Friday, 30 October 2015

Super Blood Moon

I bought a new camera quite a long time ago, either shortly after Christmas or for my birthday, I can't remember. It might have been for neither occasion actually, but either way it was thanks to my Dad. He has been wanting to buy me a DSLR for a while as he is enthusiastic about photography and can see I have quite a good eye for it. Unfortunately I have been so busy I haven't been able to play with it as much as I would have liked (not helped by the fact that I had my camera stolen whilst I was on holiday once so I am paranoid to take it with me). Part of the deal with the camera I bought (a Fujifilm X-M1 that I love!) was a free promotional zoom lens. I hadn't had a chance to use it until I saw that a blood moon was coming up. In order to take pictures of the moon you need a pretty good zoom lens and mine hit the lowest range of recommended zoom capacities so what a perfect place for a trial. After a quick research online for the recommended camera settings to take moon shots, and then a scour through my camera manual to work out how to set it up correctly, it had just gone midnight and I only had two hours to go to start watching the eclipse and try out my evenings education. I thought I was too excited to sleep but ...


A couple of hours later, I woke up to my alarm, thick with sleep, feeling slightly ill but looking forward to taking some photos. And click, click, change settings, click, click, move camera, jump into bed -  it is chilly, jump out, click, click and the spectacle was over. Well it was half way. I watched the eclipse from the start to the blood moon, but then didn't watch in un-eclipse or whatever the scientific term is. I needed some sleep.

I was pretty excited the next day to see how my photos turned out, and apart from the slightly out of focus blood moon (only 30 years to wait for another chance at that) I was pretty pleased with my first attempt at taking pictures with my zoom lens, using the manual settings, and taking pictures of the moon. All, in all, a good nights work!

Wednesday, 28 October 2015


Firstly, if you are ever waiting for a show outside The Forum in Kentish Town, go to the Bull and Gate pub next door for some food. A great atmosphere, my kind of décor and very tasty, not too expensive food make this a place I will go to again, regardless of whether I am waiting for music or not.

This time, I was waiting for music in the form of Metric, a Canadian rock band, who were out touring to promote their new, recently released Album 'Pagans in Vegas.' As usual, I knew a bit about the band but not masses, but I was very glad they played one of their old hits 'Help I'm Alive' as it is one of my favourite songs.

The show was good, a bit enveloping with the excess of flashing lights and loud beating music. I had a brief fleeting thought that the show might result in me going blind and deaf at one point but fortunately not. It was good to see something a bit more energetic to what I usually see but a shame that at a few points the vocals were not particularly clear - this probably wouldn't have been a problem if I was more familiar with the lyrics but even so. A good, uplifting and energising gig though, and when I got home I had to listen to 'Help I'm Alive' again as I remembered why I loved it in the first place.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Nadine Shah

So I have two more music things to note about. It seems like a slightly off topic point for my art blog but as I paint to a CD I think it makes a difference. I guess the blog vaguely counts in terms of art/culture/music and well, I don't always want to write about myself. (I totally do, but I am trying to be modest here!). But if you don't believe that my mood and my music make a massive difference to my painting, then read this post from back in the day....

So anyway, Nadine Shah. I didn't know much about her before I went to see her at the Union Chapel in Highbury and Islington, London, except that she sounds a bit like Anna Calvi. Before I start talking about her though, I have to mention the venue. It is one of my favourite places - an intimate gig held in front of a beautiful backdrop of Church architecture. Apparently the venue can seat up to 900 people, but when you are in there it feels more like a congregation of about 300 max. You are so close to the artist, it is like they are singing only to you. Admittedly after 3 or so hours of sitting on the hard Church Pews, your backside likes the venue slightly less but it is still one of my favourites. I also like the ethos behind the Church (and I am not religious); The Church is liberal, inclusive, non hierarchical and non conformist. Everyone and anyone is welcome and they are open to new ideas and focus in on love in general rather than specifics or rules. I feel like that is what religion should be about, none of this blindly following sheep stuff.

But - Nadine Shah - that girl can sing! She blew me away a little - she really feels every song that she sings and makes you do the same. Her voice is so powerful and emotional in real life that her recordings are a bit disappointing as they lose a lot of the rawness that you get watching and listening to the live version. She is such a character - when she is singing you get this raw, dark, emotional, strong voice, replaced when she is talking with a happy, sense of humoured Scottish lilt talking about every day things. It was a fun night out, and if you get the chance, I recommend going to have a listen and getting blown away by her vocals. 

Friday, 23 October 2015

Renoir Sucks at Painting

I was going to carry on writing about my musical experiences, but I read an interesting article the other day about people protesting outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The best thing or the most interesting thing about the protest was what they were protesting about and who they were. They were protesting because they wanted 19 Renoir paintings currently in the Museum to be taken down. Why? Because they are a group known as 'Renoir Sucks at Painting'.

