The Art of Sandra Busby...

Painter of Vintage Teddy Bears, Glass and Still-Life.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

And the Winner is...


Tito won my limited edition teddy bear print giveaway and I'd like to thank everyone who took part in the contest! (Well done Tito!)

I used to pick my winner and I had a lovely warm feeling when Tito's number came up. He has been a follower of mine from very early on and has his own blog, full of gorgeous watercolours.

Tito and his wife have picked their favourite of the eight bears, 'Archibalding', and he is on his way to Italy as we speak... 

...Good choice, he is one of my favourites too :0)

I'll be back soon to share what I'm working on right now.
Meanwhile, happy painting everyone!

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Monday, 1 September 2014

Creative Blog Hop!

 'Don't Worry, They say the Best Things Come in 
Small Packages...'

10" x 8" Oil on Canvas Panel
 Click to Purchase


 I have been nominated by my lovely and talented friend Vonny of VonnyK Art, to take part in the Creative Blog hop which was started by Erin

The Creative Blog Hop happens every Monday and hops from Artist to Artist
We all answer the same questions and nominate 3 people to hop on too so here goes:

1 - What am I working on?

I am working on several things at the moment. I've just been commissioned to paint a large bear painting using two beautiful old bears in the same style/size as my first series. But it'll take a while deciding on a composition before I can actually pick up my paint brush! Meanwhile I have just started two new glass paintings.

2 - How does my work differ from others in my genre?

mmm... that's a tough one!
I have never had felt the need or desire to follow the current trend. If it  doesn't come naturally to me, then it really isn't! As much as all Artists learn from each other, however much I might love their work I try not to be over influenced by it. By thinking this way, it has been easier to develop a style of my own, which I'm sure will continue to evolve. If we all painted the same way, art wouldn't be nearly so interesting!

3 - Why do I create what I do?
side from Scuba-Diving which I love to do but don't get chance to do very often, painting and drawing is the one activity where I get completely absorbed and my mind is focused on one thing only. I'm a person who thinks a lot - probably way too much! To have all thoughts fade away aside from my subject, is incredibly relaxing for my busy brain!

4 - How does my creative process work?

I have to be inspired! Something like a flickering candle on a pub table, the oily sheen of an Olive, or even the smell of a log fire will do it. I see something in a certain light and think - I want to paint that!
Once I've decided on a composition, I will sketch it out on the back of an old roll of wallpaper. When I'm happy with my drawing, I'll transfer my basic lines to the canvas and then try to capture the light I'm looking for using a camera, just so my shadows remain consistent. The rest is usually painted from life. Next, I tone my entire canvas. Once that's dry and the drawing is in place, I will continue using just one colour mix over several layers to create a basic monochrome painting. Once I am happy with the tonal values, I go in with colour glazes, mainly transparent ones. I do this in several layers, so the colours beneath glow through the ones above. I'll often use complimentary colours - so the under-layer of a red book for example, might actually be green. It's an interesting process. Colour theory sounds boring but in my opinion it is very important to understand.

Now it's time to nominate 3 people for the Hop to hop onto. It's been very hard to choose as I know so many wonderful Artists. So, I've chosen 3 Artists, each with very different styles...

Nic and I have followed each other for a long time and have become genuine friends. Hopefully we will get to meet in the flesh one day, but meanwhile we often have a good old rant to each other when we need to! We offer each other encouragement, tell each other about opportunities, competitions... generally mentor each other really. She specialises in painting animals and Scottish Landscapes and she has an unmistakable and unique style.

Suzanne Berry 
You know sometimes you get a new follower on your blog and you think 'Wow! what could this person possibly learn from me?' Well, Suzanne is one of those! I have been in awe of her work for years and if only she lived closer, I am sure I'd be stalking her in some lunatic fashion in an attempt to learn some of her secrets! She emailed me once to ask me to share with her some of mine... That was one of the biggest compliments I've ever had!
Susan is one of those Artists who will post a masterpiece on her blog every week and make it seem completely effortless! Her mark making is wonderful and from an abundance of colours and brushstrokes appear the most amazing paintings! I could tell a painting by Susan anywhere, they are very unique in both style and subject! Her subjects are highly original - my favourite series being her very voluptuous ballerinas!

Keep an eye out for my next post, when I'll be announcing the winner of my Limited Edition Teddy Bear Print Giveaway!

