Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Chicken Biryani

I only managed to update 11 pages today, so I think that makes 31 done and 210 to go. That makes me die inside a little! I am also slightly worried it isn't going to make any difference at all as well.

Everything seems a bit like a mammoth task today. Having started 'lockdown' with a rush of sales of prints, paintings and puzzles and commission enquiries it seems to have gone very quiet.

I need to sort out some new paintings, doing one a week really kept things ticking over. The problem at the moment is a commission I need to do that I am procrastinating over. Two commissions in fact but the canvas for one of them only arrived this morning. I really went crazy buying new canvasses as I think I have 48 blank ones now! Oops.

I guess I have to look at the fact that I am still working on everything and towards something, so the payout may be sometime after the work. I could just do with a painting sale as a bit of a pick me up!

Also, as I started the crazy idea of sharing my lunchtime poems on here, here is day 2:

Chicken Biryani
Doesn't come with Salami,
But a side of Meat Samosas,
That I dropped on my coaster.
Wash it down with water
(I am my Mother's daughter)
And now I am full.  

Don't worry, I am sure the entertainment value of this will only last a week or so and then my ramblings will go back to normal. 

Monday, 29 June 2020

Still an Eccentric Weirdo

I think my brain is in danger of exploding this afternoon. I have been tagging and attempting to optimise my website pages for both Google and mobiles. I have kind of worked up 20 pages so far, 8 of which I need to alter dramatically for them to work on a mobile. This isn't even 10% of my website yet! This task feels enormous and is going to be ongoing for a long while. I have also half started researching into making my website secure. I think it has come to the point where it may be a good investment to buy an SSL certificate. I just need to work out how to do this and where to purchase it from. It might be time to log into my website provider and ask some questions!

Tidying up my pages is actually kind of therapeutic. It is a nice feeling to know all the images have names and that the pages have correct titles and descriptions, and that everything matches. I just sincerely hope it makes my website easier to find in the big old world wide web, otherwise it feels like a lot of effort for not much gain. It does seem to have made me feel incredibly tired as well, but that may be because it is the first time for ages that I have sat at my desk solidly working for at least 5 hours.

At least that means I should sleep well tonight! (I hope)

On a lighter and more random note I thought I would also share a 'poem' with you. I was chatting to a friend earlier today about how it is better to acknowledge what you are eating by not doing anything at the same time, so watching television or reading for example. I live on my own, so I said my mealtimes would be lonely. She said it meant that I could savour what I was eating, to which I replied that maybe I could write a Haiku or a poem for her to describe my meal. This was mostly a joke, but seems to have stuck. So here are lunchtime thoughts on Day 1:

Staring at my plate,
I've got nothing to do but wait,
For my stomach to satiate,
It's going to be a long week.  

I'm sure this counts as art right!? At least it might reaffirm my status as an Eccentic Weirdo. 

Friday, 26 June 2020

Upgrade in Progress

I had the day off yesterday because it was a thousand degrees centigrade outside, and I decided chatting with friends, in a garden, was much preferable to being attached to my computer and bursting into flames in the flat.

It still feels pretty hot today as well, but having made the most of the sunshine yesterday, I am more content to sit in today and 'work'.

So I did start tagging my pages and adding alt descriptions onto my website images. I also wrote a list of all the website pages I have. A mere 240 of them. This is going to take forever! I also found that on Google there is a thing called a 'Lighthouse Report' which generates a report of any web page you choose and rates it in terms of SEO, performance, speed, accessibility and lots of other things that I don't understand.

This is good, interesting and confusing. I am stubborn, so whilst I had a brief moment of thinking it would be easier to just pay someone to sort all this out, most of me went into 'ooh challenge mode.'

So I guess I am going to become a webmaster then? Unlikely, but I will certainly see if I can make my website behave a bit better. I have put a lot of work into it and I need it to work hard for me. I have already seen that there is a market for my work, I get commissions and sell prints and paintings etc, so I just need to reach more people, more consistently to make this work.

I feel like I possibly should have started this at the beginning of 'lock-down' but then I guess I needed to paint. Maybe I can carry on doing this through the second wave, which I will hope to God doesn't happen!

At least I am not going to run out of things to do for a while! It beggars belief really, what I have learned and how far I have come from when I first started doing this. It is impressive really, and I should give myself some credit for that and my perseverance at making something as professional as possible. This was a pipe dream after all; I knew I wouldn't paint unless I could relocate the paintings......

Upgrade in progress......   

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Lists of Lists

It looks like my favicon has updated this morning to a little orange 'LH' rather than the invisible black one that it was! Hooray!

