The last portrait for overseas delivery has just been packed and its ready to go to the post office. We received our new lot of mailbags and this time we have bright purple! We have different colours each time we order our mailbags and its wonderful, it really keeps things interesting. We have had apple green, pillar box red, deep purple..not the band! and now bright purple. I took a photo of it (and Tom) for the blog. Tom was under the packing table the whole time. He even gets strewn with bits of tape and ends of bubblewrap but he doesn’t seem to care!
Hopefully I will be adding a number of posts over the next couple of days. Nicks very nearly completed the portrait of Scrap and Ellen so ill add some photos and final scan and I have also completed the montage – which is packed in the parcel below, so ill blog that too. Back soon!
Pet Portrait Packing - with Tom helping
I have taken some photos of Nick with the Kali, Grace and Zarah portrait and added them and some close ups of the portrait framed below too. I have also added them to their webpage where you can see the painting in more detail here – German Shepherd Portrait >> We were thrilled with the way the colours of the portrait went not only with the inner linen slip but the gold of the frame too. The ochres and greens in the painting work so well overall.
The next news from the studio is that Nick has very nearly completed Shuttles portrait, I belive he has a few final tweaks to do tomorrow and I will then be scanning the portrait in over the weekend. I will add all of the stages and the final scan onto the blog. I have also started Bacardi’s montage, I have been working really hard today, drawn out the whole montage and am 90% through the first drawing of Bacardi as a pup : ) I’m really enjoying this one, I just love montages : )
So I will be back over the weekend with lots of stages of Shuttle and more updates from the studio.
Zara, Kali and Grace - With Nick and Tom.
Zara, Kali and Grace Framed
Zara, Kali and Grace Framed
Last Saturday I took the afternoon to finally put together the chickens shelter for the winter and thought you would like to see the outcome as its turned out pretty cool. We saw something similar in a zoo in south Wales to shelter wallabies and thought the idea was perfect to shelter our chickens from the wind, rain and snow over the winter months. Also so they can hide from the Buzzards too. Of course they have a proper chicken house that they are locked in at night. I used some branches that we had collected from the trees we had felled in the little woodland. I even made a curved door shape for them at the front which I was really pleased with. I think it turned out pretty well and quite arty and creative too! I have added a couple of photos on the chickens page here >>
I will post photos of Nicks next portrait later on today : )
Eco Wigwam for the chickens
We are absolutly thrilled with our new promotional material. I was quite apprehensive opening all of the boxes to view them. Its one thing to design it all on the computer getting it how you want – its another to actually see the items in the flesh, hoping they are how you had planned them to be.
Melanie and Nicks pet and Family Portrait Promotional Materials
We ordered double sided business cards, double sided postcards, A4 flyers and some Christmas cards. All of the promo material has the same style / design running throughout, black background, creamy text with clear images for people to see what we do. Hopefully they work well with the design of our website and our overall theme is constant.
My stipulation this year was to include a QR code on all of the material even the christmas cards. For those of you who are new to QR codes, they are little black and white squares which hold website details. If you have a smart phone you can download a free QR app, hold it over the QR code and it will automatically take you to the website. So in theory anyone with a smart phone passing one of our flyers or viewing one of our cards can access our website immediately and bookmark all of our details.
You can see them in the images below, I have taken a photo of my mobile hovering over the code and then one showing our website. We have had some experience of QR codes in various places this year (for instance National Botanical Gardens of Wales) and found them really useful.
The Smart Phone App Hovering Over The QR code
The Smart Phone Showing Our Wbesite
The Christmas cards came out really well too, we only ordered 20 but will order more when needed. We have used a portrait I painted a few years ago, Cody the dog was portrayed in the painting with a lovely red and white fluffy collar with bells on. The client allowed us to add a Christmas hat digitally and it makes just the perfect card. So all in all we are thrilled and are now set for sending all of our portraits out this festive season!
Melanie & NIck's Pet Portrait Christmas Cards 2011
I have been updating our websites and facebook today, trying to catch up a little. I have packed Divas portrait ready to be posted and it will be on its way to its owner in Germany soon. I took photos of the process while packing and have added the photos to facebook. Click the image below to visit our page, don’t forget to ‘like’ us if you haven’t already!
I also added Diva onto our dog portraits website, where you can view a scan, detail, the progress photos, the reference photos and a lovely testimonial from our client too : ) Lots of people have commented on Diva which is wonderful and I really hope the recipient loves it too. Diva’s Page >>
I have also added photos of Mike and Margaret with Nick when they came to collect the portrait of Sally and Phoebe. I have been meaning to add them to the testimonials feedback section for ages and they are finally there now : ) Sally and Phoebe >>
This week for me is a very much an organising week. I am arranging everything in the studio getting ready for the Christmas portrait, I have ordered a bundled of lovely canvases which should arrive soon and one of my next jobs is to design some new promo material, xmas cards and gift voucher cards…so that’s going to keep me busy over the next day or so! Hope you are having a good day too!
