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Advent Artist Day 15 – Joy

Joy is a scientist by day and an artist in the evenings. She asked to be identified only by her first name so as to avoid any confusion in her working life (I can relate to this entirely).

Joy is the second Running With Brushes artist who works in acrylics. To see which of Joy’s paintings are still available on the site, click here.


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Advent Artist Day 14 – Sharon Whitley

Wildlife artist, Sharon Whitley donated paintings on a range of subjects. Sharon’s paintings have a wonderful clarity about them. Sharon blogs as The Rambling Artist and can also be followed on her Facebook page.

To see which of Sharon’s paintings is still available on the site, click here.

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Advent Artist Day 13 – Claude Ambollet

Claude Ambollet, an artist who hails from France sent us a marvellous collection of 16 paintings. Claude’s paintings have a particular abstract style and her three Running With Brushes mini collections each have a distinctive atmosphere of it’s own.

Click here to see which of Claude’s paintings is still available to buy from the site.


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Advent Artist Day 12 – Val Pettifer

Val Pettifer is a pastel and mixed media artist, and a great supporter of other artists. In March this year, Val took on the Old School Studio in Whittlesford and has worked tirelessly to build a group of tutors who provide workshops in a wide range of topics of interest to artists.

Val recently hosted the Christmas Fair in the studio and invited us to bring the Running With Brushes Collection along. We had a great weekend talking to people and sold 18 paintings over the course of the two days.

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Advent Artist 5 – Judith Farnworth

Judith Farnworth is prolific watercolourist who also blogs. In addition to her blog, her work can be seen on her website and her Facebook page. Judith runs workshops in the North West of England.

To see which of Judith’s paintings are still available for sale, click here.

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Advent 3 – Theresa Evans

Edge of the Field by Theresa Evans (TEV001)
Edge of the Field (TEV001) Artist: Theresa Evans

Theresa Evans is one of my fellow 100 Wash Challenge artists. She was the first person to jump in and offer to get involved with this project. Until I got the email from Theresa I had thought that I would be painting all 1000 paintings on my own. The task seemed enormous, and it was wonderful to get the email from Theresa because it did two things:

– I was thrilled that another artist thought this was a good idea – it meant I was completely insane.

– And it made the 1000 painting mountain I had elected to climb seem a bit less terrifying.

I always think of Theresa as leading the way when it came to artists joining in the Running With Brushes Challenge. Theresa paints wonderful images of nature – particularly English and Italian country scenes.

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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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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.