Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Which Direction?

 Gosh, 

I am not sure where I have been. I have made website improvements although it is still offline and I must correct this sooner rather than later. Tomorrow will be dedicated to trying to get some of it up and running, even if it is just my original paintings for the moment. 

Other than that, too much time has passed. I have completed two commissions, one I was worried about and I have three more commissions I need to start working on. I have also managed to paint a few random things and I am starting to feel more inclined to do so. This feels like a good sign, so I hope it means my art mojo is slowly beginning to resurface. 

It still always seems like there are endless and overwhelming amounts to do though. 

Let's go with a distraction first, and a sharing of my most recent commission. I was pleased with how this turned out in the end after procrastinating over it for a good few months. It was definitely out of my comfort zone but then turned out to be quite an enjoyable challenge, and other than a repaint over the face a few times, easier to complete than I expected. 

So here goes - The Guitarist. 


I guess I needed to get a few other things under my belt before I felt ready to tackle this, but then ironically I think doing it reminded myself that I can paint and I should stop worrying so much. Post lockdown is a strange place. It seems like everyone needs to rediscover themselves a little and be reminded of who they are and what they do. Joy and ease seem hard to find, and tiredness is around every corner. But it feels like it is getting easier, at least it does today. Days still easily swing from ok to too much. 

But I am starting to remember that art is my compass. 

Monday, 28 February 2022

Etsy to the Rescue!

 I feel like I cursed myself with my previous post as I have only managed to paint one thing since I think and my website has officially completely broken. I need to do quite a lot to fix it which will be the task of this week and possibly next and hopefully not many weeks after that but I wouldn't like to say. 

On the plus side, I have sold the odd print, and extra large puzzle, I have a commission to do and possibly another one as an enquiry came in this morning. It always seems as though once I pay art attention it generates something. I just need time to give it more attention. I have also finished some serious restocking; Canvasses are in, cardboard packaging is in, mugs are restocked, as are puzzles, I just need to set aside some time to make some prints and then we are organised and good to go.

As to my website it is a mess and currently offline with directions to visit Etsy, which is now my one stop shop. I am beginning to wonder if I should have just used Etsy in the first place and never had a website, but I kind of like the fact that the website is entirely in my control. Although it admittedly it doesn't feel like it is at the moment. 

These things are sent to test us I suppose, and at least I am good at working through large tasks. Quite often it makes my focus better as I can work consistently at it, assuming and hoping, I don't get too busy with other things. 

So watch this space, maybe casually, just in case there is no news for another month.  

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

2022

 I remember this! It has been a while. No Happy New Year message and no new news for ages. Neither of which reflects real life, but there has just been a lot of other stuff going on, plus the worlds largest painters block. 

But.

I think it is clearing. I have just ordered some phone cases for a bespoke order, I have created two new paintings relatively recently and I have just ordered some sample notebooks as I would like to add them to my available items to purchase. 

More importantly my art website has also finally been transferred over to my new provider. I haven't been able to use it for the last few months so it is rather out of date. It also has a much more user friendly mobile editing version so I am looking forward to getting my teeth into that. I just hope I manage to find enough time to sit and work at it properly, and that the interface is easy to use. 

I also completely tidied my office over the Christmas break so it feels very zen to be sitting here at the moment. The only benefit of not painting for a while is that I have sold enough paintings to finally have some more storage space; But, I am very much hoping to paint a lot this year, or at least try and do one a week, or every other week. 

We'll see. 

So let's hope for an easy year. A bit less stop / starty, more generically consistent and less complicated. 

AMEN.   

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

The Needles

 So as promised I did get on and do my long overdue commission. Not on the day I said I would but at the weekend instead. Turns out a roast dinner and a glass of wine were the perfect fuel as I ended up painting two at the same time. One I had to do, and one to depict how I was feeling. Or how the recent creative block has felt. 

This was good to do as I a) feel more relaxed having completed the commission and b) doing one for me was therapeutic and may have woken my art half back up again, almost fully. I have been thinking about painting ever since and will hopefully manage one possibly this evening or tomorrow, or even on Saturday if I fail all other options! I feel like I am becoming old, as the late and early hours seem to be made for sleeping rather than painting like they used to be. 

Sigh. 

But anyway, my commission was a relatively simple one of the Needles on the Isle of Wight, a place I know well as the island is my birthplace. It was intended to match another painting of the island (one of mine) that the client already had of Freshwater. I banked on the fact that it would match simply because I was doing it, but the combo actually turned out much better than I expected. Enough so, that the client is almost tempted to order another and turn it into a triptych. 

