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Six Hundred Sales!

I can hardly believe it myself! On Tuesday I sold my 600th painting via the online gallery www.artfinder.com. My sales total had been stuck on 599 what seemed like an unbelievably long time – it was a week in fact. I have actually sold more than that either directly or through other online galleries. All of those paintings were unique too.  I have never gone in for mass producing generic scenes. I believe that novelty keeps my work “fresh”.

My work may explore certain themes such as the Brecon Beacons, Gower Woodlands, Swansea people, the Gower coast, but each painting is an individual. Each painting is of a real specific place or of real people. Perhaps that shows a failure of imagination on my part, I don’t know.

Although I may have had periods when I have felt a bit “flat”, such as after an exhibition, but so far I never actually run out of inspiration. This is partly due to the world around me constantly inspires me but also, more importantly,  because of the unfailing encouragement, inspiration and support provided by my artist husband, James Henry Johnston (known to his friends as Seamas – pronounced “Shay-mas”).

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Seamas

Seamas founded our Art business in the midst of one of the most difficult times of my life. I had developed PTSD after a car accident and this contributed to a breakdown. Painting was an essential part of my recovery (and still is). Not only did he give me crucial emotional support through an incredibly  difficult time, (all whilst sitting his Psychology finals) he set up a website and put some of my paintings on an online gallery called Artfinder. To our delight I started selling. Like many artists, I find the marketing side of the business challenging at times. I was terrified that people would be rude about my art and that would then affect my fragile confidence. Happily that has rarely happened.

So in those early days Seamas acted as “shield” and would write all those upbeat posts on Facebook about sales and upcoming exhibitions. He would also work on direct sales, face-to-face and online, negotiating terms with collectors. I have only really come to appreciate the sheer amount of time and effort he has put into promoting my work since I started working as a full-time artist and had to tackle platforms like pinterest and instagram. That term “full-time artist” is a misnomer as it might give you the impression I spend all say in the studio. I spend at least half my time working on social media and marketing.

Artfinder has been a massive part in being able to make that leap and become a full-time artist. Being self-employed is full of ups and downs, it’s very much “feast or famine” so to look back and see 600 sales over 5 years is quite amazing. Long may it continue. I was going to end this by quoting Samuel Butler, Victorian novelist and satirist who said; “Any fool can paint a picture but it takes a wise man to be able to sell it”, but I want to rephrase that with “Any fool can paint a picture but it take a genius to sell it.”

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Tenby Tide
Tenby Tide  Large professional quality signed and mounted print £45
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Curator for the day

I have been asked to be a curator for Artfinder.com. This means I will put together an art collection for the online gallery http://www.artfinder.com. I am very excited and honoured by this chance. I have been represented by Artfinder since 2013 and I have sold 599 works through them. The site has grown and grown over the years and now represents over 10,000 artists.

It’s not the biggest site out there but for several years its been the best one for independent artists. I’ll explain why.

Each artist is given a lot of control over their own page or “store front”.  You can directly upload photos of your paintings to the site without waiting for an administrator to approve it. You can also directly contact collectors through their messaging system, rather than through the administrator. This makes customer care a whole lot easier.

There are many very talented artists on the site but the increase in the sheer number of artists has made it more and more difficult to be “seen”. So being a curator for the day is my chance to bring attention to the many excellent and talented artists on the site.

As a teenager I used to fantasizing about having the chance to do a supermarket sweep. I used to think about where I would direct my trolley and what to sweep into the trolley in less than three minutes. Funny, how that has no appeal to me these days although, I do like to get in and out of the supermarket in a short amount of time as possible! Twenty minutes, in and out and I am happy.

This is going to take a bit longer than that!

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Andrew Reid Wildman

So I have my chance to “sweep” about 150 artworks into my basket or collection. I am very excited by this. Over the years I have book marked and pinned artworks that have caught my eye and here’s my chance to show them off to the world. I try not to think too much about it. There are some artists who spring to mind immediately like Jane Kell and Andrew Reid Wildman, whom I know I want to have in the collection and others I have to look in my bookmarked collection to remind myself of their names, and a few who present themselves to me as I look through the new art on the site.

 

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Snehal Page
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James Earley

I have largely gone with works that highlight colour and light such as Snehal Page’s vivid oil portraits and Sri Rao’s colorful landscapes.

There many artists’ who skill with the paint brush has me in awe especially people like James Earley and Abi Whitlock.

One hundred and fifty painting may seem like a lot but it isn’t. I want to include as many artists as I can with out the collection becoming too “bity”. So some artists get as many as 4 paintings but other only one. I am hoping that the choices I have made will tempt collectors to click on their names and take note and “follow” them or even better buy their work/s. I believe that art is about a conversation between the artists and the viewer.

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John Kerr

I say conversation, but I believe that good art provokes an emotional reaction in the viewer; whether it is joy at the remembrance of a summer’s day at the seaside, or empathy with the humanity in another’s face or posture.

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James Henry Johnston

 

 

As viewers we invest a lot of energy in choosing our favourites, we follow their progress and want them to do well. I am only the 5th artist (I think) who has been asked to put together a collection but I am hoping this a successful collection and other artists are asked to do the same thing.

If you wish to view the whole collection, you can see it here

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Part of my collection
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Another selection

 

 

 

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Looking for Affordable Art?

Here’s 10 still life works for under £200.

The world of online galleries is full of brilliant work by talented artists so I have put together 10 affordable gems that I have spotted recently. This selection is from Artfinder but many of these artists are also on Saatchi Art and many also have their own websites. They are all worth checking out.

