Thursday, 22 July 2010

love yurts

Blimey, can't believe it was April when I last posted! I've been trying to be better with updates on the old facebook and twitter (, twitter is lilygreenwood)...but obviously it has been too much for me to cope with blogging too. Must try harder.

I've just spent the last week in a yurt in deepest Wales (Pembrokeshire coast) - and it was fantastic!

It did feel like camping - under canvas (so you could hear the rain really well!), cooking on a little gas stove, candle light - but it was that bit nicer. Very few other people around, nice proper bed, ample room to sit and have a game of scrabble, cosy woodburning stove to warm the yurt, proper covered area to sit and eat outside, barbeque, campfire and so on. The people who ran the place were great - ready to help and interested in what we were doing but not overbearing. They even brought some new fresh flowers for the yurt half way through the week.

We had some lovely walks along the coastal path poking in rock pools, oodles of wine, some nice ales, a day in St Davids where I had a coconut ice cream, a day on Skomer getting within a few metres of Puffins (which were really cute), built a sandcastle, swam in the sea (with the jellyfish - I later found out they aren't stingers) and lots of paddling, all good! Would certainly recommend it.

Chilled Camping -

Painting is keeping me busy busy all the time, and I have just completed a commission which involved painting all different kinds of insects, very interesting. I've started selling at Pad in Preston, so at the moment you can now get work from my studio, Webbs Fine Art in London, Portico Library and Gallery, Blossom Flowers in Chorlton, Pad in Preston, The Bowery in Leeds, online on Etsy and Folksy, and cards are available from Butterfly World, Herts. Hope I haven't forgotten any where. Phew!

In sadder news my print probably won't be sold in Next any time soon as my publishers The Art Group suddenly went into administration. I'm not so sad for myself as I don't get excited until I see it in person and fingers crossed I have ridden the recession quite well so far - I'm more sad for the 30 staff left redundant without pay or notice. I wish a speedy recovery and new horizons to all of them. On the bright side, my lovely contact there Helen is already coming up with new propositions and would like to look into publishing my work elsewhere, so a silver lining.

Ah look at the time, I better get on! Bye for now!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

spring greens

Hello there!

This is a new canvas which will soon be winging it's way to Webbs Fine Art in London along with some other new work, including two I've been working on at home which are rather large if I do say so myself, at least larger than my usual size anyway. The second one just needs a bit more work which I hope to do over the next few days.

I have just come back from a flying visit to the parents, a nice relaxing time mainly consisting of sleeping, eating, cats and crosswords. Despite the recent wintery weather, Spring seems to be 'springing', with daffs up in the garden, buds on the trees, and even an occasional ray of sunshine. To celebrate I have planted mange tout and tomato seeds - never grown veg before, so will have to see what comes of that (hopefully some form of edible mange tout and tomatoes!).

The studio has been reasonably bustling over the past few weeks, which is nice as this is usally the quieter time of year. It's heartening that our Craft Centre may be becoming less of a 'hidden' gem - just 'gem' will do! I have no regrets about taking the decision to leave the Whitworth, apart from missing out on the office banter (and office baking now I hear!), as life has become simpler in a positive way, and dividing my time between the studio and home seems to suit me just fine.

Kathryn of Edwards will be leaving me (noooo!) but only for three weeks while she and her partner Chris tour their new project around Canada - 'We Are Willow'. (More details on Kathryn's blog). I'm sure they'll have fun times. For three weeks I will be full time at the studio, so six days a week. I wouldn't want to do it all the time, but three weeks is a good opportunity to try and get lots of new work under my belt.

In other news, some commissions have been keeping me occupied as usual, and the lovely people at The Art Group who have previously published my greetings card designs in America have been in touch with some new ideas which is great. I'm not sure how concrete they are at this stage though so more about that in the future hopefully. I've also sent some samples of cards and small canvasses to the shop manager at The Butterfly World Project, a new all singing visitor centre with butterfly houses, meadows, gardens, and lots more, opening in Hertfordshire soon, so we will see.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

nice people

I have found two lovely little reviews of my work online, I don't know who you are, but big thanks to Jenny Hudson who has written kind words on Qype, and Rebecca D who has done the same on Yelp. Thank you both very much for taking the time!

I have been away cat sitting in Edinburgh this week followed by a visit from friends over the weekend. All lovely but I'm now itching to get back in the studio.

So the post isn't bereft of visual interest, here is a new little painting, a Long Tailed Tit. Soon to be available as a greetings card, along with a couple of other birdy delights, and I will also have birdy paperweights.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

watch the birdie

New little painting inspired by wallpaper exhibition The Walls Are Talking currently showing at the Whitworth Art Gallery.

Monday, 1 February 2010

it's a sign

We've finally got our names up on the front of the studio, and it's about time too considering we moved in from next door back in May. It feels good knowing there is no longer a yawning expanse of nothingness up there...we have names! The background is vintage small-print wallpaper all the way from Johnny Tapete in Germany (although you can't see the pattern on this photograph) with the letters hand crafted by our own fair hands. You don't want to know how long it took us to choose a font.

This week I am tying up the loose ends of last week's commission, preparing more work to go to The Bowery in Leeds after good Christmas sales there, starting a new commission, and any other odds and sods which come my way. The work for Blossom florists (Chorlton) is now installed so if you are around that way go take a peek.

It's my last day at the Whitworth Gallery this Thursday, although I will be straight back on Friday to check out the launch of 'The Walls are Talking' wallpaper exhibition. After installing table (£12) and chair (£2) from Wesley Community Furniture Exchange, and a bit of cheap shelving, my box room is now a packing and storage room ready to go. Next phase will be to decide which products will be going online, how to package them, photographing them, getting some stocks in, working out postage pricing, and getting them online. There is also an enormous blank canvas waiting for me in the spare room, so, enough to do.

I took part in the RSPB one hour garden bird survey yesterday while my 33 weeks pregnant good friend Ellie took a Sunday snooze on the sofa. Should have done it in the morning really, as I only saw a blackbird, a wood pigeon, and two sparrows. Oh well, did my bit I suppose.

Time to get back to work. Or have a brew.

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Wednesday, 13 January 2010

it's business time

Hello hello folks,


Actually it's not so cold here in the studio if I close the door to conserve heat - it's even warm enough to do some work. Quiet times here at the Craft Centre, people staying at home to avoid slippery roads and pavements - can't say I blame them. A few brave souls have made it through the door for the odd greetings card or little painting.

Fortunately I'm not just sitting and waiting for the hoards and have plenty of work to keep me occupied until things pick up, replenishing stock which sold over Christmas, completing commisisons, contacting stockists, drinking copious amounts of redbush tea, and making grand plans for the year ahead.

I handed my notice in at the Whitworth Art Gallery over Christmas, which is very exciting for me. I have worked there for almost 7 years now, and I couldn't have had a better job to get me through the transition from University to self-employment. It feels like the right time to try painting full time, so try it I will. At the moment I work 3 days at the studio, and 2 days at the Whitworth. Soon it will be 3 days at the studio and 4 whole days to myself to really get stuck in to work - can't wait.

I plan to start work on some new large scale canvasses at home, which I've never had the time to try before. I am also in the process of converting our boxroom to a storage and packing room for supplying stockists and eventually I hope online sales - which I'm going to work on setting up on my website, on etsy, and on folksy. It'll take time. I'm hoping to have time to work on developing the hand-painted butterflies and birds which form the basis of my paintings, which have sorely needed attention for a while. I might even have time for more regular blog updates.

No doubt when I have finished at the Whitworth I will still feel as though there are not enough days in the week, but c'est la vie.

Roll on spring!