Thursday, 7 December 2017

Raffle

Ironically, I wrote more blog posts last month and got less post hits. This either means my posts were very boring or people were otherwise occupied looking at other websites and doing Christmas shopping. Lets go with the second option.

I am worn out today, but there are new paintings to put online, presents to organise and wrap, art Christmas cards to write, and send, and work to do. Needless to say all this means getting art website update time is pretty thin on the ground at the moment. I think on my wishlist this year might be a sabbatical; But it is OK, busy is good and I am not too stressed currently, money is coming in, socialising is happening, most of my present shopping is done except the awkward last few people, (who I really should consider just falling out with because it would probably be easier!). So I am on top of it all, well almost. I have just put in a print order with my printers as I have some orders to fulfil, but as yet I have had no response from them which is a bit worrying! They are normally pretty reliable though so fingers crossed.

In other news....

I donated a super posh print of 'Goodnight Tower Bridge' to a charity auction over the weekend and got quite a lot of positive feedback from it. The best bit being that you could choose your raffle prize and my print went first! I was impressed as there were free lunches on offer (apparently they do exist), alcohol, Windsor Racecourse tickets, theatre vouchers and everything in between. Everyone was also very complimentary about my work, and the lady that won the print, ecstatic.



A welcome boost, that was very much needed, and we raised over £450 for the extremely worthwhile Daisy's Dream Charity. Good job everyone.


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Sunday

I thought I would be super efficient today and log in and write a blog post. I am not sure where to start though, mostly because I haven't done any art stuff this weekend as I had a Christmas Market weekend away to Bournemouth with a few friends. The resulting tone of the afternoon, is definitely one that involves cups of tea, a blanket and a film and not much else.

That said, last week was quite exciting. My advert finished with 122 likes on my painting and 25 new page followers. More importantly though, and slightly out of nowhere I finally got so on top of my uploading and the photography side of things that I could finally start updating my art website!!!!!!!

Needless to say I got totally carried away with this, helped by not much work at the beginning of the week and a few late nights. I have made a good start and can re-use the base of some of the pages I have created previously which helps as it means I don't have to totally start again. Most of my images are also almost formatted ready to be placed into my print shop. Or my general shop. I am toying at the moment whether to add in the option to buy cups, puzzles, bags and cushions into my shop as well; These are a few of the decisions that I still have outstanding in order to finalise some of my page options. At the moment I decided to focus on the pages that I could reformat easily and I will mull over the other options as I go along, and hopefully at some point come to a decision.

Either way I am excited to finally have started updating the art website, partly because I have been wanting to tackle it for over a year and partly because it really is a sign that I am catching up with my to-do list. Soon, all that will be left will be getting on top of my social media, which really will be the start of pushing everything a little bit harder! 

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Tioga Pass

So it is fair to say that Facebook advertising does work. My advert has been running for almost a week now and has one day left to go. As standard, a 'popular' painting post gets me between 20 and 30 likes, and I had 208 page followers. 6 days later and I now have 229 followers and Tioga Pass has 113 likes and there is still time to pick up a few extras. Whilst in Facebook terms these numbers are not particularly impressive, I am pretty impressed. I could, after all, have used the advert and not got anything from it. It seems like it might be worth periodically boosting the odd post, whilst making sure I don't go crazy - I can imagine it is something you could easily use up a lot of money on! Food for thought. Incidentally, here is the painting that is currently trying to earn me some brownie points!


It is a view of Half Dome in Yosemite from the Tioga Pass - a road that cuts right across Yosemite National Park from one side to the other. It is a pretty beautiful drive. It  is a place where the air is so clear and crisp it makes you feel as though your eyesight has improved. It is definitely a view that is lodged firmly in my memory banks...


Saturday, 18 November 2017

Black Star

Today has been rather frustrating. I feel like I have spent half of the day trying to sort out my annual Christmas card order. Firstly because the offer wasn't working and then secondly because the template wasn't working either. The company solved the offer issue, and my computer eventually solved the other issue by letting me use Internet Explorer rather than Safari, Chrome or Microsoft Edge - none of which were loading the website properly. But anyway, all ordered now and just my to-do list to update so I can remove some more items from my memory.

