Author: Alison G Saunders Art

Art and charity work crisis due to lockdown

158th Blog – Art and charity work crisis due to lockdown Over the past couple of years all charitable organisations have suffered as people just haven’t been putting their hands in their pockets and donating to good causes in general. It is the small local charities which have probably seen the greatest demand on their…
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Art Discounts – Should you give them?

Should you give discounts on your artworks? As many of you already know, I run an online art gallery called Ginger Cactus Art http://www.gingercactusart.com and having just launched our Christmas exhibition, the issue of special offers or discounts is being discussed. In the case of Ginger Cactus Art, we are purely an online exhibition space;…
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Sketch books revisited

156th Blog post – Sketchbooks revisited Back in early 2019 I wrote a blog about how I use my sketchbook and how you might consider using yours. Over two years have passed, and the basic message is the same, but I have updated it a bit, though I am re-using some of the artwork I…
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An idea for blogs, for my blogs and I need your input.

An idea for blogs, for my blogs and I need your input. 155th blog Those of you who are regular readers of my weekly blog will know that normally, on this first Sunday of the month, I would have published an interview with the latest in my “featured artist” series for your enjoyment. I had…
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Websites

Website construction and how to get the best results – or not I will warn you now, this week I am on my soap box having been let down by yet another person who was happy to take my money, tinker with my website and leave it in a worse place than it was before…
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About colour

Last week my editor complained (not for the first time I must admit) but this time it wasn’t about my dreadful writing or spelling [Whilst you’re at it, don’t forget punctuation and grammar – Ed]. It was about content. Basically, he is fed up with reading about record keeping so to keep him happy I…
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Journal/record keeping and planning for now and next year

It has been a while since I last wrote about journaling and record keeping. I will be totally honest with you and tell you that I haven’t touched my journal for the past five weeks as I have been so caught up in my house move. I did manage to get my accounts up to…
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Big sky thinking

Dealing with self-doubt

151st Blog post – Opening my eyes and coping with self-doubt. I have been writing these blog posts since 2018 and whilst I hope the content and writing have both improved over this time, I have always written with the reader in mind. My aim has always been to inform other artists about new trends,…
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Featured Artist Stephanie Thompson

What is your name or the name you go by for your art? My name is Stephanie Thompson, and I trade as Stephanie Thompson Art. Where do you live? I’m based in Surrey, UK, but have lived in several places, both north and south in the UK. We have a fantastic landscape which influences my…
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How to keep going with your art

Just keeping going Some of you will know that I recently moved home and although we have moved to a beautiful house on a large site, we have actually downsized. This means that we are trying to go through all our ‘stuff’, get rid of what we really don’t need, which is probably most of…
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How to survive taking part in an art exhibition

Blog post #148 Sticks and stones. Having recovered from the exhibition I ran at Denbies Wine Estate recently, I thought you might like to hear my feedback on how it went. First, though I have to tell you about the three people whose comments should have been kept to themselves but in the end said…
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How to use mood, vision or concept boards in your art.

Vision and mood boards I was recently reminded of the value of using vision and mood boards when I was asked to produce some for our new home and the work we want to have done on it. In my case, I am looking initially at the type of exterior aesthetic for the art studio,…
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Featured Artist Kristy Darnell Battani

What is your name or the name you go by for your art? Kristy Darnell Battani Where do you live? Austin, Texas USA What’s your background? I have always loved art—drawing, painting, whatever. I started in college taking studio art classes, but the truth is I had no idea what it meant to be an…
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How to look after your painting equipment

These days artists use all manner of different tools to produce their artwork but traditionally many, if not most, use brushes. Keeping brushes clean and in good order will mean that their working lives will be extended, and they will in turn produce the reliable quality you need for your work. Different media require different…
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blog

143rd blog Shortages of art supplies I think we have all read about the shortage of supplies in our shops. Most of us have seen empty shelves in our supermarkets and all manner of excuses have been put forward as to why this is happening. Brexit is the most common, along with Covid-19, too and…
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How to keep on track with record keeping and preparing for exhibitions.

142nd Blog post I am going to start by being completely honest with you. I have not done as I said I would by now, I have not done my tax returns. To be fair, I have been so busy with the funerals and the legal stuff surrounding the deaths of my father-in-law and father…
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Some of what you need to know about watercolour paper.

