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....