For our first class we took a walk around the colourful town of Mullumbimby, to take photos and collect found objects for drawing. We had great fun exploring, finding new viewpoints for a subject, and building a base of research material for future paintings.
Today I tidied and cleaned the studio. Taking a moment to appreciate this light-filled space and the inspiring ever-changing views.
It was a treat to be a part of this amazing event at Lennox Head Community Centre. A day to celebrate the beauty of girls, there were discussion forums on the use of social media, singing and expression workshops, makeup and hair and face painting tents, a healing tent for parents and girls, perfumed body creams to make, yummy food from the Belle General, and the beading table, shown above. Beading is not just for girls! The girls and boys had so much fun designing and stringing their beads to make bracelets and necklaces.
I downloaded the brushes app after visiting the David Hockney exhibition in Melbourne. He is 79 years old and totally enjoying and applying new technology to his repetoire, inspiring! Here are my first baby steps on iPad.
Eight of us enjoyed five days on North Stradbroke Island to write and edit for the website: www.joyofageing.com
Early morning sunrises and exercises, walking, sharing cooking and delicious meals, buying fresh fish from the fishermen who had caught the fish that morning, sitting at the large table writing, discussing, editing, it was amazing to feel how together and harmonious we were. It was marvellous! Thank you all.
Here are the first drawings from our introductory exercise on perspective. I love how everyone makes the exercise their own, industrial, european, moody skies and pedestrians and cars added to a basic framework.
Today we learned more about the flexibility and scope of watercolours. Using apples and capsicums as our chosen objects we looked at how to observe light and shadows, how to build colours from light to dark using layers, and how different mediums will dictate the look and quality of the finished drawing. We used watercolours for the first drawing, then watercolour pencils for the second drawing. Love the vibrancy of these interpretations!
Have you ever noticed how babies and children are so connected to their bodies, how they love to explore their surroundings,how they play with whatever is at hand? It feels as if they are completely at one with themselves and with everything, connected in a way that we often lose sight of as adults.
"We Live in an ocean of energy" (Serge Benhayon, An Open Letter to Humanity, p512)
While out walking this morning along our country lane, I felt connected to the all, my body light and aware of the birds in the trees, the rain falling softly and then stopping, the sky patches of brilliant cerulean and grey clouds floating overhead. Observing my surroundings and feeling the space between the trees I had a sense of the limitless space beyond my field of vision. We are a part of the grand whole, a spark of light or energy in a particular place, suburb, town, which can be felt to be pockets of larger spheres called country or continent, which in turn make up the planet, which is part of the solar system, and it part of the universal spheres of our universe.
Wonderment is a lovely approach to hold as an artist. It allows us to appreciate whatever is in front of us and around us without judgement, it allows us to respond to our surroundings in a playful and joyful way, deepening our connection to ourselves, to nature, to the oneness of the all.
My tip for today: when feeling tired or that there is no impulse or inspiration ready to be expressed, surrender to a still place inside and wait. In the past I have exhausted myself with drive and push to make more, especially when there has been a deadline looming. Now I choose to listen to my body, and remember that when I take time out to allow the body to reconstitute itself, the next piece will begin with fresh clear energy. It is not about the quantity but about the quality - the quality i am in when making a painting, or writing, or drawing, or making my bed. This morning I remade my bed for autumn, adding a delicious fake fur blanket for cooler nights. That is my work of art today. It will feel so delicious to get into tonight.
From my studio
In the early morning you will find me at my desk with a cup of tea, making notes about a possible new painting, the next workshop, or the next article or blog to write. In the evening you will find me walking the beach, or along the lane from the house, looking closely at pebbles or footprints in sand, or gazing into the distance at clouds and horizons. In between - all manner of adventures, interactions, creative projects being developed.
Bernadette Curtin lives in the Byron Bay hinterland, in Northern New South Wales.
She has a wealth of experience as an artist, art educator and mentor, having worked with young artists at secondary and tertiary levels, at Ruyton Girls School, the NGV and RMIT, Melbourne. She has helped adults prepare folios for tertiary courses, and conducted art workshops from her studio. She has led field trips to the outback and runs on-line tutorials in creative expression. In her words:
"Painting and drawing were natural ways to express as a child. I loved playing with watercolours, coloured pencils and paint. Making art has been a constant practice in my life, and the best way I know to respond to the beauty of nature. I have enjoyed teaching art for many years, and I would love to share the joy and playfulness of your natural expression with you."