Watercolour paper and what you need to know. Last weekend I attended a watercolour painting class in support of a friend who was tutoring. I enjoy using watercolour and don’t use it a lot but there is always something you can learn by taking a class. The thing which really struck me at this class…
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Featured Artist – Anne Armes

What is your name or the name you go by for your art? My name is Anne Armes. Where do you live? I live in Newport, Shropshire, a rural market town, with my husband and my black Labrador, Tilly. What’s your background? I’ve worked as a pharmacist all my life to support the family as…
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Silver Clay and how it works

Blog post #139 Silver Clay I love taking classes in disciplines that I don’t normally work in and just recently I went on a course to learn about silver clay. The one-day course was held at the Ardington School of Crafts in Oxfordshire (www.ardingtonschool.com), which is owned by the incredibly talented Simon Sonsino, who I…
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More about record keeping.

Blog post #138 Record keeping. Again. You may have noticed that last month I spared you the preaching about record keeping [Thank the Lord, Ed]. Well, this month I am back on it. When I last told you about keeping stock records, I said that I was going to try a new system and would…
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Making a simple leather journal

Making a simple leather journal There are many different kinds of journals you can make. Stitched covers, which I teach online classes about (with my talented friend, Cecilia); cloth covers; card covers etc. Then there is the stitch work: simple straight stitching; cross stitching of various complexities and then the different finishings. As I am…
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Featured Artist Adele Froude

What is your name or the name you go by for your art? ‘Adele Froude Designs’ and ‘Dalmatian Art by Adele Froude Designs’. Where do you live? The Yorkshire Dales National Park. What’s your background? I worked in the NHS for 20 years, in several different locations across the country, including Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, London and…
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Using colour

My love affair with colour (continued)

Last week I talked mainly about the different products I use to make my colourful artworks. This week I thought I would tell you about some of the ways I use those products and share some of the results, too. There are many different ways we can approach starting a piece of work but to…
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My love affair with colour

My love affair with colour As many of you know, I love colour. Every piece of artwork I make starts with me thinking about the colours I want to use and the overall effects those colours will have on each other. Am I looking for a particular feeling? Is that feeling bright, joyful, sombre, cheerful,…
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How to measure exhibition success.

133rd Blog post   record keeping (again) Yes, we are back to record keeping, this time following the art exhibition I took part in at Painshill Park a couple of weeks ago. First, a quick reminder about your journal, or bullet journal as I find some of you are now referring to it. I wanted to…
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What to consider for your 2021 exhibitions

Blog post #132 – After the exhibition I have just taken part in my first in person exhibition since March 2020 and wanted to share what I learned from the event. I hope this will in turn help you for any events you have coming up. The first and most surprising thing for me was…
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Featured Artist –

Featured Artist – Karen Dickinson What is your name (or the name you go by for your art)? Professionally, I’m Karen Dickinson Studio but I am also known as karentillyart or Tilly art on social media. Tilly has been my nickname all my life. Where do you live? Leyland, Lancashire, England. What’s your background? I…
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Exhibitions – hanging facilities and art stands.

Exhibitions – hanging facilities and art stands. At the end of this month, I will be taking part in my first exhibition this year inside a marquee in Painshill Park, Cobham, Surrey. I haven’t taken part in an exhibition there before and have no idea what the setup will be like, so trying to plan…
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How to keep stock records (and why you should)

Following on from last month’s blog about using your journal and record keeping, specifically keeping your books up to date to file your tax returns, I want to focus this time on keeping stock records. Don’t groan, you will thank me in the end. Last month I encouraged you to keep accounting records even if…
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How to pick an art class

Blog post #127 Art classes – how to pick the best one The other day I was asked how to find a good art class. If you google “art classes”, you will be immediately swamped by just how many classes of all different levels you can apply for, from local teachers to organisations offering BAs,…
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Featured Artists Deborah Waters

This months featured artist is Deborah, I hope you enjoy her story. What is your name (or the name you go by for your art)? Deborah Waters, AKA Desirables by Deborah. I didn’t want to limit my brand to just art as I also create cards, cushions and whatever takes my fancy including millinery and…
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How to keep on top of organising your artwork

A few years back I wrote about clearing out my art studio in preparation for moving to a new house. As we are now very close to actually moving, I felt it would be good to revisit the subject. What is slightly unnerving is that when I wrote that piece in 2019, just as I…
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How to use your journal for accounts records

Blog post #123 Continuing to work with your journal keeping plus more. Are you still managing to use your journal? I hope so, but if you’re not don’t feel bad. Personally, I have had a few very difficult weeks with elderly family members and their needs taking up a lot of my time. There have…
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How to get your artwork exhibition ready

This week’s blog is a reworking of one I wrote a couple of years ago. As we prepare to go back out into the world and show our artwork in public, having that work “exhibition ready” and by that, I mean presenting it in the best possible way, is essential. Ask yourself this: would you…
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Featured Artist – Lisa Woodward

Featured artist, April 2021 What is your name (or the name you go by for your art)? Lisa Woodward Where do you live? Ottawa, Canada What is your background? Definitely not art! I did post-graduate studies in international development, and then worked in that area for over 20 years. However, my work took me to…
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What you should know about Pastels.

