I recently had the privilege of photographing a good friend’s newborn – she is absolutely gorgeous and I wanted to try and create some traditional newborn shots with cuddly toys and soft blankets. I have shared some of my favourite photos in this gallery. Here is sweet Sophia:
I have also added a recent piece to Artfinder and the painting gallery. This was a lovely, whimsical painting of cherry blossom. I wanted to create a serene, soft atmosphere and it’s a relatively large canvas for me. This could be a real statement in the right spot!
I want to help raise awareness of the Just a Card campaign for small business owners and creatives. Every purchase you make, big or small, makes a difference to a small business owner. If every visitor to a small art gallery bought a card, it helps sustain the business in between sales of art pieces. It can be the difference between opening the gallery doors, or closing up shop. The cumulative effect of these small sales helps drive creatives. If you admire the work of a creative, and you find yourself browsing their card rack – if you find something you like, don’t pass it by, smile and say “that’s a nice card!” Support the artist and put your money where your mouth is. You can’t even buy a McDonalds meal for £2, but you can support local artists!
I’ve been exhibiting my paintings locally for over 15 years, on and off. The early years were more fruitful – I only showed paintings, and people seemed to like them and buy them. The last few years have been less successful, not just for me, but for my peers too – the recession did hit the art industry, and footfall (and thus, sales) has been noticeably lower at the exhibitions I’ve been part of. Groups are struggling to achieve the commercial success that was available in the 90s and early noughties. As I paint for pleasure, and don’t rely on the income I am more fortunate than other artists. I have noticed that sales of prints has increased as buyers are more reluctant to part with cash for originals, even at reduced prices. I began making cards of my most popular paintings as an additional stream of income. They’re fun to make, there’s profit, they’re very affordable, and it also serves as another way to market myself – every card I make includes my basic contact details and my name on the reverse. I think it’s a great way to remind people about what you do. It’s always makes me smile when I’m present at a show and I get to meet the people buying my cards – whether it’s a woman buying a set to write cards for her friends, or a child buying one of my animal prints with their own pocket money. It’s affordable and accessible at every level, and that’s why I continue to make them.
Click here if you are a fellow creative, and download free flyers and posters to support the campaign in your shop or gallery.
I’ve added a new piece of work to my Artfinder shop – Peacock Shimmer. This contains iridescent paint that shimmers when it catches the light. I had so much fun making this. All my favourite colours together in a majestic animal! Browse and Buy on Artfinder
And here’s a little video of the shimmer so that you can really see how the light plays across the surface:
It was by sheer accident that I came across Patti Mollica’s online art course. I was fortunate enough to find the class just a couple of weeks before registration closed. I had been looking for some time for a course that was based online, with some structure, that wasn’t geared towards total beginners. A lot of the well known courses start you from the ground up, giving you the foundation and basics to build upon. They also tend to be for watercolours and oils – while I’m very much an acrylic painter. As I’m more intermediate (between beginner and intermediate, really, based on the limited time I have to practise), and I’m limited on time, I didn’t want to waste time going over old ground, although I always appreciate the practise that comes with rote exercises.
So, with lots of enthusiasm, I signed up to the Online Color Workshop (sic – she’s based in USA). The timings worked out very well – as a full time worker the 6pm GMT live conference classes were an ideal start time. On the East Coast of USA this translated to around 1pm on the set day each week. We met once a week, for 5 weeks, and if you missed it, you could catch up with the recorded session at a later date. These were in the form of presentations with lots of information, from basic to advance techniques. The homework also reflected different levels of skill, and you could choose what to do. I tried to do it all (as did some others), but found quickly that I needed to be more selective and focus on the exercises I chose. I will, however, go back to the exercises I didn’t manage to complete (there were up to 4 each week to choose from).
There was so much information to take on board – colour theory is such a broad topic and feeds into other areas of study such as composition and value, that I don’t consider my studying “done” by any means. A lot of the information and further reading recommended will continue for me to get the most out of this.
If you enjoy loose painting styles, particularly in acrylic, and wish to further your knowledge – do look out for Patti‘s courses. She also runs workshops.
Here are some of the studies I produced for this course: