I notice that it’s been a long time since I last wrote. Life has been busy with various things going on, a few changes and some holidays. Sorry.
I have been working throughout this time. I have work up in The Stores cafe in Great Waltham, had an exhibition with the Great Dunmow Art Group (DAG), exhibited at the Great Waltham Art Show and have been working towards another exhibition happening the second weekend of June.
With all this going on its been an eye opener as to what people will pay towards work. Living in London and going to shows and exhibitions, it seems the going rate for a small oil painting framed would be around £375. This is definitely not the case in areas outside London – certainly not in Essex. Pricing work is really hard and getting people to understand the price is even harder. Having spoken to various local people about my prices for my work it appears they are far too expensive even though I have priced them way lower than London prices. It seems they don’t understand the time it takes to paint and then the cost of the materials on top. I understand that many things these days have become cheap because of mass production but when you are trying to paint for a living you have to calculate the cost of your time. Many people exhibiting with me at the DAG show are keen hobbyists and weren’t particularly interested in a good price for their work. This makes things difficult for me. I am trying to earn a living. Sadly when you are stuck in a room with very different prices from yours, your sales suffer.
Understanding the amount people were willing to pay at the show made me think that it would be a good idea to perhaps try something else that was quicker to do and less expensive. My crows were popular and so I have decided to enter completely different work for the exhibition on the 7th and 8th June. Staying on an animal theme. Tell me what you think.
White Tailed Bumblebee
These are smaller pieces of work and have been done with watercolour which is a much quicker and a cheaper way to work. These will be priced from £80 – £125.
London has been rather cold and damp these last couple of weeks. It’s been a great time to sit and stare out of the window. The skies have been amazing. The pink evenings have been incredible, the morning moon so big and bright and the dramatic after storm clouds have been rolling in which has made this last week really inspiring. Being able to look out of my loft window at the skies makes me feel so small in this huge world that is so beautiful and never stops changing.
The skies out of my loft window after a storm. 20cm x 20cm oil on board.
The morning moon outside my bedroom window. 20cm x 20cm oil on board.
Over the week I’ve been trying to capture these skies in a series of paintings which I’m hoping to get framed and will go up in Il Molino in February. It’s been hard trying to capture the colours, light and texture of the beautiful skies. I have one more to do.
Sunset outside my kitchen window. 40cm x40cm oil on board
Let me know what you think.
Happy New Year! I have been so lucky having had the opportunity to spend Christmas with my family in Kenya. We had the most amazing time. I didn’t want it to end. My sister was amazing at organising some lovely exciting experiences while also giving us a lovely chance to relax. I didn’t manage to bring out any art materials as my bag was full of Christmas presents. I did however get some lovely materials as a present from my sister in law which went down a treat and I had a go at sketching a few things between the madness and fun.
Our Bell tent
Tree at breakfast
A tree while eating breakfast, hippos coming up for air, milk churns with water and our bell tent.
Goodness it’s awful being back now in London. The mornings are so dark and the skies are so very grey! Having had 3 weeks off painting it’s hard to get back into it so I’m taking it slowly to get my eye back in. I have a portrait to finish but felt that it would be best to get my eye back in and start with something simple. A simple rose in a vase. Obviously this is for sale so get in touch if you are interested.
A one stem vase. 10″x12″ oil on board – £100
Happy New Year! Let’s hope 2019 brings lots of fun and laughter.
Sorry it’s been so long since I last wrote on my blog. It’s been a mixture of being stuck ( having broken down) in France over the holidays and being incredibly busy with the PTA at my son’s school.
Well I’m back now and with something slightly different. I have been given the opportunity to display my work with two other artists in my local cafe in Clapham/Battersea called Il Molino. Their will be a collection of work up during November and December, pieces that are affordable for easy Christmas present options for local customers. This has given me a great opportunity to do something slightly different.
I visited The Mall Gallery last week with a great friend and was thoroughly inspired by some beautiful work on wildlife. The artists there captured their subject so well, showing all the wonderful characteristics in so many different mediums. I have a great interest in wildlife and this exhibition gave me the inspiration to try something different.
London is full of crows. However much people dislike them there is a huge presence everywhere you go. They have a sinister beauty about them. Their vicious beaks and sleek dark feathers give them an evil edge but one that deserves respect. The exhibition at The Mall Gallery and walking through Clapham Common inspired me to have a go at painting these wonderful birds. I really enjoyed working with some really inky blues and wonderfully deep dark blacks. I was pleased with the outcome and very chuffed to see that others liked them too on Instagram. What do you think?
I’m going to explore some more in this medium and subject matter in and around my normal work.
Over the last month, this month and the following month my work is in The Stores in Gt Waltham in Essex. I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to display and sell my work. Many people have been very sceptical about the idea of selling and displaying work in cafes. They have been very negative about whether or not people manage to ever sell their work that way. I decided to give it a go and see what happens – it can’t hurt can it?
The second month’s display of work at The Stores in Great Waltham – sorry about the slight shake to the picture!
I’m thrilled to say that I have managed to sell 3 paintings from The Stores! I am so very excited about it and the fact that one was bought by someone and she liked it so much that she came back to buy 2 more is wonderful. This is a huge encouragement! This weekend I’m getting myself ready and finishing things off so that I have more to put up on Monday.
