Wednesday, 28 January 2009

It's not just Pandas who like Bamboo!

Bamboo, the word, conjures up all sorts of images from the actual plant to furniture! It is an extremely versatile plant that is also very strong. Here some can be seen growing in a wood in Kyoto, Japan. image

Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant in the world. The plant is used extensively in gardens, as a building material, and as a food source. Here I come back to the theme of a food source for the giant Panda! Not only this the bamboo pulp is now made into a bamboo fabric which is light and strong and is supposed to have some antibacterial properties!

The plant is often used in painting since it has such an interesting formation of colour, texture etc. The Chinese have always been the masters down through the years creating the most beautifully delicate images.

I do not profess to have those qualities but did enjoy trying to depict an abstract image in different colours for my latest set of ACEOs. Remember ACEOs (Artist Card, Editions, Originals) only have one rule and that is that they must measure 3.5" x 2.5". They can be created using any medium which makes them an exciting and affordable way to collect original art!

Here I have created 3 different ACEOs with the same theme. They can displayed separately or as a set! For further information please visit my store on Etsy.


Bamboo - Purple original encaustic ACEO


Bamboo - Blue, an original encaustic ACEO


Bamboo - Green, an original encaustic ACEO


Tuesday, 27 January 2009

A Tori

Many years ago I lived in Tokyo and saw some wonderful temples in Tokyo itself as well as in Kyoto.  The peace and tranquility that surrounds these places just envelopes you as you approach.  The actual act of passing through the gate is supposed to purify the soul.

One of the most famous is the Tori, or gateway to a temple, at Miyajima which is a boat ride of about 40 minutes from Hiroshima.

I have not tried to depict this Tori but wished only to convey the feeling of calm and so this painting is not a true replication but only one based on such a sight!

frontFor further information about this encaustic please follow this link to my Etsy shop where you will find it listed.


Friday, 23 January 2009

A landscape entitled The Expanse

An image I have had in my mind for a while emerged today.  I wanted to convey a feeling of expanse albeit across dunes, fields with a sky to match.  Hence The Expanse was born!

close up You could really be anywhere but just imagine the stillness allowing you the luxury to put your thoughts into some semblance of order.  How often in these busy days do we find ourselves swept along with a hurry to go nowhere. right to left

You will note I have finished off the sides with a brown wax thus allowing the viewer to hang this painting without a frame.

This painting can be seen in more detail in my shop on

Thursday, 22 January 2009

It's time to look around

Although I tend to concentrate on my own work there comes a time when it is good to look around and see what others are creating. It helps to give a different perspective and get you out of a rut!

As you may have gathered from some of my previous posts the art of encaustic is to paint with hot beeswax enabling the artist to create a unique painting which can also include other mediums to produce a mixed media painting.

Since I sell most of my paintings on in my shop I thought I would enter the word 'encaustic' into a search and see what examples of work I could find. A whole host came up but some of them seemed to stand out more than others for me.

For instance, a Portland, Maine artist called Willa Vennema has used a wood panel for a support to create her encaustic entitled Bees in Bee's Wax image

Willa says that 'this piece is from her Series of abstract encaustic/mixed media paintings. If you're not familiar with encaustic, it is a painting technique which uses hot wax as the medium. The sensuality of the medium is its best feature. The surface of the paint has a beautiful glossy shine that can be buffed gently to renew it. The paint seems to glow because light reflects through the layers. There is also a faint perfume of the bee's wax used to make the medium. There's nothing like it!'

image This is another masterful creation so full of movement and depth entitled Elegant Motion by Shelby of BS Art Studio. Here you can start to feel the drama that the waxes can achieve!

An example of mixed media is seen in this piece by Newbyart entitled Leaving the Hive image which is about the artist's personal journey of leaving a group of close friends (the hive). There's something reassuring, though, that communication is just a stamp away.

So, I leave you to explore further and find your favourite piece whether it is solely an encaustic or a mixed media piece. The styles are so varied and exciting but most of all, totally unique!

