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What a Difference a Year makes

15th March 2021

Wow, so much has happened since I last wrote a blog post!

A crazy mad and tough year - no doubt you will agree - what with the pandemic totally changing how we live and work.

I had been wanting to move more online for some time but the past year has propelled me towards that. It was either give up and end my business or just go for it and completely change how I operate.

So here I am with a whole load of retraining in social media and marketing plus getting to grips with technology.

Its exciting and I'm really proud of the things I have achieved.

Growing and thriving social media art communities with the launch of The Let's Paint Club! 

Helping you find your creative oasis - offering subscription based memberships with regular painting projects to keep you inspired and motivated -

Even my own YouTube Channel. .

I've made some great connections and friends along the way.

I'm so grateful for the support I've received and the great feed back.

Onwards and upwards - as they say!

Make a Photo Library 

27th July 2020

Well it's been a hectic day. Of course summer holidays always takes a while to adjust to due to the change in routine. Work here is also very different in comparison to going out to work but I am enjoying it. 

 This week I hope to get out and about - stretch my legs and do some photography. It's so easy nowadays to nip off with your mobile phone and take lots of great shots of your surroundings. It's also very easy to print your photos off too. I take most of my photos on my mobile and print them out by using the download button at the bottom of the screen, scroll down to printer and away I go. It sends the image to the printer via wifi and it's printed out in seconds. So there is no excuse not to build a physical folder of lovely images from the places that you have visited. I have kept scrapbooks and photo folders for years but now it is time to refresh them with new ideas and inspiration for paintings.

Yes, you can speed up watercolour and ink drying time!

Relaxing in The Sun

21st July 2020

So we were rather lazy today - for a change. Why not? After all, things have been somewhat hectic given all the changes we have had to make with work etc...(like everyone else) during these strange times. So a cycle ride and a welcome visit to the beach was the order of the day (it wasn't busy - so social distancing was easy).

 Did I take my painting gear with me? No, but I did contemplate my next trip with the thought of packing a light stash of art gear. If you have never painted plein air then I highly recommend it. You really cannot beat working on location. You are much more likely to produce something fresh and lively when working directly from nature in all it's glory and changing light and colours according to the weather. Also, you'll be surprised at just how little you need to take with you.

  The Impressionists seemed to take easels, large canvases - the lot with them. Packing it all up and lugging it round to find a suitable spot. 

  Turner, we read from written accounts, spoke of being lashed to the mast of a ship so he could really experience a storm in all it's violence before painting it. (Whether he did actually do this, I don't know). 

 I have often admired the commitment and determination of such artists and would love to get out there and paint in the elements. I've dreamt of running off to some weather beaten bothy on a desolate island off the coast of Scotland somewhere, for weeks on end, with nothing but some essentials and my paints. How great would that be? The peace and quiet, living with nature and painting to my hearts content. 

  The truth is, I tried staying in a remote cottage once, it was at the foot of a Welsh mountain, surrounded by sheep, no phone signal and over a mile away from the nearest farm building. I can only say that it was not the experience I was hoping for. Night time was completely unnerving (too quiet and I felt so isolated) and my painting tent ended up being blown over the top of the mountain during viscous gale force winds! I became starkly aware of how much I valued my nextdoor neighbours and how much of a town girl I was.

  The good news is, that you don't need to go to such lengths to enjoy capturing nature in your sketchbook. Just pack the bare essentials - a small sketchbook, A5 with pages of thick cartridge paper, a pencil or pen (even a biro will do), a large and a medium round watercolour brush (sizes 12 and 6) and a small set of watercolours with a palette in the lid. You'll need water for colour mixing and brush washing and a couple of sheets of kitchen towel. That's all the art gear you need.

I also take a snack, a drink, hat and sunscreen, mobile phone and suitable shoes. 

You don't even have to go far (so no far away desolate islands!). If you don't feel confident then sit in your garden or tuck yourself away in a park or on a bench in a church yard. 

Why not go with a like minded friend?

Just enjoy the weather, nature's beautiful skies, changing colours and birds singing. Enjoy, relax, it's not about creating a masterpiece it's being one with nature and expressing yourself. You really can't beat it - why not give it a try?

Next time I'll be packing my art gear so why don't you?

Tired of the same old brush marks? Try different brush grips - see my latest film...

A New Lease of Creativity!

Life, it seems, is starting up again as we tentatively begin to step foot back into the wider world. For me though work remains and will mostly remain to be done from the comfort of my home studio. I don't need to venture out that much, except for exercise and the odd shopping trip and the school run. It's great to see friends and family again, of course but I'm happy to be home more, given the current situation. 

There's plenty of new opportunities for my creativity, for which I haven't had time for what seems like ages now. You know, the demands of everyday life so easily gets in the way of picking up the paint brush. Gladly, I am painting again and working online also means I am being creative in new ways too - such as redesigning my website and crafting my online art course, doing some photography and making films. I can honestly say that I haven't felt this creative and motivated for years!

Being online much more has also meant that I seem to be more in touch with arty opportunities too, so I thought I'd share these two beauties with you...

If you like the enchanting voice of Simon Schama and miss ambling around the galleries, then you'll love his new BBC radio 4 series, The Great Gallery Tours. It's a 3-parter covering,

The Courtauld Gallery, London - Impressionists and Post Impressionists

The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - Dutch Masters

The Prado, Spain - Goya, Velazquez and Picasso

Mondays 4pm 

The Great Gallery Tours

And if you really fancy being creative then why not give this competition ago?

Publicized by The Artists and Illustrators, The Wells Art Contemporary are calling for all artists to enter. Their yearly event usually takes physical form but has moved online. It's an open competition and exhibition for art in all media and has, according to their website, gained a strong presence in the UK art world.

Take a look and why not give it a whirl - I'm up for it!

Happy Painting!

Check Out My New Film! - How to Stretch Paper

Sandra Louisa's Blog

Welcome - it's great to be creative!

My First Blog Entry!

6th July 2020

Wow! A lot of firsts today... My very first blog post, You Tube channel and Online Art Course all launched today! I'm super excited (does it show?) after weeks of hard work, it's been a major learning curve but i've really enjoyed the challenge. I really hope you enjoy them all; it feels great to share my love of art with you. 

My first Youtube films went live today!

How to Load the Brush, Mix Colour and Clean Brushes

Idea little watercolour film on getting started or to help you out with those basics that you're not sure of...

Check this out!

How to Paint a Panda

Here's a fun little film from my weekly Skype lessons on painting a Panda. Stay tuned for my first FREE step-by-step, paint along with me, demonstration coming soon!