Autumn in Clevedon

1-IMG_9769

It’s a strange season, Autumn. For those who particularly love the sun it is of course the beginning of the bad times – darker evenings, cold and damp weather. For those who relish a British Christmas, it’s the sign that frosty walks, welcoming pubs with roaring log fires, fairy lights and Christmas trees are all on the way.

But I like walking, wildlife and photography, and I just love the autumn! The light and colours in the landscape are beautiful, even early in the season before the trees properly turn to full gold and orange. An added bonus is that you don’t have to get up at 3 in the morning to catch an atmospheric morning shot. Here’s one of my photographs from Poet’s Walk in Clevedon on a morning when the mist was lying beneath the hills, and layers of cloud were adding colour to the sky. The sun was just getting some strength, so the grasses on the edge of the hill got some golden highlights too. Just lovely!

In towns you can take advantage of some dramatic scenes too. I liked the church and tree photographed without filters: I emphasised the bleached colours with a posterising effect.

1-IMG_3878

Some of my favourite photos, drawings and paintings are on sale in my RedBubble shop. There are some nice gift ideas!!

This year I’m planning on gettting out and about in all weathers to capture how the scenery changes through the year. There is talk of a cold winter coming for the UK. While I’m not a great fan of ice and snow, I will be on the look out for some great snowy shots: could be material for my next calendar.

And I suppose that’s the key thing about the changing seasons… to make the most of them where ever you live.

The colours of Clevedon…

There’s lots going on in Clevedon just now, thanks to The Theatre Orchard and their Theatre Shop.

We got to the pier too late to enjoy the ballet, but I love this shot: slightly misty and nostalgic. It really looks suitably Victorian to me!. You’ll need to imagine the music and the appreciative applause of the crowd…

1-_MG_8970

It’s fabulous to have so much extra going on locally, and it’s already clear that lots of people are visiting. I’ve seen Living Spit – who will be performing during the theatre season – before, and really enjoy their shows, and there is much more going on besides. So good to have performances in the community, as it really brings people together. Something, as they say, for everyone! Just have to make sure I get my tickets before everything sells out…

And, if there weren’t already enough reasons to grab your camera and mooch around the village and it’s environs, the shows add an extra buzz to the place.

In the sunshine, the colours of Clevedon really stand out. Here’s a small selection of my photographs, which I have just uploaded to my RedBubble shop – and if you really like them you can buy them on cards, prints, posters, phone cases, mugs, and even duvet covers and scarves!  Please feel free to browse!

1-_MG_8975.CR2

1-_MG_8976

1-_MG_8968

A short hiatus (break or interruption in the continuity of a series, action etc.)

That’s what I’m having today. A  little space between things.

It’s easier in many ways, isn’t it, when you are flat out busy, because then you have so many things you have to do, you just get on and do them. Of course it’s stressful when you are busy. Tempers become frayed and you don’t have time to do the things you really want, to see or talk to friends and family properly, or to do things as well as you would like, but at least you don’t have that moment of weighing up your options and really looking at what you should be doing. Necessary from time to time, but not easy.

I’ve been lucky for ages, in that my projects have naturally moved themselves along so that just as I have finished working on a series of paintings, I have had freelance writing to do, and when there is a gap in the writing I have had a chance to work with Alec on our website. Currently I have several projects just simmering away on the back burner, and I need to finish off a few things.

  • alecarte – just needs occasional tweets to keep things interesting. Check.
  • magsart – ditto. Check.
  • A beginners guide to walking for pleasure – published on kindle. Tweet regularly. Check.
  • Write ezine article on the need to find pleasure in an exercise if you are going to be able to keep up a healthier regime. Check.
  • Complete read through of my second book, and publish. Decisions to make on how to publish – this one needs to be available in hard copy as well as Kindle I think, so a different form of publishing. I’ve done most of the thinking and just need to finish off. That should be the main task for today, obviously, but I need to be in the right mood!
  • Push forward my photography. Try some new techniques and work out the extra kit I need. A couple of filters at least.

