Yesterday I turned 45 and I had a lovely day with my husband John. We did the family birthday party a week ago to celebrate all the March birthdays – my dad, my niece June, my brother Brian and I – and we had a blast.
Brian and I share a birthday – we were both born on March 24 but 5 years apart – and we always wanted Chinese food for our birthday dinner. In that tradition, John and I had Chinese food last night and I was lucky enough to get this fortune cookie:
Funny enough, I had been thinking of taking a new path with my blog and website so with John’s help I am switching my blog over to a self-hosted platform. I’ve also decided to change up the look and feel of my site so get ready for some changes! I hope to unveil the new look later this week.
I took this past week off work with the plan of getting a lot of painting done. Unfortunately my great-aunt passed away so my plans were changed somewhat.
My Auntie Marie was an extraordinary woman and I will really miss her. She was full of stories and was always bragging about family and friends. She encouraged me in my art career and she purchased a large painting after my exhibition in 2011, which hangs proudly in her dining room. If you were to visit her and my Uncle Doug she would be sure to show it off and tell you about everything I’ve accomplished since kindergarten!
Although it was hard and sad to say goodbye, it was nice to reconnect with family and friends. I got to spend time with cousins, aunts and uncles that I hadn’t seen in years. After the funeral we all met up at a restaurant and there was a lot of sharing and laughter. My aunt would have loved it.
I have still been drawing or painting every day and did manage to get some work done this week. I finished the second layer of paint on the pink lilies….it’s going to need another layer to really bring out the flowers, so I’ve set aside to dry.
I began a landscape yesterday and I already love it! There are more rocks on the right side and a small waterfall right through the centre. I like the contrast between the light green in the background and the darkness of the rocks.
Yesterday was a beautiful day here – sunny and 6C – so I spent a lot of the afternoon out in the sunshine. It’s amazing how much better I feel when I know spring is on the way! There are all kinds of bulbs coming up in our front garden – yay!
I finished the painting of the bright pink tulips this morning. i think this is the fastest I’ve finished a painting! It’s not too large – 11 x 14 – which is a nice size. I love the shades of green in this one and it has me wishing for spring!
I’ve joined Fine Art America and I’ve listed a few of my prints for sale. After having very little success with my Etsy shop I have done a lot of research into other online sales options for my artwork. Fine Art America offers all kinds of benefits along with a great Print on Demand service. I like that option because then I don’t have to keep a whole lot of inventory and my customers can choose the exact size and type of print they want.
I only have three images at the moment on my page as I have done limited edition prints of my other paintings. Like other online options it’s really up to the artist to drive traffic to their page but they provide integration with Twitter and Facebook and also an e-newsletter module which I’m going to look into further. I’ll let you know how it goes!
I’ve had a very busy weekend of painting! I have to make sure I have enough original work for both the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival in August and the Victoria County Studio Tour in October. Although over the past year I have been diligent at painting every day I haven’t been terribly productive when it comes to producing new work. I’ve been picking away at paintings an hour or so at a time but haven’t really carved out the time to spend making some good progress.
I’ve planned out 6 new paintings (with John’s help!) so far. Four are florals featuring our gardens and two are landscapes. Yesterday I got the first layer of paint completed on this one (it’s 11″ x 14″):
Today I completed the drawing on this one and got the first layer of paint done on half:
The Buckhorn Fine Art Festival is August 16, 17 & 18 and the Victoria County Studio Tour is October 5 & 6 and October 12 & 13 so mark your calendars.
I received some really great feedback from the selection committee for the Buckhorn show which will be helpful as I prepare. I’m going to be VERY busy from now until August and every spare minute will be spent painting! I would like to have quite a few new paintings for the show so I have a lot of work to do.
Earlier this week I attended Artrepreneur in Peterborough and it was an excellent day. It was a full day on the business side of art and I learned quite a bit about value, pricing, distribution networks, marketing and promotion. I also met some fabulously talented people that I plan on staying in touch with.
I did a quick demo on the ArtRage and Brushes apps for the iPad plus I was on a panel in the afternoon. Great fun!
The painting of the trilliums is finished! What do you think? I’m taking it to the photographer on Monday so I can have a high res photo to do prints from. The original is already sold – how cool is that?
Back on January 2nd I posted some photos of the trilliums after the first layer of paint. I have finished all but the trillium flowers themselves (yay!) so I thought I’d share the before and after shots so you can see the difference the second layer of paint makes. The photos were taken with different cameras so the colour is a little different between them. If you click on the photos you can see a larger image.
Over the past week I’ve had quite a few people ask me where I’ve been since I haven’t been blogging as often as I used to. I’m still here and I’m still drawing or painting every day!
It’s been 13 months now since I started my daily painting or drawing. It has become a habit and I’m enjoying it. I’m still working on the painting of the trilliums but hope to have that done soon.
I haven’t felt very productive lately so I’ve decided it’s time to get back down to business. I’ve been thinking of all the things I have to do and it’s been a bit overwhelming. Combine that with almost 2 weeks of migraines and there’s the reason for my lack of blogging and overall productivity. The winter weather hasn’t helped either. Does anyone else feel like hibernating at this time of year?
So, in order to keep myself accountable and to get myself in gear, I’m sharing my to do list.
Do inventory of prints and paintings
Update price list
Take photos of paintings and post new listings to Etsy
Finish the year end financial statement for my business in preparation for tax time
Set up a mailing list so I can send email newsletters out to people interested in my artwork
Create email newsletter
Clean up my office (it’s under the mess someplace!)
Set up my files on our new iMac
That should keep me busy for a while, don’t you think?
Here’s my mess of an office:
And here’s our beautiful 27″ iMac. We thought it was way too pretty to hide away in the office so it lives proudly in our living room…..where it gets a lot of use!