Friday, 30 December 2016

Happy 2017!

I feel like I should have written a Merry Christmas post but I have been a bit slow. So maybe I will just go with the fact that I hope you had a Merry Christmas and wish you a Happy New Year instead. I am anticipating a disturbingly busy January start to 2017 so I am currently enjoying keeping my head down, going for scenic walks, catching up with old friends and being fed. I feel like I mentally need to unwind and relax in order to be able to work all 31 days of January to meet a couple of big deadlines I have. I am hoping I won't need to work this hard but just in case.....!

I went for rather a spectacular sun setting walk yesterday in Yarmouth, so I think this is going to be my therapy shot for a while, as just looking at it makes me feel better. It also has 'painting' written all over it.

I fear painting is going to take a back seat for a while unfortunately, although I think I shall need to do something at some point to give my architecture brain and computer eyes a rest. January is often bizarrely a good sales month for me as well - often better than December which doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll take it! Maybe I will do more than I think. Either way, I am feeling pretty optimistic for 2017 at the moment, which is unusual for me. So bring it on! And all of you, have a perfect start to the New Year, we should all raise a glass to that!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Sayonara 2016, I have plans to make.

I feel a bit like I could do with being able to do a painting today, but I need to do some 'real' work instead. Christmas is always a strange time of year, an enforced deadline for no particular reason. It seems like everything must be completed before the 25th of December, as for the next week or so, life just stops. It is this strange being full of food, presents, family, alcohol and memories. No other time of year has this forced celebration feel to it, other than perhaps New Years Eve. Don't get me wrong, the family, the food and the alcohol I am all for, it is the pressure that would be best left at home. A pressure that seems to come from nowhere. Needless to say, I am looking forward to welcoming in 2017 and having a bit more normality return; The first time for ten years that I am looking forward to welcoming in the New Year and saying sayonara to this one. I have big art plans for next year, admittedly ones that were supposed to already have been rolled out, but never mind, they can wait. They have waited patiently until now, so a month or two more will make no difference. I can already see January passing me by in a blur of architecture work and flythrough modelling so we'll see how it goes. I am impressed either way, to be so booked in advance.

Just a few more days to get through, and then it is officially holiday time!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Lawa Island

It seems like 10pm on a Friday night is good painting time at the moment. Stuff going out and having a drink to celebrate the end of the working week. It seems that I would rather celebrate by getting the paints out and having a cup of tea. This is mostly because I know my weekends are too busy in the lead up to Christmas to squeeze out a shiny new picture, so it is a case of now or never.

I get grumpy with never, so now is the only option.

This time, the inspiration that came was a bit lazy as I just looked straight to my recent holiday photos from Thailand. I say lazy, at the time, I specifically took some shots to paint later so maybe I should say forward planned, rather than lazy. Either way, the painting treatment fell on Lawa Island, just off the coast of mainland Thailand and Phuket. A truly beautiful place. I took a boat tour there, with a friend, as we channel hopped and sea kayaked over/through past 4 different islands. (I am sure the others will get painted as well). Lawa Island was definitely the most picturesque spot, tranquil in the softly lapping sea and sun burning heat. It is exactly as you imagine a tropical paradise should be, and will forever make me think fondly of Thailand.

Sunday, 4 December 2016


You can tell things have suddenly got very busy again as I have disappeared from my blog for a while. I finally managed to sort out the images for my website, and finish off the other few outstanding pages and set my site to 'LIVE'.

This was almost exciting except that going live highlighted a few bugs that need sorting and I need to watermark my images as the resolution is now good enough to steal. I feel like I can't win at the moment.

With Christmas hurriedly approaching, commissions to create and print orders to sort, I fear the website may have to wait until January to be sorted. This is also tied in with rather a large amount of architecture work to be finished in the next few weeks as well. I think December is going to pass me by in a bit of a blur, but it is better to be busy than bored so that is ok.

I also seem to be turning into my proper self lately - massively reduced work stress is turning me into a normal person once again. A normal person that gets immensely frustrated if I don't get painting time, which is why at 10pm on Friday night, I got the paints out and created this.

There have been so many beautiful evening skies recently, that I couldn't help but be both impressed and inspired. I hope you like it!

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Panda Eyes

Today is a bit frustrating. I have spent the last week or so, sorting out all my photographic print shop images ready to paste into the shop section of my new website. There are almost 270 (!!!) prints available, so this is by no means a small task. I spent Thursday of last week, linking and inserting everything into it's rightful place and finally finishing off the print shop. Or so I thought.

I logged into my site on my iPad to check everything was working properly and to my horror, all the images looked a bit blurry. WHAT? Who said retina displays were a good idea?


The downside of needing small file sizes for website speed versus clear images; I had obviously heavily favoured size over quality, and to my eyes, the compromise was simply not acceptable. I have spent so long doing this, that to not do it properly would be a crime. This is coupled with the fact that I need to alter my art site as well, so anything I can solve now, I can use then.

I am so frustrated and only half technically minded/knowledgeable enough to solve this. Fortunately a large panda has come to my rescue, and this is not the first time. A crazy Chinese panda cartoon looked after me when I was ill as a child, and Po, from Kung Fu Panda has on numerous occasions improved my general well being with his bounce-ability. This time the panda to look after me is on  - rather a magnificient jpeg and png image compressor. It is literally reducing images from anywhere between 70 - 90% which is amazing and will go a long way to solving my dilemma. It does mean I need to resize everything again, remake my 'Actual Pixels' thumbnails, re-upload everything and reconnect it but still. At least this time, I will be safe in the knowledge that it looks good.

Or had better look good!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Super Supertrees

I keep doing too many things at once today and getting nowhere fast. I blame waking up this morning, dreaming about a terrorist car bomb attack in Scotland, coupled with a kidnapped girl and having a terrible blistered rash on my chest. That is enough to make anyone not quite feel full of bonhomie for a day. I definitely need an energetic kick up the backside....dear zumba... zzzzz

But anyway....I painted the first piece of post holiday work at the weekend, and possibly more excitingly, got to try out my glow in the dark spray paint. I am quite pleased with how both turned out - the day version and the night version, and more intrigued by the potential this opens for other paintings. It is slightly unfortunate that this is timed with Christmas as I fear I am going to run out of time to do much, commissions are already coming in and my mountain load of work is not getting any smaller. But still, it is good to have ideas in the pipeline.