The Ezine articles are an interesting idea. Alec (my better half) came across them in his reading, and the idea is that you write short articles on your area of expertise, which you then offer for people to use them as they wish. You aren’t paid for the article, but it draws attention to you website/product/service. I’ve had a three of my photography articles published on picturecorrect.com, most recently Can a photograph ever be perfect, which has drawn quite a bit of business to alecarte, and readers for this blog. I’ll be interested to see if referencing my book in an article increases awareness and sales.

But all this is really more of the same, and I know by now that I am a starter rather than a finisher. I do love new things to get my teeth into and the thrill of challenging myself to master new skills. So what I really want is something new to start, and that is where the problem of a hiatus day lies. My thoughts are going in circles and inspiration is not forth-coming. Finishing off things is not my preference, or indeed my forte. What I really need is to go for a good long walk to straighten my head out, but it’s been raining quite heavily here. The good news is that the weather is improving, and the forecast for the next few hours is pretty good, so I think that’s my plan made.

Good luck with your Sunday! I hope that whatever you are doing it feels like something positive and not treading water!

 

Relax and kick back by all means, but please keep being creative …

Image

 

Rain on the lens.  How amateurish!  But I quite like the effect.

This was taken a couple of weeks ago on the sea-front at dusk.  The sun was just dropping into the sea and it was worth a ‘point and snap’.  I have to admit I didn’t realise I had water-marks on the lens, hence the dimpled effect.

At the moment I am playing with digital effects on photographs.  They usually look good straight from the camera, but like a child with a paint box I am having great fun tweaking colours and shapes using Picassa, and I am really enjoying some of the effects I am achieving.  It’s engrossing looking at the images, planning and experimenting.

The marketing of my output is a challenge too – in a good way – stretching the brain and the imagination.  We don’t want to make a fortune – just to cover our costs and hopefully have a little extra on the top.

Our shop on ebay is getting good interest and we had lots of sales before Christmas.  January has been quiet, but that is only to be expected.  The up-side of that was that over the last month there was more time for experimenting.  Our latest experiment has been opening a new shop on RedBubble. If you don’t know the site I think you’ll find it well worth a look.  Artists download their images to the site and choose the products the’d like it to appear on.  They produce prints, framed and on canvas, of course, but also t-shirts, hoodies, tablet cases, smart phone cases …  RedBubble do the printing, handle the admin and mailing, and the artists get a cut.  I have got carried away and put a number of designs up on MagsArt. Follow me if you like what your see – although I am happy in my work a little affirmation is always good! You might like to set up your own shop too, and share your creativity.

We’re still working (slowly) at own own website, and I’ll post news when that is ready.

And I have cleaned the lens now, so the next photos were sharper.  I like this one!

Image

 

Our Plan B and the opening of our shop.

Since moving to Clevedon we have, to be honest, been looking for ways to make money using eBay.

We have been working away behind the scenes, experimenting with different products and now – ta-da!! – we are unveiling our eBay shop Seaford Decor Prints.  We are selling (have you guessed?) pictures and prints.

Idea No 1 is that we scour second hand book shops and charity shops for old books that are on their last legs but which have prints and coloured plates that we can salvage.  We then add value by mounting them and in some cases framing them too, and then selling them on.  So far we have Australian fish, prints of historic Essex and North of England scenes, and coloured plates of Devon.  We are adding pictures of Dartmoor, fairy tale characters, scenes from Shakespeare, Arthurian legends …  so watch this space.  Here’s a little preview …

Image

(a banded sea perch)

Idea No. 2.  Personalised wedding gifts. We have picked up a move away from wedding present lists towards more personal gifts, and came up with the idea of taking a poem or a reading from an old book, and framing it with the names of the happy couple and the date of their wedding.  (or civil partnership, of course).

Here’s a sample:

Image

We also have two versions with standard verses, as of course we can’t guarantee which vintage books we will have available at any one time.

Idea No 3 is to frame up first day covers into themes, so we have a sports version, one featuring British theatre, one on Gallantry and military and one on animals.  Again, more to follow as we make up the frames.

Plans B part 2 and  C are in development, so watch this space!

We are enjoying being creative, and we are genuinely delighted with the results so far, so please do have a look at the shop – and let us know what you think.

P.S.  Very excited!  Broadchurch, with David Tennant, is on ITV tomorrow evening.  Wonder if we’ll see our house in the background?