As the final month of the year approached, and my urge to take a step back from the long, super-intense painting process of my bigger work took hold, I decided to do something extremely light-hearted as a countdown to Christmas – a sort of advent calendar of painting. In short, I decided to produce some mini-paintings and release a new one every day for the first few days of December…continuing for as long as I could manage to keep it going given an ever-more busy diary, a growing urge to take a break from work and the practicalities of arranging Christmas deliveries.
What has resulted is a series of miniature paintings released – one a day – on Facebook and then offered as a ‘buy now’ purchase on my website. Priced at just £80 each including UK shipping, these are aimed at the gift level of art purchasing, or as a taster for those wanting to own an original piece of art. By day two, I had sold the first couple as fast as I could introduce them and they have continued to receive an enthusiastic response from people going online to look for the next one, which has brought a whole new momentum and dialogue to my art process (and certainly kept me on my toes).
Painted to 15 x 20 cm canvases with extra deep sides, these minis can be hung on a wall or even stood nonchalantly on shelves and coffee tables. Particularly effective in groups of two or more, the colours are complementary yet each one is completely unique, painted with all my usual care and attention. In fact, a lot more work has gone into them than I ever anticipated when I started out, especially on top of a much larger painting commitment that I am simultaneously working on; I have had some unusually long painting-days for the time of year and I will be slowing things down somewhat from tomorrow! Worked in layers, which are allowed to dry fully before continuing, each mini painting is the product of a few hours work by the time they are varnished, photographed and ready to show. Eight new paintings is the result which…punctuated with some original drawings I included in the ‘event’ over the weekend…has meant a ten-day Christmas countdown in brand new and original art for sale, offered as soon as the paint is dry; something I have never done before!
With the pressing need to add ‘buy now’ links to each piece of work, I went on to use this toe in the water of ‘direct selling straight from my website’ as encouragement to add online prices to some of my other work. This was exceptionally good timing since a (very necessary) reorganisation of my storage had brought to light some really lovely pieces of art in need of finding a good home and a permanent wall to hang on and so I went through them all and made a huge portion of them – especially the small to medium size pieces – ‘buy now’ items on my website – so its well worth taking another look, if you haven’t been on there lately.
What started as a lighthearted venture for Christmas has really prised open my processes as an artist; especially as an artist who is prepared to sell art direct to customers via the internet. As an angle of art selling that I have been circling, yet not engaging with as fully as I could, until now, this has finally expanded into something I am feeling confident about, especially having tried and tested the processes involved in accepting online payments, packaging art and shipping it efficiently (and its been particularly gratifying to receive such lovely feedback when it is received). It really feels like a mental doorway has now swung open and I am quite excited to see where it leads.
Again, news of this of the prospect of purchasing art direct from my website has been very well received and I’ve never had more new social media follows or website hits as I have this last week or so. While, like most people, I’m ready for a bit of a holiday over Christmas, it feels good that I have managed to sew some seeds in the ground of this latter part of 2014 – ready to watch those fresh green shoots produce blossom and then fruit in the new year.
Here’s a photographic taster of the minis – and its well worth watching this slideshow through to appreciate how these little pieces work in an interior setting – then you can find them listed for sale (while stocks last) under the new Miniatures heading on my website. Its all been so refreshing that I feel quite certain that more will be added at some point in the New Year!