Ah, September... my favourite time of year. Cornwall has finally quietened down after one of the busiest summers I can remember. I've just returned home from a week-long trip to Anglesey in Pam the camper van (my summer holiday), which we tied in with the private view of my exhibition at Janet Bell Gallery in Beaumaris; a wonderful evening, with sushi and plenty of prosecco. My husband and I had optimistically packed snorkels and swimming costumes for our trip, but strong winds and rain ruined any thoughts of frolicking in the sea!
Now it's time to crack on with some serious painting. I can't resist doing another painting a day exhibition; this year it will be in celebration of dogs. So, thirty paintings - one a day for the whole of November! Then I'm going to paint some new work for my website, really exploring my love of rock pools and the seashore. I have had a break from doing large exhibitions, but in August of next year I am going to have a show at the Fowey River Gallery concentrating on Cornwall's coastline, which will take me seven months to paint. So it looks like a busy year ahead! Here are a few of my new paintings, available to buy from either Fowey River Gallery or Janet Bell Gallery.
Four months on from my last post (!) and the book is in the final stages. I feel both elated that it is nearly finished, and a bit lost - no more 06:30 mornings and working weekends! It has been all encompassing but incredibly rewarding. These final stages are probably the most important part; now it is all about the detail as the designer Amy and I put it all together. Luckily, I am using a local printer – Booth's – that is literally five minutes down the road. They are very accommodating when it comes to getting proofs done, which means it is much easier to check that the layout is working. I have gone over the first seven chapters (printed out) and will spend this weekend painting more images where I can now see they are needed (what did I say about weekends off?).
Hopefully I will be publishing it in June and I will put all the details on the website. Meanwhile, A Brush With The Coast has nearly sold out. There are just 300 of the 2,000 left so get your orders in!
Back in the real world I am working on various commissions this month and then I will concentrate on getting some work in galleries. I am also hoping to have an online exhibition later in the summer, as well as an exhibition in Beaumaris (Anglesey) in September, with all the original artwork from the book.
Happy New Year to you all! I have begun the year on a roll, throwing myself into the illustrations for my new book. At the end of the summer my husband and I packed up our camper van, threw in the dogs and drove nine hours to the beautiful island of Anglesey. The dogs and I walked the whole island; at 125 miles long it wasn't in the same league as the South West Coast Path, but was nonetheless a wonderful, inspiring experience. My usual lack of fitness reared its ugly head (despite walking six miles a day at home), but I bravely battled on!
And now the fun part: the creation of a book. This will be smaller in length and size than A Brush With The Coast, but with even more illustrations and full page paintings. The Anglesey walk is just the right length for a 10 to 12 day walking holiday and so is perhaps more accessible to people than a seven week walk! I hope the book will inspire people to discover Anglesey if they don't already know it.
Many thanks to everyone who bought a painting from my online show, Sixteen Days Of Summer; it was a great success! I really enjoyed embracing social media and putting the paintings on Twitter and Instagram.
Now I have a really nice Christmas offer - I'm having a small number of hardbacks made of my book and the first fifty books ordered will come with a free calendar featuring images from the book and a Christmas card hand-drawn by me. You can pre-order right now and they will be ready to send on the 12th November!
I'm very excited to announce Sixteen Days Of Summer - my latest "painting a day" project. From 16th October I'll be putting a new painting in my shop at 9am each morning, for sixteen days. The paintings - acrylic on canvas, either 5"x7" or 6"x6", with lovely bespoke frames - will cost £425 each. Here's a sneak preview of the first day's painting...
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 have had the most amazing response to the book and now I'm in the middle of hanging the paintings from the book for the Open Studios. There are acrylics, watercolours and drawings - some framed, some mounted - and every single image from the book is available.
I'll be opening up my home from 11am to 5pm on both weekends of the Open Studios (23rd/24th and 30th/31st May.)
If you can't make it in person and there is a picture you want then you can drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). In some ways you can use the book as a catalogue.
The first ten people to come in person to the Open Studios and buy a copy of my book will get a free sketch from the book (randomly chosen by me!). I look forward to seeing everyone that can make it.
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!