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October Update

A very quick update for October because work deadlines are chasing me:

Once again, we’ve had a month of growth. We sold 38 paintings in October: a fantastic number.

We had a Saturday in the restaurant at Beales to allow people to see the paintings, and I took part in a chat show on Radio Cambridgeshire.

Oct-13 Total
Received by Care for Casualties 573.75 1401.25
Made up as follows:
Sales proceeds 459.00 1109.00
Gift Aid 114.75 292.25
Paintings completed 57 235
Paintings sold 38 92

October in Numbers:

There are currently 143 paintings to choose from on the site.

And:
1954 visitors to the website (August: 507)
159 Facebook fans (August: 78)
22 artists from 7 countries

We’ll be holding a Mulled Wine and Mince Pies evening in November and taking part in a Christmas fair on the last weekend of the month. It would be absolutely amazing if we could reach the £2000 mark by the end of the year.

And just because we’re all about pictures, here’s one that recently sold:

Watercolour Painting. Poppy (IOA016). Artist Ingrid Ormestad
Poppy (IOA016). Artist Ingrid Ormestad

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Artist update

There are so many artists who have made generous contributions of paintings to this project I wanted to write a blog post to thank and recognise them. It has been mentioned that Running With Brushes sends a number of messages; it has many facets:

– Primarily, it’s purpose is to raise funds for Care For Casualties.
– It reminds people that they can make a contribution that doesn’t involve running a marathon
– It encourages people to buy original art

Since I started Running With Brushes, 21 artists have joined me. Here is a gallery with one wonderful original from each of them.

The workload on this project has grown significantly and I am working on finding ways to keep it manageable so that I can still paint as well.

It strikes me that the blog posts I write from time to time tend to be stories and news about our progress, rather than information about new paintings that have been posted onto the site. I’ve therefore decided to add a monthly email newsletter which will contain all the new paintings in the past month that are still available to buy. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a peek at the website from time to time, or follow us on Facebook: sometimes paintings go quite quickly when they’re put online and you wouldn’t want to miss the one you really, really want.

But if you want a one-stop list of new paintings one a month (around mid month) please sign up for the newsletter as well.

Sign up for latest paintings by email (monthly mail)

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Riverlea story

Watercolour painting. Riverlea (RWB0043) Artist: Vandy Massey
Riverlea (RWB0043) Artist: Vandy Massey

Running With Brushes has been the cause of some wonderful connections.

This painting was done for an old family friend from a photograph of a place that is dear to her heart. When she saw Running With Brushes on Facebook she sent a message via our contact pager asking for paintings with specific subjects she fancied. The first one was easy. She liked Early Spring in Green Park. Job done!

The second one was a bit more of a challenge. The image she had in her mind was of a scene on her family’s farm back in South Africa. All she could do to convey it was to point me at a specific photograph in the gallery on the farm’s website. Using a bit of artist’s licence, I decided not to include the clouds in the painting because on the first attempt it made the image seem brooding and quite dark, rather than quiet and serene. Thankfully, she loved the second version. It’s always a slightly nervous moment when you send a painting off and wait for the verdict. Her two paintings are now done and will soon be on their way to the USA.

What I find wonderful is the fact that by using four internet services (Facebook, email, WordPress and Paypal) we have managed to achieve something that would have been well nigh impossible before we lived in this connected world.  We have communicated about something very complex, personal and almost entirely visual.  We have completed the creation of paintings to a specific order. And we have jointly supported Care for Casualties by doing so.

If there’s a specific subject you’d like painted, drop us a line and we’ll see what we can do. Christmas is coming soon so stock up or ask us to do a painting to order.

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September Update

Another amazing Running With Brushes month. Our sales were even better than the previous two months, and our artist community grew in leaps and bounds. If you are an artist who has sent us paintings, please bear with us if there’s a delay in getting them on the website. There have been times this month when I’ve been a tiny bit overrun by work. I’ve got a wonderful collection waiting to be posted up as I type. They will be on the website by the end of this week.

Jul-13 Aug-13 Sep-13 Total
Received by Care for Casualties 140.00 297.50 390.00 827.50
Paintings completed 26 45 107 178
Paintings sold 9 19 26 54

September in Numbers:

There are currently 124 paintings to choose from on the site. My how we’ve grown. That number was 44 when I posted at the end of August.  They can be viewed by artist, by subject and even by colour (using the tags on the right hand side).