I ordered the, hopefully last, set of new canvasses I needed yesterday. This means over the last couple of weeks I think I have ordered 30 extra canvasses!!?!??!?!?! Seems a bit like an obsessive compulsive disorder waiting to happen! I think as I have so many different sizes and quantities going on it might be time to put together a stock list and a price list so I feel a bit more organised when people are asking me for quotes. Speaking of lists, I managed to do everything I was planning yesterday except starting to tag and label my website pages. I kind of want to write down how they are currently performing from a SEO point of view before I start to alter them so that I can see what is and isn't working. This means I will need to write a list of all the individual pages before I start though and update their scores accordingly. I guess this may well be my activity of choice for today! It does mean I can streamline some of the pages down though, mostly just the original pages that have sold and I no longer need! 

I just realised I have individual pages for all my products. So 20 different mugs means 20 different pages. I think typing all of this up is going to take forever!

It will be interesting to see tomorrow, what I actually manage to do today...!

Tuesday, 23 June 2020


It seems like the easing of 'lock-down' is bad for me, with every extra person I meet up with or every extra decision I need to make a little bit of art focus goes. I guess that makes sense though, your brain gets filled up with other things. In 'lock-down' I could only think about myself, going for a walk, my mental-breakdown-saving-walking-buddy, and art. Just four things, and only an hour outside so the rest of the time was devoted to house related things and painting to keep productivity going. I'm not saying this was ideal, it was frustrating and boring at times but it cut out uncertainty, unpredictability, and worrying about going or doing anything. I think too much, so it was almost like it gave me permission not to think at all. I can see it is affecting my friends too, they are more restless and anxious, and you can tell they have too much on their minds. Life nowadays, is sometimes too much.

The good thing is that I have noticed this, so I can do something about it. 'Lock-down' has given me some good habits, I am back in the painting zone, blogging and I have a better diet and yoga regime. More tools to make me more well behaved hopefully! Getting bogged down is not an option! So with that in mind, writing down my art tasks for the day seemed to work well at the beginning of all this and it gave me a focus to my day. So today, I need to order even more canvasses as I have another commission lined up, I need to put a painting up for sale and I would like to start key word and meta tagging my website.

So let's sit down, chill out, and do this!

Friday, 19 June 2020


I am not doing a good job of blogging this week! I have been in a bit of a weird mood this last five days, frustrated and a bit fed up. I feel like I have been waiting all week for something to happen but I am not sure what. This feeling always worries me slightly as it means something is going to happen, but it doesn't necessarily mean it will be bad, or immediate!

Watch this space. 

I gave up on concentrating yesterday and finished off my puzzle and then went for a walk and thought about, and did, a painting. It ended up being a bit of a brain purge of a painting so it is a different style, colour and subject to what I normally paint. It is currently not going down particularly well on social media, but that doesn't really matter. I have felt a bit clearer since I have done it, even if only slightly. It is a strange picture as it seems both wrong and perfect. I guess wrong as it almost doesn't seem like me, but then perfect as it is what I needed to do. I also can't shake the feeling that it reminds me of Edvard Munch's The Scream. It has a similar composition and colour scheme, although mine is brighter, and obviously missing the person. Either way, it has meant I have done a slightly better job of concentrating today. It is up online already, I have bought some more canvasses that I need for my next commission, I scheduled a few social media posts for the Summer Solstice tomorrow and I have remembered to blog. That will do for today I think, and I may well be glad it is Friday. I think next week will be better, the sun is meant to shine, and I have a couple of social(ly distanced) engagements to look forward to so maybe that will help restore my joie de vivre. In the meantime, this slightly intense, dramatic picture can fill the void

Wednesday, 17 June 2020


I am glad I waited until this morning to post my Etsy sales as I sold a print last night and had to take that to the post office as well. The post office is just far enough away that if I can save going multiple times that is a massive plus point! It also means that I did remember what I was supposed to be doing this morning. It was nice to get back onto some art stuff although I don't seem to have been massively productive.

Things are in the post though, the new painting is half up whilst I wait for the yes or no as to whether one of my friends is having it or not, and I changed the favicon on my website. Your what I hear you say? Basically the little icon that shows up on your favourites toolbar when you bookmark my site. I turned windows to the dark side when it updated the other day and realised my icon is black and doesn't show up! I have made it orange now to match my site. I tried to amend the icon for my blog too but it seems slow to update/reload at the moment. All that is left to do for today is finish this blog post and update my to-do list as it is out of date enough that I have no idea what is going on!