Today seems like a slightly less positive day than yesterday, but still, lots of stuff sorted out so that is all good. I have also prepped some items for my usual new year give away, as well as sorting out some raffle prizes for the Maidenhead Ladies Circle Christmas party. I am certainly getting out and about a bit more if nothing else! I also managed to order a couple of 100 piece puzzles of my work to give to a local charity which are running out of small puzzles for their members to do!

Just call me Florence.

Also, for some reason I wanted to share the following photo and soundtrack with you. Shortly after David Bowie died, I listened to some of his final work - most notably the title track 'Black Star'. I find the song quite haunting When I was sorting through my US photos I converted one of them to black and white and subsequently was compelled to call it 'Black Star'. These now seem to have developed such a strong connection in my mind that I can't seem to separate them, or stop thinking about them. As with all blocks, I work on the principle that a problem shared is a problem halved. So here it is - my tribute to David Bowie....



And if you are interested, you can listen to the song and watch the video here


Friday, 17 November 2017

A Boost.

I have had quite a bit of art time this week, which has been quite therapeutic. A new painting has been created, all my photos are online, EVERYWHERE, and I have chosen my Christmas cards, which are now ready for creation once I get confirmation from my printer that they can accommodate my designs.  I like this organised feeling, or at least this feeling of progression. Every extra to-do list item out of my head, gives my brain a little bit more space to think about painting, and that can only be a good thing.

This week has also been interesting as Facebook offered me a free £30 advert boost for one of my posts. I have set one up to run for a week and it has been exciting following the results. The painting already has 60 likes, and I have gained 7 extra page followers. I kind of wish these numbers where all much higher but at least it is a start. It also shows that Facebook advertising does make a difference, so it is something to bear in mind in the future. Especially, for instance, when I run competitions, as that might dramatically increase my interactions.

Putting all my photos online has also been rewarding as I now have 169 notifications on Deviant Art to respond to. It seems like there are boosts all round this week. It is always good to get a little bit of feedback / appreciation. With behind the scenes work, I quite often end up slogging away for ages with not much gain. Well, lots of gain, but not until a later date, so sometimes it seems like you do a lot of work for little immediate satisfaction / reaction. Not so this week it seems as I have also gained about 15 extra fans on Artfinder too! I guess this is showing that whilst things were ticking away slowly without me, if I can put some effort in, they will tick much faster.

For the first time in a while, I am excited!

 

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Art Bible

I am trying to be efficient today. I have about a thousand art things, half done, so I am trying to complete one section of items today.

I have recently managed to find the time to go through my last few sets of holiday photos, comprising of Singapore, Thailand, Slovenia and California. My art shots have been chosen, tidied and cropped as required so all that is left to do is to sort them ready for upload onto my Fine Art America site and onto my website.

Unfortunately I updated all my photos onto my website so long ago that I can't remember how I formatted them. I think it goes something like: compress them on tiny png, add the watermark and reduce the max pixel size to 1200 and save an 'actual pixel' shot and a 'framed' version. I think anyway.

I need to make a note of these processes as they will come in rather handy when I am updating my art website. Just as well I made myself an 'Art Bible' the other day with everything I could possibly need noted within it. Well everything but this bit, but I'll make a note of that now!


And, yes, this is my art bible, not a laptop! I couldn't have anything standard after all! :-)


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Fall

I keep thinking I only posted a couple of days ago, but no, somehow it was two weeks ago. Seriously time - SLOW DOWN!

It seems that 'Hawaii' has arrived safely in Portland, and I had a really good review from the new owners of 'Carcassonne' so all good news.

I have even managed to pull out a couple of new paintings in the last couple of weeks too. Neither of them are super exciting but both therapeutic in their own right.

The latest one seems to be getting a marmite reaction. I am intrigued that it seems to be controversial as that was not my intention. It started as a too strong background that I was struggling to finish, so the fact that I have finished it, and more successfully than I was expecting means that I am quite pleased with it; So say hello to 'Fall'


It looks OK to me!? It will be interesting to see it's reception across the board. Quite often, for instance, if it doesn't get many 'likes' on Facebook, it will get more than usual on Artfinder. I remember one painting that suddenly exploded on DeviantArt and I woke up to lots of favourite notifications. Either way, the outcome is always unpredictable and fun to guess. Still, it is safe to say, if I like it, then I automatically curse it with unpopularity, if I don't like it, then I am on to a winner. I must be looking at it for something else - or at least that is my excuse....