Posted in Chit Chat

Here’s my next project…

As I mentioned in the last post I am going to do my own “Rosina Wachtmeister” to hang in my home.   I have always loved her work and even had a couple of ‘paintings’ I did back in Canada.  Long since gone when I moved back to NZ last year, I think it’s time to ‘paint me another one’. With so many to choose from, I decided on the one below.  I may, or may not use the same colours, but the reason I want this one is that it has three cats.  One black and white, one grey and one tabby.

Rosina Wachtmeister – another fab painting!

While our old grey guy Tyson is no longer with us, we still have Molly (White and Black) and LP (Tabby manx).  Fitting that in this painting the grey cat is off to one side, while the other two sit together. So not only do I get some lovely art, it will also be a kind of tribute to my three furbabies.

I will be doing this one on a 23.6 x 35.4 inch stretched canvas.  If I am lucky, I may actually get to sketch it out tomorrow sometime.  Actual painting? Hmm…. I guess I should actually make more of an effort to get this one done!


Some of my previous “Wachtmeisters”.

Posted in Chit Chat

Almost back to normal…

Well it has been a while since I last posted anything here hasn’t it?  I have now been back in New Zealand for just on 6 months and things have changed.

I am back in the ‘workforce’ working full time so my art has been relegated to simply a hobby at this point in time. As I mentioned in my last post, I had sold or donated all of my art and 99% of my art supplies. I kept a set of watercolours, some brushes and a few other items that I could squeeze into my little ‘box of stuff’ but at the moment they are merely gathering dust until I can get back into the swing of things.

All going well, and having some current issues sorted out soon, I do hope to be back to at least doing the odd painting here and there by the new year.  Our current home doesn’t have a lot of spare room so I am going to have to get creative in that regard.  There is of course ‘digital art’, which I also hope to get back into eventually, but I would really love to be able to work on something ‘physical’.  I will definitely be checking out paint/art suppliers locally and via the internet in the coming weeks, even if it is just the one canvas and a limited palette!  Have to start somewhere, right?

Meanwhile, it is wonderful to be having our first Christmas back in New Zealand, with family we haven’t seen in a long time.  Of course having it in summer is an added bonus.  I for one do not miss having to shovel the driveway or wear 10 layers of clothing at this time of year.

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, have a fabulous one.  No matter what ‘holiday’ you observe over the coming month or so, have a lovely time and here is wishing everyone great things for 2017!

See you soon!



Posted in Chit Chat

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.


Posted in Chit Chat

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?


Posted in Chit Chat

Handmade Inlaid Guitars

I’ve been watching the Youtube series “Colour in your life” hosted by Graeme Stevenson from Australia.  The series is excellent for all artists as they cover a wide range of materials, styles and artists.

This particular episode is a little different as it involves guitars!  Not just your average guitar either.  All handmade, and then inlaid with the most amazing art work – some of it can take up to a year to complete.   If you love art and guitars, definitely take a look. No matter what art form you are involved in, there is bound to be an episode for you.


Posted in Chit Chat

Things have slowed down around here…

I just noticed it’s been 14 days since I posted anything here.  Not by choice for the most part I must admit.

Just over a week ago I noticed that my right arm was getting a bit stiff – I put it down to the amount of research I have been doing online, plus some digital art and so on.  Just a little too much time on the computer?  While the answer to that was yes, it was really just the start of what had obviously been building for weeks, if not months.

After just a day or two, the ‘slightly annoying’ stiffness had me waking up to absolute agony, unable to move my right arm, with throbbing pain and feeling like my arm and shoulder were in a vice like grip.

I knew exactly what had happened, but definitely had not realised how bad it was.  I almost felt like this was the ‘big one’ – my body telling me “Hey Sally, I warned you, but you didn’t take any notice, so rather than yet another gentle reminder, here’s something to make you really pay attention!”

Needless to say, I did.  For the past week I have had to basically do NOTHING.  Could not use my right arm at all without excruciating pain, could not sit for long, could not sleep much either.  Add all that together and you get one grumpy person!  The pain is one thing to deal with, but the inability to ‘do’ stuff is even worse.

I have been the Queen of the Sofa, reading, snoozing and trying my best to ‘rest that arm’.  I’ve even reaffirmed my disdain of “TV”! (Bonus!) I have even been able to speed up my typing left handed only…a new skill?  But for the most part, it has once again reminded me to pay attention to my body, and what it is trying to tell me before I ignore it totally and it whacks me with a ‘you had it coming’ moment.

So, I am sorry there is no new art, posts or in fact anything here lately.  Even this post is taking me quite a long time to, er, type-pick!  Yes, it may have been easier to go get some kind of ‘shot’ in my arm to alleviate the pain etc, but I am all for letting my body do it’s thing.  Yes it takes longer, and yes it means I have to stop doing the things I love for a bit, but it does mean that my body heals itself in it’s own time, and I don’t go doing more damage because I suddenly don’t ‘feel’ the damage I’ve already done.  It’s just the way I am.  Help it along a little? Sure!  But for the most part just bloody well stop doing what I was doing to end up this way and let the natural process do it’s thing for me.  A lovely partnership, and one I have to remind myself once again to pay attention to.

So, I’m figuring another week or so of taking it easy, doing some gentle exercises to help things along a little and then make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Nobody’s fault but my own for just going hammer and tongs on all the things I’ve needed to get done in the past few weeks and months – which sadly have all been computer related. Time to break that up and go do other things.  Nothing is that important if it affects your ability to function physically well.

So, other than some retweets on twitter, a few likes or short comments on facebook posts, I’m pretty much on a go slow for a while.  (I am sure this post counts for too much effort…ha!)  Luckily I can still read, if not comment!