My chosen first experimental topic was the Supertree Grove in Singapore, perfect because it is iconic in the day and spectacularly lit up at night, and I had set up the perfect viewpoint when I was up walking on the OCBC Skyway (a bridge between the trees).

It is strange that I should purchase the Glow in the Dark spray paint, and then find the perfect subject a couple of weeks later, but I seem to work like that.

So what do you think? I am tempted to prefer the novelty value of the glow in the dark version....but they both do a good job.

Thursday, 10 November 2016


So before I start tackling some paintings, I have been sorting out some art admin this week in preparation for Christmas. This now means that I have designed 4 new calendars for 2017 and I have just received delivery of this years Christmas cards. I am a bit behind really, as I should have done this ages ago, and still have a mountain of things I should have sorted out before now but never mind. I have decided anything is better late than never and as this year has been artistically all over the place I won't worry too much. I normally make 'most money' from painting sales at this time of the year anyway, so I will plug all the extra bits and pieces harder next year. Any sales that happen in the next couple of months will just be exciting bonuses.

One good thing about being away from everything for a while is perspective. A bit of perspective, to relax a little, take the foot of the pedal and not pressurise myself so much into being on top of everything. You can't be perfect all the time, and realistically there isn't really any rush with anything. The deadlines I have are ones I make myself so....!

I was also hoping to have my photography website up and running by now. But as completing it no longer means I can move onto the art one (taking that offline in the lead up to Christmas is definitely not good business sense!) I have decided not to worry about that either. This means, as long as it is complete by the end of the year, I will be happy. Then I can start 2017 with new resolutions to get everything back on track, and have a shiny new Apple product functioning art site. (And get Instagram up and running!)

In the meantime, I am pretty happy with the calendars I have just put together. I have even made some photography ones this time, which I will add to the website when I am next editing it. This is my favourite one so far....

It makes me excited to think of what other photography calendars I could make!

Monday, 7 November 2016

A or B? 1 or 2? Black or White?

So I managed to pack, and have rather an inspiring two week holiday which should hopefully result in some paintings at some point. I am currently half suffering from jet lag. I feel like normal until I start walking anywhere and then I either a) can't walk in a straight line or b) start to feel a little green. Zumba in an hour or so may be interesting! (For your own safety please give my flailing arms and legs a wide berth) My sleep is already mostly back to normal except for the early wake up times. I am very much an 8 o'clock person (let's be honest, 9 o'clock person) not a 6 o'clock person so it is strange at the moment - I have completed all the things I need to do before I have normally even started. I like this efficiency although it is confusing me. For some reason, when I am tired or a little addled, my speech deserts me so I am also slightly prone to words round getting all wrong the way.

But otherwise, business as usual.

When my brain has had a chance to settle, and reorganise my inspiration it should be interesting as I collected very different sources this time. Super relaxed calming beach scenes and hyper modern, business scenes. Who knows what will materialise? Scene 1, or Scene 2, or a mix of both. I already have an idea for one painting and a use for my glow in the dark paint. It will be interesting to see how long I can wait before I need to get this one started....

Scene 1


Scene 2.....

Your guess is as good as mine!  

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Woman in Gold

I am mostly procrastinating at the moment - I need to write this blog post, which I can't seem to persuade myself to do and I need to pack, which I also can't persuade myself to do. I am very much more inclined to plonk myself down in front of the television and watch a film and eat. Winter is definitely coming. All I need however, is one last push and then I can have some well earned time off, so here goes:

I watched 'Woman in Gold' starring Ryan Reynolds and Helen Mirren the other day. It is about the painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Klimt. The mere mention of the word Klimt should now show you why I was inspired to buy some gold leaf.

Image result for adele bloch bauer

The film was about Adele Bloch-Bauer's niece - Maria Altmann's - journey to take back the painting from the Belvedere Gallery in Vienna after it was stolen from her family by the Nazis. I won't offer any spoilers, suffice to say it was quite a moving watch. It also got me thinking about the age old question of what is art? Watching this film, made a very personal portrait become so much more than just a work of art. It became about politics, identity, and so, so, so much money. I personally think that the more they fought over the piece and the more monetary value it was worth, the more devalued it became as a work of art, or the more it lost it's identity as a work of art. It became a thing, an argument, a price tag which isn't what it should have been. It was always a lovingly rendered portrait of someone's Aunt, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend, not a Mastercard bill or an icon of Vienna. It was about a person and a moment in time captured by Klimt and this is important. I feel like, at least to me, that is what art is. It can be anything, but it has to be the artist showing the viewer something, or capturing a moment for themselves, distilling a feeling or a memory or an idea in whatever way portrays it best. As a viewer, you are then entitled to think what you wish about the work, like it or love it, value it or hate it, own it or bin it. Beauty and art after all, are in the eye of the beholder.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

New Toys

The past week seems to have disappeared rather quickly? Presumably time was flying because I was having fun?

Let's just go with that anyway....

I did have a productive weekend as I have finally managed to rough out my Photographic website shop, just 4 million other things to do to it and then it can go live. I would like to work on the painting site as well, but it is frustratingly close to Christmas; I don't really feel like I can afford to take the site offline at the moment, so working it up may well have to be a New Years resolution - the downside of having 6 months of art hibernation at the beginning of the year. But no matter, I have woken up now. Woken up so much in fact that I have been treating myself to some new toys. Toy number one was inspired by the film 'Women in Gold' which I will blog about after this post.

This metal leaf looks amazing! I can't wait to think of a suitable use for it. My next building painting could be interesting!

The second toy is rather more bizarre...

