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.

Monday, 18 June 2018

A Late Night

So I saved the idea I had bubbling in my head in the week to paint on Sunday. I have done one of my usual, 'lets suddenly paint something totally different' turns. I didn't get to bed before midnight last week, on any day (a combination of going out, Amazon Prime, and having no deadline to get up by) And if you have managed to stay up for 4 nights, why not make it a nice full 7 day week.

On one of my late night wandering home walks, I noticed the black silhouetted trees of the Moor, against a graded blue sky and twinkling stars. It was one of those images / feelings, that lodged itself onto my retinas and demanded to be painted.  Who am I to argue?

So here is 'Late Night' which was undoubtedly the theme of last week.

It also gave me an excuse to get my Black Lava Gel out, so the little black dots you can see in the sky, are actually shiny and sparkle when the light hits them. This painting, really does have a few twinkle, twinkle little stars. 

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

A Rocky Road

I seem to have had a bit of a painters block recently. I am not entirely sure why, it is possible Morocco totally blew me away, or I have walked too much, or my feet are still too sore, or maybe I am just generally drained. I equally might just need a bit of a break, as I do seem to every now and again.

I have been feeling like I need to try and do something though, so I made some effort this week, in anticipation of a quiet working week, to clear my diary. It seems to be working. All my work is out at the moment, waiting for client feedback. I have planned no social events until Thursday, cancelled all my meetings and just left in exercise and/or the odd walk which always helps to clear my head.

It appears to have worked, and yesterday evening, I finally felt like getting the paints out and pulling something together. I am still not brave enough to tackle the Atlas Mountains, so I went for painting my recent (ish) trip to Snowdonia instead. So, please welcome below, a view of Snowdonia National Park from the Llanberis Path up to Mount Snowdon. I think it has come out quite well, or at least reminds me of how it felt to be up there, watching the clouds roll in around us.

The interesting thing now is, that I have another image on my mind. It is debatable whether I have the energy to pull that out now, or whether I will save it for tomorrow or possibly the weekend. It feels nice to have finally woken up a bit!

Tuesday, 15 May 2018


So, the Moonwalk is complete! The bra has been worn, my feet have been bruised and there is something still dubiously wrong with the back of my knees. I can still walk though, admittedly, 50% in the style of a pigeon and 50% in the style of a cowboy but still. Mobility is important.

A big thank you to everyone that sponsored me - I reached my £300 target and my team blew away our £2,000 target to raise £4,300! That is far more than I would ever have imagined us raising. Amazing, and well worth a sleepless night and slightly sore legs.

Good job ladies! And a shiny medal to boot.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018


So in a very obscure way, climbing Toubkal was actually training for a charity walk I am doing this weekend in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. The walk is a marathon (literally) 26.2 miles across London in the dead of night, starting around midnight, finishing at about 8am. No wonder it is called a Moonwalk.

I have done it before, with a friend, and vowed never to do it again, but this time there are 15 of us doing it and there is nothing like peer pressure to make you change your mind about a thing.

Part of the charity preparation, other than a lot of walking training is to decorate your bra. This years theme is the Wild West, so I have opted for a Native American inspired bra design. It turns out, Sharpies really will draw on anything!

So my poor feet, only just recovered from Atlas Mountain sized blisters, are at it again, but this time with my own well worn in shoes. If you have a few pennies to spare, you are welcome to sponsor me by clicking here. Every little helps after all! 

Saturday, 28 April 2018


I have returned from my holiday! When, I say 'holiday' it may be an exaggeration, or at least not what you would typically expect from a holiday. I went on a proper intense, inspiration collection trip this time, hiking through the Atlas Mountains for a week;

 Hike 1 involved trekking up to the summit of Mount Toubkal - the highest point in North Africa at 4,167m high. It was much tougher than I was expecting to get to the top. I needed more to eat, and not to be wearing hired boots and crampons. But enormous blisters aside, it felt like a great achievement to beat the snow underfoot, the snow in the air, the biting wind and freezing -15 degrees wind chill factor and reach the top. There may have been a few exalted tears. (But not as many as when I reached the refuge at the bottom - I struggled going down in the snow, and crashed out from a huge sugar low after hours of walking) But what a spectacular sight on the way up, on the way down! It was undoubtedly worth it.

