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....

Friday, 22 January 2016

Cards, cards, cards.

I am not sure right now is the best time to start a blog post, it is almost midnight and I have had a long and emotional day, and got through a lot of work. 

As normal then.

So although I am not really feeling at my chirpiest, I am doing a good job of sticking to my resolutions; Specifically the 'try and do some things off of my never ending to-do list' resolution. My first order of 2016 was a couple of weeks ago and an order for some handmade cards. My stock has been pretty low for a while, I think making some more has been on my list for about the last three or so months. Needless to say, I wasn't lucky enough to have ready made ones of all the ones ordered. Half where ready to go, and half sold out. I guess I really should make some more then. I had actually been though my stock, worked out what I needed and printed off new pictures a while ago.

A long while ago.

Well lets get to it then! First make the cards to complete my order and then just keep on going and going. I have made a lot, but I still have a lot left to make, this is going to be an ongoing process for a while, but a good one to get underway. So if you were thinking about getting some cards, now would be a good time to order. The stock pile is looking pretty good!!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Hold Fast

So. Another blog post. I am not going to let my resolutions slip before I have even started. Things are looking half promising. I did make some cards at the weekend and I plan to make some more this coming weekend. I have been posting on facebook and I have scheduled a couple of posts to come in over the next few days. I have also entered, or at least booked my entry for the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition. I am also going to an exhibition tomorrow in London. So that is all sounding very arty.

The downside is that I am not currently feeling very inclined to paint. I do have a few commission requests to do and I am sure there are some more Prague paintings lurking around in my mind somewhere, but no inclination to do any of them as yet. This is probably a good thing as the first time I could even vaguely entertain having enough time to paint is probably a week tomorrow.

Too. Busy.

I also know I have A LOT of architecture work to keep me deadlined up until mid February. I need my head to be in a slower gear to paint, not on turbo charge in order to meet all my deadlines. I am pretty sure 2016 painting number two will be on the way within a week or so though. I can rarely hold off for long. I have also been into Reading twice this week, and London three times. Next week should be far more local and easy.

Painting is always easier when life is a bit more steady. Hold fast, for just one more week.....

Saturday, 9 January 2016

I'm alive!

So. The last time I blogged was at the end of October.

A lot has happened since then, the first point being that I didn't die, I just got very busy. Friends came to stay, I went to Prague, I had Christmas shopping to do, 3 commissions to paint and I tore rather an important muscle in my shoulder. Oh, and I had a ton of normal work to do, with endless too tight deadlines.

I think that must be enough excuses?

Annoyingly my shoulder is a lot better but still hurts quite a lot when I paint, or do the vacuuming as I found out earlier today. I am still managing to do some art but working in shifts. Gone, for the moment, are my abilities to finish a painting in one sitting. I am sure it will fully heal at some point, or it better do so - I am threatening it daily with a trip to a physiotherapist.

But anyway. A new year has started. Good evening 2016, and how are you? I have some resolutions set up already to try and stop my art falling by the wayside. 1 day a week entirely devoted to art. A blog post at least every 3 days, or failing that 1 post a week; Knocking off some of my terminal art 'to-do' lists - updating my website, setting up some more society 6 items, making some more cards, making more magnets, more calendars, more tweets, more posts, more interactions, more competitions, more exposure, more everything.

It seems like a tall order, but one thing at a time. For today - everything is online. Card making is happening tomorrow, especially as I have a card order to fulfil. I have done the first painting of the year, and now the first blog post. So I won't beat myself up, that seems like enough for now.  

Friday, 30 October 2015

Super Blood Moon

I bought a new camera quite a long time ago, either shortly after Christmas or for my birthday, I can't remember. It might have been for neither occasion actually, but either way it was thanks to my Dad. He has been wanting to buy me a DSLR for a while as he is enthusiastic about photography and can see I have quite a good eye for it. Unfortunately I have been so busy I haven't been able to play with it as much as I would have liked (not helped by the fact that I had my camera stolen whilst I was on holiday once so I am paranoid to take it with me). Part of the deal with the camera I bought (a Fujifilm X-M1 that I love!) was a free promotional zoom lens. I hadn't had a chance to use it until I saw that a blood moon was coming up. In order to take pictures of the moon you need a pretty good zoom lens and mine hit the lowest range of recommended zoom capacities so what a perfect place for a trial. After a quick research online for the recommended camera settings to take moon shots, and then a scour through my camera manual to work out how to set it up correctly, it had just gone midnight and I only had two hours to go to start watching the eclipse and try out my evenings education. I thought I was too excited to sleep but ...


A couple of hours later, I woke up to my alarm, thick with sleep, feeling slightly ill but looking forward to taking some photos. And click, click, change settings, click, click, move camera, jump into bed -  it is chilly, jump out, click, click and the spectacle was over. Well it was half way. I watched the eclipse from the start to the blood moon, but then didn't watch in un-eclipse or whatever the scientific term is. I needed some sleep.

I was pretty excited the next day to see how my photos turned out, and apart from the slightly out of focus blood moon (only 30 years to wait for another chance at that) I was pretty pleased with my first attempt at taking pictures with my zoom lens, using the manual settings, and taking pictures of the moon. All, in all, a good nights work!

Wednesday, 28 October 2015


Firstly, if you are ever waiting for a show outside The Forum in Kentish Town, go to the Bull and Gate pub next door for some food. A great atmosphere, my kind of d├ęcor and very tasty, not too expensive food make this a place I will go to again, regardless of whether I am waiting for music or not.

This time, I was waiting for music in the form of Metric, a Canadian rock band, who were out touring to promote their new, recently released Album 'Pagans in Vegas.' As usual, I knew a bit about the band but not masses, but I was very glad they played one of their old hits 'Help I'm Alive' as it is one of my favourite songs.

The show was good, a bit enveloping with the excess of flashing lights and loud beating music. I had a brief fleeting thought that the show might result in me going blind and deaf at one point but fortunately not. It was good to see something a bit more energetic to what I usually see but a shame that at a few points the vocals were not particularly clear - this probably wouldn't have been a problem if I was more familiar with the lyrics but even so. A good, uplifting and energising gig though, and when I got home I had to listen to 'Help I'm Alive' again as I remembered why I loved it in the first place.