Now, Renoir, was and still is one of the most successful artists ever made. Prolific in his time and successful, and rich - unusual feats as artists have a habit of becoming richer and more famous when they have kicked the bucket. (I have been practising faking my own death). Personally, I am not a fan of Renoir, I never have been, and because of this I have never looked at his work with a critical eye. I would much rather waste an hour drinking in a Van Gogh or getting lost in the lines and marks of a Jackson Pollock, than looking at a delicately rendered Renoir image of 'real life.' I have always put this down to personal taste, I am not interested in his subject matter and his colours don't appeal to me, nor his style, which is interesting when I think about it as I like most Impressionists. Could this be because he isn't very good? I don't like Paul Klee's work particularly but I can appreciate it - the meticulous colour combinations, the attention to detail, the thin definite lines. Francis Bacon is really not my cup of tea but you can't not look at the rippling flesh, the tortured bodies and the horrified expressions.  Half the problem with Renoir is that he is too sentimental. Sentimentality is my kryptonite, it makes my brain sceptical and my heart harden. That moment when you are watching an action film and 400 people have already died but the focus is on the loyal dog that is just about to die saving a small boy, oh the tears, save me, my heart has broken, that poor brave dog. *sob* Stuff the small country load of people that have just been incinerated - more fool them.

Regardless of my opinions on Renoir, I don't think you can just eradicate him. He was a leading exponent of Impressionism, he was popular and in fashion once, and therefore still a part of art history, whether you want him to be or not. He also painted many pictures whilst badly afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis so I think that needs to be taken into account. How do you think your paintings would turn out if you had paralysed hands?  

Porträt des Charles und Georges Durand-Ruel - Pierre Auguste Renoir
I may not be an avid fan, but seriously - the painting above definitely does not suck. 

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


When I was talking about all the bands and music I have recently heard I missed one trip out. I went to Lovebox earlier this year, a music festival in London's Victoria Park. The festival is not necessarily a mix of my favourite type of music, but I can't really resist any music when it is live, you have to admire the artistry and the performance even when the music is not your cup of tea.

That said, I did like a lot of the music, more than I was expecting to, especially Raury. It was a shame on the day as his sound levels weren't set up properly so you couldn't hear him sing particularly well, but he was such a nice guy, even jumping down into the crowd at one point so he could say hello to everyone. He has a song out at the moment, that is playing quite a lot on the radio; It is definitely one of my favourite tunes of the moment, and I feel privileged to have seen him before he gets crazily famous. As I am sure he will.

Monday, 19 October 2015


I went to see a band the other day at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town, and a solo artist the week before, and another band ages ago at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith. I have been meaning to write about all of them, repeatedly. I also want to write about Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch and Dangerous Games - Lord of the Dance.

OH MY GOD. Why is there always so much going on?

I shouldn't complain really as I am spoilt most of the time, not everyone gets to do these things or experience such a wide variety of cultural activities. I just need an 8 day week, so I can do all of these things and then have a spare day to blog, or paint or update. I need to paint my Christmas cards for this year and I am well aware of the fact that I am completely running out of time. Just as well I work well under pressure. Kind of.

But I am going off point. Let's start with the first band I went to see at the Eventim. Pentatonix are an American acapella group consisting of 5 vocalists originating from Arlington Texas (thank you Wikipedia). They have been going for about 4 years and are beyond impressive. I don't really think I need to say much more other than 'watch this video' it does the talking (or the singing) much better than I could.

How can you do all of those things with just your voice? (One of them, also has the deepest, drool worthiest voice I have ever heard. Will probably ever hear. )

Friday, 16 October 2015

You Twit. Er

I am setting aside a bit of time at the moment to pre plan some blog posts as I am well aware that there haven't been any recently. I managed to get back on top of it all for a bit but it was disappointingly short lived. I have decided to sacrifice my evening and my sleep to get a few written up this evening to try and take the pressure off. I am also feeling a bit more enthusiastic this evening as I have had some free twitter publicity, and managed a proper art day earlier on this week which restored my soul a little. I have also managed to catch up with my Deviant Art messages for the first time in about a month. So all in all, a productive evening thus far.

Twitter has been on my to-do list for about ever. I have an account and I have tweeted about 6 times(?) and possibly thought about tweeting 6 other times. I recently got an interesting new follower (a crime writer!) who retweeted my St Pancras painting well enough that St Pancras International found it and retweeted it on their page. That seems like an impressive seal of approval to get a shout out from the actual building. As a lot of the things I paint are iconic buildings or places I could probably market them quite well on twitter. After all, the people following those pages are the ones that love the buildings and the ones who are likely to buy the painting. It makes sense! So much sense, I just need to master twitter and put all of my paintings up.

Seriously, does anyone want to offer to be my social media secretary!? Let's see if I can try and put up something every couple of days in the meantime. Please Laura. DO THIS! I need the ball to start rolling in a straight line again, it has been meandering a little aimlessly recently.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Artistic Temperament

I managed to paint earlier this week on Tuesday, after making the executive decision to ignore my architecture work and go to the gym and do a painting in the afternoon/evening. I slept so well afterwards it was ridiculous! I am really suffering from artistic frustrations at the moment. I have so much art I need to do and so much I want to do it is driving me crazy. As I originally decided to go freelance so I would have time to devote to my art I think I need to make some changes. Life is currently 'Architecture Slave' 1, 'Art' nil, and this is all wrong - it is time to call full time.

