Thursday, 28 May 2020

House Mask

Yesterday seemed to pass me by in a blur, and I must admit today has done much the same. My blogging platform has updated itself as well so I am currently trying to relearn what the buttons mean and where everything is. I am worried by how long it took me to find the button to start a new post. It doesn't bode well.

Artmajeur is still ticking over, I have 607 image views now, one follower and two likes. I am not going to lie, the conversion rate here is terrible. It may well take a lot of views per item of feedback but at least I am supposedly reaching a lot of people. That can only be a good thing right? 

I also finally have confirmation that my ordered puzzles are on their way. They were meant to have arrived on the 22nd of May, but I am assuming that they caught Covid-19 and got delayed. They should be here on the 2nd of June, just in time for perfect weather and socialising to begin with the loosening of the lock-down. I may not be selling anymore puzzles for a while!

But anyway, belatedly as promised, my new painting....! Bizarrely this is a painting that I first thought about creating in September but seems much more apt now. I have an inspiration photo of it on my phone, during the ninth month of the year, as the light was streaming in. I was perfectly relaxed, feet up, cup of tea in hand, optimistic orange ahead, sun, blue skies and warmth. The photo was of..... my living room window, blue skies against orange wall and a view I endlessly look at. Even more so recently as I have spent more time in the flat than I think I have ever done before. It seems strange to think I have spent 8 weeks in the same place, allowed out for an hour-ish a day. 

Home is where the heart is I guess, although I still feel like my heart needs to roam (thank you Travis).




   

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

263-44 is WOWSERS!

Ironically since I have been blogging every day, people have stopped reading my posts. I guess I must be too boring. Although I suppose maybe time is factored in, the posts I wrote before I started doing them everyday must be three or so months old by now so I guess they are bound to have more views. I kind of like the thought that I can have a public brain purge and no one will see it (except my Mum). I like to keep some cards close to my chest so I never leave myself too vulnerable. You have to have some air of mystery, so you can always be a surprise! I don't think anyone will ever know me well enough to get bored.

At least that is the plan.

I am on an upload-athon today. I am putting my paintings for sale onto Artmajeur and Saatchi Online. Apparently on Artmajeur you can upload as many paintings as you like and they just take a cut if you sell anything. If you pay the £4.50 a month the commission rate is reduced. I think I will leave it to see if I sell anything first and then make a judgement call. Saatchi Online just works on the principle of taking a 30% or so commission on painting sales which keeps it easy.

I figure the more places I am online, the more chances there are that I will reach someone that wants to buy a painting, in theory. Plus, if I blog frequently, keep my social media up to date and my news page pointing out when I sell things I should look both successful and professional and therefore, a potentially sound artistic investment. Which I should point out is true.

I was going to only upload a few paintings a day as then you reach a wider selection of people following the 'new' or 'latest' sections. Since I have been doing a painting a week I have managed to get ten or so new Artfinder followers after my numbers have been stuck for months. I have learned that consistency is everything. There is so much information around that you have to constantly remind people that you are there. It is the easiest way to attempt to grab some limelight. I realised though, that I can also upload my artwork for prints, so in that respect, I may well be uploading art on these two sites for months.  Apparently I have 263 paintings in my high resolution computer folder. Although only 44 of them are currently up for sale.

Oh. My. God.

When did that happen!?!?

Monday, 25 May 2020

Balance

So it looks like I forgot to blog on Friday. I did actually notice this on Friday but I decided I would blog today instead, which technically should be a day off where it is a bank holiday.

I managed to paint over the weekend, so I will have a new painting to share tomorrow. This one took a few days to do, mostly because I decided to start it at 10pm on Friday which is late even for me.

I have some feedback from Artmajeur already as they said my 3 uploaded paintings have had 76 views. That seems quite good as I only put them up on Thursday so it might be worth pursuing. I have had no followers yet though, which is possibly not a good sign. Trying to get followers all the time across about a thousand different media platforms is quite hard work. I know I am not good with my social media content as I am too private and don't particularly like sharing my thoughts all the time, she says writing a thought-purge filled blog post. I need brain space to paint though, writing my thoughts down helps me get this space, whereas prepping social media posts uses it up. I guess everything is about balance. My current balance is trying to work out how I can earn more money from all the things I am doing, so that everything works a bit harder, and if art starts earning me more, maybe I can progress to doing just that. Having just one work focus, sounds relaxing....

Brainstorming hats on!


Thursday, 21 May 2020

Colourism

I had one of my classic 'head being cleaved in half' headaches yesterday. Too much sun possibly? But it has made me feel a bit like a hungover version of myself today. I am still trying to decide whether to belatedly do my sun salutations or just leave them for today.