And:
1290 visitors to the website (August: 507)
125 Facebook fans (August: 78)
20 artists from 7 countries
countries where paintings have been sent. (This one hasn’t changed – come on rest of the world! 🙂 )
Featured in six blogs

I had a wonderful meeting with the inspiring Care for Casualties co-ordinator Becca Maciejewska this month. It was really good to hear first hand about the work being done. We were really excited to have a couple of paintings going to RHQ this month too.

There have been some great stories about RWB paintings which I’ll blog during the coming weeks and we’ve got some ideas we’ll share as well.

Thank you for following and supporting Running With Brushes. It’s been a wonderful 3 months and I’m really looking forward to October’s paintings.

Hayley's painting all framed up.
Hayley’s painting all framed up

Hayley sent in this fabulous photo of her Running With Brushes all framed and ready to go on the wall in her dressing room. We think it looks amazing. If you’ve got an RWB original, and you’d like to share a photo, we’d love to put it on the blog.

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August was a bumper month

For a second month out, August was amazing, awesome and utterly fantastic.

I have been overwhelmed with the generosity of the artists who have contacted me and sent paintings for the project. We’ve now had paintings contributed by 8 other artists with more in the pipeline. This project seemed like an enormously high mountain to climb when I started.  We’re fast approaching the foothills:

Jul-13 Aug-13 Total
Received by Care for Casualties 140.00 297.50 437.50
Paintings completed 26 45 71
Paintings sold 9 18 27

August in Numbers:

There are currently 44 paintings to choose from on the site with more being posted up daily. They can be viewed by artist, by subject and even by colour (using the tags on the right hand side).  We’re painting like crazy for Christmas – but if you want to grab one early, there’s plenty of choice.

And:
507 visitors to the website
78 Facebook fans 
5 nationalities of artists
4 countries where paintings have been sent.
3  features in three blogs

If you’re a blogger and you post something about Running With Brushes, please drop me a note with the link so I can share it on our website and FB page.

Watercolour painting. Fresh Flowers 2 (OQA2)
Fresh Flowers 2 (OQA2)

We’ve had a wonderful weekend with artist friend Olivia Quintin visiting from Vannes in France who painted up a storm for RWB while she was here. This bouquet of fresh flowers is one of her beauties. It will be going on sale in the next 24 hours.

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Going global

A month into this project I had to admit defeat on the e-commerce system I had started with. Not a decision I made lightly because the alternative was to completely rebuild the back end of the website and load all the available paintings again using a new system. But, as the thought of managing 1000 paintings using an unwieldy software system was enough to spur me on and I reworked the website at the beginning of August.

The new system has a wonderfully manageable shop system which has made the sales part of the website much smoother.  I’ll now be adding painting as products rather than blog posts so the change will be that the blogging will only happen a couple of times a month – and readers will need to have a look at the home page for all the new paintings.

Paintings can now be found by subject or main colour (using the tags in the right hand navigation column on the home page), or by artist (using the categories, also in the right hand navigation column). This last feature is perfectly times as I’ve had paintings arriving from a number of artists who have contributed paintings.The artist count will go up to five by the end of today once I have loaded the fabulous collection I received in this morning’s mail from Judith Farnworth.

I have been amazed and thrilled by the reach this project has already. I’ve received paintings from various parts of the UK and some from the USA. And paintings have been bought by people from the UK, South Africa, France and the USA.

Running With Brushes is multinational in it’s first month. I think that’s really cool. And I am immensely grateful to the artists who have joined in, and the supporters who have bought paintings already.

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Suzie’s Hearts

When I was working out the idea for Running With Brushes I mentioned it to the marvellous Suzie Rice who, demonstrating her special brand of marvellousness, immediately asked me if I could paint three hearts she wanted to purchase as a gift for a friend.

Watercolour paintings - Suzie's hearts
Suzie’s Hearts all framed up

She told me the colours she wanted and I painted them, Simple. (So if you have a particular subject you want tackled, just let me know).

She very kindly sent me a photo of the paintings all framed up.