But first, in order to finish this post off, a bit about the new painting. It was a bit of a challenge piece to attempt to paint dance and movement, and basically how I feel doing Zumba. This is difficult, as I tend to paint how I feel but the process of doing Zumba, uses up how I feel about Zumba if that makes sense? I don't need to paint it, because I have already danced it out. It ended up being a much more rigid painting than I intended, focusing almost more on the process of steps and how music is made up of beats (dots) three counts and four counts, lines (staves) and songs, the purple song, the blue song, the red song, and then the wavy gold lines of dance weaving through the music, the songs and the class. The energy I guess is in the background, with the splats of paint and colour, and drips of 'sweat' that come off whilst you dance. I have a feeling this all makes a lot more sense in my head than it does on paper, I would need to explain it via video with the painting in hand, but hopefully the above gives the gist of what I was trying to show!


Tuesday, 16 June 2020

I have a blog!?

I am sometimes impressed with my brain's ability to compartmentalise. I had completely forgotten I even had a blog over the last few days. How can I go from writing pretty much every day to forgetting I even own one? That seems worrying. Equally it is useful as it means I rarely take my work home with me and I can switch off from stress as and when required. The downside is that now I have some time for art again I can't remember what I was doing.

My to-do is basically like my how-to-live bible.

Fortunately reading my previous post reminded me that I was looking at SEO tactics. Was that really only a week ago? It feels more like a month.

So a few art things have happened. I have sold another puzzle on Etsy, three more prints have left the building and one of my commissions has been given the go ahead so that is good. I also painted a weeny, and slightly strange painting at the weekend that I may or may not share with you shortly. I am still a bit undecided about it. I also had to make a promotional video of my work today to go on the Maidenhead Festival page which is happening online this weekend. I think I will probably share the video with my Facebook fans as well as it gives a good nose through my living area and my work. Assuming I wake up tomorrow and can remember what I am doing.

The first tasks will be to get up, do zumba and go to the post office to deliver said sold items above....(just in case....)

Wednesday, 10 June 2020


I don't feel like I have done too much today. I put a few more paintings onto Artmajeur and then spent half of this afternoon learning about Search Engine Optimisation. It all made sense until my attention span started drifting and then I must have had brain saturation, as it started going in one eye and out of the other. I don't think I am meant to do anymore work this evening anyway seemingly, as my internet connection seems to have committed suicide and no amount of refreshing or restarting seems to be making any difference.

How frustrating!

I have architecture work to do tomorrow and Friday as well so I may not be getting to any website tweaking until next week.

I think the most useful thing I have learnt today is about google cache, which theoretically shows me what the search engine bots are looking at and basing my website on. I have very little writing on my website so I need to add more in, either in the form of tags on my images or on my page descriptions just to make it a bit more obvious what my site is all about. I also think making it more mobile friendly will help so I need to do that at the same time. I am worried this will involve redesigning some of my pages so I am not too keen to do it at the moment; Especially as my site is built using Flash which is going to be discontinued in December this year! I need to ask Moonfruit what the plan is regarding this! Which is what I should put quite high on my to do list tomorrow.

In the meantime I think it is time to give up for today and watch the rain falling outside instead.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020


My mount supplies arrived today, so I just need to wait for the prints to arrive next! I did cave and order some new canvasses this morning as well, 15 of them in fact! Let's hope I can have a brainwave about where to store them or suddenly magically sell a couple more paintings! I also topped up my foam corners that I use to ship purchased paintings. I am hoping this finally means that all my packaging and stock supplies are full and up to date.

Let's hope I don't find anything else that I am running out of! (Fingers crossed)

I also wanted to run a poll on Facebook today to ask people to guess the topic of my latest painting, just for fun. Unfortunately you can only have two outcomes, and as I wanted the choice to be between 'building,' 'landscape,' 'tree,' and 'animal' having only two options was no good. I only wanted to ask the question as quite often I have no idea what I am going to paint next so I wondered what the people following my work felt about it! I remember reading some art marketing advice somewhere, that mentioned about making sure all your paintings are similar so that you have an identifiable brand. It makes sense, but I kind of like the fact that my 'brand' is more random. I would much rather follow someone who keeps me guessing than someone predictable. It may mean I might not always like the paintings that are created, but it should at least be interesting!

In this vain, my latest painting, is another unexpected and random topic. This is mostly because it was a suggested commission and probably not something I would naturally paint. It was still fun to do though, so, are you ready?! The latest painting is of...................flamingos! :-O :-D


Monday, 8 June 2020

Insufficient Memory.

