No Sales

Sadly the last exhibition that I was in wasn’t a great success.  It still amazes me the quality of art work that is entered into these shows in Essex.  The price ranges differ so much which means that people have an option to buy from around £25 a picture to £500.  In some ways this is good I see as there is something for everyone’s  budget but sadly this doesn’t help those who are trying to make a living out of painting.  I thought that the quality of the work would have been better as it was a charity event but I was sadly disappointed.  I don’t feel too bad as my entry fee went to a good cause.

Never mind, you can only know if you take part.  From listening to other artists and what they have achieved this year I’ve come to realise that you have got to have a go at everything.  Put your name down for everything and you may then be pleasantly surprised and it can help you get noticed and found.  So from now on guys it’s yes to everything!

Here is a preview into a few of the pieces I’m thinking of putting into the exhibition in September.  I need to make my mind up about what to put in the show by the beginning of August.  Yes or no to these pieces?

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Selling Work

The process of painting, making mistakes and trying new things is great fun but in the end it comes down to how much your work sells and how popular you are especially if you are wanting to make a living out of it.  Selling your work is one of the hardest things I have found.  I am very grateful for websites such as Esty which are a great platform for selling work and I have been successful there but somehow many people don’t trust buying work unless someone else says its good.  I realise that if you aren’t represented by a gallery then many people don’t recognise you as an artist.

My aim this year is to try and find a gallery who is willing to put their neck on the line and support me.  It is a very tough world out there and already walking around the area I live in, the amount of rude and hard knock backs I have had is quite an eye opener.  It’s that chicken and egg situation where they are not interested in seeing work that has been sold (even though it represents the work/style I paint) but are more interested in work that is available which then puts you in a difficult position with work hanging around your studio that you can’t put anywhere to sell.  They also have this air about them claiming that THEY find you and not the other way around.  How do I get found?

Being in a gallery also brings it’s problems as they charge around 70% per painting which hikes your prices up meaning that displaying or exhibiting in cafes etc will become more of a problem.  Sadly this isn’t a hobby for me – something I need to try to make a living out of.

This year I’m determined to work as well as I can and get some pieces ready for any gallery to take me.  It’s the Affordable Art Fair next week where I will go around and find galleries where my work might fit.

This year a gallery, next year competitions.  I have my work cut out!

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Here is a little picture for those of you who were celebrating St Davids Day.  Framed and ready to go on my Etsy site AlicesArtHouse. £200 (painting is 40cmx40cm).

Beautiful Winter Skies

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.

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The skies out of my loft window after a storm.  20cm x 20cm oil on board.

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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.

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Sunset outside my kitchen window. 40cm x40cm oil on board

 

Let me know what you think.

The January Blues

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.

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.

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A one stem vase. 10″x12″ oil on board –  £100

Happy New Year!  Let’s hope 2019 brings lots of fun and laughter.

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!

The Importance of Framing

 

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.

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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

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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.

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Mrs Chicken – 30cm x 30cm oil on linen board – £100 available at AlicesArtHouse www.etsy.com

One Man and his Dog

Stewart portrait blog

I was asked to do a portrait of a good friend of mine, a portrait if him and his dog.  I was very flattered that his partner asked me on the sly to paint this picture of him for his birthday/Christmas.  Obviously as this was on the sly I painted it from a photograph.  I was a little worried by the photo as it was a quick snap that someone took on their phone and so the detail and focus wasn’t as good as I would have liked.  I had a go and kept with the same dulled down colour palette from the photo which I think worked.  I also tried to keep the background in a slight blur so that you would concentrate on the portrait which I think worked too.

It’s always a little nerve racking doing a portrait of a friend as it means so much more to you as an artist to get it right,  but at the same time at least you really know them so you can tell when you’ve got it right.

It was also the first time I’ve painted a dog, and again this dog means the world to my friend so again this has to be right – scary!

I tried hard. I hope they liked it!