Thursday, 25 October 2012

Almost living the dream...

Firstly, apologies that I didn't get round very many people on last week’s Paint Party Friday circuit. I do have a reason and I’ll get to it shortly.

Happy Halloween commissioned Doodimal
Secondly, do you remember about a month or so ago, I mentioned (excitedly) that I had been commissioned by People Per Hour to design a doodimal for their Facebook page? Well, it was to be Halloween themed and I did it and sent it off what seems like yonks ago now. I’ve checked their page every day this month to see if it had been put up yet but as of right now (Thursday evening), it still isn’t there. Perhaps they’re only planning on using for the one day of actual Halloween, who knows? Anyway, I’ve been champing at the bit, as my mother would say whenever I was being impatient, to show you the two designs I came up with as I was really quite pleased with them, not normally being a huge fan of the whole Halloween festivities malarkey. I had hoped to be able to link to their Facebook page at the same time but unfortunately it isn’t to be. However, if you check back on their page on 31 October then it should surely be on there then!

People Per Hour commissioned pumpkin Doodimal

Now, I also have to apologise for my irregular blog-keeping of late. I’ve been here but I haven’t really been here, if you know what I mean. I haven’t completed a new piece of art since I finished the Cow painting but the thing is, I’ve got this enormous life changing news to share and I’ve been dying to scream it from the rooftops but felt like I had to keep it bottled up because at the moment it’s only really half happening.

You see, S was offered a fantastic job in Scotland. Not just is it in Scotland but it's actually based in the Caithness area in the North of Scotland which was where we went on our Northern Lights trip back in March of this year and where we fell in love with the complete and utter beauty of the landscape and the sense of isolation, far from the madding crowds as it is. Anyway, he applied for the job at the end of August, had the interview at the start of September and headed off on Sunday last for three months of training all over the UK. So, as you can imagine, my priorities this last month lay in spending time with him before he left, hence the reason why art has taken a back seat for a while. 

Now, that’s the good part of the news. The other really good part is that when we do relocate I will only need to get a part-time job  (which S says is purely to get me out of the house and talking to people as there is a very real danger I could turn into a complete hermit!) and the rest of the time I can spend painting!

The not so good part is that I have to stay in Northern Ireland until we sell our house. We put it on the market a couple of weeks ago and have had 2 viewers so far which is better than the last time we tried to sell back in 2008/9 when we had 1 viewer in the whole 2 years! With the current market, who knows how long it will take to sell our house so while I'm hugely excited at the prospect of living our dream in the wilds of Scotland, the excitement is somewhat dampened by the uncertainty of how long the dogs and I will have to stay here waiting for that sold sign to go up. With that in mind, I’d appreciate any positive vibes you could send out into the cosmos to encourage a quick sale!

Anyway, that's my news and so, what with being home alone, I’ll have plenty of time this weekend for catching up with everyone at PPF and with finally getting back into my art studio!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Face forward in the future...

Thanks to those who responded to my idea about the portrait swap and are interested and also to those who responded even if they don't want to join in! Although can I just say that those who said they didn't think people would like their style or they weren't confident enough - please join in - the difference in artistic style is what it's all about!

Overall, I think enough folk responded to go ahead and do a small portrait swap although those who did sensibly pointed out that it would be better left until after Christmas as there are too many other things to be done in the next couple of months.  So, to give everyone plenty of time to think about it and to get Christmas over with first of all,  I thought I would set up a Mr Linky so people can start to sign up between now and the New Year and then we could start the swap in February and allow the whole of that month to complete the portraits before we have the blog hop.

Here's the Face Forward button if you'd like to add it to you blog and please, by all means tell your blogging followers about it as the more, the merrier

Please just go ahead and add your name to the list and then you can happily forget all about it until February when I'll post an update on who you'll be painting!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Face Forward...

So, I had an idea and for it to work, I need the help of my online art friends. A couple of weeks ago, I was visiting Ileana of Arroz con Mango and saw that she had completed another amazing portrait, this time of a friend of hers - she has such a gift for portraiture. I left a comment about it and said that maybe we could do some sort of art swap where we do portraits of each other. Honestly, it was an off the cuff comment purely because I selfishly want her to do a portrait of me but then she replied and said that she would be interested in participating in such a swap and that, yes, she would do my portrait! I've been mulling over how it would work and so decided to test the waters by mentioning it here (hijacking Paint Party Friday, sorry Kristin and Eva!)

Now, I’ve taken part in a few blog hops and used the blog link thing but I have no idea how to go about setting up such a swap. But before I get bogged down in the technical details, I thought I should put the idea out there and see if anyone else was actually interested in joining in.

The general idea is sort of like the whole concept of 'Pay it Forward' except this is more of a 'Paint it Forward' and being about portraits I thought I'd call it 'Face Forward':-

1. People initially leave a comment on this post saying if the idea tickles their fancy.

2. If the response is positive I then find out how to set up a link that people can join and a set a closing date for participation.

3. Either the participants can be paired off so that the same two people paint each other or it can be even more random so that you might not necessarily paint the person who paints you - let me know in your comments which you would prefer and we can decide from there (of course for this to work there sort of needs to be an even number of participants!) 

4. Folk can each then contact their Face Forward portrait subject and arrange to email photographs to each other to work from. They can be done in any medium/style/technique - there are no restrictions so if you want to go all Picasso, make a collage or turn your portrait into a caricature or whatever your own artistic style is, then feel free!

5. Once everyone has been paired up we can then set a deadline for the portraits to be completed by, then post them to our own blogs and link them back here so everyone can see the results.

I’m not normally a people portrait artist. I have done a few although as anyone who reads my blog knows the faces I draw tend to be covered in fur! Still, I'm looking forward to challenging myself by doing a portrait of a face I haven’t yet seen - if you're like me then you choose what you're going to paint/draw based on your own interests and inspirations.  I thought this would be a good way to stick to a set subject but still give free rein to your own personal artistic style. There are so many different types of artists out there and I think it would be interesting to see what folk come up with. Plus it's a good way to get to know other online bloggers and we all end up with a portrait of ourselves!

Let me know if you think this is a good idea or a rubbish one and please tell me if you can think of any way it might work better – I’ve never done anything like this before so all helpful comments will be gratefully received. 

By the way, we're off to London on Friday to visit my sister (and Kayak down the river Thames - trying to avoid falling in and getting dysentery!)so if I don' get round all the PPFers at the weekend I'll definitely visit next week!


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