Saturday, 18 November 2017

Black Star

Today has been rather frustrating. I feel like I have spent half of the day trying to sort out my annual Christmas card order. Firstly because the offer wasn't working and then secondly because the template wasn't working either. The company solved the offer issue, and my computer eventually solved the other issue by letting me use Internet Explorer rather than Safari, Chrome or Microsoft Edge - none of which were loading the website properly. But anyway, all ordered now and just my to-do list to update so I can remove some more items from my memory.

Today seems like a slightly less positive day than yesterday, but still, lots of stuff sorted out so that is all good. I have also prepped some items for my usual new year give away, as well as sorting out some raffle prizes for the Maidenhead Ladies Circle Christmas party. I am certainly getting out and about a bit more if nothing else! I also managed to order a couple of 100 piece puzzles of my work to give to a local charity which are running out of small puzzles for their members to do!

Just call me Florence.

Also, for some reason I wanted to share the following photo and soundtrack with you. Shortly after David Bowie died, I listened to some of his final work - most notably the title track 'Black Star'. I find the song quite haunting When I was sorting through my US photos I converted one of them to black and white and subsequently was compelled to call it 'Black Star'. These now seem to have developed such a strong connection in my mind that I can't seem to separate them, or stop thinking about them. As with all blocks, I work on the principle that a problem shared is a problem halved. So here it is - my tribute to David Bowie....



And if you are interested, you can listen to the song and watch the video here


Friday, 17 November 2017

A Boost.

I have had quite a bit of art time this week, which has been quite therapeutic. A new painting has been created, all my photos are online, EVERYWHERE, and I have chosen my Christmas cards, which are now ready for creation once I get confirmation from my printer that they can accommodate my designs.  I like this organised feeling, or at least this feeling of progression. Every extra to-do list item out of my head, gives my brain a little bit more space to think about painting, and that can only be a good thing.

This week has also been interesting as Facebook offered me a free £30 advert boost for one of my posts. I have set one up to run for a week and it has been exciting following the results. The painting already has 60 likes, and I have gained 7 extra page followers. I kind of wish these numbers where all much higher but at least it is a start. It also shows that Facebook advertising does make a difference, so it is something to bear in mind in the future. Especially, for instance, when I run competitions, as that might dramatically increase my interactions.

Putting all my photos online has also been rewarding as I now have 169 notifications on Deviant Art to respond to. It seems like there are boosts all round this week. It is always good to get a little bit of feedback / appreciation. With behind the scenes work, I quite often end up slogging away for ages with not much gain. Well, lots of gain, but not until a later date, so sometimes it seems like you do a lot of work for little immediate satisfaction / reaction. Not so this week it seems as I have also gained about 15 extra fans on Artfinder too! I guess this is showing that whilst things were ticking away slowly without me, if I can put some effort in, they will tick much faster.

For the first time in a while, I am excited!

 

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Art Bible

I am trying to be efficient today. I have about a thousand art things, half done, so I am trying to complete one section of items today.

I have recently managed to find the time to go through my last few sets of holiday photos, comprising of Singapore, Thailand, Slovenia and California. My art shots have been chosen, tidied and cropped as required so all that is left to do is to sort them ready for upload onto my Fine Art America site and onto my website.

Unfortunately I updated all my photos onto my website so long ago that I can't remember how I formatted them. I think it goes something like: compress them on tiny png, add the watermark and reduce the max pixel size to 1200 and save an 'actual pixel' shot and a 'framed' version. I think anyway.

I need to make a note of these processes as they will come in rather handy when I am updating my art website. Just as well I made myself an 'Art Bible' the other day with everything I could possibly need noted within it. Well everything but this bit, but I'll make a note of that now!


And, yes, this is my art bible, not a laptop! I couldn't have anything standard after all! :-)


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Fall

I keep thinking I only posted a couple of days ago, but no, somehow it was two weeks ago. Seriously time - SLOW DOWN!

It seems that 'Hawaii' has arrived safely in Portland, and I had a really good review from the new owners of 'Carcassonne' so all good news.

