definitely feel I have made progress over the past year.

February saw the first time I took part in Rosa's Found Art Tuesday!

In March I started experimenting a little with pastels. Oil pastels were not completely new to me, although it had been 20 years, and yet I felt more comfortable working with chalk pastels, which was another new medium for me. I definitely plan to work more with pastels in the future, and possibly give oil pastels another try. In March I also started experimenting with mixed media for the first time, using sand in my little painting of Footprints in the Sand.

April included lots of Found Art Tuesday pieces and more mixed media, using pastels and acrylic paint together, and using items such as CD's to paint on. I used techniques and styles that were new to me, such as using a wet paintbrush with chalk pastels, and creating a "stamp effect" image.

May was another month of firsts - my first triptych paintings, and my first life drawing class!

In June I Shocked myself with my first portrait ever. I think it's fair to say that I discovered I had a talent that I didn't know I had, and this is definitely an area that I want to keep improving in. In June I also entered my first art competition with my first major art project - Footprints in the Sand - using plaster for the first time. I definitely want to create more of these 3D pieces, and plan to do so in the warmer weather.

One of my overall favourite pieces of 2008 - Footprints in the Sand

I didn't really try anything new in July, but I was busy making plans for my future development - preparing for my first exhibition and finally finding ceramic classes.

In August I had my first joint exhibition! I also joined the Fellowship of Professional and Amateur Artists.

In September I received my first blog award! I also went to my first ceramics class and made my first pinch pot ever! (which then became a little head, when joined with another pinch pot)

In October I made my first coil built pot, believe it or not. It's just not a technique I was ever taught at school! I also tried sgraffito for the first time.

Let me see, in November I made my first slab built mug. Actually it was my first mug, full stop. I also tried lino cuts with clay for the first time and I had my first experience with glazing. I used a potters wheel for the first time, and although I wasn't able to produce anything, I did manage to centre my clay.

And lastly, in December I created my first coil built sculptural piece, although this isn't quite finished yet.

Phew!! What a year! July was the only month I didn't try something new!

Greatest Improvements

My greatest improvements from my point of view have to be my portrait drawing and my clay work.

This is my first portrait from June.

And this is my fourth portrait, finished last week.

My first slab built mug was good practice, but thin in places and incredibly wonky. Just not a good mug.

This was my fourth mug, but even my second mug was stronger, rounder, and just altogether a better shape. By my third mug I started experimenting with giving the mug more shape at the bottom.

This was my first coil built pot. A reasonable start, but a bit wonky.

Since then I have made a couple of small, shallow roasting dishes and a vase, before moving on to this more challenging piece of sculptural work.

I have to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me so far through this journey, both by commenting on this blog and by answering so many of my questions! I hope we all have a very creative 2009!


JafaBrit's Art said...

How wonderful to see this journey, and yes I would agree the drawing has come a long way. Also I really think you have a good hand with ceramics.

May this year be full of exciting surprises for you.

Undaunted said...

Thank you so much Jafabrit. I take that as a great compliment coming from someone who I know is so good at drawing. I'm still struggling with life drawing though - I seem to be able to draw the head and the body but not together!