Thursday, 19 January 2017

Ice Tracks.

I have art on the brain today and ice in my mind. It was a beautiful start this morning, cold and frosty, sunny and clear. The ideal day for a walk with camera in hand. Unfortunately too many deadlines meant this couldn't happen, and I had to console myself with taking a picture of the frost that had formed on my bedroom window overnight.

Still, it was a good photo and has got my art cogs whirring in the back of my head with an idea for a painting. This is a good sign as I have been a bit overloaded recently with time pressures from all angles. There is always a slight worry that my art brain will turn itself off one day if I don't use it often enough. I am not intentionally ignoring it, but January really is a write off in terms of anything other than 'real' work. In order to save myself the frustration, it is safer to switch off for a month and focus on an art filled February.

There will be an art filled February. But in the meantime, this photograph will have to be satisfying enough.




Saturday, 7 January 2017

On your marks, get set..... GO!

So, 2017 week one complete! I don't really have any art news to impart as yet, but I felt I should still blog about something to keep everything alive.

So far, I have sold a print of Big Sur, received a painting enquiry to create a mural in a newly opening, local Indian Restaurant, and entered a competition to get a painting displayed in a high profile shop for a month. I am pretty sure nothing is going to come of the commission request, but it was nice to be asked. I also managed to complete my annual Limited Edition calendar give away which is being posted to the winner tomorrow. Other than that my art list is as follows:

Completed my website updates - No
Started Instagramming - No
Booked a Summer Exhibtion slot - No
Painted - No
Thought about art at all? - No

Oh dear. I did know January was going to be a crazy start to the year though - I am so busy and I already have computer eye. (Where you have stared at a computer for so long that your eyes keep twitching and you are permanently tired). But it is OK. This is till going to be a good year, and hopefully I can earn enough money this month that I can relax and catch up with some art stuff later. There is no rush after all. Art is here to stay :-)  

Friday, 30 December 2016

Happy 2017!

I feel like I should have written a Merry Christmas post but I have been a bit slow. So maybe I will just go with the fact that I hope you had a Merry Christmas and wish you a Happy New Year instead. I am anticipating a disturbingly busy January start to 2017 so I am currently enjoying keeping my head down, going for scenic walks, catching up with old friends and being fed. I feel like I mentally need to unwind and relax in order to be able to work all 31 days of January to meet a couple of big deadlines I have. I am hoping I won't need to work this hard but just in case.....!

I went for rather a spectacular sun setting walk yesterday in Yarmouth, so I think this is going to be my therapy shot for a while, as just looking at it makes me feel better. It also has 'painting' written all over it.


I fear painting is going to take a back seat for a while unfortunately, although I think I shall need to do something at some point to give my architecture brain and computer eyes a rest. January is often bizarrely a good sales month for me as well - often better than December which doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll take it! Maybe I will do more than I think. Either way, I am feeling pretty optimistic for 2017 at the moment, which is unusual for me. So bring it on! And all of you, have a perfect start to the New Year, we should all raise a glass to that!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Sayonara 2016, I have plans to make.

I feel a bit like I could do with being able to do a painting today, but I need to do some 'real' work instead. Christmas is always a strange time of year, an enforced deadline for no particular reason. It seems like everything must be completed before the 25th of December, as for the next week or so, life just stops. It is this strange being full of food, presents, family, alcohol and memories. No other time of year has this forced celebration feel to it, other than perhaps New Years Eve. Don't get me wrong, the family, the food and the alcohol I am all for, it is the pressure that would be best left at home. A pressure that seems to come from nowhere. Needless to say, I am looking forward to welcoming in 2017 and having a bit more normality return; The first time for ten years that I am looking forward to welcoming in the New Year and saying sayonara to this one. I have big art plans for next year, admittedly ones that were supposed to already have been rolled out, but never mind, they can wait. They have waited patiently until now, so a month or two more will make no difference. I can already see January passing me by in a blur of architecture work and flythrough modelling so we'll see how it goes. I am impressed either way, to be so booked in advance.

Just a few more days to get through, and then it is officially holiday time!


Sunday, 11 December 2016

Lawa Island

It seems like 10pm on a Friday night is good painting time at the moment. Stuff going out and having a drink to celebrate the end of the working week. It seems that I would rather celebrate by getting the paints out and having a cup of tea. This is mostly because I know my weekends are too busy in the lead up to Christmas to squeeze out a shiny new picture, so it is a case of now or never.

I get grumpy with never, so now is the only option.

This time, the inspiration that came was a bit lazy as I just looked straight to my recent holiday photos from Thailand. I say lazy, at the time, I specifically took some shots to paint later so maybe I should say forward planned, rather than lazy. Either way, the painting treatment fell on Lawa Island, just off the coast of mainland Thailand and Phuket. A truly beautiful place. I took a boat tour there, with a friend, as we channel hopped and sea kayaked over/through past 4 different islands. (I am sure the others will get painted as well). Lawa Island was definitely the most picturesque spot, tranquil in the softly lapping sea and sun burning heat. It is exactly as you imagine a tropical paradise should be, and will forever make me think fondly of Thailand.




Sunday, 4 December 2016

November

You can tell things have suddenly got very busy again as I have disappeared from my blog for a while. I finally managed to sort out the images for my website, and finish off the other few outstanding pages and set my site to 'LIVE'.

This was almost exciting except that going live highlighted a few bugs that need sorting and I need to watermark my images as the resolution is now good enough to steal. I feel like I can't win at the moment.

With Christmas hurriedly approaching, commissions to create and print orders to sort, I fear the website may have to wait until January to be sorted. This is also tied in with rather a large amount of architecture work to be finished in the next few weeks as well. I think December is going to pass me by in a bit of a blur, but it is better to be busy than bored so that is ok.

I also seem to be turning into my proper self lately - massively reduced work stress is turning me into a normal person once again. A normal person that gets immensely frustrated if I don't get painting time, which is why at 10pm on Friday night, I got the paints out and created this.


There have been so many beautiful evening skies recently, that I couldn't help but be both impressed and inspired. I hope you like it!


Saturday, 19 November 2016

Panda Eyes

Today is a bit frustrating. I have spent the last week or so, sorting out all my photographic print shop images ready to paste into the shop section of my new website. There are almost 270 (!!!) prints available, so this is by no means a small task. I spent Thursday of last week, linking and inserting everything into it's rightful place and finally finishing off the print shop. Or so I thought.

I logged into my site on my iPad to check everything was working properly and to my horror, all the images looked a bit blurry. WHAT? Who said retina displays were a good idea?

Urrrrrrraaaaaaahhhhhhhrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh.

The downside of needing small file sizes for website speed versus clear images; I had obviously heavily favoured size over quality, and to my eyes, the compromise was simply not acceptable. I have spent so long doing this, that to not do it properly would be a crime. This is coupled with the fact that I need to alter my art site as well, so anything I can solve now, I can use then.

I am so frustrated and only half technically minded/knowledgeable enough to solve this. Fortunately a large panda has come to my rescue, and this is not the first time. A crazy Chinese panda cartoon looked after me when I was ill as a child, and Po, from Kung Fu Panda has on numerous occasions improved my general well being with his bounce-ability. This time the panda to look after me is on tinypng.com  - rather a magnificient jpeg and png image compressor. It is literally reducing images from anywhere between 70 - 90% which is amazing and will go a long way to solving my dilemma. It does mean I need to resize everything again, remake my 'Actual Pixels' thumbnails, re-upload everything and reconnect it but still. At least this time, I will be safe in the knowledge that it looks good.

Or had better look good!