Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Transition Period

Next week I fly to Canada for almost three weeks so my posting will continue to be infrequent until the beginning of September.
When I took early retirement at the end of March I thought I would spend far more time on my art which would include posting to my blog. I have spent more time on my art but it has mainly been behind the scenes marketing. The number of completed pieces I have produced has not been great and I have missed more deadlines than I ever did when I was juggling working and art.
I've also felt that I had little to post about, and the days I was going to post I've left it until I was too tired.
However on the positive side things I have done are:-
Set the wheels in motion to exhibit at two or three large Agricultural shows in 2011
Joined the members of Living Heritage craftsmen and committed to attend the Cheshire Game Fair with them at the end of August
Created and produced a 2011 calendar which is already selling well
Catalogued my prints and cards and made sure I have sufficient stock to avoid any future marathon printing sessions.
Had one of my images included on the 2010 Society of Feline Artists Brochure (I'll show you in my next post)
I'm treating the last few months as a time of transition and not worrying over what I have or haven't done. It's been hard for me to switch from the daily challenges I had in my job which involved a great deal of responsibility to just managing myself.
But I think I'm getting there, I've a lot of ideas for future drawings and paintings and posts for my blog and am quite excited with how 'Poppy' is turning out.
I've decided to continue sporadic posting until the end of August and then return with a bang in September.
I hope you all have a wonderful Summer (or Winter, depending on where you live)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pastel Cat - Part 2

A couple of people asked if I'd post progress shots, so here's Poppy after todays work.
The colours aren't quite right as I had to take a photograph using a flash. The light is terrible here in Yorkshire as we're in the middle of a deluge. I have never, ever seen it rain as hard as it has been doing on and off over the last few hours.
Apart from Clinton and Roxie the dogs have point blank refused to go outside. Trying to encourage them to go outside I ended up standing in the dog run in the rain while they watched from the Conservatory door refusing to even put a paw out the door.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Return to Pastel, Poppy the Cat

Years ago I mainly used pastel for my art with an occasional foray into graphite. Then I discovered coloured pencil, followed swiftly by acrylic and watercolour and ended up using mixed media for most of my work.
Every so often I have tried pastels again but been frustrated by the lack of detail I could achieve when compared to coloured pencil and acrylic.
However I wanted to do a picture complete with background for my last submission for the Society of Feline Artists exhibition and decided to give pastel a try. The reason being I can work faster in pastel than anything else and for the background I had in mind the ability to blend was ideal.
This time I used the Fisher pastel paper and was delighted with how much detail it was possible to achieve.
Hopefully the background will go as smoothly as the head.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Black Cat ACEO

'Colours of Black'
To bid click here.
I decided it was about time I created another ACEO.

I had fun with this one using various pink, blue and purple coloured pencils to create the black fur.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cat in Graphite

This is one I started a long time ago however the deadline for completion has crept up on me and I need to finish it this week.

I've been busy away from art over the last week.
I visited the Great Yorkshire Show on Tuesday which is the largest agricultural show in the UK and a really great day out.
I want to draw some cows and sheep in the future and there were many stunning specimens to choose from. I also took some very nice photographs of a Sea Eagle who will make an appearance at some stage in a drawing or painting.
Yesterday it was our eldest son's graduation which involved many proud parent moments.
But I'm back at the drawing board, at least for today.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Portrait of a King

"Portrait of a King"
Graphite on mellotex paper.
I made my deadline with a whole night to spare.
I need to deliver this tomorrow, keep your fingers crossed it gets juried in to the exhibition.

Friday, July 02, 2010

How Not to Create a Calendar

The images for my 2011 calendar.

I thought I would share the lessons I've learned during the process of creating my calendar.
Decide before starting how you are going to print your calendar.
I decided after I'd finished creating that it would be more cost effective to have the calendars printed by a company specialising in litho printing. My printer is a large format Epson with 8 colour cartridges more suitable for giclee printing soI decided it would be rather expensive to print calendars using it.
I found a company that offered what I wanted at a good price. However I then had a huge problem as they wanted each page as a print ready Pdf file. Of course I hadn't used Publisher which meant I know very little about the embedded fonts, my colours were in the wrong mode and I hadn't considered having a bleed area. I decided that rather than start again I would print them myself and make sure for my next calendar I'd get it right from the start.

If you are going to bind the calendars yourself make sure you select the equipment suitable for the task.

I already have a plastic comb binder but thought calendars would look better using wire so I ordered one.When it arrived it was tiny, plastic, and only had the capacity to punch 8 x 70gms sheets of paper at a time. What. I was using 170gms paper and 100 calendars would be 1400 sheets (front and back plus 12 sheets) You do the maths and decide how long that would take. So back I went, read the specifications in full and bought a heavy weight model. This one weighs so much I can just move it around but it easily punches the whole calendar excluding the back at one go.

Quality check the first sheet when you change months.

I left the printer happily printing 100 sheets to find when I returned that I'd used a different font for March so they all need reprinting.

But I have now assembled my first calendar and despite all the set backs along the way I'm really pleased with the end result.