THE WINNER IS EMMA HILL!
Huge thanks to everyone who entered, I've loved your messages x x x x
Welcome to my website - it's time for the Easter/Mad March Hare Giveaway!
If you would like to be in with a chance to win a mounted, signed, limited edition print of 'Moonlight Hare' - the very first one of its print run of 350 - all you have to do is send me an email here:
with your name and you will be entered into the big digital hat. If you'd like to leave a message then that would be great - I love reading them.
A winner will be chosen at random on Easter Sunday 31st March 2013 at 9 pm and announced on this page. I hugely appreciate all of your 'likes' and 'shares' so if you could keep doing this then I would be very grateful, as it all helps to make my business to grow and keeps me busy, paintbrush in hand. I've got a personal goal of 2000 'likes' by summer-time so if you could help with this it would be amazing. Here's the link back to my FB page:
The print will normally sell at £26 and is 33cm x 25cm in its mount (in case you don't want to put it in the hands of fate) and is available in my shop.
Thanks very much and the best of luck!
Terms and Conditions:
The winner's print will be posted out to them on Tuesday 2nd April 2013.
I promise I will never pass your details on to any third party, they will just stay stuck in my email account forever – although I might use them to get in touch with you about future exhibitions. (let me know if you'd like to opt out).
The winner will be chosen using a random number generator (each email will be numbered and the winner will be selected that way).
This giveaway is in no way endorsed by or associated with Facebook at all, in any way possible. Ever.:)
I spent yesterday painting in my studio. I love beginning a painting.
I have a ritual; I clear a big space in the general chaos and put on some music. Most of the time it is Kate Bush. I've loved her music since I was 14, after I found one of her early albums in the bargain bin of my local record shop. She was dressed as a lion in a wallpapered attic. It looked a bit mad, and it was the only one I could afford at the time, so I bought it and took it home on the bus. It was a revelation - this theatrical, lyrical, musical dressing up - and I have loved her music ever since that day. I think, for me, it is the perfect painting music and is an limitless source of inspiration. I also like Laura Marling, John Martyn, Vaughn Williams, Pooka, Bat for Lashes, Fleet Foxes and The Civil Wars. But Kate Bush is my favourite by far. Then, honestly, I am gone for hours, lost in whatever am painting. I can't imagine not creating images. Everybody should paint I think, almost as a sort of meditation. Try it - but there's always a risk you won't be able to stop.....
A few days ago a lady called Elizabeth de Jager from the great 'My Favourite Books' blog, emailed me to ask if she could use one of my hares in a blog by Marcus Sedgwick. 'Yes! definitely!' I thought and so Hare Moon was born. Here's a link to the site:
Oh. And I finished the sunflowers.....
Today the sun has gone in. Well and truly. So today I am in my studio, paintbrush at the ready, poised to paint gorgeous, gold, burnt orange and bright yellow sunflowers. They are still in the veg garden, about forty of them, resilient and determinedly cheerful.
Van Gogh is of course best known for his sunflowers; a painting stamped on our collective memory. What if he had started that painting, knowing the historical significance it would have? I imagine he would have had a panic attack and gone and hid in the toilet. Instead he painted what he wanted, in obscurity, the world's eyes averted, allowing him to get on with what he had to do.
If we had had the internet back then, Van Gogh would undoubtedly had a webpage like this one. It's interesting to think if the exposure to such a vast range of subject matter would have resulted in an even better painting, or no painting at all. He may have thought 'I'll get on with that painting, but first I'll just check out Facebook and have a scoot around Twitter.' Thus social media - the self-employed artists/writer's gin trap - might have prevented this amazing piece of art being produced at all. On the upside though he might have had more friends, which he could probably have done with.
Now, I must start that painting.....
The original of 'Jerusalem has sold'. It was my largest painting to date and I really enjoyed painting it. I've always liked Blake; his Englishness, his fighting spirit, his principled sheer bloody-mindedness! He seemed such a perfect match with the hares. In addition it had beautiful gold frame, so I will miss it, but am very glad that it is going to such a good home.