Now all I have to decide is whether I use the glow as an accent, or if when the lights go out, the painting turns into a picture of something else. I am looking forward to some experimentation time once I return from holiday. Having a rest, is definitively my first port of call.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Too Awake

I have been having trouble sleeping latterly - presumably because I have too much on my mind. Things have been a bit of an upheaval recently, although mostly in a good way, but still, there a few things to get used to, a bit more headspace and a bit more art time and a lot less stress. So all good, but I am used to needing my sleep.

Having already tried counting sheep, reading, watching a film, having a bath, having an alcoholic drink, having a hot chocolate, having a snack, doing exercise and anything else you can think of - actually I haven't tried yoga yet - I have decided today I am going to stay up late catching up with art things and see if that gives me a sense of satisfaction. I win either way as I will have achieved some art directives if not sleep by the end of the evening/day.  

I should also probably try getting up earlier. *eyeroll*

I seem to be surviving ok on the smaller amount of sleep so I suppose it doesn't really matter. I am just fed up of lying in bed for a couple of hours 'trying' to sleep. I could be painting! Or Blogging! Or web-siting! Well today I will be.

I feel like this weekend, I need to focus on getting my photography website finished. I am very much a person that can't sleep if I know there are things that are unfinished or need doing. So maybe this is the problem? I am not entirely sure I will be able to finish it all at the weekend but if I can sort out the print shop I think that would do.

I sometimes envy the era of the artist before social media. Or do I? It is easier to plug yourself, get noticed and network but there is so much stuff to do and maintain. That said, I would have loved to have followed Van Gogh's Twitter feed.

'I may have just chopped my ear off' #funtimes #istheremeanttobethismuchblood #whatdidyousay?

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Roll with it.

I  have had an unexpected day off today which means a lie in, a big fat juicy bacon sandwich for breakfast and a walk in the sunshine. I have now been mostly procrastinating. I was going to work on my website which would be good to do so I can complete it, I have however mistakenly realised I could paint instead, so guess which option is happening?

I don't even need to clarify do I!?!

I have also made some exciting art purchases but more about that in my next post as I need to talk about a film I watched as well.

In the meantime, procrastinating led me to look back at some of my previous Facebook posts. I have seemingly come a long way, and achieved a lot of things, and made a lot of paintings! 182 of them in fact! WHAT!?! I only have 34 currently up for sale, so where on earth are the other 148? It has made me realise I have been doing this for a long time - almost 5 years in fact, and I am actually impressed. I started out with a website and trying to sell things because I knew it would help me paint. If I was painting with a purpose, or an opportunity to give away/sell my paintings then it would mean I wasn't just filling my house up, or the garage, or the tip. I wasn't just being wasteful. It was never a question of being a viable idea, only a way to let me paint - letting me do, what needed to be done.

Now - I love my house. It is colourful, arty and full of paintings, and paint pots and brushes and canvasses and creativity. I love my job that I can make up as I go along, have unexpected days, no routine, brain space and freedom. It has taken a long time to get to this point; 6 years of being freelance, and some tough, tough years. Years of not knowing what I was doing, years of doubt, years of no money, years of endless work for little gain, of being bored with my own company, of being stressed. But do you know what? Today it was all worth it. Today I would do it all again, and more. I am sure there will be more tough trials to get through, but it is worth it for periods of time like this. Times when, for once, it seems like everything is going to plan, so for the moment, I am just going to enjoy myself and get the paints out.


Sunday, 9 October 2016


So my purchasing of blank canvasses backfired slightly as I actually still had 2 canvasses left of the size I thought I had run out of and, as I found out when I went to paint on Saturday, have in fact totally run out of square ones. Sometimes I really regret that offer to buy 18 canvasses at a super discount rate that has resulted in my hoarding cupboard. It's no use, I am going to have to throw my bed out of the window and start filling that room. Priorities and all that!

That said, I am going to have to order some square ones, right, now.

*opens new internet window*


Anyway I was really blogging to share with you my latest painting, as, as promised on Thursday, I did find time this weekend to paint a newbie.

I have been meaning to have a go at painting the City of Bath for ages, and for some reason yesterday, was in the right mood to do so. Well, the right mood at the beginning, with each painting stroke I seemed to grow an extra piece of headache, until at the end, through gritted teeth and slitted eyes I just about managed to draw out the last few lines, throw my paint pack in the cupboard and run to bed before I was ill. Don't ever tell me I don't suffer for my art!! This does leave me slightly unable to judge this painting, as the process of doing it was not very satisfying. I'll let you decide whether it does the beautiful city of Bath justice or not.

At least looking at it today, doesn't give me a headache.....

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Let the Globetrotting Begin....

This week, I will be mostly popular in Poland. I am feeling very multinational at the moment as I have obviously had lots of Polish blog hits this week as well as the usual ones from the UK and the USA. On Artfinder I am slowly getting more Romanian fans as that is currently my third most popular following nation. This is a strange coincidence as I am trying to persuade a friend to come on holiday with me to Transylvania in April. They have some amazing architecture and castles that are just begging to be painted. Weirdly I got approached to sell my prints through a company based in Singapore the other day, called Artique and now I am visiting there at the end of the month. Seems like two chicken and egg situations. It will be my first trip to Asia so I am looking forward to seeing what kind of inspiration that brings.

Watch this space.

In the meantime the second best thing, or maybe the third best thing of selling a lot of paintings is the space it frees up (briefly). Space for me to fill with blank canvasses. I currently have 35 waiting to be painted, and yes, there is a possibility that I am becoming a hoarder. I had to get some more though as I had run out of my favourite size (honest). I am looking forward to this weekend, or maybe tomorrow evening as I can feel a painting brewing somewhere in my body. I just hope my brain can figure out whether it is tea or coffee before my hand starts pouring the boiling water. I am sure I will be able to think of something, and if not, going for a walk normally does the trick.

I am excited :-)

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Around the World in 80 Paintings?

