Friday, January 22, 2010

The Dark Side - Black Cat AEO

'The Dark Side'
This is another ACEO, mixed media on Arches Watercolour Paper.
I'm trying to sort out an entry for 'Wildlife Artist of the Year, which is why I've been quiet for the last few days. Hopefully I will have something to show soon.

Friday, January 15, 2010

' I Wish it was Spring'

'I Wish it was Spring'
Mixed Media, 2.5 x 3.5 on Saunders Waterford paper.


That's the title of my newest ACEO and it is exactly how I feel.
In common with an awful lot of other people we haven't seen any sign of gritting since this 'cold snap' began. As we live at the top of a steep cul de sac with a steep drive and my car doesn't do snow or ice it has remained motionless for the past four weeks.
Today my eldest son decided it would be alright if we went an errand in my car (note he didn't want to move his own car) so off we went. I got three feet before the ABS kicked in and cut the power as the back wheels had decided to do things totally unconnected with what the front wheels were doing.
So we switched off the ABS and slid the rest of the way down the road, no brakes, no steering, lots of muttering, but as it's very quiet with no through traffic we simply slid to a halt at the bottom.
No problem doing the errand but no way was my car going back up our road, it performed a few pirouettes, lost an inch of rubber off its very expensive new tyres but didn't move an inch forward.
So I carefully reversed back onto the flat and left it in disgust.
Later this afternoon together with eldest son we mounted a rescue operation and returned it to the drive were it will remain until Spring.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Goals for 2010

'The Hypnotist'
oil pastel, 4 x 6 on Ingres Mountboard

I've taken my time thinking what I want to achieve this year in terms of my art, the start of the decade seems to be a good time to really look at what direction I want to go in.

So here are my goals for 2010:-
1. Continue to blog at least 3 times a week, realistically I know I will not become a daily poster but I will continue to be a regular poster.

2. Following on from the success of my first step-by-step I will produce at least two more, the second will be a dog's eye and nose, and is at the planning stage.

3. Continue to experiment with oil pastels and start working with oil paints.

4.Enter 'Wildlife Artist of the Year' and the BBC Wildlife Magazine Artist of the Year

5.Submit work to NEWA, SOFA and SWLA

6.Take a workshop with Terry Isaac in September

7. Produce 1 large work a month and at least one small work a week.

8. Produce a body of work with a more contemporary feel, a single animal, or group of animals on a plain white back ground with a hint of reflection. (I know what I want but the image isn't easily translated into words)
9. Have stands at 3 cat shows and Patchings Art, Craft and Design Festival
10. Continue to study and start to proce otanical work.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Silver Tabby Cat in Oil Pastel 2


I really enjoyed working with oil pastels and the first cat proved to be a hit so I've painted a second one.
This is also 4 x 6 on Duck Egg Blue Ingres mountboard.
I've added some Caran 'Ache Neopastels to my set of Sennelier ones. These have a really nice range of grey and brown and are slightly harder than the Senneliers which are really soft. I found it easier to create a sharper line although the whole effect is softer than my usual coloured pencils or acrylic.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Review of 2009

2009 in Review'Hot Spot'
January 2009 saw 'Hot Spot' short listed for Wildlife Artist of the Year which meant that it was later displayed in the Mall Galleries, London. That achievement was undoubtedly my highlight of the year.
In July I had work displayed with NEWA on the Wirral and in September with the Society of Feline Artists at the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery in London. For the second year running I sold work before the SOFA exhibition officially opened. In 2008 it was 'Aristocrat', in 2009 it was 'Moody Blue'

'Moody Blue'

In November I had a stand at the Supreme Cat Show held at the NEC in Birmingham which I felt was very successful. Thank you to all my customers and to people who simply stopped to say hello.

Also in November I had an article about my work published in the local newsletter for the Cat Protection League.

Towards the end of the year I started painting ACEO's and offering them for sale on eBay as I had been asked if I could produce some smaller more affordable originals. I am delighted at the response I have had to these and I now have several International collectors of my work.

Sales from my website slowly increased over the year and in December I had my best month ever.

I produced a Step-by-Step demonstration of how to draw a cat's eye and sales of these have far exceeded my expectations, I mail one to somewhere in the world at least twice a week.

Looking back at my aims for 2009 I didn't achieve what I wanted around the production of new work.

I only manged to paint 4 pieces for SOFA and certainly didn't produce a new work each month. I did however update my blog on average 3 times a week and spend time in marketing. The marketing was based more around my online activities than getting my work into a bricks and mortar Gallery as I felt that was a better option in the financial climate.

That looks to be paying dividends as my sales from online sources have increased monthly.

I did tweak my squidoo lens on Drawing and Painting Cats and created a new one on 'Drawing and Painting Birds', plus I gave my website a overhaul.

I'm reasonably happy with what I achieved in 2009 and hope to continue to move forward in 2010.

My next post will be about my goals for 2010.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year

I've just arrived home from a very snowy Scotland.
We've spent the last few days in the Highlands which was a very pleasant way to see in 2010. Unfortunately this year the snow was too deep to travel far, even in a 4WD, but I did get lots of nice photographs including some of Red Kites and plenty of Red deer.
I'd like to wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year.