It’s week 9 of my 3 month intensive residency in my studio and my first solo show is looming. I’d love you to come to the opening. It’s on at 2pm Saturday 19 March at Cowra Regional Art Gallery. http://www.nicmasonartist.com/gallery.html . The list of works for the catalogue is in. But wait, a moment of anxiety. Will I be done in time? Am I ready for this show to go out into the world? Have I given it my all, done my best work? Does the work have value and does it make a contribution? Will anyone come. Will I be able to feed my babies and pay for the vet bills? It seems Nim thought the bin was way better than my art this week. With the delicacy of ever so tastey foil, she got her insides all blocked up. Luckily she is back from the vets and is on the mend. Back onto my art, I have been thinking about how I got to this point in the journey. There have been many helpers and pushers and teachers and influences and walkers with me along the way. Too many to list in one go, but right now I just want to say thanks to those painting and drawing TAFE teachers that I was fortunate enough to be in their company. Thanks to Dalia Moran who in my very first painting class introduced us all to the work of Margaret Woodward http://www.wagnerartgallery.com.au/artists.php?id=25. My whole being was present, intrigued – completely won over and I just wanted to learn. To Yaeli O’hana, https://au.linkedin.com/in/yaeli-ohana-1a76066 your lessons were gold. Composition, mark making, stepping back from your work, being critical, how to show your work, it was all there. To Catherine O’Donnell, http://www.catherineodonnell.com.au/news/ you set a fine example and you gave me such encouragement at the time and since, which I cannot thank you enough. To Cameron Ferguson http://gladesvilleartschool.com.au/?page_id=153 who started me with oil paints, loved your demo - ‘don’t worry’ just get stuck in, this really was a big moment on my path. To Paddy Robinson http://www.finglinna.com/ who gave me such big confidence. To Ruth Stone http://www.hillendart.com.au/ruthstone who directed me to direct my own work, to build up with my drawing, to lose and find focus, to push parts back and bring marks forward. It was a light bulb moment for me. To Bec Wilson http://rebeccawilsonart.com/ who opened my eyes to mixing it up on those still life sessions, using different brush strokes to pull you into a work and to search for balance and also to just do your very best. And then to watch your rich journey with Kate Kelly – thank you. Then there is Kiata Mason. She wasn’t one of my TAFE teachers, but she is a TAFE teacher, she is my cousin and she is a tremendously talented artist and beautiful person. She’s been on a life long journey with making art and she is currently doing her Masters at the National Art School. Congratulations on all your work and how awesome to feel the buzz at being a finalist with a special mention in the 2016 Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing https://www.plc.nsw.edu.au/microsites/adelaide-perry-gallery/adelaide-perry-prize-for-drawing/the-2016-perry-prize-/the-2016-perry-prize. She really has, opened my eyes, challenged me and given so much support. And lastly, thanks to Cath Barcan, http://www.cathbarcan.com/index.html Head Teacher at Nepean Arts and Design Centre http://nadc.wsi.tafensw.edu.au/, who set up a part time option which without, I doubt I would have been able to start at TAFE. This along with the old structure that was TAFE (before the major restructure) that enabled me to access a centre in proximity to where I lived and affordably leap in. I do feel some sense of loss for us all, for what was.
From then to now, there has been a focus. I have not ventured too far from the figure in the landscape and the portrait. Here is an image of my first oil painting (one of two works) that was shown in the Blackheath Art Prize in 2011. It won second prize and sold. Thanks too to whoever bought it, without you too, it would be a different story.