30 Dec 2012

New Boots and Paintings!

I’ve had a nomadic few weeks, been doing a lot of visiting and I’m never really sure where I’m going to wake up next! I’ve received a lovely pair of new DM’s (thanks Henry), enough wool to keep me knitting til next Christmas (thanks Mum & Dad)and a healthy number of commissions to start on next week (thank you all!). The Christmas tree looks a bit sad this side of new year - all the colourful gifts have been replaced with a pile of pine needles. But it’s always a very restful time for me – the frantic pre-Christmas period is over (I’m a year older) and as I reflect on a busy year I’m getting excited about the one ahead, rewrite my list of things to do and make lots of new art related resolutions for 2013! So, this marks the last blog post of 2012 and I hope you have enjoyed them.

22 Dec 2012

Snowdog days

Christmas seems to have crept up and caught me out, just can’t get my head round the idea of it being next week! I always struggle with any reference to the days of the week between 24th December and 3rd January – I can only compute either the date or the festive name of the day – Monday, Tuesday simply have no relevance, or is that just me? One of those dates is my birthday and ever since school I have abandoned any concept of work or normality between Christmas Eve and my late Grandmother’s birthday (2nd January). I am looking forward to Raymond Briggs Snowman & the Snowdog on Christmas Eve (that’s Monday for anyone who insists on superfluous labels!). I am fascinated to see what 77 artists have produced with 3000 coloured pencils to produce the required 12 drawings for each second of the film! No doubt I won’t be able to maintain dry eyes when I see the beginning of the cartoon as I shall miss our own snowdog this year, who was absent from this year’s card, but very much in evidence on those of previous years…..

16 Dec 2012

Sign Writing

Well, I got the Christmas card designed, painted and uploaded into an online template and it was printed and ready for collection the very next day – brilliant. Since then, with cards written and posted, I’ve been working on a commissioned dog portrait by daylight and a design for a restaurant sign by artificial light! The light in my makeshift studio (our friend’s dining table) was a bit troublesome - changing frequently from brilliant winter sunshine to a dark December gloom. The sign design is for our local restaurant who’s existing one is worse for wear after several welsh winters. My clients wanted a new logo and left it to me to come up with some ideas. My inspiration came from a local landmark on the Berwyn hills – a group of pine trees planted in 1815 to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo. Having drawn the tree motif I turned it into a vector drawing using Adobe Illustrator to create a crispy and sharp silhouette that I could experiment with.

I then mocked up a few different designs for my clients to see using a font of their choice. Next I will get my trusty aforementioned printer to print out a scaled black and white image for me to transfer to the nicely painted wooden sign (Henry's contribution). Quite how I will transfer it I don’t know, but I need to work it out and get splashing with gold paint before the year ends!

9 Dec 2012

Liver Bird

It's been a couple of weeks now since the Great Liverpool Art Fair, but I have only just downloaded my pictures (busy 2 weeks!). A great day, lots of people through the door and many positive comments, not to mention a room full of inspiring creative people. All my business cards disappeared so I'm hoping some will turn into commissions. I've just finished a portrait of a wee doggy that I started at the show - the final of a quartet that I've done for someone who I guess I can call a collector, since I've done about 8 portraits for him so far.

3 Dec 2012

Mirror, Mirror.............

Back on planet earth after a few weeks of manic activity - The Great Liverpool Art Fair, a pile of commissions and preparation for a big adventure (which I’ll reveal next year!) and to top it all, a breakdown in internet connectivity. I have entered the world of android phones, spent a whole day working out how to use one and am firmly in the 21st century, connected to the information and gadgets that I now need in order to function! As usual I have left the design of our Christmas card to the last minute and am busy creating an image that encapsulates the adventures of the Simpson household for 2012! I should just about get them printed and out before the last posting day........