Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!


Leave a comment

2018 is a wrap

Another year has gone by at warp speed. And just like people say, time goes by faster the older you get. It really does.

It was a pretty packed year.

In January I started working towards a degree in Fine Arts. I am attending Durham College in the Fine Arts – Advanced program, and plan to finish my degree in Ireland. The Ontario Colleges have agreement with the Irish Schools where they accept the Ontario Diplomas for full credit, and I can finish an Honours BA in one additional year. That’s the plan I am working on.

I enjoy being a full-time student so much. I’ve always enjoyed school which explains why this will be my sixth – yes, SIXTH – post secondary diploma! I have used all of them in my career paths too. And the Fine Art one will be a great addition to my skill set.

I am working really hard to make sure I do the absolute best I can. I am on the College Honour Roll with a GPA of 4.94. I actually ended up with the exact same GPA in both semesters – in each, I had five A+ and one A. I know there are some that say the grades aren’t important, but they are when applying for scholarships, funding and programs at other schools!

This is some of my work this year – seven were school projects and the other two were not.

2018 review

I was approved for the College’s Student Employment programs and have been working in the Admission office since May. It is a great job as they are completely accommodating to class schedules and activities. In the summer I worked there full-time and during the school year part-time.

In May the family went on a Transatlantic cruise on the Disney Magic, from Miami to Barcelona. It was two weeks long and we were at sea for seven of those days. I was expecting to hit some heavy weather but it was amazingly calm the entire crossing! Even the captain said he’s never had such a calm crossing.

This photo I took from my balcony mid-ocean – like glass. And this was one of the cloudy days! I’ve been on cruises that caught the back end of a hurricane and still enjoyed them as I’m a good sailor as the motion doesn’t bother me at all, but this was amazing.

DSC06541

I connected with Theatre On The Ridge in Port Perry and helped out with some shows over the summer working on props and wigs. I took on a project of re-purposing a red Chinese Dragon into a blue/green Lake Scugog Monster for one of their productions.

The original colours are in the first photo, then finished painting the parts, and finally the finished costume in use as the Lake Monster.

It was a fun project. I made hands, feet, created a whole mouth full of teeth, more horns for the head, there was copious amounts of flake glitter….

This year I continued to receive treatments on my eyes. Early in the year I had injections in my right eye, and in the Fall in my left eye. I really hope that at some point they will both stabilize so I can stop requiring the injections. I am doing everything I’ve been told needs to happen in order for it to “get better.” At least I don’t need the treatments every month to six weeks now, so I guess it is getting better – but it is taking so long! The vision issues do impact my work at times so it adds a fair amount of stress to my life.

In the make-up area there were workshops taught, face painting jobs, Halloween private clients and theatre. As I am concentrating on full-time school and a part-time job, I made a decision not to push hard to build-up my make-up business in my new location. Quite a change from the last two decades for me where a normal week consisted of 35 hours at the day job and up to 40 working for myself! I am still available, just not to the point of impacting on my school workload.

I’m incorporating my fine art and decorative arts into my business, in addition to the make-up/costume/prop building that I do. I am in the process of re-designing my website and social media to reflect this comprehensively.

It has been a great year overall and I am looking forward to 2019!

I’ve got a trip planned to Africa in May to Volunteer with an organization called VESA – Volunteer Eco Students Abroad. I’ll be visiting South Africa, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and Mozambique. I’ve been fundraising for that trip by selling original art greeting cards and have a fundraiser on Facebook which you can check out here.

The second year of my program starts Monday and I’m back to work at the college Wednesday. It’s been a long break and I want to get back at it.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and all the best for the upcoming year!

Advertisements


2 Comments

My life in art

Well that title sounds a bit pretentious, but in this post I am sharing art I created throughout my life so that is what it is.

I spent part of today photographing most of the stuff I’ve been carrying in my big zippered art portfolio.  A lot of the early work my mom had saved initially, then it all got put together when I acquired the case.

Lots of school work, stuff I did at home, things I’d doodled to kill time but really liked, etc.

