Tag Archives: 52 art challenges

Learning From My Live Art Exhibition Experience

Following on from my previous post with the learnings up to the point of hanging the exhibition, this is the next instalment of tips and advice if planning an art show.

Thankfully my husband helped me to hang my art exhibition artworks on the walls of the cafe. The cafe had a picture rail so it was a matter of popping to the local angling shop to buy fishing wire strong enough to hold the artworks. Then hanging them, adding the prints, ensuring everything was labelled, and making sure that the Inventory was correct.

Exhibition Tips

Fishing Wire: Know that it stretches depending on weight of the item it is displaying. Know roughly how much your artworks weigh – so you can select your fishing wire , if that is your hanging method. I didn’t know that fishing wire unknots itself, so you need to triple knot the ends. Canvases can hang with the top away from the wall when hung with fishing wire, so you may need something to pull them into the wall like a sticky fixing.

Exhibition Guide: It occurred to me the morning we were due to hang that the story of each artwork and its inspiration were relevant and may be of interest to visitors. The artist cannot always be at the venue so a succinct Exhibition Guide can work to inform on your behalf. I printed two copies of the guide and packed it as I had done the prints, in crystal cell bags with a cardboard sheet to support. This meant they would be fit for purpose at the exhibition and enabled the visitor to move around the exhibition with the Guide.

At the launch evening the guides were useful for people to be able to browse at their own pace.

Enjoy whatever happens: When the launch evening came I didn’t know how many people would arrive, when or whether they would pop in, stay a while, ask questions, or just want to look. Best to be relaxed and go with the flow.

Put plenty of you into the event: Its nice to have a professional cake and catering, but be sure that you have carefully thought about what to choose, how to display and how to ensure that the choices are your creative way. The personal touch can make all the difference and make the show more original. This makes for a more interesting, fun and memorable event.

Questions and Answers: I have organised travel events for journalists but an art event was new to me. I didn’t know what to expect, what people might ask, and therefore how I might explain or answer. I suggest having a think beforehand, either alone of with a couple of friends, consider what people may ask and give thought to artwork explanations that you may not have vocalised before.

 

Other activity: Think beforehand about whether you might like to do other activity alongside the exhibition. Once my exhibition was in place I felt very strongly that I wished to host an art workshop in the exhibition space, it would be the first of such an evert. Once my artworks were on the walls it felt fitting to practice art with likeminded people there.

Secondly I thought that I would have liked to have unveiled a new artwork part way through the show, my exhibition is live for five weeks so that is something I would have done in hindsight.

Younger Visitors or Young at Heart: As I launched my exhibition in the school holidays I thought that it would have been nice to produce some colouring or activity sheets for children to make the exhibition more interactive for them, and left a pot of crayons or coloured pencils with them. Maybe a children’s art workshop would have been nice.

Dedicate Time: I know that as my artworks are at the cafe I feel very drawn to be in that space, I would suggest ensure that there is some flexibility in your schedule to be able to go there when you feel inclined.

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Related posts

First Art Exhibition ‘How To’ – My Learnings Shared

First Birthday and Art Exhibition Evening

Art Exhibition – Just days away…

Emerging From Injury To Produce Art Exhibition

Thanks for visiting my website. Enjoy today x

 

 

 

 

 

First Art Exhibition ‘How To’ – My Learnings Shared

Later today I am opening my first art exhibition so here is the post I would have liked to have read before I started out. Here’s what I have learned so far and what I wish I had known.

1. Create in standard proportions

Do this right from the start. This will make it easier when framing,  reproducing and packaging your artwork and prints. Otherwise you’ll have to lose some of your image, have white space or have to use more expensive customised fittings.

When creating something  that you may wish to reproduce on canvas have enough space around the main subject (s) to wrap around a canvas frame, this means that you needn’t lose any of the work and will avoid time spent stretching or mirroring the image to make it cover the frame.

2. Learn how to scan, stitch scans together and colour match/adjust.

Find someone to teach you, this will save time, money and give you more control.