I haven't quite worked out what this means yet, but I absolutely, definitely, positively, must redress the balance. Whether that means art in the afternoons, or one architecture free day a week I am not sure. I have never been this consistently busy before so it hasn't been an issue, but as this period has been going on for over 6 months I don't think it is going to dissipate any time soon, so I ought to do something about it. I was going to say I am sure Van Gogh never had this problem but then I think most artists battle with something - women, money, drink, depression so maybe I got off lightly.

Monday, 21 September 2015

The Japanese House

Sometimes being me is annoying. I did a new painting at the weekend which I decided I would put online tonight after I went to yoga.

I came in from yoga.

I watched TV.

Felt tired.

Decided I would put it up tomorrow.

Watched more TV and then decided I really should put it online tonight. It would have been better if I had just stuck to my guns and put it up when I intended as then now I would be in bed.

On the plus side, staying up late, doing this, listening to the radio means I can listen to a special by The Japanese House. I absolutely love this song at the moment....

Tuesday, 15 September 2015


I had a day off today. A day in which I chose to explore London with one of my friends. I say explore, it was more of a case of go shopping and have lunch and maybe a cocktail and then one of the best hot chocolates I have ever had, but explore sounds better.

I did chance upon some art as well. Currently in the glazed atrium of Covent Garden is an artwork 'invasion' entitled Heartbeat. It consists of 100, 000 (really that many?) balloons, pulsating with light, at a heartbeat rate. Apparently they are a metaphor to represent the fact that the building is the beating heart of the Covent Garden area. The installation has been designed by Charles Pétillon and is his first public work of art, and first live work outside of France. It certainly changed the character of the space, and is very eye catching but whether it achieves its purpose is difficult to say. It made the space seem a little oppressive as it has dramatically lowered the implied ceiling level, but no one expects being sat with a heart to be an airy occurrence. It is always interesting to see a space you know so well with a different face though so I am all for it (but possibly glad it is temporary).

Today also had the added reward of being a painting SOLD day. There is nothing quite like checking your emails on the train home and seeing a 'congratulations you just sold a painting' heading pop up. I don't know why, but quite often when I have a random day off in London I seem to sell something. I don't know whether this is because my friend is a lucky charm or whether I just need to have more days off. I will take either of those options.

Repeat ad infinitum.

Monday, 14 September 2015


I am having courier problems at the moment, which is a shame as up until now I have had no problems at all and I have been really impressed with the service I have received. I am not really sure where this leaves me now. Should I just assume the last few issues have been an unlucky spell or should I look at using a different firm? Your guess is as good as mine; Maybe I will give my usual firm one last try, but keep my eye out for any other recommended couriers along the way. I tend to cheat anyway as I use a website that compares various services and prices for me and then pick whichever one suits me best. There are a few websites that offer this service so maybe I should try out a few different ones and see what happens.

I just need to wait now, for someone to buy another painting....

Sunday, 6 September 2015



I greatly enjoy this painting, and seemingly so does everyone else. I painted it after a trip down to East Sussex to visit the Castle one empty weekend. It is a pretty spectacular Castle and one to set the imagine running. I am pretty sure Robin Hood could have rescued Maid Marion from one of the towers. The painting above is a pretty good representation of how the place felt to me. Bold, strong, iconic, romantic, a beacon in history, a 'does what it says on the tin' moated castle. (Whether it did in fact do what a castle does is another matter, the jury is out on whether it was built for defence or for show).

The painting has already had acclaim. It was acknowledged by some of the workers from the National Trust who run the castle (although unfortunately nothing came of it) and it was awarded a Daily Deviation on Deviant Art, which is my second, unexpected piece of recognition from the US site. It still surprises me that i have this painting on the wall and it hasn't sold. I thought this one might be a hot cake but as yet has proved not be so. So if you like it, get a move on as I am sure it won't be for sale for much longer.    

Friday, 4 September 2015


'Teatime' was actually my first commission of 2015 (yes, I know that shows how late this post is!!!)

It was an interesting one to do as I could find very few resources on the place in question, so few that I considered visiting it as it is only up the road from me in Aldermaston (any excuse for a cream tea). Unfortunately time pressures indicated otherwise so I just had to go with the 3 or 4 pictures I found online and make the rest up. There wasn't much in the picture to play with (for me) - a small simple cottage and not much else. It is difficult to put movement in such a small scene, especially when you refuse to put people in (usually, a few have squeezed in some paintings latterly.)

The above is how it turned out - considerable richer in colour than I expected, and possibly not as neat as I intended, but then almost every painting I do is not as neat as I intended. I was pretty pleased with the eventual result - it has my stamp firmly upon it, and as the other day I received positive feedback from the eventual owner, I think it was a success all round.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Indian Summer

Well, my blog stats have just vastly improved for August after I received 200 hits yesterday. I don't know either but every little (or large) helps.

I am having slight issues settling at the moment, so, as I have a ridiculous amount of 'Birth Certificates' outstanding I may as well sit here for a while and schedule some in. I am so used to being rushed off my feet that when I have nothing to do I am a bit like a lost sheep.


