Thursday, 1 January 2015

Plans, Paintings and Promises 2015

I never make New Year's resolutions, but writing a plan at the beginning of last year seemed to set the pace for the year ahead. Although I didn’t quite manage to do everything on my list, just having a positive approach can make all the difference.
 So here goes-


1. Positive steps towards promoting my art


Please pop along and have a look!  https://www.facebook.com/shevaundohertyart
I have been dithering about promoting my artwork for far too long. This blog was my first step forward and it has definitely helped me to gain confidence as an artist. So this year I am taking the next step. I have just set up a Facebook Page for my art. Now I will work on getting a website up and running.


2. Exhibitions to Aim for

What is an art plan without exhibitions?



First up is the Society of Botanical Artists Annual Exhibition in Westminster, April 17th-26th
 It’s also their 30th anniversary, so it’s a very special year!



Last year I won my first gold medal at the Bloom Botanical Art Exhibitionwoohoo! 
 Bloom is Ireland’s largest Garden and Family Event and had over 106,000 visitors last year. I will  definitely be submitting work again this year. 


In November I held my first group exhibition in the Law Library in Dublin, Natural Law Botanical Art Exhibition. Not only was it a great success, it was a fantastic experience and a real lesson in how to plan an art exhibition. The great news is that they have invited us back!

I am also considering a few non-botanical exhibitions. I really feel that botanical art needs to be integrated into mainstream art and am playing around with a few ideas.


3. Books to be proud of


How exciting! My work is going to be appearing in two books this year!


 The first is Katherine Tyrrell’s book- Sketching 365 ,which is available from today!

 Many people are familiar with Katherine’s blog Making a Mark, a veritable treasure trove of information for artists. This book is a natural follow on from the blog, with tips and techniques from some of the best artists around. To be included is incredible!

The second book is the North Light Book Sketching on the Go by the wonderful Cathy Johnson. Cathy is a real inspiration to me. When I first started painting a few years ago, I found her wonderful work online, together with her great tips and it encouraged me to get out there and paint. Now I'm in her book!

Last year I did my first book illustration for House of Cards, by Elizabeth MacDonald. It was a great experience (wonderful clients) and the book is a really enjoyable read. Book illustration is definitely something that I would be interested in doing again. 




4. Continuing the Sketchbook Exchange 


Nature Trail- a natural sketchbook exchange is still going strong and I’m enjoying it more than ever. We’re at the halfway stage now and the sketchbooks are truly a delight to behold! I really like the Stillman & Birn zeta sketchbooks. They are perfect for botanical art. 



5. Planning Workshops


Yes, there will be workshops. I have had a number of requests for workshops and have decided that 2015 is the year to start! If you are interested in taking a workshop in Dublin, please make a comment here (I will keep it private) or message me on my Facebook page. I will get in contact with you.


6. Doing more work on Vellum



I didn't paint a lot of vellum last year, but my recent painting of a Painted Lady Butterfly made me realise just how much I love the luminosity and softness that it imbues. It is a wonderful surface to paint on.

7. Taking time to play


Play is essential for any artist to grow. I love trying out new materials and new mediums. I have recently taken up oil painting again and would really like to try botanical art in this medium. Gilding was also on my to do list for last year but I only got as far as researching the gilding techniques of Mughal miniaturists! Given that my mother is a gilder, I really have no excuse!

8. Bigger, bolder, better!


I’m ready to go bigger. I bought a huge roll of Fabriano Artistico last year and also managed to do a trade on an architect’s desk. I'm so ready to upsize!



9. Starting my RHS paintings 



I spent the summer in Egypt last year doing research on the date palm, Phoenix dactylifera for my RHS paintings. Now I need to put all my sketches, studies and research together and get those paintings started!

10. Natural Science Illustration



Although painting plants is my passion, last year I noticed that more and more little creatures were popping up in my paintings. I love painting them, despite the fact that they aren’t always keen on a portrait session. 

Oi! Is that supposed to be me?

I am also involved in a Facebook group called Nature in Detail. It’s very inspiring to see the work of like minded artists, and great to learn more about the natural world. Birds, bugs and butterflies will certainly be making an appearance this year.

Finally, Just Keep Blogging!!


When I started this blog little over a year ago, I had no idea what a profound effect it would have on my life. It has been a brilliant motivator as it has helped me to organise my thoughts about my art. I now take photographs of all my steps and make notes of the colours that I use. But the best thing about blogging is that it has helped me to connect with people in so many different ways. This blog is fast approaching 50,000 views. I'm just so incredibly grateful for that, and for all the support and the encouragement that I have been given. It gives me such a sense of purpose, Thank you!

"A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline" 
Harvey Mackay


6 comments:

  1. 11. Write a book!!! I'm too far away for classes. A book of your beautiful work would be very special.

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    1. Bosveldr, that's a thought that never even occurred to me! Well, you have planted the seed, so if it ever happens, I'll make sure that you get the first copy! Thank you!

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  2. #12 - offer an online course. Come on, Shevaun, you know we want you to!

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    1. Candice! I'm smiling now. Good idea!

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  3. Great blog post Shevaun. 2014 was a great year for you and your artwork is going from strength to strength! Can't wait to see your bigger pieces and the final plates for the RHS show. So much to look forward to! I've been busy hashing out my 2015 today in Fuengirola. Time away from my paints means I have no choice but to focus. Its a good feeling, makes one feel productive and in control. I also think it brings the things you want in towards you.

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    1. I totally agree. Are you going to blog about your plans Jess? I'm looking forward to reading them. I think you have an exciting year ahead!

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