Monday, December 26, 2005

Sale Aftermath

The gallery sale ended Christmas Eve so went down at lunchtime to pick up my stuff. I was the first to arrive, in fact there were still customers shopping when I began packing up. I had sold another pendant that week and a brooch that day but disappointingly I was down quite dramatically from last year. I felt a bit blue about it (thinking no one wanted my work) until a friend also participating told me her sales were down drastically also. My family told me that there is so much junk displayed there that it's sometimes hard to see past it to the quality work (I hope they count mine amongst the quality and not the rubbish). My friend isn't going in the sale next year and I'm going to have a rethink. One good thing is that eleven of my business cards were taken and I have already received an order. New Year's resolution in the art line is to find more outlets.

I have put my remaining gallery items on Trademe so fingers crossed something sells.

I had one day off (Christmas Day) and now have to get back to writing. I have to finish the book review for Homebiz plus have five newsletters to complete this week. I'd be moaning if I had nothing to do but it's slightly stressful at the moment so plenty of St John's Wort tea is being imbibed.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


My auction for the rabbit pendant ended last night without reaching its reserve so I offered it to the bidders and watchers and it sold shortly afterwards. Also someone had asked if I could paint her dogs and so it looks like I'm going to receive an order for seven paintings from her. Great way to end the year.

I finished the book I am reviewing for Homebuzzbiz last night so have a few days in hand to finish writing my review. Fortunately the book was extremely well written and informative as I was dreading having to write anything negative!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tis the season for burnout

Only a couple of weeks till the end of 2005 and I'm really tired. I haven't achieved half of what I wanted to do due to "people stuff" which can tend to fill the days with worry. Yesterday I received some more information on the Arts and Creativity Diploma run by the Learning Connexion in Wellington. It does look interesting and I think I could really use some help, especially with life drawing and portrait work (humans that is). Apparently they're in the process of upgrading this course to a degree. Lets face it that's the only way I'll get a fine arts degree in New Zealand extramurally as all the other schools need you to attend in person. There is alot of emphasis on preparing exhibitions and getting out there before the public which is what I need to do if I want to make a living from my artwork and writing. My journalism course should be completed in March if I pull my finger out so I could start in April if I can get some funding. The registrar says she'll ring me again in Febuary 2006 for an interview.

I rang Creative Hastings yesterday but have only sold a few items since last week. It's been a disappointing year there for me so far, not only for me either as I know two other artists who are finding it not as lucrative as previous years. Perhaps people are just sick of my stuff as the lady running it says the sale is going very well. At least I'll have some stock I can sell on after Christmas which will make a change. I have also listed an auction on Trademe offering to paint someone's pet bunny on a pendant. This is due to end Friday and I have a couple of watchers so fingers crossed.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Breaking the exhaustion barrier

Adrenaline has alot to answer for. It gets you through extra work you have to do but leaves you totally wiped out on the other side. I painted myself into a stupor yesterday trying to finish off a few more items to take into the gallery sale. Then this morning I was hurriedly trying to put brooches into their packets and then messed up the labels and so had to start again. My problem is that I only can work in natural light so even with daylight saving I feel like I'm racing against time. I finished stringing the last pendant five minutes before my ride arrived.

I have sold two pendants, one brooch and a folk arty fox stone in a week so hope the rest of the month goes as well. There were quite a few people browsing there although I didn't see anyone whipping out their wallet.

Yesterday I heard that I have been accepted as a reviewer on Homebiz a New Zealand home business website. My first book has been sent out with reviewing guidelines. I am really looking forward to trying this. You never know I may even learn something.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Late As Usual

I was intending to make daily entries to this blog but unfortunately life gets in the way. Was running late with finishing work for the gallery Christmas sale but took enough down to town on setting up day last Sunday (27th November). There was the usual air of contained chaos with a few white faced artists helping set up displays. Fortunately I have the wooden stand my friend's Dad made me which allows me to display my jewellery and small works together so they don't get lost in the general melee of items. Once the lady in charge had time to find a spot to place the thing it only took five minutes to set up. On Wednesday I took in a couple more pendants in plus over 50 animal cards. Apparently the first day went really well but I have no idea how much I've sold.

Also managed to finish my christmas card for the artists' swap. I stuck the completed painting onto a piece of red card and sent it off to Canada last week. I decided to crop the picture and have printed out copies as cards. I also reprised the image and painted it onto a pendant (on Clutha river stone) which was the first one I had drilled myself. It only took forty minutes! Hopefully I'll speed up as I gain experience.

Also finally put up the interview with Katbite on Kiwi Herald. I agree with Kat that it's the smaller bands making the most interesting music at the moment although I have to admit to buying a Yulia CD last month. Definite sign of age there I think!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Girl With A Drill

Big excitement yesterday when my friend John arrived out for a visit and gave me an old drill he no longer wanted. I have been having to rely on the kindness of friends to drill stones for my hand painted pendants over the past couple of years and had decided that I must save up for a drill so I could do the job myself. Now I only have to buy a vice to hold them and I'm in business.

I have only twelve drilled stones left since I completed a few commissions for people over the winter (mainly rabbit portraits and one horse!). My latest order came from the US and was for a blonde pomeranian dog. Eventually it will end up in Hawaii as it is intended as a christmas gift. Some of my prevous pendants can be seen at Passion For Paint

Today I have to finish off a commission for an Elvis stone again destined for the US plus a Christmas card as part of an exchange programme I'm involved in with other artists so there is some pressure on. Fortunately with daylight saving here in New Zealand I can finish up some work in the evening after I've finished my farm chores.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Good Intentions

With so many other artists and writers creating blogs I have decided to join the herd. I fight to find time to complete my artwork and to keep up to date with my writing. Being bought up in a home where you didn't do anything you enjoyed till you have finished your housework I find some days a struggle to get to my painting table. Hopefully completing this blog on a frequent basis will give me the impetus I need to put creating first.

Lately I have discovered ACEOS or ATCs. Loving to paint small as I do they are easy to work on although being the detail freak that I am I still manage to spend too long on them. I have sold two on Ebay so far but with life becoming so busy I don't forsee being able to get back to them till early next year.

At the moment I am completing work for the Creative Hastings Gallery Christmas Sale held from the end of November to Christmas Eve each year. Despite all my good intentions of starting work in June I only began in October. I am trying to get at least three hours of painting done per day but will still feel as if I haven't done enough when I take my work down to the gallery in two weeks. Over 100 Hawkes Bay artists and craftspeople take part in this event and I must compliment the staff at Creative Hastings who really work hard selling our work. So many galleries are renown for being snobbish and elitist so it's nice to find one which is inclusive and friendly.