Hike 2 was much easier - not so much stuff needed to be carried as we hired a mule, a chef and a guide to take us from Imlil to Tacchedirt onto Timichi and then onto Setti Fatma followed by a taxi back to Marrakesh. We ate well this time, really well, I had at least 3 plates of food per lunchtime. I wasn't joking when I said I needed to eat more when we climbed Toubkal. The walking was less intense this time although we still hit a mountain peak at 3200m stayed in a Gite in the highest village in North Africa and enjoyed remoteness and views like I have never experienced. I have already noticed that photographs capture nothing of the feeling of where we have been, so my paintings will have a lot to deliver this time.

At the moment though, it is nice to rest my completely split heels, sleep in my own bed, and reminisce. I am looking forward to sharing these paintings with you, when I feel that they are ready to come...

Monday, 16 April 2018

Out of Studio.

I was meant to write a couple of posts before this one, but it is too late - I have run out of time.

So this one it is!

I have escaped the studio until the 27th of April so I apologise that in the meantime I will not be fulfilling any orders! Please feel free to contact me during my time away, I will try to respond but I will be somewhere high up in the Atlas Mountains climbing Mount Toubkal and collecting inspiration, and I'm unlikely to have a mobile signal. Please bear with me and I will answer your request as soon as I return. Have a good couple of weeks!

Monday, 2 April 2018


So I have discovered that I can still paint whilst putting up with rather a large wine induced headache, and seemingly still have inspiration through the throbbing temples. I have no idea where the thought to do this came from, but I suddenly had quite a strong urge to paint a washed out background with the Notre-Dame in Paris painted (well, inked) over the top, so this is what I did!

It seems to hit the spot for me so I consider that a success, even-though it did take quite a long time to produce - headaches certainly dampen your ability to concentrate for long periods of time. That and I kept stopping to eat Easter Eggs which I am sure I am not meant to be doing.

Either way it has been nice to manage to find some time to paint - time has been a bit thin on the ground recently and with a few trips coming up in April, I need to get them out whilst I can! I also have another commission to do before the 24th of April so watch this space...

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Happy Easter!

I have been a bit art distracted recently as my birthday has been coming up. That said, print is being printed, painting was delivered and lots of cake has been eaten!

Seems like a successful few days! Speaking of desserts, I hope you have all managed to make the most of today and eat a chocolate egg or two, or failing that, enjoyed a Sunday Roast. Or, if neither of those things has happened, I still hope you have had a good Sunday! Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Cup of tea anyone?

I am having one of those days today. I am glad I managed some work this morning as I can't even vaguely concentrate this afternoon. I have been in negotiations to sell a painting which has now been successfully sold, and in correspondence with my printer to get something sent to Japan! I also sold a cup yesterday, although that was slightly easier to sort out.

Speaking of cups, I sorted out the ones I am going to have in stock to sell on my website the other day, and ordered in a batch. They look quite good! I can also get any painting printed onto a cup, but these are the ones I have decided to offer to start with.

I thought sorting my website out to the extent that it could go live would be a big thing sorted, but it seems as though there is still rather a lot to do! I am doing a good job of doing something art related each day though, mostly helped by scheduling a weeks worth of Instagram posts and tweets on a Monday but still. Every little helps. I could probably do with setting aside a bit of time twice a week to blog too, but one thing at a time....

Now, for a cup of tea....

Friday, 16 March 2018

Yosemite Falls

I seem to have spent the last couple of days doing lots of art admin but I am not entirely sure I have anything to show for it. That said, I have put my new painting online, offered Carisbrooke Castle up for sale as surprise, surprise, I didn't make it into the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. I have also corrected my prices on Fine Art America and broken my blog and fixed it. You will notice the 'Paintings For Sale' page on here has been revamped so that a) the information and titles actually match up with the paintings, and so that b) there are links through from each painting to its relevant page on my website. I have also updated my tax return and my diary, and my artwork tracker. I like days like this, when I feel like I have tidied and filed my life into a much better state. The next stage is to keep an eye on my scheduled posts and to add some purchase options to my Facebook 'Shop' which I accidentally set up the other day.

