Probably my last post for a month or so …

It is now just 14 days before I leave Canada – and so this will probably be my last post here on my site for the next while.  I haven’t been able to keep things updated that much, having sold or donated my art materials, and of course dealing with all the things that come with making an epic move.

One piece of art that I would like to share though, is one I did some years ago now that is/was meant to be a part of a book.  I no longer have contact with the author, but I thought as a ‘see ya later’ piece, now would be a good time to post it.

 

REEDMay14 This is one of my fave pieces of art that I haven’t shared – until now. I painted it using Corel Painter 12, and as with all my efforts, utilised loads of brushes, layers and techniques.  This painting was started back in 2013, so it has been sitting in my art folder for rather a few years!

I don’t know if it will ever appear in the book – if it does then that is great, if not, no big deal.

 

So, I hope you like it as a parting gift until I can get set up again with my software, a new computer etc.

A big thanks to all that follow this blog/site – sorry for being so sporadic for the last while, but all in good time eh!

 

Cheers and please hang in here until I can get back up and running.

My 2017 Calendar!

Yes, I know it’s only May 2016, but as I am moving overseas next month I thought I would get my calendar up on my Zazzle store now as it may be a while before I can get back to creating art or products.

This calendar is a collection of my fave digital art portraits of some of the pets I have had the pleasure of painting over the last few years, and just for fun I added my “Funky Pit Bull’ painting which I love and wanted to include – even though it’s not exactly someone’s pet!  This calendar is a great way to have some of my art without having to purchase each piece individually.  I hope you like it.

Feel free to check it out and share.  Also, please note you can customize the calendar for your own needs by selection the appropriate drop down in the ‘OPTIONS’ menu on the page!

 

A Splash of Paint! 2 – my first E-book!

Just looking at my lack of posts this year, yet again, and thinking I really should do more!  I would, but for the last 6 months my time has been needed elsewhere and so I have had to put aside the ‘art’ and concentrate on other things.

However, over the past months I have put together a little art E-Book called “A Splash of Paint! 2”.  I had hoped it would be able to be seen on all platforms, but at this moment it is only available to those with iPads, iPhones or iReaders (although I am not sure they are that great).  It does not work on PC or Kindle unfortunately. (The format is a fixed ebook, unlike the free flow of Kindle.)

It is a collection of some newer art, some faves from my printed book I did back in 2013, and at the end a video showing a lot more work in a slide show bonus.

The cover is shown below – and here is the link to the book at my Blurb store.  I have listed it at US$1.99.  Please note that Blurb does NOT refund digital books, so PLEASE make sure you can actually view it before making a purchase.

Many thanks to those who have been with me during my artistic journey, those who let me use their photos, their music and allowed me to link back to them in the book.  We artists, no matter what genre or medium need to support each other. xxxx

A Splash of Paint! 2
A Splash of Paint! 2

 

 

What do Cats think about?

As if you haven’t noticed, I have not been very prolific here of late.  It’s not that I don’t want to post stuff, it’s just that I am so busy elsewhere at this particular point in time.  So much going on that art has had to take quite the back seat.

However, I have managed to do another digital pic using the beautiful reference photos from June’s reference free photos – she has such wonderful photos, and not just cats!  I am, of course, quite biased in that respect.

I only have two cats now (RIP Tyson)  – both quite different breeds and as such they act very differently, yet the one thing in common they have is the ability to just stare into space for no apparent reason.   I often wonder if they are thinking about something, anything, nothing or merely just staring for some reason we humans will never understand.  While one of my cats is a run of the mill “domestic long hair” and she is typically cat-like – aloof, does her own thing, decides when she allows petting and when it is just ok with her to blob, she also has the disadvantage that we rescued her almost 10 years ago now, and she is still intimidated by certain things –  most noticeably the sound of plastic bags rustling.   Having rescued her from under a commercial dumpster in the middle of a freezing Toronto winter, I can’t blame her – who knows how she got there, or how she was treated before that.  No matter her fears, we love her.  On the other hand we have our Manx.  Miss Senior Citizen (now 15), who we rescued from the SPCA.  Well, I am not sure we rescued her as much as she just came out of the group and went ‘Hey! Take me home now!’ – she hasn’t changed much since.   She runs around like a kitten, she growls, she will stare you down until you make room for her on your lap – she’s just that kind of girl – and we love her too.  So yeah… what do they both ‘think’ about?