Friday, 16 January 2009

A wonderful marketing tool, and that is just the start!

I usually chat about what I am creating and how but do occasionally pick out something else that I believe might be of interest to you, the reader.

One of the most proactive and prolific bloggers I have come across lately is called Timothy Adam. This guy is amazing! Once he has researched a subject, particularily marketing, he then passes on the information for the rest of us mortals to digest. This I find so refreshing and generous in times that are difficult for us all and when we are even more likely to look towards just ourselves.

Tim is a self taught metal artist who makes a living selling online. He is also dedicated to helping others achieve their goal of successfully selling their handmade goods online. That was a direct quote from his site On this site Tim explores the science of handmade hence the name!

If you only take five minutes out of your day to check out his site I think you won't be disappointed. Who knows? You might even find a golden nugget of inspiration and knowledge that might change your life in blogland for ever! Try it!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

From one size extreme to another

You might say I am going from one size extreme to another! Compare my large encaustic from the last post to this ACEO which is sized as 2.5" x 3.5" as all ACEOs are supposed to.

A little while ago I decided to list a few of my paintings on a new site called still using my normal shop name of On A Whimsey.

The site is relatively new and is in direct competition with Etsy. So much so that they openly suggest you can import your listings from Etsy and this I tried. It works! You can import and then decide which ones you will make live. The same goes for items on Ebay.

Why not check out my shop?

One of my ACEOs is listed which is called Beleaguered Raft image

The description reads as follows:

Do you remember the Kontiki expedition which was undertaken across the ocean in a wooden raft? As I was developing this ACEO it came to me that this rather reminded me of that. A large sailing raft with the wind howling around its sails tries to battle the wild sea.

Just another example of what you can do with wax!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

TADA.... the unveiling!

Well, as promised, the picture is now hung!

My husband got out the ladder. Have you ever tried standing, safely, on a ladder that has been extended on the stairs? Very scary. Having placed a towel at the top to protect the wall from the ladder making any marks we discussed the height at which the painting should be displayed. Once that was confirmed, he put two screws so that the painting could balance nicely and it would be easier to keep it level and straight.

Once the screws were in place I handed him the painting after having made sure that he still liked it!

Carefully the painting was lowered onto the screws, levelled and once we were happy with the positioning the ladder was safely removed.

And, so my friends, thank you for your patience! Now is the time to stand back and view my latest, largest encaustic entitled 'Flora'.good front

Although initially the painting was to be for us, I have decided that if accepted favourably enough it could well go on sale! Then the headache of how to pack it!!

close up another front See how the light changes the images as it picks out the metallic wax. Remember if you want to see any picture in more detail just to click on the individual one to blow it up!

Let me know what you think. Honestly, I won't be offended if it is not your cup of tea but I really would be curious to read your views.

Thank you for looking!

It's all in the anticipation!

My husband asked if I felt like paining a large canvas as we both realised that sinceactual space in daylight changing and installing new lights on our stairs and landing a large space had become rather obvious and needed filling!!  I took pictures in daylight and also with the light on showing how it accented the wall where we wanted to hang the picture.


better pic of space

Being more used to painting ACEO size pictures up to 20" long paintings I knew I would be looking at something a lot larger.  This was indeed a challenge!

So, we both went along to our local crafty shop to look at canvasses and decided on one.  It measured roughly 36" x 24"!!!!  Now to buy some more waxes which would be required to cover this size canvas.

I had already thought about various ideas to paint but knew that whatever I started out with it would change because the waxes will do what they wish to do!

We got home.  I looked at the canvas and was very apprehensive; it was massive!  Anyway, I unwrapped everything and tried to make enough space to start the masterpiece.  That was the hardest thing to do!  I then made sure I closed my door so that I could be undisturbed and also opened the window so that fumes would not build up.  Now to start!

