Taking (Some) Control of Printing

Living in Northern Ireland can mean an increased cost of postage when ordering photographic prints from mainland UK. This means I tend to wait until I have a number of new digital art pieces created, and a need for new prints of previous art, before I place an order. These are the prints which I offer for sale at craft fairs and which I use to make my mixed media art pieces. My frustration at the process is coming to an end.

My computer, printer, and drawing tablet.

My computer, printer, and drawing tablet.

Now that we are settled in our new home I have a space to set up my Cannon printer which enables me to print up to A4. I will still be ordering the larger prints but it is wonderful to be able to create my digital art, print it and then finish it in whichever way I feel enhances it most.

Love Lives Here, mounted and coated in epoxy resin.

Love Lives Here, mounted and coated in epoxy resin.

Two of my recent pieces, ‘Love Lives Here’ and ‘You Are Not Alone’ were created, printed and mounted on wood panels. ‘Love Lives Here’ was then coated in epoxy resin and ‘You Are Not Alone’ was finished with encaustic wax. A label with information about the pieces will be placed on the back, a method for hanging them attached and there they are ready to be taken to my next craft fair where hopefully they will find their new owners. I love them both.

You Are Not Alone, mounted and coated with encaustic wax.

You Are Not Alone, mounted and coated with encaustic wax.

I will be posting the dates of all my craft fairs closer to each event. In the meantime if you are interested in any of my art please visit my online shop. The images there are available as canvas prints, metal prints, framed prints and various other options.

Inspirational Art With Words

If you own my book or have looked at the preview of it either here or on Amazon you will be aware that I love poetry and inspirational quotes. I decided I wanted to start incorporating this more into some of my art pieces. These can be found in the words gallery on this site and I have plans for some mixed media pieces which you will be able to see on facebook @artsbynormasue and Instagram #artbynormasue. I will be offering these for sale locally at craft fairs and the details of these will be posted here and on social media.

More Development - epoxy resin

Early 2019 was proving to be a busy time. I now had two methods of finishing my art pieces, but that did not mean I stopped investigating and searching for other ideas. This led me to epoxy resin. This creates a clear glass like finish which boosts the colours in an image and really makes it ‘pop’, a potential perfect match for my city images.

I watched numerous online videos and soon took the plunge into trying resin for myself.

Cradle boards with resin and blow torch.

It was quite a long involved process but the results were wonderful. I now have three finishes and I decided this was enough (for now!).

Finding and bursting bubbles in my resin image.

More Product Development - encaustic wax

Having decided on my first method of completing my art pieces I decided some of my images would be enhanced by other finishes. I particularly liked the idea of using encaustic wax with some of my impressionistic and flower images. It was around this time I became aware of a course being offered by Denise Love of ‘2 lil owls’ teaching the exact method I was interested in. Sometimes things just seem to fall into place.

Cradle board, my image, and hot wax.

Denise is an excellent teacher and before long I was using a heat gun, melting encaustic wax and generally having a wonderful time creating new art.

Cradle boards with encaustic wax finish.

New Product Development

In early 2019 I decided I would like to take my art all the way from the initial capturing of the photographic images through the creation of the digital art to a completed piece ready to be displayed. These would be art pieces which I planned to sell locally at craft fairs. My first attempt involved bonding the printed image to canvas and applying a matt sealer.

Although relatively successful I decided this was not the end product I had envisaged. Further research led to my deciding to use wood in the form of cradle panels to bond the image to.

Cradle boards with Mod Podge matt sealant and a spray varnish.

I then applied a matt sealer followed by varnish which resulted in a product I was happy with.

A Personal Challenge

Every now and then I like to set myself a challenge and as I will be celebrating a ‘big’ birthday milestone next year I decided I should do something in advance of the date. The challenge I decided to undertake was to walk the Mourne wall. The wall extends circularly over 22 miles crossing 15 peaks within the Mourne mountain range. The wall was built between 1904 and 1922 to enclose the newly constructed Silent Valley reservoir. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty and although I have walked a lot in the area and completed the largest peak, namely Slieve Donard, the rest of the wall and the peaks are foreign to me.

I do think we can tend to ignore what is on our doorstep, after all people travel from all over the world to walk the wall, while those of us living close by wonder what all the fuss is about. Well I have decided it is time to find out.

As part of this process I wanted to take my time and enjoy the experience while capturing lots of photographs to use in my art. So instead of trying to complete the wall over a few days I decided to break it up into 6 walks which will cover 44 miles. I know it will be tough and I have no idea if I will be able to complete it but I am willing to try.

I will be posting updates of my journey on my facebook page @artsbynormasue and Instagram #artbynormasue so you can catch up with my progress there.

New Directions

Towards the end of 2018 I began to develop an increased interest in impressionistic art. My photography was also beginning to move in this direction but I felt I needed to improve my knowledge of the genre. Subsequent research led me to the work and courses of Eva Polak, a New Zealand photographer, artist, writer and teacher. Early 2019 saw me undertaking her online course ‘An Introduction to Impressionistic Photography’.

This type of photography has enabled me to create the type of evocative images I am drawn to. Here the focus is on light, colour and capturing a feeling or emotion. You can see the influence of this interest and Evas’ course in a number of my images especially within my Impressionistic gallery.

Updated Website

Throughout the last week I have been reorganising the collections on my website.

My body of work is now displayed within six art galleries named Urban, Impressionistic, Eclectic, Words, Flowers and Thunder In My Soul.