I'm going to be featured in the Western Morning News on Saturday, so if anyone would like to read more about me and my work - get to your newsagents at the weekend! I will also be chatting to Ian Starling of The Voice 106 on Monday lunchtime, which I'm really looking forward to. I'll be at South Molton Christmas market on the 3rd selling prints, books and little Christmassy bits. I'm everywhere at the moment so please do come and say hello:)
Blogs are supposed to be daily aren't they? Weekly at least..... My only excuse is that I've been very busy for what seems like ages now. I've been doing lots of illustrating and was given the dream opportunity of doing some work with Egmont so I've been drawing many, many hares, not to mention foxes, owls and frogs.....In addition to this painting lark I also write stories for children. My first children's book is coming out on the 7th of October and it's called Magical Mail. This is THRILLING and I'm delighted ( not to mention relieved!) that my Amazon reviews are looking good. I'm busily sorting out the website (www.magicalmailclairebarker.com) and all of the promotional material that goes with it. I'm trying to be organised and sort out book signings and festivals, but my first port of call will be Appledore Literary Festival, closely followed by South Molton Market on Saturday the 9th of October. I've just booked my stalls for Art Bazaar and the Christmas market (I'll be selling prints at both of these) and I'm at Mere Literary Festival on the 17th of October. I'm hoping to do some children's workshops too, so if anyone is interested please do email me and I'll put you in the diary. Time for a glass of wine I think.....
"When Bagpuss wakes up, all his friends wake up..." Hello Spring. Should have spent the day painting or writing but instead made lots of Socco. Socco is a french savoury pancake thing from the streets of Nice and it is delicious. 'Nom', as my daughter would say :) Ho-hum, tomorrow is another day.
Wet and windy weekend. Went to London and was really struck by how beautiful it was. Too many people though, squashed together like pickles in a jar. Went to the National Portrait Gallery, watched Wicked, ate sushi, and listened to 'Baby One More Time' performed by a Bavarian oompah band in Hyde Park.
Yesterday it was my grandma's funeral. The dismal weather perfectly mirrored the situation. She painted too - very well actually. It's odd that she's gone. RIP Lillian Mary White/McNess - trained to swim dangled by a rope from a cliff, rider of elephants, bikini-wearing pensioner -I hope the weather is warmer where you are, because really you would have preferred that. x
Uploaded new pictures to the site yesterday and lots of my lovely Facebook friends have visited - Hellooooo!. Thanks for all the great comments x It looks like I will have a stall at South Molton Christmas Fair on the 4th and 5th of December in the Assembly Rooms, selling prints and originals, plus gift tags and unusual Christmas cards. Come and say hello! x
Painted a fox. Very pleased with him and he looks very pleased with himself.
i've got an exhibition on the 10th of December so it's all hands to the paintbrush.....except for now, because I'm going for a walk before it starts raining again....oo, too late.
Lovely day. Gave last session of "Writing and Illustrating for Children' course. Such a great bunch of women.
New piggies have arrived and are living in the ark. Outdoors cat is happy in his new heated bed in the barn. Chicken's are delighted with the sunshine. Sheep enjoying the cool weather. Dogs overjoyed by their own carefully concocted stinkiness. All the onions are strung up in the kitchen and the sloe gin has matured nicely. Purfick (except for the stinkiness).
I wouldn't recommend standing and talking about illustration for two hours with mackerel poisoning. I said even odder things than usual. Oh, the embarrassment.....
Maya found a little wren in the pantry, hiding in a box of cider. It must have flown in this morning. It was so small, with big blinking eyes. She perched it on her finger and it flew back up into the ivy.
Today I walked the dogs through the woods and listened to my trusted ipod shuffle. The smell of damp leaves, mingled with the oddness of Radiohead, is a great catalyst for creative thought. Which I need, because I am having my second exhibition in December, alongside the delightfully interesting Peter Bright. I also listened to a lesser known song called 'Under the Ivy' by Kate Bush. Hmmmm... I'd like to do something with that.....Honeybees and larks are fighting for space too. Excellent day.