2018 Reflections

Oh my! How is it already December?? It seems that the months have come and gone in a flash and it’s that time, once again, when I feel called to do a little reflecting on what the past year has given me before bidding it a fond farewell and laying it to rest in preparation for the brand new shiny year lying in wait right around the corner.

I must admit, it’s been a very full, productive and generally really good year full of growth and blessings for me, both professionally and personally.

It seems I am, at long last, recovered from my lonnng and ultra frustrating creative slump! YAHOO!!! I am so relieved and grateful to be feeling almost overwhelmed with not only ideas for drawings and other creative projects, but also with the desire to actually implement them. Now, if only time sees fit to cooperate…! LOL

I have several goals I am hoping to meet in the New Year, but I am saving that post for next time, because first I want to do my annual recap and bid a fond farewell to 2018!

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Professionally, the year got off to a bit of a slow start, but once the ball got rolling, it just seemed to gain momentum and had me going at a breathless pace for most of the year.

Hen Party was a fun mixed media piece (watercolour & coloured pencil) that I created for the Atomic Rooster’s annual “Cock Show”.

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I’ve always really enjoyed sharing my knowledge and have been told that I’m a good teacher, so I decided to try out teaching a few beginner’s workshops this year. I really enjoyed the experience and had wonderfully encouraging feedback from my students. Altogether, I taught six Basics of Shading in Graphite workshops and am looking really forward to offering more classes/workshops in the new year.

I had so much fun with my students.

I also had the opportunity to take a workshop with Mike Sibley, which really helped to boost my confidence in rendering fur.

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For the second year in a row, I organized and went out on six Plein Air outings with other local artists throughout the summer and early fall. What started on a whim last year has grown into a dedicated small group of local artists who enjoy meeting every couple of weeks throughout the summer to work in nature. I also attended open studios every second week with my local art society and also managed to sneak in a few urban sketching outings.

Enjoying lunch with my Plein Air group in a beautiful stone gazebo in one of our locations.

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I only had the time to complete 8 works this year … but was very pleased with them all and consider the drawings to be some of my best works. Altogether, I completed five graphite drawings, one mixed media piece and two “formal” sketches created specifically for donation to good causes.

Pine Lake is a little ink sketch I contributed to SAW gallery’s SKETCH fundraiser.
I completed this drawing of a white rhinoceros, based on the sketch I donated to the Sketch for Survival fundraiser. I feel so humbled and honoured to have been able to contribute to this worthy cause. Altogether, the entire collection of donated sketches sold for over £58,000!! … thus enabling Explorers Against Extinction to help fund a new anti-poaching canine unit for Garamba National Park in DRC, provide an essential kit for Sumatran Tiger Protection and Conservation Units and contribute to ongoing rehabilitation of orphaned elephants in the care of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

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And finally, after a couple of years of not participating in very many shows, I took part in ten exhibitions this year! I applied to and was accepted into three Juried Exhibitions and participated in three unjuried exhibitions, two solo shows and two fundraising shows.

Night’s Breath took Juror’s Choice in the Selections show.

And, most exciting of all, I won the Juror’s Choice / Best in Show for my raven drawing, Night’s Breath in Arts Network Ottawa’s Selections show! It’s so rare for pencil to take the first prize in a multi media juried show, so this was very unexpected and such an honour! 😲😃

I also took 2nd place in the Works on Paper category in the Arteast Juried Awards Exhibition with my gull drawing, The Lookout.

The Lookout won 2nd Place in the Works on Paper category in the Arteast Juried Awards Exhibition

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To end the year on a bang, I’ve also just been notified that my little nuthatch drawing has been accepted for publication in the 11th edition of Strokes of Genius: Best of Drawing book to be published next November! This is the first time my work will be published in a respected industry publication and, needless to say, I am just over the moon about it! 🤩

This little guy has been accepted for the 11th edition of Strokes of Genius, to be published in November 2019.

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On the personal front, it’s also been a very good year with the marriage of my only daughter in April, and her recent announcement that she’s pregnant with what will be our second grandchild! 😀

The only negative note to mar an otherwise very positive year, was the unexpected and devastating loss of our little Flirt to cancer at the end of June. We still feel the gaping hole she left in our hearts every day. 💔

My sweet Flirt

So, all in all its been a very successful year and I’m really looking forward to what 2019 holds in store!

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I hope your year has been a memorable one with many blessings and I wish for you a New Year graced with perfect health and well-being, an abundance of creative adventures and, most especially, a wealth of joy, love and peace. Merry Christmas! ❤️💕

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4 comments to 2018 Reflections

  • Kate Daller

    Hi Lissa,

    Huge congratulations on being included in the upcoming “Strokes of Genius” book! Your artwork richly deserves the honour.

    I very much enjoy your updates and seeing your beautiful drawings, and also appreciate the effort you put into organizing plein air outings.

    Merry Christmas and a very happy 2019 to you and yours!


  • Joanne Abbott

    Congratulations Lissa !!! What a year of accomplishments. Always inspired by your work 🙂 Keep it up for 2019

    • Thanks so much, Joanne! It’s such a huge relief and definitely feels good to have “my mojo” back! Here’s to a super creative and artistically successful 2019 for both of us! 💕