Always the Same or Something Different?

Wow a big catch up – while looking through my website links I clicked on ‘News and Blog’ – you’ll find it above on the right…  July 2017 it said!  Ok, so a lot has happened since then and here I am going to endeavour to say it all in a nutshell.

Last year was the last time you’d see Larryware at craft fairs – so much work usually and although good, not really worth it… Since I gave them up I have felt so free and free to do whatever work my heart so desires!  Although at the moment, I am a little worried…

You see I have always been unique and have always received the line ‘I’ve never seen anything like this before’ – but as I fly close to what everyone else seems to be doing right now – whales, hares and foxes – it now looks like my work isn’t as originally thought up as it once was!

So yesterday – taking a well loved and known bird – I strove forth and created this:

Using my own unique style – although it’s an idea I’m sure you all well recognise, painting a beautiful scene in an outline – I have seen this with faces, whales (!) and other animals – but I’ve only ever seen a blank background, not another pattern as well – so this is what I’m going to explore!

This actually started around Christmas time – painting a scene within a scene…

Suddenly heavily inspired by the amazing film ‘Loving Vincent‘  I think Vincent has always been in me somewhere, my love of bright and intense colour, this is my Dutchness coming out… (my mum was Dutch and so was Vincent!  I know, I know…  But it’s a nice thought!)

So with this style I shall allow myself to be the same with hares, whales and foxes, but differently expressed then I have been, if you know what I mean – although between you and me I am at the moment preparing to paint my first ever manta ray….!

Keep checking out my website shop – I try and update it with something new every other day… And as for Etsy, I’ll keep it up, and there are some beautiful things listed for sale right now, but I think I need to really concentrate on my website for the time being!

Thanks for reading and see you all soon – definitely a lot sooner then July 2018! x

Lists and Plans

How many of us make lists?  Are they listed on your phone?  Or do you still write them down?  Or like me, are they just listed somewhere in the vast space of your brain?  My brain can hold an awful lot of information (not all of it rather useful though!)

Last night I took part in #folksyhour all about blogging and how to blog and what to blog… I think I tweeted some valid points, since I started my first blog in 2006 (No I’m not bragging, it’s rather shameful really, too much time on my hands?) and that’s the problem now – there’s not enough time to do everything!

Life used to be so simple when all you needed to do was to blog – now there’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr… Not to mention the shop platforms – Etsy and Folksy (I will not even consider NOTHS being in with that, I don’t agree with their handmade policies, since I found a shop owner sticking a bought bird charm on a bought chain and selling it for £15!!!  Disgusting.)  Which ones do you pick?  Do you do all of them?  Do you do some of them one week and the rest next week?  Do you sign up for these apps which you pay good money in order for them to do it for you, hence losing the personal touch?  Well, you really don’t need to do anything you don’t want to do, no-one is telling you otherwise – just stop worrying and listen…, sorry, read!

PLAN.

Yep, that’s right.  Don’t rush into anything headfirst – PLAN.  The best day to plan is on a Sunday and it shouldn’t take more then an hour.  Look at the week ahead, create a timetable – personally I like to ‘draw’ one out, so I can refer to it as it’s sitting next to me, by my laptop – and I find if I write things down, rather then type them, I find it better to remember what I’ve written!

The trick is, is to do a little bit of everything. 

Blog at least once a week – I had a plan to do that 3 times a week…  The plan is still in place people! 😉

I always make sure I post one thing a day on Facebook, maybe twice – a piece of work, followed by a picture of what I’ve been doing – a bit like this:

“Today I have been busy, I’ve managed to find time to paint and enjoy what I have painted, I hope you like it too… Am I flying bird obsessed?

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Followed by later on:

“Do you ever feel like you’re being watched?”  Hey Louie!

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I tend to post anything to Instagram after 7pm – as that’s when it seems to be busy as people have returned to work, have had their dinner and are now on their phones/laptops – I post new work, work in progress (WIP) and photographs of either Louie or a nice sunset…

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When it comes to Twitter – I look back at my own handy blog as a guide – I love joining in with some of the ‘hours’ that take place – there are so many and it’s best to be selective – I don’t always do them, but during my time tabled week on a Sunday I make sure I’m there for at least ONE!  I like to re-write my timetable every single week…!

I make sure I list at least one new item per day on both my Etsy shop and my Folksy shop – so today’s offering for folksy, click on the picture to get you to the shop listing:

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And Etsy:

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Of course I don’t stick 100% to my timetable, it’s just a guideline – and it’s needed for people like myself who forget things so easily!  But I am indeed a creature of habit – I once read somewhere that it takes 21 days to form a habit, as long as you’re doing this every day for 21 days that is!  Bare that in mind!

As for tumblr – I tend to steer clear of it – I don’t quite understand how it works, I’ve never liked it – but some people it works well – I am on there as lovearobin << I know, terrible name!!

Pinterest?  I LOVE THAT PLACE – trouble is, I can spend hours on it – every new listing on any of my shops, or any new photo posted on Twitter, I then pin to one of my boards – don’t even begin to ask me what that place is all about and how it works for your business, I simply don’t have a clue and hope someday someone will enlighten me!

