Thursday, 24 October 2019

Richard Parker

I just checked my blog stats for the first time in ages which may not have been the best idea. My blog isn't really surviving with me only posting once a month if I am lucky. I wish I was one of those heavily routine driven people sometimes. Up at 6.30am, a run round the block, breakfast, emails checked, social media posted, previous days blog post written, paints out, admin completed. Oh look it is only 10am.

I am not one of these people.

I am more of a 'Oh, I've just woken up, what shall I do today?' This is good for my creativity; I function better with more spontaneity in my life, but it is not necessarily good for my productivity. Strange as I am not an idle person, I like to be busy and find sitting still quite difficult unless I am shattered, so you would have thought I would be an 'up and at'em' person but sadly not. Never mind, sometimes you just have to accept that you have to make life work how you work.

This is all pre-tiger procrastination though as I still haven't shared how painting that commission went. It went better than expected, and bizarrely painting a tiger seems to be easier than painting a dog. I have no idea why, or maybe the practice that I have had with my dog commissions has just generally made painting animals easier. So something that I was slightly worried about actually turned out to be quite a pleasurable job. The tiger (named Richard Parker after the Life of Pi) has been sat in my lounge for the last month, but he is leaving for his new home tomorrow. I am going to be sad to see him go. He has been a friendly face for me to look at for long enough for me to become attached.

So here he is, say hello to Richard Parker, or rather goodbye! :-(


Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Eye of the Tiger

So, three weeks have almost passed by and what have I done? I have....

  • Sold my first official Laura Hol Art voucher
  • Painted commission 1 of 2, the second is happening today.
  • Started painting a star filled sky on my bathroom ceiling which may take me forever to finish.
  • Run a voucher competition on Facebook and nabbed 50 more followers. 
  • Updated my artwork tracker to better record Limited Edition sales and numbers.
  • Bought some more mount supplies to make the Limited Edition prints I have outstanding.
  • Fixed my website shopping cart.
  • Booked a holiday to Lisbon.
  • Bought a suitcase.
  • Danced a Zumba class for 9 hours.
  • And.....then got a chest infection.

That seems like more than enough for the moment. 

Today's commission is going to be interesting as it is of a tiger. In my life so far I have currently painted this many tigers:


So yes, there is going to be a big learning curve to this one, not least in the fact that the painting required is a metre wide so it is pretty big as well. Definitely a watch this space moment!  

Wish me luck! 

Thursday, 5 September 2019

You've been Tango'd

So I went with the orange, and tied it together with another, nice, adjacent magenta wall. Because why have one bright colour when you can have two!? I think it will be a good asset as it shows my paintings off quite well. I showed a friend around the other day and she ended up buying two cushions so that seems like success already.

I am also really pleased with how it has turned out. It is probably not to everyone's taste (more than probably) but it is perfect for me. I find the room bizarrely peaceful and relaxing. Whether this is due to the colour or the fact that I have sorted out all the things I have been meaning to do in there for ages I wouldn't like to say. Either way, as this is the room that I paint in, I think it is important for me to feel focused and zen in there. The more peaceful my mind is, the more peaceful the painting process is, and the more concentrated I am. I have been finding my ability to paint rather preoccupied at the moment, I think because I have had too many house things to sort out and too much on my mind. I have done a lot of sorting out recently though, and finished off a lot of half done things. All that remains are the blinds to be fitted on Wednesday and the bathroom, to be given a good scrub and repaint.

And then I am done.

Except for finding some more architectural work to do and now I have two commissions to complete before the end of the month. But work related things seem to take up less of my art brain as they are not creative. Interior decorating is, and that respect it clashes a bit or niggles for attention. So hopefully, once these last elements are completed, I can concentrate on the other bit of my life that needs attention:

Earning some money.....!

Friday, 23 August 2019

Orange Blocks

I am not going to even pretend to know where the last month has gone. A week of it went to the Isle of Wight and then who knows about the rest!

I feel like I have had a bit of an art block recently. There is too much on my mind and too many things I need to sort out. I started a painting a couple of weeks ago and it still remains unfinished. This is unusual as I usually like to start and finish a work in one sitting, which can mean I am sitting for a lot of hours but I feel like I work better at this intensity. It makes me wonder if the half finished painting is ever going to become alive, or just sit there in the hopes that one day I will complete it. I did manage to paint some more of it on Wednesday, and I am hoping I might finish it today, but I have got distracted; Distracted by home improvements and furniture arriving, blinds being chosen and deciding to paint one of the living room walls orange.

Orange. It really is very orange. It is debatable currently, whether I have just made a big mistake, and I have only painted a sample patch, and I still don't know.

I have been thinking about painting it for ages, so maybe it will be better to just do it and see. I can always paint over it with 600 coats of white paint if I do decide it isn't for me.

Go big or go home.

Sometimes it would be easier to just be small.

Fingers crossed once all these final home improvement distractions are out of the way I will be a bit more focused. I have sold a painting today, another one last week and I have just had a commission request come in. Surely this will help break the block.

Please let the block break soon..... 

Monday, 29 July 2019

Positive negativity?

Art seems to have gone off the boil slightly these last two weeks. My planned painting time the weekend before last was interrupted by life, and then I already knew this weekend just gone would be too busy.

