Bristol bound and inked out

October has been brilliantly busy for me, with Inktober through the month and finishing with Bristolcon at the end. It was a wonderful event, and as well as selling some paintings and postcards, my colourful stall even had a mention in a few people’s blogs! (Thank you Sophie and Thomas). To finally see all 5 of the Urban Faerie paintings hanging together in the very city that inspired them gave me a great sense of achievement which has left me creatively fired up to get started on my next series in the new year. Masses of love and thanks to everyone who helped make it possible by babysitting, driving, carrying canvases, chatting to me, buying art and supporting me.

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I tried my best to take part in Inktober this year, but with varying degrees of productivity. I caught a cold, various members of my family got ill and life generally happened. I’m not going to say that I failed it though – even though there are some artists out there that insist if you don’t complete an ink drawing a day you’re not doing it right. I completed a total of 5 ink portraits: one of Aidan Turner as Poldark, one of David Bowie as Jareth and a triptych of David Bowie eyes.  The original paintings of Bowie’s eyes I had beautifully framed and sold at Bristolcon – I don’t call that a failure! If you’d like to have a look at the paintings, or download a digital version of them for yourself, you can find them on my Etsy store  You’ll also find some beautiful prints of the 5 Urban Faeries paintings on there too, and to celebrate their arrival, I’m offering free UK postage on them until next year.

So what’s next? Well I’m finally getting back to work on the comic book that I’m illustrating, which was written by Neil, and then after that, I will begin photographing my models in preparation for my next series. I’m very nervous excited about this series – I can’t say too much about it at this stage, but I think it might divide people like marmite! There will be a total of 7 paintings in the series and as with a lot of my art, they will explore our relationships with ourselves, environment and each other. It is my hope these paintings will invite the viewer to question the things we do, things we don’t do and what type of relationships they think they are seeing. Stay tuned!

 

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Exhibitionist

Just a quick update as I’ve been a busy bee lately. October saw me dipping my toes into finally exhibiting and selling my art for the first time which was terrifying and exciting in equal measure! There’s something very exposing and personal about hanging lots of your art physically in one place for friends and strangers to come and look at. However, I learnt an awful lot from both the local craft fair and BristolCon (like not to pack the tablecloth you need first underneath everything else!). Massive thanks and hugs to everyone who helped me with the events – you know who you are!

I’ve sold four paintings this month, met other artists and enjoyed finding out what people think about my work. I already have another craft fair booked for December and am pencilled in for next years BristolCon too. 


In amongst painting and preparing for the event, I also tried my hand at Inktober. This annual challenge tasks artists with creating a piece of artwork each day in October, using ink. I struggled with this medium, as it felt a bit like watercolour. I also decided to challenge myself further by tackling two subject matters that I don’t generally enjoy – still life and self portrait. I managed to complete 24 out of 31 and you can see them all on my instagram account, and here. Let me know what you think!

The High Rise Faerie

It’s been a long time coming, but the first painting in my Urban Faeries series is finished!

Please welcome…..(drum roll)…..

 

THE HIGH RISE FAERIE

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20″ x 30″ Acrylic on canvas

What do you think?

I can now reveal that there will be a total of five urban faeries (not all female), set in the city of Bristol and that each painting will be set at a different time of day, highlighting a different facet of urban living. As you can (hopefully) see from the High Rise Faerie, her time of day is sunset.

The complete series looks something like this:

The Litter Faerie (Sunrise)
The Graffiti Faerie (Midday)
The Diesel Faerie (Afternoon)
The High Rise Faerie (Sunset)
The Neon Faerie (Night)

I am now frantically painting The Graffiti Faerie and hope to be able to reveal her to the world at BristolCon on the 29th October. Also at BristolCon, my husband Neil will be speaking at one of the panels, followed by a reading from a very special book of his – check out his website for more details.

Until then, please do ask me anything about this painting or leave me a comment – I’d love to know what you think!

 

 

It’s About Time for Joanne Hall

In another blog post about finding creative time, I’m thrilled to share with you the advice and tips from writer Joanne Hall.You may know her as the author of The Art Of Forgetting series, Spark and Carousel and the forthcoming book The Summer Goddess.

