The Art of Sandra Busby...
Painter of Playful Light in Glass and Still Life


Friday, 27 July 2012

Great news - but I need your help!

Wow! My painting 'Sherlock' has just been shortlisted in a competition! I am SO surprised!
I would just absolutely LOVE it if you would vote for me - it would mean a whole lot! 

If you would like to vote, just click on this link and amongst the paintings, you will see the Teddy Bear painting shown below and my name is also underneath it :0)

The way it works is that the public vote for their favourite painting and then the winner is chosen out of the top three.

The winning painting will be on the front cover of an Art Supply Catalogue.
That would be so amazing! :0)

The chances of me winning are tiny, but get bigger with every vote, so I really appreciate your support :0)

Thank you so much to all of you for taking the time - I SO appreciate it :0)

Wish me luck :0)

(PS - Thank you so much Nicola from Pointy-Pix, who was the one who told me that I was on the shortlist! and also Lianna Yarkin who has made a wonderful link too and Crystal who has linked to Facebook! What would I do without you all? I will post some proper thank yous for these and any more links in my next post :0)) 

Thursday, 26 July 2012

A great tip for saving oil paint...

But firstly, something to make you smile...

...Just a quick little sketch, but who could resist a face like that? :0)

I remember when my babies looked like this - all squashed up and pudgy. I must have kissed their poochy little lips a million times a day back then!! :0)

Anyway - as promised in the title of today's post, I also want to share a tip on how to save your oil paints from drying out between painting time :0)

So often I go back to my palette to find that the paint has formed a skin, or even completely dried out! It's ironic really, because when it's on a canvas and I want it to dry, it takes forever, but on a pallete when I want it to stay wet? Not so!

Anyway, I have found a nifty solution in the form of a simple ice-cube tray with a snap-on lid!

As you can see, after painting a large area of canvas, I had a fair amount of colour left on my palette...

So I used a palette knife to scrape up the excess paint...

...and put it in the ice-cube tray...

Because it was going to be a few days before I would go back to it, I also put a drop of linseed oil on the top of the paint (without stirring) to further prevent it from forming a skin.

Then all that was to do was to snap on the lid!

As you can see in the photo below, when I removed the paint from the tray a few days later, it was still as buttery soft as it was the day I put it in...

 ...And the paint will last even longer if you put it in to the fridge.

I know that it doesn't apply to everyone, but for those of you who do use oil, I hope this tip might come in useful :0)

Just before I go, I just want to say that summer has FINALLY arrived here in the South of the UK! Hurrah!
It is blistering hot and I am Rosy red :0)

And just look at this beautiful flower that popped up in our garden just a few days ago...

I have no idea what it is, but there are several of them coming up now.
They look quite tropical and I just LOVE the colour!

Anyway, I hope that all of you are enjoying some sunshine too :0)

Monday, 23 July 2012

A productive day in the Art Studio...

I thought I'd give you a little preview of my latest set up as it was on Thursday morning...

... By the afternoon I had competed the entire background and foreground, so it was a productive day :0)

 And then over the weekend I had two full days to spend in my studio which is pretty rare. I really made the most of that! In fact I got quite a bit further. The bottle is almost done and I've started on the glass :0)

I even managed to fill a page of my sketchbook during the last few minutes I had to spare...

... I liken this kind of sketching to having had my hair tied back in a pony-tail all day and then letting it down and having a good shake :0)

Anyway - aside from that, I really like the idea of doing some small paintings between my large bears, so I picked up some 8" x 8" panels and toned them with bright colours...

...This makes a real change from the earthy colours I usually use to tone my bear canvases.

I though I would try out some colourful floral paintings for a change - or maybe even some mini bears - or both! If only there were 48 hours in a day!

I'm thinking of these as paintings to complete in just a few hours, so fairly loose, we'll see.
My thoughts are to have some small pieces to sell for a small amount :0)

Meanwhile, I picked up this months issue of the Teddy Bear times last week and my advert looks beautiful!

The next issue is released on the 20th September and that is the issue I am really excited about because it is the one which will include a feature on yours truly ;0) Yep - that's me!! How exciting!

But the best news is that on Sunday we had the most beautiful, hot and sunny day! I even managed to sit in it for an hour, although as a result I now look like a walking raspberry - oops!

It's the same today too and according to predictions we have this to enjoy for some time. Yay!
We reeeeeeeeeeally need it too after having non-stop rain for months. 