Hmm, I might have actually left these for long enough that I can't remember why I did them..... awkward! Anyway.... Indian Summer:

I have decided I don't want to write these under the headings - 'The Reason' 'The Setting' 'The Inspiration' any more as they are basically tantamount to the same thing. So I shall just write whatever comes to mind in whatever order seems fit. Having said that, I really don't know where this came from. I think it was a combination of wanting to do something bright and colourful, with a sun, slightly more detailed and neater than my previous painting and a little different. I periodically get fed up of painting in the same 'style' so I needed a break and to do something similar but with a twist. Quite often when this happens I rely on what I have painted recently - colours, shapes, patterns and amalgamate them all together to be something different. I guess, in that respect, Indian Summer is a bit like a synopsis of the last 10 or 20 paintings. We all need a break from what we know occasionally.


Monday, 31 August 2015

Art Time

My blog stats this month are not very good which is a shame. Possibly not overly surprising though as it is traditionally holiday season and I have only written 3 posts this month. It was obviously holiday season for me as well, not that it feels like it was but never mind!

I have had a super productive Bank Holiday weekend these last few days, and an art focused one for once. I have managed to finally put all my outstanding new photographs and paintings online EVERYWHERE, two paintings are packaged and ready and waiting to be sent, I have ordered a new chair to try and stop me turning into a hunchback, my spreadsheets are up to date, my finances also, and my to-do list is the smallest it has been all year. I should feel better than I do right now, but I guess there is always more to do. It has been good to have a solid block of art time though, I miss it, and would quite like it to carry on for a few more days but I already know there is a potential mountain of architecture work on its way. That is fine too though, a bit of art, a bit of money - not a bad mix. Now if I can just manage to squeeze in a painting either tonight or tomorrow night then we are sorted.

Oh, and prep/schedule a few blog posts - that might be a good idea too.

(Definitely ALWAYS more to do......)

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

One way or Another

I just entered the Aesthetica Magazine Art Prize today. I am not sure why really. I have always been a background person, I just get on with what I do, I don't win things, I am not the most popular, I don't shout about what I do but I do achieve things. I am after all selling my work, starting to have a fan base, have followers, get commissions. This is how I roll. I creep in slowly, I grab loyalty from the people who love what I do and it grows that way. I will never be 'on trend' I don't believe in fashion, I, god knows, am not fashionable, but I am me, and the best me I can be.

But when it comes to competitions, I might as well not bother.

But I feel like art is a bit like that anyway. When was the last time you watched the Turner Prize and thought, oh yes, that was the artist that should have won. Never? Well exactly.

I would like to win something one day though, and that is why I have entered and why I will keep on entering the RA Summer Exhibition. I am sure they will let me in one day, or at least live to regret not letting me in. I will win one way or the other.  

Wednesday, 5 August 2015


As I still haven't had a chance to sort through my photos I thought I would share another artistic experiment with you instead. A while ago (a long while ago) I went to a pottery painting place with my sister and nieces. This is basically a place where you can choose a piece of pottery, unfired, paint it and then they will glaze/fire it for you. There are lots of items to choose from - plates, cake shaped pots, skulls, tea pots, coffee pots, cups, mugs, saucers, bowls and probably lots of other things I have forgotten. There were lots of paint colours to choose from as well, as well as paint pens.

I was particularly taken with a coffee pot; something about its slightly strange shape seemed to speak to me at the time. Apart from the fact that I slightly wish I had gone prepped with a design, for a first attempt, and one off-the-cuff as it where, I think this pot will do.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Whiling Away

Oops, I let the ball slip a bit there. This was mostly because I had to revise for my theory test last week. Yes, that is right, I am learning to drive, and only ten or so years late. Fortunately I passed, and as the results are valid for two years that should be more than enough time to get my practical out of the way as well. I shall be glad when all this is over. Work, art, driving, life, socialising, I don't really want to play with all of these things at the moment. Just some art will do and maybe some socialising. I would like a holiday from the rest.

Speaking of holidays, I had a mini break back to the Isle of Wight this weekend and went on a bit of a photography binge. I have high hopes for a couple of my shots, specifically a set I took of some scummy sea water. I promise it will make sense when you see the photos. I have quite a lot to sift through though, and as a lot of them look the same it may take a while....possibly an especially long while as whiles are something I am finding hard to come by....

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Rain Check

It looks like I might have a bit of free time for the rest of this week as for once, I have no architecture work to do. This makes me quite excited for all the art stuff I could possibly do. I say possibly because it feels like the first time this year in which I have nothing specific to do. We all know that with such power comes reading, sunbathing, ice creams and generally being incredibly unproductive.

Let's hope it is raining tomorrow. Maybe. (It is actually predicted to...)

In the meantime, blog hits are back to normal, I have sold a couple of prints on Fine Art America and a few bits on Society 6. This is all sounding better. Now to sell some paintings, or at least paint some and then I might feel human again. Painting is giving me no satisfaction at the moment. I think this is mostly because I need a challenge and possibly because all the art stuff recently has been marketing or organising related, i.e. not inspiring.

Insert suitable "You need to prep the soil for the seeds to grow" saying here....


Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Liver Building

Oops, I let my posting slip a little there... time to do an emergency piece! I am hoping that posting a bit more often will get my viewing levels back to what they were before my posts died down a little (a lot!). I find them quite therapeutic to write so I don't suppose it matters either way.

Not much art stuff is happening this week, although I sold another print on Fine Art America and I have put myself forward for a few commissions so fingers crossed.

