Wednesday, 30 November 2011

time for a bit of reflection

well, it's been two weeks... two weeks too long since I last posted, and I haven't had much to tell you but now I finally have some time to write a few blog posts and actually do some new work in the studio. Today I had lots of little jobs to do, frustrating when I just wanted to get in the studio and do some new work, but necessary when trying to run a small business, orders to post, new frames to buy, bills to pay etc etc etc. I've had a really busy couple of months but I'm now ready for a bit of reflective time to think and plan and to write the next part of my business plan and put into place a list of the things I want to achieve next year.

Looking back over 2011 I think I've done a lot of what I wanted to do... I wanted to exhibit and I have been lucky enough to have been part of four exhibitions and a 'Pop-Up-Shop' in Chilwell. I have sold more work than I thought I would and have finally started to take myself more seriously as an artist. I have finally started to believe that I can make this work, I know I have the determination and drive to do it so I now need a bit more help and direction to make the next bit happen. I have BCTF on the distant horizon which I want to make a really good job of so there's my first big challenge for 2012. I also really want to expand my range of products and also to get into more stockists and gain a higher national profile. I have lots of people I'm in contact with to help and inspire me, my Creative 10 group have been a constant source of support and motivation and it's been great to spend time with such a lovely group of fellow creatives.

So, a loose plan in the making, I'm ramping it up for 2012, watch this space.... as for my picture for today, lots of sketchbook work, no real plan from today, just good to get a blank sheet of paper and get some ideas down....

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Family Tree - new work

I'm not sure I have shown you this new piece of work when it was 'in-the-making' but now it's finished I'm just waiting to take it to the framers. It's called the Family Tree and it's part of a new idea I have had which I will offer on a commission-basis for my customers. I will be offering customised, personalised family trees on request, with the corresponding number of birds, to reflect members of your family.... you can even choose which kind of leaves you would like on your tree!! And the title will reflect the family surname... Clever? You like??

This one took ages, but I enjoyed working on it, although I did feel as though I needed specs by the time I'd finished it!! I wanted to see whether the concept worked before I took it any further...

If you know anyone who you think would be interested in their own Original Artwork Family Tree, let me know and get in touch via my website, we can chat about any particulars, family size, size of artwork etc... Your wish is my command (within reason!!!). I may even be able to do a couple before Christmas....

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Holmfirth Art Market - the Finale

As I always like to share by latest 'new-to-me' finds my final little write up of my Sunday excursion to Holmfirth Art Market is to tell you about an artist whose work I discovered there.

Her name is Helen Hallows a Midlands based artist, working in ink, collage and stitch (probably why I liked it so much, three of my fave media!). Add that to the mix of birds and landscapes, autumnal colours and collage, and I think I could have spent a small fortune!! The two mini-prints I bought were these two lovelies above, Love and Home (two things very close to this sentimental heart of mine!) and I can't wait to get some frames to put them in. I'm making a conscious effort to buy more art for the house, as the last few years we have been looking at (and not particularly seeing) the same photos, pictures and cobwebs!! Time for a change, hence the spending!!

If you want to find a bit more out about Helen she has a blog here and also an online shop here. I think if my cottage was a wee bit bigger I might have thought about the larger prints, but wall space is at a premium in our house so we have to be careful we don't run out of wall!!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Holmfirth Art Market - Part Two

These are some pictures from my visit yesterday to Holmfirth Art Market of the stand of my friend Gillian Lee Smith. I had to share them with you as this was definitely one of the most beautiful stands at the Market. As well as admiring her fanatastic use of her space and her vintage display boxes, books and shelving for her dolls and house sculptures I do have to say I think the colour scheme just worked so well. Gillian shares my love of autumnal shades and I think this is why I loved her stand so much. If you want to find out a little more about Gillian and her work you can read about her on the Art Amrket blog here or you can pop over to here website and have a look here

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The Art Market at Holmfirth - Part One

Well, this afternoon we decided to have a drive up to Holmfirth and visit The Art Market which is held in Holmfirth Market for two consecutive Sundays twice a year. Needless to say, we weren't disappointed. There was an amazing selection of exhibitors and I did treat myself to two more wood blocks by Fiona Wilson and a couple of prints by Helen Hallows, which I'll show you tomorrow. Also a good friend of mine, Gillian Lee Smith was also there, and her stand looked just divine. I'm definitely applying next year as I'd love to be part of such a great event.

This has been a really good week. I'm pleased to say my work is really starting to take off and I'm feeling that I need to be trying to spend my studio time a little better, I haven't actually had a day in the studio doing proper drawing for ages.... tomorrow I have orders to fill (some are very overdue) but after this week, the studio beckons.... watch this space.

Friday, 11 November 2011

life drawing week 4

Phew, I've just got back from my day standing at the Magic of Christmas Fair where I made some sales and also met some lovely creatives too. It's always great to get chatting to other in the business and find out what they do, and us girls in the Conservatory had a great laugh! There were Christmas Carols, mulled wine, cakes, sausages, cheese, lots of lovely delights to buy for Christmas pressies. I'm off there tomorrow as a customer so I'll be taking some money with me to spend!! I can now relax as far as my art work goes, no more Christmas fairs to do, just time to knuckle down and get some order filled for my galleries. I'm planning to do more new work too, so watch this space for developments....

See above for my Week 4 Life Drawing efforts. We had a longer pose this week, and I'm definitely getting the hang of taking my time a bit more, planning my drawing before I start filling in the gaps and

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Magic of Christmas

Tomorrow I'm at the Magic Of Christmas Fair at East Bridgford (luckily for me, just up the hill!!) and today I have been getting my knickers in a right old twist trying to sort out my table.... I didn't leave it til the last minute at all!!!!

But, knicker-twisting aside, I did end up with a half-decent looking, if minimalistic, stand by the end of the afternoon. If you haven't any plans for the weekend, why not head up to the Fair. It's at a beautiful country manor East Bridgford Hill, which is a fantastic setting for our gorgeous fair. Wandering around the stalls today in the midst of 'set-up' mania, I was impressed at the quality of the goods on offer. There is a distinctive 'vintage' feel, with textiles, prints, jewellery, kitchen goods, as well as a selection of local foodie treats. I'm only there for tomorrow, the Ladies Day, which is ticket only, but I'll be visiting as a member of the public with my mother-in-law on Saturday when I'll be on the lookout for Christmas presents!

Friday, 4 November 2011

new life drawing pics - week 3

So, week 3 Life Drawing Class, and I'm really enjoying this new challenge. Each week we are learning a bit more of the 'theory' behind 'getting it right', lots of different techniques about measuring, curves, angles and lines, and how when you put all of these things together you get a much more accurate image than if you just drew the outline as you think it is!! Usually I'm too impatient and want to get my picture down on paper and start detailing, but these classes have taught me to slow right down and also to use the charcoal in a lighter, less aggressive way. So hopefully once I get the basics I can start to use this new subject matter in my work and who knows what I'll end up producing. I can't wait to find out.

As I said on Monday, this week has been mega busy, with trips to stockists, orders to fulfill (the to-do list is getting longer every day), but this weekend we are just having a lovely weekend at home, doing some lovely cooking and walking, and tomorrow we are going to an auction to hopefully buy some new-old stuff for our cottage.

This evening I've had the pleasure to visit Lustre, a gorgeous contemporary Craft Market at the Lakeside Pavillion at the University of Nottingham. If you are around in the area this weekend you should definitely pop in for a browse of the some of the best local and national creative talent.

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