3. Be open to opportunities

In July 2015 I hobbled painfully on my recovering leg on a journey I had planned since the previous December. Whilst skating in the Christmas Show at Ice Sheffield Anwen, owner of Cafe and Gift Shop Airy Fairy, had seen my art on a cosmetic bag and suggested I visit her shop to discuss options for displaying my work.

Major knee injury just days after first speaking to Anwen had delayed my visit to her shop; but on meeting Anwen we discussed my work and she offered a five week exhibition in the cafe.

As my art is bright and sunny so I felt that it suited the month of April, so we scheduled the exhibition. I had seized the opportunity that arose through the chance encounter. I knew I would learn a great deal through the preparation process and would be able to show my art to a wider audience.

4. Measure and photograph the exhibition space

Don’t be shy about getting a measure of the exhibition space. Measure the space, take photographs.

Decide roughly how you will exhibit in the space and then curate from your art. I had lots of doubts, “do I have too many pieces” or “too few”. A scale drawing of the space would have enabled me to visualise the exhibition better, sooner and saved me time on the long run. Ask for a floor plan, your venue may have one.

Visit the venue to see how other artists have worked in the space and consider what works and what you might like to do.

5. Edit your collection

Deciding what to include is difficult, I thought about what would be popular, what would people like, what would suit the customer base. What I should have thought from the start was – which artworks do I like best, which show my skill/ability and are my greatest accomplishments. Those are the pieces to include. I came to under stand that we cannot control other people’s interpretations or how they will respond, not everyone will like everything as art is very individual.

6. Ask for supplier recommendations

I wanted to do as much as the process myself, so that I cold maximise the learning and my understanding of what goes into producing canvases and prints. I learned a about paper stock, print colours, calibration, image resolution, file format, scanning, canvas quality, canvas frames, hanging fittings, fishing wire, labelling, packaging, copyrighting and my nemesis… pricing.

7. Research and Read

I referred to Lisa Congdon’s Art Inc, Kelly Rae-Roberts Flying Lessons and Lila Rogers Make Art That Sells throughout the process. If anything I wish that I could have had a knowing artist buddy by my side who had been through a similar process.

8. Log all component costs into a spreadsheet as you go

Log all the artwork components and packaging elements so that you have your cost prices per artwork calculated well enough in advance.  Pricing is challenging, so the baseline cost price is important.

9. Have someone to bounce off

A friend that can give a second opinion and to help you set up the show will calm your doubts and make it more fun.

10. Enjoy the process – stay creative

An exhibition is very personal and is you showing the fruits of your creativity and hard work. I found that when I wasn’t enjoying the preparation process it was because I wasn’t being creative enough. I learned to stop and think of a more creative approach which enabled me to be the artist, to be innovative unique and original. I also liked it when things were more personal and quirky. Our printer decided not to print anything in black ink just days before the event, but I have to say that I am pleased with the results and glad that it challenged me to find other ways and colours to express in.

11. Accept that there will be admin tasks

Spreadsheets, contracts, insurance documents, inventories, price lists, advertising, press releases, invitations, briefing notes. It’s all part of the process, it can be fun when you find a creative approach and know that this is to celebrate your work and give the art the chance to breathe and be seen beyond your home or studio.

12. Don’t over complicate, don’t stress

This is art, it’s not definitive. Focus on showing the best you can, what happens from there is out of your control.

13. Appreciate your followers  

Their belief and support is infinitely valuable, remember that when feeling doubtful or confused.

14. Keep going and believe in yourself. 

If it is, like me, your first exhibition this is totally new and so it will be challenging but keep going and believe in yourself, who knows where it will lead. There will be set backs, just now I’m waiting to pack the artworks into the car but I can get through the hall as there is a man working on our broken boiler. Hopefully the boiler breaking is the only setback today. Lastly, celebrate how far you have come and be open-minded about the future.

