art, Bay Magazine, beach, Coast, creative, Editorial, Eye Candy!, Harbour, I HEART, Illustration, Inspiration, Local Magazine, magazine, photograph, Seaside, Supporting Locals, Wales

Have yourself a crafty little Christmas

Getting Crafty this Christmas

It’s that time of year again. The nights are dark and the fires have been lit (unless like me you rely on good old fashioned central heating). The woolly jumpers have been rescued from the depths of the wardrobe and the mince pies are already in abundance. It might be a hectic time of year but the festive season truly is a magical one. For me as an artist, Christmas really is the busiest time of year. Commissions, deadlines, projects and of course, looking after the family often mean that there’s little down time to pick up a book or to enjoy a little creativity outside of the usual working day. While the temptation is there to run to the nearest store or to log online in search for this years decorations, why not take a minute to consider making your own? *Gasp* ‘Make my own?!’ Yes, that’s right. There is nothing quite like getting the family around the table to create some traditional decorations for the home. Not only will it save you money (a major bonus), but it’ll give you a unique item that is completely personal (not to mention beautiful). With the millions of mass produced products available to us, this uniqueness really should strike a cord with you – it certainly does with me. Plus, the kids will love it and even if yours are grown and gone (or just far too cool to hang around painting Christmas decorations), I promise you it’s a worthwhile process that you’ll love to do on your own while listening to your favourite Christmas carols.

When we look at the history behind the Christmas decoration, a real sense of its significance soon becomes apparent. Whether you consider Christmas as a ‘Christian’ festival, look more towards the earlier ‘Yuletide’ (originally celebrated by the Germanic people) or even celebrate the Winter Solstice; the traditions are much the same. The practice of bringing greenery into the home has long been considered to herald back to the worship of the evergreen during the dark winter months, but as with so many customs, there are numerous notions as to their origins. A popular theory is that Saint Boniface was the first monks to bring the fir tree indoors because of its triangular shape and representation of the Holy Trinity. Once inside, the tree was decorated with simple white taper candles (which became more elaborate over the years.) Whatever the origins, it’s quite plain to see that the humble Christmas ornament still holds a strong traditional value to us.

When we consider that in ye olde days each household would have made their own decorations, it seems like a fantastic tradition to uphold. With that in mind, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to create a simple but eye catching piece of festive craft.

Bearing in mind that along with the Christmas season comes an army of empty purses and wallets, I’m going to show you how to create a fabulous door hanging that utilises the materials our wonderful coastline offers us on a daily basis. Since we are blessed in Swansea with a Bay that stretches for miles, there’s a good chance that you’ll find everything you need to get creative.

Christmas Tree Driftwood Door Hanging.

As is perhaps typical of me, I like to steer away from the ‘regular’ and the ‘usual’, often opting for interesting and peculiar versions of our traditional decorations. Every year, I make and hang a wreath on my front door and crafty as it is, I’m a huge supporter of trying something new. So, this Christmas I’m going to be making a painted driftwood plaque and giving you a simple step by step guide on how to achieve your own. Go on! Dare to be different!

What you’ll need:

An old piece of driftwood. Any shape, any size – the gnarlier, the better!
Some acrylic paints (Navy, White and dark Green for this piece)
2 paintbrushes. A flat head paintbrush and a thin pointed one
Some string or ribbon
A drill (to make the holes for the string).
A pencil
PVA glue (optional)
Glitter – any colour but silver works best (optional)

Getting started

First thing’s first, get your woolly’s on and head down to the bay for an hour of beach combing. What you’re looking for is a piece of flat driftwood that you can paint a scene on. Don’t worry if it’s battered and broken, splintered or still has nails hanging out of it – it’ll all add to the rustic feel (just be careful it’s not too sharp or dangerous!).

Once you have your wood, make sure to pop it on the radiator overnight to dry it out before you start painting.