You can't do any better than that! 


And with it's new friend! Almost perfect, I would just like to tweak it so that the sea lines up!



Thursday, 28 October 2021

Lost and Found

 It really has been ages this time, but I can reassure you that I am still alive and thinking about art things. I have just had too much architecture work to do, too much on my mind and maybe the worlds largest creative block. There is nothing quite like becoming out of the habit of painting, to make starting a new painting feel impossible. 

This has not been good as I have two commissions that have been outstanding for a long time, but fortunately there hasn't been a rush on with either, and the clients are friends. This is both good and bad, as if they hadn't been friends I would have forced myself to complete the commissions earlier. But also good as waiting means I will hopefully do a better job with the work when I am eventually ready. 

But, I did force myself to do a painting a couple of weeks ago, and finally today I have put it up online everywhere. It has felt good to have an art day, to get back in the zone again and think about what I need to do. I am even tempted to start one of the commissions this evening as I have time for once and I can have a leisurely start tomorrow if I end up working late. So this seems promising. 

So the painting I decided to do to break my block was risky as I literally just sat down with a blank canvas, some paints and just went 'GO'! It is risky as then I don't know what will come out, where it will end up or what it will look like. There is always a chance I will just become frustrated and end up painting a black square. I did pull something out of the bag? Out of my brain? From my hands? And it is titled Lost and Found, as it seems appropriate for many reasons. I wont say too much about it, as it is a process piece that I will leave entirely up to your own interpretation. But either way, better out than in, and it was nice to finally get the paint flowing again! 

I hope it will be the start of many.....




Monday, 7 June 2021

Junk of the Heart

 I had another special website and computer updating day the other day. Nothing seemed to work properly and when it would have been a perfect moment to write a blog I couldn't log in. I don't even know what I was going to say anymore!

Sod's law!

Never mind. A good place to start is always with a painting! I managed to squeeze out another picture just for me the other day. It was one of my classic, I am in a crazy emotionally frustrated mood and I need a purge. I am slowly learning that when I feel like this, I often paint quite dramatic things and I usually feel better for doing so, so it is a win, win. I don't know why I always seem to forget this each time. It was also good to have a bit of a break in between my commissions. I did paint two more commissions in the last week so that I only had one left to do, except I got another request in yesterday! It is good that the painting keeps ticking over, especially as I don't feel as though I have done a good job of promoting it recently. I will have to neglect it for a little while longer as I have a new architectural job in, but I am slowly starting to feel a bit more focused towards what I am doing, so I am hoping I will become a bit more disciplined. Life seems a bit easier after lockdown now. Still frustrating and a bit like the concept of joie de vivre no longer exists, but it does at least feel a bit like we may be over the worst. Or that maybe we can rest for a while without the risk of another lockdown looming over us. It is difficult not to feel slightly trapped though, being unable to go on holiday, speak to who you want or do spontaneous things. 

I'll be glad when everything feels more relaxed, but I fear that may be a long while coming. 

In the meantime, please enjoy the 'Junk of the Heart' as named via one of the songs from Gran Turismo by The Cardigans!   



Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Moonlight

I am currently in the process of trying to get back into a better routine again, reminiscing about the olden days during the first lockdown, when the sun was shining and every day I got up, did some yoga and wrote a blog post. 

My current state, in lockdown 3, is it is raining, positivity in the morning is elsewhere and then procrastination usually hits in for the rest of the day, interspersed with a walk, coffee or Zumba depending on which day it is. 

This is not good, well it is and it isn't!  

I have three commissions I need to do and I need to keep up the marketing. I have done well recently, selling things on Etsy, bespoke print sales and painting sales. The momentum seems to be slowing though, either because life is opening up again or because I have been being a bit slack.

It's probably both those things. 

I have behaved this week so far though, kind of. Two new paintings are for sale online, two blog posts have been written and I am prepping a facebook/Insta/Twitter post shortly (hopefully). Fingers crossed one of the commissions will be completed tomorrow as well. Painting is tough at the moment, as I am torn between needing to do the commissions and wanting to just paint how I feel to get some of life's current intensity off my chest. 

I guess painting is another thing I need to make time for. Which is pretty obvious really, but everything has seemed too difficult and grey for quite a long time.  

Buuuuut, I have managed a couple of paintings just for me. Both made up on the spur of the moment, in the style of painting a background and seeing where it takes me. Here is the first, entitled 'Moonlight'

You can find more out about it here on my website.