Tuesday, 13 October 2015

My Week On A Page #11 and #12...

This week I am posting two weeks on a page
 well two weeks... each on a separate page... not two weeks on a single page
 or maybe two pages of weeks on a page
 it is all very confusing to tell you the truth
 but here they are...

 the week just gone was an easy one
 because it is all about the brushes
 I have been painting large again, making a glorious mess
 and getting back to abusing some old favourite brushes
and it has been all consuming so they had to be the stars of the show

Last week was more familiar in style
and I have no clue why I didn't post it
so here it is a week late

too many... coffees with Phants
loving... tea in the huge mug from ikea
coveting... Phant's new sneakers
in love with... Palm House Candle from Laura Ashley
eating.... too many little Gems from Organic Times
smelling.... pineapples

happy painting all...xx

Friday, 9 October 2015

A New Path, Wordy Work In Progress...

As many of you know I have been heading off into all sorts of new directions this year. I made a deal with myself during treatment for cancer to take opportunities and just see where they led me, so it has been quite the ride in lots of ways. I have taken on lots of illustration projects... some huge, some small, most challenging, some I could share, like the amazing teas which are shown below, which totally fell into the fun side of the illustration ledger, and lots of others weren't shareable which has led to there being a lot less work shown on the blog etc. Most of the projects have been fun and challenging and the learning curve was really steep at times, an ant jogging up a mountain steep, but it has been pretty positive, except for one thing... it takes a crazy amount of my time. I work ridiculous hours now and life is one huge juggling act, and I cannot juggle people. I can barely catch one ball let alone the five squillion I have in the air all the time. Add to that launching a website and the opening of the etsy shop and some cracks have started appearing... not little cracks either, more like gaping canyons that need ladders lashed together to get over. I have not been an easy camper to live with at times, and while I still believe I have managed to be the innately charming soul I think have always been, it may have been a stretch to say that I haven't been prone to more than a few moments of behaving like a surly sod.

I am just going to say it... I am not a huge Etsy fan...not because I have only sold one print since it opened a few weeks ago, because I do believe that I would have sales in time because I have sold so many prints over the years, but it is lots of little things... these things are too numerous to discuss as this is wordy enough already, and I know a lot of people have a lot of success there, but it doesn't sit so well with me. I had set up a website as a hub for illustration, classes etc, and the Etsy store doesn't fit easily within it... the pricing structures don't encourage the really high quality prints I would want to buy myself etc... and don't get me started on the need to bombard your Instagram feed etc with your products... it just doesn't feel like me... and I was stressed... seriously stressed... I was finding I had little no time to make any art for myself, for blogging or visiting blogging friends, and I have so many emails waiting for replies I considered actually turfing the computer in the pool and saying it was hit by a freak wave. Instead of painting and doing stuff that makes me bearable to the people who have to live with me, I found myself working on marketing plans and the like, and I am crap at all that... I just don't like it, but I was rolling along sort of half hanging in there, busy being stressed and thinking this is the path at the moment etc. But then in quick succession a few things have happened to make me question that it is the path.

Just for the hell of it I got some professional standard scans and prints done, and the quality was just so lovely, like perfectly lovely.... They were just so much nicer and I was proud of them, and would happily hang them on my wall. Are they pricier....yep... would they be hard to sell on Etsy... dear god yes... do I care... nope... I love the higher quality. I was madly wondering how to go about restructuring etc when an opportunity to apply to sell through a great platform that I love came up... the downside was they require only professional quality prints, which is hardly a downside after seeing the difference a great quality print makes... I can sell through my own website as well, so I was starting to feel a bit excited. I may actually have found the perfect platform... well as perfect as it can be in a commercial setting. Will I look like a bit of a goose because I just set up the Etsy shop, and all that.... probably... but I would rather be a happy goose, than a miserable one so the application process has begun. My nerves are shot, and I am juggling three illustration jobs at the same time, but it is all exciting and it feels more right if you know what I mean.

