Friday feels

I am approaching my 40th painting of the year so far.  And I’m not even on a challenge or anything.

I think it’s because I paint in a series.   Often I will have two panels on the easel at once, and work on the both.  I work quickly and don’t linger in any one place for too long.  Most of the time.

I always put painting before everything else: networking, admin, photographing, managing the shop, etc.  I don’t ever want to get caught up in non – painting stuff so that I forget how to paint.  Besides, the only way to get better is practice.

However, I’ve accumulated all these works that are sat around.  Hence the recent forays into framing (that’s going so well by the way, I can’t wait to show you!) so that I can release a collection of original art.

But, with all the running an art business requires – and I do see what I’m doing as an art business – I realise I’m not actually paying attention to the business side of things.  More than that, I’m ignoring them.

Admin I can do.  Spreadsheets, web sites (graduated in computer science about a million years ago, before the internet was a thing), yep, all over it.  But the marketing. Oh how I hate a hard sales pitch.  Or even an over enthusiastic one that’s insanely cheery.  It really creeps me out, I feel terribly self conscious, and this is the other reason I avoid taking care of my business.

However.  I do want to sell some art.  And it occurred to me, having done two paintings this week, that I could use some of my week to focus on this a bit more and get my shiz together.

So that’s what I’m doing.  Reading all the books, all the interwebs and try to get a handle of this thing and more to the point detach  myself from my art a bit.  I know I could sell someone else’s art and sleep at night, so why not my own?

So.  Wish me luck troopers.  I’m going in.

Oh, here’s some pretty I don’t think I posted here yet.  Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Roses by artist Vicki Hutchins
I painted this some time ago – just love this rose

 

A change of pace

Oh, today has been grand.

This morning I sat in the garden and had breakfast.  This is blog worthy, as it means we actually have the weather for it!  It wasn’t too hot, bit breezy, and lovely sunshine.

After, I surveyed the grounds.  Which took about 12 steps as my garden is postage stamp sized.  My very elderly wisteria is in full bloom.  It’s the purple variety, and it’s beautiful.  It’s one of my favourite flowers  (geek fact that just down the road in Devon there is the UK’s oldest wisteria.  It’s trunk is as twistedly beautiful as it’s blossom).

So I spent till lunch sketching and painting outside -and I used watercolour.  Mainly this was in homage to cyber buddies Laura and Margaret , who are taking part in a daily paint-a-thon, the main theme being to challenge yourself.

Well, I like watercolour, it just doesn’t like me.  Actually, this isn’t the worst watercolour I’ve ever done.  I thought it was the best medium to capture the delicate wisteria blossom.  Perhaps I should give it a go in oils too.

I have to be in the mood for flowers.  Most of the time I work loose, but very occasionally I have the urge to get involved in something more detailed, usually a drawing.  It provides a nice soothing pace to get lost in.  I love the act of looking when I draw in detail…I tend to look at shapes, particularly negative shapes to draw, and to me it’s like a satisfying jigsaw puzzle.

Afterwards, me and the man took the dog to the local lake for a nice stroll.  Bliss.

However, since then it’s gone down hill a bit.  Let’s just say it involves a small boy, a dentist appointment and too many biscuits, if there can be such a thing in an eleven year olds life.

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not loose, bit fussy, not really me

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I just realised what a total whinger I sounded like in my last post.

Anyway, it’s Mother’s Day, which means absolutely nothing to us in our house as we are not religious at all, except for the fact that I like to use it as an excuse to do what ever I want, and  I we buy our respect mothers a gift and this year I made them a card with one of my paintings (this one) on them.

So if you’re a Ma, put your feet up and do something for you!

 

I know how love works

I am lucky enough to be married to someone I not only love, but actually like.  He is pretty much the bees knees, the dogs doodahs in my book.  

Over the years, he has shamed me by persisting in this commercial shenanigans of buying me a Valentines card (shenanigans unless I decide to sell Valentines cards in the future.  Then I’m just an artist trying to earn a few pennies.  Don’t judge me).