Google+ – another total confusion with me – although I did notice one of my posts quite high up on a search item on google about hand painted jewellery – so I shall try it again – if I’m successful, I’ll blog about it!

Sorry for being so vague… I chat to my blog like it’s a real person!

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I tend to do social media in the mornings and then work in the afternoons and then network like crazy in the evenings – although some days I just disappear off the map, out with my camera, out for the day, away completely, which is so needed in this day and age or you will just about drive yourself insane.

As always, bare in mind that what works for you, doesn’t always work for others – it’s all trial and error – and as you can see I’ve rambled on and on here and because of that, I’ve actually created a blog post out of it!

I guess with blogging – be yourself, be funny (if you’re not funny usually then here’s your chance to be that funny person you’ve always wanted to be), write about everything – write about the book your reading, the film you went to see, write about the artists you love and perhaps interview a few of them. Start your own trends – like ‘Treasury Tuesdays’ – found items from wherever – not just artists, but great articles to read, fantastic recipes.  Talk about yourself, your garden, your pets – what makes you happy, sad, angry – treat a blog like your own personal sounding board/soapbox – of course, everything is common sense and if you feel you’re getting too angry or heated, just move on… there’s a great ‘delete’ button, use it!  But above all, enjoy it – it’s not daunting and if anything, it doesn’t have to be straight away – I started this blog this morning, I’ve been coming back and forth to it, and it’s already lunchtime and I’ve prattled on already with over 1000 words (how the hell did that happen?)

Anyhooooo…  I’ll be back to blog some more soon!

About My Practice

This is not Yoga, but I find it just as therapeutic!  If not better and I don’t have to be forced into a stretch I simply cannot achieve!

I was going to call this blog post ‘Tricks of My Trade’ but it sounded like I was a plumber, so decided against that… But there is a process!

With the photography jewellery  it’s very much a case of seeing the picture through my ‘vast’ picture files and imagining that as a piece of original jewellery – it’s never over complicated, I always keep these things simple – but it’s a process, from picking the image, opening it through ‘photoshop’ and creating it via what is called a ‘collage sheet’, pictured below:

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Which I then print out and ‘put together’ like so:

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As for the hand painted items – that’s a different kettle of fish altogether!

I’ve always had an affinity with colour and design – my art practice has always leant towards the abstract side of things for many years and even though my wildlife photography is very important to me, so is the need to express myself through paint!

While browsing the internet, I came across some pens called ‘Uni Posca’ – looking at them in detail, I found they were water based paint – acrylic – and instead of using a brush, I could use the pens nibs directly onto my work, plus they paint on almost any surface and the colours are so bold and bright, just what I love!  So I bought myself a packet (I was a little alarmed at how expensive they are, a whole pack of pens costs me more then what I charge for my painted wooden brooches!)  Anyhow, I had a try and fell head over heels in love with them!  So now I could use acrylic paint AND these paint pens for  a second coat of really illustrative and decorative detail and I wouldn’t need a studio, nor have the fear of getting paint all over me and all over everything else (trust me, this has happened), I could sit anywhere and design and be contented!  But of course, like most of things I love, they become an obsession, and to such an extent, I even dream about painting them in my sleep!

Below are some pictures demonstrating what I do!  I tend to work in the conservatory for the best light and in the evenings, I use a daytime lamp:

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Depending on the size – each brooch takes me around an hour or just over to complete and then there’s the case of the 24 hours varnish drying time!  Of course I don’t only do brooches… I do so much more and always have several on the go at the same time, when I paint canvases, it’s the same – I can’t just stick with one… I have to leave it and continue with another!

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I have a ‘Tray of Tricks’ by my side, full of pre-painted shapes, all ready to be started with the posca pens – sometimes I’ll brush tubed acrylic paint on, in-between in the pens – depending on the mood and the ideas!  I have always been so spontaneous and always enjoyed working with mixed media – I want to use everything and I have lots of new paints I want to try out!

My ‘Tray of Tricks’:

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It’s on a Dutch Delft metal tray of a windmill – my mum was Dutch, so I like to think she’s here with me when I paint – I lost her a few years ago to cancer, she never saw any of this!  She of course saw my painted canvases – but never my jewellery, she would have been my perfect model and certainly my best critic!

Of course when I’m not photographing, designing, painting – I am putting everything together!

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Then of course I need to do my product photography and that takes time too!  But like I said at the beginning of this post, it’s all about a ‘process’ – I love the stages, there’s always something to look forward to, and it’s such a great feeling when the piece is completely finished, it’s a great sense of achievement!

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Every day it’s different!  Ahh, such is life!

My next blog post will be about my main inspiration behind everything I do… he’s feathered, sings extremely well and answers to the name of ‘Louie’ !

Thanks for reading – please ask any question, leave any comment and I’ll reply!

Emy 🙂 x

P.s.  A bonus little film – I apologise for the post coming through the letterbox, the arguing sparrows, the humming fridge and my heavy breathing (I have a cold!) and the fact I couldn’t paint on for longer, as my Dad came home and started banging things around!  Hope this works – it will take you to my public Facebook business page:

Painting a Horse