My art exhibition runs for the next five weeks until 2nd May at Airy Fairy, London Road, Sheffield. The exhibition comes after a journey into art, see the blog posts about the 52 Art Challenges that I completed on the way.

 

Spread your wings and fly!

 

Emerging From Injury To Produce Art Exhibition

PRESS RELEASE:

22nd March 2016 – In January 2015 Kim suffered acute knee injury requiring major surgery and thus began two years of rehabilitation. The injury forced Kim to forego sport, and her successful public relations career, and instead she began to explore a passion for art. 13 months on Kim is to hold a month long debut exhibition in Sheffield.

After a literally ‘top flight’ career in travel industry public relations, including running the press office for Thomson Travel Group, Kim swopped words for pictures to become a mixed media artist. Kim’s works of art will be exhibited under the brand of Inspire by Kim from 29th March to 2nd May Airy Fairy Cafe and Gift Shop on London Road, Sheffield.

Kim said, “I am delighted, and still pinching myself, to be holding this exhibition of my art. In the past year art has been my distraction, a pain reliever, one of the few things I could do despite my injury. I’ve found comfort creating bright artworks and although I’ve not been able to go far I’ve loved exploring through art, using traditional media and digital, from 2D through to animation.”

Anwen Fryer-Burrows, of Airy Fairy, commented, “I have seen the development of Kim’s art since we met in December 2014 and have been impressed by the body of work and different styles she has developed. It feels a pleasure to host her first exhibition.”

Kim said, “Art has been the good that came out of the injury and I’m thankful for the inspiration that colours and creating have given me. I hope that my art will now inspire others in whatever is meaningful for them.”

The exhibition runs from 29th March to 2nd May. Visitors can enjoy refreshments or lunch as they browse the exhibition.

Airy Fairy Cafe & Gift Shop produces and sells local arts, crafts and jewellery as well as stocking crystals, magikal supplies, candles, aromatherapy oils, spiritual books as well as fair trade gifts from around the world.

To see more of Kim’s work visit, including 52 Art Challenges completed on the journey to becoming an artist, visit her website at www.inspirebykim.com or Facebook page.

***ENDS***

For further information contact: inspirebykim@outlook.com

 

Self Portrait in Acrylic Paints

After my markers self portrait there was an opportunity to try a portrait in acrylic paints.

I put a photograph alongside the canvas and painted. I was trying to remove my thinking from the process and just look paint, look paint, colour match paint until the face was done. I did the hair the next day trying to create the texture with the marks I was making.

The portrait reminded me a lot of the Katherine Jenkins paper cut portrait that I created from magazine pictures a year ago this week.

Learnings

Don’t look away from the canvas whilst the brush is in contact with it.

Keep stepping well back to look, squint to see it sometimes.

It’s not as hard as I thought it be, keep being courageous.

What’s Next

I would like to try a portrait in oil paints.

Related Posts

Art Challenge 52 – Self Portrait

Paper Cut Portrait – Katherine Jenkins

Oil Painting – Underwater Calm Lady

Having stretched and prepared a canvas I was ready to give oil paints a second chance.

When I previously tried oil paints I didn’t have a great experience as I didn’t know then about turps, linseed oil, thin and fat.

On this occasion I was fortunate that a local artist guided me through the essentials and I started to paint. I was sceptical that the oil painting experience could eclipse acrylic painting, as I love the bright pigment and neons available in acrylics.

However as I started to paint I enjoyed the feel of the paint on the canvas as the brush passed over it. I enjoyed the line, the texture and how the canvas felt so different than when using acrylic paints.

I was keen to create a painting from a marker (then digital with photo and watercolour elements) piece that I had created of a woman enjoying calm under water. Before painting I drew the lines in charcoal. I did this quickly and in future would spend more time on that stage.

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Copyright Inspire by Kim

I am normally keen to create swiftly and achieve the end outcome, but as I painted I enjoyed the action and, similar to my experience with life drawing, I found it a very pure form of art. I could have painted with those materials hundreds of years ago, there’s something magical about that.

