This week I passed an important blogging milestone. On Tuesday moring I was greeted with the message that my wordpress site had passed 100,000 all-times views!
My husband, Séamas, set up this wordpress site for me over seven years ago. When I took it over full-time in 2015, I had 91 followers, now I have just over 800! Views for my site have steadily been growing but 2020-21 was a bumper year.
Breaking my leg last year provoked the most comments by far!
I would like to say a great big thank you to every one who visited my website, bought my work, read my blogs and left comments!
It seems that I like animals almost as much as I like Art. Turns out that Wayne (Barnes) of Tofino Photography is my chattiest follower. He certainly makes me laugh! He takes wonderful photographs of the incredible wildlife of Western Canada – eagles, bears, wolves, orcas and humming birds! Take a look here.
Thank you to everyone who has visited my website and blog. Whether you have just stopped by to look at my paintings, read my blogs but especially those who “like”, comment and buy my work. Without you I could not continue to make art.
I have a confession to make. The person who does most of the “getting ready” is not me – it’s my husband, Seamas. Yes, I paint the pictures, make sure all the edges are tidied up and my initials are on each painting but he does the fiddly stuff I hate. But he’s the one who helps me decide which paintings to have in the exhibition, he goes to buy the “D” ring hooks from the DIY shop round the corner, when we run out. Or yes, and another 4 balls of string. Then, he patiently sits down and measures the spacing at the back of the paintings, screws in the “D” hooks and then has to arrange the string so that 1) the painting won’t fall off the wall 2) it doesn’t hang too high or too long down from the brass hooks they have in the venue. He also went to the venue to double check how many spaces for paintings there are too. He’ll also help with the hanging on Monday afternoon and delivering the flyers to the local business and homes.
So if you are in Swansea in August please call by and have a cup of coffee in the Brynmill Coffee House – its opposite the entrances of Singleton and Brynmill Park and 5 minutes’ walk from the seafront. The Staff are super nice and the cake is delicious and they have gluten-free versions too. You can enter the draw for a limited edition signed print of “Outside Brynmill Coffee House“. There will be limited edition prints and greeting cards available to buy too. My paintings are a selection of scenes and people of Brynmill as well as some Gower landscapes. Photographs of the paintings in situ will follow soon!
This is another gem in the Gower landscape – the Worm’s Head Lookout Station at Rhossili. I really enjoyed painting this. This stout and sturdy single story building is made of granite and was built over 120 years ago, around 1896. It sits alone at the top of the high cliffs that look out towards Worms Head and beyond to Lundy Island and to the Celtic Sea. The wind-blasted building has an 8m flagstaff and a 6m wind generator. I was inspired to paint this because of the sharp summer shadows and the isolation of the tiny building. It oozes Hopper.
It is set in a very beautiful but dangerous coastline. Between the cliffs and Worm Head is the Causeway, a scramble of rocks and rock pools, which is open for 2.5 hours either side of low tide. The tidal rise here is the second highest in the world. However, it is fatal to attempt to wade or swim to when the causeway is flooded or partially so. The coastline and waters around Gower are lovely to look at and to paint but they need to be treated with great respect. The waters around the Worm can also be dangerous to small craft, fishing boats and surfers.
This is why I am very glad that a team of local volunteers for National Coastwatch look after the interests of visitors and seafarers, alike. Since 2007, from 10am till 4pm in the winter and 10am till 6pm in the summer the lookout is staffed. If at the end of watch the Causeway has not yet flooded and there are members of the public still out on Worm’s Head, the watch is kept open until everyone is safely back on the mainland. So although the Lookout Station looks somewhat bleak and empty, the front door is, in fact, open and there is someone inside looking out for us all!
I wanted to promote my artwork in a different manner to the promotion normally done by Art Galleries. I wanted to promote it while at the same time promoting the idea of buying artwork via online galleries, especially those such as my own art website on Artweb.com… so I came up with the idea of promoting artwork via a YouTube video.
“Up Your Street!?”
I then tried to work out a pitch, or a ‘hook’ if you like, linking online galleries with the fact that, generally, I ship artwork to art-lovers to places as far away as Australia (a popular destination for my work), via the postal service.
Then I came across this image sent to me by another online gallery, with whom I have an online collection:
I thought instantly about how we artists send artwork around the world and how metaphorically, via postal services, we are posting from one street to another.
We are all a global village of artists and art-lovers, and we are all on the same street in a sense. Then I thought as I looked up the street in this image that I am delivering artwork to art-lovers who like my artwork, so in terms of slang, my artwork must be “up their street.”
From there I thought to myself, so if we are all on the “same street” in this global village/market, where would you be likely to find my work on this “street”?
Implementing The Concept…
So for this idea, I decided my video should go through all the places on a street that you might find my work, such as online galleries on your PC, laptop, iPad or Smartphone, to real life galleries, to LED lights, to advertising screens, to displayed on banners, in newspaper print, to delivered giclee prints. I then went on to show areas in one’s home where you would find my artwork, such as over the mantelpiece etc. The video concludes with suggesting that wherever you find my artwork, I hope you find it “up your street”. This double meaning or promotional “hook” and will hopefully make you think twice – that if you like my artwork, potentially it will find it’s way, literally up your street… in other words you like it enough to buy and have it posted to you!
Generally I think it is useful to use video as a promotional tool because you can show a lot of your artwork in a very short space of time, and if accompanied by music, it can heighten the enjoyment of looking at one’s artwork. I have had some great feedback on the video with some art-lovers watching it over and over again. I chose this song, because it had the refrain “I fall in love with the light” which reminded me of Derain’s “the substance of painting is light.”
Here are some snippets for the video “storyboard”:
While many of you are baking in England and dealing with a hosepipe ban, in Donegal it’s cloudy with occasional showers. I thought I would share you my recent newletter. They have ended up being quarterly. It depends of how much news I have and how busy I have been. I always make it strong […]
It took a while, but I finally worked it out. On sunny days Lidl’s car park in Dungloe is pretty full but the shop is quite empty. Just across the road from is the entrance to the River Walk. I have eyed this entrance many times as I have bundled the shopping into the back […]
I am also feeling faintly stupid but very delighted because I only just realised that Claire Keegan’s novella “Foster”, which my painting “The Traditional House, Gola” has been used for the cover of a reprint, is the basis for the film “The Quiet Girl”. Actually, I nearly fell over when I made the connection.