Photos of Diva's portrait being packed on Facebook
As many of my clients will know who I am conversing with at the moment I have been in and out of the studio this past week as I have spent a lot of time in the dentists chair. My dentist is an hour and a half drive away so it takes a fair chunk out of my day and with having quite a bit of treatment it has not been that condusive to go back to work. I had my last appointment this morning and hopefully its my last visit for 6 months (fingers crossed!) I have a lovely shiny smile again and am much happier now. So I can get right back into the swing of things with work, which is what I love to do best. So emails will be on their way to clients soon!
I have also spent the afternoon updating our facebook page as I spent most of the day yesterday packing up portraits and I thought I would take photos to show customers the process. I usually collect all of the portraits in the hallway ready to go and Tom sat by them so beautifully I took a photo. Hes really quite the amenable model. I do take a lot of time over packing the portraits as I like it all to be right. We spend so much time painting and drawings them that its only fair that the packaging gets the same amount of dedication and care. The portrait of Pickle which you can see on our facebook page has just arrived to the client this morning and this is the email that we have just received - from the feedback the packaging was a great success! I must be doing something right. See Pickles portrait being packaged here >>
Hi Melanie, The portrait of Pickle arrived this lunch time. Blimey it was well packed. We were both speechless when we saw Pickle. It is brilliant yet a gain. Shall get it framed and match the other’s, and shall take a few photographs and send them on to you. Thank you again for an outstanding, brilliant portrait. We are running out of wall space.
Will be trying to take some decent photo’s of Flo-Jo in the next few days. We would like another pencil portrait please. Shall be in touch, and shall let you know when we shall venture down to SUNNY Wales!!. Take care Kev, Shirley and Flo-Jo
I will be blogging again first thing tomorrow morning as Nicks coming along beautifully with Rosie’s portrait and I have lots of stages to add : ) This one is going to be stunning – I know I always say that, but it really is : )
Tom and the portraits ready to go to the post office!
We have been away for a couple of days as we took Tom to Exeter (South of the UK) for his final visit to see the behaviourist. Tom did brilliantly. The first stop was at a park where Peter met us with a local dog walker who was walking two dogs, a chocolate Labrador and an old collie – the perfect dogs for Tom to walk with. After even only 3 minutes we were all waking around the park, all dogs off the lead and Tom did not bark once. He was just being a happy go lucky dog – which we had never ever seen before in Tom around other dogs.
We then worked with the behaviourists rottweilers and Tom really didn’t mind those either. Peter used his most dominant male Rottie with Tom and there was no problem at all. We then took a trip right into Exeter City centre, walked around the whole area which was hugely busy with people, kids, buggies, dogs, performers and we saw the beautiful cathedral, we walked around the outside where people were picnicking. Tom did extremely well and wasn’t at all phased by all the hustle and bustle. He was energised but that was to be expected. It was a huge success and a relief to now have even more confidence with Tom and we have a clear path forward. We will obviously still need to work at his problems but it will be so much easier for us in the future.
I have taken some time to rewrite Toms page on our website as I felt that after everything we have been through, it not only needed updating, but I wanted to write his full story to date.We have met, emailed and spoken to many other people who have been in our situation, dealing with dog aggression, I hope that the success and path we have taken will help others. Its a pretty long read, but I know I read website after website looking for the answer and so hopefully it will help someone.
Toms Page – Dog Aggression - Resolved!
While we were away my inbox filled very quickly and so im a little behind on my emails now : ) But one wonderful email that did jump out to me was from Banjos owners. They have recently had their portrait framed and it looks amazing. Hopefully they are going to take a few more photos of the portrait when its actually on the wall which im looking forward to see. Always love to see the paintings in situ : )
I will be scanning Nicks horse portrait tomorrow and I will blgo it asap.
Happy Clients – Framed Oil Portrait of Banjo
We had a wonderful day yesterday with some good artist friends of ours. We took a trip right up to the Preseli Mountains to a little old fashioned pub called Tafarn Sinc built in 1876. Rich with history, the pub, with is sawdust floor holds a fascinating array of old memorabilia about the pub, its heritage and the area in which it resides. The meal was wonderful, the company even better, my cheeks ached from giggling – a great time was had by all.
I have quite a few things to blog today after being away all of yesterday, some lovely client photos with their paintings and pets have come in so I will add those to the website and blog this morning.