So here is the final piece, plus the fun little duck (inspired by Jeff Koons) to place the lady in the bath. I’m pleased with the outcome, can’t wait to start my next oil painting and I learned a lot in the process.

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Copyright Inspire by Kim

Learnings

I learned to plan the piece out well beforehand.

To think about the layers of the painting.

To have a clear picture of the face that I want to create, trying to oil paint from my head was tricky.

To think about the proportions of the canvas to ensure they are standard, as this will make it easier to reproduce the artwork if you wish.

Not to paint too close to the edges of the canvas as if reproduced some of the painting will be lost.

Set up the easel in a position with consistent light and in a place that you can get far enough back from it so see it from a distance, as this can reveal things not apparent at close quarters.

Developing the artwork

I took the image digital to test out different elements during the process.

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Copyright Inspire by Kim

I used the key elements of the artwork to create a lino cut for printing. I used Picasso‘s reduction technique to add to the effect. Here are some of my favourite prints.

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Thank you for visiting my blog, I have some exciting news imminent so please ‘Follow’ my blog so that you receive updates.

Related posts

Under The Sea

Bubble Wrap Coat To Save Our Seas

Painted Fish Used In Underwater (He)Artwork

Painting Fish – Part Two

Lino Printing – Art Challenge 49

Experimenting with Printing – Art Challenge 46

Self Portrait – Number 52 – the FINAL art challenge

I guess I am present in all my art as I have created it. My art represents my beliefs, feelings and life values.

Through my art development in the past 2 years I have been trying to demonstrate emotion, nostalgia, hopes and thoughts.

Therefore it’s hard to pinpoint a starting point for this challenge. However drawing practice and life drawing were key areas that make my self representation possible. You can read about those challenges at these links.

Follow your passions, nourish your mind and body.

This artwork was created through life drawing and then used Lino prints and digital work. The piece is about being in the right life groove which is inspiring and motivating, supporting one’s interests and abilities.

My aim is to inspire and uplift people with my bright artworks
My ceramic face with elements key to me.
This artwork was created through a mirror with photography, digital and watercolours.
Watercolour painting copying from a photo.
Marker portrait from a photo, digital Colour adjustments inspired by Andy Warhol

And breathe.  I am pleased with the outcome of this final challenge in what has been a life changing transition to art. There have been disappointments and surprising surpassing of my expectations. See the highs and lows in the 52 posts. One thing is for sure it has been colourful and lots of fun. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone 52 times, and for the motivation to progress I am very thankful.

I now want to have a think about what I wish to achieve next, I have some exciting plans which I’ll be able to reveal soon.

It is my goal to inspire people, so if you have been inspired at all I’d love to hear about that or see art or creations as a result. Thank you sincerely for your support, for following my blog, for visiting and giving me the onus to go on. If there is anyone that you think might be inspired by my art please share http://www.inspirebkim.com with them, for this I would be grateful.

So that’s it, 52 Art Challenges completed, all of it art from the heart. 

My favourite posts from the 52 are these:

Art Challenge 13 – Paper Cut Pictures

Part Two – Paper Cut Pictures

My Life In Paper

Art Challenge 15 – Animating Paper Pictures

Illustrated Children’s Book – The Dog Who Wanted To Fly

and finally my story…

Emerging From Injury To Produce Art Exhibition

Lino Printing – Art Challenge 49

My first experience of lino printing proved enjoyable and productive.

Based on a digitally collaged image of an angel protected by a colour bubble and an outer bubble I drew the image onto tracing paper to transfer onto a piece of lino.

The lino was then placed on a warming plate until it was warmed enough to make etching the lino have a buttery feel.

I etched along the lines of the drawing and then added the word Peace.

Then wearing an apron, hair tied back and barrier cream on my hands I applied ink with a roller onto a second piece of lino to create a background. I put the background lino sheet and a piece of paper through the roller press.

I then inked my etched piece of lino and then put the roller press over this to transfer the etched design onto the background.

