2014...A year with little painting time

Posted by Stephanie Tickner on Sunday, November 16, 2014 Under: Reflections

2014 was not a great year for me to find painting time. There seemed to so many other things that required my time and attention that I only completed three paintings, and almost finished a fourth. I wish I had had more time, but life gets busy. My 15 year old son runs in cross country and track at school, and spent the spring and part of the summer in PT to regain strength in his leg muscles after a major growth spurt. My 16 year old daughter took driver's ed over the summer. We live in a small town, and the big towns that offer driver's ed are a a half hour away. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time in waiting rooms and in my car. I did have some time for my art though...

In February I finished my first painting of the year, a commission. I love the story of it. In June of 2013, a crazy thunderstorm with a microburst caused a tree to fall on our house and damage our roof. So, we decided to redo our entire roof, which was needed anyway. The night a representative from a roofing company came to meet us, my husband was late coming home from work. In passing the time, the rep and I started talking about my painting, since my display materials were all over the dining room for holiday fair season. Long story short, he really liked my work, emailed me an amazing photo to work from, and just in time for his anniversary, I was able to deliver his finished painting. The details in their clothes were fun to paint.

Diana and Mike

There was quite a bit of snow out my art room windows when I was working on the painting.

At the beginning of May I was juried in to exhibit in the Keene, New Hampshire Art Walk. My paintings were in the window of The Main Salon on Main Street. There is always so much beautiful art in downtown Keene for this event.

I have been working on a commission for a friend when I can get in my room and paint. It is a beautiful scene. I am really excited with how these very tiny cows came out. My pencil gives you a sense of how small they are.

In the last week of August before the kids went back to school, we spent a week camping in beautiful Recompence Shore Campground in Freeport, Maine. We had stayed there a few years earlier, but only stayed a couple of nights before heading to Acadia. This time we stayed put. Along with really loving this campground, I had also won a $10 gift certificate to their camp store or food stand from winning 3rd place in a photo contest they held last year. I highly recommend this campground. It is so beautiful and clean, and shares the peninsula with Wolfe's Neck Farm, an organic farm and education center, with a long tradition of sustainable agriculture, recreation and education. There is so much to see and do, and you can even buy food products from their farm stand to eat during your stay.

We had spacious campsite with a view of Casco Bay through the trees. We had a great week kayaking, riding bikes, and exploring the greater Freeport area. I even had time to paint at my outdoor studio with the view of the bay.

My view to the right at low tide

I was working on a painting that ended up being incredibly challenging for me. It was a commission for a gift that was requested as a 5x7 for an 8x10 frame. Unfortunately, that made the people in the painting so small I could not capture their likenesses even with my size double zero brush. I started it and gave up twice. Finally I said I would have to go up to an 8x10 painting at no extra cost. It was still really hard to get the faces right. They were not much larger than my thumbnail. I did finally finish it in mid-September. It is a lovely scene, so I am really glad I was able to complete it, but it was very tough.

I participated in my 10th Art in the Park in Keene, New Hampshire over Labor Day weekend, hosted by the Monadnock Area Artists Association. The weather was beautiful, with the rain holding off until after we had packed everything into the car on Sunday afternoon. I always enjoy this event and see so many friends and returning supporters.

Finally, last week, I finished my third painting of 2014, one that I had started about a year and a half ago! I call it "Moon Tree." I am glad I will have at least one new painting for the upcoming holiday craft fair season.

Speaking of the holiday craft fair season, I am in preparation mode, printing greeting cards as I type. First up is The Orchard School fair in Walpole, New Hampshire this coming Friday and Saturday, November 21 and 22. It will be my 10 year participating in this fair as well.

Another fair that would be a 10 year anniversary for me is the Antioch University New England Winterfest, put on by the Student Alliance. Unfortunately, when I responded to the email invitation after five days, I heard that the fair had already filled up. This has never happened before. I work at Antioch, and many coworkers have been asking if I will be set up at the fair again this year. I asked if I could set up in the lobby, but I haven't received a green light yet. I will keep trying to stay positive and hope that something ends up working out.

Well, it's time to fold cards. Here's to more art time in 2015.

In : Reflections 

Tags: "watercolor painting" "commissions" "keene nh" "art walk" "art in the park" "the orchard school" "antioch university new england" "recompence shore campground" 
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