Daily painting #742 For Amy...a ballerina's bouquet.

Daily painting #742 6"x8" oil on primed panel (unframed)

I don't often paint the entire vase of flowers. In my larger paintings I never do! It is the flowers and the floral bouquet or arrangement and the sentiment of the flowers and the act of giving them, receiving them, having them in your home or picking them that interests me. The form and colour of the blooms that catch my eye. The vase holds little interest for me.

However this one is different. I want to capture not only the emotion but the entire arrangement as it stands, proud and tall. I want it to be visible long after the petals have fallen and the flowers, stems and leaves have decayed. I want it to be remembered long after the vase has been reused...or packed away in the glass cabinet in my kitchen that holds my large selection of vases. You see, we all need some things to be captured for eternity. We all need something that we can turn to as a reminder of just how strong we can be...

This weekend, as you would have known if you read my last blogpost, my daughter danced in a show. She had 5 performances over the weekend. She also did an audition for the New York American Academy of Ballet Summer school program just hours before her first show. Her dance teacher suggested she give the audition a try as it would be good experience for her as one of the younger girls auditioning. Most of the girls were much older than her, have more experience on ballet  point shoes and some have even been to New York before. She came out of the audition with eyes like saucers and cheeks bright pink, "It was SO DIFFICULT, Mommy!!" We didn't have time to think about it, the show was starting on the other side of town in an hour and we had to fight Friday evening traffic to get there! I gave her a kiss on the cheek, told her how proud I was of her for trying and experiencing it (the choice was hers I might add), handed her water as we dashed for the car and roared across town to get to the show. In all the post-show exhaustion and trying to focus on end of year school exams which are now looming, I hadn't even given the audition another thought...neither had she!

Well imagine my surprise when I opened my email to read that she has been accepted for a weeks intensive ballet program in New York at the American Academy of Ballet...my heart nearly stopped and as a Mommy would do, I burst into tears! We are supposed to be going to London next June/July so the logistics need to be looked at, but I am SO incredibly proud of the perseverance and determination of this girl! Sorry to sound like a boasting Mommy, but I really need to learn a thing or two from my daughter...and perhaps so can you. Always give something a try, you just never know. Don't let fear or insecurity stop you. Don't use the excuse of "I am too busy" (I really tried to convince her that on the weekend of a show we didn't need to do an audition too)...chances are there will always be an excuse not to do something that takes you out of your comfort zone. You may not always feel good enough, but do something anyway, because you have a passion! If you show up and do the work and keep at something you are passionate about, you will be rewarded in some way. Always make your passion and sheer love for what it is you do, be your motivator! Love what you do...

I need to remind myself of all these truths and maybe one day my daughter might need reminding too! So this little bouquet for my little ballerina (every dancer deserves flowers after a show) is off to be framed with a special note on the back from her Mama...I hope it serves to remind her many times along her journey that she can do it...if she just tries!

Love you to the moon, my Amy-bee xxx
(Sorry it's a really soppy and sentimental post today...but I shared it with you anyway!)

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Daily painting #741 Last of the red

Daily painting #741 6"x6" oil on primed panel (unframed)

I have been out of my studio for a few days. Mama duties called! My daughter danced in a show and she needed my help backstage. So other than drawings of ballerinas and dancers in my sketchbook, I haven't picked up a paintbrush for a few days. If truth be told, when I walked back into my studio, I felt overwhelmed...creative mojo lost...

Walking back into my studio I felt like an impostor. Half finished paintings and dried up palettes of paint had been deserted. Forgotten brushes had been abandoned (and probably destroyed) in pots of turpentine or water. The beautiful fresh blooms that filled my studio had dried in their vases and dropped petals on the floor, leaving the studio with a musty smell of decay.... 

Fear, doubt and insecurity were sitting on my shoulder like unwanted guests and my instinct was to close the door. Where do I start? How is it possible to summon up that illusive creative spirit that fuels my energy and draws me to this sacred space, which today felt so foreign. 