So it seemed like my 'blow you away week' wasn't finished with me when I wrote my last post on Thursday. By the end of this weekend, I will have sold 9 paintings, sent one off as a belated present and decided to keep one for myself as I realised I would be lost without it. Plus it fits in my house so well that I don't know what I would put there when/if it gets sold.

Horseshoe Bend, you are mine.

My parents visited me this weekend for the first time since 1853, and it was nice to have an excuse to get all my paintings out and show them off. (Maybe I do need to get off my backside and start taking them to art exhibitions/shows/sales events (my paintings not my parents!!)). 

I realised something when I was telling my Dad where the inspiration for a particular painting came from; That when I paint a memory, the painting becomes the memory. When I think back to the time I was at Horseshoe Bend for instance, I can't really remember the place, I can just see this painting. The same goes for all my paintings of the Grand Canyon. I don't know why this surprises me but I suppose I wasn't expecting the painting to eradicate or replace the real thing. The paintings are obviously a much stronger representation of the place, feelings and experience I had than either my memory or a photograph. This must be why people tell me they can feel what I do - feel the cold wind, the warm sunrise, the still air, or whatever I have painted, because that is what I am doing. Distilling a memory. That is why I always think it is better if I paint places I have visited, as they are 'purer' representations. I can get the same things from photos, I never use just one for inspiration, but a selection that speak to me so that I can try and get a feel for the place, but still, it can't replace the feeling of actually being there. 

Time to put my travel hat on....

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Douze Points.

I am definitely having one of those blow you away weeks, which has been both refreshing and uplifting. Endlessly toiling away for a few pats on the head, or facebook likes gets a bit hardgoing sometimes. Not often, as I would paint anyway and I can't help but work hard, but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate a little self gratification once in a while.

It has arrived this week. BIG TIME.

I have now sold 5 paintings this week and I am waiting to see what happens to one that is currently sitting in someones shopping basket. I hope it is comfortable in there, but not too comfortable. I also hope that the picture is remembering to shout 'LOOK AT ME' every 36 minutes - shopping basket peer pressure - tick! You need weeks like these to restore your faith a little and remember that you can do this. It was a good idea, and your dream job is there for the taking.

I also got monumental feedback today from the two purchases on Monday/Tuesday. I love it when people get enthusiastic about what I do. It makes eveything worthwhile.
"The very well packed paintings have arrived!!! I took delivery then had to frustratingly go straight out!!

Anyway, back in the office now. Unpacked. EVERYTHING perfect!!! If you ever get fed up with painting, I am sure Pickfords removals would love your packing skills!!I ADORE the paintings. Both of them. Absolutely love them. A wonderful mix of architecture and fairytale. Reality meets fantasy. They will be life-long pieces for me to cherish and admire. Already looking forward to buying my next one too!!!

You have a wonderful, rare and special talent Laura and I feel privileged to own your work".

Not much will beat praise like that! (I am also very happy that someone has finally noticed that I could win a prize for my ability to make unbreakable cardboard boxes).

Thank you art fans! :-)

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Swallow's Nest.

Today has been an unusual day. Anyone that knows me, knows I am obsessed with the number 27. It is very much religiously my lucky number and for good reason normally. Today is no exception. It is the 27th of September 2016 and I just sold a painting. Bizarrely a painting that I created on the 27th of September 2015. Strange coincidence, yes? Even stranger as I sold it twice.

How does that work!?

Well, it doesn't, I managed to sell it through two different websites within an hour of each other. Seriously? What are the chances? I also sold a painting yesterday, and apparently another one today, so I am definitely having one of those art moments that still takes me completely by surprise.

Surprised in a happy way and also sad to see this painting go - it was one of my favourites:

The Swallow's Nest 20" x 16" 
It is based on The Swallow's Nest - a castle in the Crimea overlooking the Black Sea. I felt the rest. I could tell you why the sky is stripy, why it is snowing and why the sea is black. I could highlight the swirling wind, the steady stars and the solid castle. But I prefer you to draw your own conclusions on this one.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Georgia O'Keefe

I went to see the Georgia O'Keefe exhibition the other day, at the Tate Modern. I didn't think I got a massive amount out of it, but my recent painting has made me think differently. Maybe a little bit of Georgia, got through to my soul after all.

Let me explain....

If you know anything about Georgia O'Keefe, you probably know that she painted flowers, it is what she is most famous for; Large, sensual, magnified flowers. I was expecting to see a lot of these at the exhibition, but there were only a few examples. There were far more pieces of her landscape work - both of the US and of New Mexico and her preoccupation with painting bleached animal skulls. These were interesting, in fact I saw some parallels in our work, presumably because I have also been captivated by the colours and the landscapes of the United States National Parks. But there is something about her work that I find difficult to get into. I feel like the door is there in front of me, and I can see it, but I can't open it. I seem to find it difficult to connect with her work. I don't know whether it is because it is too smooth, too perfect, too diluted, or whether the colours don't speak to me. It could simply be that I can't see the artist in the work. You can easily get a feel for some people - Miro was playful and bold, about expressing movement and joy, Klee - order, painful meticulousness, elaborate colour palettes and precision. I just don't get what Georgia O'Keefe is trying to show me.  But that is fine, she doesn't need to speak to me. Ironically, O'Keefe was an intensely private, self confessed loner, so maybe I am getting her personality exactly through her work. It was for her, and more fool the people that think her flowers are representations of female genitalia. The woman just wanted to paint a flower.

Or did she?

I think in this regard, this was why I thought the exhibition was a little disappointing. It seemed disjointed and needed more of her work - definitely more flowers. How can you understand someone, when the largest and most controversial body of her work is not present? That said, some of her work is right up my street. Some of the more serene landscapes and the city work especially. I just needed more.

When you don't understand something you need more information.

But anyway, after thinking the exhibition passed me by slightly. I just painted this:

That looks like a big flower - right in the middle and not what I intended to paint. I was meant to be painting the tree canopy from a birds eye view, leaves, tendrils, twigs and branches, but not a flower. It looks like she may have spoken to me, far more emphatically than I would have imagined.

