Thursday, 27 September 2012

This cow needs a home...

Cowmodity - Acrylic on wrapped canvas 50x50cm

I finally finished the cow painting, ‘Cowmodity’.

Here is some interesting/useless (delete as appropriate) information about it and other news in my life this week:-

  • I spent 20 something hours on it in total although that was spaced out over about 3 months.  
  • It’s the longest I've spent on a piece so far.

  • It’s also the largest piece I've worked on yet (50x50cm)

  • The canvas started life as a print of a flower that S rescued from being dumped by someone else and I 'up-cycled' it by painting over it!

  • It’s my favourite piece so far. Ever. So much so that it breaks my heart a little to sell it as I'd really quite like to hang it in our kitchen.  Still, there's no point making art just to keep it for myself instead of sharing it with the world (whether the world wants it or not!)So, it's for sale in my 'stuff for sale' section in the sidebar should anyone take a shine to it. **Update - it sold! Remember my sister bought the pig painting here? Well, she contacted me as soon as she saw this last night and bought it as well! She'll have the whole farm on her wall soon!**

  • I’m also going to upload it to Fine Art America though so should anyone fancy a print of it then they can nip over there for one or alternatively now that S bought a super duper new printer that I don’t have to fight with to print on watercolour/thick card I can also print off both A4 and A3 size prints of it should any UK-based folk fancy a print of a wee Irish cow up on their walls! 
  • The colours in the first photo are much stronger than in the actual canvas - the blue isn't really quite so blue - its more like the other photos but went like that when S ran it through perfectly clear on Photoshop (S took the first one on his camera and I took the rest hence they're not as clear as his!)

  • I submitted my first ever tax return as a self-employed artist (I won't be giving up the day job any time soon!)
  • I still can't show you the commissioned piece I did for People Per Hour but I'll give you a clue - check back around the big spooky celebration at the end of October!

Cowmodity taken on my camera - the colours are more muted than the first pic which was taken by S on his camera
That’s all for this week (pretty short for me, huh?) See you over at Paint Party Friday, hosted as always by the lovely Kristin and Eva.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Lurking in the attic...

We finally got round to clearing out our attic last Saturday.  It's a job we've been threatening to do for at least the last three years, promising to have a car boot sale with all the junk hidden treasures taking up space up there.

So, S made two trips to the dump and a further trip with said treasures to his work storage shed for a brief stop off until he can take them to the local town auction - apparently they can sell any old crap what with one man's junk being another man's treasure! Among other things, we re-discovered 4, count em, guitars, amps, fishing rods, computer monitors, printers, convection heaters - all in perfectly good working order!

I also came across a box of basically every letter, postcard and greetings card I've ever received from my teens onwards from friends, family, acquaintances and some folk I now don't remember at all!  I spent the afternoon getting lost in the reminiscences of first loves, holiday romances, 'sorry you're leaving' cards from jobs I barely remember and gossipy letters from my friends sent to me when I lived in Germany, Portugal, Cyprus and Tunisia back in the days when people still put pen to paper and sealed it in an airmail envelope which always gave me a thrill of excitement when it landed through my letter box - do you remember how exciting it was to get a big, long, handwritten letter in the post - opening an email just isn't the same. 

Anyway, I decided that, as I'd been lugging this box of correspondence around from house to house (as well as country to country) for the last 20 odd years only for it to sit forgotten and dusty in my attic, that it was time to be ruthless and get rid.   I did keep all the birthday cards from my parents (the started at age 11 onwards when my tendency to hoard such things must've first begun!) and I'll always keep the cards and letters that S has sent me over the years but the rest, I ripped up and consigned to the bin - I don't need the physical letters when the memories are all still there in my head. 

Anyway, the point of this post is, in the middle of this box of memories I discovered a little envelope with 8 small watercolour illustrations I did back in 1997 when I was living in Dublin and had the idea of designing greetings cards (several rejection letters put that idea on the back burner for several more years when the advent of Etsy and Folksy meant I could sell them myself without needing the services of a publishing house!) There were 4 more that I had framed and gave to my mum which I mentioned back here.

I did do art this week (the People Per Hour commission) but I can't show it yet so I thought I would share these little blasts from the past instead!

Happy Paint Party Friday for tomorrow (I'm a little early)!

Thursday, 13 September 2012


So recently my artistic mojo has gone AWOL.  I could've searched high up and low down for it (and might even possibly have found it lurking in my art studio behind the jar of paint brushes had I been able to motivate myself to set foot in it, in the last two weeks) But because I had neglected it, it seemed that my artistic mojo had taken the huff and had eloped with my motivation and taken my energy levels along to be their witness.

I bemoaned my lack of anything resembling artistic motivation with my lovely online friend and amazing talented artist, Sandra, and she said that when she feels like that she makes herself sketch something, anything, just so she feels she is doing something art-like.  She set me a challenge to do the same.  She threw down the gauntlet and so, I picked it up (we're not called the fighting Irish for nothing - a challenge you say?!)

And so, I thought long and hard and ended up not straying too far from my comfort zone and creating another doodimal. A smaller one on 8x5 inch watercolour paper, but a doodimal nevertheless.  Here is William - the rooster we met back at the cottage in Scotland earlier this year.

Cock-a-doodle-doo - watercolour and ink 8x5 inches

Now, it seems that dipping my toe into the pool of art may have paid off as today, I re-visited my profile on People Per Hour and noticed that now they have a new thing called Hourlies where folk can offer to do whatever their job speciality is in so many hours  (e.g. design a new logo in 2 hours) and set their own price. So, I decided to offer to do doodimals and would you believe it not long after I put it up there, the Community Manager at People Per Hour only went and bought an Hourlie from me!! I can't say what it is just yet but, believe me, when it's done and out there, I'll be singing it from the rooftops!!

The Rooster before the colour

So, thanks Sandra for giving me a wee artistic prod!!

The Original

I'm linking up with Paint Party Friday which I missed last week because of aforementioned lack of artistic mojo - I'm happy to say, it's back glowing from its honeymoon with motivation in spades!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

All the pretty postcards...

The cards I received

The cards I sent - did you get one?

Do you remember back here when I told you about the Liberate your Art postcard swap that Kat was organising for the second year and that I was going to participate in it for the second year. 

Well,  I've now received all 5 postcards plus one extra that Kat sent out to everyone who participated (all 192 of them!).  My 5 have also all been sent out into the world and have all hopefully found new homes by now.  There is a Facebook page where folk have been posting (no pun intended) the postcards they receive but so far I've only managed to locate one of mine that LeAnne received and it had a pretty serendipitous story behind it!  

Kathryn Hall's sunshine card (no website given)

From 13-16 September there's going to be a blog hop so that everyone can hopefully meet up with those that received their cards and those who they received cards from.  

Karen Koch -
Massive thanks to Kat for hosting and organising the swap again this year.  It was no mean feat to sort all the cards out - think of the amount of stamps that needed sticking for a start!

A gorgeous photo and a great quote but unfortunately no contact details!
The swap is a great way to discover other artists from all over the world who you may not come across otherwise - I hadn't met any of the folk I got cards from in any of the other art communities before, so that's 5 new artists/photographers I've now been introduced to!

Natasha Papousek -

And the lovely photo that Kat made into postcards to send to all of us:


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