After saying I haven't anything to show for the last couple of days, maybe I have - as that sounds like some super organising. Time to relax into Friday evening and the weekend I think, but not before I share one of my latest paintings and my current new favourite. It is of Yosemite Falls which I visited on my last trip to California. It was a good painting to do, as, as soon I started it took over from me and painted itself. I like it when this happens as it is usually a much more therapeutic process for me, and presumably why it is still my favourite after two new paintings (normally I like the last thing I painted best).

So look at this! A blog post, tweets and instagram posts scheduled, new paintings online, schedules updated and other things fixed.

I think that means I have earned a glass of Friday night wine. Cheers to the weekend everybody!

Saturday, 10 March 2018

And it's up!

So, two weeks later and the new website is up and running! It is still minus the shop at the moment as that will still take some time for me to sort out, but everything else is working and view-able across all platforms! This also means that I have finally start to tweet and post on Instagram. It all seems rather confusing at the moment, whilst I am trying to get used to everything. I have, however downloaded Hootsuite which is a magical program that lets you schedule posts and post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook all at the same time. I haven't linked my Facebook account up to it at the moment as I wanted to get to grips with Instagram and Twitter first, but I may do it later.

So far, I seem to be getting a small reaction on Instagram and not much on Twitter, but as I have only posted 3 things so far, it is still early days. I will be interested to see how they get going!

In the meantime - find me on Twitter @Lauraholart and on Instagram @laurahollogram. Thank you in advance for the follow!

Monday, 26 February 2018

Works in theory....

Today seems to be one of those strange days where everything happens at once. Actually the last couple of days have been like that. After giving everyone a months heads up for possible price increase, I managed to sell 3 paintings, have 1 on hold and a request for a viewing.

I have put the 'Pepper' the dog commission up on Facebook today and now may possibly have an enquiry about whether I paint cats. Do I? I guess I haven't tried. I have also been contacted earlier on today, to feature in a 'Bath Life' 'arts special' magazine (a magazine about Bath the place I hasten to add, although I did have an amazing bath yesterday...). So, all-in-all, it seems like a good few days, or at least a bizarre day today. One of my friends also put me forward to a journalist who is looking to speak to artists who sell their work online, so it will be interesting to see if anything comes of that. At least all these things will help when I fill in my publications/exhibitions section on my website. The only problem at the moment is that the questions for the Bath magazine are actually quite tough. Well, not tough per se, but will require some actual thought about what I do.

Answers on a postcard...

All of these things happening, really does press on the urgency for me to hurry up and get my website up together in a more view-able place, across all platforms. I think it might be time to get all of it serviceable except for the 'print shop' as this is what will take the time, that way I can get it up and running and add the print shop on at a later date....

Works in theory....


Thursday, 22 February 2018

5 minute warning.

I finally managed to work out what to charge for my paintings. I say worked out, probably made up is a better choice of words, but I am pleased with what I have come up with so far. I gave Facebook a heads up about my impending price change and then managed to sell 3 paintings almost instantly which seems pretty impressive!

So if you are even vaguely thinking of buying a painting from me, I advise you to get purchasing within the next month, things, or at least prices, are only going to get more expensive from here! You have been warned.....

Monday, 19 February 2018


I am trying to tidy up some art odds and ends today and do some general sorting. Unfortunately I keep doing too many things at once which is getting slightly confusing. I think I am vaguely in order though, kind of, maybe, is that true!?


The next step is to check my stock levels for canvasses, paint and mount boards as I think I am missing a few bits, and I want to order a few trial pieces from Fine Art America, and then that will be a few more bits off the to-do list that I keep threatening to burn because it is too long.

In other news, I have completed my first commission of the year, which will soon be on its way to its new home, just up the road from me. It seems ironic to have been asked to do another portrait of a dog - maybe this will end up being one of my specialities after all, no matter what I say. So without further ado, meet Pepper the dog.

She came out much better than I was expecting, and in a shocking turn of events, I wouldn't say no to keeping this one on my wall...

