30.6.17

Time for tea #763


Daily painting #763 6"x6" oil on primed panel (unframed)

Time for tea....and Elderflower cordial, Stilton cheese and a host of other yummy English treats that I can't wait to get to my hands on! As I sit this morning drinking a cup of Five Roses tea in my studio (I start the day with coffee always, but its cold and I can't drink coffee all day), I am starting to get a little flutter of excitement in the pit of my stomach. We leave soon for a family holiday  in England. 

You may not know that I lived in London many years ago. I came home for a short period with every intention of returning (once visas were sorted) to this vibrant, exciting city that I called home. But life had other plans. I met my husband here in South Africa, got married and only returned  to England almost 15 years later. I went back for the first time again 3 years ago. Some of you who have followed Paintings in the post for a long time, might remember I was well into my 365 days of paint and so I travelled with my painting things and painted and blogged every day while traveling. This time I won't be traveling with my painting things, although I always have a sketchbook, pens and a tiny traveling watercolor set on hand. I won't be sharing pages from my private journal though. I will however share some photos and lots of inspiration on my Instagram account so you can follow along there if you would like to stay in touch (click here to follow my Instagram account).

I haven't painted any little paintings for Paintings in the post lately. I am frantically working towards an exhibition (of larger work) here in Durban at Artspace gallery in October. So it seems fitting that as I tie up the last little bits in my studio and tidy up before closing the doors until my return, that I sit and do a little painting. There is something spiritual about these little studies for me...I have discussed this many times before. Just me and my paint and a little space! So tea it is...almost time to feed my painting soul with some English inspiration...and my tummy with a host of English treats.

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

19.5.17

Permanent Rose #762

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Daily painting #762 6"x8" oil on primed panel (unframed)

I have been working on many large paintings lately. I am not sharing all of them online as I am working towards an exhibition in October and I have also not been doing as many little postcard size studies as I would like to have. I really miss doing them. The time spent doing these little studies is quiet, intimate and meditative. They are good for my soul and besides, any time spent closely  observing, is good for any artist. 

So after all the flowers this week...a rose of a different kind...a Permanent Rose. The oil paint pigment Permanent Rose by Winsor and Newton. The irony is that  although I paint numerous roses and other flowers, this colour is never used! Hence the fact that the still plump, full tube of paint is rather bent and buckled from lying around for a rather long time! So a little rose for you today...but not of the floral variety!

If you have missed any of my social media posts lately and would like to see some of the large florals that I did share, here is a little peep...



You can stay in touch with some more little studio shares by finding me on Facebook at Paintings in the post and on Instagram @heidishedlock

Have a wonderful weekend...its back to the studio for me before its time to pick up my kids from school! 

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

5.5.17

Bakers Choc-o biscuits #761

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Daily painting #761 5"x7" oil on primed panel (unframed)

April is a month of celebrations! We have four family birthdays in April, two of which are both my children. Yip...bad planning from this mum! April is thus a busy (and expensive) month, but a happy one too! It's a month of celebrations, parties, entertaining, family get-togethers and way too much yummy food. 

Needless to say in April (like December) we kind of fall off the sugar-free wagon a little, if I have to be honest. I am fine with that though as life happens and it's not worth stressing over, so although way too much sugar has crept back into our eating of late, the important thing is getting back into eating as sugar-free as possible again. It is easy in that I just don't purchase or keep anything containing any form of sugar in our house. But it is SO darn hard to give it up, that we are reminded about how damn addictive the stuff is and how quickly your taste buds change. The motivating factor though is that we all feel so much better when we illuminate any kind of sugar and it makes me jump for joy when I hear my teenage children say they can't wait to detox from the sugar again because it effects so many things like sleep, bloating, skin, concentration...to name a few.

So it's time to say cheeri-o to choc-o's or any of the remaining party food in the house. The problem is that I love to paint all the things that we shouldn't eat! They are always so colourful and interesting to paint (although I regularly paint the beautiful colours of natural food too). Perhaps that's a good thing... to obsess over painting the food that we obsess over, rather than eating it. I obsess over the juicy paint and mark-making (don't worry I don't plan on eating any paint) and somehow I always forget about what it is that I am painting anyway...it is always about the paint! So although we won't be eating any of the sugary treats for a while, I can't promise that I won't be painting them! 

Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art
(Click on the link to view gallery of available little paintings)

2.5.17

Plum talk #760


Daily painting #760 6"x8" oil on primed panel (unframed)

This Saturday I was fortunate enough to be invited to chat and do a painting demo for a group of local artists at the Highway Art Group. I painted these vibrant plums for them, but the talk had very little to do with plums! 