To make up for it I am keeping my fingers crossed for rain tomorrow so I can sit and have a painting day. I have inspiration lined up thanks to my Facebook followers suggestions, and paint and canvasses waiting to be used. Tomorrow I may well be turning off the computer, unplugging the landline and putting my mobile on flight mode (probably, not really).

Whilst I have felt off track, I have still managed to sell a few mugs and prints over the last couple of weeks, so that is still something, and I am hoping my latest painting will be purchased once July turns into August. I could really do with the pick me up of an unexpected painting sale at the moment, just to lift me up a little. I guess perhaps I shouldn't worry though, as after visiting the Munch exhibition at the British Museum, maybe a little bit of anxiety and depression is a good thing, although I can't really pretend I am anxious or depressed as I am not really that kind of person.

Whilst Munch's work is not necessarily my cup of tea, I have a lot of respect for his work; He was the first protagonist of Expressionism, trying to show how things felt, rather than just how things are, or appeared. This is very important to me as I try to do the same. Not try to show the inner turmoil, or the isolation, or the black thoughts, like him, but to do the opposite. Show the beauty of nature, the cool breeze, the bright colours, the optimism, the beauty of human endeavour in fantastic buildings, the spectacular nature of every tiny thing and how it has come into being against all odds. Don't get me wrong, I have dark days, and I have been through some terrible things, we all have and I can empathise better than most, but I don't want to share that with you. I want to share all the reasons you should keep going and be positive - a walk always makes me feel better, or the colours of a sunset, colours in general make me feel better. I found this interesting in Munch's work as almost all of it on display was black, sometimes with a highlight of red or yellow to show you something important. Black is a powerful colour and one I rarely use, except for outlining. It is interesting to see what you need in a piece of work, I don't need to see something isolating and sad, I am good at feeling that on my own, I would rather see something colourful and uplifting, but I know lots of people like seeing something they can connect with or that reflects the mood they are in.

I am not sure why this blog post has got so deep as it was meant to just be a review of Edvard Munch at the British Museum, but I am obviously feeling very reflective today. Either way, if you want to see some deep, powerful and strong emotive work, you should definitely check out Munch's catalogue of images. If you need to look at something positive afterwards, then I guess you should take a look at mine:      

Friday, 12 July 2019

The British Museum

So, Friday, we meet again. Thank goodness. Not that this weekend will necessarily be a rest but it will be a break of sorts.

Firstly, my Limited Edition print competition has run and been drawn. I had a good turn out in the end, just under 100 entries and 57 new page followers. This was mostly due to a £10 Facebook advert, but in placing the advert I got £30 extra free which I can use to boost some later posts, or older ones, so it seemed like a good deal. I apologise in advance if you all get bombarded with sponsored posts.

I am not sure what secondly was going to be? But I guess this weekend will at least be half an art weekend as I am heading into London tomorrow to see the Munch Exhibition at the British Museum. Speaking of the British Museum, my latest small painting I mentioned doing in a previous blog post is of the British Museum. It is an interior view this time, of the Great Court.

A surprisingly complicated simple piece as the roof was quite difficult to do. I had to paint over it and start again at least once. The good news is that the painting is already on reserve and will hopefully equate to a sale at the end of the month all being well.

I am hoping to paint another one this Sunday, or possibly during the week. I have a feeling I might need a lazy day on Sunday doing very little and trying to get back on track with everything. I feel too old for this busy life today.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Limited Editions

So for once, I feel like I actually delivered on a website promise as my Limited Edition Prints are finally up and ready for sale! I have been trying to finish my website for so long that it feels like a bit of a shock to finally have it finished! There are still some tweaks to do - I need to alter some of the page descriptions and I would like to pay someone for some SEO treatment but all the design and content is there. It seems like it should have been a massive relief to have finally got here, but it passed with a more of a 'next' type feel. I guess there is always something else that needs doing.

I am still celebrating though by offering you the chance to win a Limited Edition print of your choice; you can see the ones on offer by heading over to my website. There are 48 open at the moment as I chose some of my favourites, and I have already sold quite a few of them, 39 in fact, so I opened those ones up too! To enter the competition, just head over to my Facebook page and let me know which print you would like to win. I have 14 entries at the moment, which doesn't seem too bad as Facebook was broken yesterday, but I am hoping by the time the competition finishes (on the 10th of July) that I will have many more! 

I have also managed to paint a tiny (for me) painting over the last few days, it is more of a sketch but it has already been reserved which seems like a success. I will share this with you a bit later as I am trying to keep a bit more interest with everything by being a bit steadier with my posts and paintings. It is strange, since I have had a bit more free time from work and I have been concentrating on art things I have sold a lot more. I don't really feel like I have pushed anything that much harder, but I suppose I have been thinking about it all a bit more, so maybe the focus has made a difference. It keeps making me think that maybe I should push harder and try and make this work, do some more art fairs and shows, buy a car! It stills feels like a big risk though and I think part of the drive with my art is that I can't do it all the time because I have other commitments. Would the urge to paint, and make time to do so be there if I could do it all the time? It still seems difficult nailing that balance. I can never get art v work v social v zumba quite right. Art is better now I have more time, but work is less good and I'm socialising more and spending too much. I can't survive without zumba as that keeps me sane so that can't change. I just need to balance out the other three which is always easier said than done!

Never mind. Having some time to tick off this overdue art tasks definitely more than makes up for everything else at the moment!