One thing is for sure, I definitely do not know enough about Georgia O'Keefe.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Sinking Ship.

My blog post hits are falling faster than the leaves off a tree in autumn. I really need to get back on track and back on the consistent blogging horse (I am sure that is the name of a runner at Ascot) Easier said than done when I have other priorities to sort out, but I am getting there. Every weekend, I tick another few things off, add a few more bits and pieces to the website, write a potentially boring post.

:-P *blows massive raspberry*

More exciting posts are coming - about my work, about exhibitions I have visited, art inspiration I have found, but maybe not just yet. I guess that was the point of this blog anyway - to see where the art journey takes me and how it evolves. Turns out if you don't consistently work on everything, it all falls behind, and then you have to do a massive, gaffer tape job and temporarily tape a few things together, whilst you plug the massive hole that is sinking your ship.

The only plus point is that with experience comes wisdom. Having previously written many posts where I don't know what I am doing, for once I have a plan. I know what I need to do. What needs to be mended, what needs to be changed and what needs to be started. The only thing lacking is time (and sleep this week).

So I laugh in the face of falling popularity and a slow sales month, knowing that it really is, just a matter of time......Apparently, it takes ten years to become an overnight success, so I still have 4 years left to go....

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Once Upon a time...

What's this? Two blog posts in the same month? Suits you sir!


Somehow I have had a productive week this week. Work is complete (for the moment), my Friday deadline met, my Saturday chores demolished, my fridge stocked and my website worked upon. My high resolution files have also been skewed, tweaked and are waiting to be uploaded where required.

So this is better. A little more focused and a little less headless chicken. I have a time plan to finish my website and then work on the painting version. I don't know how to finish one section of the new photography website but I will sort that out when I get there. I am still working on the print shop at the moment.

Much, much better.

And then one day, my blog will be up to date and I can start working through my post list.

And outside the birds will be singing, and it will be sunny everyday, and Prince Charming will knock on my door, and I will sell all my paintings, and live happily ever after in a Castle, and I'll be able to eat copious amounts of chocolate and wine and not put on weight.

What is that? Unrealistic you say? Well yes. I will settle for selling some paintings and the birds singing outside. Hopefully I'll sell some photography prints as well otherwise this website reshuffle will be a bit disappointing.....

Saturday, 3 September 2016

The Train now Approaching platform 4....

I have got to that stage where I can see how much art stuff I need to do and how much I am not doing. My sensibilities are currently probably just pulling into heart palpitation station, before heading off to heart attack central.

On a side note, I do need to say palpitation station again, as it has a nice ring to it.

But yes, I am not stressed per se, but I could be. I think it is important to remember the bigger picture here, but not look at how to get there, as then I will end up on a direct route to Shutdown Street.

I think it would help if I could finish some things off rather than my current status which is half doing lots of things. My photography website is almost complete, but isn't, my new high resolution art photos are half sorted, but not finished, my Instagram account is set up but not used. The same goes for Twitter. My ideas are mostly written down on paper but not really formalised.

'We are very sorry the delay this may cause to your journey'

I kind of wish I hadn't started thinking about this! I am excited though, if I can, or once I do, get through all of this, I think it will be a massive improvement. I should be more usable, work on Apple, be more searchable, more available, more noticeable. I currently do feel like I need a sabbatical to get there though, or at least a very good railcard.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

No Doubt

So, having been very positive about all the art stuff I need to do, today I am less so. I carried on working up my photography website today which was a bit frustrating. I have over 200 photos to put online, and a slightly unresponsive template to work with. I can't quite get things how I would like, and having so many photos to upload is going to take forever. I managed 25 today which is about a ninth of the total. Normally I am very good at working through things and looking at the bigger picture. At the moment though, I really could do with an artistic pick me up; Either selling a painting, winning a competition, getting some compliments or something generically positive to happen.

Sometimes being self motivated and working on your own all the time is tough. More to the point it is tiring. I am my own worst enemy though and I am sure when I next look at my website I will be pleased with what I have achieved today. It doesn't mean that I don't sometimes need some help to battle through the doubt.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Not a Charity Case

It still looks as though I am not really doing any art. But, AHA! This is not true, I have managed to do a lot more than usual in the last week or so, but as yet, that hasn't involved focusing on my blog. I wrote a list of things I needed and wanted to get up to date and altered, a list that initially completely scared me as it was SO LONG. Scared me so much in fact, that I had to go to the gym and dance my worries away in Zumba and think about something else.

In order to tackle this list, that currently stretches to the moon and back, I have had to focus on each section of work that I need to do. i.e. make a photographic website, make some more calendars, take new high resolution photographs of my work, update all society 6 items etc, etc. Each section has a list associated with it, including one for this blog, but as yet it is not a priority. High resolution photographs are the first port of call, after updating my artwork tracker to work out what I need to photograph and update and re-upload. Next will be the photography website, or possibly Society 6. Then possibly redoing my art website. I am not sure, I will take the list as it comes depending on what I am in the mood to tackle.

I am excited to finally focus on getting my art life back on track though. I feel like my life is mine and heading in the right direction for the first time in about a hundred years.

In the meantime, I did support a local charity concert by placing an advert in their music programme. The concert was for the Thames Hospice and Nordoff Robbins. I was very happy to be asked to help, and the advert looked pretty good too!

Thanks Grimm Players, for sending me a copy of the programme (and for sending an extra one for my Mum!)

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

*and wake up*

Blogging and updating my website in the day! How unnatural.

I am feeling excited for getting on top of some art things in the not to distant future. For once in my life, I am kind of on top of my architecture work so I am anticipating having a bit more art time. This will initially probably all be admin related but it still needs to be done. I have almost finished my new photography website so I have high hopes for sorting that out soon, and then beginning to work on my art one. Theoretically, I will be coming to an Apple device near you. Possibly also coming to you on Instagram as well if I can get my head around that.

Either way, I think it is time to knuckle down!!

Let's do this.

