Welcome to 2023, thanks for joining me again at Bec Schopen ART Studio. This year has started off brilliantly with a visit to the Sydney Festival's Frida Kahlo - The Life Of An Icon immersion. It was an explosion of colour, music and creative interactive activities. If you want to learn about Frida it is a comprehensive account of her life, if you already know all about Frida it still has lots to offer, especially beautiful photos and an incredible VR experience.
Frida Kahlo is an inspiration to so many artist because she managed to harness the love of painting for herself, not necessarily to sell or exhibit. She painted what she knew, which was Frida and that is true authenticity and bravery. I try everyday to paint what I live and know, this is where unique art comes from. It may not be for everyone but is my truth and experience.
A Love Note. I just wanted to pop in and send some love. Yep! It was Love Day yesterday and I hope everyone is feeling lot's of love, whether you celebrate the day or not.
I was also wondering if all the art lovers got to see the exhibition at the NSW Art Gallery, Matisse: Life & Spirit? I loved it so much that I went twice, it was so beautifully curated and Matisse was such an inspiration. Prior to the exhibition I didn't know a lot about Henri Matisse, but what I saw in his simple sketches and more colourful oil work was that art doesn't have to be complicated to be beautiful and he reenergised my love of the simple line, especially for female faces. It kinda' validated my simple abstract portraits I create.
So look out for some new art work coming from the studio, palms and goddesses are back on the easel.
Have a beautiful week and I would love to know if your visit to Matisse was as successful as mine or maybe you had different thoughts on the exhibition!
Six of my art works have been accepted into the Blue Mountain's ARTFEST! In response to the Covid-19 restrictions Blue Mountain's AF are unable to host an in-person event, so they are heading to an online platform. Visitors will be able to purchase quality Australian art through the website, just in time for Christmas. Artfest is the major school fundraiser for Wentworth Falls Public School, it is run by a team of volunteers and supported by an amazing local community.
Each year the quality and variety of artwork exhibited at Blue Mountains Artfest reaches new heights, and the 2021 online gallery will not disappoint, artwork will be on display and available for purchase for the entire period of the festival. By purchasing art through the BMAF you will not only be supporting the local primary school but also all of the creatives that share their talent with the world.
As well as original art keep an eye out for amazing Craft Christmas gifts, created by talented artisans and makers. There are 12 exhibitors this year including myself, who have their stores ready for Christmas gift ideas or something special for yourself. I will have a limited collection of Frida inspired Christmas Baubles available as well as my hand made decorative art tiles.
I have a lockdown confession, I have struggled to get motivated through my 3rd lockdown. The motivation was lost for a lot of the things I love, yoga (which I have practiced regularly for over 12 years), my painting, home projects, reading/writing and of-course housework. I’ve languished! I’m kinda freaking out now that the end is near and I have “wasted” my time, time I could have done so much more with. So I don't throw myself into a complete miserable funk I have to rearrange my mindset to be kinder to myself and have a look at what I did manage to do with the days and hours regardless of how big or small the achievements were. Because let's face it, we are surviving a worldwide pandemic, we have had our wings clipped and been told to stay put. So the everyday things we all managed to pull off are relatively big things during a time like this. I am choosing to be proud of the fact that I have managed to keep my family fed and sheltered, I successfully pulled off a zoom art work shop for my wonderful creative students, I have updated my website and signed up to be apart of The Blue Mountains Artfest. I also made myself paint small, so these two Goddesses have helped me feel like I have achieved something creative. This time we have just spent in lockdown has been tough for some and productive and wonderful for others, I just hope whatever it was for you that you look back at it and treat yourself kindly.
I recently put my art workshops on hold so I could have the time to tackle a creative project. I love painting and I love teaching however I think my biggest driver is curiosity. My belief is that creativity is curiosity put into action (I'm sure someone before me said this but I don't know who that clever person was) that said to do and learn something new we have to stretch beyond our creative limits. We have to take the risk that there will be failure and in that failure we learn all the things we need to know to achieve a successful outcome. If we feel that we haven't achieved success I think it is time to change our definition of what success is, because everything we attempt has a learning and that is what success is all about.
The last couple of months I have gone down a path of teaching myself how to make and cast plaster, understanding the nuances of resin (man that stuff can do some damage to your work bench) soaking and hand weaving natural raffia to create art wall tiles. This has reminded me that I love being a maker and I love to share my art.
I now have a collection of art wall tiles that have all been hand made and decorated with tassels, acrylic paint and gold leaf. I hope you love my new work and even if I do say so myself I think they will make lovely Christmas gifts (yep, it's that time of year agin!). To view the current collection visit HERE
Ps. "Doing it is forward, not doing it is backward". Unknown
We are over halfway through the year and what a year it's been! It's been hard and challenging and I must say I have lost my way a few times. The studio has been busy for the first half of this year with some wonderful visitors attending workshops. They have come to learn and create and I have been left feeling artistically inspired by every one of them. We have explored the "Alchemy" of mixed media, we drank Rosé and painted roses, we created love hearts with paint and vintage papers and we ate lots of cheese and had many laughs along the way.
I love teaching and plan on doing a lot more however I am going to take the next few months to tackle two creative projects I have been wanting do for a long time, which means classes will be postponed for a short while. The first project will be a Goddess mini canvas art collection, these new and original mini artworks will be an affordable way for my collectors to gift to others (or themselves) for Christmas, they will be wrapped and ready to gift for that crazy time of year, which is just around the corner! My second project is a collection of bespoke art wall plaques encapsulating some of my favorite Goddesses paintings, they will be unique and completely handcrafted. I am very excited about this as I created my first prototype on the weekend and it has turned out beautifully and I can't wait to show you.
To all of you who joined me in the studio, I thank you for sharing your time with me and I will see you with some more workshops soon, in the mean-time happy creating!
While you can purchase my original work through my website and the online Gallery Bluethumb. I also have some fabulous stockists where you can view and buy my work. Not only are they extremely supportive of my creative passion but their stores are treasure troves of unique and beautiful stock.
Shop 4, 5 Ross St
2773 Glenbrook, New South Wales
(02) 4739 8456
98 Macquarie Rd
2777 Springwood, New South Wales
(02) 4751 6821
My designs on all sorts of lifestyle products, that are not only great quality but also functional.
Today I'm sharing 5 tips on how I stay inspired with my creativity.
Seasons greetings, 2017 has presented some big challenges for my family and I. We have just finished renovating our house which for your information, we are not renovators! It has been stressful, fun and frustrating. I wanted to say a big "thank you" to those that supported me by buying my art in 2017 and the shops Bella Boheme, Late September and North Steyne Emporio who have been so patient with a lack of supply due to my new role as "renovator extraordinaire". I am looking forward to getting back into my back yard studio in the new year and can't wait to see you for workshops and painting classes, it feels like it has been such a long time (12months to be precise). Merry Christmas and I hope for you lots of creativity in your life. x
Hello, I wanted to update you on the new studio. Progress has been slow but as one of my tribe members commented, "Rome wasn't built in a day". Now, this little backyard studio is not even close to being a Rome, however, it is taking it's slow old pace. Our DIY endeavors proved tricky (ok, useless and impossible) so we had to call in for some help. By the end of this week, I am hoping the gyprock and floor will be finished and ready for painting. My desire to have the studio up and running for workshops during the holidays is not going to be a reality, thank you for your understanding. I you would like to be updated when workshops and classes resume, please fill out the form below. You can also see lots of art and studio updates over on Instagram!
Sydney based mixed media artist.