Sunday, 29 May 2011

Roll up, roll up.... all the fun of the fair

I'm very excited to report that in August I am going to be taking a stall at my first ever fair!!  I was contacted via my Etsy shop the other day by Beverley from The Style Fair and she invited me to take a stall as she thought that my art work would fit in with the ethos of what the event is about.  The idea is to promote the recycling of fashion by re-selling vintage clothes and high end second-hand items and also includes stalls selling handmade jewellery,  handbags, fashion accessories, handmade soaps and toiletries - all sorts of things -  they like to promote new designers and local 'home grown' artists.  

My mind has been going into overdrive thinking about what I can stock my stall with.  I'm going to have printed greetings cards and postcards and I would also like to have some original art in both watercolour and acrylic.  I even went to my local art shop and bought 16 mini canvases in 3 different sizes (basically all they had left in stock!) and the very lovely S came home yesterday with 2 brand new sets of acrylic paints and a set of paintbrushes for me!! (Having read that acrylic dries much more quickly than oil and can also be used to the same effect as watercolour, I'm going to give it a go!)

At the end of her email, Beverley put 'P.S Can we have some cats please' - well, I am only too happy to oblige as I love cats as much as dogs, having adopted waifs and strays when I was working abroad several years ago!  

This is a sketch in watercolour and ink I did prior to attempting it on canvas and its called "Cat Flapper" (in keeping with my love of terrible, corny titles!) I decided to follow on from the Walkies idea where we only see the bottom half of the women walking the dogs.  In this one we can see more of her as she is sitting down but I wanted her to still remain faceless - I like the idea that we never really know who she is or what she looks like.  I also decided to keep with the idea of women from bygone eras and so the series will be called "Purrfect Nostalgia!"

Cat Flapper
I have so many ideas running around my head so now just to get them all down on paper and canvas before August!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Empire State of Walkies....

This week's Walkies ACEO was inspired by a conversation I recently had with S about how many dogs we saw walking around Manhattan with all the gorgeous doggie accoutrements available in American dog accoutrement shops!! We stocked up on a few bits and pieces for our two while we were there as there just isn't the same choice in the UK.  

Anyway, I digress.  We talked about how the only thing that could've made our wedding day in Central Park any better than it was, was if Reuben and Brodie had been there.  (Even though, I know for sure they would've jumped up and got dirty paw prints all over my gorgeous champagne dress and we wouldn't have been able to go to the River Cafe for dinner with them in tow!)

Obviously they we couldn't take them with us to New York so, I decided to recreate the scene where we're walking from the hotel to Central Park and add them in! I love artistic licence!

Dogs in the City!
* Also because the other things I was working on this week I can't show you until after 12 June 2011- namely my friend's portrait which I finished and got framed (and only then realised I hadn't scanned it into the computer first-d'oh) this will have to be my contribution to Paint Party Friday!*

Friday, 20 May 2011

Paint Party Friday...stocking my shop

This one?

Or this one?

Or what about this one?

I have finally taken the plunge and registered with the tax man to become self employed as an artist (alongside my full time bill paying job - I'm not crazy!).  Yay, me!

This means  if I ever find the time I can sell my greetings cards and ACEOs at craft fairs and I can officially open an Etsy store and a Zazzle store and even a Red Bubble store.  I can now officially take commissions on pointy portraits too. I haven't quite managed to get round to stocking these stores completely yet but I have added a few things to my Etsy store and spent half of last night trying to make a banner fit 720x100 pixels - after several attempts where the pictures looked all squished, I moaned to S and he showed me how to start with a template the right size and add the pictures rather than try to reduce the size afterwards. And whaddya know, it worked!!

I'd love your opinion on which banner I should use - just a slight difference between them but am not sure which to go with. Is 4 pictures too many or does 3 look lopsided? Sorry they're so tiny but that's the size they need to be for the banner to fit my shop!

In other news this week, I've been mostly working on the portrait of my friend that I showed a wee bit of last week. For now you'll have to take my word for it but I am very pleased to report that it is actually a pretty good likeness and so I will be giving it to her as a gift after all!! I was putting off doing the mouth as I really don't like doing teeth so much but I think it turned out ok. Anyway, here's a sneaky peek of the bottom half of her face. Once I have given it to her next month I can post a photo of it in full along with her actual photo so you can see if I did her justice!!

Another sneaky peek!

Finally,  I got Reuben's portrait back from the framers and I love it.  Now, we just need to get to the paint shop to redo the living room walls...!