I have decided to approach one of my local cafes in London to see if I can display my work there and they have said yes which is brilliant. I thought this could be a perfect opportunity to display some of the work that comes from the school around the corner that I’ve been going to for a morning a week. The idea would be that a group of artists would rotate each month. Some of my friends see it as a good idea but I’m so surprised and saddened by others who again have this snobby feeling that it is a cheap way of selling work and not prestigious enough. I feel as long as you are realistic about your work, perhaps don’t put it in amazing frames to keep costs down, you can make your work accessible to everyone. One thing to remember is that people seem to have a habit of surprising you. Just have a go. Let see what happens…….
Fingers crossed I manage to sell more paintings this month.
This time of year peonies are in abundance. They are one of my favourite flowers and the season for them is very short. They are so fluffy, full and smell amazing. Their usual colour is a lovely light creamy pink but this year I was given some wonderfully dark deep pink ones for my birthday which I couldn’t help but try and paint.
Peonies are so very beautiful but also so very hard to paint. Unlike most flowers that are quite obedient and don’t move much these can’t help but move all the time. Once they start to open they move so quickly in front of your eyes. If you start painting one when it is slightly open, by the time 4 hours is up they completely blown out and are a different shape and colour from when you started. You have to work so very quickly.
I found the dark pink peonies harder than the light pink peonies as the day I painted them was particularly hot which didn’t help matters. It helps if you keep your painting style loose and fluffy like the flowers themselves.
I’m pleased to say that within a day of putting the light pink peonies on my Etsy page I sold them to someone in Las Vegas! I’m really chuffed. Keep checking out my Etsy page (AlicesArtHouse) for more additions each week!
Never underestimate the importance of what framing can do for a painting. I made a big mistake by getting a painting framed in the wrong frame and was so very disappointed with the result. This was partly my fault and the framers fault as we had both agreed to a frame but sadly the framer couldn’t get it and decided to put it in another frame.
Mr Cockerel in the original frame done by the framer.
He looks very small and insignificant in this frame – 30cm x 30cm oil on linen on board available at AlicesArtHouse on Etsy.com
Second frame I chose. Framed this way he looks far bigger and more important.
Framing can be very expensive which is always a little worrying when buying a painting, but I’ve come to realise that it can be worth the price. Framers can be great at picking various colours and styles for you to help you make the most of your paintings. Find a good framer and stick with them. I won’t be going back to my original framer.
Mrs Chicken – 30cm x 30cm oil on linen board – £100 available at AlicesArtHouse www.etsy.com
I’m so pleased to say that my work is on the wall in a cafe in Great Waltham in Essex called The Stores for the next 3 months! Its a rather lovely new cafe in the area which sells great coffee for somewhere out of London and some delicious homemade cakes as well as some fab paintings for sale. I’m really pleased to announce that this is on for a three month period. I have been working hard to produce work for it alongside some commissions and the plan is to change the work around each month so people don’t get too bored. Fingers crossed some of them will be sold anyway so it will be just a matter of replacing them.
It was quite hard to know what work to display in a cafe. Its difficult to judge the size or pricing of them. Some of the work there had clearly been done by hobby painters and so the price was mainly irrelevant and so they were charging a really low price. A particular artist displaying there sold loads of artwork as they were only £25 each! Sadly this puts me in a difficult position as I have become fully committed to making a living out of my work. I hope the general public find my prices reasonable. One of the hardest things I find is knowing where to price your work. It’s a fine balance between selling your work and getting what you want for it.
If you are someone who lives near Gt Waltham in Essex please do pop into the cafe to have a cup or tea or something. Tell me what you think of my work and pricing. Also a quick heads up, I will be exhibiting at the Stebbing Open Gardens this weekend in Essex too. Pop along if you are around.
In the occasional classes I go to at an art school around the corner I was asked to bring in something that I could paint over 2 weeks. The usual subject matter for these classes are flowers, vegetables and fruit or whatever happens to be lying around.
I did what I was told and brought in some things what wouldn’t perish. I wasn’t too sure what to bring with me as I ran out of the door. I had thought a while ago about doing series of paintings of toys as something different and so grabbed some of my son’s American muscle cars as I love the wonderful colours with flames along the sides.
Hot wheels set up
When I produced the cars everyone thought I was mad. Totally mad. What a strange subject matter and how sweet that I wanted to do a painting for my son. I wasn’t doing a painting for my son – no! I thought a painting of Hotwheels would be rather cool and Pop Art.
After one week
After lining them up, with the odd one on its back, I realised that I WAS mad. I was totally mad. The difficulty struck me and I suddenly felt very depressed by not even knowing where to start! It was so important to get all the angles and the colours and perspective right. A nightmare! Thankfully I had my teacher to point me in the right direction.
The finished article
After two weeks I was quite pleased with it. My son on the other hand said it was a good effort but some attention to detail was lacking and that some of the curves were wrong. There is no pleasing some people!
While spring is in the air and finally the trees are blossoming and the daffodils are everywhere, my main thoughts with styling are in autumn. It can be quite hard to think 6 months in advance but in styling that is what is needed. Just before Easter I was asked to style a house outside Hungerford for an autumn edition of the magazine. It was time to think of an autumnal table.
This year I decided to go with autumnal fruits. Crisp juicy apples was the line I was going with. I bought a bag of deliciously red juicy apples which I chose to place along the centre of the table along with some cape gooseberries and some cut olive branches in a relaxed fashion. These then looked great with red candles, red and orange roses and tea lights. This is a very cheap way to decorate a table for a dinner party just before the nights start really drawing in.