Sometimes I think caring less would be a massive plus.

On the plus side it has meant I have sat at my desk today and uploaded all of my cushions and prints onto Etsy and uploaded 3 paintings for sale on Art Majeur. It turns out Art Majeur has the same rate of commission as Artfinder, except that you can pay £60 per year to reduce it. I can add either three or ten paintings to the free basic package (I haven't worked that bit out yet) to start, so seeing how that progresses first seems like a good plan. 

Interestingly one question that is always asked when you are uploading an item for sale is what style it is. I always struggle with this question because what is my style? I normally opt for the cop out option of Impressionism or Expressionism, but I am not really sure if it is these or not? Apparently heightened use of colours would class it more as Fauvism, but my colours are not exactly unrealistic, just enhanced. I feel like I am either missing the point with what style they are or I need to create my own term. Perhaps something like Colourism?

Sounds like a winner to me. 

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Apply Liberally

I spent too much time in the sun yesterday so I am like my own personal furnace today. This is not particularly helpful when it is already 27/28 degrees outside. The moral of the story here is suntan lotion, applied liberally.

I have finally finished uploading my prints onto Etsy this afternoon and added my first cushion. I will add some more of those either in a minute or tomorrow. My painting has been safely delivered to my parents and is probably being put on the wall as we speak.

Nothing much else has happened. I have put off some life admin, spent a lot of time thinking about food, danced at Zumba, and had the daily walk. After the excitement of all the extra page followers, the commission competition and the sales I have had recently it seems a bit dull now. That said, I do have a new follower on Artfinder and one of my paintings is currently sitting in someone's shopping basket. Let's hope they check it out soon.

Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Lockdown Positives

So. 30 sun salutations means I ache the next day. I did 30 again this morning but must admit my shoulders were giving up on me by round 25. It does feel like it is back to having detoxing properties though so I am all for that first thing in the morning.

I don't seem to be doing a good job of getting through my art list this week. Today looks busy so I might not get much done today either but I will try and put some more bits up on Etsy at some point. In the meantime, I put my new painting online across the board yesterday and it got a relatively good response. People seem to be seeing hope and positivity in this painting. It is interesting, I feel a bit as though I am on a dark painting, light painting oscillation at the moment. I wonder if that is anything to do with the emotional frustration of lockdown. Some days it is nice to have time to myself and no interruptions and quiet outside. Sometimes I am more lonely, I want to see friends, I want to go out and I can't see how it will all end. Swings and roundabouts on almost a daily basis. Either way it is noticeable that I am more peaceful after painting, and more stable. Since lockdown has started my blood pressure has lowered, and my resting heartbeat is getting lower and lower. Less stress because things have slowed down and some pressures have been released? Or more relaxed because I finally have some time to paint which is something I had been missing recently? Who knows. All I know is the more I paint, the more I want to paint, and the more ideas are slowly starting to form. I have another commission to do shortly, for my competition winner, but I also have another idea in my head that I will need to start soon. It has been rumbling around for a week or two now so I think it is time for it to come out!

Here is the newly birthed 'happy' painting until we get to see what the next one will be....



Monday, 18 May 2020

Monday-n

So, just another manic Monday, except that this one seems pretty chilled thus far.

I have stepped up my sun salutations this morning to a round of 30, lets see if that starts to hurt later.

I also managed a painting over the weekend, and found homes for all my packaging supplies, except for the giant roll of bubble wrap, that is still pending. I even managed to fit my last remaining blank canvasses into the cupboard. It is nice not to see them at the end of the entrance hall (read: corridor) for a change.

I also took a stock take of the canvasses that I currently have, I am starting to run out of quite a lot of them. The problem with ordering more, is that I need to put them somewhere. I really need to sell a lot of the paintings I have already done, or find somewhere that I can show them for a while. There are only so many places I can put things, and the cupboards are already bursting.

Never mind.

I am packing up the latest painting today as it is a commission for my parents. They had a specific space in the living room, in between two of my other paintings, so I needed to create something to bridge the gap, which I have just about managed! 

Lets hope I can manage some more paintings this week, or at least clear some bits off my Etsy to do list. 

Friday, 15 May 2020

What's for Dinner?

Its funny, architecture work really does decimate my art brain. I guess they are similar enough that they both use up the same mental resources. I find with most things that art thoughts can still rumble in the background when I am doing something else. I guess architecture uses my creativity up for the day.

But no matter. I have finished the work now and it is Friday! The rest of the day is dedicated to deciding what to eat this evening and thinking about what to paint over the weekend.

Hopefully next week will see me ticking off some Etsy and website related things. I guess, especially at the moment, there is no rush with these things....

Thursday, 14 May 2020

That's a Wrap

I seem to be a bit erratic this week.

