Tuesday, 12 February 2019

An Art Class

Post number 4 of 2019, is that more than last year put together? I don't think so, but it doesn't feel like that much of an exaggeration. I think this means that I might be doing slightly better at remembering to note my meandering thoughts down for everyone to pretend they haven't read.

Are you ready?

I recently held an art class for a lovely bunch of Ladies that are in a club I belong too. It was quite a learning experience and had a dramatic start as it was almost snowed off. I was 50/50 about whether that would have been a good thing or not but in the end, 10 people turned up, with the promise of running another class later for the 6 or 7 that couldn't make it.

So I learnt, that actually they were all pretty good! I also surprised myself that my instructions made sense and I do actually know how to mix colours, and what I am talking about. This may seem like a stupid thing to say, but I do everything without thinking, so I can't always remember what I did when I look at the end product. I have a couple of paintings I can look at and be impressed that I did them. Me. Somehow I did draw that and pick those combinations, and didn't mess it up. Me. Are you sure?

I also learnt that it would have been easier if I had painted along with them. There was a latecomer so I let her take my space as it was already set up, which was fine to begin with but then got a bit more complicated when it came to the 'stones' and the tree.  But we managed.

It was also interesting to break my painting down into easy to do sections, if I am honest, it made it seem like there wasn't much to it. I suppose there isn't really, but copying cuts down the thought process and the trial and error and the mistakes so I guess it makes it seem easier than it is. At least that is what I am saying to myself.

I also learnt that I am a very indelicate painter. Watching everyone leisurely, gently use small brushstrokes across the canvas made me realise that a). I paint like I am angry b). I paint like I am in a rush and c). I definitely do not paint delicately, which might explain the condition of some of my brushes! :-O

But anyway, a thoroughly enjoyable experience, so thank you Maidenhead Ladies Circle for having me. I would happily teach you all again, and I think you all might have surprised yourselves with your hidden talents! 

Monday, 4 February 2019

Blackhead House

I was just about to say 'look at me! Three blog posts in January' but I just realised it is now actually February. It is funny, getting busy creeps up on you without you noticing. I remember when I started out and I had no emails coming in and not much work on and lots of time to paint, blog and market myself. I also had very little money. So a lot of improvements but also a lot less time.

But anyway, I came online this evening to partake in my annual submission into the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. I think this will be the 5th time I have attempted to get my work displayed. So far I haven't managed to make it past the first round, and judging from this years topic of 'work responding to the contemporary world' I don't fancy my chances this time either. I need a topic about vibrancy, or optimism, or colour. It seems like it is unfashionable in the art world to be positive. But that is OK, there are many well known artists that never managed to make it into the Summer Exhibition so it is by no means the be all or end all. It would just be a welcome boost. I am determined to keep entering, until either they let me in, or I make them look bad for always refusing me. Here is to hoping. Good luck Blackhead House!

Monday, 28 January 2019

Central Hall

So the kitchen arriving has been more chaotic than I anticipated, mostly because my painting space is currently a mini kitchenette. On the plus side, the lack of food, cooking equipment and fridge has done wonders for my waistline, so I can legitimately, if somewhat cheekily, pretend one of my new years resolutions to shift a stubborn 7lbs is working. (Ask me if this is true after my third take away of the week later!)

But anyway, in anticipation of the chaos I did manage to squeeze out the second painting of the year which has now turned into the first sale.

This paintings subject was suggested to me before Christmas, by a lovely lady buying some cards for her daughter as a present. She simply enquired whether I had painted Central Hall in Westminster as it meant a lot to her for many different reasons. I had not, so whilst she purchased my other London themed cards, I googled the subject and saw that it was a building right up my street. (Not literally!) As with most things that catch my eye, they sit in my head, quietly demanding to be painted, so I knew I was not going to last long before I succumbed, and succumb I did!

I was worried about this one to start with as about 30 minutes in I lost impetus, which is unusual once I have got underway, but I persevered and ended up with something I am pretty pleased with; Even more so as it has chalked up my first sale of the year!

Seems like a good start!


Friday, 11 January 2019

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I am not even going to make excuses for the lack of blog posting or anything else over the last couple of months. I am just going to start 2019 afresh, with good intentions, new resolutions and hopefully some consistency!