Later today I will talk through the process and, hopefully, show you the final piece after my husband has hung it in it's new home!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

EEny, meeny, miny,mo.....

Having just finished creating my latest encaustic painting I now have a difficult decision to make.  To which shop do I post it?  Do I list it in  What about  In the end I decided to stick with Etsy for the time being and list this encaustic in my Etsy shop, On A Whimsey.

For those of you who are feeling the cold today including me I think this painting will give a warm feeling.  Hope so!!

Once I had completed it I had to put my thinking cap on to make another important decision!  What title to place on it.  Then like a bolt of lightening I thought of that wonderful group called Simply Red and realised that would be my title for this encaustic!

So, ladies and gentlemen, may I present....... drum roll please.....

Simply Red

imagePainted on box canvas this painting needs no frame since the sides have also been painted.  Measuring roughly 11.5" square and 1" deep it would not look out of place in the home or office.


Here are a couple of pictures showing the side angle to demonstrate how the sides have continued with the main theme and colour. left to right on wall right to left on wall

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Another new venture!

Another new venture... well, it is the new year and what better time to start out on another new one?

This time I was tipped the wink about an American site which is now also in UK called Zazzle.  Interesting name so I checked it out!

On this site you can upload your photographs of your paintings etc and they do all the work after which you take a percentage which you decide upon.  So, you can upload pictures that would be suitable to transposing to T shirts, aprons, mouse mats, mugs and the list goes on and on.  Even magnets, key rings and then they do greeting cards etc.

How could I resist?  Now you can see some of my paintings and photographs.  Some you will recognise, others may be new to you.  My Red Flower looks good on a T shirt, a mug or anything else you can imagine whereas some other images look good on a mouse mat.

Coral reef 1388 x 1163 mousemat This one was entitled 'Looking through the Coral'.  It was an ACEO, still is actually but I thought it could be fun as a mouse mat!



purple 2 fantasy castles mousemat 1388 x 1163 Here we have some of my fantasy mystery castles.  Sometimes when you have to do those boring old spreadsheets it can be rather nice to drift away into fantasy land whilst gazing at your mouse mat.


colourful lake mousemat 1388 x 1163 For a more restful scene I loaded this picture I took during the autumn whilst on a wander around Sheffield Park, a National Trust park, where we often visit.  Bet it doesn't look like this at the moment with temperatures  at 4 or 5 degrees below freezing!

If you are interested in seeing more why not pay a visit to where you will see quite a selection!

Monday, 5 January 2009

A new shop!

The start of another year and always ever hopeful and full of excitement to see what it will bring.

For a variety of reasons which I have yet to fathom my shops on Etsy, Artfire, Art Gallery have been very quiet.  Often visitors to the shops look at the paintings but that is as far as it goes.  So, why not stretch to another shop?  I can hear you say, 'Another!! What on earth are you thinking?'  Well, ever the optimist I thought that by throwing some more bread on the waters I might get noticed more!

So, whilst trawling around I noticed someone mentioned an online shop called  In for a penny, in for a pound and I have now opened another shop, now at

One thing I have noticed is that you can import your listings from Ebay and Etsy!  Then all you have to do is check them to make sure you are happy, alter anything in the descriptions etc and make them live.  Nothing could be easier!  All is fair in love and war, I believe the saying goes.  Well, looks like it to me!  So, we shall see what happens.  I have only one item listed so far but will be adding to my inventory pretty soon.

My first listing on image

I called this Crocus and it is an ACEO, an original in encaustic art, beeswax!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

A very Happy New Year!!!

Just a quick word to wish everyone a wonderful 2009! I know the forecasters are voicing doom and gloom but there is a lot of positive thinking to be done! As much as things are not good, make your own luck, think positive!

This year I intend to concentrate on my On A Whimsey shop on Etsy where I display affordable art. Other shops where I sell are,,

So, this year will be THE year!

Enjoy this time to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and work out a plan of action! You CAN do!

Happy New Year!
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