Artists – Melanie, Nick, Karen, Chris, Nutty, Peter and Jacob
Back in the studio today after being away all day yesterday, even though I had an hour dentist appointment the sun was out and we had a good day. Its about an hour and a half drive from here down to the coast so we managed to take Tom for a walk, something that he hasn’t had this afternoon as its now absolutely pouring with rain here.
Today has been a bit of a catching up day as I am a little behind on emails, mockups and student assessments. This is primarily due to working flat out on the dog, cat and horse websites, however I have just uploaded the horse site today and we are all systems go again. I feel better that they have had their annual overhaul, update and general tidy up. I am hoping they will be easier for me to keep updated from now on and will work well in google. There are most probably a few mistakes here and there, but they will be proofread now they are online. I just have a few tweaks on the pet site to do tomorrow and we are done with all the major things with them all.
Aside from the horse site and some emails today, I have taken some promotional pics of Nicks hand on the cat portrait that’s now complete of Barney and Zorro. I have added three of them below for you to see. Not sure where they will go yet, but they will be surely good for somewhere on the site! I also wanted a new photo for the signature for the cat site and you can see it on the home page if you scroll to the bottom – cat portraits
I also took a really lovely one for the dog portrait site of the spaniel portrait and it looks amazing due to the lovely grasses and reeds at the bottom of the painting – you can see it here dog portraits. The cat one was much more difficult to take as I wanted to get at least one of the cats in for it to make sense. I think it works really well. When Nick has completed the painting of Zeus in the landscape – which he has now started! I’ll try to take a similar shot of that one for the main pet site. He also has a lovely horse portrait coming up the client list too so hopefully that will work for the horse site, although I did add one there today of a previous portrait. You can just see the horses nose…. horse site. Anyway I hope you like the sites. Please do feel free to click my google+1 buttons on the site and at the top of this blog – thank you in advance!
The portrait will now be scanned in tomorrow and I will post it on the blog asap, along with a lovely photo of Reggie’s portrait framed that Nick painted about a month ago. The client has very kindly sent a lovely photo for our website so I will post that too!
Enjoy the rest of your day and ill be back tomorrow.
Nick signing the Oil Painting of Barney and Zorro
Cat Portraits in Oils on Linen canvas by Nick Beall
Cat portraits promo picture - painted by Nick Beall
I hope that you are having a great weekend. We had a lovely day yesterday out and about, went to a little seaside town on the coast of Wales and had an ice-cream in the morning and walked Tom through the hustle and bustle and saw lots of dogs, kids and people and he did really well. Its amazing how many holiday makers are here already. Went then to lunch with some lovely friends of ours and followed on to visit my parents as they had some friends visiting from south of the UK which we hadn’t seen for 20 years. It was wonderful to meet them again and they would like us to paint their two rescue dogs, which we met there too, so we are really looking forward to that.
The iArt site is doing really well and I have interviewed a wonderful Children’s Illustrator which you can read here – David Galchett. The iArt site has been trundling along well this week, although I haven’t added a lot other than the interview as I have been working on both our dog and cat websites. I have overhauled every page….a lot of work!
The first part of the week I did the cat portrait website and added the new red navigation and the same style layout as our main pet portraits website. I added all of the new cat portraits we have done recently with links to more information about the cat portraits on the main site. I have written new cat portraits information on the commissions page which is looking great, added all the new framed portraits of cats on there along with new testimonials, so its looking much better now. I have also added links to twitter, facebook and social bookmarking icons so its pretty organised there now and is going to allow me to grow the website and update it a lot easier.
Once the cat website was complete I worked really hard on the dog website at the end of the week and took some of the dog portraits from the main pet portraits website and moved them over to the dog site. We have so many wonderful portraits to show that I felt the dog site can work really well as a secondary site for us with completely new and unique content. I have added 4 new paintings that probably would never have got on the main site due to a lack of room over there. There are only so many galleries you can fit on a site where you know people will actually visit and look through. We have 5 pages of oil galleries on the main pet portraits site and its difficult to know if customers actually get to page 5 : ) So the gallery is looking lovely on the dog site now, lots of information and again similar to the cat site this will allow me to grow the dog site over the coming months and years.
So all I have left to do now is overhaul the horse website and hopefully I will have this finsihed next week. I have a list of clients waiting for me to start painting and drawing so once the horse site is done I can get back to my easel. I have had a bit of a break from artwork so it will be lovely to get back into the swing of things.
Talking about artwork…here are the latest stages of Nicks current painting on his easel!
Cats Portraits in Oils on Linen
Cats Portraits in Oils on Linen
Cats Portraits in Oils on Linen
Cats Portraits in Oils on Linen