1. Mark out two holes, roughly about an inch or two from the top, which you’ll use as guides to drill through. If you haven’t got a drill to hand, or like me you’re banned from using your husbands power tools, you can always hammer a nail through the wood and take it out (leaving the hole) or do the same with a screw. If you don’t fancy your fingers chances with any of these, you can still make the plaque without the holes to lean in a corner (or to put inside a frame!).

step-1

2. Get your navy paint out and daub it onto the driftwood. Start at one end and work your way to the other BUT, be sure not to paint it to the edges. Leaving a little wood around the outside gives it a beautiful framed effect. Once that’s done, leave it to dry. If you’re using acrylics, it wont take long before you can paint over it. Depending on the wood you have, you might end up having to use a few layers of paint to battle the absorption process.

step-2

3. Using your trusty pencil, mark out a rough triangle where your tree will be.

4. Get out your lovely dark green paint! With a flat head paintbrush (or a fan brush if you’re feeling adventurous) start at the top and splodge a little paint where the highest most point of the tree will be. Underneath it, splodge on two more daubs of paint next to each other and continue down following the traditional pine tree shape. Your brush should be angled out and down towards the base of the tree, so you’ll have that lovely bow effect with the branches. You’re just keeping the brush at the same angle and layering up the foliage. This process isn’t neat, nor is it a fine art so don’t panic over every stroke and don’t try to make it look like a Michaelangelo. There aren’t many perfect tree’s out there, so the freer and more fluid your application, the better and more realistic your Christmas tree will begin to look!

step-4

5. Drying time. Plonk your brush in some water to clean it and let the warm air do it’s magic. This is a good time to put the kettle on or pour yourself a glass of mulled wine (depending on the time of day you’re painting of course).

6. Take your dark Green paint and splurge a little onto a plate (don’t worry, it’s only acrylic, it’ll come off with warm water) and add a touch of white. Mix it until you have a lovely shade of green that’s noticeably lighter than the one you were previously painting with.

step-6

7. Now for the highlights. Picking out SOME of the branches, daub a little of the light green throughout the tree. Follow the same lines as the branches you already have painted and keep it to the same angle. Trust your instincts here. If you feel an area needs a bit of highlighting, then go for it. There is no wrong way to do it, remember, tree’s are only perfect because of their imperfections! Once you’re happy with your tree, repeat step 5. (Perhaps substituting the wine for a biscuit if you’re especially quick at painting and still have a full glass!)

step-7

8. Once the tree is dry and your brush is clean (and I mean CLEAN for this part), get out your snowy white paint. Using exactly the same method as before, dip your brush into the white and daub on some snow. Now think about this part because it requires a little more realism. Imagine where the snow would fall.. It’s not going to be close to the centre and it’ll be in beautiful thick dollops (depending on the amount of snow fall you decide upon) on the tops of most of the branches. Your branches should be angled out and down, so follow the same lines. Don’t forget that our tree is a 3D object so you’re going to want to add a little in the front. In an upside down ‘V’ shape, dab a little white paint in to give the effect of snow covered branches that are facing you..

step-8

9. Now your snow scene is really coming together! You have a fabulous little fir and all that’s left to do is add some snowfall and a sweet quote at the top.

10. At the top of the wood, mark out with your pencil your favourite Christmas quote. ‘Let it snow’, ‘Happy Holiday’, ‘Christmas Wishes’ etc so on so forth. You could even have a welcome message on it if you intend on hanging it on the front door. Once that’s done, get your fine brush out and with the white paint, go over the message. Take your time on this so that you final piece looks nice and neat.

step-10

11. What is your festive scene missing? Snowfall of course! Using the same fine brush, put a few blobs of snow here and there. Don’t plan this part out, let it run freely from your imagination! Let it dry and then read on..

12. You’re almost finished! If like me, you’ll look for any excuse to use glitter, now is your chance! You can either leave your plaque as it is for a beautiful festive hanging, OR, your can take your clean fine brush and dip it into some PVA glue and dab a little over the top of your snowflakes. Don’t worry, this stuff dries clear! Sprinkle your gorgeous glitter over the snowfall and leave to dry for 5 minutes. At this point, the glue wont be completely dry, but will have stuck your glitter to it. Pick your plaque up and turn it to the side and gently tap it on the table to remove the excess sparkle. Now for the tree!! Every happy Christmas tree must have glitter so following on from your previous glittery daubings, apply some PVA glue to the snowfall on your tree and sprinkle some on. Once again, wait a few minutes then tap off the excess.

step-12

13. You’ll need to leave this dry for a while. Check the drying time on the back of the bottle as every glue is different.

14. Once your plaque is dry and looking fabulous, you can take your string and thread it through the holes. Do this from front to back and knot the ends so they don’t come through the holes.

step-14

VOILA! Once beautiful, inexpensive and unique festive hanging for your home!

