Quick pause in my Spring 2018 Wardrobe Planning (my workload is requiring me to space it out a bit this time around) to tell you all I’ve fallen in love with a dickey. Or should I say another dickey. When Woolfolk was teasing the pattern above, now revealed as Grete, I instantly fell for the […]
It feels as if it’s become some form of cathartic therapy now to pass on my ‘latest bad watercolour news’. I received news last Thursday that my two entries to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition had, after the customary ‘careful consideration by the judges’ been unsuccessful in making it to the next stage of the selection process.
The RA Summer Exhibition promotes itself as the world’s largest open submission art exhibition. It also attracts submissions from many very well established artists too so this news wasn’t entirely unexpected. On the bright side, it has given me the inspiration for a future blog post. It’s going to be entitled ‘The price of (watercolour) failure’ in which I tot up how much I’ve spent on fruitless exhibition entries.
This shall have to wait however as I currently have another five works that I’ve recently submitted to the Jacksons’ Open Painting Prize 2018 (JOPP 2018). I’m still awaiting news of the judges’s ‘careful consideration’ and shall, be it cathartic or celebratory, be sharing any news with you shortly.
So, enough of the bad news, what about the good news?
In short, here are a couple of paintings that I’m really quite pleased with. The first is a scene from Barcelona. Remarkably, it’s almost a year on since we went to Barcelona and my photos from that trip are still proving a rich source of inspiration!
This was quarter sheet was painted quite quickly and quite loosely. Even after I’d reached a point that I could consider it ‘finished’, I wasn’t at all convinced by it. It just felt a little bit ragged. The figures in particular were a little too vague and indistinct for my liking. From a distance, however, I do think it captures the feel and atmosphere that I was seeking – of taking time out for relaxing morning coffee on a bright day.
After my initial scepticism about this painting, and as long as I don’t scrutinise it too closely, the more time I spend with it, the more I like it!
Buoyed by my approach to this painting, my next choice of subject was something a little closer to home: Trafalgar Square, London. I’ve said before that I’m wary of trying to paint well known or famous views so even now I’m a little surprised that I went for this particular scene.
My intention was to tackle this using a limited palette of grey-blues using combinations of cerulean, cobalt and French ultramarine mixed with light red. I did manage to stick mainly to this range of colours I but did also lapse into a little yellow, for the greens of the distant trees, and a little turquoise cobalt, which I used with blues for the water in the fountain.
There’s a tremendous amount of simplification of all the background buildings that, in life, are riddled with architectural details. I thought I could get myself tied in knots trying to capture these when, the focus in my mind was trying to capture the sense of light, with the fountain the main focal point, and everything else playing a supporting role.
Most of the white of the fountain is the white of the paper, with only the odd touch of white gouache here and there for the odd highlight. I recently did a painting (or two I think!) of another fountain in Dieppe and, based on what I learnt doing those paintings, I did have a certain plan of action for depicting this fountain. This plan was mainly to do some careful negative painting and some equally careful dry brush painting at the end.
Even with a plan, however, I did on occasion have to have words with myself about getting too tight, at which point I forced myself to move on quickly and work on another element. I’m taking it as a sign of continued progress that these ‘alarm bells’ are ringing earlier and earlier – often when there’s still time to prevent irreparable damage to the painting. It’s not that long ago that I’d be looking at a finished painting and only then realise and bemoan the fact that I’d allowed myself to tighten up too much.
To conclude then, I think after receiving news of my latest rejection (little sad face), these two paintings couldn’t have come at a better time as they have really helped me to keep everything in perspective (really big smiley face).
First impressions last when it comes to working with someone new. You might think that the primary features that’ll only be looked at are your face and body, but the devil is always in the detail. Every detail from your loose eyelash to over-powdered blush and even your nail polish can reveal how much you aren’t as meticulous as you try to present yourself to be. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to presenting yourself and making sure that you’re presenting your very best.
Look the part
Nothing says ‘you’ more than showing a little bit of professional and stylish creativity. Don’t back away from looking your best on the first day. Don’t be ashamed to look better than the rest; it’s not about a competition with your co-workers, it’s a competition that you have against yourself, to bring the best you that you can be in the workplace. Don’t forget your nails. With press-on nails coming in a wide array of colors and styles you can find the perfect set to match any outfit. Press-on nails from imPRESS Manicure are affordable enough that you can mix it up and change your nails to match your outfit any day of the week. Dare to be different but professional in the workplace, but never too much to attract unwanted attention. Dress your best and it’ll be sure to boost confidence in yourself in approaching the day.
Act the part
Symmetry can be found in all things. From the formation of a leaf to the pattern of a snow flake, balance is a great presentation of beauty. Never forgot to present yourself in a professional but fun way. Don’t be the strict and uptight newcomer; show yourself to be the confident and open team player. A good first impression is showing that you are capable at what you do but at the same time versatile and flexible in facing any challenge. This will not only show that you have confidence in yourself and what you can do, but it will also boost morale among fellow workers regarding being around you.
Embrace the part
Whether it is your first day on the job or your first appearance in a company meeting, it’s always good to put your best foot forward. Know how to dress appropriately for which meeting or which dinner, which heels to use for formal or casual gala events. Showing that you can still bring out your personality even in the confines of a professional setting shows a lot of what you are about and what you’re willing to bring to the table. But with all things, always learn to keep a balance. It takes someone with talent and confidence to show the best that they can be, but it takes a seasoned veteran to know when too much is too much. And lastly, don’t forget to compliment and recognize those who do the same. A good work environment is a friendly work environment.
In really starting to think about dressing myself for Spring — or the most important part: what I get to make! — I of course started a spring 2018 mood board at Pinterest, and thought it’d be a good idea to go back through last year’s spring planning posts … but alas, there are none! […]
Christine is known for her writing prompt challenges on her blog Brave and Reckless. She is now hosting a Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge at the Go Dog Go Cafe. The prompts are designed to be quick challenges that can be written in 10 to 15 minutes, inspire you creatively, are fun, and get everyone interacting. Please post your response to the prompt in the comments below and show your fellow posters some love and support. All members of the Go Dog Go community, including Baristas, are welcome to participate. Feel free to share this post on your own blogs and/or Facebook.
Christine is always looking for cool, quick writing prompts. If you have a great idea for a future Tuesday prompt challenge, send it to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today’s prompt: This is an exercise in concise expression. Rewrite a famous book or movie in two sentences.