The print I sold was of the Liver Building, and, as that is on my Birth Certificate to-do list I think I will do that one now!

The Liver Building:

The Reason

It was mentioned by a lovely lady who bought one of my paintings that she might like a painting of the Liver Building. I put the suggestion into my painting filing cabinet in the back of my head.

The Setting

I looked at some images of the Liver Building when the possible commission was mentioned. I have no idea why, but almost a year later, it starting knocking around in my head and I thought, yes, I need to paint you now.

The Inspiration

Various pictures of the Liver Building, the docks, my thoughts of what Liverpool is like. The word Liver-pool, the weather. Strength, a strong building at the end of a long journey, lit up in a stormy sky. Warmth, stoic, solid. I love this painting, actually, now that I have mentioned it, I would quite like a print of it. I made a book a while ago collecting all my work together. I have done quite a lot of new pieces since then. Maybe I need to think about doing part 2....


Sunday, 12 July 2015


I have been thinking about blog statistics and social media today. I think I am missing a trick by not using Twitter and Instagram either to their full capacity or full stop. I have also been looking at various websites/apps that offer the facility to tweet, or post a picture once and then they repost it across the board on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and wherever else. This obviously saves a lot of time although I kind of like tailoring each thing to whichever audience is receiving it - needs must though. At least I have been a bit better about posting on this blog for a while; Maybe not quite once a day, but I have left it no longer than 3 or 4 days at a time recently, rather than months on end which is a massive improvement. My blog fortunately floats at a relative amount of page views a day on its own, but blogging regularly does make a difference. I seem to have perfected the art of the regular peak and trough of views depending on whether I am being up to date or not.... My favourite moment is still the massive hike in views from when I first redesigned my blog to look like it does now. That was definitely effort well spent.

  Art and getting noticed is frustrating at times. It seems like you need to have a degree in marketing as well as being in the right place at the right time, and actually being good at what you do. It is just as well I have a friend in Marketing and I have a few ideas up my sleeve still. The worst thing will be when I don't know what to do next. I also have a good selection of friends and family that like name dropping me at every possible opportunity and throwing my work around at everyone they know. I am sure between all of us I can get the ball rolling a bit faster, and a bit bigger.....

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Chasing Cars

I have misplaced my mojo today. I think I lost it at some point between bedtime last night and waking up this morning. I have probably been as productive as normal, but I don't feel like I have been productive at all.

Nobody likes days like these! Never mind, I am sure tomorrow will be better.

On the plus side, I had the first commission through on Commission an Artist that I thought I might like to actually do. It would be a challenge as it involves drawing cars which is something I haven't done before. As I have to put a bid forward to do the work and I have no examples in my portfolio I am not feeling very lucky. You have to try though otherwise you won't get anywhere, and who knows, maybe they are looking for something a little bit different, in which case I would be perfect!

Sometimes you have to admire the risk taker.....

Monday, 6 July 2015


I am enjoying the randomness of my blog at the moment. Yesterday, I had 12 page views. Today I have 190! I have no idea what has made the difference there....

But anyway, I think another 'Birth Certificate' is needed as I painted a new picture yesterday, and as I previously mentioned I am already 15 or so paintings behind. So without further ado....


The Reason

I realised the other day, that these sub headings are not helpful as they are kind of all the same. I need to rethink them I think! But let's go with it for the moment. Stonehenge was on my mind, my 'bestie' visited there at Christmas, it was in the centre of the English Heritage Monopoly board that I spent all Christmas playing....

The Setting

Sat around the Monopoly Board - Stonehenge in the middle. Playing a flag game where you try and identify the Countries the flags belong to. A few stripy colourful flags and an image of Stonehenge starting to blur...

The Inspiration

Colours, sunset, flags, stripes, Stonehenge itself, a sense of the unfathomable, mystery, memories of when I visited it, time, acres and acres of time.

It is cliché to say, I expect, but this painting really did come to me in a vision. I was playing Monopoly and this idea of Stonehenge with a sun burst in the background burnt itself into my mind. Not the colours necessarily, they came later as I was working, but the image was safely stored in my mind until I needed it. When an image arrives like that, it is guaranteed to be painted, it is just a matter of when....

Sunday, 5 July 2015

A Levels

I am currently waiting for a background on a new painting to dry so I can attempt to put on the next layer and rectify a few mistakes I have already made. It is never good when your first few brush strokes come out incorrectly, but then that is what paint is all about, and nothing is really ever wrong.

Whilst I was waiting I thought I would multi task and write a blog post or two, especially as I missed writing one on Thursday and Friday. After mistakenly looking at my blog 'to-do' list I now have no idea what to start with. Generic post or Birth Certificate? I need to write lots of both.

Now, after procrastinating on the internet, my painting is dry and I have no idea what I have been talking about. Damn you internet *shakes fist.*

Let's just go with generic.

I remember one of my 'fans' joking that she could imagine my work being taught at school, I appreciated the sentiment but thought it was pretty unlikely. I am a step closer now(ish) as in February (yes, I know, out of date news!!!) one of my paintings got published in an A Level Textbook. Admittedly that Textbook is an English Literature and Language book rather than an art one but still, it is a start.