Merry Christmas!

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Adventure, art, beach, Coast, creative, Dream, Editorial, Eye Candy!, Gower, Harbour, I HEART, Illustration, Inspiration, Local, Local Magazine, magazine, photograph, Supporting Locals, Wales

Creative Gower – Why Buy Art?

It’s a situation we all find ourselves in. There’s a birthday, anniversary or celebration looming. We’ve busy lives, have totally forgotten about it and now, it’s upon us! We indulge in a spot of hasty internet shopping or pop out and grab the closest affordable thing to us… But are we happy with it? Well, not really.
It happens time and time again where convenience shopping for presents is, well, just simply more convenient! We would all rather the simplicity that supermarket shopping brings us and yes, on the odd occasion that includes me too. Now it’s not something I’m particularly proud of especially when you consider that I spend my days trying to promote the benefits of shopping with local artists and craftsmen. So what if shopping was different? What if when we looked at the calendar and noticed it was dads birthday, that we went online and found a local artisan to do all the hard work? Why should we bother, especially when so many major companies offer speedy next day delivery and a wide range of products? Well,  other than doing your bit in this harsh economy to support and protect the local ‘creatives’ around you, you’re getting a unique and beautifully crafted piece that’s tailor made to your needs. Something bespoke. You’re telling your friends and family that you’ve really thought about the gift you bought them; an original work that was created by hand with care, consideration and oodles of talent.. Not a mass produced item that they may already have.

“When buying from an artist, you’re buying more than just an object. You’re buying hundreds of hours of failures and experimentation. You’re buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You aren’t just buying a ‘thing’ – you’re buying a piece of heart, a piece of soul and a moment of someone’s life. Most importantly, you’re buying the artist more time to do something they’re passionate about.” ~ Rebekah Joy Platt

Lets take out the feel-good-do-good part of this equation and just look at how it benefits you. When you contact an artist or crafter you have a choice. You can buy an item that they’ve already created (great for a bit of last minute shopping and you’re still getting something that’s one of a kind) or you can commission them to produce a totally unique piece and usually, you can dictate the budget you’re working with. That’s it. You pick up the phone, have a chat about the product you’re hoping to achieve and voilà, they do all the hard work for you!
‘So let me get this straight’ you say… ‘I ring the artisan, tell them what I want and how much I can afford and they create, wrap and post it to me or the lucky person receiving it?!’ Well, yes! It’s as easy as that. No fuss, no hassle, no rush hour traffic to contend with. Simple.
Yet, for some reason, artists and craftsmen are constantly having to persuade people of their worth and convince them that the ‘art’ they produce (in all its forms) is a worthwhile purchase.

Here in the Gower and Swansea we have a remarkable variety of talent. Whether it’s fine art or illustration, sculpture, glass works, jewellery, textiles, pottery or photography (to name but a few), we have it in abundance. I simply cannot stress enough how rich the community of local ‘creatives’ is, and it’s right on our doorstep at our disposal.
Speaking as an artist, I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to own an original piece of art. Something that inspires emotion, sparks memories or ideas and becomes a central point for positivity, pride and conversation. Paintings we see that we can’t forget. Paintings that draw us in and won’t let go. Whatever the reason behind it, we know we don’t buy art because of its practicality, we buy it because it speaks to the soul.

In an age of fleeting digital photographs, television advertisements and rolling billboards, there’s little visual stimulation quite like the permanence of painted art. An object that lingers and waits until you’ve finished looking – not something that flicks on, off or over before you’ve had a chance to compute. This is why we buy it.
Art for some is nothing more than a display of wealth or the process of adding a splash of well coordinated colour to a room. To others it’s a dream. It’s a framed conversation starter, an escape from reality and a chance to get lost. We all wish we owned an original piece of art, but few of us ever get the opportunity. In fact, few of us realise we can all own art, it just depends on how far we’re willing to venture into it. “Art is expensive” (I’ve heard this a thousand times) but it’s really the thought of art that is expensive – in reality, it doesn’t have to be. Though many people buy works with thousands on the price tag, most art is and will always be, affordable. Ok, ok, you may not be able to get yourself an original Botticelli (or I’d have a dozen all over the house) and its true that some art really does have a hefty value, but there are a million pieces out there by artists, crafters and designers that create because they can’t imagine doing anything else. Look for these people. Look for those who love what they do and know why they do it. It’s not for the money – that’s the ‘result’ – but for the simple reason that they need you to see, feel and be a part of their work just as much as they are. These people want you to be part of their journey and don’t ask you to re-mortgage your home to achieve it.
As an artist I strive to give people the chance to be part of this exact journey; to immerse themselves in the all encompassing creative process. I work and produce art that’s affordable, because it’s more important for me that everyone has the chance to buy, own and pass down a piece of art. Its an investment for the soul. I consider my works to be vibrant, bold, expressive and free, but like the multitude of arts and crafts that are produced on the Gower, what they inspire, is entirely up to you..