Blog post #121 Pastels – what they are and how to use them. I recently read an interesting article about a new pastel on the market. It was interesting because, whilst the company waxed lyrical about how wonderful their product is, and I don’t doubt this, it occurred to me that there was nothing to…
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How to persevere with journal keeping.

Journal planning, record keeping and how to persevere It is that time again when I am looking at forward planning, habit forming and goal achievement. I mentioned last month that I have had a number of shows cancelled but this month I am delighted to tell you that I have been invited to take part…
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How to prepare for taking part in an art exhibition in 2021/22

As the UK starts slowly to prepare for reopening its shop doors, putting on events and exhibitions and generally trying to get back to some kind of normality, now feels like a good time to start thinking about which exhibitions you are going to sign up for and what you will need to prepare so…
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March featured artist – Stella Tooth

Your name?Stella Tooth What’s your background?I’m a West London-based figurative artist, specialising in portraits in oils, and have painted some of the country’s leading broadcast journalists including the BBC’s Kate Adie and John Humphrys.   I also specialise in portraying performers – particularly musicians – as I am Resident Artist at The Half Moon Putney,…
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How to pick the right art materials

How do I chose the best art materials for me? If you have decided to take up art during this pandemic and have now concluded that the cheap set of paints you bought might need upgrading, hopefully this blog will help you to decide what to spend your money on. Just about every art guidebook…
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Planning, habit forming and reaching your goals

This week we are back to looking at planning, forming good habits and keeping your goals in mind as well as recording them. So, 2021 is still shaping up to be a bit of a disaster when it comes to arranging in person exhibitions. I have had three cancelled for next month, so all those…
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How to make monoprints using gel plates

Mono-printing with gel plates Printmaking is probably my favourite artform, although there are a couple of very close seconds. As I embark on a 12 month-long printmaking course, I plan to share some information on the techniques I enjoy using, how you can make use of these yourself and, hopefully, some guidance on how to…
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February’s Featured Artist – Elaine Almond

Your name? Elaine Almond What’s your background? I was born in London and now live in West Kent. I am an abstract artist, painting mainly in oils and acrylics, and a part-time lay minister. For many years my canvas was the garden, moving around and designing one everywhere we lived! I sketched on holiday and…
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How to make faux leather out of paper for vegan friendly journals

Making a vegan-friendly journal As some of you will know, last year I took a refresher course in journal making and was suddenly hooked. After many years of knowing how to do something, I had not thought that I could link it with my art so parked it as something I might do again another…
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Goal Setting and Journaling Catch-up

So, as promised I am checking in on you to see how you are getting along with setting up and using your system of goal setting and, of course, sticking to it. Personally, I am really enjoying using the leather journal I made for myself and I think you too should be using a journal…
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Which art materials do I need?

The artist’s essentials I am often asked about the materials I use when making my artwork and I have written around this topic before but having been asked again this week by someone very new to painting, I thought I would revisit the subject. My first piece of advice is always to use the best…
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Goal setting and journaling in 2021

Blog 110 Goal setting (continued from 2020) Planning out what your “big ticket” goals are and how you can fit normal life around achieving them is not as daunting as it might sound. I love the expression, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” That is how to approach this if…
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Featured Artist – Heather Tobias

Your nameHeather Tobias Where do you live?Watford, Hertfordshire What is your background?I left school and went to Drama College; I had the opportunity of Art School but went the drama route. I have worked professionally all my life as an actress. How did you learn your craft, i.e. college, self-taught and what did that entail?…
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How to set and realise your goals

Setting and realising your goals Last week we looked at letting your imagination and goal setting run wild and the week before we looked back at 2020 and the major positives and negatives of the year. This week, I want to help you with setting your goals and making them happen. Don’t panic if you…
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Think big for 2021

Thinking about 2021 and dreaming big. What do you want? Because of Covid, life as we know it is unlikely to ever feel the same again, or certainly not for a long time. But please don’t fret about it; you can’t change it, so it is far easier for your own wellbeing to simply accept…
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