2018 Review

Wow, I’ve been writing this blog for a whole year! Thanks to everyone who has visited. I’m looking forward to continuing in 2019 with some more projects and lots of fun creative experiments! Here’s a look back over the year.

Main focus:

This blog. I have written 38 Painted Jaguar blog posts in 2018, mostly centred on a particular art piece, with a few news items and reviews thrown in. I have plans for some more “Inspired by…” pieces, and some posts on specific techniques.  Do follow me on Twitter and Instagram if you want to keep updated.

Most fun piece:

Either the Dear Jane page or the precisionism piece I did in August. For Dear Jane, the whole process of doing the online workshop by Laly Mille was uplifting and thought-provoking. The journalling exercise, the Pinterest board, and putting the final piece together layer by layer all felt very grounding and optimistic. Similarly, what felt good about the precisionism piece was the depth behind it; I’d learnt about the art movement at an exhibition and been inspired by the paintings there, which gave it a context.

Favourite product:

Probably has to be craft acrylics, give how much I’ve used them, and the fact that my stash mysteriously increases every time I go to a craft shop. At the moment I’m quite taken with the Pebeo 59ml bottles from Hobbycraft; they have a great range of colours in matt, gloss and pearl finishes. They generally get poured straight onto the canvas to make fun backgrounds with brush, brayer or swiped over with a storecard.

This is the first year I…

…did Inktober as a mixed media project. I’d done Inktober once before, but as the usual drawing challenge. This year I made a mixed media journal. While not without merit, the series of short pieces somehow wasn’t particularly satisfying; next time I hope to do longer, more in-depth pieces and simply aim to work on them every day.

New techniques:

A few experiments this year. I tried out some Pebeo Mixed Media at a workshop run by Cass Art (see their webpage for some examples).  It’s a bit like acrylic pouring but with more of a lacquer sort of finish.

And, inspired by that, I also decided to see what I could do with some old nail varnish.
Other experiments included a fun way to make Cubist-style art, and playing around with some old train tickets.

Another new experience – I was gifted a china decorating workshop at Stokes Croft China, which was great fun.  They use ceramic transfers recovered from a factory relocation for people to make their own collaged designs which are then fired onto the china.  The resulting mix of styles (mostly from the 60s, 70s and 80s) can make for great quirky designs.

What else?

A few weeks ago I ran a card making workshop at a Christmas fair on behalf of a local charity. I’d hoped to inspire a few adults to get creative, but it was pretty much just the kids that got involved. Ah well, they had a good time.  It was very messy!

What I’m looking forward to in 2019:

Well, I didn’t get much life drawing done this year, so I’m still looking for a good class to get me back into that. I feel I’m just getting into my stride with the mixed media, and maybe I’ll get as far as selling a few cards and prints this year. More textile pieces are definitely on the cards, and I may finally get myself that lino-printing set I’ve been looking at for ages.

Happy New Year – may 2019 be filled with joy and creativity!


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