You know us arty-types: we're either super-confident or quietly bashful. Most of us have a touch of the imposter syndrome and many of us agonise over the work we produce: even when we think it's finished, we could do many more hours faffing (technical term).
I tend to fall into the latter camp of 'quietly bashful'. However, I can see how much my work has developed over the last 8 years or so since I started taking it more seriously, attending art classes with artist and tutor Hannah Twine, and how I'm actually producing some really good stuff most of the time!
I shared a comparison of two pieces I have created of my own cat on social media recently, one back in 2015, and one from 2021. Despite being in slightly different mediums (the earlier one in pastel pencil only, and the second in colour pencil with a pastel background), even I can see how many techniques I have learned, some rules I have picked up and the subtle nuances in finishing that make a good picture great.
I'm not saying I'm 'done learning', as I know there's still so much more to discover, not just about different mediums, surfaces and techniques, but also about myself and how I want to evolve as an artist, how I would like to see my style emerging into something more recognisable (we all know what a Van Gogh painting looks like, don't we?).
There's something very uncomfortable about blowing one's own trumpet, and despite having many supporters out there, there's only one person who can really promote me, and that's me.
So, from humble beginnings in the spare room, to a converted garage with no less than TWO art desks (!) and a whole spectrum of art supplies, I am about to play a little tune...
May 2021 - Won first place in the monthly online competition at Exmouth Art Group with 'Aquatic Acrobatics' (having only joined the group a few weeks earlier!):
Nov 2021 - won the public vote at Exmouth Art Group's annual exhibition with 'Waiting For You', awarded with the engraved trophy in May 2022 after the worst of pandemic was over:
Nov 2021 - shortlisted in final twenty artists for a competition to raise awareness of the decline of the Asiatic Cheetah; I am awaiting information on the exhibition and final judging. Entitled 'Beyond Extinction', it's a hopeful depiction of a better future where work is being done to breed in captivity, and is one of my biggest pieces to date (62x48cm):
Plus the occasional second or third placement in the monthly online art group competitions with 'Ready for the Fall' and 'Vincent' (a picture in the style of your favourite artist), both created with Unison pastels:
Obviously, I couldn't achieve all of this without the unending and unfaltering support of my lovely husband (and because he told me to write that!). But seriously, I really couldn't do it without his support, especially when I disappear into the studio for hours on end, neglecting him and the cat! I also couldn't do this without the huge support from my mum - my best critic and joint Number One Fan (alongside hubby, of course); and with the tutoring, encouragement and eye for detail given to me by Hannah Twine, I wouldn't have got this far so thank you too.
Onwards and upwards - what could be next...?!