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Still life with mango (pastel) Pastel drawing by Dima Braga  £35  Now £26

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Apricots  Acrylic painting by Peter Orrock £30

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Still Life with bay view Acrylic painting by Tim Treagust £35

image009.jpgJug and glasses Oil painting by Laura Stamps £50

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Still life 28 / 16 x 11 cm  Oil painting by Maja Đokić Mihajlović £59

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image006.jpgBoxed Still Life Oil painting by Emma Cownie £125

Website www.emmacownie.artweb.com

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Still Life, Acrylic painting by Haelyn Y £141

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Orchids in vase and pomegranate Acrylic painting by Irina Moroz £132

image001.jpgJohn Mulberry “The Plant by the Window” £180

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DX T.U. Oil painting by Gaetano Vella £202

OK this last one is over budget by £2 but its still a gem!

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Fish and Chips in the Uplands

Painting of Nightime Urban scene.
Night Jacks (SOLD)

 

Delighted to have Sold this classic “urban folk” painting “Night Jacks” to a collector in Utah in the US via Artfinder !

“The title of this expressionist “urban folk” painting takes it’s title from Hopper’s “Night Hawks” – I have “Britishized” Hopper’s painting which was set in an American diner by using a British alternative or even equivalent the ever present Fish and Chip shop instead as it seemed appropriate. The second part of the title, Jacks, refers to a name we have here in Swansea for people who come from Swansea.”

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Most Popular, Followed and Selling Painter on Artfinder!

 

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Snowy Sugar Loaf (SOLD)

I am delighted to be the Most Popular Painter on Artfinder! https://www.artfinder.com/artists/painters/

I was also a Top 3 Landscape Artist too (although the top landscape painter)! https://www.artfinder.com/artists/landscape-artists/

It is great to finally have this recognition from Artfinder as a top selling, most followed and popular artist over more than a 3 year period. I have argued for a couple of years that Artfinder should  have a two tier system that differentiates between those established, best selling artists and new artists joining Artfinder so that the searching and selecting of art is easier rather than choosing from an  ever-changing amorphous mass of thousands of pieces of art. They seem to have responded to this need with these lists of popular artists which is positive development; positive for artists, collectors and Artfinder alike.

Before it was easy to “disappear” on Artfinder, now artlovers visiting the website can clearly see, and differentiate between, most popular artists as well as new, up and coming artists.

So well done on that Artfinder!

Buy mounted prints here 

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A Certain Something

Contemporary oil painting of Swansea man
A Certain Something – SOLD

 

A hot summer day on Oxford Street Swansea finds this old dude, sharply dressed for the summer heat.
The title again has two meanings – the man has bought a certain something for a precious loved one or he has a certain something as in presence or charisma, something not easily defined.

This is a signature type of painting for me – painting people walking around in their everyday lives. Painting moods, anticipations and atmospheres. Creating presence and pathos.

“Emma’s paintings paintings are lively and capture the fleeting moments of day and night in the Swansea streets. A very strong visual impact is derived from bold blocks of colours and an expressive palette that is widely used in modern art and pop art. The cinematic compositions and dramatic use of light and dark in her artworks, particularly in those night scenes where I observe some tranquility and alienation in a busy city, almost draw a subtle connection to the pieces of Edward Hopper.

I particularly like the figurative works which I think capture the everyday nuances of normal people going about their daily life”

Rise Art – Insiders Review

 

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Still Time

 

Oil painting of elderly Swansea man
Still Time – SOLD

Delighted to have Sold “Still Life” via Artfinder a day after adding to my store! Going to the USA! ‪#‎artfinder‬ ‪#‎swansea‬

“A jaunty elderly man, all dressed and booted on his way to the shops in Uplands, Swansea.
I loved his cheerful sense of purpose and his 1970s sunglasses, that slightly look at odds with the rest of his clothing.
The title of the painting has a double meaning as in still time to get to the shop and a moment of time frozen in time, made still. Still time.

 

This is a signature type of painting for me – painting people walking around in their everyday lives. Painting moods, anticipations and atmospheres. Creating presence and pathos.

“Emma’s paintings are lively and capture the fleeting moments of day and night in the Swansea streets. A very strong visual impact is derived from bold blocks of colours and an expressive palette that is widely used in modern art and pop art. The cinematic compositions and dramatic use of light and dark in her artworks, particularly in those night scenes where I observe some tranquility and alienation in a busy city, almost draw a subtle connection to the pieces of Edward Hopper.

I particularly like the figurative works which I think capture the everyday nuances of normal people going about their daily life”

Rise Art – Insiders Review

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The Cloud Vanishes

 

Delighted to say I have just SOLD the painting “The Cloud Remains” via Artfinder !
Now off to live in Leicestershire, England!

https://www.artfinder.com/…/emma-cownie/product/the-cloud-…/

“This painting is of the straggling wisps of cloud left on the hills in the Black Mountains after a passing storm. It was an amazing scene, this steam-like vapour rising out of the backs and humps of the hills. It looked as if the hills had just had a shower and the appearing sun was drying them off. I loved how the low lying clouds combed the trees and hedges as they floated past. The sun, shining through to illuminate this effect, seemed also to grow patchworks of colours from the fields around the surrounding landscape, as if the light was a nurturing spectral beam. The colours in the Black Mountains after the weather breaks on the hills are heavenly and this is what I hoped to convey. ”

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Two’s Company

Delighted to say I have just SOLD the original oil painting of “Langland Beach Huts” which will be going to the same loving home as “Pobbles Bay” – they will look lovely together in their vibrant hues!

langland beach huts
Artist’s description: I love these cheerful summer colours, representative in their way of Swansea and the Gower coastline, painted across these quaint beach huts, looking onto the glorious bay at Langland, near Swansea, Wales. There is a touch of the 1930s postcards and tourist posters about this painting’s graphic feel and joyful colouring; unconsciously inspired by them no doubt.
Materials used: oil painting on linen canvas