Friday, September 03, 2010

Weekly painter

And an update of the completion of this little painting.

This piece is available for purchase on my 'Under $50' page of this blog.  Just click on the link at the top of the page to find it.

I hope to produce at least one or more 5 x 7 paintings each week to add to my general body of work for sale.  I don't dare move to a daily painter mode as I know it would be the downfall of me with so many other things on my plate right now.  So right now I'll be the Weekly Painter or perhaps Bi-Weekly Painter.

I pulled out some oils tonight and did the start of a  view of Rennies Mill River that wends its ways through the city before emptying into Quidi Vidi Lake.  Right now its not much more than base values on canvas but the bed is calling me and tomorrow I'll finish it off and move on with other projects. I had done this view in pastel in July but I liked the lighting and view and wanted to see how it would take to oils.   

I'm considering a starting a newsletter, but I want to consider it carefully to ensure that it has longevity, readability and readership before I invent time and resources into producing a professional HTML version.  I know I had discussed this previously and at that time I was not at a time or place where it was possible for me to use that tool.  I think now I'm moving into a space where I think that I can and that it will be useful to provide a wider audience for my work.   Watch this space for more details...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


I found a number of whelk shells on a beach the other week.  I hadn't seen them in numbers or larger sizes previously. They were near a fish plant so I presumed they were probably part of a test fishery.  I took them home and let them steep in some water with bleach more to get rid of the strong smell than to whiten them.  I guess leaving them in the sun in the greenhouse would have worked too but I wanted to speed up the process.

The white shells are now rather like casts and perfect for drawing.  Examined closely they seem to have the start of coral growing on them, or perhaps its simply a layer of shell that is sloughing off naturally.  Whichever the case, it gives an interesting effect and texture to the shell.

I played around with the blank shell canvas with the idea in my head that these shells could make interesting decorations.  I added watercolour washes of quinacridone gold and red to the shell then touched indigo and turquoise to the edges to enhance the texture.  I like the matte finish but it likely will need to have a coat of varnish of some kind to protect it. 

Potential for Christmas tree ornaments perhaps.  I'll work on a hanging mechanism next then see how it balances. 

This was all done under the watchful gaze of Tripod, so during the news, I sketched him.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Christmas is coming - for artists

Yes I know that phrase strikes hard into most people, but if you are an artist, and you sell your work, as most of us do, you need to prepare for Christmas collectors in the summer and have your options in place by November 1st at the latest.

I've been considering my Christmas market and what I will offer.  This year I will be setting up a separate holiday page on the blog with a variety of options for individuals looking for holiday related art.  There will be items at all budget levels and some free things as well.

I will create a marketing plan and a mini business plan for the season that may well become cross-seasonal and useful for other times in the year.  Planning is the only way that I can achieve goals and have measurable results.  I'd really encourage those who don't plan to sit down one day and just jot down some ideas of what you want to achieve, how you will do it and how you'll know if you did it.  You'd be surprised what you can achieve.

Some things to look for from me for the holiday season?

  • A new holiday card, as well as the 2009 Christmas Hares one.  I like the concept of having a series of cards created over time.
  • A series of holiday related paintings, drawings, and gyotaku prints for sale.  These will range from $20 upwards.
  • Gift certificates will be available 
  • A special commission price will be made available only for the holiday season for portraits of animals or people.  These will be 5 x 7 pieces only.
  • Sets of gift tags using some of my paintings.  Some will be for sale, some will be free for the asking.
I have more tricks up my sleeve, but for now, that's a few to start with.  All will be revealed on November 1st.

What are your artistic marketing plans for the holiday season?

Monday, August 30, 2010

A view on a summer's day

 Swiss Chard growing in the vegetable garden
This is the jewel of the veggie garden, especially when the sun shines on it.

Its my first day back at work after a couple of weeks off and it was pretty hectic.  I take a week to unwind, then a few days of relaxing, then the last few days thinking of what I have to do when I get back to work.  I think I need a month instead.  Unfortunately in the business I'm in, that would make my job even more stressful if I had a longer absence.

I'm fitting in a couple of flounder prints tonight and haven't a lot to share in regards to art but thought I'd share a couple of images that I took the other day around the farm. It was a perfect summer day and everything seemed bright with vivid colours.

There's something wonderful about big fluffy clouds on a summer's day

 Tripod relaxing on a little path leading through the woods to the meadow

The view from my kitchen window 
(minus moose, rabbits, coyotes, foxes,or other wild creatures - yes they've all been out there)

Amongst weeds in a crack in the stone, millet grows, dropped from birdseed in the winter