Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Autumn Fireworks

I am glad I went for a long walk in the early October sunshine on Sunday. It meant I could catch the start of the leaves changing colour for Autumn, or rather see them. I could catch the leaves today as it is so windy I am not sure the trees will have any leaves left by the end of the day!

You can't beat the colours around at the moment, I love it. It feels like I am walking around in a landscape I painted myself.

Monday, 20 October 2014


My internet is broken again today, it is so slow it is driving me bonkers. I have decided to give up on updating anything online today, other than posting this, as typing still seems to be bearable.

It doesn't matter too much as I had a relatively productive weekend and it has given me a good excuse to not feel guilty about not working and to clean the house instead. I am very rock and roll you know! Thank goodness yoga is on later this evening, I could do with that restorative, relaxing feeling being pushed back into my shoulders, not to mention detoxing a little.

But let's focus on the weekend instead - Friday saw me manage to do some networking at a local secret supper club. I am patting myself on the back for giving the hostess a mini print of Maidenhead and managing to hand out some of my shiny new business cards (thank you Moo.com!). The cards did a ridiculously good job of being a mini portfolio, so I feel like that was £30 well spent. I also had an email request to feature one of my latest paintings in an online blog, managed to take some nice shots of Autumn and paint an unusual painting, and go out on Saturday night and do some DIY. So this would explain why I am still a bit tired today.

It is a good tired though - faintly satisfying. I keep feeling like I am too slow at the moment, I should be doing more, more, more, everything should already be up to date, blah, blah, blah. I don't know why because everything is never done and that is the way it should be.

Pre season jitters maybe? (And the fact I never get up early enough)...

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

*Pat, pat*

I am feeling a bit defeatist today. Fed up of trying, trying, trying and only being met with a large shiny brick wall approximately four thousand, nine hundred and fifty three million, courses high. I am supposed to climb over that?

*turns round and goes back to bed*

I feel like I am putting in all the leg work and preparing for some sales, it is the season after all, but then a bit of me is unsure as to whether my sales at this time last year were a coincidence and not a potential market trend.

I think today might be a self doubt day. A day when I really need someone to pat me on the head and tell me it is all going to be ok. Sometimes everything just seems a little too difficult.    

Monday, 13 October 2014

Man on Wire

I don't have anything to do this week. Well I do, I have lots of things, but nothing to any deadlines. Hopefully this week is going to be all about me. Me, me, me, and fingers crossed I can spend a few days achieving some art things.

I haven't managed to write about any notable films recently, mostly because I haven't watched any. I did however, manage to catch a relatively interesting one last week. It was 'Man on Wire' and about Philippe Petit's tightrope walk between the Twin Towers. I think it was more interesting/poignant to watch as the Twin Towers are no longer with us. I also bow down in awe to the man's balancing skills knowing I can barely hold Tree Pose in yoga for more than about 60 seconds.

The film was made up of archive footage, re inactions and interviews with the main protagonists of the stunt and gave an impressive insight into the preparations and emotions of the people involved. Philippe Petit is very charismatic in a leading role and it is easy to get wrapped up into what he was trying achieve. It was also interesting to see the long term emotional effects of the stunt on his friends, with the interviewees getting caught up in the drama of their remembered emotions, tensions and pressure.

It is definitely an interesting watch to see such dedication, determination, drive and absolute, nutty bravery.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Chambord Fog

The problem with starting something new is that it is fun for about ten minutes and then you are stuck with it. I feel a bit like this in regards to my painting 'Birth Certificates.' I think they are a good idea in principle - an interesting record, and a good way for me to evaluate what I have done but that doesn't mean I always want to do them. It is just another thing that gets added to the list of things to do once a painting is finished. It is sometimes bad enough having to photograph it, whatsapp it to my first preview friends (email it to my Mum) straighten it in Photoshop, save numerous sizes and versions, add it to the various sites I belong to, update my website, find somewhere for it to live in my flat, write a Birth Certificate.


It is sometimes enough to put me off painting. (Well, it isn't, but it could be). Anyway, after all this moaning it seems likely that I probably need to write a story about a newborn baby painting (that is actually quite large and not a baby):

Chambord Fog "30 x 24" Acrylic on a box canvas
The Reason

I actually have no idea. Just because it looks like a me thing to paint.

The Setting

Internet trawling unfortunately as I haven't been there before, and a nagging obsession with fog floating around in the back of my mind.

The Inspiration

Chambord, the fog of alcohol, the colour of the liqueur, fog in general, mists, ambiguity, the reflection of the lake, winter, the fact I keep painting castles, the size of canvas.

