Lately I’ve been kind of sort of feeling more like an actual ‘artist’. Partly this is just because I’ve been spending a lot of time updating my RedBubble and Etsy shops (Folksy to follow) and realised that I’ve got quite a few paintings actually to put up there! More prolific than I thought I was… of course, if I’d been painting daily, like I said I was going to when I first started this blog, there would be an awful lot more, but I digress… 😉 I’ve just renewed my membership for the Aberdeen Artists’ Association – not sure what good it’ll do me, but it can’t hurt. I’m still deciding whether to bother entering anything into the exhibition this year or not, but I probably will try to get something in. I even had a couple ideas this morning that I’m quite excited about trying – it’ll be something unusual for me, actually, but I’m looking forward to trying it and seeing if it works. I have the day off work today and have spent it painting so far, which is a very nice way to spend a day off from your day job. I guess people would consider that I was just indulging in a hobby. It makes you wonder when you can really start calling yourself an ‘artist’. Does anyone who makes art quality as an artist, or only people who are making a living out of it? I often shy away and cringe a bit whenever I tell people I’m an ‘artist’, but if I’m not an artist, what am I, and what is the huge stack of paintings taking up the corner of my room?

Anyway, I have done another Virtual Paintout painting, a watercolor/mixed media deal. Bill Guffey, the creator and host of VP, felt it important that this month the challenge be set in Japan. I agree that it was a timely choice, although I have to say that looking through the streets and countryside of Japan, particularly the coastal areas that are now pretty much non-existent, was heartbreaking, picturing the houses I was looking at swept away… I then looked around Hiroshima and Nagasaki, hoping to remind myself of Japanese resilience – and it is amazing how completely rebuilt those places are, with hardly anything to betray what happened there only 66 years ago. But it’s a reminder that Japan has had an awful lot to deal with over the years. I was looking for something to paint that showed growth and rebirth, something green. I finally found this bamboo grove that caught my attention. Once it is scanned, I will be adding prints of this to my Help Japan collection, for 60% donations to the Japanese Red Cross. (Update: This is now up on both my RedBubble and Etsy shops – links above)

Bamboo Forest, Japan

Bamboo Forest, Japan

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