Jo is not only a full time author, but also the chairperson of BristolCon and is Acquisitions Editor for Kristell Ink. So with at least three jobs that we know of, how does she find the time?

G: Tell me what a typical day looks like for you?

JH: I wake up, walk the dog for half an hour or so while I think about what I’m going to do for the day, grab a cup of tea and some breakfast and go to my office where I check emails and social media to see if I have anything pressing to do. I usually have several projects on the go on different computers, so, for example, I might spend the morning editing a book on my desktop. I break for lunch at one, walk the dog again watch the news, then I get out my laptop and work on whatever I’m working on on there from two until about 5.30, when Dog and I have another walk. I usually stop then, but if I’m particularly enjoying whatever it is I’m working on I’ll carry on until about eight and walk no 4. I don’t usually work after 8.30 at night because it makes me too wired and I can’t sleep.

G: What is your biggest time challenge at the moment, and how are you dealing with it?

JH: Just having too much stuff on the go at any one time, and I find things slip through the cracks unless I write myself strict To-Do lists and do them. I’m not in the position where I can turn down work that might pay now at the expense of work that might pay in the future, so paid work has to take priority and I find other projects fall to the bottom of the heap.

G: Do you make use of internet limiting tools? Do they work?

JH: I sometimes use MACfreedom – that’s a good one. It costs around $10 and it shuts off access to the internet for a certain period of time. And if you want to go online in that time period, you have to reboot! It helps me get a lot done in a short space of time, but it’s a pain if I need to stop and look something up.

G: What tip would you give someone struggling to find time to create?

JH: Just do little bits at a time. If you can sit down and really apply yourself for, say, 20 minutes, you’d be surprised how much you can actually get done. Carve out 20 minutes when you get up, or before you go to bed, or in your lunch break and just apply Bum Glue and put pen to paper (or whatever your preferred medium is. ) And don’t be shy about asking for the time you need – ask a friend to take the dog out, shut the kids out of the room and just do it!

G: Tell us a little secret about your art/writing/craft.

JH: I often work out very complicated scenes in my head while I’m walking the dog, and sometimes I come back to the present and realise I have no idea where we are…

G: What couldn’t you do without to get you through the day?

JH: Tea. And breaks for walking. Since we got the dog, who you would think would be a distraction, it’s actually really helped me to get outside and just have periods of uninterrupted thinking time while walking around. Often by the time we get home I’ve completely worked out the next scene in my head and all I have to do is write it! (This also works if you don’t have a dog, but if you’re going to roam the neighbourhood muttering to yourself, a dog makes you look a bit less bonkers!

G: Final words of wisdom?

JH: Enjoy your craft, don’t beat yourself up if you’re not doing as much as you hoped or working as fast as you hoped. But don’t be afraid to let your creative work take priority when you need it to – value your work!

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Massive thanks to Jo for her answers. If you’re lucky enough to be going to FantasyCon this weekend, be sure to check out the launch of the The Summer Goddess – more details about the launch can be found here.

If, like me, you’re only attending FantasyCon virtually, you can also find Jo on Facebook, Twitter (@hierath77) and her own website.

To catch up with the previous blog post in this series about creative time, just follow the link below:
Andy Bigwood

As ever, if you have tips to share about finding the time to be creative or would like to ask me any of the questions just leave me a comment. Stay tuned for more creative time questions and answers over the next few weeks.

Exciting News!

It’s been all go these last few weeks, with progress going well on my latest series of paintings and plenty of local networking. The most exciting news this month is that I will be exhibiting (and hopefully selling!) some of my work at the BristolCon Art Show.

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For those of you who have not heard of BristolCon, it is a fantastic one-day science fiction and fantasy convention in Bristol. It’s a fun and friendly convention that has gone from strength to strength since it started in 2009 (and I’ve only missed it one year).

I will have cards, prints and lots of new paintings to display, which will hopefully include at least one of the new series I’ve mentioned that I’m working on, as the entire series of five painting is…. (spoiler alert) set in Bristol!

The other bit of news is that I have finally taken the plunge and joined Facebook! Having resisted it for years, and hidden myself away on Twitter, I have come to realise that I am missing out on connecting with lots of lovely people and organisations and sharing my art with a wider audience. So, please do look me up on Facebook, like what you see and connect – see you there!

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