I tried different combinations of background colour and sometimes added neat ink and white to add tone to the background.

I created many different iterations to become accustomed to the process. I then began to pick out key elements of the design in different colours.

I quickly realised that I should have reversed the letters for the “Peace’ slogan, but the sake of effect i have reversed the photos.

I thoroughly enjoyed the process and hope to try collograph printing next.

Thanks you for reading this blog post, other related articles/ are challenges are:

Printing 

Drawi Light and Shade

 

My Art Studio – The First Year

I was excited and delighted to move into my art studio a year ago.   It was a blank canvas, just a white walled room in Victorian building with a desk (later replaced with a table) a white board and a chair. The southerly orientation of the window was ideal for me as I like sunlight.


I enjoyed planning and making the space how I wanted, it didn’t have to appeal to anyone else.


I added my comfy chair for reading, pondering and sometimes snoozing. A storage unit which I added lights to, in amongst my paints and brushes. I took my many artworks, drawings, paintings that had never been displayed and put them where I could see them. By airing and showing them I started to believe, a little more, that I was right to explore the artist within me and let art become a focus and indulgence of my life.


I was busy preparing for my first ice show and so was often between my studio and the rink for the first two months, my skate boots would be drying out on the floor. On fine days I would take a walk in the adjoining country park, exploring a little further each time.

Art Challenge 17 - The Art of Skating
The Art of Skating. Copyright Kim 2014

Then on January 4th 2015 I blew my knee, an acute injury that six weeks later required acute surgery. 3 months on crutches, 4 months unable to drive and a resolve testing repetitive programme of rehabilitation exercises leads me to today.
This was not the year I expected and has seen my studio visits few and far between. But as I start to feel I am making the first steps into the light at the end of the tunnel, I have walked subconsciously for the first time, able to look around at the sky and trees. IMG_2288 The injury has not been all bad, it meant that I had the space to practice art. I had to resign from the marketing work I had just been contracted to. Other than my exercises I didn’t have time or energy for anything else, but art I could create sat on the floor, bed or with my leg elevated on the settee.
So I hope that as I go into the second year of my studio that I can now enjoy the space as I intended, to explore, learn, try privately and on the good days create beautiful original art. Hey I might even do Open Studios events sometimes.

My injury made me fearful of pain, death and further injury. The good thing is that it makes fear of making a mark, making a wrong line on a paper, laughable. This puts me in an ideal mindset to freely, open heartedly explore art, practice, learn and create works I would never have thought possible for me. So I boldly go forwards knowing it won’t all be good but that there is a solace for me in my studio space, in the colours and invention of making new art.

Here are the highlights from the past year. I’m excited for the next.
Twins Pic on Easel

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Rainbow Dancer by Kim
Copyright Inspire by Kim

Thanks for visiting my blog, maybe get a cup of tea and stay a while in this colourful space. Hoping you;re inspired in some way and maybe that it brightens your day. Enjoy!

Places to go next:

Animated Paper Pictures

Visual Life Purpose

Creative Studio Setting Up

Knee Art For Healing

Knee Injury Drawings

Rainbow Dancer Commission

Life Drawing – Art Challenge 44

Had a great afternoon as my first experience of life drawing.
We had four ten minute period to draw the female model in four different poses. We were encouraged to try a range of media, I had two thicknesses of charcoal, my pit pen and a pencil ready.
After my figurative drawing practice which formed part of the figurative drawing art challenge I decided to choose the charcoal, as I had been pleased with the former results.
I felt that the drawing for each pose improved as I practiced and learned and looked and drew. I was moved by the purity of the experience, like it was getting back to natural and the natural human form. I felt a warmth of gratitude at the opportunity and at the courage of the model to make her body available for our art experience and education.