Rhiannon x

'Harbour Dreams'
‘Harbour Dreams’
art, Cardiff, Cardiff Bay, Coast, Commission, creative, Harbour, Illustration, Inspiration, Local, Nature, Penarth, photograph

From Cardiff to Penarth & back again!

Its a lovely thing to be able to produce a painting for a customer. It’s a fabulous thing to have that painting given to their loved ones as a surprise present.

The following work which is known as ‘Jess’s piece’ (since it was a private commission by a lovely lady called Jess – original right?!) was an anniversary present to her fiancé. She came to me with a list of places in and around Cardiff Bay that she felt meant a lot to her and her partner. The list was as long as my arm but beautifully thought through and proved to be a real pleasure to construct. Take a look at the list;

To Include:

~ Jess and her finance Ella
~ Their dog Cooper
~ Their beloved cars and vans
~The Welsh, Danish and Irish Flags
~The time and date of the proposal
~Their fab fold away bicycles
~Cardiff Bay and it’s main attractions (The Corn Exchange)
~The Norwegian Church
~Penarth Pier
~The Millennium Stadium

The list was hefty but gave me so much to work with. The end result proved to be a vibrant and bold rendition of Cardiff and Penarth’s finest buildings with a chance to add in some of my own ‘best loved’ details about the spots – the twisting Taff river, the fairy lights of the bay and Penarth’s winding pier walk. It really does go to show that you can get anything you want from a commission as long as the artist has an open mind and a willingness to see the importance of your requirements.

Thankfully, Ella was over the moon with the end result which (once framed) has taken pride of place in their living room. Super pleased!

So here you have it, the finished article, something I really am happy with!

*Don’t forget, if you have a commission in mind, just get in touch. Almost every budget is achievable – you simply have to ask! Why not get hold of me now at hello@moogledoo.com*

Rhiannon x

Jess's Piece
Jess’s Piece
Adventure, art, Coast, Commission, creative, Dream, Eye Candy!, Harbour, I HEART, Illustration, Inspiration, Local, photograph

Why Bother? Why Buy Art?

Its a situation we all find ourselves in. There’s a birthday, anniversary or celebration of sorts. We’ve got busy lives and we’ve totally forgotten about it all and now, its upon us! Argh! So we ‘nip’ out and grab the closest affordable thing to us… But are we happy with it? *sigh* ..no

What if it wasn’t that way? What if, when we looked at the calendar and noticed it was dads birthday soon we went online and got a local artist to do all the hard work? Why bother? Well,  other than doing your bit in this harsh economy to support and protect the local creatives around you, you’re getting a unique and beautifully crafted piece that’s tailored perfectly to your needs.  You’re telling your father, mother, brother, friend, husband, wife etc that you really thought about this gift and that you wanted to buy something for them that no one else in the world has. An original work created by hand with care, consideration and talent.

Now take out the feel-good-do-good part of this equation and lets look simply at how it benefits you. When customers contact me about work, they have a choice. They can either purchase an original that has already been created – for the asking price – or they can commission me to create something unique for them – at ANY price. Strange as this seems, its true. I work on an affordable art basis and am constantly pushing for art that doesn’t break the bank. If its £30 or £3,000 you have, I’ll work towards most budgets. I’m not saying you’ll get a meter long framed fine art piece for £50 but you’ll certainly get a canvas original! You’ll also get free delivery!

‘So let me get this straight’ you say… ‘I get hold of you, tell you what I want (ideally) and how much I can afford and you create it, wrap it and post it to me OR to the lucky person receiving the gift…?!’
Yup! It’s as easy as that.

Surely we would all love to give gifts like this all of the time? Yet, for some reason, artists are constantly having to persuade people of their worth and convince them that ‘art’ is a worthwhile cause. Art is an investment but you don’t have to re-mortgage your home to get hold of it.