Anyway, I'll leave it there for now. I hope you are all enjoying some nice weather too :0)

Thursday, 19 July 2012

And so a new vintage teddy bear begins...

Dare I say, on Tuesday I actually hung my washing out! And not a single alligator in sight - Phew!!

Yes, once again between the big, puffy clouds we enjoyed a visit from the sun - It was even warm!
I had almost forgotten that feeling :0)

It's raining again now, but regardless of that I'm feeling so inspired at the moment :0)
But do you ever think that it's possible to become too inspired?
I do! I have so many projects in my head now that I don't know where to start!

Well, actually yes I do - The bears always take priority :0)
And I have Bear 5 sketched out in large format, just to see if the composition will work...

Charcoal composition sketch

...Although the glass is empty in this tester sketch, as you may have already worked out I'm actually a glass half full kind of Gal ;0)
So, in the actual painting the glass will have a little brandy in it with lots of ice. And It's the lights hitting the ice, mingled with the Brandy that I am most exited about painting!

Meanwhile, I have to find ways of earning some extra money to pay for my materials!
At the moment I'm doing this by means of simple pencil portrait sketches, like this one, which I did over the weekend...

I don't charge much at all for these because they are just sketches, but it keeps me in paint (almost) :0)

Aside from all this - I must tell you about the most wonderful surprise I had when I opened my emails yesterday!
You may already know of Hilda, at 'Paintings by H. Muxo'. Well Hilda paints the most beautiful pastel portraits. I recommend that you visit her blog if you haven't already :0)

Anyway, by her own admission, she doesn't sketch at all. But somehow, what with me going a little sketch crazy over the last couple of months, she says I have inspired her to start! Well, if I have been of any inspiration to Hilda or anyone else, then that makes me really, very happy!

This is what I found when I opened my email from Hilda...

© Hilda Muxo

...A sketch of ME, by Hilda!

Hilda said that since I was her very first sketch, she wanted to send it to me!
Well I was SO chuffed! And she has been very kind indeed ;0)


And I must say it puts my own sketches to shame, so for that reason I chose not to post one of mine today!! Nope! Absolutely no way!! ;0)

Anyway, back to the bears!
The next step is to pick up my brush and dip it in to those beautiful, buttery oils - Bliss :0)

Have a wonderful and creative weekend everyone :0)

Oh, and one more thing - I want to warmly welcome my new followers too! I appreciate all of my followers SO much, so a HUGE thank you :0)

Monday, 16 July 2012

The Teddy Bear Times Magazine...

You may remember, just before I took a short break I mentioned that I might have some exiting news.
Well now I know that it's definite, I can finally share it with all of you :0)

'The Teddy Bear Times' magazine are doing a feature on my Vintage Teddy Bear paintings in their September edition!
It will be on sale on the 20th of September and I am truly honoured!

To be honest, I'm really not sure how big or small the article will be. There where about 25 questions in the interview and you all know of my tendency to waffle, so I imagine they will condense it down hugely - but I am exited to see my work in such a beautiful magazine :0)

The advert that I showed all of you a couple of posts back is going to be in the next issue, which is released on the 19th of July. I was exited just about that, let alone an actual editorial, lol!

Anyway, that exiting news aside - and ignoring the fact that it has rained again relentlessly all day today - yesterday was DRY!!! Yes, I said DRY. Yay!!
And between the threatening, Phthalo Blue clouds, were bursts of beautiful warm sunshine!

So, what could be more inspiring than a little ray of sunshine other than to add some new colours to my collection?

This is like candy to me!

Wrestling the odd Alligator along the way, I squelched my way across the swamp, which was once our garden, down to my Art Studio - and as I pulled each bright new colour from the brown paper bag it felt like another ray of sunshine!
I suppose you could call it 'colour therapy'!

It's funny - I really don't like clothes shopping. I'm a scanner - if nothing throws itself at me from the hanger and shouts 'BUY ME', I'm gone in under a minute - but try getting me out of an Art Shop! My husband finds it very difficult, lol ;0)

Anyway, just before I go, I just want to warmly welcome my new followers! It really does mean so much that you like what you see. Thank you so much!!

Friday, 13 July 2012

A great tip for watermarking your images...

I got a little more carried away with this sketch than I normally would.
It comes down to the fact that I used pencil rather than pen. Somehow it just begs to be smudged!
Anyway, I quite enjoyed the change of sketching this way :0)

And the little Moleskin sketchbook that I once hated, is fast becoming a little book of a hundred faces and I really like that! It's also surprising how much you learn about the face when you sketch one several times a week :0)

Anyway, apart from sharing with you just a sketch, I have discovered a new App that I want to tell you about, because I am sure that some of you will find it incredibly useful!

