Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013 in review and resolutions

2013 was a rollercoaster year with very high highs and very low dips both personally and professionally. The best was rescuing a street pup, Degas, who 8 months later has grown into a beautiful young dog with a lovely friendly temperment. Due to her, I have moved to a house with a garden, 30 seconds from the beach. The low has been seeing my mother after she had a massive stroke in May and helping her move into residential care after a long spell in hospital, whilst making sure my father (along with his dog Nelson) is cared for with his developing dementia.
Al Minsefah Doorway. 2013. SOLD
 For 2013 I had 3 words to guide my art: inspiring, happiness and dream. Plus my resolution, as written in last year's review post was "throughout 2013 my resolution and goal will be on getting my finances in order, so I can move to Barcelona as soon as possible. ... my sketchbook will remain with me throughout 2013, I already have 2 commissions for drawings and further illustrations to do for The Story Shack... obviously my art passion will not be totally neglected." Well, due to having to take 3 trips to UK to help my parents, my finances are still not in order, though they are a little better then a year ago and I am still not in Barcelona. However, my art passion was certainly not neglected.

La Sagrada Familia, 2013. ©Sue Pownall inspired by Norberto Dorantes
Inspiring: The biggest inspiration I found was attending the Urban Sketchers' Symposium in Barcelona. Four days of sketching and talking about sketching with amazing arty people. I met artists there who I have been in awe of and following for years like Luiz Ruiz and Norberto Dorantes. I was especially pleased to finally meet Pete Scully , Omar, and Liz Steel and to sketch with Alissa. I got to catch up with the Barcelona sketchers and Nina Johansson who I'd sketched with in 2012.  Then, there were all the new artists I had the pleasure to meet and sketch with such as Simone and Chris, who I can't wait to sketch with again.
Burj Al Arab from Souq Madinate Jumeriah, UAE. 2013
Other inspiration came from attending Art Dubai and the Global Art Forums in UAE, in March. It was great to see the contemporary art and attend the talks.

Illustrations and drawings from 2013.

Happiness: Whilst Degas has brought love, laughter and fun in my life, happiness within my art is hard to measure:- my biggest year end profit, 3 commissions, only half as many drawings 6 compared with 2012's 14, illustration work, or a solo exhibition - which brings me to ...
The Blind House. 2013 SOLD. One of my favourite drawings from the year.
Dream: I'm not sure when the dream to have my first solo show became more than a dream, but it was realised in December where I exhibited 30 pieces at the Beach House, Seeb. The exhibition exceeded all my expectations when I sold 12 of  the 28 available for sale.
A wall of portraits. Another dot was later added to Still Celebrating by Mary (left)


Resolutions for 2014

The last three years, I have used three words to guide my life throughout the year, but cannot fix on any this year. 
  • I wish to be single-minded with my art by which I mean I will be selfish with my art time and not let people nor events cut into it. The obvious exception is Degas. 
  • I still want to move Degas and I to Barcelona, so will continue to organise my finances, whilst helping my parents.
One of my first sketches of 2014: Degas
 In order for these to be goals rather than wishes, I have an amount to achieve by October. Also, I am setting aside a minimum 8 hours each weekend for art production. Finally, I want to produce a minimum of 6 ink drawings within the year.

May 2014 see you produce lots of art, laughter, and bring peace & happiness.

What do you think? Please leave me a comment. Thank you.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Red, White & Blue

I've just had a short break as a birthday treat. It involved lots of tennis, treats, and catching up with friends. Looking at my sketches I seem to have had a red, white and blue theme running through my head/drawings. They were all done in my A5 Daler Ebony sketchbook. Hope you like them.

Red: Sat waiting for my flight to Abu Dhabi, a lopsided Christmas tree caught my eye. After inking the scene I then added red watercolour before the flight was called.
Pencil and watercolour
Blue: Once in Abu Dhabi, I went to the hotel, checked in, left my bag with the concierge and dashed straight to the Mubadala World Tennis Championship as play had already started. I normally sketch people at the tennis, so I thought I'd have a change whilst waiting for the second match. This is in pencil with watercolour and I'm not really happy with it, luckily the tennis made up for it.
Morgan's Converse. Ink & watercolour.
Red & blue: Having travelled to Doha my next sketch was of my friend's son's abandoned Converses. Followed by a sketch of her cat, Blue.
Come back I haven't finished. Pencil sketch
As the photo shows, despite being fast asleep, she suddenly got up and I was left with an unfinished sketch.
Blue: I bought myself some beads, blue of course, then drew them. Another sketch abandoned as my friend sat post shower and was a fabulous opportunity to do some life drawing.  Why blue? Because she got cold and would have turned blue if she'd sat too long.
White: 1st January My friend and I sat in the MIA (Museum of Islamic Art) Café, which has been designed by Philippe Starck, and is a beautiful complement of black and white within the off-white of the building's atrium. Lounging on white sofas with a slab of lemon cake and a huge pot of tea, I found the architecture intimidating so chose my default sketching subject; the people around. I love the Qatari's white gutrahs (scarves) and captured a few of those.
Blue: The final sketch of my trip was of a blueberry cheesecake whilst I waited for my delayed flight home from Doha.
Ink and watercolour
Proof of on-location painting
I will be posting my annual review and arty resolutions in a few days time.
Happy New Year everyone. Here's wishing 2014 brings peace and happiness.