31 December 2019

Review of 2019

This year has seen some major life changes that have affected my creative output. In March (after 4 months of trying), we bought a house in Whangamata (Coromandel, NZ), which is where we plan to retire to in about four years time. In May we finally sold our Millwater apartment and in June we started renting an apartment in Auckland for work during the week. So there has been a lot of packing, moving, unpacking and setting up home (in two locations). We have been going down to the house every weekend, working away at decorating/renovating, which is a long term project.

As a result of all this, I have had very little time for creativity. In March, the International Polymer Clay Association announced the results of the 2018 IPCA Awards. My entry, ‘Inspiration’, won in the category: Applicant Artists Members Choice for Non-Functional Sculpture and Hanging Art. Subsequently, in August, this piece also won a Merit Award in the 3D category at the Estuary Arts Centre Members Merit Awards.

I did accept one commission this year and, between selling/moving, created the piece ‘Auckland – City of Sails’. The only other dot mosaic piece I have made, is for the Harcourts Art Challenge 2020. This challenge has the theme ‘What’s on Your Mind’. I have just finished the piece, which is called ‘What’s on my mind – Whangamata’. It will be on display at The Big Arts Day Out Exhibition in Whangamata on 9, 10 & 11 January 2020.

It was hard at first, not entering competitions/exhibitions that I have normally done every year. However, now I have made that break, it feels quite liberating, not having deadlines to meet. Maybe I will keep things that way next year.

I have had a lot of ‘thinking’ time whilst travelling between Auckland and Whangamata at weekends. My main thoughts have been about what I do next, when I get some creative time. I love and am still inspired by creating dot mosaics, which have had some successful sales. However they are very time consuming, as I have to colour mix and make all the tiles, stick them on and then grout (really do not enjoy this part). After 10 years of creating with polymer clay, is it time for a change?

For a while, I have been looking at ‘dot painting’ online. I could create a similar looking end result, without the need for making the tiles and grouting. This should not take so long to complete. My only reservation is that I do not find painting relaxing, as I am always worried about smudging it. However, a lot of the dot painting artists I have studied online, say they find it relaxing.

For 2020, my plan is to try and practice dot painting, to see if this could replace making the polymer dot mosaics. My main inspirations are:

This picture I came across in a local store in Whangamata (artist unknown) but it reminds of dot paintings I saw exhibited at the Lake House Arts Centre in Takapuna, several years ago, by an artist who I believe was called Robianto.

Also the work of Brandon Rollins (see below). Rather than painting dot mandalas, as so many others do so well, I would rather create pictures, my usual subjects are flowers and landscapes. I would try and paint them using Brandon's technique, with different coloured backgrounds to certain areas of the painting.

If I can master painting the dots and still enjoy creating artwork this way, dot painting could have a number of advantages:
·         Materials would be cheaper
·         Size not limited by the size of oven (for baking polymer clay when applied raw on 3D objects)
·         Wider choice of substrates (especially for 3D) as it does not have to withstand baking temperatures
·         Suitable for outdoor art (if painted on a suitable substrate)
·         Paintings are considered of higher value than mosaics
·         Not using ‘plastic’ modelling clay*

*This is an issue that keeps coming up in my mind, with the current move towards reducing plastic waste. Not that I ever create any waste with polymer modelling clay. The ironic thing is that polymer modelling clay is of very similar make up as acrylic paint, and no-one says there should be a ban on painting with acrylic paints.

2020 will be a busy year, as there is still a lot work to do on our house including creating a studio area at the end of the garage, but I will focus on mastering the art of dot painting – and see where that takes me.

18 December 2019

Entry finshed for the Harcourts Art Challenge 2020

This challenge has the theme ‘What’s on Your Mind’. I have just finished the 3D dot mosaic piece, which is called ‘What’s on my mind – Whangamata’. It will be on display at The Big Arts Day Out Exhibition in Whangamata on 9, 10 & 11 January 2020. I will post photos/video, once the judging has taken place on Friday 9 January.

02 August 2019

'Inspiration' wins a Merit Award

Thrilled to win a Merit Award for my dot mosaic sculpture, titled ‘Inspiration’. See the exhibition, which is on throughout August, at the Estuary Arts Centre, Orewa.

