22 February 2011

Spring Is Here

Bluebell Stroll, oil on canvas, 30 x 30cm
Well, OK, Spring's not quite here yet, but it is in my studio; at heart, I'm an optimist.

It may still be winter, but all I can 
see is the Spring that's just about to come round the corner.

My walls are painted white, but pinned to them at the moment are photos of magnolias and cherry blossoms, while I am painting swathes of snowdrops and  bluebells as far as the eye can see.

I woke up this morning feeling so positive about the end of winter and how everything is  just beginning to think about going into bud.  Spring's coming, you know, and I love the thought that it's going to wake up any minute.  I thought I would share that with you!

18 February 2011


A while ago I posted an article on Experimentation.  I was really pleased with how it was going, and how mixing all my favourite materials was not only good fun, but seemed to work well.

As you have probably guessed from the above title, I sold the painting today that featured in the Experimentation post; but it appears that a number of people were interested in it.  However, it took someone new to the gallery to come in and purchase it from under their noses.  I'm thrilled.  Knowing that my work was not only liked but popular gives me a frisson of delight that I have to remember as I get annoyed with a painting that isn't going well.

I'm going to continue with mixed media for now.  I feel I am just at the beginning of something exciting, and I'm really looking forward to where it might take me.

12 February 2011


Work in progress - Snowdrop Woodland, mixed media
I thought I would let you see a painting I am working on at the moment, a wood carpeted with snowdrops.

I started off with painting purple acrylic onto board then added a crackle glaze to give the board an unpredictable texture. What you see has been painted with a mixture of guache and chalk pastel using Korean brushes, sponges and my fingers.

The background still needs a lot of work and the sunlight filtering through the bare trees has to be attended to as well as the detail on the snowdrops of the foreground.  A good beginning, though...

...I think.

10 February 2011

First Craft Fair

I took the decision to start attending craft fairs in order to supplement my income.  My first one is in a month's time, and although I've visited a few to get the lay of the land, I'm a bit nervous about it because I don't really know what to expect.

I'm also concerned that I have too many items. I have all my different paintings represented in different formats - greetings cards, framed prints, limited edition prints, fridge magnet, key rings and mounted prints.  I don't know if I'll be able to fit them all onto my table.

Just writing this is making me aware of how much I still need to do - including price labelling and finding white cloths or sheets to cover the table.

I'll get there, and I might even make a profit. I have to think positively.

Image: Black Cuillin, oil on canvas

5 February 2011

So Much Going On

I love being an artist, deciding what I should be doing day to day uninfluenced by anyone else is a good feeling.

However, sometimes I over do it a bit, and end up with so much going on that I can't decide what should be tackled first.  I don't feel pressurised, I'm just excited about it all.
  • I want to start a series of spring paintings with snowdrops and bluebells as the subject using mixed media, something I haven't done before - I already have the boards prepared.
  • I need to do a stock take so I am ready for a craft fair I'm doing in March.
  • I want to apply to more craft fair organisers so I can sell my merchandised work more widely.
  • I have been asked to write two articles (not one after all, as I mentioned in my The Artist and Major Self Doubt article ) for The Artist, and although they don't need them until the Autumn, I would like to at least get them started.
  • I haven't mentioned it yet, but I am illustrating a children's book and want to carry on drawing pandas and other animals.
  • I have been having a good long look at my website and shop and have decided they need a complete overhaul.  I have been talking to website and ecommerce companies and have to sit and work out all that I want to get out of my site before I decide who to go with.
  • I had a brainwave and want to look into a new product line.  I need to do a load of research and phone calling to see if it would work financially, but I am quite excited by it - I'll fill you in on that one another time.
  • The photos I take of my paintings are not of a high enough quality, stopping me using some of them for print, so I either have to buy a new camera or get a professional to record my work.  I spoke to a photographer yesterday, so I'll see how that goes.
Thank you for letting my brain dump all that, just writing it all down has made me feel a lot better.  I'll let you know how I get on over the next wee while.

Image: Spring's Bluebells, Limited Edition of 500, 59 x 42cm (23 x 16.5")

1 February 2011

Happiness is a Red Dot

I was at a private view on Sunday. It was for a group show at Smithy Gallery, and I have a couple of paintings exhibiting.

Just about anybody can go to a private view, you don't need an invite, really, as they are all about selling the artists' work; and they are what they seem to be on television, lots of people milling about talking about art and to artists, drinking champagne. A group of passing backpackers turned up and were welcomed with a glass and a catalogue list - I think they bought cards and prints.

However, from my point of view, private views can be something very different. I am a nervous wreck before I even arrive, and when I walk in, the first thing I do is look around trying to find where my paintings are hanging; then I check out if there are any red dots (meaning they have sold). I try to avoid looking at anyone while they look at my paintings (will they buy, won't they buy), then there are the people who just glance at my work and walk on (obviously no taste). I don't know why I put myself through them. It's much more fun doing something else and receiving the good news by phone from the gallery.

My Dad coined the family motto, "Happiness is a Red Dot". So true, but I like to think of it with additional small print - "...but only when you are not present".

Image: Blossom Avenue, mixed media on board 42 x 26cm (16.5 x 10")