It's a FREE App that can be downloaded from iTunes to your iPad, if you have one.
Its called 'EZY watermark'.

For those of you who like to add a watermark to your images and like me you have been fiddling about with a ridiculously complicated program to do it, you really should try it out.

When I downloaded the App, I couldn't believe how simple it was!

Literally all you do is open the app, choose the photo, write the text you want to use and then drag it to where you want it on the image. You can then use your fingers to re-size it!

There's a little bar to determine how opaque you want the watermark and there is an option to choose from a ton of different fonts and colours! Once it's done, you click save and it automatically saves the newly water-marked image to your photo's.

I can honestly say that to watermark an image from start to finish takes me no more than a minute or two. So if you do have an iPad you should try it out!

Speaking of technical things - I have been noticing that a lot of you have a 'Networked Blogs' gadget on your side bar. 
For such a long time I have been wondering what it actually is.  To tell you the truth, I still don't really know, lol!
But not wanting to be the odd one out, I have also added it to my own side bar. Don't I look lonely, all by myself? 

I found myself doing all sorts of things yesterday, which I have been meaning to do for a long time. I have made a Facebook page 'Sandra Busby Art' and I also joined Pinterest!
You can also see that I have added a 'Pin it' button below my posts, so feel free to pin away if you want to, just as long as you link the image back to my blog so people know where the image came from. I think they call that 'Pin it etiquette', lol!

So, you can follow me if you choose on either of those sites. But bear with me, they are brand new so at the moment there is literally nothing on them!

Anyway, perhaps you have a Facebook page, an arty Twitter account or a Pinterest account that I could follow! Let me know if you do :0)

Before I go, for those of you that missed my interview on Carrie Waller's blog a few months ago, she has put it on again today in one of her 'Best of Friday Feature' posts! You can click here if you would like to see it.

Carrie is a truly gifted Artist and such a warm hearted and genuine person, so I was truly surprised and honoured to be featured on her blog :0)

Anyway, that's it for now. Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Studio time...

Okay - breaks over! Not that I wanted to take a break from my blog, but I needed too.
Sometimes it is so hard to fit it all in!

I always find setting up my bears to be so much more difficult than actually painting them.
I learned from the one I destroyed, never to rush this part but to take as much time as I need to get a good composition. If the composition doesn't work, the finished painting won't either.

In any case, though I have had a little break from my blog, I certainly didn't take a break from my studio time :0)

Bear five is now set up and ready to sketch. I am going to keep this one much more simple, like bear number one, 'Ted's Bear'.

I am still playing around with the arrangement for bear six. I'm thinking of going down a slightly more feminine route with this one. What do you think?

Anyway, here is a photo of the next two bears with various possible props...

...Aren't they cute?

I have also been sketching too and of course you can have a peek...

 I love sketching older faces. They have so much character!
...I sketched this young woman in pencil, which I rarely use.

At the weekend, I toned my two canvases ready for the bears. 

I also toned four 8 x 8 canvases because I am planning to do some small and more colourful paintings between my larger ones. My only problem is that I need some new oil paints, which are expensive!

Through choice, the palette I use for my bears is quite limited because somehow it makes all of the bears feel connected, but when it comes to painting other things, I really want to paint with lots of bright colours for a change, which I just don't have at the moment. So, I am going to be trawling the Internet later on today to see if I can find some on-line deals.

If anyone has any suggestions of UK sites where I might find some good prices, I'd love to hear :0)

Meanwhile as I sit here listening to the thunder and yet more rain bouncing off the roof, I am wondering if we are ever going to get any sunshine at all this year! Usually at this time of the year, I have a little colour - but right now when I take off my clothes, it's like a neon blue light has been switched on! Yes - I am actually so pale that I'm blue!

And as for the long days - well, where are they? There is so much cloud coverage that they are just dull grey evenings!

Here's how spring and summer has been so far on the South Coast of England:
  • April - The wettest ever on record
  • May - The coldest ever on record
  • June - The wettest ever on record
  • July - Well, it's not even on record yet, but it seriously has not stopped raining!

I have honestly never known a year like this. So, is this a global thing? Are any of you experiencing extreme weather conditions?

Anyway, I'll leave it there for today. Back again soon :0)


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