In addition to this reorganisation, 18 new images lovingly created over the past 5 months have been added.

There are new iconic pieces of Belfast and Dublin in my Urban collection, new evocative images in my Impressionistic gallery and three new inspirational pieces in my Art With Words collection.

I hope you like them as much as I have enjoyed creating them.

New Art Pieces

Today I have added 'On The Hill' and 'The Cut' to my Urban gallery of images. They provide birds eye views of Rathfriland and Banbridge, two places close to my heart.

Also I have added 4 new images to my Eclectic gallery, these are 'Solitude' (Rossnowlagh beach), 'The Crossing' (Carrick-a-Rede), 'Dunluce Castle', and 'Dreamscape' (an imagined land).

I hope you like them as much as I have enjoyed creating them.

Busy, busy, busy….

I’ve been moving house, creating art and preparing for craft events. It’s great to be busy but the downside is getting everything done that needs to be done. So apologies that it has taken a while to get my latest images up on my site. Today I am posting ‘Beach Pillars’, ‘Belfast Sightseeing’, ‘Autumn Stroll’ and ‘Boats on Corbet Lough’.

I am also making available three limited edition PoetryArt prints which can be purchased at any of the following craft events I am attending:

  • The Magical Christmas Fair, Belfast Castle, Sun 9th December, 12 to 5pm.

  • The Festive Yuletide Fair, Belmont Hotel, Banbridge, Sat 15th December, 12 to 4pm.

  • Artisans at The Boulevard, Banbridge, Sun 23rd December, 1 to 6pm.

My First Craft Fair Experience

What a wonderful day I had at my first craft fair in @theboulevardbanbridge. The event was organised by @frockaroundtheclockfairs. It was a long cold day but not to worry because it was warmed by all the lovely visitors to my stall and the other crafters/producers attending. Thank you to everyone who bought a print, a card or a copy of my book. Can’t wait for my next one now to meet some more lovely people.

Boulevard Craft Fair, Banbridge
Boulevard Craft Fair, Banbridge
Boulevard Craft Fair, Banbridge
Boulevard Craft Fair, Banbridge

My next event will be The Magical Christmas Fair at Belfast Castle on Sunday 9th December from 12 noon to 5 pm. See you there.

Published on magazine front cover

I can’t find the words to explain just how exciting it was to see one of my images featured on the cover of this months My Creative Images magazine. I also have images published on pages 14-15, you can view the magazine by clicking here.

Digital Painting

I have been spending some time increasing my skills and knowledge on the topic of digital painting. This has meant many hours of fun in the digital workspace and the creation of a number of new art pieces.

I am enjoying being able to create paintings that showcase some of the beautiful landscape and places of interest in Northern Ireland. I also have a passion for impressionistic paintings and photography and am beginning to combine these two strands into pieces of art that represent the emotion I experienced when capturing an image or visiting a location.

These three latest pieces are named St Johns Point, Overlooking The Silent Valley, and my favourite, Beach Pillars.

New Flower Dress Art

A few months ago I took some images of leaves with the intention of adding to my flower dress portfolio. This one would of course not strictly meet the flower brief but I had an idea it would fit the theme of Autumn.

NormaSue_Flower_Dresses_b_600x600.jpg
NormaSue_Flower_Dresses_a_600x600.jpg
NormaSue_Flower_Dresses_c_600.jpg

Well life got a little busy and the task got left to one side. Glad to say I have finally got around to creating not just one but two images from my photographs of leaves, they are quite different but both incorporate the leaves within the dress and have other leaves floating throughout the frame. Both contain my photographs blended with other elements and a little fairy dust. In fact “A Gown for Carpo” has two actual fairies within it. Now that really is magic.

Official Book Launch

What a wonderful night I had at my book launch on 26th June 2018. It provided an opportunity to pause and celebrate the achievement of writing and publishing my book. I am very proud of it and so grateful for the positive feedback and comments from family, friends and those who have purchased the book. I have had some lovely reviews on amazon.co.uk but was delighted to see I now have a 5 star review on amazon.com.

Thunder in my Soul book launch, Banbridge
Thunder in my Soul book launch, Banbridge

Knowing people I have never met have read and enjoyed my book means so much to me. I am truly grateful. Thank you all so much. To those who came to my launch and those that have sent messages of support or written wonderful reviews you are all appreciated.

Living the Photo Artistic Life

I'm delighted to be published for the third time in Living the Photo Artistic Life.

The End Of All Things

My most recent published image, on page 46 of Issue 39 is ‘The End of All Things’. It depicts the passing of time with the fading figure and sunflower but also the certainty of renewal and continuance with the canvas of flowers, the distant window bathed in sunshine and the children beyond. You can view this piece along with a variety of other digital art in the magazine by clicking here.

New Cityscape Art Piece

'Waiting For the Night' - Just added this new piece to my City Narratives collection. The image is of Commercial Court which lies within Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. This tiny cobbled alleyway is one of the city’s most historic entries in an area that was once Belfast’s commercial heart.

New Belfast Cityscapes

Today I added two new art pieces to my City Narratives collection.

Light on the Lagan’ - This evocative piece of art has been created from images I captured along the banks of the Lagan as it meandered through Belfast city. It features the Boat apartments and offices (the award winning building designed by Barrie Todd), the Hilton hotel and the Waterfront conference and entertainment centre.

Sunday Morning in the City’ - The images for this artwork were captured early on an overcast Sunday morning. The central image is Belfast City Hall with other buildings from the area merged into the completed piece. I love this piece of art.