For KEEPSAKE!

She said “…I never print the photos off Amanda. I never know which to choose, there are so many lovely ones of him”.

The photo gallery on my phone has 994 photo’s in. Mostly of the kids and our days out and days in. I will not be printing 994 photos off of my children, because I am not a fully fledged nutcase.

About 14 of them will make it onto social media. 2 or 3 from the days out, 1 or 2 cute ones at home. 6 or 7 I will forward to the hubby on messenger. 3 or 4 to my sister. I could probably delete 226 of that lot leaving me with about 774 available to create an amazing digital photo album. I will get round to creating that masterpiece at, quarter past NEVER!! That’s way too daunting. What happened to getting 35 glossy 6×4″ photos developed at BOOTS, 16 of which were blurred or had a strange yellow light anomaly on them. ( I’m showing my age now right? ).

I guess once our phones are jam packed with memories, and have no memory left, we might delete a few and  eventually be forced to upload them to the cloud. Or down load them to our laptops; obviously to print and frame at a much later date…maybe once the youngest leaves uni, or when retirement arrives!

Where are all our lovely funny pictures going, except into the dusty whirring magical depths of hardware.  When will we sit down and have a slide show of the thousands upon thousands of images of our growing cheeky chappies and posing princesses?

Well I have the answer…it ain’t happening. The jobs too big, the worlds too digital, the gallery’s keep growing. We keep snapping. Well my friends, my customer came up with a brilliant solution.

“Can you paint my Grandson in a picture please?” she asked.  “Yes” said I. And the first customer sent me loads of cute and funny photo’s of her grandson. In a wave of a digital wand, I had 20 great images I could use to create one great painting of their grandson Ted. It became a lovely framed KEEPSAKE, an original watercolour. A classic gift, to be treasured, of her little treasure, forever.

“I love it” she said “can you paint me another in a couple of years please?” she asked. “And I can create a wall of paintings, marking his journey as he grows. I never print the photos off Amanda. I never know which to choose, there are so many lovely ones of him.”.

So together we have started to create a real gallery, her own personal art gallery, a beautiful wall of memories in her home.

More and more customers have gone on to do the same, sending me some fantastic photo’s over. I have created a toddler with the Gruffalo, 3 brothers swinging from a tree, 2 knights in armour with their furry brother, ( the black Labrador puppy).

Make memories from your digital memories and commission a KEEPSAKE painting today. Send your own pictures over and watch me turn them into a fantastic, colourful, fun and bright classic KEEPSAKE, never to age. Let’s mark their journeys together.

To see more KEEPSAKE commissions CLICK HERE.

Amanda x

 

 

 

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Its Personal

Amanda Reynolds blog features this photograph of Superman, Batman and Spiderman dressing up costumes as part of her blog about being a working mum and artist. Working as an artist with family tree commissions, family tree prints, African animals, children's pirate ships and creating greetings cards for her Etsy shop ACRDesign is hard work. amandareynolds.co.uk features the blogs and all amanda reynolds art.

The smarmy American voice keeps talking at me through the car speakers, 80’s sh*t, electronic keyboard music plays in a ‘Running Man’ style during speech intervals as I drive along to my part-time job, listening to another Personal Development CD.

“Be the lighthouse” the American speaker tells me. “Be the one who lives by their values, roles and goals.” We laugh together at ‘The Lighthouse’ story. The short anecdote which reminds me to be my best self. Disciplined and energetic, positive and a role model, a leader. Someone who knows what they want and where they’re going. “No problem” I tell myself, “I’m naturally positive anyway. I can be a f**king lighthouse. You watch.” I drive silently thinking “Ok I will get in tonight and get the kids sorted out and then I’ll sit down and I’ll research everything on SEO’s and I’ll finish that sketch for the latest customers personalised hand painted family tree. And I’ll sketch out a Pirate ship, or maybe a Viking boat or shall I start on the fairy idea I have for named prints for my shop I’m going to open on Etsy”

I get to work, I work my part time shift at the brewery, then I set off back to go straight to nursery and collect child number 1. She is a cutesy little girl, 3 years old, bright and enthusiastic about everything. Who decided she would dress in her flamenco dancer dress today, a bright red polka dot tassel number…you’ve got to love that independent dressing.