We spoke about daily rituals, habits, painting for the love of painting, our painting egos and of course about our inner critics. It was a wonderful morning of sharing, meeting new people and inspiring one another in our creative journeys. I feel privileged to have been able to share my story and my Paintings in the post journey with them. Speaking of inner critics...try painting in front of a room full of people while you chat about your process which in contrast is actually a very solitary, meditative process...a huge contrast to painting while your heart pounds with people watching you and asking questions all while your inner critic is doubting that you will ever get this done because talking, chatting and not concentrating is definitely NOT how you would normally paint! That being said it was a wonderful morning and perhaps a true example of how to shut your inner critic up and paint anyway for no other reason other than because you love to paint! I was pretty happy with how the plums turned out...big kick up the butt for my inner critic (HA!) Thank you Highway Art group for inviting me to your meeting, I thoroughly enjoyed my morning!

Another weekend happening that makes me want to sing and dance and jump for joy, is that my parents finally moved! What an upheaval to leave your home of almost 30 years! But it is done...we are all exhausted but happy! I just can't believe that the little cottage they are living in was once my messy, crazy, busy studio space! It cleaned up pretty well...


Now to get back to some serious uninterrupted studio time again. Time for me to focus...on painting!

Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art

21.4.17

Recharging... Where? What? Why?


I have not been very present or prolific on this blog lately.
In fact you could be forgiven for thinking that I had given up on it altogether. 
Well I definitely haven't...I just desperately needed a break...and some time out. 
Some recharging....in many areas.

I decided to give myself some time off and set the week after Easter weekend as a date to make a come back (on this blog). Now don't go thinking I had some kind of break down or emotional upheaval (not that there is anything wrong with that) but I decided to have a break BEFORE I ended up having some kind of emotional explosion! I think it is very important to recognize when one needs to have 'time out'! So here are some of my reasons for knowing it was time....

Firstly my parents had an unfortunate incident a while back where they were held at gunpoint in their home and from that point on we decided it was time for them to make the move to come and live with us. I am an only child and so I see it as my responsibility one day to take care of my parents should they need it (a personal choice). I don't want to wait until they are sickly or there is another traumatic incident that preempts this massive change. Moving out of your home is stressful enough and I wanted my parents to make the move while they are healthy and able to enjoy the time spent with us. I wanted it to be as stress-less as possible. That being said we decided to convert my large outside studio into a little cottage for them and do other building alterations to make a new outdoor studio space for me to work and teach from. I have a small but cosy and quaint studio inside our house that I often work in at night and that I use as an office space but it is not large enough to teach or run workshops from. Anyone who tells you that building alterations are not stressful is lying to you! Not only is dealing with builders, contractors and the list of snags that always pop up, stressful...try moving your entire workspace with years of accumulated materials, paintings etc and being in limbo while building alterations take weeks longer than planned (don't they always). Earlier on in the year, knowing that all of this lay ahead, I started to put things in place that alleviated some of the many things I do as I knew I needed to 'get through' this short phase, and remain sane...well as sane as one can remain when dealing with builders and contractors and living on a construction site! Writing this blog and putting pressure on myself to complete many little paintings was one thing I decided to put on hold. I took on  no further commissioned work and declined any extra teaching or workshop opportunities. 

Another reason was that since I fell down our stairs, broke my ankle/leg and broke my cycle of 568 consecutive days of little daily paintings, I had been struggling with what or why I was still doing these little daily paintings despite the fact that I loved everything about the concept of Paintings in the post. They had become so much a part of my daily studio practice and not completing  one every single day for a purpose just felt like something was missing. But to contradict this, I also found myself enjoying spending time exploring larger work again. I realized that many people associated me and my artwork with these little paintings only, especially people who had only just started to follow my journey. This is wonderful but there is also more to me as an artist than quick little daily studio studies and so if I have painted recently (in amongst the chaos and without a studio), I have used this time to explore and reconnect with larger more exploritory work again. You can see parts of my journey which I documented mainly on Instagram (click to visit my feed). When I started Paintings in the post I wrote that I was feeling flat and uninspired after working on a body of work for an exhibition and that I wanted to just sit and paint without giving the outcome too much thought, without mulling over and playing or exploring a painting for longer periods of time. I just wanted to document what I saw. Now I found myself missing that creative exploration terribly and found myself bored (a huge thing to admit) with little increasingly realistic studies, despite how valuable the process of completing them was for me. I needed to discover and explore again. I needed to take some time to just find myself again...

So where to now?