I sold a painting last week as well, so that seems very much like an invigorating way to make a new start.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

H-H-H-holiday! C-C-C-Celebrate!

So I think it has been decided. If I want some art time, then I am going to have to take a couple of weeks off. Well, that is fine. Let's do it! I hope that when it happens I don't end up being so tired that I am really unmotivated. But I am tired now, and staying up late to put a new painting online and write this blog so I think I should be ok. Doing something you want to do can wipe tiredness away.

Being up late also means you have a chance to check your emails and notice a massive canvas sale with your usual provider. So yes, I have just bought 18 canvasses even though I have a cupboard full of blank ones and no space I can even vaguely think of to put 18 more.

At least doing art related shopping therapy makes me feel like I am still doing something towards art. I could cry at the moment with how little time I have been able to devote to marketing myself and painting. It is the downside of going through a patch when I had no money. There is a lot of work around at the moment, so it seems foolish not to bust a gut and work as hard as possible to get a bit of a kitty together.

It does make sense, a lot of sense. I wouldn't have such a good stockpile of canvasses if I wasn't doing this, or have managed to buy some new clothes, but still. Sometimes money isn't everything.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Are the tables turning?

I am glad I checked into my blog today and not yesterday. 112 hits today, in comparison to 2 hits yesterday sounds much better.

I am irritable today mostly because I am frustrated and over tired. I want to paint, but I need some space and an idea and I don't have the energy for either at the moment. I am sure I will be cured after a good nights sleep, but that doesn't really help my mood this instant.

But never mind. I have had some art excitement....

I applied to a TV Show run by the BBC a week or so ago. They are looking for 10 amateur artists to 'star' in a new talent competition they are doing. For once, I didn't pay that much attention to my application form. I just wrote down exactly what I thought in whichever way I would normally say it, chose my two current favourite paintings to send and a photo of myself that I thought was acceptable. It seems to have done the job as I have got through the first stage and received a mini telelphone interview!! I am just waiting now to see if I get called for an audition.

I am totally surprised that I caught their eye but immensely pleased.

It is interesting, after entering lots of things for ages and getting no feedback, I have done quite well on the last two things I have entered; Shortlisted for a cover competition and rung back for an art interview.

I hope this means something.....

Friday, 27 May 2016

In a Flash

I seem to be popular in Germany today, with 100 page views. I wonder why!?

I also thought I only posted a couple of days ago. Seriously, time is absolutely flying. I am sure it should only be January, maybe early February, but definitely not almost June!! I also made the mistake of consolidating my blog 'to-do' list a minute ago. If I have done something I think will make a good blog post I tend to write it down in case I get a writers block. Instead of having a mental block I have had more of a time block recently and accumulated a list of 71 posts I meant to write.




How on Earth am I meant to catch up with that? Especially as new things keep happening that I could talk about and months are going by in a flash. This is crazy.

I am slowly getting a bit more time though and even more slowly getting my art brain back in gear. I have sorted through some photos that are now ready to upload. Thought about how I am going to redo my website. Replied to some out of date emails and got the ball rolling with a few more things. I have been noticed by an Art Gallery in London, contacted by a printing firm in Singapore and picked up a few more followers. I have also improved my tally of paintings for the year although it really does feel like I haven't done many in 2016 so far.

So I am feeling pretty positive. I have started juggling the art balls again and things are already starting to happen. If I can just keep it going in between working and living, then I think we are good to go.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Bluetooth Pairing.......

This is interesting. I asked for a Bluetooth keyboard for my birthday but then failed the test at managing to link it to my iPad. That is until today when I seem to be able to fix things. I have no idea what I have done differently but it works, so that is all that matters!

The idea was that I would use the keyboard to blog whilst I was away, whilst I was having a coffee, whilst I was on the train. I know you can type on the iPad anyway, but the screen is bigger this way and typing much quicker. Could this mean a dramatic increase to my productivity? I hope so. The novelty will work for it at the moment. My lounge is a much nicer place to write than the study. It feels more like I am writing in a studio rather than in my office, more like I am relaxing, and less stuck at the computer. These are all good things!

Fingers crossed.

In the meantime I am hoping the ideas angels are going to quickly come and visit me. I have some time to paint this afternoon, and I really want to. I am stumped if I can think of what to do though. I have Scotland to do, the Lake District and Riga, and I promised someone a Peacock but I am not sure I am in the mood for any of these. 

I need a spark. A lightbulb. A flash.

Or maybe I just need to turn my own Bluetooth on......

Thursday, 12 May 2016


What's this? Another blog post? Before a month has passed since the last one? Well I never!

I probably should have actually planned what I was going to write for this post, but I was so overwhelmed at the prospect of being able to write another one so soon after the previous that I decided just going


would be more than acceptable.

I have also just put a new painting online that I did on Tuesday of this week.



A blog post, a new painting, and an updated website? Let me just pass out......

Monday, 9 May 2016

My Young Years

I can't believe my last post was on the 17th of April. That means I haven't painted for 3 weeks!! Strangely the last session must have been a good one as I haven't had the same frustrations that I normally have when I haven't painted for a while.

It helps that in the meantime I have taken some photos, so that must have partially exercised the art bit of my brain. I also haven't been on an art page for a while as too many other things have been getting in the way. I was meant to have an art bank holiday weekend, but spring took over and I decided to spread 24 hours worth of cleaning over the weekend instead. 2 bin bags, 2 charity shop bags and 3 trips to the recycling bin. and a bag dumped in the garage after and I do feel super organised, sorted, clean and tidy so it was worth the lack of art, especially at there is another bank holiday at the other end of the month.

Today has been partly productive though, I have renewed a website subscription, thought about how to layout a new website, paid to be a featured artist for 4 weeks on Artgallery to see if it makes a difference to my sales, and finally put my last 3 new paintings online for sale. And, AND written a blog post!!!!!!

I only have two days of work booked for the coming week, this very rarely stays this way but who knows, maybe I will get some art time this week. I have booked Tuesday evening in regardless for a new painting, so that should be fun.