Happy Hopping everyone x

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Cocktail painting with Sparkler...

'Anyone for some Sparkly?'


You might remember, during an earlier post I came up with the bright idea that painting a Cocktail with a sparkler might be fun. 

Well I wasn't wrong - It was fun in awesome amounts! 
In fact, photographing it, proved to be more difficult than actually painting it, so for now this is the best I can do, but you get the idea :0)

I think the photo below captures the colours and contrast of light far more accurately than the one above...

This was one of those paintings where I really had to think way ahead, right from the very first layer. 
I wanted to make sure I caught the translucency of the cherry, the glow of the light through the paper umbrella and the movement in the sparkler.

 You can see some of the stages it went through by clicking here.

Although I've already put it on my website, it will have to remain on hold for a while before I can release it for sale. This is because, that all important sparkler will take several weeks before it's dry enough to post anywhere!
Hopefully you can make out the texture of the sparkler, here...

Meanwhile, I am going through another 'glass phase' so there will be plenty more on the way.
Cheers everyone! Enjoy the sparkly!

(Sign up for my Quarterly Newsletter for news, reviews, studio tips, exclusive discounts, links to other Artists, plus three draws in to my Limited Edition Teddy Bear Print Giveaway, which closes on the 31st August!) 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Latest Cocktail Painting in Progress...

I thought you might like a sneaky peak at my latest cocktail glass (with a sparkler) as it's in progress.
(In case you missed it, you can see the first layer by clicking here)

So, This is the beginning of layer 2....

 ...Looks a little scruffy here, doesn't it? 
But it quickly progresses in layer 3 to look a little more refined...

In layer 4, I have begun to add more colour, which at this point looks a little harsh.
In fact, yyes - It's definitely at its 'skanky teenage stage' right here! But that's quite normal and will change as I add further glazes...

...I like how the cork is looking as it just catches the light, but I want that umbrella to really glow where the light shines through the thin, translucent paper.

Next I'll continue with glazes of transparent colours over the entire canvas, until I achieve the depth I'm looking for and that the glow from the sparkler is a little softer.
 Then will come the really fun part... adding the 'sparkle' to the sparkler, which at this point is far from how it will look. I want it to 'moVe'!

Finally I'll add detail, such as the reflected light across the cherry and of course the glass, so it pops out from the darkness. This is when the glass will look 'glassy'.

The next time you see it, it'll be complete. 
Meanwhile I hope you enjoyed a peak in to my process :0)

On another note, if you haven't already,  I would be SO grateful if you would take a moment to vote for my painting 'Art, Short for Arthur' to win the Ken Bromley Cover competition!
It's really easy and takes just a few moments. Just click on this link to be taken directly to the page. Thank you so much - I appreciate every single one of your votes :0) 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Summer Sketching...

For a change, this week I decided to share a summer sketchbook page with you instead of a painting. I just LOVE looking at other peoples sketches, but I rarely share my own...

There is something SO lovely about walking in Flip-Flops... feeling the air between your toes, the sunshine on your feet... ahh... bliss!

But I can't understand why they are called, Flip-FLOPS, when they should be called, Flip-FLAPS!
After all, the 'flip' sound, is most definitely followed by a 'flap' sound and not a 'flop'.
Ah well, I suppose it'll remain one of life's little mysteries...

Anyway... Poor photo's I'm afraid, but here are the stages it went through...

I always go straight in with pen because I have learned that I'm far too pedantic with a pencil!
So - basic outlines first...

Next, I darken some of the lines to make them appear more three dimensional...

A little base colour and shadow...

And now for some more colour...

And a little text to complete my page...

These sketches are fun to do and easy to squeeze in when time is limited :0)

nyway - if you missed my last post I would be SO grateful if you would take a moment to vote for my painting 'Art, Short for Arthur' to win the Ken Bromley Cover competition!
It's really easy and takes just a few moments... Thank you so much - I appreciate every single one of your votes :0) 

(Don't forget my latest Quarterly newsletter is due on the 1st August, so don't forget to sign up for news, studio tips, exclusive discounts, links to other Artists, plus three draws in to my Limited Edition Teddy Bear Print Giveaway, which closes on the 31st August!) 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Yay!! But I need your help :0)

Wow! I can't believe that my painting 'Art, Short for Arthur' made it to the shortlist of this years Ken Bromley Cover competition! I am so chuffed! 

