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  • Llamas!

    This weekend I took a trip to The Llama Park in Wychcross, Sussex. I had a great time!! The park is set out on acres and acres of fields next to the Ashdown Forrest and has a great restaurant too. You can learn more about the park here.

    I took lots of photos using my new Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens which has really given me a new found love for my camera. The photos are clear, crisp and in focus.

    The llamas were friendly, each with their own personality. The star of the show though is Teddy, he chooses to roam free around the park and whenever we got some grain out to feed the other llamas, he would suddenly pop up on my shoulder.

    You can see all of the photos i took here. 

    As soon as I got home I started drawing. Llamas are great to draw as they have beautiful big eyes and that is my favourite part of an animal to draw. Instead of using my Daler Rowney watercolour pencils, I used my Winsor and Newton pans. I got myself a new block of paper - The Langton Mould Made 140lb 300gsm which has a great texture but is not as rough as The Langton paper I usually use. I'm really happy with the first llama I drew.

    Llama 1

    Llama 2

    I have some commissions to do this week, Prince the Horse and Betsy the Pug, but after they are done I will do some more Llama paintings.

    Other things that have kept me entertained this week:

    Casefiles True Crime - http://casefilepodcast.com/

    For anyone who loves true crime! This podcast has kept me on the edge of my seat all week. I'm addicted!

  • Hello Art, I'm free!!

    So in the last blog post - I joked about my bi annual blog post. In the past I have been utterly useless at keeping up with blog posts and now I have more time I vow to at least keep the blog posts monthly. Why do I have more time? Well after 6 years of studying with The Open University I did my final exam for my Psychology BSc Hons on the 1st June. Up until the last two modules I was able to manage my art alongside my studying (and full time work!) but I had to really concentrate, which is why I've been a little quieter on the art front 2015 / 2016. I've missed it soo much!! If I can't do art, I get frustrated. It keeps me grounded. It will take some time getting used to, not having a deadline to meet, already I feel overwhelmed with all of the creative possibilities. I want to do everything! But realistically, whilst I'm still working full time I can't. So my main priorities right now:

    - Update my website and put my art up for sale on here

    - Get my live streaming set up on Twitch

    - PAINT

    So number two on the list - Twitch! I've decided to start streaming my art live on Twitch. I think it will be a great way to help me connect with everyone whilst I do my art, so you can see me create a piece from scratch, chat and maybe even learn something. I got the idea from my gaming. Playing video games is another hobby of mine which has been neglected. So for post degree treat I bought myself a PS4, because you can share live gameplay on Twitch, I then checked out Twitch. I then came across the Creative section of Twitch and the light bulb went off. I've already filmed myself doing art for the time lapse videos but I really like the idea of just switching on when I create and for the creative process to be shared. I've got myself a Logitech c920 web cam (another post-degree splurge) and completely rearranged my room to set it up. I'm using OBS to broadcast. There are a few issues with being a Mac user but nothing too much to overcome. This is my current set up:

    I also sold my lovely cat painting seen in the picture, it is going to a great home. The painting is of my artist friend Melanie Hodge's Studio Cat Loki, he's gorgeous and so playful.

    I'm also a little nervous about Saturday because for the first time in a year I will be presenting a work shop for the Burgess Hill Summer Festival. It will be based at the Woolpack Pub in Burgess Hill, where my art is being shown with the other Burgess Hill Artists (www.burgesshillartists.co.uk). The theme is "Painting by the Pond" because the pub has a lovely pond with ducks in. My main concerns are that it's outside (I don't trust British weather!), I don't know how many people are going to turn up until the day and I'm not 100% sure how we're all going to paint...but I'm sure it will be a fun day and I will report back. It will be great to engage with people again and hopefully I can teach them something :)

    That's it for now but watch this space!

  • Plans for 2014

    I feel it's now time for my annual / bi-annual update on how things are going. I still haven't quite got the hang of regular blog posting but I am starting to use Twitter a little more (@projectlumino). Although it feels more like a platform for me to bug / compliment "famous" people and get excited when they Tweet back.

