Cafe 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?

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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.

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It’s that Peony time of Year

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.

light pink peonies

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.

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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!

In the Quartermaster’s Stores

The Stores pic2

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.

The Stores pic 1

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.

The Stores pic 3

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.

Spring/Autumn

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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.

autumn 1

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.

Spring is in the Air

bunch of flowers blog

It’s pretty cold out there, but there are definite signs of Spring which is really exciting.  At last there is the light at the end of the tunnel of Winter and soon things will warm up.  I’ve become so excited that I have been painting flowers non stop all week!

bottle flowers detail blog

I find flowers very difficult to paint most of the time.  Its so very hard as there is so much detail.  The difficulty is to know where and when to simplify.  It’s often best to squint your eyes to see what needs to be in detail and what not.  Our eyes can find detail in so much of what we see yet most of us prefer paintings which aren’t always in focus throughout.  It’s similar to when and where to lose edges and where and when to accentuate them.

snowdrops blog

‘Snowdrops’ – oil on board 10″x8″ – £65 from Alicesarthouse shop at Etsy

I tried an impressionist quick way with the snowdrops which has a blurry style which I probably like the most. For the other flowers I tried to concentrate on only parts of the flowers which I think works on the the large bunch of flowers rather than the smaller flowers.  For the larger bunch of flowers I tried to use a larger brush throughout.  It’s nice to try different things/styles/brushes etc.

 

Pop up Exhibition

pop up exhibition

Over the last couple of weeks I have had a couple of exhibitions which I have been rather worried about.  It feels like a big step to go out there to sell your work when you are so unsure of it in the first place.  It’s hard as an artist I think to really believe in your work.  It’s hard to see the good things.  Instead we see all the mistakes and where we could improve.

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I have been totally shocked and astounded by the way my work has been received over the last couple of weeks.  I have had so much positive feed back and people have been so kind.  It’s been quite a learning curve. Somehow its still so hard to believe that people like your work and want to buy it.  It’s an amazing boost and helps me to realise that despite all the mistakes I see, someone else likes and enjoys them.  Some of these paintings have been around my house for quite a while – I’m so excited and pleased that they have been sold, but I will also miss them.

Thank you very much for your support.

 

Christmas has come early

wreath left web

This week Christmas has come early.  Its August and I have been continuing with my styling but this time on a Christmas theme.  Its often the hottest time of year that I do the Christmas shoots for magazines which always feels a little daft.  Yet again I was in a London house and this was the wreath that I did for the door.

The house was in some beautiful greys and so I wanted to compliment it using eucalyptus as the greenery with some classic roses and the soft pinks and greens of hydrangea.  I really enjoy unusual wreaths and often like the use of vegetables or fruit in them.  Artichoke can often be a good choice as the purple and the spikey leaves can compliment the softness of the flowers.  Also pomegranate is a good idea as they are very much a Christmas fruit with a really lovely red colour and wonderful shape.

whole wreath web

Be bold this Christmas and do something crazy.  Its a fun time of year so its nice to reflect this in your wreath.  Don’t be scared!

Look out for my styling and paintings in January’s issue of Homes and Garden (UK).