Wednesday, 14 February 2018


Just in case no one has said it to you yet, I just wanted to say HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! And use today as an excuse to share this photo with you that I took a few years ago in Laguna Beach, California. I miss that place.

I am now going to head to zumba and hope I am not the only person not having a date night.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

I'm finally Special.

So it seems like the print sales are continuing as I sold another one at the weekend. Let's hope this streak continues.

In other news I had the results back from a competition I entered the other day called 'Cityscapes.' It was just an online competition, where the 'gallery' in question displays your work and links to your website for a month, and sends information out to other galleries and websites. They have a pretty good footfall, or rather a good visitor count so it should be a good place to garner some publicity.

I didn't get a place in their top ten artists but for once in my life I did get some attention as I received a Special Recognition Award.

This is the first time I have received any official recognition for my work, well, other than the odd publication; Let's rephrase - this is the first time I have ever received an award for my artwork. Literally ever, a guy at school always won the yearly Christmas poster competition when I was small (yes, I carry this with me) so I was pleasantly surprised by receiving this.

Maybe 2018 really will be my year. It is a good start at least!

You can see the rest of the winners (and me) in the online gallery here.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018


This last week or so seems to be a bit strange. Strange because I have sold a print on Fine Art America, a print on Society 6, a bag to someone at Zumba, a painting and another print in real life, not to mention the earlier commission request....


I also went to the Tate Modern to visit an exhibition, and deleted some important bits of my revamped website that I needed. So busy and frustrating.

I am now residing somewhere between disorganised and confused. Not helped by having a friend over for a few days and going to a gig to see Natalie Imbruglia, whilst preparing for a spa weekend away with the girls. Seriously. This week....


I am at that irritating stage where I want the website to be finished. My prices to be chosen and my promoting to begin, but I am still a long way off from this being the case.

I definitely need a time turner this week.

Or to find some patience.....

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Animal Instinct

2018, so far, seems to be all about the animals. I have two commissions thus far - one to paint a dog, and another to paint a Unicorn! (Yes, that one will be interesting!)

I have been website updating on and off for the last few days. This is mostly very, very good, except that it resulted in an inability to sleep on both Monday night and Tuesday night. This was mostly because I started thinking about all the things I needed to decide upon, to sort certain pages out, and then these points went round, and round, and round, and round in my head for what seemed like an interminable amount of time. Fortunately, I now seem to have decided what I am doing (theoretically), and I have started to tackle the easy to sort pages. This means, that the 'portfolio' section is done, minus a few tweaks and the 'originals' section is well on the way. I will worry about sorting the more complicated pages out later, and they are only complicated layout wise, bar the 'Terms and Conditions' page, which as yet I have no idea what to write on. Fortunately this time, I have found a few artists that I want to pitch my work level at; This has been rather useful, as I have been looking at how they have structured their website, prices and various other bits and pieces, to give me an idea of what to aim at. This is vastly different from the other two times I have website redesigned where I have mostly made it up as I have gone along.

One of the main dilemmas at the moment, and pretty much as always, is still price. I am pretty sure someone didn't buy a piece of work the other day because they thought it was too cheap. A friend pointed out to me, that when they are looking for jeans, they discount the cheapest ones, because they think they will be of poor quality. They ignore the most expensive ones, because that is a ridiculous amount to pay, so that leaves the gap in the middle, which art-wise, is probably pretty wide. This seems like good advice, I just need to somehow work out what that middle level is for me.

Watch this space. (It might be advisable to buy a painting soon, if you are thinking about it!) 

Thursday, 25 January 2018


I seem, or at least, for some reason I feel, like I have a bit of momentum behind me at the moment, which is always a good excuse to squeeze out another painting. This one was inspired by a recent walk in the snow (not that it settled) along the Thames.

It is aptly called 'Snowing'

I seem to have had quite good Facebook response so far this year, so that makes me feel like something is happening. Or at least it does until I look at the art page of one of my friends girlfriends who has 12,000 fans, and then I feel more like I am hitting my head against a brick wall. When I feel like this, I always bear in mind the article that I read, or overheard, that said that it takes ten years to become an overnight success. So it doesn't matter at the moment, I still have a few years left to go, and let's face it, you will never get anywhere if you give up.