  

  

    

   

When we took a short break I felt near exhausted from the energy I had out into to the shorter and the longer duration pieces of work. The last before the break was to use colour and oil pastels were recommended. I chose red, yellow. Orange, green and blue pastels as I didn’t know what I would need. I set to with the colours, shading with the complementary colours and the longer sitting time of the seated pose gave a lot of opportunity for detail and working into the picture.
The first half of the session I had been working at an easel on A1 paper, after so long standing my knee needed a rest so I took the seated option for the second part of the session.
As I had a very different drawing position I chose charcoal again for the next drawing and with more time worked into the detail. I don’t feel that the torso is the correct proportion but I’m pleased for a first time attempt. We were then advised to use a medium that we hadn’t previously used so I chose watercolour and large, thin and fine brushes. Again I chose the colours and darkened with complimentary colours to capture the model’s laid down pose.

      
I’m delighted with the progress that I made in the session, with what I learned and the fact that although it was nervous beforehand I relaxed into it. Was able to not overthink the task and knew I was enjoying it when I almost sang out loud. Will definitely be life drawing again as I really enjoyed it and contrary to my prior perception did reasonably well. I need to work on promotion and facial details but overall the results were positive.
Many thanks for taking the time to take a look at this post. If you liked this then you may enjoy these related posts.
Figurative Drawing

Knee Injury Drawings

Upcycled Lumiere From A World Globe – Art Challenge 43

I was excited to get stuck into the challenge of creating a lamp from found items.

The challenge was part of a larger workstream of upcycling, which followed the Marble Run creation that was Art Challenge 40.

Marble Run Challenge – Click to see our fun Marble Run
A number of items that were merely dust collecting in our home or languishing on top of the cupboard came to mind as items that needed a new purpose and new life.

In our home we have some cherished items of furniture that we have inherited or chosen instead of buying new items, as we struggle to see the rationale in buying something that is newly made when there are older, better quality items in existence, that have a story and deserve to be cherished and lived with.

I collected the items which were a children’s globe, a wooden interlocking kangaroo puzzle and a counterbalance wine bottle holder that we never trusted enough to use. I drew the components for the lamp as a way of understanding their form better and drew sketches of different options of how the components may be put together.

Testing the translucence of the globe before drilling the places visited holes.
Testing the translucence of the globe before drilling the places visited holes.
I had a limited amount of time in which to create the working lamp so I began building the lamp, firstly with the upright made from the wooden puzzle which I gave a structure to using wire ring binding. I used the ring binding wire to secure and hold the flex.

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I then fitted the upright into the bottle holder base, put a groove for the flex in the top of the puzzle and underneath the base wood. Once I added the brass fixing for the lamp housing I could then start to secure the globe.

I drilled holes on the globe in the places I have visited to give an extra point of interest and to vary the intensity of the light given.

It was tricky to support and affix the globe in a way that enabled the bulb to be changeable. I gave consideration to a number of possible support means,  including wire, an additional strut or a plaster hand to support it. I also thought of Velcro as this would grip the globe and still be separable. I’m pleased  to say that the Velcro worked and held fine.

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The theme of the piece is about travel enlightening, and the wonders our world holds, so I added bends of wire like a crazy network of journeys. Finally  I added three small paper aeroplanes made from an old map.

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To reference to flight I added feathers left in our garden when birds had been prey to a local fox or cat. The feathers worked well to soften the design and give a more feminine touch, they could be suggestive of angels above our world.

Ta Da - the final creation.
Ta Da – the final creation.
Delighted with the final outcome it was very much as I planned and is as attractive and effective as I hoped.
I learned that I ought to have tried things together without fixing them first and have given more consideration to fixings before I began but I enjoyed the challenge and now look forward to feeling pride when I use the light.

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Thank you! Thanks for reading this post I hope this has sparked a little inspiration, if so I would love to hear about that in the comments below. If you would like to see more please have a look at my other challenges and to be notified when my next challenge is completed you can ‘Follow” my blog.

These are posts which relate to this challenge:

Marble Run Challenge – Art Challenge 40

Design a Guitar – Art Challenge 12

Figurative Drawing – Art Challenge 41