So I took a deep breath and started deep within the safe and comfortable arms of familiarity. I squeezed out some rich, creamy oil paint. Wiped off my trusty favorite brush while I cursed myself profusely for abandoning it dirty in a pot of turps. I grabbed a little familiar Paintings in the post  primed board and the only flower in my studio that looked vaguely alive...a drooping red rose that really was on its last.

And then I painted...and the world, my little world, just felt like all will be well after all.
Painting isn't a job or a chore or even a pleasure, it is a necessity! 

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Daily painting #740 Two pinks

Daily painting 740 mixed media, 20 x15 cm oval

There are SO many proteas around at the moment. I have 3 varieties in my home...one variety in the kitchen...one variety in the entrance of my home and one variety on my desk in my studio. 
They are all so beautiful...

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Daily painting #739 Just one pink rose

Mixed media on paper, 16cm circle

There is so much floral inspiration around in Spring! My studio and my home are full of blooms. I am working on larger floral canvases in my studio too, so I seem to be surrounded with flowers...HAPPY ME!!!

With all the flowers around me, I decided to concentrate on just one...a little pink rose. Very classic and quite calming after my more energetic larger floral oil paintings! Another work on paper to add to the new section in my online store called "Work on Paper". You can pop in to my Tictail store to take a look by clicking here.

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Daily painting #738 Protea on paper

Daily painting 738 mixed media on paper

I am wanting to open a new section of my online store called "Work on paper". It will not only include little works on paper, but larger ones too. So today I thought I would do a little work on paper as my quick little daily painting. 

Sending larger work to overseas clients on paper is way easier than shipping out a huge canvas (although I am always happy to organize the shipment of larger stretched canvases too!). Besides that, I have been spending lots of time lately working on large format drawings as a way of processing ideas for larger paintings. I have been enjoying the freedom of drawing and working on a different surface again. I'm always one for experimenting and changing things up and balancing  the changes with what you feel most comfortable doing (so NO...I haven't given up on little detailed still life paintings). So for today a little work on paper....soon to be added to my online store. Please pop on over to my Tictail store 'Heidi Shedlock Fine Art' and take a look!

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Daily painting 737 Dying...and beautiful.

Daily painting #737 8"x10" oil on primed panel (unframed)

I think the title of this little painting says it all...

I have some large beautiful fresh proteas that my husband bought for me last week. I was about to paint them (I still will as they will last for a while still), when I noticed how beautiful an old, dying protea was that had been sitting in my studio for a while now. It is starting to dry. The leaves and petals have shriveled and the colors are deep but fading....it is beautiful! 

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Daily painting #736 Still white

Daily painting #736 6"x6" ink and acrylic on primed panel (unframed)

I have had a week of no painting forced on me. Sometimes it is only when we are forced to slow down that we do just that! Last week while browning off sausages in a pan for an oven casserole, a sausage exploded as I turned it over and the hot fat splashed in to my eye! I would forgive you for laughing even though it was no laughing matter....the story sounds so absurd! My immediate response of course was to close my eye and put my hand to it which only served to spread the hot fat under the eyelid and further along the eye. A crazy accident! An artist with no eyesight would be the worst form of torture possible!

I saw an ophthalmologist and thank goodness the burn did not go on the pupil of my eye but I have had a very sore, raw and tender eye (rather ugly looking too). I also had to avoid putting any strain on the eye so no painting, reading or too much screen time. Without painting or reading life is kind of unbearable! So I have not been very happy. I still have supposedly 3 of the 10 days of rest left, but I am going crazy so I snuck in a quick ink and acrylic painting. These beautiful roses from last week are drooping and on their way out so I had to capture them just one last time. Now ssssshhhh.....don't tell the doctor I'm posting a painting.....our secret!

Hope to be back to full speed in the studio again soon!

Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art
(Click on the highlighted writing to view gallery of available daily paintings)
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