Happy summer to you all! What a fantastic few weeks it’s been. I must admit it’s difficult to work in the studio when it is so lovely outside but my husband and I (and the dogs of course) have been going for a swim most evenings. It’s such a great way to end the day and it cools off the dogs.
I have in fact been working really hard and as you will see there are lots of new things on my website. I have also finished four new paintings for The Mulberry Tree Gallery in Swanage, and I am currently working on another four for Fowey River Gallery.
I sold out of my book A Brush With The Coast a while ago, and now A Brush With Anglesey has also sold out. I’ve been wondering for a while if I should reprint A Brush With The Coast and after lots of emails and enquiries from Waterstones – as well as galleries – I have decided to do it. Now I’ve made the decision I am very excited about it. I am taking the opportunity to add more images and tweak the writing. Also I’m going to make it smaller (the same as the Anglesey book) so it’s easier to handle. It won’t be ready until Christmas but I’m sure it will be worth the wait!
I hope you all like the new work.
Here we are once again; my favourite time of year. Already I am itching to light my first fire, but today the weather has taken a turn for the better so I will have to wait.
I have had a very good summer which ended in a nearly sell-out show in Fowey. The private view was a lovely evening with just one small blip: while I was merrily downing my third glass of wine I was discreetly informed that I had forgotten to sign one of the paintings. Strangely, this is not uncommon and for some reason I often leave one or two paintings unsigned per show. Unfortunately (or fortunately) it had sold, and the couple who had bought it needed to take it home so I was required to sign it there and then. As a rule I don’t carry paints and brushes around with me and so, roping in a few guests, asked the local artists (who were taking advantage of the free wine) if any of them could run home and get a brush and some paint. Signing is a tricky business at the best of times but with three glasses of wine and a small audience it was fairly nerve wracking. However with a brand new brush and tube of black paint – which I watered down with white wine – I managed to perform the task without making a complete fool of myself, and even earned a round of applause!
Now the show is over I can concentrate on other things. I hinted in my last post that I was going to embark on a new project and that is exactly what I have done! I am in the throes of writing and illustrating my first ever children's book. I am relishing the challenge and it's been just the thing after months and months of painting. As soon as I can I am going to do a separate blog all about the book and how I have gone about creating it. There's so much more to it than I ever imagined when I first set out on this project.
Until then, here are some very early sketches, a few more developed sketches and some teasers of images from the new book.
Hopefully it will be ready for Christmas and I will keep you all informed.
Happy February everyone! It's a funny time of year, a lull before the mayhem of spring. I love it; it gives me space and time to concentrate on the year ahead. The Fowey show is slowly taking shape and I am very pleased so far. While that is my main focus, a few other things are happening in the background.
The first, I am revising A Brush With The Coast and have reformatted it to be smaller (the same size as A Brush With Anglesey). I think the new size will make it more accessible, and I've also added a few more images. I'm not totally sure if I will reprint (it will depend on demand) but I have enjoyed making the tweaks.
The second very exciting thing is that I am about to launch – exclusively on my website –these four brand new limited edition prints. This will be the first time I have published my own prints. I'm working with the printers to get the colours right at the moment but I hope they will be available late Feb/early March. I will send an email to my mailing list with all the details as soon as they are ready, and the original paintings will also be available to buy on my website.
Thank you so much to everyone who has written a review of A Brush With The Coast, either here on my website or on Amazon. I've been running a prize draw for all those who bought my book online and then wrote a review on Amazon, and I'm pleased to announce the winner - Sandra Mänty from Finland! Sandra's prize - an original framed watercolour from the book is winging its way to her now.
Sign up to my mailing list here to be kept up to date with any future news and competitions!
I have had a fantastic few months' painting and posting! My book has really taken off and I have been over the moon with the positive feedback. Last month I won the non-fiction category of the Rubery Book Award – it came as a complete surprise and really bolstered my confidence.
Waterstones in Truro have really got behind me and have done a great window display with my actual walking boots and even my traveling easel!
I've also had articles in a few magazines, which has been very exciting, including Cornwall Today, Country Life, Country Walking and Purbeck Magazine
I have taken over a room in our house purely for the wrapping and posting of the book (2,000 books take up a lot of space). We've worked out that there are four tonnes of books in our spare room! Luckily it is on the ground floor.
In between posting I am painting and have sent new work to The Mulberry Tree Gallery and Fowey River Gallery.
Many thanks to everyone who has left a review of the book online and thank you for all your lovely emails, I really appreciate your support.
I'm very excited to say that the book is printed and ready to sell! At the moment it's only available through my online shop, but I'll keep posting updates as and when it reaches other stockists!
So, a few weeks later than I had hoped, the printers are finally printing my book! The last few weeks have been the most difficult of the whole self-publishing process but things are now moving. Yesterday I popped into the printers to see how it all works - it was odd to see my images everywhere and fascinating to see all the different stages.
After Easter I'm going to send out an email with all the book details and how to pre-order a copy... not long now!
So, only a few more weeks to go before the big event!! Everyone who has signed up for my mailing list will get an email as soon as my book is available to buy, so keep an eye on your inbox! It's going to sell for £40 plus p&p and for that you get a whopper of a book and hundreds of pictures plus a good read and I will sign every one!! There will be a book launch at Waterstones in Truro in April and I will keep you all informed about the dates nearer the time.
As I've mentioned, all the images from the book will be available to buy at my Open Studio event in May (again, details will follow).
In the meantime, here are a few more images to whet your appetite...
I'm dipping a toe into the world of social media and as a start I'm going to put an image from my book onto Instagram every day for a few weeks... follow me if you'd like to keep up to date (my username is sashamayharding)!
Here is another chapter from the book (click on the image to open up the pdf). This month has flown by; I have got into a real routine that's based on walking the dogs and working on the book. It is one of those projects that you have to take a day at a time, a chapter at a time in order not to be overwhelmed by the amount of work involved! Having said that I am still loving working on it. It is a fluid process and I am adding and taking out images as I go along.
I met up with Amy last week and we went through the first 20 chapters. We're going to get them printed so I can properly see how it is going to look. A computer screen is a far cry from holding something physical and quite often you can see things that don't work that you missed when looking on a screen.