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!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Super Supertrees

I keep doing too many things at once today and getting nowhere fast. I blame waking up this morning, dreaming about a terrorist car bomb attack in Scotland, coupled with a kidnapped girl and having a terrible blistered rash on my chest. That is enough to make anyone not quite feel full of bonhomie for a day. I definitely need an energetic kick up the backside....dear zumba... zzzzz

But anyway....I painted the first piece of post holiday work at the weekend, and possibly more excitingly, got to try out my glow in the dark spray paint. I am quite pleased with how both turned out - the day version and the night version, and more intrigued by the potential this opens for other paintings. It is slightly unfortunate that this is timed with Christmas as I fear I am going to run out of time to do much, commissions are already coming in and my mountain load of work is not getting any smaller. But still, it is good to have ideas in the pipeline.

My chosen first experimental topic was the Supertree Grove in Singapore, perfect because it is iconic in the day and spectacularly lit up at night, and I had set up the perfect viewpoint when I was up walking on the OCBC Skyway (a bridge between the trees).

It is strange that I should purchase the Glow in the Dark spray paint, and then find the perfect subject a couple of weeks later, but I seem to work like that.




So what do you think? I am tempted to prefer the novelty value of the glow in the dark version....but they both do a good job.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Perspective....

So before I start tackling some paintings, I have been sorting out some art admin this week in preparation for Christmas. This now means that I have designed 4 new calendars for 2017 and I have just received delivery of this years Christmas cards. I am a bit behind really, as I should have done this ages ago, and still have a mountain of things I should have sorted out before now but never mind. I have decided anything is better late than never and as this year has been artistically all over the place I won't worry too much. I normally make 'most money' from painting sales at this time of the year anyway, so I will plug all the extra bits and pieces harder next year. Any sales that happen in the next couple of months will just be exciting bonuses.

One good thing about being away from everything for a while is perspective. A bit of perspective, to relax a little, take the foot of the pedal and not pressurise myself so much into being on top of everything. You can't be perfect all the time, and realistically there isn't really any rush with anything. The deadlines I have are ones I make myself so....!

I was also hoping to have my photography website up and running by now. But as completing it no longer means I can move onto the art one (taking that offline in the lead up to Christmas is definitely not good business sense!) I have decided not to worry about that either. This means, as long as it is complete by the end of the year, I will be happy. Then I can start 2017 with new resolutions to get everything back on track, and have a shiny new Apple product functioning art site. (And get Instagram up and running!)

In the meantime, I am pretty happy with the calendars I have just put together. I have even made some photography ones this time, which I will add to the website when I am next editing it. This is my favourite one so far....


It makes me excited to think of what other photography calendars I could make!


Monday, 7 November 2016

A or B? 1 or 2? Black or White?

So I managed to pack, and have rather an inspiring two week holiday which should hopefully result in some paintings at some point. I am currently half suffering from jet lag. I feel like normal until I start walking anywhere and then I either a) can't walk in a straight line or b) start to feel a little green. Zumba in an hour or so may be interesting! (For your own safety please give my flailing arms and legs a wide berth) My sleep is already mostly back to normal except for the early wake up times. I am very much an 8 o'clock person (let's be honest, 9 o'clock person) not a 6 o'clock person so it is strange at the moment - I have completed all the things I need to do before I have normally even started. I like this efficiency although it is confusing me. For some reason, when I am tired or a little addled, my speech deserts me so I am also slightly prone to words round getting all wrong the way.

But otherwise, business as usual.

When my brain has had a chance to settle, and reorganise my inspiration it should be interesting as I collected very different sources this time. Super relaxed calming beach scenes and hyper modern, business scenes. Who knows what will materialise? Scene 1, or Scene 2, or a mix of both. I already have an idea for one painting and a use for my glow in the dark paint. It will be interesting to see how long I can wait before I need to get this one started....

Scene 1



or....



Scene 2.....

Your guess is as good as mine!  


Saturday, 22 October 2016

Woman in Gold

I am mostly procrastinating at the moment - I need to write this blog post, which I can't seem to persuade myself to do and I need to pack, which I also can't persuade myself to do. I am very much more inclined to plonk myself down in front of the television and watch a film and eat. Winter is definitely coming. All I need however, is one last push and then I can have some well earned time off, so here goes:

I watched 'Woman in Gold' starring Ryan Reynolds and Helen Mirren the other day. It is about the painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Klimt. The mere mention of the word Klimt should now show you why I was inspired to buy some gold leaf.

Image result for adele bloch bauer

The film was about Adele Bloch-Bauer's niece - Maria Altmann's - journey to take back the painting from the Belvedere Gallery in Vienna after it was stolen from her family by the Nazis. I won't offer any spoilers, suffice to say it was quite a moving watch. It also got me thinking about the age old question of what is art? Watching this film, made a very personal portrait become so much more than just a work of art. It became about politics, identity, and so, so, so much money. I personally think that the more they fought over the piece and the more monetary value it was worth, the more devalued it became as a work of art, or the more it lost it's identity as a work of art. It became a thing, an argument, a price tag which isn't what it should have been. It was always a lovingly rendered portrait of someone's Aunt, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend, not a Mastercard bill or an icon of Vienna. It was about a person and a moment in time captured by Klimt and this is important. I feel like, at least to me, that is what art is. It can be anything, but it has to be the artist showing the viewer something, or capturing a moment for themselves, distilling a feeling or a memory or an idea in whatever way portrays it best. As a viewer, you are then entitled to think what you wish about the work, like it or love it, value it or hate it, own it or bin it. Beauty and art after all, are in the eye of the beholder.


Thursday, 20 October 2016

New Toys

The past week seems to have disappeared rather quickly? Presumably time was flying because I was having fun?

Let's just go with that anyway....

I did have a productive weekend as I have finally managed to rough out my Photographic website shop, just 4 million other things to do to it and then it can go live. I would like to work on the painting site as well, but it is frustratingly close to Christmas; I don't really feel like I can afford to take the site offline at the moment, so working it up may well have to be a New Years resolution - the downside of having 6 months of art hibernation at the beginning of the year. But no matter, I have woken up now. Woken up so much in fact that I have been treating myself to some new toys. Toy number one was inspired by the film 'Women in Gold' which I will blog about after this post.


This metal leaf looks amazing! I can't wait to think of a suitable use for it. My next building painting could be interesting!

The second toy is rather more bizarre...


Now all I have to decide is whether I use the glow as an accent, or if when the lights go out, the painting turns into a picture of something else. I am looking forward to some experimentation time once I return from holiday. Having a rest, is definitively my first port of call.