Monday, September 25, 2006

Painting Demonstration

Yesterday was a beautiful hot day although we were warned that the ozone layer was at a dangerously low level and to watch out when we were in the sun. I was a bit tired as I'd already spent all day Saturday finishing up three cat brooches for Waddle Inn Carding's shop in Otane as I had promised Kim that I would drop a box of stuff off for her at her Mum's place in Taradale after my demonstration on Sunday. Also did a run of cards from my patchwork animal series so it will be interesting to see how these sell down there as Otane is an arty community with a pretty active quilting group.

Got down to The Craftsman at 10.25am and was sitting painting at a table just inside the front door by 10.30am. There were many people in the street enjoying the entertainment (a band played once, a man wandered the streets playing a saxophone etc.) and the outside stalls were creating a lot of interest with people searching for bargains.

Maureen and Bob kept me supplied with cups of tea throughout the day. There were quite a few customers doing early Christmas shopping although I don't know how they managed to keep their tempers with some tourists who were trying to haggle down the prices on the sales pieces. They seemed to be there a long time chattering in their own language except when they were insisting "You sell me for $2". Considering they were only buying cheap items I felt they were pretty cheeky but I guess this is the way it's done overseas.

I managed to finish a tiger pendant during my time there and half finished a tuxedo cat brooch. Found kids were fascinated by the process and three prepubescent girls kept coming back in the shop to see how the work was progressing. One lady took a card as she is keen for a larger painting of her black lab. In the slow periods either Maureen or Bob would have a chat so the time passed extremely quickly.

Fortunately last week they'd sold a sheep pendant plus two cat brooches so it was worth going in just to hear that. As they're gradually shifting the focus of the shop from gift items to souvenirs Maureen has asked me to paint items with native birds and flowers and other New Zealand themed subjects as this is what tourists like buying.

Got home at about 3pm very tired but the phone went just as I got inside with an upset friend so talked to her for half an hour. Another had left a message so I rang her back and carried the phone round while I saw to the animals outside. Kept nodding off all evening so made it an early night. Can barely move around this morning but it is worth the hassle as getting out in public like that does give you a good idea as to whether people like your work or not.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Mishka Is In Print

A few weeks ago a lady from the South Island Sheltie Club contacted me asking if she could reprint my article "Puppy Love" in their newsletter. This story is about my dog Mishka and the joys of raising him- I have no doubt some of the breeders will roar with laughter at my mistakes! Anyway this week Leonie the editor kindly sent me a copy of the newsletter. There'll be no living with Mish now.

Friday, September 15, 2006


After speaking to some other artists about my work it was suggested that my paintings would suit being put on other objects such as t-shirts, mugs etc. I have therefore opened my own CafePress Store. At the moment I only have one design up there but I'm going to add four more over the next week.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Trademe Mafia Strikes

I am pretty angry that after five and a half years of selling my artwork on Trademe (the NZ version of Ebay) I have had them tell me I can't ask for commissioned work. For a few years I have run auctions for getting your pet painted on a stone, pendant etc. and have obtained work this way. Well since I have just received a hefty bill for my cat Demelza I thought I would run three auctions for having a pet rabbit, dog and cat painted on a pendant. I had watchers on all three auctions when Trademe withdrew them on Wednesday as they said you're not allowed to advertise services. However I found in their terms that you are allowed as long as you request a photograph so I wrote back and put this to them but only received this in reply:

Regarding our withdrawal of auction 69317851 they have been withdrawn because it is a breech of our listing policies to sell made to order items. Basically selling services has no legal precedent in an on-line
auction environment and leaves buyer and sellers without rights in the
event of a dispute. For this reason we do not allow services or made to
order items on the site.

I am sorry but these items are not of a format that can be sold on this site, any attempts made to bypass this policy will be withdrawn as well.

So looks like they change the rules to suit themselves as I know of people making made to order items and selling them through that site. So yet another chunk of my income has been eroded away............

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Brooch For Sale

I went into The Craftsman yesterday to finalize arrangements for painting there on the 24th September. Just as well I did as they had sold one of my pendants- a blue butterfly painted on paua. I have taken three cat brooches in as well so hope someone gets carried away with some early Christmas shopping.

Finished another brooch which I have posted for sale on my website. Need to get down to putting more work up there as people are thinking gifts even at this time of the year.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Shearing Shed

Have been finishing up some spinning for The Shearing Shed at Waitomo. Used to work for Heather a few years ago before 9/11 slowed down the tourist trade in NZ and she laid off all her outworkers. However I still had some of her angora and yarn left so she asked me recently to finish it up and send it along. I also decided to make her a gift and painted one of her beautiful German Angora rabbits on a pendant.

The Shearing Shed is situated on Waitomo Caves Road and is a great tourist attraction as each day a few of Heather's 350 angora rabbits are brought down to the shop and shorn of their coats to the great amusement of overseas visitors. Yarn and high quality knitting featuring her angora fibre are also available for sale. Heather has always been extremely helpful with advice concerning my own angora rabbits which I am grateful for.