Monday, 31 May 2010

days away



near richmond in yorkshire in my caravan for the bank holiday weekend. We eventually found a site and got there Friday, we have had a relaxing weekend and were next to the most beautiful woods, I have never seen so much wild garlic in one place in my life!!
As for other stuff, have created two new textile pieces which I'll show you tomorrow. Also had my first Nottinghamshire Creative Day on Friday, which was good. It was great to get to know a lovely group of people. There is a huge mixture of disciplines and experience, and as usual I felt the least experienced and least creative person there!! I really need to start 'bigging myself up' as they say and have some confidence in myself and my work.... I got on the course for a start so I can't be THAT bad!! I must admit, I did feel a bit in awe of everyone elses work, but I suppose that's normal (isn't it?). We spent our first day breaking the ice, and getting to know each other. We did have to talk about our work in the afternoon, which I always find difficult, I made a bit of a mess of it due to nerves (I hve had a fear of public speaking since I was at school, they say it gets easier with age, but I just am abviously not old enough yet!!!!) and when I had finished I realised there was so much more I wanted to say. Hopefully that is one thing I will overcome on this course. I really need to think about what inspires me and where I want my work to take me... lots of things to think about...

Thursday, 27 May 2010

finishing touches



like a professionally made frame just do the trick!! These are the two textile pieces I did last week, experimenting with new colours and textures, trying to get away from my 'autumnal colour' fetish!! I picked them up today from the framers and I'm so pleased with them. It's great when you try something new and you are pleased with the end result!!
It's been another hectic week for me, three busy days at work and then today I have had lots of little jobs to do, no studio time, and a 3hr long hairdressers appointment this afternoon and now making tea. No rest for the wicked!! And my first Nottinghamshire Creative Mentorship scheme day is looming on the horizon... wish me luck!!

Friday, 21 May 2010

something in the middle



one of the things i learned at a recent 'pricing' seminar was to have a good range of prices across your products. So with this in mind, and also the fact that I'm moving some of my work around to new places this summer to expand my audience, I decided to develop the 'bird illustration range' and provide my customers with more low-mid cost products.
My original illustrations are the pricier options, (they are all framed and mounted professionally), with limited edition prints and cards at the lower end, but now I have something that fits in the middle.... limited edition prints on top quality aquarelle paper (so they look and feel like the originals) and they are also framed, but not with custom-made frames (this all keeps the cost down, which I think is what people want at the mo)
This has been quite a good way of looking at how I can use what I already have to increase my 'sell-ability' and appeal to a wider audience in tough economic times....
I must say, these two days I have been really busy and feel so motivated with my work. I think I'm due a sun-break now, so I'm off to the garden....

Thursday, 20 May 2010

satisfied



cor blimey mrs, I've been busy today. I knew I wanted to make the most of my time so I stuck to my to-do list and got quite a bit done and now have two new textile landscapes ready for framing. I started off painting the fabric so I knew what the general layout would be, and also to give me some background colour to fill the spaces between the fibres. So these two pics above are what i started out with...

I had a bit of an experiment, inspired by the tulip fields I've seen in Holland on Tv recently (the bright backgrounds in the pic above, but I haven't done anything with them yet as i haven't got any relly bright wools to use. Will make sure I look out for some as the ideas I have for these can't go ignored!!

And here are some close-ups of my final pieces, both 'heathery' themed, as I wanted to use the new wool I have recently acquired.


I would love it if anyone could think of some names for these two pieces, I'm that tired aftr my day in the studio that I need to get off out for a dog-walk to the pub and have a nice pub-grub-tea and a pint of cider!!


Answers for names for my pics on a postcard!!




Wednesday, 19 May 2010

nearly done



So this commission is nearly finished. I did the really scary part tonight, putting the black paint on!! The first bit of pink onto a blank canvas was scary but the black was worse, one slip of the hand and it could all be ruined!! I used a really fine brush and black acrylic paint watered down a bit so it flowed a bit better and once I got the hang of it it was quite relaxing. I'm really pleased with this, and it's a step in a completely new direction for me, having never painted on canvas and never this scale (i think it's 40cm square). So it's nearly in the bag, just a few finishing touches tomorrow (I hope my client likes it!!)
So, I've been a bit quiet this week, due to the fact I've been quite busy at work, and have had things to keep me occupied during the evenings (like dog-training classes and gardening) but I have spent most of this evening in the studio, having got the whole place to myself.... armed with ipod, diet coke and paint brushes... it's been lovely. I now have to go and rewrite my to-do list as I have the luxury of two full studio days ahead of me and I want to be focussed and use my time well.... ummm, wonder how long I will spend reading blogs and tweeting??
ooh, and a bit of good news, I've been approached by a new gallery, about stocking some work, I'm very excited about it and will tell you more when I have more details... a clue though... it's at the other end of the country... 'sooziebee' is going 'national' baby!! Watch out the world!!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