    So far 2014 has gotten off to a good start. I've signed up to a demonstration agency called Art Profile and I have a demostration booked through them aleady. Hopefully 2015 will see regular demonstrations. At the beginning of the year I visited Hellingly Primary School in East Sussex and taught the Year 4,5 and 6. I was absolutely exhausted after but it was very fulfilling. I loved the paintings they did, all so unique.

    Next week I am visiting another primary school in Crawley and taking on three more classes. I visited there last year so it's really nice to be asked back and I have more of an idea of what to say and do now. It's also great to be earning some money from teaching my art as making money at exhibitions is very hit and miss.

    I've started demonstrating my art on Youtube. I figured out how to set up my Nikon on a tripod to film from above. I have to crouch under the tripod and my camera only has 20m filming time but I manage it just about! My aim is to do one every couple of weeks and build up the animal tutorials. It does take a very long time to do, almost 6 hours for a <10minute video, but will be worth it.

    I have a few exhibitions planned for the year. I am taking part in the MS Society Secret Exhibition in June. I am very grateful to be taking part as it is raising money for such a good cause. My best friend was diagnosed with MS a couple of years ago, so any research that can be done to improve the lives of those affected is worth it.

    There are the usual art club exhibtions from the Adventurers and the Weald and I always look forward to being a part of those. It's also nice if I get a mention in the paper too! There are a few more exhibtions that I need to register for too.

    Another project of mine at the moment is the reinvention of the Burgess Hill Open Studios. After the organisers moved away it was passed on to the very few artists who wished to stay around. Most of the artists from previous years dropped out and we found ourselves with a handful of artists who didn't have a house to "open". So instead, with a lot of thanks to the Age UK Cherry Tree Centre in Burgess Hill we have an exhibition planned for June 2014. We are now called Burgess Hill Artists and I have taken the website under my wing. Fingers crossed we can get lots of local artists involved to make the exhibition a success. The committee has a number of experienced and enthusiastic organisers so it is getting off to a good start.

    I took a visit to London Zoo in January with my new Nikon Lens. I finally got a good giraffe photo. Last time I visited they were hiding in the dark. I plan to do two large acrylic canvases, one of the giraffe and another close up of a gorillas portrait.

  • Summer is here!

    So, Shoreham Airport and the Burgess Hill Open Studios are upon us (i.e. me). The last few weeks have been so hectic with moving house, getting my essay in AND setting up two exhibitions!

    I am very proud of how Artscape has turned out. It looks a lot more professional and streamlined this year. No hazardous screens! Not that children take much notice. A child scaled one on Saturday I almost had a heart attack!

    We had the preview evening meet and greet on Saturday night, and all the artists attended. There was a queue for the card machine! And! I sold a painting :D of my Bunnies.

    I began drawing dogs on Saturday and started with a King Charles Spaniel and completed a Jack Russell today.

    This afternoon I went to The Cherry Tree to do my bit for the Open Studios but it was a lot quiter than Shoreham. However on Tuesday myself and artist Melanie Hodge will be holding our animal drawing workshop. I'm looking forward to it. We've got a lesson plan and I've prepared photographs I've taken of animals. I'll have to jump in feet first, the only bad thing that can happen is that I realise I can't teach.

    I'm more nervous about the school workshop on Wednesday morning. If it goes well though I'll be able to do more and it will open up a new route for me.

    I'm still really keen on illustrating and met someone this weekend that might mean a project to work on. Watch this space.......

    Onwards and upwards!

  • Getting prepared

    With Lindfield Arts Festival only a month away (exciting!) I've been prepping. I bought a new card stand as the card board one went kinda mouldy. So now its sturdy and metal. I've ordered 120 new postcards with 10+ new designs. I've bought a MASSIVE reel of framing tape but realised it's a licky one, I think I'll have to purchase a sponge. I've bought a bulk of new mounting kits so I can do a load of new art.

    I visited Spring Barn Farm in Lewes on Good Friday which has provided me with lots of photographs for new art pieces. Especially baby lambs. There were so many I almost melted!

    Photo: New card stand has arrived now awaiting the 120 new postcards!