I have even managed to pull out a couple of new paintings in the last couple of weeks too. Neither of them are super exciting but both therapeutic in their own right.

The latest one seems to be getting a marmite reaction. I am intrigued that it seems to be controversial as that was not my intention. It started as a too strong background that I was struggling to finish, so the fact that I have finished it, and more successfully than I was expecting means that I am quite pleased with it; So say hello to 'Fall'


It looks OK to me!? It will be interesting to see it's reception across the board. Quite often, for instance, if it doesn't get many 'likes' on Facebook, it will get more than usual on Artfinder. I remember one painting that suddenly exploded on DeviantArt and I woke up to lots of favourite notifications. Either way, the outcome is always unpredictable and fun to guess. Still, it is safe to say, if I like it, then I automatically curse it with unpopularity, if I don't like it, then I am on to a winner. I must be looking at it for something else - or at least that is my excuse....


Thursday, 26 October 2017

Hawaii to Oregon

I am having one of those weeks where everything happens at once (again!). It is strange that I haven't had any sales through Artfinder for a while and then I have two on the same day. It is like that day last year where I hadn't sold anything for a while and then I sold 4 in one go! These, needless to say, are my favourite days! :-D

One of the sales this time is going to be interesting as I need to ship the work to the big old US of A. I am a bit apprehensive as that is a long way for my painting to travel on its own. All other paintings to the US have been hand delivered so I, or whoever was taking them, could look after them. I have posted things abroad before - to France, Norway and Northern Ireland but still, sending a painting to the US seems like the next big step. I shall have to wrap it in triplicate.

This will be the third time the courier has visited my house this week. The first time was to pick up Las Fran Paris Beach to take to Wales, the second time will be this morning to pick up Carcassonne to take to Stoke on Trent, and lastly, picking up Hawaii to take to Portland, Oregon. An exciting week!

I have had Hawaii, for quite a long time, since 2013 in fact when it was created. I have managed to sell both Laguna and Hawaii this year, two of my longest standing sale items. I always miss them the most when they go as I never realise how used I am to seeing them.

So Good luck Hawaii! You are going on an adventure!



Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Laura Hologram

Look at me! I have just spent the last couple of hours making a few changes to my photography website. The website has been up and running for quite a while but I haven't been entirely satisfied with a couple of pages and so, have consequently kept its creation a bit of a secret. However, at some point over the last couple of months I figured out what I needed to change and half an hour ago I completed the changes.

BOOM!

I feel quite pleased with myself now. I can't keep making excuses that I am not getting art time, if, when I have art time I don't do anything. There are still a million things to do but it is a start. I sorted through my backlog of photos the other day and I have some pretty good ones lined up from Singapore and a few from Thailand all ready to go, and impatiently waiting to be shared across various platforms. I have also just returned from a road-trip across California, so there will be new photos to add from there as well as from Slovenia, as I still haven't managed to sift through that pile for gems yet.

All sounding good!

Hopefully soon I will also get onto Hootsuite and start posting more regularly on Twitter and Instagram, and then I can tackle the rest of my to-do list.

We can do this!

In the meantime please feel free to have a browse of my photography site, you can find it here or by searching for Laura Hologram!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Las Fran Paris Beach....

I have recently returned from inspiration collecting after road tripping across some of the national parks in California. It is safe to say I have seen some spectacular scenery, and hopefully have some photos to prove it. I have just managed to clear the painting decks after painting a commission this weekend that has been in the pipeline for a while, so this should mean good things for painting time to come, at least I hope so. I am feeling a bit burnt out still. Feeling burnt out is strange, I feel like nothing would help more than sitting down and doing a painting, but I need to be in the right frame of mind, and it is always surprising how much painting takes out of me, so I need to have some mental energy too. I think I need to give my brain some time to file first, but I definitely have some good paintings to come, that is assuming I can choose between my inspiration photos. That is one problem about seeing too much, I hope I am not going to have a Grand Canyon explosion again!

In the meantime my recently completed commission was certainly a challenge. I was requested to put The Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach all in one picture. A bit of a tall order but somehow I managed!

Behold: Las Fran Paris Beach....