Well firstly, I have an exhibition coming up later in the year which will show both little and larger work. All my recent exhibitions have been purely Paintings in the post related. I have also decided to consider putting larger work back into galleries. I have concentrated so much on my online presence with the smaller little daily paintings that I did not put any larger work out there for a while (unless it was commissioned work) and it's time to reconnect with some galleries again I think. So what about Paintings in the post, you might be thinking? Well there is absolutely no reason why I cannot continue Paintings in the post. I love the concept of little paintings arriving by snail mail to collectors and followers all over the world, in little packaged parcels. Who doesn't love treasure arriving in the post?! Little paintings are SO very easy to post all over the world and my paintings have travelled to more far off places than I can ever hope to visit. There is something hugely satisfying in that thought. So I will continue to do these little postcard size daily (as in finished in one sitting) paintings and share them online and sell them via my Tictail online store. I value the process of painting these little paintings so much (I have written about this many times) that I have realized that they will always be a valuable part of my studio practice but they don't have to happen every day. I can also allow myself the time to work on more process based and exploratory work and other exciting projects too while keeping the little postcard size paintings selling in my online store. I did manage over the last few weeks to paint a few little paintings and they have been added to my store although I did not blog or write about them. An example is the little donut below. You can view a few other little paintings completed during my break (I couldn't help myself, I had to do a few) by visiting https://paintingsinthepost.tictail.com


Apologies for the extraordinarily looooong blog post, but I feel like I had a lot to share. 

My parents finally move into their beautiful new cottage on our property in just a few days time. I'm  SO excited to have my Mama close by! I also have a beautiful new studio that is full of light and surrounded by beautiful trees...I feel privileged and hugely grateful for this. I also feel like I have some purpose and direction back in my art making practice, something that I think came tumbling down around me when I tumbled down the stairs. I was SO hoping to make 2 whole years (yes 730 days!!!) of consecutive little daily postcard size paintings. But it wasn't meant to be. I'll take 568 though...I think it was a darn fine effort even if I say so myself! 

Lastly I hope I make you think about learning to recognize when its time to 'take a break', 'give something up' or have 'time out' when you know you need it. Sometimes we are just so hard on ourselves...I chose to be kinder to myself...I hope you can be kind to yourself too. 

It's good to be back!
(SHEW for someone who professes to be a painter and NOT a writer that's an awful lot of writing...YIKES! Candice Caldwell if you are reading, I think I need an editor... there are bound to be mistakes that I overlook! Ooops!)

Much love and I hope you continue to follow along and encourage your friends to follow too. Remember to sign up to my mailing list to see future posts. I promise they will be shorter!

That's all from me for now (finally), cheers Heidi

PS (not quite finished) A little peek at my new studio space...I am loving it...





Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art

19.1.17

Daily painting #754 Rosey blue


Daily painting #754 8"x8" oil and mixed media on primed panel (unframed)

We are in the process of building alterations at home. I have a studio space/office that I use inside our house but I also have a much larger studio space outside where I teach from 3 mornings a week and paint my larger works from. This studio space is being converted into a cottage for my parents to come and live with us. Another out-building which has been used as a glorified storeroom for ages (i.e. not really used at all) is being converted into a new studio space for my larger work (and to teach from). We live in an old home with lots of character and it has been transformed over the 12 years we have lived here. Our home borders natural park land and so my new studio space, which is quite elevated, is going to look out into the tops of the trees. I am so excited about this...I love a room with a view! We have amazing birdlife and a troop of resident monkeys that live in the trees. However, building is never fun and I will be glad when it is all complete! 

As a result of all the chaos in my house, trying to find my mojo in my studio yesterday was quite hard. I found it hard to switch off from all the interruptions and get my head completely focussed on painting. I shared on social media a larger painting (you can see it here) that I have been working on and for every step forward yesterday, it felt like I took one step backwards too. Like a dance. Dancing is good for the soul right? So I stayed positive and kept painting. This morning instead of heading straight back to that Tango(tangle) or Cha-cha, I did a quick little study "Rosey blue" and then took some paintings I wasn't happy with and changed, altered, patterned, messed and generally played with paint to rework them (you can see this on the link too). It was a liberating way to start my morning and despite the constant drilling, hammering and thudding from outside, I enjoyed the dance and found my own beat. It's fascinating how some days things just work for you and some days they just don't. 
Dance anyway I say!

The view from my new studio space started to reveal itself as they bashed out the wall for a large window.
It made all the chaos of the day worthwhile!
Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art
(Click on the highlighted writing to view gallery of available little paintings)

12.1.17

Daily painting #753 Blue with blackberries


Daily painting #753 oil on primed canvas panel (unframed) 6"x8"

Every time I go into a local store, I see the beautiful berries first thing as I walk through the automatic  doors. Whether it is the fact that I love to eat all berries or whether it is their beautiful jewel-like rich colors that catch my attention, I am not sure. Either way I couldn't resist these gorgeous blackberries which are anything but black. They have the most beautiful, rich colours and the magenta juice or stain they leave behind is my best (well besides eating them of course). I had to summon all my will power to place them at the back of the refrigerator (out of sight...you know what I mean) so that there were blackberries left to paint this morning!
Yummy, juicy blackberries with a little treasure off of my studio shelf!

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