So with this in mind, why would you go through the stress of having to drive into the city and find a gift that a million others have, only to be unsure of its suitability and irritated that you’ve spent more than intended.. Doesn’t make sense does it?

If you’re interested in getting something unique and affordable (of course! you tell me how much you want to pay) then why wouldn’t you get in touch?

Take the stress out of the gift and visit http://www.moogledoo.com or have a quick mooch round my facebook page for more ideas http://on.fb.me/1lPxQo3 – I’m super friendly don’t worry! So you can approach me about ANY sort of project! :)

Here’s a look at a few things you can have ranging from £50 – £500+

Tenby - 10x10" box canvas. £50
Tenby – 10×10″ box canvas. £50
Cobbled Rows - 10x10" box canvas £45
Cobbled Rows – 10×10″ box canvas £45
Bolthole - £235 (framed)
Bolthole – £235 (framed)
'Treledydd Fawr' Framed £295
‘Treledydd Fawr’ Framed £295
'Dinbych Y Pysgod' 30x20" - Framed £545
‘Dinbych Y Pysgod’ 30×20″ – Framed £545
Llareggub 20x30" Framed £545
Llareggub 20×30″ Framed £545

 

Adventure, art, beach, Coast, Commission, creative, Dream, Eye Candy!, Harbour, I HEART, Illustration, Inspiration, Local, Nature

Find it, Grab it, Feel it!

We all need to have some form of inspiration in our lives. For me it HAS to be a daily occurrence – not just for my work, but for my general well-being. Like so many other creative’s I thrive off emotion and that ‘good feeling’ you get at the height of an inspirational bout. A sunny day, a familiar smell, a new commission, a dog walk, good breakfast or even a good storm can cause the soul to swell with excitement and ideas.. But what happens if its raining, the bills are in, you’re full of cold and you’ve run out of coffee?!

For me, the bills don’t stop flooding in just because I’m unwell, feeling a bit pants or stressing about work. Far from it in fact. So how (when there seems to be no happy spark available) do you create that spontaneous inspirational moment that’s sure to drive us on?  I know, I know, you can’t ‘create’ spontaneity – but you can generate that vibrant ‘on top of the world’ feeling if you think carefully about what it is that makes your tick. It’s important to realise that although we all have ‘those days’ where we just can’t be bothered to do anything, we should never accept defeat or chalk it up as lost.

Inspiration is a fundamental part of my life. I need to know how to get it, so it can work its magic on me and help me to achieve efficiency in my day and quality in my art. There’s no room for giving up. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid.

It’s different with everybody, but perhaps my ‘triggers’ might help you work out how to recognise your own. Here’s a list of some of the things that I do to push that inspiration out when it seems adamant to remain firmly hidden.

First things first – know you’re loves. They’re all sensory so pick them apart and try to achieve them individually.

Sight: For me it’s bright colours and calming blues, the sea and little British harbours.
– So get out for a walk, photograph wildflowers on your journey. It doesn’t matter if you wont use the pictures again, but the act of taking a photograph makes you sit up and take notice of your surroundings in detail. It helps you focus.
– If you can’t get out and about, jump onto Pinterest – its full of beautiful images that are a feast for the eyes. Trawl through fashion, architecture, wildlife or anything that tickles your fancy. It’ll spark memories, generate ideas and get the creative juices flowing.
– Paint your nails! Sounds daft but that splash of colour always cheers me up!
– Nip out with the intention to buy yourself the brightest flowers you can find.

Smell:
– I love the smell of the coast! Seaweed, wet sand and fish and chips! Yet, though I live by the sea, I often don’t get the chance to just pack up and go out. Instead I’ll grab some fresh air by pottering in the garden, smelling the herbs or opening up the garage and getting a whiff of the wetsuits that are hanging up – they remind me of days in the surf. They might be small things, but they stimulate the senses.

Touch:
– 
This ones easy! – Bare feet. Take off your shoes and walk around the house. Walk into the garden over the patio, onto the grass and explore with your feet. Poke the soil with your toes and let the air get to them. Just the act of kicking off your shoes and peeling off your socks will give you a sense of freedom and let you relax. Perhaps you can spare 20 minutes to read a magazine or your favourite book, but do it with those toes out!