Small victories.....!

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Windsor Castle

Another tradition I am almost completing is the one in which I seem to get the lurgy for the majority of January. I seem to save up all the times in the year that I might get a cold/flu/virus so that I can have one impossible to shake one at the start of the year. The good news is that it is on it's way out, it was nowhere near as bad as last year, and I am done with colds now until this time in 2019.

So I guess that is something.

I have also had my first painting enquiry for the year, with someone from Saint Louis asking to purchase Bixby Bridge. I haven't heard back from them for a couple of days, which might be a bad sign, but let's hope they are still deciding. I also have a potential commission in the pipeline, but as this is for my sister, it seems a bit like cheating. Finally and by no means least, I have managed to paint my first picture of 2018! This is leaps and bounds ahead of last year, as the first painting got squeezed out in the middle of February.

I am currently feeling quietly satisfied with progress thus far, although I realise I have a lot to do, so much in fact, that every time I sit down to do some art stuff, my mind wanders, thinking about what things I need to do and then I realise I have been sat, blankly looking at my screen for ten minutes, in fairy land.

Never mind, isn't 'meditation' and/or 'escapism' meant to be good for you? But anyway, please behold my first painting of 2018. Apparently, if you head to Windsor in the week, and binge watch 'The Crown' on Netflix, it is very difficult not to end up painting Windsor Castle....

Monday, 8 January 2018

Laura 2 Art Scam 0

It seems like the New Year is coming with a New Art Scam.

Sigh, one of these days it would be nice if someone did actually want to buy 4 or 5 paintings from me in one go. Here is to hoping.

I don't really understand how the following email is actually a scam but it has been singled out on this online Art Scam blog as being one, and I am inclined to go along with the majority, just because I can't figure out how they would make money out of me from this, doesn't mean they can't! I shall blame my lack of nefariousness.

The email that came through was as follows:

"Greetings! My name is Steven Rudy from United Kingdom. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work. I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too,You are doing a great job. I would like to purchase one of your artwork available below and ready for sale as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, my method of payment is by Bank Cheque as mode of Payment and if you agreed get back to me with the details below now.


Tioga Pass
Mirror Lake
Lake Bled
Blood Sticks Water Falls

Kindly let me have the full details below to issued out the Bank Cheque as requested,so that my financial can issued out the payment procedures Asap..


Kindly get Back to me with the Above list of Details requested From you.

10 Hutcheon Low Place,
AB21 9WP


So other artists please be aware! I think with the circulation of this scam it is a good idea for me to share again my things to look out for when emails like this arrive:

1. An email address with lots of extra numbers and letters
2. A name that doesn't match who they are.
3. A lack of concern about the price of anything.
4. An inability to pay using conventional methods.
5. A dubious looking shipping address.
6. NEVER return any money - contact your bank/PayPal for advice.
7. ALWAYS log into your own account to check for payment.
8.GOOGLE IT - the address, the name, the letter, the email address - someone will have come across the same thing if it is a scam.

If in doubt, just ask the e-mailer a few more questions, without giving too much away, and slowly, the answers will unravel...

Stay safe!


Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Happy 2018

Image result for happy new year 2018

Before it is the middle of February, I had better wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! Let's hope 2018 is going to be amazing. I am currently wondering whether I am about to get the horrible flu like cold that is going around as my throat is feeling rather raspy. I seem to have a bad habit of getting bugs in January - let's just hope it is something else for the moment.

As with all New Years, I have just completed my, now traditional, calendar competition. I always make a calendar of my work for my Mum for Christmas (she is my number 1 fan) but I also order an extra one to give away as a prize on Facebook. I was impressed this year as I had more entries than normal, and from a lot of new potential followers / customers. I think this was mostly because I put a video up of the calendar which gave a much better impression of what I was giving away. I had originally intended to boost the post to reach more people, but I decided, just in case it was overly popular, not to risk it. I didn't want to end up having to write a thousand names out to put in the hat I use to make the draw. I have also already managed to have my first sale of the year, as a print of the Milan Cathedral will soon be on it's way to a new home.

2018 is sounding happy so far! Now all I need are some painting sales, and a bit of time to paint and work up the website.....