Sometimes though, it really does feel as though I am wasting my young years!

Sunday, 17 April 2016

I remember this!

It seems like it has been a proper weekend this weekend. Friday night I had an idea. I attempted to paint it. It came out even better than I envisaged. I went to bed and had another idea. Saturday morning -  I cleaned the house and did some sorting. Then I painted my second idea. It mostly came out as I intended if a little more quirky.

How satisfying! I remember this feeling!!

Today I went for a walk in the sun, had a proper lunch and I am treating myself to a couple of films for the rest of my Sunday.

Sounds productive! Sounds relaxing!

I remember why I decided this all had the potential to be a good idea.


(at last)

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Clearest Blue

Hmm, it seems a bit like another month has bitten the dust. Momentary enthusiasm descends into inescapable workload and an overdose of commitments. I need to stop giving 'art' the back seat, but I believe I have said this before, many times in fact. But never mind. Work has slowed down a little over the last two weeks, timed with holidays, a seasonal cold and slight burnout so as yet I haven't managed to make the most of the break and paint. I have good feelings for this weekend though and possibly tomorrow. Assuming that I can stay awake long enough in the evening to do something!

On the plus side I have collected some inspiration in Scotland over the Easter break and I am intending to collect even more inspiration from Latvia next week. If I can rediscover my 'get up and go' this should produce some interesting paintings, or at least fuel something. I am hoping to catch up on some blog posts too as I have been to a couple of exhibitions, found some new music and been to a gig. I have managed to sell 2 paintings over the last week or so too!

One day I will get this balance right. Art v Socialising v Work v Money v Exercise v Sleep. I have finally worked out all the correct ingredients, I just need my cake to stop slumping. I remember reading somewhere, that you could have your cake and eat it........


Sunday, 6 March 2016

Number 1

So, my cover competition entry is going better than expected and I am currently in second place, about 35 or so 'likes' behind the current leader. This is quite good although I feel a bit mercenary in my efforts to try and get more likes. I don't know why as I am just asking people to click one button, but then maybe I don't like having to ask for help to do things. In this case though, I am definitely going to get by with a  little help from my friends!

I will keep you updated as to my progress, I think it is going to be a closely fought battle with only 3 days left. That is assuming it isn't like eBay and everyone hasn't kept their main supporters under their hat for a landslide victory at the end. Interesting either way.

In the meantime I think I am going to settle down for the afternoon and paint. I saw a picture online the other day that I would quite like to have a go at. I also potentially managed to mend my computer's space issues yesterday, assuming that compressing my C Drive isn't a bad idea. I read afterwards that is probably is. As my computer this morning booted faster and seems to be as normal. I am hoping it won't be a problem.

St Vitus is also now online. Organisation has happened! It seems like it has been a productive weekend.

Also, as it is Mother's day, I need to give a shout out to my number 1 fan! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY MUM! Your present is still in my brain as I haven't thought what it should be yet ;-)

Friday, 4 March 2016


And it is Friday evening. And relax......

There is a glass of wine with my name on it, or at least there will be once I have written this blog post. It has been a busy work week, less busy art week, but I painted a new painting last week and I am hoping to do a new one this weekend. I am also worried my computer is going to explode as my windows folder is so large. There doesn't seem to be much I can do about this which is helpful.

Oh dear.

Anyway, moving on....

Some exciting news as one of my paintings got shortlisted to be one of 6 paintings up for a vote to become the front cover for the Spring Issue of ArtStyle Magazine - a local art magazine to Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. This is when I wish I was more gregarious/better at marketing/had more friends/worked in an office with 200 people I could blackmail. When it comes to popularity contests I may as well give up. That said, I would also say when it comes to painting competitions I may as well give up as well, but this has changed! Recognition at last - kind of - I am more than impressed to be shortlisted as I literally NEVER get chosen for such things. So this, ladies and gentlemen is progress. Maybe getting into the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is not so unlikely after all....

Incidentally if you have a facebook account you can vote for my front cover here by 'liking' it.

In the meantime, I shall pretend this mock up actually happened.

But it is ok, I will be like Leo, he got an Oscar eventually...good things come to those who wait apparently.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Is it getting Calder in here?

I keep thinking I am on top of posting, and then I log back in and a week has flown by without me noticing. Time flies when you are having fun apparently, so I must be having the best time ever. Bah Humbug.

To make up for this lost week I have planned in an art weekend to try and refocus on what I am meant to be doing and to paint as I am getting withdrawal symptoms. I quite fancy doing something challenging although I am not sure in what form the challenge is going to take as yet - I presume either topic or size but I will decide on the day. I also want to try and get through some admin, make some more magnets and design some 'with compliments' slips as then I will feel more organised. Hmm, I might need to make it a long weekend.

That said, last week wasn't totally lost as I went to see an Alexander Calder exhibition at the Tate Modern on Friday. I have one of his mobiles in my bedroom (a copy obviously!) and have seen a few pieces of work before in Bilbao and New York so I was interested to see a devoted exhibition. I wasn't disappointed.

For starters I didn't realise he started out doing wire sculptures. Each sculpture is like a quick black and white line drawing brought to life in 3D.

The portraits in particular were my favourite, the fluidity and casualness of them was almost anti-sculpture. But then I guess this is what Calder is all about. He was obsessed with movement and how a sculpture doesn't need to be static. He went through a period of making mechanical sculptures moving either using motors or hand cranks - testimony to his training as an engineer. There was also a slightly bizarre section where he made a series of circus acts - acrobats, tightrope walkers, elephants etc. some of which moved. He made enough moving pieces that he put together his own Circus performance. I guess this was quite clever, some of the ideas were pretty ingenious but I must admit slightly lost on me.... a big kid playing with some toys and all that.

My absolute favourite section were the rooms containing his big, perfectly balanced mobiles. They are like sculptures doing yoga, slowly moving in the breeze. They are poised, focused, silent, ethereal, solid but light as a feather, precise, mathematical, fluid, natural, and so calming. I could just sit watching them gently rotate and meditate, brain in neutral, just enjoying some peace. (maybe that is where my week went - locked in the Tate). But seriously, they are just sublime.

