Friday, 31 January 2014


Well thank goodness it is Friday! I am done with this week. Tomorrow I am going to wake up all light, beautiful, healthy and cough free, aren't I? AREN'T I!? I had better. I have friends to see and I will cry if I miss them. So let's just assume I am going to dream the cure tonight, without fail.

On the plus side I am excited. I launched a competition on Facebook to win a couple of sketches in celebration for all the painting sales I have recently had and the fact that I have just painted my 100th painting! I have had a much better response than I was expecting, so I think I shall be doing more competitions in the future.

In the meantime if you would like to win one these two paintings then please enter my competition by clicking here.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Oslo Opera House

Urgh. So I am done with being poorly, although at least now I just have a cough, choke, death rattle and some of the other dubious symptoms are wearing off except for the zzzzzzz being zzzzzzzz really tired zzzzzz.

I had better start to get considerably better soon or I am going to paint a cross on my front door....

Nonetheless, yesterday was still an exciting day as I got to ship off my commission of the Oslo Opera House to Norway. This commission was an interesting process as I had a few tweaks to do on the clients instruction.

Take 1
Spot The Difference - Take 2
 It is fair to say the building is definitely clearer in take 2, and as the commission was of the Opera House, I guess that was the point, so the suggested amendments were quite astute. It felt very strange to be asked to alter an element of my work though. I have had to completely redo things before because I got the wrong end of the stick but never to tweak anything. It has made me feel a little like my judgement is out, but it is always difficult to guess what someone wants, and with a commission, that is definitely my purpose, so if I get it anywhere near on my first attempt I should be pleased.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Grumps (and maybe the Mumps)

I seem to have managed to misplace my health this year as I am currently battling a chest infection/bronchitis/bad cold. I am not sure which, probably just a bad cold, but it is definitely something horrible. My body must have just gone into shock at having so few art things on my to do list.

Needless to say I haven't been very constructive over the last few days. I have painted my Norwegian commission although it is currently swinging backwards and forwards with alterations, but hopefully it will be perfect after the last tweak I did earlier today. I have also painted painting number 100 which I was going to give away on Facebook. I have, however, possibly decided it isn't good enough to make the cut. I am going to paint another one and then see how I feel. I think I am probably being overly judgemental in my fragile state, but if you can't be grumpy when you are ill, when can you be grumpy!?!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Under 20, finally.

I technically don't really have anything to blog about today but I just rewrote out my to-do list and it is the first time the art section has had under 20 things to do for about a year.

I decided this was worth a three line blog post.

So here it is (four lines).

Saturday, 18 January 2014

On Top of the World

I was a bit fed up yesterday but I am not really sure why. It could have been because I am not really supposed to eat chocolate biscuits and I ate about a hundred of them. It could have been because I am a woman and we are entitled to periodically be in a bad mood for no particular reason. It could also just be because I am on a bit of a come down from the excitement of painting sales, daily deviations and new is difficult to say.

I do know, it was a good day to be fed up on because the following things happened:

1. I got two mentions on deviantArt (dA) for cheering people up.
2. The lovely Judas extended my premium dA membership previously given to me by the lovely McFlyky.
3. An old friend bought a nice big selection of cards to use in South Africa!

This has been followed up with a possible commission request today from someone from Norway!

Talk about international - a painting sale to France before Christmas, cards to South Africa and a possible commission to Norway. Oh yes.

I am feeling a bit better now....

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Daily Deviation

So it looks like my work is on hold for a bit so I am not missing the chance to do another painting once I have published this post. My inspiration has already been printed, idea chosen, near enough, and all that is left is the execution - providing I don't get distracted which is never guaranteed. I am also horribly tired today so I hope I don't end up waking in about three hours with my canvas stuck to my face. The urge to open a bottle of cider, dig out some chocolate from the cupboard and put on an entertaining film is quite tempting....but I'll try and be good.