Taste:
– 
Icecream, fruit, chocolate, chips – oh dear! If its that summer/sunshine vibe you’re after, make a smoothie, a herbal tea (and drink it outside with your bare feet), treat yourself to a little bit of what you like. It’ll give you a sense of indulgence and you’ll feel better for it. I like to make a coffee and enjoy an Amaretti biscuit (or three).

Sound:
– Herring gulls! (Seagulls) – I can’t get enough of the sound. It’s like the sound of the sea, the coast and all those places I love in one shrill shriek! But if they’re not there, I jump onto youtube and look for a documentary on Harbours or the Welsh coast. Pop on your favourite music or just open the window and listen to the world going by :)

There’s a million things you can do and ways you can stimulate inspiration. It’s simply about knowing yourself. Why not try some of these ideas, or your own. What makes you tick? If you have a list, I’d love to hear it and it’ll be great to have a list of others ideas for us all to try!

barefeet
Free you feet and the rest will follow!

Why not pop across and check out my latest work at http://www.moogledoo.com or follow me on Facebook and Twitter?

Facebook – http://on.fb.me/1jYbHOt
Twitter – @moogledoo

Rhiannon x

 

 

 

Adventure, art, creative, Dream, Dylan Thomas, Eye Candy!, Harbour, I HEART, Illustration, Inspiration, Local, photograph

‘Buggerall’ ~ A Tribute to Dylan Thomas

 

Llareggub ~ A finished piece.
Llareggub

We’ve all heard of Welsh writer Dylan Thomas, whose wonderfully colourful works have captured our imagination and inspired poets, actors and artists for decades. But, it is his literary classic Under Milk Wood’ that has become one of his most famous and best know of his creations. Based in the fictional village of Llareggub (which reversed is ‘bugger all’ ), Thomas takes you into the minds and dreams of the sleeping villagers in a vibrant, fast paced fashion with traditional ‘Welsh-isms’ and working class pub humour. Thought to have been inspired by Welsh towns such as New Quay (Ceredigion), Ferryside (Carmarthen) and Dylan’s beautiful home of Laugharne, no one really knows what this peculiar little spot actually looked like. Apart from a crudely scribbled map, detailing the location of the streets, hill and harbour, there was never any images accompanying the book.

Since this year we celebrate the centenary of his birth, I thought (in true artistic fashion) I would give you my interpretation of Llareggub. Based on Dylan’s original ‘map’, this large and vibrant painting shows the long winding Coronation Street (top row), Donkey Street (middle right), Cockle Row (bottom right) and Llareggub Hill in the background. With layers of colour and an almost dream-like quality, I aimed to make Llareggub as colourful as its characters, including boats from the book and of course the beautiful Welsh National flower ~ The daffodil.

Below you can see the final version and its journey from a snowy white canvas to a finished product.. As ever, this piece is for sale (framed) so if you’re interested do get in touch at  hello@moogledoo.com

(If you love this style, why not check out the others by visiting my website http://www.moogledoo.com) and say hello to me on my facebook page – I always love to link with new people and hear your views :)    http://on.fb.me/1lPxQo3

Building up the colour.
Building up the colour.
More colour and the boats added
More colour and the boats added
Looking eerie with blacked windows
Looking eerie with blacked windows
Window frames in
Window frames in
Almost finished - boat masts to go in..
Almost finished – boat masts to go in..
Llareggub ~ A finished piece.
Llareggub ~ A finished piece.
art, beach, Coast, Commission, creative, Dream, Eye Candy!, Harbour, I HEART, Illustration, Inspiration, Local, Nature, photograph

Little Cards and Bigger Dreams

Waging war against the printer is (for the most part) a pointless, futile business. One is a basic, worn out and simple minded machine, beaten down by the endless production of colourful images and the other is, well.. the printer; an efficient, complex and temperamental creature intent on destroying the last shreds of sanity I may still have..

You can see how my day started.

After The onslaught of battle and a spectacularly empty victory on my part, I set to printing out the latest order of Moogledoo cards. Many, MANY colourful, wrapped and enveloped, well, envelopes later and I had a rather impressive pile of fine art and illustrative miniatures ready to wing their way to a fabulous little shop in Penarth. There’s something totally satisfying about seeing the crisp cello wraps neatly stacked and string bound in the window, with a quick thank you note slid in between. Success! One job down.

