Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Vitamin C

So I have had a kind of stay at home holiday over the last few days. If I haven't had company I have just sat on the sofa with a warm cow (it is a wheatbag that you heat in the microwave, shaped like a cow, before you ask) a large cup of tea/pint of Ribena and a good book. It has half done the trick, I was slightly more motivated on Monday morning but I am still tired, with black rings and a slight headache. I don't think I can eat any more Vitamin C so it looks like this fug is not being shifted. So if I am going to get a cold, just let me get it so I can get over it rather than just always feeling slightly mouldy.

Oh well. Right now I am going to schedule some blog posts and then give up for the day and paint. Hopefully I will feel better after that - I usually do.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Spinnaker Tower

Seriously, where is time going at the moment? Every time I think 'I only wrote on my blog yesterday, maybe the day before' 5 days have passed. At least that is what I wrote when I initially drafted this post (by drafted I mean I saved a whole sentence). 7 days have passed now which I think equates to an epic fail. Oh well, better late than never!

It seems as though I may have got too used to exciting art things happening as nothing has happened for a couple of weeks and I am getting fed up and disheartened. It seems harsh as I have just been asked to write an article about my creativity for inclusion in an e-book, and I recently completed negotiations with the Oxford University Press to allow them to publish the Spinnaker Tower in an English Language Text Book. I have also had the go ahead to publish and sell some calendars on Amazon. Two of them have been approved already and I have four more in the pipeline.  All that and a slightly complicated commission to undertake in time for Christmas.

'The Spinnaker Tower' Coming to a school near you! 
Wow. Put like that I sound busy and successful. Maybe I need to write down and focus on the good things that have happened this year rather than worrying about the fact that I am slightly unmotivated and drained at the moment. I sometimes find it difficult to relax and switch off unless I am not in my flat. The temptation when I am at home is to work, work, work, which sometimes does nobody any good. It might be time for a stay at home holiday!

Friday, 14 November 2014

No Business, like Snow Business

Disappointingly having an early night hasn't really helped as I still look like a member of the living dead. If only Halloween was this week, I could get by with a limited amount of dressing up and no make up. I am glad I didn't have much to do this week, as the things I have managed to do have been enough. Hooray for the weekend is all I can say, although as I am going away it won't be as peaceful as is possibly required, but more fun hopefully.

Anyway, I am a bit behind with my painting 'birth certificates', so without further ado, one is coming up right now:

'Snow Business' 30" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas
The Reason

My parents visited my brother and sister-in-Law in Barry, Wales and took a trip out to Castell Coch. They were both charmed and it brought back some memories of when I visited whilst at University.

The Setting

Castell Coch, a few postcards of the interior, some photos of the exterior, my memories of the place and weather on the turn outside my window.

The Inspiration

The hidden nature of the building, the surrounding countryside, the fact I needed to paint some Christmas cards, remembering approaching the castell after a long walk and the expectation of arriving. The picturesque thought of snow and sun.

I liked the idea with this composition that the trees could hide the building and the snow could hide the trees. Everything about Castell Coch is not seeing it until you actually get right up close, even though you can see it for miles beforehand. I wanted to keep some of the mystique, so even though I have painted it, you still need to go there to see what it is really like.

Mission accomplished I think!


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Superb

Is it bad that it is only ten past 5 in the afternoon and I want to go to bed? Is it even more bad that I have felt like this for the last couple of hours? I don't know what is wrong with me this week but I am totally burnt out.

I think an early night is called for and possibly a lie in. First, or before I even consider going to bed, I need to package up a painting. New York, New York has just had the confirmation through that it is going to live in Gloucestershire! This is exciting as it is my largest painting sale yet, and I hope is an indication of things to come. It is strange, I have sold two paintings of Times Square and I have been sad to see both of them go, this one more so than the other, even though the other lived on my bedroom wall for 2 years before it left.

Left: 'Times Square' Right: 'New York, New York'

I guess this means I may be painting another; I shall add it to my list of obsessions along with St Paul's, Tower Bridge and St Basil's in Moscow, I have a feeling I will paint all of these again in the not too distant future.

In the meantime this last sale with Artgallery.co.uk has finally got me 5 out of 5 stars and the accolade of being 'Superb.' It seems like I am going up in the world, I think that is what New York does to you....

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Wall Filling Show Stopper

I have a bit of free time at the moment that I am not sure I am using wisely. I am slightly out of practice at having time to think so I keep excessively procrastinating. This does not make me feel very productive in the run up to Christmas. I feel slightly under pressure to make the most of the season and sell some paintings as I did quite well this time last year. The 'rush' didn't start until the middle of December though so I have some time. I think I also need to give myself some slack as I have sold a lot more throughout the rest of the year than I have done previously. Nothing quite like unnecessary expectation to wear you out!

On a more positive note, I did find myself in some exciting publicity the other day. I periodically internet search myself to make sure there are no images or comments out of place in the vast ether that is the World Wide Web. It is also interesting to see if I have made any inroads anywhere, and this time I have! I found an article (you can read it here) saying my work, specifically 'Ridge' is one of the 7 best types of art prints to buy. This is because it is a 'wall-filling show stopper'!

'Ridge' 30" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas
I will gladly accept that as a compliment, so thank you Laura Barns for the description that I am now going to name drop EVERYWHERE!

Laura, the 'wall-filling show stopper' Hol, has a nice ring to it.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Please Envelope Me

So, recently, you may have seen me go a little crazy on the purchasing of marketing items including business cards and a stamp. I have in fact, after mentioning the business cards just had to go and sift through them all again, seriously, they are too exciting, and I am tired and easily entertained.

I did make one other purchase at the same time as the above with marketing in mind. I also had to buy more card making supplies as I have just made another batch of 50 handmade cards. I always feel accomplished when I have made them, even if I find making them to be slightly torturous. But anyway, I digress, the final purchase was a presentation envelope to contain a few bits and pieces I wanted to put together when someone bought an Original painting. I had the idea that it may look more professional and be slightly more exciting to receive a presentation pack with the painting and the invoice. After all, it is often the little things, the small attentions to detail that make the big difference.

The photo below shows what I decided upon. Once you purchase a Laura Hol Original you will receive - a presentation envelope containing, the invoice, an Authentication Certificate, a handmade card, a business card and a magnet. The only thing I can't decide on is whether to include the paintings 'Birth Certificate' in the pack. I can't quite decide whether it would be better or worse to know how the painting came about, I for one, like to make up my own mind. Or do I? I might be wondering about this for a while.


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Special Offer!

Forgetting you have a blog is slightly annoying. I can't remember what I was supposed to be writing about or where it was going, or what I have done recently for that matter. I can remember who I am though. Just.

I feel like this is a small victory.

Very small.

Tiny in fact.

So I might as well kick start getting back into typing words that don't make sense with a special offer. Right now on Society6, for the next 5 days there is free delivery worldwide and $5 off all purchases. This might be a good time to stock up on some Christmas presents for those hard to buy people. I incidentally, if you want to buy me a present, would like one of the duvet covers, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

The link is here, use it wisely!