I don’t need a Valentines card.  I know every single day how he feels about me even with the all the nagging.  But I did begin to feel bad that I forgot (genuinely – what can I say, our love blooms all year round) to get him one in return.  Now I’m much better at remembering to get him a card, and this year I got him his favourite chocolates too.  He bought me gorgeous warm red roses.

And guess how we spent our Valentines?  I painted the flowers whilst he cleaned the bathrooms. This almost beats the year we took time off from our jobs for our anniversary – and painted the house.  Yeah, as I say, our love blooms all year round.  What a keeper.

Valentines
apols for the crappy quality – the light was fading fast!  Valentine roses, oil on paper.

Printing your own prints – a tale of madness

Me and the husband, we’re quite oh-fay with computers and computing stuff.  In fact, I graduated in computer science back in the day, when the internet wasn’t even a thing.  Can you imagine?  No, nor could I after 12 or so years utilising this qualification, so here I am, painting.  Meantime, the husband is like someone born to use a computer.  He thinks in binary.  He can code.  He can sort out your spreadsheet.  He can do you some html to jazz up your website.  But did either of us come out the other side of printing my painting unscathed?  No, we did not.

This is the short version of a four day hell whereby I almost lost my mind.

  1.  Some paintings were fine when printed.  Represented the original quite well.
  2. A couple did not.  Both photoshop and paint.net could not print out a particular painting with the correct colours.  But if we printed from the Windows photo viewer (hardly the industry standard, surely?), we got accurate colours.  What the?
  3. Resizing in paint.net was a trial….and best avoided as you cannot switch off resampling.  I don’t know what resampling is, but it’s terribly important you switch it off.
  4. We eventually learned that we needed to switch our printers colour management settings to Adobe RGB.  We think.  Who knows.

The thing is, I was googling the hell out of this colour problem and I didn’t even come close to finding an answer.  Or even a tenuous link. Which made us feel like we’re the only people in the whole world who had come across this!

The only advice really out there was:  make sure resolution is 300 dpi and you’re good to go.

So.  We are frazzled, and look at each other like we can’t believe what we went through, but at least I do have some prints, which look all smart in their mounts.  I just don’t know if I’ll ever be able to print them again!

prints

Floral series pop up shop and free stuff

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** G I V E A W A Y **
Hurrah for free stuff!  I wanted to thank you all for your ongoing support and celebrate the opening of my pop up shop this Friday.
So, I’d love to give away this painting,  “Blossom of Serendipity”, to one of you lucky lot.  It’s an oil painting, 10″ x 10 ” on a deep edged canvas.  No faffing to hang or frame, just hang it off a nail like I do.
So, if you want to pretty up your walls with an original* art work, all you have to do is head over to my Facebook page and:
– If you’re not already a fan, like my page (not just this post!), and let me know in the comments, as I may not be aware of who you are (depending on your privacy settings).
– Tell me your favourite flower ever (I know, picking one will be hard) in the comments section, and don’t forget to like the post!
And, I don’t even mind posting it abroad. So where ever you live in the world, you can enter the giveaway.
I’ll be announcing the winner (who will be chosen at random) on Friday 28th August at 6pm on my Facebook page.  Good luck!
Other paintings available for sale this Friday can be previewed via the SHOP NOW button Purchase page.  The shop will be open for a limited time only: from Friday 28th August from 6.00pm to Monday 31st August 6pm.
Just to quickly mention:
* there is a similar piece of art in my shop available for sale, but it is slightly different!

The end is nigh

BlossomofSerendipidty_detail
 I am so pleased to see that the end of this floral series is in sight!  Not that I haven’t enjoyed it – I really have, but it’s nice to see an end to it, as I’m already hatching plans for my next series.
I love the colour palette in the detail shotof the work in progress (above).  I say that about every batch of paint I mix up, but I really do love it.
I still need to work through the detail but I’m anticipating the end of Aug/early September for my pop up shop!  I’m hoping to have around 11 pieces for sale.  The picture above is my 9th painting of the series!