We nip home, we let the dog out for a wee, but the dog wants to get in the car instead and go for a ride! “No, go for a wee…go for a wee.” I say exasperated. The dog is far too excited to do anything sensible as she hasn’t seen me for at least 4 hours. We go to school to pick the boys up.

Child number 2 is a 5 year old boy, he lives life at a pace of 100 mph. Charging around, making anything into a weapon, as a superhero! I only get his costumes in the wash once the summer holidays have finished and he’s out of them and back in his uniform. My washing line looks like some kind of retirement home for Marvel superheroes, who have finally hung out their costumes once and for all, to go fishing somewhere no one gives a toss about anything…much less world domination!

Flamenco girl and I stand and wait for child number 3 to come out, as child number 2 runs round in a circle shooting us. Finally the third and final of my gang comes out of school, he’s a more sedate and sensible, compassionate (potential man of god) gorgeous inside and out 8 year old, who’s concerned with pollution smells and the Buddhist view on killing flies…he’s against it btw. We have to save them and shoo them out the window. (When he’s looking anyway)

Once altogether me and my gang head home. I make dinner. It get’s eaten. “I’ll do some research on SEO now” I say turning the laptop on in a quiet lull as the brood are educated, fed and watered and resting. Oh ho ho ho I forgot…under 8’s don’t rest. Superhero killing machine (potential SAS man) races through the kitchen with the dog and charges outside making machine gun fire noises. Small girl runs past shouting after No.2 “But why won’t you play with me?…Muuuum” Child No.3 comes in consolidating flamenco girl,

“It’s ok I’ll play with you.”

“But I don’t want to play with you.” She retorts.

I close the laptop lid…I can’t be a chuffing lighthouse, I’m too busy mediating difficult and tense potentially explosive tantrum situations. Micro managing 3 very differing personalities, to ensure compromise is met and everyone is happy…well I mean happy enough…well I mean quiet, yes, just quiet is a good result!

“OK. Who needs a bath?” The chaos ensues that is bath and bed time. Eventually they are all in bed…ahhh this is my time. Be the best…be the lighthouse…be productive…plan…prioritise…set goals….Zzzzzzz my lighthouse has gone out! A ship wrecks in the distance, somewhere on the darkened rocks.

I’ll be a lighthouse tomorrow.

Amanda

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Clear Out!

Photograph taken of the contents of the office art and filing cupboard. Lots of artwork is all over the floor as it gets filed correctly after years of been ignored. Watercolour boats, book illustrations, fairies, children, african animals and more.

The cupboard door opens…it stares at me, like a frustrating nightmare.”Why can’t I find anything? Because it hasn’t been filed for over a year that’s why.” A YEAR!!! Yes it has been cleverly ignored, roughly piled, into a kind of; I’ll remember where I put that, grouping sort of order. Because this is a serious art business and filing is fundamental to an organised mind and company right?

Ah! An organised mind…I closed the door again and know I will do it tomorrow. ‘Really…tomorrow?’

Well tomorrow came, after a very frustrating 40 minutes of huffing and cursing and puffing and looking for a particular illustration that needed scanning. It had gone, it was gone, stolen, misplaced, recycled, impossible it was here in this pad or was it that plastic wallet, maybe it was here or there.

Everything stopped. I held the cupboard door wide open and stared in…the cupboard stared back at me, like a Mexican stand off. “You’ve gotta take it all out.” the cupboard said, in a Clint Eastwood stylee.

“No. No, I really don’t have the time.” I stepped back.

“You’ve gotta take it all out, to find what your looking for!” Said the old Sage knowingly.

“No…no I’ll find it if I just lift these up and look underneath a bit and move these and look in this folder or this portfolio. Shut up cupboard, it’s FINE.” I whinged. I knew only one person was to blame for this hold up.

“You’ve gotta…”

“OK, OK I know, I KNOWWWW!” I shouted and rolled my eyes stepping closer. And so, I carefully emptied the whole art cupboard. I mean everything came out of there, every folder was emptied, every plastic wallet, every portfolio sleeve…it ALL came out. Then I stood and looked over it all across the floor. I was like some kind of giant artist, procrastinating and looming over a filing punishment of some kind. Then it hit me and I thought…’Sh*t what have I done?..this is gonna take ages. I don’t have time for this!’