There was another interesting section where simplified versions of the mobiles were placed in front of painted abstract backgrounds. Your very own moving painting. I like the idea of this - a moving abstraction - challenging the idea of painting as a static entity as well as sculpture. I feel like there is still a lot of scope within this concept - unexplored something or other - maybe for me? Who knows, but you have to salute the exhibition and the artist, that gets you thinking....

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Night Owl

I am working late tonight which I didn't really want to do - it is almost midnight. Having no option though, I am starting to remember why I like this time of day. No one has asked me to do anything, I haven't had any emails, the phone hasn't rung. The worst thing in the day is that the emails are mostly spam and the calls are mostly cold callers, so beyond a waste of time. Buying caller ID was one of the best things I have ever done. Walking to the phone is like having a holiday from my desk - check the number - 023515641547841635108510312....hmmmm - and hang up. I don't need insurance, I don't have a mortgage, I haven't had an accident in the last 453 years, I don't want to participate in a short survey, and I don't have PPI!

And this is why I don't normally start painting until 6pm - more like 8pm recently; Almost guaranteed, uninterrupted radio silence.


Waiting for renders to finish also means I can multi-task, I can write a blog post (tada!) I can update my art spreadsheet, I can prepare an invoice and wrap up a painting I need to post tomorrow. I am like Super Efficient Admin Shera - a step up from just plain old Shera, don'tcha know.... (honest).

So today, I don't want to be the early bird - I am more than happy to embrace the night owl.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

I remember you!

Hmm, might have let the blog slip a little there, but at least although it looks like not much art is happening, that is not exactly true.

4 paintings have been sold this year - well, 3 and a half, I am waiting to see the outcome of my latest commission - 4 new paintings have been painted and hopefully another one will be done this week. I have also sold some cards and finally finished making the last set to replenish my stock this weekend. I have also just entered the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and had an enquiry about paintings of Florence/Verona.

Pretty busy then! I am also slowly updating my high resolution stockpile of images by taking photographs of my paintings with my shiny new DSLR (well, new to when I painted some of these pictures). I am however, not looking forward to the mammoth task of re-uploading them all onto Fine Art America and Society 6, but maybe I can pay my brother to do that for me.

Matthew? :-P

So it feels as though my art brain has got itself back in gear, and about time too. Art brain - dress sense - temperament. I have missed you....

Friday, 22 January 2016

Cards, cards, cards.

I am not sure right now is the best time to start a blog post, it is almost midnight and I have had a long and emotional day, and got through a lot of work. 

As normal then.

So although I am not really feeling at my chirpiest, I am doing a good job of sticking to my resolutions; Specifically the 'try and do some things off of my never ending to-do list' resolution. My first order of 2016 was a couple of weeks ago and an order for some handmade cards. My stock has been pretty low for a while, I think making some more has been on my list for about the last three or so months. Needless to say, I wasn't lucky enough to have ready made ones of all the ones ordered. Half where ready to go, and half sold out. I guess I really should make some more then. I had actually been though my stock, worked out what I needed and printed off new pictures a while ago.

A long while ago.

Well lets get to it then! First make the cards to complete my order and then just keep on going and going. I have made a lot, but I still have a lot left to make, this is going to be an ongoing process for a while, but a good one to get underway. So if you were thinking about getting some cards, now would be a good time to order. The stock pile is looking pretty good!!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Hold Fast

So. Another blog post. I am not going to let my resolutions slip before I have even started. Things are looking half promising. I did make some cards at the weekend and I plan to make some more this coming weekend. I have been posting on facebook and I have scheduled a couple of posts to come in over the next few days. I have also entered, or at least booked my entry for the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition. I am also going to an exhibition tomorrow in London. So that is all sounding very arty.

The downside is that I am not currently feeling very inclined to paint. I do have a few commission requests to do and I am sure there are some more Prague paintings lurking around in my mind somewhere, but no inclination to do any of them as yet. This is probably a good thing as the first time I could even vaguely entertain having enough time to paint is probably a week tomorrow.

Too. Busy.

I also know I have A LOT of architecture work to keep me deadlined up until mid February. I need my head to be in a slower gear to paint, not on turbo charge in order to meet all my deadlines. I am pretty sure 2016 painting number two will be on the way within a week or so though. I can rarely hold off for long. I have also been into Reading twice this week, and London three times. Next week should be far more local and easy.

Painting is always easier when life is a bit more steady. Hold fast, for just one more week.....

Saturday, 9 January 2016

I'm alive!

So. The last time I blogged was at the end of October.

A lot has happened since then, the first point being that I didn't die, I just got very busy. Friends came to stay, I went to Prague, I had Christmas shopping to do, 3 commissions to paint and I tore rather an important muscle in my shoulder. Oh, and I had a ton of normal work to do, with endless too tight deadlines.

I think that must be enough excuses?

Annoyingly my shoulder is a lot better but still hurts quite a lot when I paint, or do the vacuuming as I found out earlier today. I am still managing to do some art but working in shifts. Gone, for the moment, are my abilities to finish a painting in one sitting. I am sure it will fully heal at some point, or it better do so - I am threatening it daily with a trip to a physiotherapist.

But anyway. A new year has started. Good evening 2016, and how are you? I have some resolutions set up already to try and stop my art falling by the wayside. 1 day a week entirely devoted to art. A blog post at least every 3 days, or failing that 1 post a week; Knocking off some of my terminal art 'to-do' lists - updating my website, setting up some more society 6 items, making some more cards, making more magnets, more calendars, more tweets, more posts, more interactions, more competitions, more exposure, more everything.

It seems like a tall order, but one thing at a time. For today - everything is online. Card making is happening tomorrow, especially as I have a card order to fulfil. I have done the first painting of the year, and now the first blog post. So I won't beat myself up, that seems like enough for now.