Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Fine tuning....

Can we sue the weather? Just wondered.
I downloaded a little blog gadget which generates a random colour theme to hopefully inspire new combos and generally colour up the world. The first two it came up with were shades of grey. How rubbish is that? There's plenty of that outside my window. I may start a movement off to replace the word 'sky' in every dictionary globally, with the word 'grey' and vise versa! I'm even feeling too uncharitable to show leniency and call it silver. Or steel. Or gunmetal. Or powdered possum pelt. Bog-standard boring grey, that's what it is. Blech!
Today has been website tune-up day. Re-photoing, rewriting and reloading stock etc on mine, and getting on with building up Mike's new one in progress. He has popped it onto his big webby, so if you like you can view it here but you have to promise to come back here again!! Or have a scoot through his main site - after all, everyone needs business cards, surely! How about wedding stationery? Or big canvas prints of their own works (or big canvas prints of my works!? Ahhh. I'm a one heh?!) If anyone does take a squizz, feedback would be most welcome!
Got to toddle off now- commissions to deliver and all that. Or out for another adventure in Arthur the big red van, really! Take care...any which way but grey!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

New directions...

Isn't it remarkable how a break in your ordinary day to day runnings, gives rise to new ideas and inspiration? My husband has worked tirelessly (when there is no football on, anyway!) to help get me up and running. New business cards for me every time the wind changes, posters that can take all day because I need to see EVERY font he has (6000+, hoo I can push my luck sometimes!) and translating my rambling glumphy ideas ( for those that don't speak serena, that was lumpy and gumph btw!) into coherent web pages for my website he designed. Not to mention any large scale canvas printing I feel I cannot do without, there and then. Ergo, an idea has formed, from his watchful eye at my exhibition. Mike is now in the process of putting together a basic package for artists to get themselves set up, through him, with stationery, branding if needed, small portfolio-style website with gallery pages etc, web hosting, exhibition space, and fine art giclee reproduction onto a variety of media. This all needs fine tuning of course, but the wheels have already been set in motion. I will naturally be passing on more detailed info as it happens. It seems non-sensical to have all this wherewithal and experience laying dormant.
And isn't it also remarkable that within 5 mins of being back in the studio your desk does a masterful impression of being buried alive! At least it proves I am getting on with all those commissions!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Ever onwards......

It feels strange being back in the Studio. I quite enjoyed getting dressed up to go out to 'work', with clothes that had no paint on them. I felt a twinge of regret pulling on my coverall that looks like it's been through ten rounds of extreme paint-balling! We have been busy today catching up on deliveries and commissions, whilst also searching for the next venue. Anyone one would think we thoroughly enjoyed this 'exhibiting do-dah!?'
Highlights of the show have included people coming along from the Bath and West earlier this year- so advertising and shameless self-promotion seems to work. Commissions have featured well also, in different medias....I have loads to do now, so 'Whoo!'- no getting listless and un-focused for me. The more work for me, the more sane my husband becomes (less time for disruptive behaviour from madam here!) There may also be a commission in the offing for a book cover. I had a very quick chat with a lovely lady who has released a book, and is now ready to release her second one. Her name is Julie Mulholland and her first book is called 'The Iraqi'- if you check out her website she has posted some preview chapters (well-written, racy and pacy) to read, but don't stop there....buy the book, especially if I have done the cover on it!! Hee!
Another highlight has of course been the wonderful feedback and comments of appreciation received. It can be quite hard to gauge where you are, when you are sat alone in an ivory tower day in day out. On reflection, I now know I gave good account, and also now know of ways forward. A big thank you to everyone who took time out to come and drop by to see us, and chat. Some of you came from afar, for which we are deeply grateful.
The pictures are of local interest which didn't get shown on the blog before the show, so I'm posting these to big-up our town! The West Barn is now occupied by another artist, Simon Hodges, who is there for two weeks. His work is wonderful and well worth the visit if you are in the area.
And that's quite enough promoting other people for one night!

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

More from the West Barn..........

Day two has been a soggy ol' affair and then some! Last year when we hired the Barn, the electric sockets were on the floor. This year we noticed that they have been re-sited up the walls.....found out why during a particularly heavy downpour! Mike and his broom did a fair impression of Neptune, and we thought we could fashion a raft to punt people around the exhibits. It would be novel! The accompanying photos are of the immediate area while the sun was brave.
I have lots to catch up on tonight, so I will keep this post short, however tomorrow's blog will be of what has been moving, and of the many people we have been meeting, so we'll see you tomorrow?!

Monday, 11 August 2008

At the West Barn.....

A fantastic preview evening was had indeedy! Lovely people, lovely comments and luckily for me, lots of sales to keep me painting ever onward. Something of everything went too, no one area has dominated over others for anyone who likes to know these things! Oil, watercolour, glass, photography, cards etc., all gave good account. All sizes too, whether over five feet or under 5 inches. A real mixed bag! (And impossible to predict as ever!) There were some wonderfully animated conversations over the paintings, especially "The Decision"- it seems we all have a story or opinion about wedding rings! (There was a surreal moment where it transpired several of us were all on second marriages, and spoke of where our 1st golden bands had ended up!) The power of a painting to promote such a wave of communication was awesome. I may pursue a more story-telling style in further pictures, purely for the unique reactions that different people take from your work. I would just like to say a really big THANK YOU to everyone who turned up and made the night so special- and you are all most welcome to come back and finish off the Pimms! We still have loads...help!!? Strangely, we found it hard to give it away today. Another fine day of (smaller) sales and warm conversations, but I fear people are a wee bit suspicious when we try to ply them with a free drink! They only relent when we tell them we used to run pubs and it is second nature to us!
Stop! Enough now of us, me and Serenarts! I really must mention the building before I sign off. It is a stunning piece of conservation work that has won many accolades- it is also getting quite a well-earned reputation for artists exhibiting. It dates back to before the beginning of the world began, was completely destroyed by fire in the '80's and then just left to ruin in the British weather. Finally in 2003 it was reopened by Charlie, after a total rebuild to a sympathetic original plan, using much of the original excavated stone. Clever stuff. It now sits like the final jewel in an old crown of mediaeval buildings here. There is a wonderful minstrel gallery overlooking the lower hall, and I have included a few photos (in no particular order , I'm afraid- no time to sort!) that will hopefully give you all an idea of the old and new history this place signifies. Tomorrow I will post a proper homage to all the buildings down here. Might pull in a few architects wandering by too! Enjoy!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

All hands on deck..

Yey! Finally resurfaced!
The last three weeks have been a flurry of activity. The last three months before, lulled us into a false sense of bravado with time-keeping. Ha! Well it all caught up with a vengeance! I actually quite enjoy the last burst getting everything ready for an exhibition (though it probably doesn't show!!) Sleeves rolled up, shoulders set for action and paintbrush a-flying...I always feel useful when it's manic panic stations! We have spent most of today getting things in situ, ready for tomorrow's preview evening, and can now calm down a bit and enjoy the ride! Just have to remember to buy the cucumber for the Pimms- we can manage that!
The only down side to all this is not having the time to blog, and not being able to catch up on other peoples. It is fascinating part of the day to drop in and see what's going on globally, and you get quite attached to certain bloggers and their lives! Without wishing life away, roll on the 18th- I can spend all day catching back up again! A well earned treat.
The picture is the poster Mike has created for the advertising- I had to share it, as I think it's lovely and should pull people in!