I also enjoyed my first print being bought and sent to Australia last week. The link is tenuous, but the print they bought was a drawing I did for my A level portfolio when I was about 17 or 18. It may have taken over ten years, but I greatly enjoy the eventual remuneration for a drawing I did for a piece of paper with an A on it and a little bit love.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Maison du Roi

So I disappointed myself yesterday as I somehow completely forgot to write a blog post. I shall blame the hot weather and being British. I was probably too busy moaning about how hot it was that I momentarily forgot my priorities. Speaking of hot, my flat is stuck at 31.5 degrees Celsius, outside at 36. This is going to make for an interesting zumba session in an unconditioned sports hall. You can win a prize if you guess the exact colour of puce I am going to turn. I would like it to be something cryptic like Elephant Red, maybe Blood Orange, as long as it isn't Leaf Green I will be ok.

But anyway, before I get completely off topic I am massively overdue in writing a few 'birth certificates' for my paintings. I am in fact 15 paintings behind (!!) So let me start with the oldest one of the bunch and then do them in order from there.

The Reason

I had returned from a recent trip to Brussels to visit one of the Christmas Markets and I was thinking about what to paint.....

The Setting

Late one night, in the main square of Brussels, watching a light and sound show play out on all the surrounding Gothic buildings and falling a little bit in love with it all. the spectacle, the colours, the architecture, the atmosphere.... 

The Inspiration

The inspiration was simply the Maison du Roi, one of the more beautiful buildings that makes up the Town Square. The ground is inspired by the Flower Carpet festival that is held in Brussels, that I, as yet, have not had the pleasure of witnessing but would love to catch one day. The arch is a piece of lace, one of the things Belgium is famous for. The colours obviously hark back to the light show that was playing as we wandered by one evening. So, black night, lace arch, flower carpet, brightly lit building. These are a few of the ideas that capture a Belgium Christmas for me, and were still buzzing around my head when I decided to sit down and paint. I think the lace arch is definitely my favourite bit.....

Monday, 29 June 2015


I am doing some updating this evening, with a glass of wine, after doing yoga. It was a nice evening so it would have been more enjoyable to have spent some time out in the sunshine, but when you have things to do and your friends are otherwise occupied, working with a glass of wine just about cuts the mustard.

I was hoping to add a new painting onto my website, but worryingly my website appears to be malfunctioning. I have no idea why currently. I shall leave it for the minute and check back in tomorrow, but then I may well be sending an email to my website provider, with WHAT? written in very large letters. It is not working quite spectacularly, it has never not worked before.... hmm, a little bit worrying but fingers crossed.....!

Instead I am going to open an Etsy shop as I can't do anything to my website. I have been wondering this evening whether it is better to to concentrate on a few different stores/shop locations or to really work hard on one. The same goes for social media. I am currently working on the principle that they are all worth a try, especially as some seem to work better for me than others. Without trying different ones you wouldn't be able to discover this and I can always close them later....

Jury is out.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Risky Business

Today's post is going to be a cheat one (i.e. super short) as I need to leave and catch a train, but I am trying to be well behaved and stick to my one a day blog post promise (although I will be having tomorrow off).

I managed to paint last night. The subject was a commission I have been meaning to for a while. The client was quite clear with what they wanted but I have done something a little different - a different view of the same place, in portrait not landscape, but the same colours and style that they asked for. I am pretty sure this is a risky thing to have done. I am in fact, not feeling very confident about it all, but we shall see. At least I can always sell it on regardless.....

Oh Laura.....!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Commission An Artist

I am cheating this morning, as I am replying to my DeviantArt messages now after proclaiming yesterday that I wouldn't sleep if they were still outstanding. Sometimes, though, even if you are a night owl, you have to make the executive decision to go to bed and do it in the morning instead.

I am also writing another blog post! BOOM! 3 in a row and only 35 to go (ouch). I am away at the weekend so I may have to cheat on Friday and write 3....that will be a test! Or maybe I should quickly just say I only meant one a day during the week. We'll see.

Anyway....I feel like I got an instant benefit from trying to pick things up again as I had an interesting email pop into my art account yesterday - I haven't had one for a while.

(Sidetracking..... I also had confirmation to go ahead with a commission, and a commission I already need to do which I am hoping to sort out this evening. That sounds more like it.)

The interesting email was from a company that deals directly with commissioning artists for individuals, corporate clients and community projects. They asked if I would submit my work so I could be put on their books, and apply for/be put forward for various projects. A slightly different angle to try and at the moment, the more exposure the better. Let's see if anything comes of signing up....

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Eye of the Tiger

I have decided, I am not going to bed tonight until I have replied to all my outstanding DeviantArt messages. They have been outstanding for quite some time so I feel like it has reached that point where I need to make a concerted effort to do something about it, otherwise I may as well give up.

I have also written a list of outstanding blog topics I need to address. I am going to attempt to write one post a day until I have caught up with myself - hopefully this mission will not turn out to be wishful thinking and I will do it. I think the trick will be to write them first thing in the morning before I make a start with my work of the day, rather than leaving them until the end when I am either tired, painting, or hanging out with friends. All of this would be easier to accomplish if my internet hadn't decided to reduce itself down to a snails pace. My line seems to break periodically, has in fact been fixed three times, and I am pretty sure, broken again. It is still vaguely bearable - operating at a 2Mb download speed - it has broken before and gone down to 0.3Mb - it is certainly frustrating though, especially when I need to get things done.