This was promptly followed by an out of left field opportunity to do with my painting... like a once in a blue moon chance that made my heart beat faster and has started an avalanche of painting ideas erupting out of every orifice like crazy. I have spent months saying I will have time for them soon, and taking illustration jobs, but all of a sudden I have to choose. I have to decide whether to wind back illustration... I have some contracts I have to honour, and there are some companies that I love working with and wouldn't change that for the world, but I can't do anywhere near the number of jobs I do now and chase the painting opportunity. It isn't really a contest and even though the chances of pulling it off are kind of slim-ish concerning this new opportunity I am taking it with both hands baby. Paint is starting to fly, my brain is fizzing and I actually feel happy... well happy and scared shiteless all rolled into one. So I have been playing with Inktober when I can squeeze it in, doing some watercolours like the coral and leaf above. These are very much works in progress at this stage, but I want to play a bit and start getting some painting mojo back while sketchbooks are filling with thumbnails and ideas and canvases are being primed. I am facing very little sleep in the next few weeks, but what else is new... So I am now a new path, work in progress, happy goose facing possible failure and creative humiliation on an epic scale... which adds up to all being right in the world in my books... 
happy painting all.. xx

Friday, 2 October 2015

Some Inspired Random Thoughts...

Inspired by Kristin, our intrepid PPF leader's Wednesday post
I am sharing some random thoughts as well...

my long suffering paint splattered keyboard died during the week
but the new/old one I am using has a very clattery sounding keyboard
which makes me feel kind of efficient and typist worthy

I can't type to save myself

I bought this little collection of gorgeous tea cups from T2 to give as gifts
but now I am have been madly drawing and painting them 
I am thinking it might be rude to send them on now
or is it?

I am the worst bagel slicer in the world

Sinus is living up to his nickname at the moment

I painted my lightbox mint green
not sure it was a genius move as photoshop seems to hate it
or maybe photoshop is just tired of my dodgy photography 
and is spitting the dummy so to speak

a dummy is our name for a binky or pacifier to my US friends

Phantom said something so funny yesterday when we were at the mall
I snorted my green juice
that is not a pretty sight coming out of your nose in public let me tell you

I have a collection of half dead pens that I love
because it means that I can draw and get nice scratchy lines

I love my new phone a scary amount

I am attempting to set up photos of my prints for the etsy shop
and using props and things
this may not be my greatest talent lol

But the candle smells incredible
like good enough to eat incredible

but I won't be snacking on it any time soon
because it is time to get back to it
happy painting all...xx

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

My Week On A Page # 9 ...

My week on a page in tea and infusers...
 Earl of Grey in a lollipop infuser
   Oolong in the dagger
  Boulder Breakfast in the Tardis
 Pink Lemonade Green in the birdy
 Earl Of Grey again in the strawberry
 Summer in Provence in the little weird yellow thingy
 White Tea with Cucumber in the heart
 they grew across the page each day like a line up
 and I can't see a line up without thinking about The Usual Suspects
happy painting all...xx

Friday, 25 September 2015

The Big Drip...

I have been known to have flighty weeks every now and again
  okay... pretty regularly if I am completely honest
  but this week has been all over the place mentally
  I haven't been able to settle to any one thing 
  my brain has been flitting from thought to thought like a hummingbird on roids

I blame the drippy chairs for this sad state of affairs
I have spent all week trying to work out how to scale them up and paint larger versions
without having to do the whole soak and stretch paper to keep it flat
but have been plagued by paper buckles
which could be graded from mild in some cases all the way through to truly mountainous
I could try the old iron and heavy book trick
but I am always scared of doing that and the whole possible burning down the house thing
so I am trying to find just the right combination of paper weight and paint application
these paintings take a lot of moisture to create 
and finding the right combination is meaning lots of experimenting
which is never a bad thing, though there has been moments of insane frustration
followed quickly by awesome yowzer moments, followed by more frustration
ahhh the joys the are the rollercoaster of creation right

I could have made my life easier
and used the 640 gr hot pressed paper that I favour for huge watercolours
those suckers take more abuse than any paper known to man
and stay so flat and perfect it is mildly freaky
but for some reason in my brain I decided that it just wasn't white enough
so I have tried creating them with different papers
both stretched and unstretched
thick smooth white paper in 5 different weights and brands,
 and even a lighter weight paper... as if that was ever going to bloody work
and finally even had a play on Yupo
but to be honest Yupo sort of does my head in a bit
something about that plastic surface just feels mildly wrong

I even tried different paints
high pigmented ones
normal ones
and finally even the Peerless liquid colours
I even hunted out some inks
and played with different combinations of all of the above
the studio has been looking like some giant threw up paint everywhere
my hands look like I am wearing technicolour gloves
and most of the clothes I have worked in this week
have little dots of colour splattered in lovely outlines
courtesy of my apron just not being up to the task

so these are the closest I have gotten to results that don't make my brain hurt
Of course you know what I am going to do next don't you
yep this morning I have pulled out the 640 gr paper
and it is quite white actually
so I am going to get in and do some on there
which is what I should have done in the first place
but then where would be the fun in that
happy painting all...xx