I’m on a binge to cull all non-essential materials and want to make sure I have a visual back-up of things I treasure.  It is a challenge for someone with the “collecting gene” to get rid of things, but I am doing well at off-loading things that don’t have a lot of emotional attachment. Like my pin-back button collection and my pin collection – sold those.  Still have more “collections” to sell or otherwise disburse but I’ll get to it all in time.

Going through things today it was easy to see my progression/improvement as I learned and practised.

One of the earliest that I still have is this drawing I did of Marmaduke when I was around 5 or 6 years old. Mom kept this one in her cedar chest for years.

DSC02669

I have always been able to copy what I’m looking at.

This is another very old one.  I was around 8 or 9.  Granny was a very talented artist and always gave me art supplies for birthdays and Christmas.  This was done with pastels – and no technique!

DSC02668

This painting was  done in Grade 5 so I was 10 years old.  I’m positive I copied it.  A lot of my school art is damaged from being mounted by the teachers – some torn on the edges like this one, or, stained by tape.

DSC02661

I did this one in Grade 6 or 7 – The Marlboro Man aka Tom Selleck BEFORE Magnum P.I.  I am upset about the tape damage – I was/am really proud of this one.  I had the BIGGEST crush on him!

DSC02671

The shoes were done in Grade 8.  This has a story… I was attending a small all-girl catholic junior high (BTW, not a catholic) and the art teacher was a nun with a BA in fine arts. There was going to be an art show of student art for parent’s day or something so we all had to draw our shoes – she then took our drawings to put up on display.  Well…MY drawing was NOT on display.  I, and my mom, asked where it was.  Her comment was that I hadn’t turned it in.  I did, and had witnesses to that – the whole damn class!  So she had to back pedal, and oh, surprize, she “found” my drawing but too late for the art show.  My mom said she was jealous as she couldn’t draw herself.  Nice nun, eh?  Lies and does a dirty to a 13 year old student of hers?

BTW… those were the most comfortable shoes!

DSC02644

I wasn’t really into drawing people from life but tried.  I had a hard time with eyes.  This is a portrait of my sister from 1977.  It was much easier working from photos.

DSC02660

This is of a fellow recruit I did while in the Army in 1978/79.  I was getting better at faces.

DSC02650

This next one is Mom working on getting Special to halter lead.  It was summer.  LOL. Mom commented about me including the stomach rolls.  BTW… working with horses in bikinis and barefoot is NOT recommended.

DSC02653

This next one is the logo I designed for the Pacific Pinto Horse Association in 1981.

DSC02642

This cat skeleton isn’t dated – but I think it was in a drawing class.

DSC02641

Quick sketch of my brother Neil in 1985.  It actually does look like him.  I wish I had been more consistent about dating my work.

DSC02643

And another from 1985 of one of our horses, Major.  We left the farm in 1984 and I had a lot more time to draw and do other things so I have a fair amount of stuff dated 1985 in my portfolio.

DSC02673

With that extra time I did some needlework too.

DSC00364

And moving along to 1987.  I was into drawing horses – almost all of my 10th year I drew nothing but horses.  Then we actually got horses!  Then I drew our horses. The Arab below is not one of ours.

DSC02620

During the 1990s I took many classes in various mediums at the Surrey Arts Centre.  The following are some of the results:

misson-san-juan-capistrano

DSC00363

DSC02663

DSC02623

This pastel of Little Dog sleeping beside me I did somewhere between 1990-94.

DSC02624

In 2001 I painted this one of us all watching the Leonides Meteor shower.

Leonides Meteor Shower

I’m only just getting back into putting pen/brush/pencil to paper again.  I’ve been busy with my other art, make-up, for a lot of years and it satisfied the urge to create, but now that I have more time on my hands I’m itching to try out other mediums and try new things.

Over the last little bit I started doodling with these results which I find quite satisfying.  I can’t stand “adult” colouring books so just start on a blank page and keep going till I run out of room.

This one was gel and ballpoint pens.  Took me a month to finish.

DSC02614

This one was done in three days because I found my felt pens… much faster filling in the shapes!

DSC02611

I’ve signed up for a watercolour class starting this Wednesday which I am really excited about.  That is one of the mediums I haven’t tried yet.  I love the look and admire what people can do with it so am really looking forward to learning about the techniques.