Oh well, I had 26 things on my work to-do list to try and accomplish this week. I have already done 12 of them and it is only Tuesday. This seems like a positive sign.

I WILL get organised.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

New Leaf.

So how do you turn over a blog new leaf? God knows I need to. I am slowly catching up with some art admin but not at a speed that would make anybody impressed. I am managing to paint, once in a blue moon, sometimes more often, often less. I am artistically frustrated but I do have a bit of a social life, and some money.

I didn't realise these would be the and/or's  - painting, no money, no social life, satisfied versus no painting, money, social life and frustrated.


There must be a balance in there somewhere if I could just find it. In fairness I am starting to manage my architecture workload better, get up earlier and plan art stuff into my day. I think instead of putting art last on the list, I need to put it higher up - maybe in the middle - so when some of my deadlines are met, I can take a break and blog, or write, or paint, or website, or plan. Just generally do what makes me, me.

The architecture is definitely on the up, the art is currently plateaued, dangerously balanced on a steep slope. I need to get this all going again before it starts rolling backwards.

Come on. We can do this!  

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

One day at a time...

This is getting crazy. Where did that last month go?

My mission statement for tomorrow, is to schedule some blog posts to keep things ticking over, otherwise I am going to completely forget what I am doing. I have some chance of this happening as somehow I am on top of my work. I am a bit worried that I might have 3 commissions to do in the not too distant future and I have a heads up about a few more architectural projects coming up and I am learning to drive.

This is all too much.

One day at a time.....

*deep breath*

Monday, 13 April 2015

Let's see...

So let's pretend I didn't say I was going to catch up with some blog posts a couple of weekends ago.

I didn't manage to. (Didn't manage in fact, to write any at all).

Nil point.

On the plus side, last week I managed to do a painting and it felt gooooooooooooood, so good that my soul felt hugged afterwards. I have missed getting the acrylics out and expressing myself recently, but I do now slightly feel like I have turned a corner. My time is more my own and I am slowly getting through my backlog of work. It is beginning to feel like although I am not on top of everything yet, that I soon will be and for the first time in about two months I don't feel like I am stuck running up the down escalator.

I recently bought a book by Austin Kleon called Steal Like an Artist. It is about being creative and getting that to work for you. One of the tips to become a success is 'to be boring' I think that is partly where the problem lies at the moment as my social life is taking precedent over my work life. This makes such a monumental change that I think I will let myself off for a while. I am used to getting up late and working into the early hours which isn't quite happening with the distractions of nights out and trips to my exercise classes. Maybe it is about time, I got up with the early worm.

But then I won't really be me will I?

Let's see....

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Nuff said

Easter is here which means a four day weekend and theoretically no work to do. I am cat sitting, so what a perfect time to sit and catch up with some art admin. This mainly consists of a few updates I would like to do, replying to some messages on Deviant Art and pre planning some blog posts.

I thought I would write a list of the posts I needed to write that I have missed so far this year because of one thing or another.

There are 20.


Even I don't think I can catch up with all of them this weekend, especially considering Friday was taken out by an event, and Monday taken out by a long Easter walk. The cat is also rather cutely distracting.

Well this is getting annoying. I need a time machine, or to have 48 hour days for a week! I will somehow catch up with all of this though. I have to.

Nuff said.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Tick Tock Tick


I am not going to comment on whether this will be the returning of the blogging as every time I say that it doesn't quite seem to happen. Rest assured that lots of positive art things are happening though and my blog to do list is getting loooooonger with every passing second. Unfortunately (or fortunately as it pays the bills) my architectural work to do list is also getting looooooonger with every passing second.

Time is still looking precious, but I have high hopes for some catching up time over Easter.


Fingers crossed.

Sunday, 8 March 2015


So it seems like I am still a little way of posting 'normally.' Art? What is that? Painting? That is....?


I don't know. I can't remember, I have forgotten what I am doing, or where I am going with all of this. My purpose is off, my focus is wobbly, my paintbrushes bone dry. I am hoping that ends today. I am writing this blog post. I have posted on facebook, I have found my next picture to paint and I am doing it tonight.

Yes, I have work I need to do. Files I need to sort. Sleep I need to have. But no. No. NO.


This afternoon I am painting. My mobile is on silent, my computer will be off, I really have unplugged the landline, so if you want me, you had better try hard. For this evening., I am the disappeared. 

Saturday, 21 February 2015

It was George not me.

So it looks like things might be slowly starting to get back to 'normal' not that I feel particularly normal right now. It always takes me a while to settle back down when I have been accustomed to upheaval. Trying to lower myself back down into my natural life level rather than crazy, busy, hectic, stressful life level always causes me a little bit of grief. It isn't until you stop that you realise how much pressure you have been under. I would do it all again though without question so that is all that matters.

But anyway, enough with these cryptic ramblings. I can tell things have started to become more usual. I managed to paint last night and instead of getting on with some work I really need to do today I am art-ing. That is better. My normal priorities resumed - stuff work deadlines - I'll sort them out tomorrow, today I am doing some things for me.