No sun salutations this morning as I seem to have hurt my ankle. I might try them later or do some press ups instead, she writes knowing she is more likely to sit on the sofa and eat cake.

But at least a blog post today which is better than yesterday. Yesterday was a life admin day, although I did draw my commission competition. It looks like I will be painting St Non's Chapel in Pembrokeshire which should be fine. I was a bit worried about drawing out some of the commission requests as they were a bit out of my speciality! Although I equally always like a challenge.

I actually have some 'real' work to do today but I am hoping it won't take all day so I can add some more prints onto to Etsy and then possibly add the cushions on as well. My cushion supplier is starting production back up today so I can offer them again and they seem like something that may well sell on Etsy. We shall see how much time I have.

In other news an enormous roll of bubble wrap has arrived and I have no idea where I am going to put it.

I think that is a wrap. Boom, boom!

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Oops

Today, I have completely forgotten to write a blog post.

The End.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Drawn

A late post today, and no, it isn't because I have only just got up. I have just done things round the wrong way, or rather a different way today.

Sun salutations were completed, as was a puzzle I started on Sunday, a walk was taken, lunch was cooked, packaging supplies were re-homed, a ton of washing up was done, my new painting put online and a Zumba class was organised for tonight. I have had a much more productive afternoon than I anticipated. 

All, much more relaxing than yesterday. Yesterday, I took my flat apart trying to find a water leak. My water bill has been enormous recently but I couldn't work out why. Helpfully South East Water checked my meter and poked a note through my door saying they suspected there was a leak on my  property somewhere with a leaflet on how I could fix it.

Well thanks.

Fortunately after locating my meter outside, turning off my water supply and then taking apart the cistern innards of my toilet, cleaning it and ordering a replacement washer seems to have solved the problem. I now feel like I can add plumbing to my list of living on my own skills. I am going to pretend I can at least.

So no art happened yesterday except for the posting of my final in stock puzzle, but today is new painting day so that should make up for it. There is not much for me to say about this painting. I feel like it is relatively self explanatory. It is literally just a depiction of how I was feeling on Saturday evening..... answers on a post card, or rather a canvas....



Monday, 11 May 2020

Lock-down Fatigue

It doesn't seem to matter how well things are going at the moment. Trying to maintain a mood in lock-down is rather difficult. I seem to be on a good day / bad day rotation; Positive one second, disheartened the next. Impressed with productivity one minute and then defeated.

It is quite tiring.

Apparently I am not alone in feeling this way and it is supposedly a symptom of lock-down fatigue.

Whatever that is.

But *insert kick up the backside here* I think it is important not to worry too much, and if I am less productive on one day than another it doesn't really matter.

I did a good job on Saturday of painting a new painting (there will be more about that tomorrow). My Facebook page has just reached 550 likes, I sold the last puzzle, my packing boxes and bubble wrap arrived this morning and I have had an architecture enquiry.

Realistically things are good. Now if I could just persuade my mind to believe me.....

Friday, 8 May 2020

Spring Cleaning or lack of.

I am still trying to decide about whether to join Artmajeur or not. It seems as though they may take commission but I can't seem to find any proper details. It may be a case of joining the free version and seeing what that entails and then judging whether to upgrade to a paying package or not.

I am not very focused today so maybe I will put it on my decision pile for next week. Next week is going to be chilly again apparently so it may be easier to sit at my desk and work. After the excitement of setting up my Facebook competition and all the puzzle sales, the rest of this week has seemed a bit flat.

I have also inherited my Mother's 'seasons are changing' disorder, which means I am restless and feel like I need to leave or throw my flat in the bin. I guess you would call it the Spring cleaning urge except I don't want to clean.

I think it is going to be one of those days today.

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Cheating

I cheated this morning as I didn't do my sun salutations. I am sure I will feel guilty about this later, but I hurt. My legs, arms, back, basically everything.

Hurt.

So I decided I would have a bit of a break. I may well end up doing them later on today, but I would at least have given my muscles a chance to warm up throughout the day.

Uh-oh, hopefully this isn't the start of the routine starting to break. For some reason this week I am super, super tired and exhausted. Too much of something I am sure, or not enough. I am the first person to keep pushing myself when I need a rest though so I am trying to do a better job of listening to my body. One day off might be enough to recharge and save me a week off later.

I have sold a total of 8 puzzles now. I wish I had more stock, but I have now ordered in the next batch. Still just one of each item as it seems too risky to bulk buy any more. Who knows how long this customer love of puzzles will last.

Today will be delivering a puzzle, keeping an eye on and promoting my facebook competition and maybe putting some prints on Etsy. I also found another art site called Artmajeur that might be worth selling on. They take no commission and just have monthly fees to sell online of £4 seems like it could be worth a look. I have a good amount of paintings to put up at the moment!



Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Let's be Fronds

I feel like writing these everyday is turning me into Bridget Jones, but without the drama, alcohol, cigarettes or interest.

Let's hope that is not the case! After sharing my puzzles on Facebook I managed to sell 4 more of them, actually make that 5, as I've just this second sold another one. So I definitely do need to restock now. I think I am going to buy a 1000 piece puzzle as a present to myself, obviously with a view to trying out the merchandise before I offer them online. Honest.

I have also just put my competition online to win a commission piece as after reaching 524 page likes I am well over the 500 target I set. I have already had some unusual requests so I hope I don't regret making the entry such a loose thing. Some of these could be rather tough paintings to do. Oh well, a challenge is as good as a rest apparently. If you would like to enter, you can click on the link here.

And finally, as belatedly promised, a bit about my new painting that was completed last Friday evening. This one was a slower one for me to like than the last few as it didn't really turn out how I had half planned. I had intended to paint the rain, as it had been raining all week but for some reason it has come out more like either snow, or sunlight dappling the leaves. I'll let you decide which resonates with you:


Although I think for me, it does probably still feel like rain, warm summer rain when you can smell the humidity in the air.

Either way it has grown on me so I am glad I left it for a few days to escape the covering over of black paint, reserved for paintings that aren't going to plan.

Lastly my limited edition print boxes have just arrived and I need to find a space for them to live. They are enormous, so I hope I haven't miss- sized them.

I'll let you know tomorrow.....


Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Puzzling

So you may need to tune in tomorrow to hear about the new painting. I unexpectedly sold a puzzle yesterday so I need to sort posting that out and I want to take a few promotional photos to post on Facebook to remind people that I sell puzzles.

Bizarrely the sale came around because there was a note on Etsy suggesting that artists print their work onto puzzles to sell as they are in demand at the moment. As I already sell puzzles I thought I would add the 6 I have online. I wasn't really anticipating instant success but I am glad I did upload them. This now just begs the question of restocking. I usually only have one or two of each thing in stock at any one time. So I need to replace this puzzle, but the question is, how many to buy? It is always a risk, or maybe I should say investment trying to decide what to have to hand. I always try to buy from my stockists when they have a special offer on as well otherwise I will never make any money. There is 40% off at the moment so now could be a good time to buy.

Decisions, decisions.

Monday, 4 May 2020

Busy.

Now it feels like Monday - we meet again.

Hopefully this week will drag slightly less than last week did. I already feel like it will be a more productive week though so here is to hoping. I managed a new painting on Friday evening and put it online yesterday as I was too lazy to be persuaded to go for my daily constitutional. Packaging supplies are arriving tomorrow and Wednesday and 'Norman Gate' is being picked up by my courier today.

Busy, busy.

I also started a competition on Facebook. The first phase was to get to 500 page likes with the promise of subsequently running a competition to win a commission. I started at 447, and now I am already on 518! So the plan will be to get that sorted this week.

In other news it will just be putting my remaining prints up on Etsy, learning SEO if that is possible and working on my website hit rate and mobile site.

That sounds like more than enough for this week. Tune in tomorrow to hear a bit more about the new painting! Until then!


Friday, 1 May 2020

Gran Turismo

Hello Friday, we meet again.

The Cardigans Gran Turismo album is playing as I write this today. Just enough, dark twisty melody to suit my mood. This should bode well for putting me in the painting zone either this evening or at the weekend. The best thing about having all this time is that when I don't know what to do, I paint. I remember reading a book by Austin Kleon that said to be a successful artist you needed to be antisocial. I guess you need to treat painting like a best friend, and make time to see / do it.

A lock-down silver lining. 

I was productive yesterday, I put 16 or so prints onto Etsy, figured out I need to try and make the mobile version of my website work properly, and sold a painting! I had been looking at trying to make an independent mobile website but I think it will be too complicated and cost too much. I think, if I am clever, I should be able to make the one I already have more user friendly, although it may involve rejigging some of the pages I have already set up which will time consuming. It will be worth it though. Just as well I have a lot of time at the moment!

But more importantly, another painting sale! The big question is, is selling this a coincidence or because I have been a lot more art focused recently? That is a million dollar question. It always makes me wonder if I would be more successful if I devoted my time entirely to painting and self promotion. I still might have a few weeks to try and find out. In the meantime though I need to go and package up 'Norman Gate' which has been safely hanging on my wall for quite a while.


I guess I had better paint, or find something else to hang it its place. I should really get on and order some more packaging boxes too as it seems like I might need them...

Have a good weekend everyone!