I am confused today as I feel like I am juggling too many things. I painted a new painting at the weekend that has already been bought and collected, so I need to add that online shortly. I am also in negotiations to sell my painting of Lisbon, a price which has hopefully now been agreed, I am just waiting for the signing on the dotted line as it were. I am also in negotiations to sell my painting of St Pancras as well as a small commission of some Cottages in Scotland. This is on top of the general social media posts I need to do and an architecture quote I just had to write.

My brain is now going whaaaaaaaaat?

This week might be busy! This is more what I imagined being an artist and being freelance to be though. Chasing leads, trying to drum up sales, and keeping up a steady flow of new paintings. However boring lockdown might be, the extra time I have from lack of socialising or leaving the house has definitely been quite beneficial!

I just need to stop spending all my money on art supplies. That said, I am really running low on canvasses so I can see myself stocking up on them shortly!

I think that might be enough of a blog post today, before my brain melts. I will share the new painting with you tomorrow. In the meantime I need to go and write down everything I need to do and cross off the things I have completed already today to get them out of my head.

It is too full today......

I forgot, there was one other thing I wanted to mention today. I didn't realise, but Artfinder has been carrying out a curatorial review on all its members. Apparently out of 6,000 shops and artists it has reviewed, it has removed 2,000 of them from the site. I am pleased to say, I had an email today saying that I passed the quality control test to be allowed to stay. Thank goodness for that! 

Friday, 5 June 2020

New Prints

I don't feel ready for it to be Friday again. I am actually in the working zone for once and could do with maybe two more days in this week to make the most of it. I am sure if it wasn't Friday I wouldn't be saying this though.

I checked my numbers on Artmajeur today and it looks like it is ticking over much more slowly since I haven't added anything new for a while. It might work out well for me to add things as and when to keep the interest up. I'll have to start adding a couple a day as part of my to-do list. In other news I have finally added these 4 prints onto my website and onto Etsy which I have been meaning to do for ages. I have already sold one tiger and one lion, so I am hoping they will do well.

Hopefully tonight I will manage a new painting as I have one on my mind. A couple of people have mentioned paintings they might like to me recently, and it is one of these ideas that I currently have floating around. I sometimes find that people don't want to commit to a commission but they want to tell you what they would like. I normally eventually get around to painting what they have suggested if it is something I am interested in and then give them first refusal. It works quite well and I have sold a few paintings this way, and if they don't buy it I can always put it up for sale on my website so it is a win-win really.

Lets hope this one results in a sale!

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Chapel of St Non's

Today has been busy too. It looks like I am having one of those weeks when I get stuff done. Although I have equally already forgotten what I have done so far today.


I have cropped my photos and put together the video showing the work in progress shots of my latest painting, and ordered mount and print supplies as both were dwindling. Money in. Money out.

I have also just paid my subscription fees to the online slideshow that allows me to post changing images on my website, so the next thing to do will be to update my accounts. I realised I haven't updated my Etsy expenses for a while either. Argh! 

Sometimes I feel like I have 12 jobs. I'm going to speak to HR about it. Oh wait.

I have also opened my 'sample' 1000 piece puzzle so I shall start on that soon and post some in progress shots. So much to do!!

In the meantime, my latest painting should be delivered soon. It is currently floating around in a van in Swansea somewhere. Surprisingly this painting has been a hit on Facebook, and is possibly my most liked painting to date!? I can never predict which paintings will be popular and which ones won't be. It is quite interesting to see and sometimes makes me feel like I have no taste, as I tend to be more pleased with the less popular ones. But at least that works quite well as either I like them or everyone else does!

So here it is, the Chapel of St Non's on the coast of Pembrokeshire. There is something about this painting, it is so calm, solid and reassuring. It is even better in real life and I would have been happy to have kept it for a little longer....

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

What day is it?

So the worst thing about the fact that I didn't blog on Monday or yesterday is the fact that I didn't even notice.


Monday was busy with architecture work and posting puzzles and online Zumba.

Tuesday was busy with enjoying the sunshine and making the most of being able to meet up with 6 people outside with social distancing.

Wednesday has been more posting, this time a print and a painting, more online Zumba and then art admin and realising I have forgotten to blog. 

The commission painting on Sunday was a success, that is the painting that has left the building today and I will share with you tomorrow. It has been put online everywhere now and Etsy has been tidied up which were the things I needed to sort for today. I also took work in progress pictures of this painting so I am hoping to put a 30 second or so video together of this one to share across the board.

Assuming I don't forget at least....

My to do list is growing......