It wasn't until I sat down to paint last night that I realised I have really missed colour over the last few weeks. Bright colours, cheerful colours, 'me' colours. The painting yesterday was a therapy painting, very bright, very optimistic and just what I needed. I am tempted to paint another one this evening but I am a bit emotionally drained so I don't want to overdo it. Fingers crossed I can do another one tomorrow evening. Tonight, if I need colour, I'll just have to look at my paint tubes (or all the paintings on the wall).

Hopefully blogging will get back to being regular now, painting will happen too, but in the meantime anything else that happens you can blame on George.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Watch this space.

So you know I said January was starting with a bit of a bang? Well the bang just got considerably larger. So large in fact that art has had to take a total back seat for a moment as 'real life' well and truly takes over. That said, art 'stuff'' is still happening - I have sold a couple more paintings and I have another commission request to complete. I have also had delivery of an exciting telephoto lens for my camera. The main things that aren't getting done are updating, promoting and painting, but at the moment that is fine, some things are more important, and art can wait.

This is one of those times.

A normal service will resume shortly, because I will well and truly need to paint soon.

Watch this space.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

January 18th. Already!?!?

I am having that 'I need to write a blog post' feeling this evening. I don't really know what to write about though, I need to write 3 birth certificates for some new paintings I have done but at 11.30pm on a Sunday night I am not quite in the mood!

This year seems to be starting with a bit of a bang. Normally January is relatively quiet and I have the perfect chance to catch up with everything and devote myself to some quality art time. This is not really happening, highlighted by the fact that in order to paint this weekend I had to start (and finish) one yesterday evening at 10.30pm!! I think I am in real danger of becoming nocturnal, not helped today by only just finishing updating and putting all my new paintings online. I think this week is going to be one of those getting up early and staying up late ones so I can get everything done. Trying to hold down two jobs, and live, is not always easy....!

It is worth it though. I think......

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Calendar Competition

It seems like things have returned to normal after the crazy four days of last week. It has now been 3 whole days since I have sold something. I am quite happy with that as the break meant I could finish some architecture work and paint 2015 painting number 2. I am pretty pleased with this one, it is just the right amount of unusual and traditional to make it very me. I will blog about it later on this week hopefully although I haven't yet blogged about painting number 1 so that will have to happen first.

But celebrate getting through the first week in January and for me to celebrate a successful week of sales and start to the year I have decided to run a competition to win one of my luxury A3 calendars. To enter, click onto my facebook page and like the appropriate post for your chance to win! Winner will be announced at the end of the week. Good luck!

Friday, 9 January 2015

Well that was unexpected.

WOW. What a week. Exciting, surprising and super quick.

So the two paintings I sold have turned into four and possibly a new commission. One of the paintings had to be packed and shipped in super quick time earlier today (about an hour and a half after it was purchased) which has left me slightly frazzled. Trying to get the paperwork together, book the courier and package the painting up properly in almost no time was slightly heart attack inducing, but I managed it and it was worth it for how happy the client seemed to be. The rest of the afternoon/ evening has been paperwork sorting but I did get my hair cut earlier so I have sat doing it whilst looking fabulous. (Well, maybe).

The only question left to decide upon for this week is whether to do a painting now or to just sit back and relax, after all it is Friday night, and I am sure they aren't for working. I have half an idea in my head though so I am not sure whether I will be able to leave it sitting there or whether I will have to pop it out. Sometimes, being creative is annoying.

Is it really only the first week of January!?!?

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

A Perfect Day

I am definitely liking 2015 already. Today has been a good art day and a good day all round. I unexpectedly managed to sell a painting earlier and I have another half on reserve which I will find out about tomorrow on whether it is staying with me or going to an exciting new home. I have also signed up to enter something for display at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and I am halfway through my first painting of 2015. I am currently waiting for the background to dry and slightly anxious. The first painting of the year always stresses me out slightly. I don't know why as I am unlikely to have changed that much between my last painting and this one but even so; You never know what that extra mince pie that you really didn't need might do to you.

I am also feeling slightly smug because I have completed my architecture work for the day, I managed to go for a walk and I have only eaten one chocolate. Providing this new painting goes well, today could turn out to be pretty much perfect.

A few more of these this year please!

(And also the perfect excuse to revisit this....)


Sunday, 4 January 2015

Happy 2015!

A bit delayed but Happy New Year! I went out on New Years Eve for once so this year is definitely starting differently to normal, let's hope the more exciting start makes for a more exciting year!

It seems like the break for Christmas - almost two weeks of avoiding the computer, eating, fresh air and having the sea between me and all my obligations seems to have had the healing powers required. I feel more centred, more relaxed, more focused and ready to start this year with a bang. I am making the most of all the sales at the moment and stocking up with more cards and upgrading a few bits and pieces of equipment. The most exciting one being a camera upgrade but I will tell you more about that later. I am also going to start a new facebook competition in the next week or so and attempt to enter a piece of work in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

I have high hopes for this year and currently the determination to match. The first step will be to consolidate all my to do lists into one, or rather into 'the one'. Having ten pieces of paper with numerous scribbles, crossing outs and exclamations is not only confusing but slightly stressing me out! I say the first step, the first step is to do the first painting of 2015. In fact, it might be the perfect time to do that now....