Since it is spring, I have started writing more ‘to-do’ notes in an attempt to be vaguely efficient and focussed with my work. Its not going too badly, though on todays list was not 1. Look for new house 2. Look for new curtains for new house or 3. Look at oven baked clay products.. Nevertheless, I have achieved some of what I started out to complete.. plus, the day is still relatively young.

I’m in an odd predicament when it comes to my work – I love nothing more than producing painting after paintings or illustrations for people, I love seeing the end result and the looks on the clients faces when they receive them BUT I so desperately want to get to the point where I can spend my days endlessly searching for inspiration for my latest work and have people fall in love with those instead. I dream of spending my days in a paint splattered studio and welcoming visitors into my stone built wonky walled gallery. Somewhere people can mooch around and let the kids touch and interact with my work. I can see it in my head – now I just need to work towards it. It is a privilege that I have yet to earn..
I’m 3 months into being a self employed full time artist. Its hard. Really hard. But it’s going to be I suppose. You’re going to have to scrimp and save and work huge hours for minimal money because you’re actual reward, is working for yourself and doing what you love.

I’m also thinking of getting involved with local schools and looking into running extra curricula art activities – creative hours spent helping kids explore and make a mess. Art doesn’t seem to hold much weight in primary school education these days and id love to know why. Not entirely sure how to start that one up.. if you happen to know, do let me in on the secret :)

For now then I’ll leave you with a few of my latest card creations… and the obvious link to where you can buy them ;)

Nice chatting again.

Rhiannon x

card

photo (4)

There are lots more.. you should go see :)

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/183909305/dinbych-y-pysgod-tenby-card?ref=listing-shop-header-0

Adventure, art, beach, Coast, creative, Dream, Eye Candy!, I HEART, Illustration, Inspiration, Local, magazine, Nature, photograph

Pushing the Name

Today has certainly been a mixed bag as far as days go. Or at least, that was how the morning was proving to be. After waking up to a forgotten list of ‘to-do’s’ as long as my arm, a sky high pile of dishes from last nights birthday party and the promise of getting soaked to the bone walking the dog, I was certainly ready to peel back the duvet and jump on in. I wish.

Since being self employed means that I could readily snooze all afternoon if it took my fancy (and if my energetic German Shepherd would allow), sleeping away the rainy days would do little to pay my bills. So, up and at’am! While endeavouring to get my kitchen sparkling, (having already walked the dog, finished the postal run and nearly completed the ‘to-do’ list, the sound of a boiling kettle was interrupted by a familiar thud. The kind of thud that says ‘there’s something in a jiffy bag you’re gonna love!’… and love it I did!

I had recently treated myself to a new set of palette knives, since the last set came with me on an archaeological dig in Somerset last year but failed to return home alive. But today,my new set arrived in all their variously shaped, shining glory. No sooner had a pulled the remnants of the envelope out of the letter box (thanks Mr Postman for endeavouring to get it through the door… whatever the cost), than I realised that amid the pizza flyers and Tesco vouchers lying on the matt was the thing I had been waiting for since last December – The February edition of the Welsh Coastal Life Magazine! – and I had a four page article in it!

Now until you have had a stranger come up to you and say ‘I love your story, can we write about you in our magazine?’ you wont know the bizarre feeling of confusion and elation at the though that someone else – nay – a MAGAZINE, wants to write about your life and your work for the willing public to read. Suffice to say I nearly pee’d at the thought I was so excited! This sort of thing is exactly the kind of lucky break that people so often talk about – I’d just taken the plunge and was (still am) in desperate need to extend my audience when out of the blue the article comes along. I love it! I’ve read it no less hat 8 times already.

What’s more infuriating is that everyone else I know is in work, so I can’t easily run up to them like a deranged woman, while wielding and flailing a rolled up magazine… (suppose there are benefits..) but Facebook is perfect for stuff like that too. After strategically placing my coffee next to the open article on my rather snazzy driftwood table (the love of my life) and photographing the results, I promptly pasted it all over the web. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… none escaped. In fact, here I am again showing you lovely folk. Have a look and if you’re super interested – go grab yourself a copy! (Available in Newsagents and Tesco’s etc). I’m on page 42 onwards.

