Friday, January 30, 2015

Changed the name and the header!


What do you think?  You might think this is the last word in narcissism but there is a reason.  I embroidered my name for my artist thumbnail on Jennifer Nelson Artists website - here.  It took a few evenings in front of the telly as you can imagine so I wanted to get as much use as possible out of it.  I've had my old banner and website for three years and am considering my options for an overhaul.  I particularly didn't like the old name of my blog - 'Conversationally' - because I thought it sounded a bit trite - conversationals being the name of prints featuring little pictures, which is what I do.
So I thought I'd post my embroidery.  I could NOT get the right recipe of resolution and size (I tried to put the image above up there) so I ended up with just Victoria.  So now my blog is called Victoria?   Ha Ha.  It's a work in progress.  Any ideas?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Gold!!!




I've been doing a sketch type thing a day recently. A lot of people have started doing it and I think many of them were inspired by the sketchbooks of Jennifer Orkin Lewis, or August Wren, which are filled with incredible thirty minute paintings. You can follow her on Instagram (augustwren) as she posts daily.  
It's actually a very good practice, enabling the sketcher/painter to create without inhibitions (or even discipline) and really experiment.  Then the experiments fuel the 'real' work. 
This is how I came up with my gold floral above. It was a spin off of some watercolour florals I did, using masking fluid and ink, and curiosity led me to quickly try the technique with gold acrylic, gold being a big trend this season. 
This one experiment inspired me to go to the one and only local art shop this morning and go mad buying everything gold and some new canvases.  I'm looking forward to doing some very shiny paintings soon!! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thank you!!

The launch of Jennifer's new agency was a huge success, beyond our wildest imaginings, and on Monday morning we all reflected on the generous and supportive response we got.
I'm working on Valentine ideas at the moment so I made this little dog with a huge bouquet to say thank you to everyone who so kindly sent their best wishes.  I love being part of a global community of artists and at times like this I really value having the companionship, support and advice that I receive daily from everyone.
I started building a collection under my own name three years ago, feeling like a very obscure needle in an enormous haystack and wondering how my work would ever get noticed.   I have a tendency to swing wildly between extreme exertion and complete inertia but I approached this with a slow, plodding consistency, tackling everything methodically, following a (very loose) structure I'd set up for myself.  This year I'm getting a sense that my efforts are coming to fruition.
A year ago I started a  goal journal, feeling sort of obliged to follow the protocol, to see if it worked.  It's a very sporadically-entered collection of ramblings but among the mess are some goals.  I recommend doing it.  Some of the more outlandish ones are actually being realized and its unimaginably gratifying to tick them off!!  I'm predicting that with Jennifer's help and my artist friends' support some of the other pipe dreams are also going to become attainable.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Represented by.......



I'm so pleased and excited to finally tell everyone that I am represented by a new agency...Jennifer Nelson Artists!!  I've got to know Jennifer over the last few months and feel like I'm the luckiest recipient of a wonderful opportunity.  I've enjoyed developing my career single handedly over the last couple of years and wondered how much an agent could add to my progress.  Then I spoke to Jennifer.  She's so confidence inspiring, brimming with enthusiasm, always available and a hundred percent engaged in our collective goal to get my work out there.  She has tons of relevant experience in our industry and is incredible professional - I'm just thrilled to be involved in her fabulous new venture.
In addition to being impressed by Jennifer herself I was blown away by her choice of artists that are also coming on board - Bee Brown, August Wren (Jennifer Orkin Lewis), Lauren Minco (now Lowen) and Monika Forsberg.  They're all phenomenally talented and I'm so proud to be associated with them.  Please, please go and have a look at the website - jennifer-nelson-artists.com - and look at our galleries.  I think they look amazing!!!!
If you'd like to see mine it's jennifer-nelson-artists.com/victoria-johnson

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fall/Autumn Colors - Inspiration


I'm trying to do a Fall/Autumnal design at the moment - squirrels, foxes, acorns, leaves and so on.
I had a big hit with the fox design (below) a few years ago.  I did a group of six pieces using this palette and it did very well.  The colors are very obviously Autumnal yet the addition of the bright pink accent makes it contemporary and whimsical.
This time I'm looking for a more sophisticated palette - something more geared towards home furnishing. 
I've been noticing a lot of these unusual grey pumpkins on Pinterest lately and the combination of those with the traditional orange variety put me in mind of something that has perennial appeal in Autumn - tan leather and heather grey knit: tan boots and heather grey tights, a grey, chunky knit sweater with a tan handbag. This really conjures up bookish, windblown, collegiate sophistication for me and I'm very keen to try it out!!  I put together a mood board (see above) and pulled my palette from it.  I particularly like the way the greys slightly veer off into taupe/mauve tones.  I think they'll look great against the warm burnt oranges, browns and golds.  I'd also like to add that hint of pale melon in somewhere as a surprise.
Today I'm going to be trying to incorporate it into those little birds and squirrels.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New Print and Pattern Designers for Hire Directory - I'm in there!!!




So - a couple of weeks ago I had a nice email from Bowie Style (Marie Perkins) at Print and Pattern, inviting me to appear in her new Print and Pattern Designers for Hire Directory.  
Apparently, one of the most common problems with Print & Pattern is being able to find an artist quickly in the extensive archives - especially if you do not have a specific name in mind that you can enter into the search box.
So in order to enable companies to find designers that they can commission or licence more easily Marie has created an online directory page where each artist can have their own image button.
This should allow busy art directors to find artists more quickly.
The buttons/banners feature the artist's unique designs and link directly to their portfolio website 
rather than to their work on the Print & Pattern blog.  The cost is very reasonable at 100 pounds a year.

Obviously I said yes!!!  Print and Pattern is viewed daily by art directors in our industry and this exposure has real potential to lead to work opportunities. She asked me to make a banner for the page, featuring my name and some artwork, and this is what I came up with!  Hope those art directors out there like it!!   
The directory has been 'curated for quality not quantity' and is a real feast for the eyes, featuring some amazing designers/artists.  I'm very proud and pleased to be included!!  
Above is a screen shot of the first part.  You can see mine on the bottom right!! If you'd like to see all the artists on the Designers for Hire Directory please click here!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I'm the Lovely Ink featured artist this month!


This month I'm the featured artist on Ghost Kitten's Lovely Ink Blog Post.  You can see the feature here.
If you want to receive a free 8x10" printable and desktop wallpaper of this "Choose Happiness " print, sign-up for Lovely Ink here. Every month, Lovely Ink delivers free inspirational art to your inbox.
Please go and have a look.  Some great artists have taken part in this fabulous project!