'Inspiration' - in daylight and in the dark

Receiving the award

On display with judge's comments

Exhibition details

29 July 2019

Auckland - City of Sails (commission)

Although I am taking a 'creative break' this year, I have managed to finish this piece, which was a commission.

19 March 2019

15 March 2019

Videos of my winning piece - Inspiration

Here is 'Inspiration' filmed in daylight

and here it is in the dark

2018 International Polymer Clay Awards - a winner

Just watched the live announcement of the 2018 International Polymer Clay Awards. I was thrilled to get an award for my sculpture, Inspiration, in the following category: Applicant Artists Members Choice for Non-Functional Sculpture and Hanging Art. So now I can reveal the piece.

Inspiration - in daylight and in the dark

Title: 'Inspiration'

Description: The meandering line of small glow in the dark tiles represents the initial inspiration or brainwave. I often get my creative inspiration in the dark of the night. The graded colors that ripple out from this brainwave represent the development of an idea into the whole concept. The choice of shades of turquoise reflects the restful, calm, contemplation that forms part of my inspirational process. Each mosaic tile that covers this sphere is like one small part of a grand plan, and it is very satisfying when they all come together, to create the whole thing. As I was making this sculpture, I was already getting inspiration for my next creation.

Materials: Polymer clay tiles and acrylic paste grout (over stainless steel sphere)

Dimensions: 17 cm (63/4 inches) across x 17 cm (63/4 inches) high

To view the winners of all the categories in the 2018 International Polymer Clay Awards click here

08 March 2019

I am taking a 'Creative Break' this year (2019)

Sometimes there are just too many things vying for your time. You can only do so much and rather than spreading yourself thinly over too many things, it is often better to just concentrate on the most important. Whilst my creative art/craft work is my lifeblood, it is going to have to take a back seat this year, but it will be worth it in the long run.

I do not normally post personal information on my website but this might help to explain why I will not be doing any more creative work for the rest of this year. My post on 8 February 2019 was titled New Year, New Changes and 2019 is certainly going to be a big year of change for me. We (that is me and my husband) are buying a house in Whangamata, which is where we will ultimately retire to. The purchase has just gone unconditional and we settle on 21 March 2019. Unfortunately, because we both have to work in Auckland, at least for the next five years, we will only be able to go down at the weekends and for holidays. The whole house needs modernising and decorating, so plenty of weekend projects to do.

Back in Auckland, we are selling our current property and will then look to rent a small place, closer to where we both work, as a weekday crash-pad. The time-scale for this part of the plan is not definite. So with buying, selling, finding a rental, packing and moving between properties, there is a lot going on in the immediate future. It is definitely not conducive to my creative flow. Once everything gets sorted, it will take some time to get settled into the new lifestyle pattern. I am not sure yet how much time I will have for creative work, and where that will be located, but hopefully by the end of this year it will all fall into place.

25 February 2019

Polymer clay mosaics - trending now

I had quite a surprise today, when reading this post on the Polymer Arts Blog about polymer clay mosaics, to find myself mentioned:


08 February 2019

New Year, New Changes

We are now into February and I have not created any new artwork since before Christmas. We had family visiting from the UK for most of January and at the same time we have been preparing and putting our property up for sale. Although it is frustrating, not being able to get in my studio (which is currently all packed away so it looks like a bedroom again for selling), it is all part of a grand plan. The sale of our property will enable us to buy the house we want to retire to in Whangamata.

Although retirement is quite a number of years away (five if my husband is able to retire at 65), if we are successful in purchasing, we will use it as a holiday home and go down for weekends. This will mean major changes to my current life pattern and probably very little time for creating over the next five years but it is a sacrifice I have to make for the future. Retirement to a lovely little town, with a fantastic beach, community and social scene - and all the time I want to be creative 😊

So you may not see many posts for a while, and I may not have time to create many new pieces, but check the EVENTS tab regularly for any exhibitions/markets that I will be doing this year.

28 January 2019

Mission Bay Art & Craft Market - Monday 28 January 2019

After some unexpected drizzle, when setting up and for the first part of the morning, the weather turned out good. By the afternoon there were plenty of visitors to the market and in terms of clearing old stock (in anticipation of moving house), it was a successful day.

27 January 2019

Come and say 'Hello' tomorrow - the weather is looking good

I will be selling Swirl-StoNZ plus the last of my 'Studio Clearance' items, ready for moving house in the near future.