Monday, April 02, 2007

100 days in the life of Sarah Wimperis

"Treasure Trove"
30cm x 30cm. 12in x 12in, Oil on deep stretched canvas
copyright Sarah Wimperis

Sarah Wimperis started a painting a day project and blog last summer and has found it very rewarding - both as a creative person and in terms of the sales of both large and small paintings that it has generated. Sarah paints the life, light and colour around her home in Southern Brittany, France. I asked her what she enjoyed about the place.
Coming from Cornwall, I love the ancient land and the Celtic and medieval traditions. I go Breton Dancing which is fantastic. I'm the only English person there, all the rest are old Bretons, but they are lovely to me and the dancing is a very tribal sort of thing which happens at "fest nos" which are big out door parties at night where everyone dances in huge circles. We also are the only English to take part in the local medieval festival. I really like all of that sort of thing - and the food and wine is pretty good too!
I also asked Sarah about her approach to painting as she enjoys painting in both oils and watercolours.
I adore watercolours, have worked in them for years and enjoy the skill which is involved in a well-painted watercolour. I love the layering of colours and like to achieve saturated colour through layers. I also like the happy accidents that can happen with watercolours.
This is a YouTube video of Sarah doing one of her daily paintings. You can also go to and search for "Sarah Wimperis"
Oils are relatively new for me. I like the solidness and intensity of an oil painting and love the effects of light. I find the touch of a highlight which brings a painting to life almost a magical process. I also very much like small oil paintings simply as objects in their own right. A small oil in a good frame always draws my attention, it is a little lump of another world. That sounds a bit weird but it is how I feel.

"100 Days in the Making"
- soft back book 8.5in x 8.5in or 22cm x 22cm
copyright The Red Shoes Press

Sarah has recently published a book of her small daily paintings "100 Days in the Making" as a limited edition - only 50 will be published and I've got one! If you fancy a copy you can find out more details here.
I did the book because a lot of people wanted me to. I also wanted to have a copy as I actually miss the paintings that I have sold and like looking at them in the book! I decided to do a limited edition of only 50 copies.

In future, I might make books with different themes, say for example cafes and bars, which will include sketches and working drawings as well as finished paintings. Personally, I love looking at collections of other peoples work and adore published sketchbooks.

The Internet has meant that people can now forge very different relationships with artists and it has to change the way we work and communicate. For me, it means that I can paint and sell what I do at quite a reasonable rate, I can talk to the people who buy my work and get feedback on a lot of what I do, all of that I like a lot. It has also become possible to be your own publisher, which is a good thing.

I'm going to be publishing a new version of the book with the caption for each painting translated into French. Currently, I'm using a UK printing company and they were the same cost as using something like LULU but were easy to talk to on the phone. I guess I like small and personal!
Finally, one of my future blog posts will be a round-up of tips for e-books and self-publishing books like Sarah's so if you've got any tips leave a comment and I'll take a look and maybe include it. In the meantime, here are Sarah's tips ' in a nutshell'
  • keep a good record of all your paintings and the text used to write about them - before you sell a piece remember to save:
    • a high resolution image @300dpi before you sell a piece
    • precise details about each painting (size, type of media and support used)
  • get somebody else to proof read all your text
  • document all agreements with the organisation you use to publish your work
  • make sure you price to include all direct and indirect costs (eg delivery costs) - not just the cost of printing.
  • keep in mind that books are great to collect but they won't make their authors rich!
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1 comment:

  1. Sarah's work is wonderful and full of life. A lot of artists try to capture detail and to paint like a photograph, often producing fine work with little feeling. Sarah's work is a tribute to the soul of the painter. Rich, glorious, joyful color that transports the viewer to another place.

    I bought her book and it is the second best thing to having her art in front of you. (next on my list of original)


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