It does also mean I can finally write this post which I have been meaning to do for ages. Here goes:

It was quite exciting over Christmas because I was awarded a Daily Deviation for my painting 'The Natural History Museum' courtesy of the lovely ArtByCher, one of my friends on deviantArt. I can already hear some of you saying 'What? A what? From where?' Let me explain... in layman's terms deviantArt is a bit like Facebook but tailored for artists, you can upload your work, add other people's work to your favourites gallery, have a chat, follow artists you like, join groups and sell prints etc (and probably loads of other things I haven't discovered yet). I have met some lovely people on there, some of whom follow my blog (Hello, Judas, hello McFlyky! hello HollyAHyde and anyone else I don't know about!)

But anyway, apparently (according to Wikipedia) deviantArt has over 25 million members, 246 million submissions and gets 140,000 new submissions a yes, getting a Daily Deviation is a big deal! (Oh and a Daily Deviation is basically an artwork of the day, there are usually about 30-40 of them?)


(p.s. If you click on any of the named members on this post you can check out their pages! DO IT!)

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Argo, You go...

It seems like today might be my last total art day for a while (ignoring free time at the weekend obviously) which is probably no bad thing as I have only done a couple of days of formal Architectural work since the Christmas break. This isn't too much of a problem as I have sold a couple of paintings in between so I have been being productive. However, as all good artists should, I have just booked an inappropriately long holiday, sorry 'inspiration sabbatical' so some more spending money is required/would be nice.

I can't wait.

35 days and counting.

In the meantime I should be making the most of today, and I am-ish. Assuming procrastinating counts as being productive? No, oh well.

Anyway, before I forget, I watched Argo at the end of December last year and wow. I thought it was amazing, which is saying something as my views and that of the Oscars don't usually tie in. It was so intense I forgot I wasn't actually there living it with them at one point. It is always good to watch something 'real' and/or based on actual events as it teaches you a bit of history (or it did me, or at leasts gives you enough insight that you can check out the un-Hollywood-ified version online). The film also reaffirms the fact that almost all of the conflicts that currently exist in the world have been caused by one of the major world forces interfering with the Countries in question in the present or the past thank you Britain, Spain, America and France for that.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

If Mondrian did cardboard boxes...

It is sunny today, but I am having to wait inside for the courier to come as I managed to sell another painting yesterday. The Scott Monument was sold within seconds of it going online which is a sales speed record, although Speared managed to go after a preview on Facebook. I like these hot off the press sales although it doesn't really help me replenish my stocks, but I definitely don't mind that!

I bought a job lot of new picture corners, 100m of bubble wrap and some fragile labels the other day after finally sourcing a good offer on the internet. I realised earlier that I was quite excited to use the fragile labels today for the first time, which maybe makes me feel like I ought to go out speed dating more often! It does make sense though because with every extra purchase, preparation or bit of organisation I feel a bit closer to 'making it' at least until I realise I need to sell about a 100 paintings a year to make a reasonable salary! As I only painted 34 paintings in the entirety of last year I may well need to massively up my productivity! Finding the time is not always easy, which is why I need to make sure when things are quiet on the architecture front I get the paints out pronto!

The next thing to source will be some packing boxes, and then I will know I really am getting somewhere. Although I think sometimes, these 'parcels' are works of art in themselves...!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Refresh Rate

I am enjoying myself at the moment. It has been nice to get back into painting buildings again, and painting canvasses full stop after my break to paint the hallway, chairs, drumsticks, baubles and anything else I have forgotten.

It is also nice to have a bit more purpose behind doing some more paintings. Having lost 12 over the Christmas period I need to restock and I have some blank spaces on my walls that are desperately waiting to have a picture hung on them for 'safety.' It feels a bit like I am moving out at the moment, or maybe only just moved in. I have definitely got too used to crowded walls!

The Scott Monument

Having painted a lot over the last year or so I am also feeling more accomplished and able to revisit some of my earlier topics and paint a few things I wasn't brave enough to paint at the time. For example, I have painted quite a few scenes from Edinburgh (that have recently all sold) and I am also a bit obsessed with all things Gothic at the moment; So cue the opportunity to have a stab at drawing the Scott Monument in Edinburgh! I have a feeling I may well be revisiting quite a few of my past holiday destinations...

Watch this space....

