A day in the life of an artist: Week 8

Nov 26, 2022

Welcome to my weekly blog posts documenting my first 100 days of being a full time artist. I am running a daily diary on my instagram stories and this weekly blog post of what I've been up to, what have been the challenges, the surprises, what I've learned / discovered etc.

This is my eighth week and I have been dealing with a big painting and struggling with the dark mornings.


So what's happened?

Painting for the solo exhibition with Northern Lights Gallery in Keswick has continued... I know I know but it is a collection and they take months but this week has been an interesting challenge as I've started work on the largest of the paintings for this collection, a whopping 3ft x 4ft painting.


Paula Dunn Northern Lights gallery collection


Earlier in the week I took a trip out to York to visit the Blue Tree gallery who had invited me to be part of their spring exhibition from March through to May. I had heard of the gallery and knew that it represented a number of artists that I follow so I was super excited to be invited and really keen to meet Marissa and see Giuliana Lazzerini's wonderful work in the flesh.


Paula Dunn Artist at the Blue Tree Gallery York


This week I have been running my 3-day Advanced oils and cold wax workshop with a fabulous group who have travelled from all over the country. I only run this workshop 3-4 times a year and I really enjoy it as I get to play and experiment as well as meet and work with some fabulous people. In this workshop we focus on creating a series of paintings using a range of techniques such as solvent pours, collage, stencilling etc. I think they produced some fabulous work!


Advanced oil and cold wax with Paula Dunn Artist


And finally.... I don't know if you remember that when I was in Scotland last month we stopped off at Aberfeldy to meet up with some friends. We'd never visited this beautiful village before but were really taken by this arty community and in particular the art gallery and book shop. Well I am super excited that I have been invited to be part of the Watermill gallery's Blaze exhibition running from September through to November next year. Whoop... very exciting. It also means I am now fully committed with exhibitions next year and the first 6 months of 2024!


Paula Dunn at the Watermill gallery Aberfeldy


Out and about

Oh the dark mornings are having an impact on me this week. In fact the days have been pretty dark as well so it wasn't until Thursday that I actually walked into the studio but boy did I feel better for doing that and getting to spend some time in the lovely Hirst Woods.

The leaves have pretty much fallen off most of the trees now but they still have their beautiful orange glow on the ground. Everything is looking very wet and soggy and it is pretty muddy walking through there and probably will be now well in to spring. I am however very grateful to have this wonderful place on my doorstep.


Paula Dunn Artist in Hirst Woods 


The challenges

So my collection for the Northern Lights exhibition in February is really coming along nicely but I have so many paintings in the "not quite complete" stage which is quite hard for me as I am a bit of a completer finisher.

Still I am sticking with it as there are huge benefits to just letting those paintings sit on the wall so I can spend quality time and see whether they work, what would be the best changes to make etc.


What I've discovered

The mahoosive painting has been quite interesting. I procrastinated and didn't start it when I should have on Monday and instead worked on a smaller painting.

For some reason I was feeling a little anxious, full of self doubt about tackling a larger painting. Strange really when you think that up until 6 years ago I was regularly painting on a large scale.

Tuesday I got stuck in and I really don't know where the time went and in the end I was super frustrated to break off on Wednesday to prepare for my 3-day workshop. So I think I've got over the feeling anxious stage with larger paintings but who knows!


What next?

A full week back in the studio for the Northern Lights collection and hopefully finishing off some of those paintings. The week is then finished off with my open studio on Saturday 3 December 2022 from 11:00 - 4.00 pm so if you are in the Bingley area do drop in to the Crafthouse for some lovely coffee and then nip downstairs and say hello. Also my demo painting sale to my subscribers continues up until Christmas.

Check out my daily posts on my instagram stories for some sneak peeks.

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