A caricature selfie drawn on my iPad with the ZenBrush app. Selfie is a big thing on social media and so many of these photos are fun to view! #selfie I'm sure you have taken a selfie but if have not, why not try it and join in on all the fun!
A practice sketch drawn in ZenBrush on my iPad Air. I enjoy doing these as I always learn something new about drawing on the iPad. It is also great fun and the best thing is that I can draw on the iPad anywhere! So no matter if I'm in the studio, on a plane or away on vacation, I can draw on my iPad in an instant!
Its been too long since I posted here and the real reason I guess, is Facebook.
Yes that darn Facebook takes so much of my time. But it works. I am building my business through using Facebook and so far its free to do so!
Of course I am still busy with drawing at weddings and corporate events all shapes and sizes and my family life is still hectic as parents are still and always shall I guess, remain in poor health. We are finding that we are often helping them out with hospital visits and also responding to emergencies that arise from their health problems. But thats OK as we are here for them and will drop everything to help them when ever they need us.
I still have lots of crazy ideas about what I would like to do with blogging and other website stuff on the internet. Sometimes I think my brain will explode!
I have also been tinkering with my main website to keep it google search engine friendly and fine tuned! You can see the current 'version' here drawn4u.com
I am also off out to Reno, Nevada soon to attend the 2014 ISCA convention! I am really looking forward to this!
As an artist I sometimes find I have odd moments of creativity! One such moment happened the other night. I often will sit with my iPad in the evenings and just sketch/doodle. While this happens the television will be on, so my wife and I can watch together but I can also sketch on my iPad.
There was a programme running that had a report from Mount Everest and it got my mind running around and the result was the sketch above!
The idea is a mountain shaped as a face. I know, my creative mind can be weird but there we'd are, that's me!
I am very pleased to share with you the news that once again this year, some very close and dear friends of mine, Danny and Yvonne Owen, shall be taking part in the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) and will have their garden open on a number of dates, to view in aid of charity.
Below is the information on which days Danny & Yvonne's garden will be open, click on the image to view larger:
Yvonne has worked hard over many years to produce what everyone calls, a real garden, and visitors are never disappointed!
I hope you are able to visit their garden and I know you will receive a very warm welcome and a chance for a cup of tea!
If you love flowers and plants and enjoy spending some time in gardens, then a visit is a must. Their garden is part of their home and their location is the historic town of Witham in Essex.
If you want to look it up on a map, use this postcode : CM8 2LJ and if you would like to talk directly with either Yvonne or Danny, then please call them on 01376 515187
Along with enjoying their beautiful garden, you will also be making a positive contribution to a very worthwhile charity, so everyone wins! In fact, last year the NGS donated £2.1 million amongst the following charities:
Macmillan Cancer Support: £450,000
Marie Curie Cancer Care: £450,000
Help the Hospices: £400,000
Carers Trust: £300,000
Queen's Nursing Institute: £200,000
NT Gardening Careerships: £120,000
Parkinson's UK: £100,000
Garden Museum: £8,000
Sp as you can see above, a large amount of money is raised and is then shared among some fantastic charities! So visit a garden, enjoy and relax in the knowledge that you will be making a big and positive difference to a large number of people through the charities supported!
The NGS covers the country so if your not in Essex, don't worry, there will be a garden near to your area, just stop by their website to check out where exactly: www.ngs.org.uk
It has been some time since I relocated my home office/studio from the well known "Inside the Shed' in my garden, to the box room upstairs in my house.
I have to say, that even though it was great fun being inside the shed and I loved it there, being inside the house has made so many things much more comfortable for me in my daily activities of running a business. I have everything to hand in the house without having to keep walking out to the shed and unlocking it all to gain access, I simply walk upstairs and I'm in my office!
So my desk layout, here is a shot of how it currently looks and is laid out...
So lets take a look at what is on my desk:
Starting on the left - My iPad Air and to the left of that my iPhone stand. As you can see, I have the iPad keyboard by Apple and I sue that to type with and also as a holder come charging unit for my iPad. I like it!
In the centre is my 2007 iMac with a 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Dou processor and 4 GB of memory, the max the machine can take.
I run OS Mavericks on the iMac and it works but the processing between apps can be slow and sometimes the spinning wheel has me in limbo while the computer is try8ing to process the data. This is because my iMac is at the slowest entry level for the Mavericks OS requirements and it shows.
But the iMac still works OK for its age and when I use Photoshop, I have no problems working in PS and I can get what I needed done.