New Range of Bird Prints


I am working on expanding my range of bird prints for one of my stockists and I have been working on them this afternoon, a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon after a relaxing but tiring weekend in the caravan. I'm aiming to provide some lower cost items, so that my range is spread across a good price band, so will be producing some smaller prints, from 4x6 inches up to 10x12inches. They are taken from three of my originals featuring the trees and the bird houses. They are all going into matt black frames, which look great against the simple black and white illustrations. I can't wait to see what they look like on the wall.
Hope you have all had a great weekend, I need a good sleep before I can face Monday!!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Surface Gallery Call for Entries


As part of my plan for this year I decided to enter as many competitions/exhibitions as I could, and today I heard about one in Nottingham this summer. You can find out all about it here and you can also find out about what's on and what's happening there, well worth a look for those of you who are interested.
I have had a busy day today, I wanted to spend loads of time in the studio, but didn't due to the huge pile of washing that was attempting to escape the washing basket, the dog that needed a long walk, and going to buy sack of food for said dog.... ooh, yes and a few long chats with one of my sisters on the phone, which I could have classed as 'work' as we did talk about my webpage!! Then trying to sort out social networking pages and linkedin page for sooziebee (which again could be classed as work but just not the kind of work I had in mind!!) I also towed my caravan for the first time, and reversed it too (in the right direction, probable fluke!!), a bit of a test-drive in preparation for Glastonbury next month. So I'm quite proud of myself for that.
Other news, I met with a lovely lady yesterday from a Gallery near where I work, and she is very interested in exhibiting some of my work too. This is great news for me, and another little step towards my years goals for the business. SO all in all, a good week so far.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

lost comments

grr, still having problems with comments, please if anyone is leaving comments and they aren't being moderated can you email me (info (at) sooziebee (dot) co (dot) uk

thanks all :-)

Monday, 10 May 2010

progress...

the plan is to translate this pattern above onto a big canvas (well, it's big for me, I usually work lot smaller so deep breaths, don't be scared of the size.... keep calm and carry on!!)

First tentative brush strokes of the pink paint onto canvas and I like the way it feels, good to be painting again.




And here most of the first coat of pink is on, and I'm leaving it all to dry!! Also notice the blank notice boards in the background, all clear of clutter and ready for a burst of inspiration for my stitched landscapes.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

sneaky peeks


before anyone says anything, I couldn't help it... i had to get my paints out last night and do some landscape prep work. I need to get on with my other commissions today, and am just off to buy some paint and get them finished before I do anymore, but new projects are always so tempting... don't you think?
I'm having some problems with Blogger comments at the moment, if you have left me a comment and it hasn't appeared at the post please email me and let me know. I keep getting a message that there are comments to be moderated but when I try they have disappeared!! V frustrating indeed.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

slight seconds... free to a good home

i have been having a sort out in the studio this evening (need to be all clean and tidy before i start work, just can't work in a mess) and came across some 'slight seconds' of my prints (they are fine apart from I had to adjust the colours as I wasn't happy with a couple of them). All gone now people, thanks for the interest and i'll get them posted out soon.

Studio all clean and tidy now, so hoping to get in there tomorrow. I have made my to-do list (and was amazed to see I had done quite a few of the tasks on my last list in March so I'm feeling even more motivated than before) and am starting again tomorrow. I have three commissions I need to do before I can get on with the exciting new landscape work so tomorrow i'm going to get cracking, hopefully the studio will have warmed up by then!!

landscape inspiration


This was the view from the top of Skiddaw which Steve and I climbed last week. Amazing landscapes and colours which I will be using in my new work. Watch this space, I'm hoping to make a start with some initial research and experimentation later on this afternoon. It's raining here so not very conducive to gardening and other outdoor stuff. I have spent the morning cleaning my very dirty house, throwing loads of junk away and also making a Jamie Oliver Chicken and Leek Pie. I just hope the pastry behaves itself and doesn't crumble!!

I'm still on Cloud Nine aftr my phonecall last night offering me a place on the Creative Notts Scheme, it has really given me the boost I needed so I'm really looking forward to getting back in the studio, it has been too long!!

Friday, 7 May 2010

three cheers for me...

hip hip hooray... hip hip hooray... hip hip hooray!! Creative hiatus and blog holiday are officially over from today!! (ha that kind-of rhymes!!)

I'm back from a family holiday in The Lake District which was amazing, good weather, fab cottage and as always great company (the photo above was the view from our cottage).... AND I have some news too..... I got a place on the Creative Nottinghamshire Scheme today (you know the one I applied to a while ago and was getting all worried about the interview!!) I heard this evening so am having a celebratory glass of wine and getting all excited about being part of a great mentorship programme and taking my business to the next level.

This is just what I needed, having been feeling quite low lately about all things 'creative' and wondering where it was all going. I now know that I have something to concentrate on for the rest of the year, working with a fab group of people and learning more about the industry and how to take things forward. I will keep you posted. Am raring to get on with some new work (as I have sold a couple more of my textiles landscapes so I need to replenish my stocks and get myself out there!!)

Lots of smiles... have a good weekend x