My shiny new article in Welsh Coastal Life 'For arts sake'
My shiny new article in Welsh Coastal Life ‘For arts sake’

If you want to say hi on Facebook pop across to https://www.facebook.com/pages/Moogledoo/155802617860962?ref=hl&bookmark_t=page

or follow me on twitter and keep up to date with my recent adventures – @moogledoo

Oh, if you’re also looking to see more of my work, you can check it all out at http://www.moogledoo.com

Rhiannon x

art, creative, Dream, I HEART, Illustration, Inspiration, Valentines

Valentines with a Twist!

With Valentines day nearly upon us (and yes I said Vaentines) – the day that most of us loath both single and those in a relationship. We all claim ‘its just a money making scheme’ but are then secretly disappointed we you don’t get a bunch of flowers or a fancy bottle of wine from the Mr or Mrs.. We’ve all been there. Its true it has become something of a commercial dream which is a shame for those of us who enjoy making cards for you lovely people to buy.. So, with that in mind I decided to design and make some fun Valentines day cards that’ll suit everyone.. yup, even those who cant bring themselves to be soppy for just one day (like me). Here’s one VERY alternative card, one that’s a bit of heart shaped fun and a little more serious one that reminds our lucky valentine that we only have one heart and it needs to be looked after!

With all the misery and negativity that everyday can often bring, why shouldn’t we (commercial as it is) enjoy a day where we tell those around us that we love them? Yes, yes I know, we should say it everyday anyway – and I do -BUT, its good to have a day where we take the time out of our busy lives to say ‘this day is for us’..
.. Now Valentines day is originally all about love between couples – but I think that’s changed over time like the rest of us. Why cant we send a card to our closest friends? After all, we love those too right? Granted you may not want to jump straight into bed with them (or if you do I suggest a more subtle card), but the message remains the same. We LOVE them! All you have to do it accept that it comes around once a year and enjoy it. Oh, and perhaps buy one of my fancy cards too ;)

This is a simple reminder and reads 'I only have one.. Treasure it'
This is a simple reminder and reads ‘I only have one.. Treasure it’
I love you more than... (then lots of things like wine, shoes etc)
I love you more than… (then lots of things like wine, shoes etc)
A personal Fav...
A personal Fav…

As always anything on this site is copyright to Moogledoo – that’s me! Rhiannon Thomas :)

Rhiannon x

 

 

art, Commission, creative, Eye Candy!, Illustration, Local, photograph

Spreading the Love!

Contrary to what it sounds like, this isn’t a post about anything remotely saucy.. *sigh, I hear you say* Its all about the artists biggest friend – YOU.

As a critical part of selling work and, well, surviving as a self-employed artist, its pretty crucial that the good public are willing to take the time to look through (and buy) your work. Without you, we certainly wouldn’t exist.. and that goes for all small businesses. Now I’m lucky enough to have a sooooper talented brother who works as a motion designer and, as the younger of the siblings, is required, nay! OBLIGATED to help his big sis out when it comes to creative digital stuff. Which, I am (by my own admittance) crap at. So, with a touch of bartering and a dollop of emotional blackmail I have yet another glorious piece of advertising to gaze lovingly upon.

The first, as you well know was my website – full of all the colours, photographs and doodles that any artist could ever ask for, while the second is this marvellous piece of work… ‘The Flyer’. Its the first flyer I’ve ever had and since I’m incredibly new to all of this ‘working from home’, ‘self-employed artist’ malarkey, its actually very exciting. The plan was to save money (initially by persuading little brother to help) by printing and cutting them all out at home. Suffice to say I got to about 4 before I broke and uploaded the document to a printers and sent for them to be professionally done on wonderful shiny paper.

Bet you cant guess how much it cost me?! £45.28 with delivery – for 1000!! Now I’m not particularly well versed in the prices of the printing world but I’d say that was pretty awesome. Even though it was £45 more than I wanted to spend… Especially with no reliable income BUT, needs must and sometimes you have to take a leap and hope it pays off… Guess we’ll find out when they arrive on the 2nd February :)

If you’re interested, here it is. I think its fab! Hope you do too!

Rhiannon x

Snazzy new flyer - the location on it is designed to promote to those in my area just how local I am!
Snazzy new flyer – the location on it is designed to promote to those in my area just how local I am!

Oh yeah – if you’re interested in seeing any more of my work or that of my talented brothers, check us out at:

http://www.moogledoo.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Moogledoo/155802617860962?bookmark_t=page
@moogledoo

http://www.geraintthomas.com
@geraintthomas (thats two T’s – and nope, he’s not the cyclist)