Friday, January 29, 2010

Dragon Fairy -- Oil Painting and Print

This week I have put the birch forest painting on hold for a few days, which actually have turned into a week and a half. The reason is I have been drawing and designing some other ideas, the first of which I have shown a part of above. Yes, it's a fairy painting, and I am going to paint a series of them over the next while interspersed with my landscape art. I intend to offer prints of the above and the other ideas I am working on. These ideas are somewhat along the lines of the fantasy art I concentrated on back in 2004, see below gallery - Desert of the Blue Stones, Symphony of Silence (see my artvitae site for this work -- link on right below) etc. So comments and criticisms welcome. I am interested in your feedback. I really enjoyed working on the above this week as I had to get back to my basic drawing skills, and also it gets my imagination working again. So check back again to see the finished work. Faery and fantasy art is something I like doing a lot as I have enjoyed painting and drawing fantasy since my childhood days some of which I spent reading lots of comics and fantasy books. I shall most likely finish the birch forest painting this week if possible so will post it when done.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Birch Forest Update and Painting Style

As I am progressing this painting I have been thinking about style a lot and just exactly what it is. I think a lot could be written about it but I just want to put up a short post now so will write more another time. For now my thoughts have been that we are always told we will develop our own style, but what if that style fails to be one you are happy with. Is style out of our control? Can we fight against our natural painting inclinations (which seems to be what partially if not entirely is what style is defined as). I think we can change our style, but it can only be done in small steps and has to be a very conscious effort. If we don't think about it and paint we will see what our default style is, but starting from there we can refine it towards the direction we want. It is like trying to change your handwriting. I did this when I was a teenager. I consciously made small incremental changes in my writing letter by letter incorporating ways of writing that I liked into my writing and dropping shapes I didn't. Eventually I had developed a very unique writing style which to this day I don't want to change anymore. In my own painting over the last year I have begun to see my default style. Now I can assess it, and slowly I may make changes as and where I think best. I may not change too much at all, but it has to be a conscious effort and I am reasonably happy with many features of my current style. However there is always room for improvement, either in brush stroke or colour choice or many other areas. So as I tweak things from painting to painting maybe I will be able to improve my style making it more my own, and maybe it will be harder than I imagine. We will have to wait and see.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Birch Forest -- Update

I think it's quite fascinating to look back on the photographic records I am making of my painting progress. I can see what I have done right and wrong when I do so, and I especially like to have the record of progress when the painting turns out particularly well. As for this painting it is reaching maybe the one third of the way stage. There is still a lot to do, but things are starting to take shape, and that's exciting and what spurs you on to finish. Enjoy today's offering and check back again for more updates on this paintings progress and other works which I will display.

Feel free to subscribe via my links on the right and scroll down to see the paintings in my gallery section -- some of which are for sale, also many of which I have available as laser prints, just email me for availability to Prints are 10 euro not counting p&p.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Birch Forest -- Current Work in Progress Update

I will be posting more progress shots of this current painting over the next week or so, so if you would like to see how it develops, be sure to stop by again. Why not bookmark or subscribe to the blog via the link on the right? Anyway enjoy, and check back for more when you can.

This year, apart from my usual size paintings of 12 x 16 and 16 x 20 inch paintings, I intend to paint some larger works, up to perhaps 30 x 30 maybe. That might not be so large for some artists, but they have to fit into my car, and I have to be able to sell them too!! So have to be practical also. However I believe there is a shortage of larger paintings such as would be above a fireplace or as a centrepiece in a room available at a reasonable price, so I intend to offer something along those lines. So that will be something to try in 2010....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Art Marketing and the year ahead...

One of the aims I have set for this year is to get more disciplined about marketing, and hopefully more productive on the art side. I have so many other demands on my time that art can find itself on the back burner sometimes. So I think if I can at least paint a little on a regular basis, it will be still more productive than a longer session on less frequent basis. That said, I have been thinking about ways of gaining more sales from and interest in the blog. So how has it been doing since it was started in June 2008. Well as can be seen from the visitor logs on the right (scroll down) the vast majority of the visitors are coming from 7 or 8 countries.

United States 3000, United Kingdom 1000, Ireland 800, Canada 400, India 200, Australia 150, Germany 100, Phillipines 90. These are the top visitors to the blog and with the exception of India, Germany and Phillipines, are fairly predictable. These 8 countries are 75 - 80 % of all visitors to the blog. The counter on the bottom of the blog shows 18000+ individual page hits (many of which are mine).
I would be interested in gaining an idea of how many regular visitors I might have. So if you are a repeat visitor, please feel free to leave a short comment or sign up to the subscription on the right, which will give you an automatic alert to any new posts.
During the next year I hope to be able to offer a larger range of painting sizes and prices, which will allow a greater choice to you, the customer! So feel free to visit the gallery below, just scroll down to see all my available art! Currently if you like to buy anything I can be contacted by but I will be putting prices on all new work. If your budget doesn't stretch to buying an original, I currently sell laser prints on 300 gram paper of most of my more popular and recent paintings, for 10 euro each. Just inquire by email of you see something you would like to purchase a print of, as it may be available. Unfortunately I can't vouch for their lightfastness as these are laser prints, but giclee prints are much more costly to produce at the moment!!
Finally - I intend to be reintroducing the buy it now buttons which I had on previously at some stage. I just have to refresh how to do that and use them when I know I will be around to send on any painting purchased. I have found that it is possible to send a small to medium size painting (up to 12 x 16 inches) safely in the post unframed to anywhere in the world, for a cost of approximately 20 euro or 30 dollars.
So looking forward to an enjoyable 2010 -- a belated Happy New Year to all! -- Jim

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January -- Painting Trees

I have been taking a few photographs of trees and currently have a book out from the library which specialises in painting this subject, so I have decided to practice a bit on that score. So this is to show the initial sketch of what I did last night. Hopefully I will be able to progress a bit each day over the next while. The run up to Christmas and the Christmas season took me away from painting so I shall try to update the blog as and when I can.