On the plus side, except for the fact a new kitchen is being installed in a little over a week which will result in chaos, I am slowly getting on top of my to-do list. This means I am confident that at some point this year, I will be able to blog, tweet and Instagram consistently. Yes, I know, you can mock me this time next year when I say the same thing, but here is to hoping. Anything is possible after all!

But without further ado, it seems this year can't properly start without the introduction of a new painting. So here it is; the first painting of 2019.

This has an obscure provenance as I had decided I was in the mood to paint, but I wasn't sure what to do. I then went on a car wash trip with a friend, and after watching the water being drenched over the windscreen, felt like I needed to paint the sea. Having just spent the Christmas break on the Isle of Wight, it seemed natural to put two and two together. So here it is: Bembridge Lifeboat Station on the Isle of Wight at sunset and low tide.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

The Life of Riley

I was focused earlier on today, but now my mind is wandering. Possibly wandering to 6.15pm this evening when I will be chocolate tasting in Hotel Chocolat, but it could equally just be aimless.

I have been busy the last few days - I am now a registered business on Google and I have ordered a card reader so I can receive card payments in person. I also managed to sell three paintings and three mugs yesterday which was an unexpected bonus, and I have quite a good commission to do in the pipeline so things are going well. Whilst my art payments don't exactly make my bank manager rub his hands with glee, they do keep saving me. The last sales have been a welcome post holiday cash injection. More of the same please.

Before any other new news, I am still going to attempt to catch up with my backlog of blog posts; So without further ado, it is time to introduce Riley, who was the next commission/ piece of work after the S98 Submarine. 

I am getting worried that I am starting to enjoy these dog commissions, or at least missing them a little. I am sure I must be due another one soon! I also keep toying with the idea of getting my friends to send me pictures of their cats to see if I can grab onto that market too. Watch this space.

In the meantime, if you are so inclined, I would be grateful if you could leave me a review on Google. You can do so using the link here

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The Sub

So whilst it looks like I haven't done anything for a while, this is not the case. I have completed 3 more commissions since posting about 'Bess' painted two new pictures just for the fun of it, and put 'mugs' and 'cards' up live on my website. I have also created the 'vouchers' section but as I am launching each section with a giveaway, I decided I needed to have some of the other sections up and running before I open up the vouchers. I keep being just about ready to start working up the print part of my shop too, but then various distractions keep coming along and waylaying me. I am hoping to start working on this shortly, and I have ordered the puzzles ready to be put up either next, or before the prints, depending on how time flies. It would be nice to feel, or be ready for some Christmas sales for once! That said I have signed up to a small fair at the end of November, so I am hoping this will generate something - at least I have lots of items in my 'stock cupboard' ready in anticipation! I have also done a much better job of getting to know some people in my local area, so I am looking forward to being able to invite some friends and peer pressuring them into buying some bits and pieces. I believe that is what friends are for....!?

In the meantime, heading back to the end of July, I had an unusual commission to complete, of a, wait for it, a submarine!!! (I bet you didn't see that coming). It was actually simpler and more enjoyable to paint than I was expecting. I had forgotten how much I like painting the sea, and having a bit of an unexpected challenge with the submarine, was a nice break from some of my more usual topics. Who knows what I will paint next!

Thursday, 12 July 2018


Well it is fair to say I have no idea where that last month has gone! I have been doing art things as well so I have no excuse. I seem to have had a month of socialising and deadlines which leaves little time for anything else. I am in fact, going to have to attempt a commission painting once I have written this, as I am starting to get a bit of a backlog. Busy in all the right ways, but social media makes you paranoid. It is easier to build followers / a reputation with a steady stream of social media posts and interactions, but I'll be damned if I can find enough time to do that, work, meet people, paint and sleep/eat.

I keep thinking it might be better to break my working week up and set aside certain times to do certain tasks. I was about to say that I think I function better without routine, but actually, I think that might not be a bad idea. Hmm, let me think on that, maybe it is time to get some structure in my life.

But, anyway, in the meantime I have been busily updating my website (changes which will go live one day) and painting a couple of commissions, the first of which is another dog!

So say hello to the lovely Bess, who has the best sympathetic face I have seen on a dog so far.