Happy New Year everyone! Where did 2015 go? It seems to have whizzed by - and no wonder, I had a very busy time of it. When I look back over the year, it will be best remembered (for me anyway) for my SAA (Society of All Artists) Artist of the Year for Flowers & Garden's Category win for my oil painting Ena Harkness. An achievement I am incredibly proud of. Our trip to London where we met other members of my family at London Islington's Business Design Centre was a memorable day. Aside from seeing all the wonderful SAA artists such as Vic Bearcroft, Kirk Glander, Sharon Hurst and Mike Skidmore whom I follow on social media (among others), trying my hand at all the various craft stalls, etc, it was truly something else to see my handiwork hanging alongside other winners. It was even more astonishing when I saw the guest judge from The Big Painting Challenge, Lachlan Goudie, surveying the artwork, including mine. The following month's SAA magazine featured my artwork, too. Rather chuffed.
More memories were made for me when my Hot Toddy painting was featured in Artist's and Illustrator's Magazine. The editors were going through the Artist of the Year entries and my artwork captured their eye, so in the mag it went. Happy days. It did not get shortlisted for that particular award but I was more than happy with my painting being seen by thousands in a national art magazine.
Sangria Whatever The Weather, another competition entry, was shortlisted on the Ken Bromley Art Supplies website and the winner chosen by public vote. All the bribing in the world via my friends, family, man on the street and strangers in our local Asda did not ensure my winning position.
To top off my year of artisty "stuff" I was approached by a representative from Help For Heroes Charity. A lovely lady called Elaine who asked if I could donate any artwork in order to raise funds for the charity, and in particular, HeroesArt, a part of the charity that uses art for therapy for our veterans. I gladly donated Elodie (African Lady) and Pink Winter Rose. I was overjoyed to be informed that both pieces of art were sold at their Annual Charity Ball auction, raising £495. Result.
And what next? Commissions abound, which have arrived in all guises. There is now a dedicated page on my website for commission work for anyone who fancies getting their own unique piece of art done. I do not know what I am going to be asked to paint next. I have so far done artwork ranging from an adorable pussycat (Brucie) to Blackpool Seafront, from kids jumping in the waves (Jump and Isaac & Daisy) to the Liverpool Skyline in Coxwain's Dawn. You will find all these on my Feedback & Testamonials page and you can purchase prints of Coxwain's Dawn, too. As well as dividing my time between the artwork I am inspired to do and the commissions I receive, I think it is a good way of stretching one's artistic ability and gaining valuable experience along the way. You never stop learning, do you, whatever you are doing. I am happy that I am doing what I love and learning more all the time. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be able to do this from home, around my family commitments with the love and support from them and my friends. I hope it continues into 2016 and beyond.
Aha! So now I can see where 2015 went. Whether your 2015 was a memorable year, like mine, or whether you are glad to see the back of it, may I wish you good health, prosperity and happiness in 2016.
Catch you soon.