Thursday, 9 April 2015

A lot more than green and life's little wins and losses...

sunrise+Scotland+Baillie Wind Farm+Impasto acrylic+vibrant colour+Nicola McLean
'A lot more than green' - impasto acrylic 40cm x 50cm

So, a few weeks ago now I started a painting based on the sunrise coming up behind the wind turbines at Baillie Wind Farm. I’d painted a little mini one at the same time which I've already posted here and which is now available for sale in the Blue Tree Gallery or via my website.

This is the large version beside the mini version 'A little more than green' just to put the size difference into context!

impasto acrylic painting+vibrant colour+sunrise+Wind turbines+Nicola McLean
Little and large!

As well as the mini version of this, I have several other paintings on exhibition in the Blue Tree Gallery between now and June alongside other local artists and right now I'm busy working on three very different commissions.

and again.

I love that the days are stretching out so much now since the clocks went forward as it allows for a longer painting day - I'm always so much more productive during the spring and summer months (unless it's a particularly hot sunny day in which case I'll have to take advantage of such a rare occurrence and sit in the garden instead!)

Now that the weather has improved and the days are getting longer, it isn't just me that's been busy round Craggis Cottage - I'm very excited to report that S has finally been able to start work on Operation Art Shed. The support posts have been set into the ground (very firmly because of the strong winds up these parts!), the floor has been laid and the frame is starting to take shape. I can't wait to have my own painting space!

close up of edges

In other news - I won a dairy-free easter egg. Yay, me. I entered a Vegan Life Magazine giveaway on Facebook for Mulu Easter Eggs and I won one! I only found out on Tuesday so I haven't received it yet but I'll keep you posted on how it tastes! 

I sold another two paintings this week and I also won a whole £6.40 on a lottery ticket. (yes, six pounds and forty pence!)

Close up texture of sky

What I didn't win, however, was a shortlisted place in the Wildlife Artist competition that I entered my rhino into. I had been waiting on tenterhooks for an email to let me know the outcome and I finally got word last Thursday that it hadn't been selected. 

I'll admit that I had allowed myself to imagine that this piece would be good enough to make it onto the hallowed walls of the Mall Galleries. I wasn't so confident to think that I might win one of the category prizes but I did (foolishly) think that I might perhaps need a new frock for the opening night. 

close up texture of wind turbine

Well, that's me back down to earth with a bump! Who knows just exactly what the judges of these competitions are actually looking for but I refuse to let that artistic sensitivity, which I think we're all guilty of, allow me take it personally and let my self-confidence and my artistic muse both walk out the door in a huff. 

'A lot more than green'

I think what helps to put life's little disappointments into perspective is practising gratitude, where I make a conscious choice to be grateful for the little things that make me happy and don't dwell on the other things that make me less so. 

Obviously, I'd have been super grateful if my rhino had been shortlisted but I'm grateful that entering the competition in the first place made me create a painting that I'm proud of and that has a message which is really important to me.

Painted right round the edges 

Anyway, in the grand scheme of things an art competition isn't really that big a deal and there have already been many more ups than downs this year so I'll just console myself with some dairy-free chocolate egg and think about trying again next year. 

Well, that's all my news for this week. The large version of 'A lot more than green' is available to purchase on my website.

Thanks for popping by and I'll be linking up with Paint Party Friday as always to find out what everyone else has been up to. 


  1. I'm Not sure you'll be around this week to read comments as you will be in the south of France spending you're lottery winnings :) love the upscaled wind farm. It has a real presence. It is sad news about the rhino but you created a painting to be proud of and that is what is important. I think you were very brave entering the competition. It Is not something I have ever done. ( bar blue peter when I won a badge :) ).I know many talented professional artists who have never entered competitions yet make a good living from their art. They do well because 'people' love their the end of the day sales and self satisfaction are what matter.

  2. I love both your larger and small paintings Nic! Sorry to hear about your rhino art experience but you do have the right attitude about it. If this is something you want do not give up! And so often I read that you should act as if whatever you wish for has already happened, think in those terms. See yourself, for example, in that new frock and standing beside your painting with the ribbon. Try it next time:) Wishing you a fabulous weekend-and more sales!

  3. your work is beautiful and the new art space sounds absolutely fabulous!!!! Sorry about not being chosen but you are already a winner in my eyes,, enjoy that chocolate!

  4. Beautiful work, love the wind turbines. Sorry the Rhino didn't make it - their loss! And a painting shed is better than a new dress any day! Valerie

  5. What a difference in size, I would never have guessed if you hadn't shown them together. The wind turbines have a strange beauty, both are beautiful paintings.
    Don't get me started on judges and juried shows - sometimes (often) I think they choose the worst instead of the best especially when it come to the prizes.
    Congratulations on winning the lottery and the Vegan Easter egg!