Friday, 10 January 2014

Speed Dying

I have had a strange day, read: a ridiculously unproductive day. This was partly because I seemed to spend the majority of the morning trying to get the contact details on my old phone onto my new upgrade. Who knew it would end up being so difficult to do and then in the end so simple!? It is always, irritatingly, infuriatingly the way. I have also spent the majority of the day being emotionally hungover. I 'in the spirit of friendship' and let's face it, because I was pretty curious, ventured into the battlefield of speed dating yesterday evening with a good friend from London.


Firstly, what a strange combination of people you meet. Secondly who knew talking for four minutes per conversation could be so tiring and draining. At the halfway point my throat hurt, I needed a power nap and I had already forgotten who everyone was. By the finish, I couldn't tell whether the guys at the end were of a lower calibre than the ones at the beginning or whether we had all just died a little inside.

I had certainly died a little inside and seem to still be a bit numb this morning from information overload. I am made for simpler things. On the plus side, over half of the guys at the meeting seem to want to date me. If only I could say the same, but I am happily single at the moment and more than appreciative of it staying that way! 

But at least the last few days have been more satisfying; all online sites up-to-date, website organised and first painting of 2014 complete.

That is enough love for me, for the moment at least.

St Mark's Basilica


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Nature's City

I am not quite sure what to do this evening. I had intended to paint a picture but I am preoccupied with what to paint.

It seems I still haven't fully recovered from my series of Grand Canyon paintings and that leaves me slightly unsure of where I am going. The last few things I have done have either been presents, or for cards, or not possibly what I would have naturally chosen to do. I was getting worried that I had completely lost my way as I wasn't finding much enjoyment in what I was doing. That said I have painted a lot of 'things' recently - the chairs, the hallway, some drumsticks, some baubles....I liked doing them and loved the end results but it isn't quite a painting.  My last painting of the year - 'Nature's City' seems to have restored my faith a little, I liked the end product, and I loved doing it. Now that is more like it.

Nature's City
I have a few things I could do this evening; I have a possible enquiry for a commission, a certain commission of the Golden Gate Bridge and interest in some more Scottish paintings of Edinburgh and Glasgow. So maybe one of them? Or maybe something different? Who knows.....

Monday, 6 January 2014

£10? £20? £50? £40? ok...£27 it is.

I was supposed to get up and under-way early this morning but it was too warm and comfortable in bed. Oh well, I am multi-tasking now and I have just shipped off a painting and the sun has come out! So maybe it was worth a lazy morning.

I am currently waiting for some architectural images to save and trying to source somewhere to buy bubble wrap and picture corners. The problem with selling 10 or so paintings in a short space of times is that your free source of packaging you have been collecting for about 3 years very quickly disappears! Fortunately I still have a lot of cardboard boxes left - I am not quite sure what I will do when that supply runs out. So far I have managed to discover it is considerably cheaper to buy 100 metres of bubble wrap than any other amount. Hmm, that is a lot of bubble wrap!! The protective picture corners are worse as I could only find packs of 450 - 600!!!!! As nice as it would be to assume I am going to sell 112 paintings that seems slightly excessive. I may just have to bite the bullet and pay a bit more to have a pack of 48. 12 paintings seems infinitely more likely and I would like to pretend I don't live in a warehouse/factory.

Who knew all these extra bits would be so expensive!? That is one thing that makes pricing paintings difficult, not only do you have to factor in the material costs of the canvas, paint, pens, tippex, add a bit extra or an hourly rate for the hours you have spent creating the work but you need to factor in the postage and the packaging costs as well whilst not making everything prohibitively expensive. It is a difficult line to tread, but at least it means hoarding all that packaging was a good idea.....

Oh well, 27 pence per square inch of painting seems to be doing the job at the moment.  

Sunday, 5 January 2014


So I did take my USB stick home and intend to be productive over the festive holidays; catch up on a few posts, show the things I made for Christmas and do a celebratory New Years post. As you can see, none of these intentions materialised in solid form. So, on the 5th of January it is time to finally say Happy Birthday Mum! and Happy New Year everyone else!

At least tomorrow signifies the return to work for most people and certainly the return to work for me so hopefully I will be slightly more productive and organised from this point forward. I have written a plan of action, and the break has made me feel ready and raring to go. There is nothing like a rest to spur you on, and after all the sales I have had leading up to Christmas, maybe 2014, really will be my year!!