I would be SO grateful if you would take a moment to vote for my painting to win. 
If by any teeny-weeny chance it did, it would mean my painting would make it on to the front of their next catalogue - Imagine that??

It's really easy and takes just a few moments... Thank you so much - I appreciate every single one of your votes :0) 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

How to Recognise what is an Art Scam... and what is NOT...

 We arty-folk are particularly vulnerable to scammers. 
So just how do we recognise when a person is trying to scam us? And just as importantly, when someone is not!

I was recently contacted by a Gentleman from overseas who was interested in purchasing my latest bear for his wife. He said that they lived on an Island and that the bear would need to be delivered to their local delivery office on the mainland. He also said that to save me the Paypal fees, he would like to pay by a bank transfer.

Admittedly, aside from being delighted that he liked the bear, I didn't give it much thought other than slight concerns about how to pack him safely for a trip all the way to the Far East!
But then I remembered something I had read or heard some weeks before and I suddenly became concerned...
I remembered that there are three clear signs that point to a scam...
  1. The person doesn't give a mailing address
  2. The person is from overseas, often Nigeria or the Far east
  3. The person asks to pay by bank transfer or credit card
Apparently, the way it works is that the buyer massively over pays you and then asks you to refund the difference to a third party. Some time after the refund has been made, the initial funds received are found to be fraudulent.

Anyway, since all three signs were staring me in the face, not knowing much about scams I turned to a professional to ask an opinion.  They said that they were almost certain that it was indeed a scam and that to be safe, I should discontinue contact.

Immediately panicked and upset, I emailed the buyer and said that I believed this was a scam and that for this reason I could not risk sending him any of my art. I then shared his initial email on my Facebook Page to warn others that there is a scammer on the prowl. AND - assuming that his name and details were fake, I also shared that information.

I felt quite smug that I had spotted the signs and avoided being a victim, but this feeling was soon over taken by a massive feeling of guilt and shame, when I received a couple of comments from a third party on the post, assuring me that this man was genuine! I also received an email from the buyer who pointed out, quite rightly, that I ought to have done my own research before telling the world that he was a scammer!

Once again in complete panic that I may have falsely accused a perfectly innocent and genuine person of such a thing, I instantly removed the post and did some of my own research. 
Sure enough, there on his Facebook page were photo's of his wife going back to 2009, carrying around a little teddy bear! And he had a Website too. It turns out that he runs a very highly rated dive resort! Not only that but he had been following my Facebook page for several months and I hadn't even realised!

Well, as you can imagine... I could not have felt more utterly horrible if I had tried!
I sent him a massive slice of humble pie via email and surprisingly he was very understanding... Even more surprisingly, despite my premature actions he still wanted to buy the bear! 
I quite expected him to be extremely disgruntled about it, but he was very understanding - Mind you, that made me feel even worse for a while!

Anyway, I received the perfectly genuine funds soon after and this weekend, hopefully the bear will be on his long haul trip to Indonesia.

I learned a HUGE lesson from this. As much as it is very important to recognise the signs of a scam, it is equally important that you don't accuse a genuine person. 

So, if you ever think you might be being scammed, don't react the way I did... Do your research! 
Not just on the signs, but on the actual person too.
I should also point out that the professionals I sought advice from are not at all to blame; they were right to alarm me - I just should have done my own research too and not simply relied entirely on their thoughts.

As a result of my experience, I contacted the AHA show and asked if they might do a show on that very subject. They did, and you can listen to it here.

And below are two very useful links where you can read more about common art scams and how to avoid them:

 Anyway, sorry about that EPIC post!

Meanwhile, I have started that new Cocktail painting (with a sparkler) that I was talking about, but I can't finish it at the moment since I can't get in to my art studio! 
We are decorating the bedroom and it is currently housing a mattress and a king size bed amongst other things, which means that I may not be able to get back to painting for a couple of weeks. Humph!

I'll leave you with the first layer of the new painting. This one takes a little more forward planning than my usual glass paintings...

...I'll be back as soon as I can :0)

(Sign up for my Quarterly newsletter for news, studio tips, exclusive discounts, links to other Artists, plus three draws in to my Limited Edition Teddy Bear Print Giveaway!) 


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