To the right of my iMac is my Mickey Mouse bobble head that I bought when I was at Walt Disney World one time and as a Disney fan, I love it!
Behind Mickey is my Wacom Intuos 3 tablet, stood up against the wall as that seemed the most logical place to place it when it is not in use.
In front of the iMac is my Apple USB keyboard. I have spoken before about using a USB keyboard as my preference. I have the bluetooth keyboard but I found it would eat up the batteries and that made it expensive to run as a keyboard plus as it aged the keys started to fail. So even though I have a cable trailing across my desk, I much prefer the USB Apple keyboard.
On the right is my desk lamp that has a 28watt energy bulb in place that delivers a good bright source while giving me a low running cost for electricity usage.
Next to my lamp are a couple of coffee mugs that I use as pen holders and you can see, pens pencils and other desk tools to help me et my work done!
Then last but not least on the front of my desk is my Apple wireless mouse which I really like and my mouse mat, which, as you can see is a Jack Daniels bar mat. That was a gift from my brother for my birthday a couple of years back!
So my desk as it is works well but I do often think about how it could be better laid out!
Mickey mouse and Minnie Mouse at Magic Kingdom during the Christmas Holidays!
One of my favourite places in the world is Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I have been a Disney fan since I was a small boy and it was in 1998 when my family and I had our very first visit to Walt Disney World. At that time, we were there during the month of May, Florida was experiencing a heat wave with no rain, so it was very hot and very dry.
Being form the UK that weather was perfect for us and we had a totally fantastic holiday on that first visit! In fact I can say that it was the best holiday we have ever had as a family. Everything went so smoothly and without a hitch. We were able to visit all the parks in Orlando and get to ride the roller coasters and other rides and the fantastic fun simulators! We loved every minute!
In and around the Orlando areas, there are a large number and choices of restaurants, from cheap and cheerful to cuisine prepared by master chefs, along with a price tag to match! But what ever your budget, you will never go hungry in Orlando!
Inside the parks of Walt Disney World there are many restaurants to choose from and again, they have catered for all levels of budgets for their guests and you can find fast food in every park as well as a more refined restaurant experience if that is your choice at anytime!
I have to say that Disney have a super range of different rides in their parks and one of my favourites is Test Track in Epcot and that ride has been upgraded with a new experience before you climb into the test car and zoom off for a great ride that will have you smiling at the end!
If you have never been to Walt Disney World and are thinking of going, then do it! You will have a fantastic time and bring back so many wonderful memories!
I can recommend staying in a rental villa in the four corners area of west Kissimmee.
Well as the 'spring' has arrived and the weather is improving, it is time for us to get out and enjoy the garden and the patio.
Today while we were at Costco shopping, we saw this planter on sale! You can see it here in the picture in the centre of our patio table. It was a great low price, just £3.50, so we snapped one up and it resides pride of place on our patio table!
It is so nice that a simple thing like some sunshine and a few flowers, can cheer you up!
It's a great weekend even though I'm busy working all over the weekend!
I really enjoy having a garden and my wife and I also enjoy looking after the garden and growing a variety of plants.
Last year we had our garden landscaped and completely renovated, it was something we had wanter to do for a long time and last summer we took the plunge and had it done!
While we were in the process of looking for ideas for what to do with the garden, we visited a lot of garden centres both local to where we live and also further a field.
During that time of visiting the garden centres we came across one that we had seen before but had never stopped at. I do not know why we never stopped before but last year we did and are we glad that we did! It is The View Garden Centre located west of Rayliegh in Essex.
Above is a screen shot of the website of The View Garden Centre.
This garden centre has a great choice of both plants and other items associated with what would be your or our garden needs.
Like many garden centres there is also a cafe should you require a coffee but I am impressed with the very large selection of plant pots that they have!
So with a very good selection of plants and at what seem to be reasonable prices, we have been visiting The View on a number of occasions and buying plants, pots and even a fake tortoise for the garden!
We shall continue to visit the View, as well other garden centres in the area as it really does make for a nice trip out. Maybe thats because I'm getting older and a sign of old age is a day trip to the garden centre! Hehehe...!
We are loving our garden, being able to sit and enjoy it and looking after our plants.
We have, among others, Armeria, Bay trees, an Acer and fushia's. There is room for a few more but that will require another trip to the garden centre!
This week we are having some nice weather and so a trip yesterday to the garden nursery was a success and we bought two Armeria' plants to fit our small 'bench' planter that a close friend gave us last year!
We are very happy with the result and I think they look fabulous in the bench planter!
The colours work well together and I love the tall stems of the Armerias!