That will do won't it? I would like to keep this one hazy, like the effects of an alcoholic beverage - a shot or two of Chambord and the mists rolling in off an icy river.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014


This painting was mostly a mistake, or created via a slice of serendipity. My initial idea didn't quite go to plan so I 'whited' out the element I was unhappy with (the section in the middle) and then sat with it for a few days wondering what to fill the space with. After discounting about a hundred other ideas, I settled for autumn leaves, it is the season after all.

'October' Acrylic on a box canvas 24" x 12"

The Reason

A spark of inspiration whilst on the train travelling to Southampton and the Isle of Wight

The Setting

The train. The view out of the window and the reflection of the window on the opposite side of the carriage.  

The Inspiration

The dark, dense, wooded trees on one side, the bright, open fields on the other. Reflections. Juxtaposition. Contrasts.

The idea was to paint the woods I could see out of the window of the train, and the reflection of the windows opposite. Running in the white band - before it became white - were bright 'windows' showing an open field. In the painting you could, therefore, see both sides of the train at the same time. I wasn't happy with the contrasts, or the style, or the field, or the picture in general. I think I might try again but I need to think the idea through more carefully.

I didn't want to lose the painting though as I thought the left over 'woods' had potential. The added autumn leaves, were my way of rescuing it. A happy end, to a good beginning and a slightly torturour middle.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Authenticity with an Authentic Authenticator

I am procrastinating at the moment. I have too much time on my hands to do nothing, but not enough time to do something. I guess I will blog then! I also burnt my finger at lunchtime. I shrugged it off at the time but four hours later and it has started hurting. I am not sure how that works?


I have had a bit of time recently so I have been preparing and ordering some bits and pieces I have wanted to get for ages. The first order arrived at the weekend, the second order yesterday and the last one will arrive on Thursday hopefully. The first item is shown below:

I have been wanting to get a stamp I can use to authenticate print sales for ages. Now, thanks to speedystamps.co.uk, I can authenticate prints as well as miscellaneous bits of paper, my friends hand, the wall, the table, generally anything I can lay my hands on! I just need to sell a print through my website now....although on the plus side, I just received an emailing telling me I sold a card through Fine Art America....fingers crossed this is the start of something. 

I do have one of those feelings.....

Monday, 6 October 2014

Elspeth's Field

This painting was half a commission, half an idea and half a coincidence. I jokingly put a photo of some sunflowers a friend had given me on facebook, with the caption, 'I feel a bit of Van Gogh coming on.'

An old friend then contacted me to say that if I painted some sunflowers she might buy a print. One of her close friends had recently suffered a terrible bereavement and sunflowers were being used as the memorial flower. There was no way I wasn't going to make some attempt to paint the flowers after hearing this, even though, initially, I had no intention of painting them. It serves me right for being insincere I suppose, but I am one not one to ignore coincidences. 

So here it is - Elspeth's Field

I decided to donate the painting to my friend's friend as I wouldn't have painted it without their influence and it seemed right. It is the kindness of strangers that can sometimes help get you through the utter desolation of grief in its blackest moments.

The painting is nothing to their grief, but the process behind it is a powerful thought.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Disney Magic

This commission was a particularly fun one to do. I had already been thinking that at some point I would like to paint the Disney Castle (and Hogwarts for that matter) but I ended up doing it rather sooner than expected. 

I was initially apprehensive - the request was for an A3 canvas with fireworks. How do you paint fireworks? And, given the option, I would have rather the canvas was considerably larger - more like a 30" x 24" one as I find small canvasses to be a bit restrictive. 

I always like a challenge though....

In the end, the fireworks were the easiest bit to do and I didn't struggle with the size as much as I thought I would. I guess you just adapt and work to the constraints you have. Fortunately the last few paintings I had completed were small(er) ones so I had at least had some practice. 

It does leave me feeling a bit like I need to paint something massive next (or soon)......

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Having fun!?!

I am enjoying myself at the moment. Work has finally calmed down to the point where I have nothing to do. This means that my days are currently just art times, to my own timetable. The circles under my eyes are leaving, my shoulders are relaxing, I am getting excited about all the things I need to do. I am also finding hundreds of extra things I would like to do, which makes me feel quite positive about how things are progressing.

I have started by getting some envelopes printed so when I sell a painting I can put a little presentation pack together with a few freebies, purchase information and authentication certificates. I have also ordered some more business cards from Moo.com. These are super exciting because they print double sided cards with different pictures on the back. This means I have 50 designs, which are all different paintings; I shall finally have a mini portfolio to hand for when people ask me what I do.

Having free time also means I will be able to update and sort marketing/admin/websiting during the day and paint in the evening or at the weekend rather than needing my free time to live/sleep/update.

This is all sounding a little too good to be true, but I am going to go with it at the moment and enjoy it whilst it lasts.