Thursday, September 17, 2009

Painting Commission, Competitions & the Business of Illustration

Although the past few weeks have flown by I have been far from idle. I completed a 16x32” oil painting landscape. I was commissioned to paint a client’s property with Mt Macedon in the distance, some of their house, his wife, himself, two children, 3 horses, a cat and a favourite tree. The painting had a very tight time-line and involved using the client’s photos and a 2 hour trip to the property for sufficient reference. It was very difficult to place so many elements in the composition but I did my best.

I forgot to photograph the final painting.
This photo is of the right half of the painting.

Competition - fingers crossed!
I am also working on a large 60x40” oil painting for a competition with a looming deadline. The painting needs to be completed this week. I will post the images once the show is judged.
SCBWI & Illustration
As for Children’s Book Illustration, I have spent most of my time reading, researching, and watching interviews by author/illustrators. I attended my first SCBWI (The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) meeting last Saturday.
The meeting was very informative and the members were friendly and generous with advice. We met in a restaurant in Carlton to listen to 3 speakers, enjoy a delicious afternoon tea and mingle. I was most interested in the tips from the literary agent Sheila Drummond. My main interest is in illustrating children’s books however I still want to know if I am capable as an author/illustrator and want to learn all it involves. It is in my nature to do things well so I like to gather all the facts carefully to ensure I take the most direct path to my goals.
Sheila’s direct honest advice was invaluable. I love a speaker who doesn’t waffle on and gets straight to the information. Member Anna Ciddor was still buzzing from her trip to the USA for the SCBWI International Conference and Author Dianna Lawrenson spoke on 'Writing and Life - A Juggling Act'.
Creative Space
It was interesting to note that life as a creative person either as an artist or writer had similar challenges and we work in a similar way. I remembered sighing under my breath when Dianna mentioned the importance of having your own creative space. My marriage earlier this year increased my family by 4 and as a result I had to share my working space. It has been difficult to accommodate the more boisterous activities and it has limited my working time enormously. I love my fun interactive family but I needed somewhere to concentrate as well.

As with any problem there is a solution and this week with a little help from the kids, we moved around 3 rooms, furniture and belongings, blocking a wall off to create a room for my office and studio. They still use this room but know to check if I need to be left to work – Nothing stopping me now!


Cheryl Lynn said...

This is such a wonderful and informative post. The painting looks beautiful even in its unfinished state.

I look forward to joining and participating in the SCBWI events and meetings.

Work space is so important. Since I've gotten back to the process of creating, I've had trouble establishing a "work space" in my apartment. I hope to have that remedied soon. Thanks for this most interesting and informative post.

Have a great weekend.

Cheryl Lynn said...

Oh, I forgot...
Congrats on your commission and best wishes for the competition!

Kayleen West-Black said...

Congratulations on your membership to SBCWI Cheryl you will find it valuable for sure.

Re: Work area
Yes I am still re-arranging my work area. New equipment can mean a few changes but once settled into my new area it will be terrific.

Eric said...

I love the oil painting. Especially the family walking. It brings back memories and communicates a family at peace and in harmony with each other. Something we all long for. Being part of a family ministry, I am always looking for positive images of families. Do you have any others?

Eric Skattebo

The Positive Spirit Blog