 

That is why I loved this photo that I chose to use as a reference/painting.

While I have used more or less the same ‘brushes’ on my cat paintings, I have tried out some others, which you may or may not notice in my work.  Time and time again though, I revert to those that I currently feel comfortable using.   I also like to crop photos and focus more on the face than the entire body.   While I do try to remain faithful to the actual photo, I do like to just have a bit of fun too.  In that way I get to play with the various brushes and options available on my painting software.  By the way, I am still using Corel Painter 12 – I won’t be looking at upgrading at least until late 2016 or perhaps even 2017 – again, all due to current circumstances.

 

So here is the painting.

catprofile copyright pic

 

And here is how it looks as a pillow on my Society 6 store page. I  will be uploading it to other print on demand sites very soon.  If you click on the pic below it will take you to my store page.  You don’t have to buy – but feel free to look at this one and the others.

What do Cats think? This link goes to my Society 6 store.  More options coming soon to my other stores.

Gotta love a massive canvas!

I love painting on big canvases – but painting something this size would just be amazing!  Not only that, but to have a studio that big! WOW!

I love the simplicity and the bold and vibrant colours.  This particular video has definitely inspired me for getting back into traditional painting maybe towards the end of this year or maybe in 2017.  Having now sold all my art materials, I am left with just digital to play with for the foreseeable future – but I really do enjoy seeing other artists’ work.

Lauryne Hart is a South African artist living and working in New Zealand – check out the video.

Enjoy!

Canada Post – the bane of my (art) Life!

While painting digitally means you can upload your art work to ‘print on demand’ sites – and earn a few dollars in commissions, the same can’t be said for physical art work.

Canada Post put their postage prices up yet again, not so long ago – and if you have ever used their online calculator to work out what something is going to cost you to ‘put in the mail’, then you perhaps would feel like I do – deflated!  I have often found it is cheaper to post items to the USA than it is to send within Canada – and being an artist (and self employed) the cost of shipping artwork can be so expensive that you can end up having the shipping costs be around 50% of what you would like to sell your art for in the first place.

So what is the answer?  Sell your art cheaper than you would like to so that prospective buyers are not put off by shipping costs?  Find a Gallery to represent you (and take into account their commission/fees?) – assuming you can actually find one to begin with?

Now that our plans for moving back to my home country are in place, I decided to put my art up for sale locally.  Materials and time aside,  I hope to sell most of the pieces I am not taking with me.  Luckily some of my work I got printed I can roll up into a mailing tube, as I can with the canvas pieces I can remove from their stretchers, but the rest – I hope find a new home.

I did do a bit of a calculation, figuring in packaging etc for some of my pieces, and the average cost I got was somewhere around C$30 or so for the smaller canvas board paintings.  That isn’t too bad, but when you think of removing a piece from it’s stretcher, it means that the buyer then has to have it either re-stretched or put into a frame, so that adds even more cost.  Would a buyer want to spend that much money on shipping and re-framing?

In such tough economic times, why can’t Canada Post be a bit more flexible?  I sent a small book that belonged to my Mother in Law, to an old friend of hers a while ago.  I was thinking it might cost a few dollars, because it was a small book – but no – it was C$12.00!!! HA!  If postage was cheaper, perhaps MORE small business or self employed people would use that option.  I am still wondering how Amazon can offer free shipping on a purchase of $25.00 – I can’t!

I can’t even THINK about shipping outside of the US or Canada (and by the way, it is often cheaper to ship to the USA!).  I had done some calculations on shipping internationally – and almost fell off my chair!

We live in a world where mass produced ‘art’ comes in from China – it’s sold everywhere so cheaply – and I don’t blame anyone for wanting some art for their home at those prices.  But it does nothing to promote artists within Canada to be able to sell outside of their own local communities.

Come on Canada Post – time to stop griping about lack of profits and figure out HOW to get people using your services – the more the merrier, right?