Now I just need to hang it!
Don't forget to pop over to Paint Party Friday to see what artistic goodies everyone has brought to the party this week!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Paint Party long last

Well,  I had this typed up on Thursday night ready to post first thing Friday morning when Bloggergate occurred.  So the title of my post is kind of apt as it was initially meant because I finally finished my pointy portrait of Reuben!! Who knew it would also mean I'm only getting to Friday's party with 20 minutes left before Saturday!

Anyway, I left the portrait in to get framed on Tuesday and had hoped to have it back in time to post a photo of it in the frame today but it wasn't to be (even with Blogger's frustrating delays).  Although I love to work in black ink, we don't have any black and white colour schemes in our home and, at the framers, I looked at all possible ways of bringing a little colour into the mount or frame but ultimately, the frame lady was right - black and white look best with black and white mount and frames. 

So I suggested to S that we redecorate the living room so that it fits in better!! Cue eye rolling but with an agreement to give the walls a fresh coat of paint and do away with the matchy matchy colour scheme!! We decided that we would remove the giant abstract canvas on the wall above the sofa (which I painted to match the rest of the colour scheme) and put up lots of different pictures all over that wall instead (we did this with photo frames all up the stairway and landing wall and I like that it's a bit mismatched and eclectic and gets added to every time we have a great holiday!).  And so, Reuben's portrait will be the first to hang on the 'picture wall' in our living room.  

Reuben - my wee furry lump of love!
I intend to do one of his wee sister, Brodie, as well at some point but for now, I've started a pointy portrait of a friend of mine who will be celebrating her 40th in June. She really is the girl who has everything - a real career woman with a champagne lifestyle who works hard and plays hard and who could basically buy and sell me.  Which brings up the age old question of what to get the person who has everything?

Well, in this case, she'll be getting an original pointy pix of her very own mug! (That is if it turns out as I hope it will - otherwise she'll be getting a gift voucher for House of Fraser!!)  She lives in England and I don't see her that often but all the old gang are getting together for her summer glamour party in June - I've got just under a month to get it finished and framed so best get a move on! She is also too busy and jetsetty (is that a word?) to read my blog so won't know about this! But just in case, here's just a sneaky peek of what I've got done so far!

Either this or gift vouchers!
It may take me the rest of the weekend to visit the other Paint Party Friday people but better late than never!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Postcards from the edge....

Postcards for  the Liberate Your Art project

You might recall a few posts back, I mentioned a project I had come across thanks to browsing through other art blogs one Paint Party Friday - Kat from Kat Eye View had invited fellow art bloggers to participate in a project whereby we send her 5 of our pictures printed onto postcards which she then sends out to all the other participants so that eventually you receive five postcards from five different artists.

I bought a book of watercolour postcards today and set about printing off my five favourite (so far) from the Walkies series.

©Pointy Pix
It also seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out the rubber script stamp I bought online recently from Merly Impressions, together with an ink stamp evocatively called London Fog!  I had seen so many lovely pieces again via Paint Party Friday using script and initially thought everyone in the world except me was a talented writer but Wrightstuff kindly let me into the rubber stamp secret!

©Pointy Pix

I tried really hard to get the pictures in the dead centre of the postcard sized template - but as you can see most of them are slightly off centre and I used the entire book of postcards (12 pages) to end up with these 5 plus a few which were even more off centre - so apologies in advance to whoever receives these that they aren't quite right!

©Pointy Pix
Oh, and I hadn't noticed but S kindly pointed out that the ones in landscape above and below are printed upside down - I forgot about the side you write on having a box for the stamp and lines for the address. But if you flip it over from the bottom instead of turning it round from the side it looks the right way up (if that makes sense!)

©Pointy Pix

©Pointy Pix

I can't wait to get them sent off in July (I'm a little bit early!) and start getting some back from who knows who from who knows where!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Paint Party Friday...A labour of love (almost lost!)...

Reuben - almost finished pen and ink stippled portrait.

I was hoping by now to have been showing this as a finished piece but if you happened to read my post about our trip to Donegal over Easter, you'll know about the drama I had when we got home to discover it hadn't made it home with us and how very, very lucky I am that it is once again in my possession (Thanks to Art, the owner of Sleepy Hollows campsite who kindly searched the grounds, found and posted it back to me after I rang in desperation!)

Anyway, S collected it from the Post Office for me today and I am just so very glad to have it back safe and sound that I wanted to show it to you as it is.  I will work on it over the weekend and will hopefully get it completed by next week's Paint Party Friday

So, in other news, my sister and brother-in-law arrived late on Tuesday night and we sat up til midnight catching up as we hadn't seen my sister since our wedding in November.

I gave my brother-in-law the picture which he loved (although of course he was never going to go "urgh, that's crap, I hate it!" but he certainly seemed genuinely surprised and pleased and my sister definitely loves it!) along with a wee card I made up enclosing money to get it framed when they get it back to England.