And it did, but now I’m super speedy, whizzing around and I know exactly where to find my book illustrations, my personalised artwork, my family trees, my African work, my red robins and ducks and magazine work-book reference, my everything. Talk about Mrs Productive.

Except then I lost my layout pad the next day and spent half and hour looking for it, I even emptied the recycling bin. Could I find it, after that whole filing mountain adventure…could I. Not until I looked under the scanner hood!

And so satisfied I have matured a little more, become more business serious and effective in administration, a real credit to my office, I would recommend a good old fashioned Feng Shui clear-out and re-order of the old art cupboard, but then I saw this quote…”If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then, is an empty desk a sign of?” Albert Einstein. Well sh*t the bed!

Amanda x

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Flouncing Fool!

Pink flamingo created in my own style for prints to cards and products amanda reynolds designs

Flouncing about all day with a paint brush in my hand is what I dreamed an artist would be, when I grew up. I’m still not grown up and flouncing turns out not to be an option when trying to create work being an artist. ‘Who knew!!’ It’s hard work creating on demand, what if my flows not flowing, what if my kids are driving me nuts and sapping the teeny weeny bit of energy I have left, what if the dishes need doing, the dog needs walking and the washing machine needs emptying. Well let me tell you all the flouncing that happens in my week tends to be in my tiny little mind! BUT…there’s light at the end of the tunnel of housework and gold nuggets in determination and goal setting and when I do eventually get those moments in my studio, I savour the moment of opening up the tin palette, like some supermarket ribbon cutting opening. I see the bright colourful paints and am grateful I have my chance to create amongst the chaos of life. My flounce begins and I flounce right off. Illustrating a children’s book or designing a range of animal prints, creating another beautiful family tree for a special someone makes me feel alive. All that hard work and effort works, keep pushing for your dreams, make time somewhere to do what makes you feel right inside…be in the kitchen, garden, knitting bag, photo or art studio…just keep creating those moments…and FLOUNCE away my creative friends.

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Spring Inspires

This is a painting by artist Lucy Pittaway of two sheep with daisy's

This week I headed to Spring Fair at NEC Birmingham to do a little research, I spoke to some great new contacts from The Art Group to The Bright Art Licensing Agency, who were all very informative and keen to see more from Amanda Reynolds Designs. I told them I was an old re-emerging artist, having had 3 children in the more recent years, I’ve spent my days filled with scrap paper and felt tips as opposed to canvas and the old oils! Spring Fair has sown me what gaps there are in the market for an artist like me and a bit more on what arty agency folk are looking for. I’ve returned and tweaked my themes for 2016…all very exciting stuff, I can’t wait to get started. It was well worth the miles and miles of trekking around the NEC!

And I met a lovely fellow artist, a lady I have being following on Facebook, in a non stalker fashion…who has inspired me to keep going with my artistic nature and to try to develop things further. She didn’t know this, until I met her at the weekend, when I babbled about what a fan I was, she has recently opened her own gallery up to the public in Richmond, North Yorkshire. Please take a look at her beautiful artwork here at http://lucypittaway.co.uk/ if you like a sheep you’ll love her work, which is featured in this blog.

So overall it’s worth the sore feet and blisters…Amanda x

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Love Arty Farty

It’s always good, to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and Iinto something new; and I agree with this, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. This week I went over to Huddersfield, (which is quite an arty farty, mill, loving area, believe it or not!) where I tentatively went along to an introductory course to screen printing, run by a really passionate artist, Lisa Stubbs.

She turned out to be a brilliant  children’s illustrator and author, a mummy of 3 with a real passion for her children and how we can be inspired (as well as exhausted) by them, through art.

Lisa’s screen prints were beautiful and gentle and really inspired me to keep going on my own journey, to continue creating artwork. The image shows some of her prints, taken on the day.

I’m looking for new ways to create art and think I have found a great new medium in screen printing…possibly for this year.

I have being inspired to continue learning and improving and recommend the West Yorkshire Printing Workshops…I’m so glad I didn’t stay at home that day!

Lisa has a lovely book called Lily and Bear   you can click to buy it.

Amanda x

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