  6. Your work is gorgeous Nic, you definitely have no reason to lose your confidence in art, you are a winner! I love this new piece enlarged, it would have been a shame not to have this one in big format with that gorgeous sky, I love such mellow pink skies, your art and textures in this are magical , so warm and delightful, a favourite for sure!

  7. Beautiful art, lottery win, chocolate and new art space... woohoo you are a winner Nic no matter what that judge decided.
    Happy PPF to you and S... I hope you can enjoy this beautiful weather that's come to visit.

  8. I LOVE this version! It is beautiful and those colours are gorgeous! Congratulations on winning £6.40 - That's a whole 6 x 6 canvas right? Lol! And remember, these competitions are judged on what one person likes - It doesn't mean that another wouldn't have chosen differently, so just keep on trying! :0)

  9. Love all that texture and soft colors. It's beautiful. Sorry about not being selected, it's their loss but just keep trying. Congrats on the lotto ticket. You are one of the best artist online and you'll get where you want to be eventually. Just keep at it. You are a winner in all of your blogger friends eyes and those commissions you keep getting will take you far.

    1. I forgot to mention about my Haiku's that you asked about. I draw first, look at drawing and then add the Haiku. Thanks for asking.

  10. I love both of your sky/windmill paintings - large and small. The colors of the sky are really awesome. I often don't get up early enough to see those colors in the sky. As for the lovely rhino, which I thought was top-notch, just remember that the selection was made by humans with biases. No reflection on the beauty and worth of your painting. Congratulations on your monetary advances this week!

  11. Superb work. I love the colors and texture of this one.

  12. I love the paintings. Its fun to see them together and how the wee one was the inspiration of the larger one. I'm really excited to hear more about operation art shed. How exciting! I am incredibly sad to hear that your most amazing rhino wasn't shortlisted. I do hope this beautiful rhino inspires you to keep blending your styles into something as magical as she is. Love what you are doing and where you are heading.

  13. Never give up you are an amazing artist and people love your not to worry. I hear the art world can get pretty least around here it can be!! You never really know the politics involved it could already be decided long before you entered!! Just let it go and believe you are great the way you are!! Focus on all those wonderful still have a third thing coming!! Wonder what it will be? Hope it's something big!!

    Hugs Giggles

  14. Lovely work and I enjoy seeing the size comparison. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about not getting into the art show. I too, was told "no" for a huge show in Los Angeles. It's amazing how I had worked myself up for it. I was pretty disappointed and yet learned so much of what I might do to re enter for the next show. Congrats on the artwork sold-that's a huge congrats to yourself!

  15. So interesting to see the bigger painting next to that tiny little one. Love both of them! I have never really understood how those jurors work. They always manage to pick the work that I don't like at all. Since the people that buy our work are not jurors but just "normal" people like you and me, I think the sales you make say more about your art than being shortlisted for a show. Nevertheless I understand that you're disappointed, that rhino-painting is fantastic and deserves to be recognized for it.

  16. Interesting contrast between little and large painting. Side by side! So cute. Good for you for entering the rhino painting. Keep on trucking! Happy PPF

  17. One never knows what the judge(s) are thinking - your painting is no doubt more than "good enough" but maybe only florals and portraits are being chosen. So glad you showed that close up of your painting - the color and texture is amazing.

  18. You've had so many positive things happen lately don't let this little hiccup get you down.You work is amazing! Maybe the judges were into realistic art work this year. Try again next year, your certainly talented enough!

  19. Your painting is great! Happy PPF - Irma

  20. I'm sorry you didn't win the contest with your Rhino but don't give up! You're one incredibly talented girl! LOVE your mini paintings and always amazed you can create something so beautiful, so small! :) Happy Sunday! xx

  21. I still firmly maintain that your rhino rocks! Art competitions are in the end subjective... the jurors have a frame of reference, world view and personal taste that all influence their decision. I always feel pretty flat and rejected when my art gets rejected (which is almost every time I enter any competition) because my work is such an expression of myself. Need to grow thru that, but I also think it is right to mourn the jurors missing something significant behind the painting i.e. the cause of the rhino!!!! Do show us pictures of the shed as it comes along... not that sounds fantastic.

  22. I bet that was a Thunderball winning. I'm a lotto fan playing and checking thunderball results uk draw by draw for 11 years already. It is really cool to win even though it is not a jackpot.


Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.


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