What the picture might look like framed!
We also sat up late on Wednesday night chatting, eating, drinking, and getting all competitive over board games so that is my excuse for not having anything new to bring to this week's paint party friday. I didn't want you to think I didn't do any art at all this week though so if I might be so bold, I would like to direct you to Tuesday's post of my latest Walkies ACEO (which I should've just kept and posted today if I'd had a titter of wit as my mother would say!)

Well, excuses over, I'm off to see what everyone else has been up to this week on Paint Party Friday!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Hill Walkies...

© Pointy Pix
So, I know up till now my Walkies series has been based on different eras in history and the fashions of the time.  This week I'm deviating slightly as is my prerogative (where inspiration leads, you've got to follow!).

Those of you who've been reading my blog since at least February may recall my birthday trip to the Isle of Skye courtesy of my lovely husband - well he then framed one of my favourite photos from that trip and I keep it on my dressing table where I can see it as I'm getting ready every morning - it both cheers me up, as it was such a fantastic time, and depresses me because I'm not still there but rather am sitting there getting ready for another day of 9-5 drudgery!

This was the photo:

And it came to me yesterday when I saw it perched on the dressing table, that I hadn't yet included the West Highland Terrier in any of the Walkies ACEOs and, as is often the way, word association ensued - "Ack, look at our wee dogs there, wee dotes...they loved Skye....I loved Skye...that day up the Quairaing was brilliant....I miss hill walking (even thought I'm not so keen on the hill part on the way UP...hmmm, hill walking, hill walkies...ding!"

I guess I'll keep on doing the Walkies series as long as:

a) eras/situations inspire me; 
b) I draw every breed of dog known to man; and 
c) I can keep on coming up with cheesy titles for the blog posts!!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Donegal...a wee piece of heaven on earth!

Sunset at Carrickfin Beach

Bunbeg with Mount Errigal in the background

So, we got back yesterday from our Easter holiday in the touring caravan.  After visiting my parents in Derry, we drove on up the road over the border (invisible border - the only things that show you are technically in a different country are the road signs which are in Gaelic as well as English, the currency is the Euro instead of Sterling, oh and the mobile phone network changes from UK to Ireland and despite us being with the same network provider both sides of the border, we suddenly incur vast 'roaming' charges for accessing the internet on our phones!!

Brodie showing her best side!

Beautiful Carrickfin Beach

Reuben watching the sun set over the sea!

Anyway, we arrived at the campsite, Sleepy Hollows, and after a near miss between our caravan and another camper's car when trying to manually guide our caravan into the allotted site on a bit of an incline (disaster averted thanks to S's lightening reactions with the caravan handbrake!), we finally got hooked up and unloaded and the holiday began!!

We got a perfect wee corner site!
We had unseasonally beautiful weather apart from one slightly drizzly day and I even managed to get sunburn and prickly heat after an afternoon of lounging around in the sun (damn my Irish skin!).

Bunbeg Beach

Bloody Foreland

We've been to various parts of Donegal before but where we stayed this time is my new favourite.  The campsite is in a tiny village called Crolly and the closest beach is just beside the teeny tiny airport and is called Carrickfin.  It is simply stunning - massive, white sand, big sand dunes, strange rock formations and long enough to give the dogs (and us) a great walk - which we did both morning and evening.

The rest of the time was spent lazing around on our little plot of grass beside the caravan or else in the caravan itself.  I discovered a specific spot on the sofa which when I lay down on it with the dogs had the immediate effect of sending me off to sleep!

I took my portrait of Reuben with me as I planned to get it finished while we were there.  I did work on it for a couple of hours but not nearly as much as I should have simply because the weather was too nice to spend indoors for any length of time. 

Proof I did do some art while I was on holiday!
Disaster nearly struck when we arrived home last night and the portrait was nowhere to be found.  I knew I'd put it in the back of the truck when we packed up and was gutted that I'd spent so much time on it and had somehow lost it between Donegal and Bangor (about 3 and 1/2 hours drive).  Out of desperation and not really holding out much hope I phoned the owner of the campsite (whose name, ironically, is Art!) and asked if he'd found a big brown envelope after we left.  He went off to double check and would you believe it - he found it under the caravan parked next to ours!! Somehow it fell out of the truck as we were packing up and yesterday's strong wind had blown it there!! 

Reuben looking doleful as always!

Shipwreck at Bunbeg Beach

I swear Brodie actually poses for her photographs!

The dogs were in their element
I would hugely recommend Donegal as a destination for a holiday - obviously we were really lucky with the Irish weather but it is still such a beautiful part of the world.  That's us back to reality and back to work on Tuesday and already planning our next caravan trip - perhaps County Kerry!


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