Have I cracked it?

The title has nothing to do with broken acrylic boxes.

For a number of years I’ve been wrestling with a method of producing my Butterfly Art at a lower price point. However hard I have tried, the outcomes have not had the impact of the all acrylic boxes and so these prototypes have ended up on the cutting room floor.

However, I think that I’m finally on to something. By using the same gorgeous feather butterflies but with a less expensive display box and acrylic cover, I feel that there are real opportunities for increased interest and sales. To keep costs down, these creations will only be available direct through my website. There will be images of the prototype on ‘my ‘gallery page’ within the next couple of weeks. https://www.butterflyart.co.uk/online-art-gallery/

It’s the first few days back for schools and the roads are far busier. It’s a shame really, but of course it had to happen as I’ve enjoyed the easier trips by car or cycle to my studio over the past few months.
So onwards and upwards but at a slower pace.

The following 110×90 creation is destined to be for sale at Artisan Gallery in Epping this week.

Michael September 2020

A Write Off

It seems that the honesty and openness of my last blog upset some of my clients. If you were one of them, I apologise. 
However the thrust of my message when considered in its entirety was about doing what needs to be done to keep my business afloat and I’m not alone in that quest. Paring down expenses is one and extra sales promotion the other.

August is notoriously a poor month for the sales of Butterflyart and I suspect, all other forms of art. For me this August was no different and so instead of creating, I’m spending my time thinking of ways in which I can keep costs in check well as improve sales. I’m pleased to report that I’ve been able make progress in both areas and hope therefore to continue writing my blogs and selling my art into 2021 and beyond.
Online sales now appear to comprise a larger proportion of all selling activities and I am following that trend. Within the next three months I’ll be producing a number of online collections that will be for sale through a select number of my gallery partners. I’ll be building the art works but they will be placed within the acrylic boxes when sold. This will reduce my capital outlay but still enable me to create new designs and generally boost sales, at least that’s the plan. 

I recently spent a wonderful 2 weeks in northern Spain and I’m now over the quarantine period which was worth every one of the 14 days. My wife and I drove through France to get to the Basque country and the whole experience made it one of the best holidays we’ve ever enjoyed.

Below is an image of a new piece entitled “Sunrise”. It will be on sale through branches of Cloud Gallery in Sussex within the next few days.

    

Finally a sneak peek at an unfinished star project. Apologies for the poor quality studio ’snap’.

Michael August 2020

Into The Light

Hi followers, apparently we are emerging from COVID.
Personally I don’t believe it and I’m continuing to do all I can to keep safe. I’d love to go on a plane where its warm, go to the pub for a tipple but NO. Thats far too risky, for me anyway.
Now the good news.

   

I’ve just completed this wonderful commission.
It was a monster, weighing in at 50kg and measuring 2metres long. And apart from my bragging rights in bringing it to your attention, there’s a story plus a lesson to learn but I’ll keep it short.
I was commissioned by a lovely couple to build this piece for the wife’s 40th birthday. Given a relatively free hand both with colours and layout, I was able to employ my own creativity.
The size of the box made it hard but not impossible to handle and manoevre in my relatively small workspace.

PREPARATION IN THE WORKSHOP

Part of my contract was to fit the work & on the day I arrive with VAN & 2 helpers to fix the piece in pride of place. The box was carefully set aside to assess the fixing process and only then did I discover that the selected position was a cavity wall made of plasterboard.

I was terrified at the thought placing a 50kg box on the wall in this beautiful home by what I saw as a potential for disaster. Not to bore you with the detail, but I wasn’t confident and called in a specialist. The box had to be returned to my studio for storage and I returned 3 days later as did the box for what I hoped was the final fix. It was !
It was a great outcome in a beautiful location and a satisfied customer, Here’s their final comment I received this morning. “Thank you. I have paid the balance. We are delighted with the end result – we came downstairs at 3:15am last night to take another look at it! Thanks again.”

The moral. If agreeing to fix “CHECK THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE WALL”. I could have avoided a couple of sleepless nights and much stress had I done just that.
All happy now.

Michael July 2020

Disappointed but not down

Sad to say that ‘Love and Hope’ has not yet sold. Despite a big social media push and a superb response, I could not find a buyer. 
It seems that Ebay was the wrong medium for this particular item but with approaching 1000 views my confidence is high.
I am now looking at alternative ways for the charity to benefit from its sale. Wychwood Gallery near Oxford, has agreed to promote the piece throughout its client base and as ever the optimist, I’m hopeful it will sell. 
You met Martha the cockapoo a while back. She’s growing fast and is now with me in my studio 3 days a week.

I’m now concentrating on creating new pieces. A number of my gallery partners have none of my Butterfly art works to show and I recalled them in order to make changes.
I’ve been blessed with having received a number of enquiries and sales, so with that confidence in my back pocket I’m ready to push forward with a new collection.

No its not Darth Vader in disguise but yours truly taking things seriously.

Michael June 9th 2020

Excited of Herts and Hearts

Locked down or locked up?
Its both I guess, but I’m fortunate that I still have a business to go to.
I’m playing within the government guidelines and I can’t do my work from home. My office is isolated so I’m as safe as anyone can be from COVID.

I’m excited because I’m getting enquiries as well as sales for my art works. As I’ve covered in previous blogs, these leads feed my artistic soul.
To me It’s counter intuitive that despite the mayhem surrounding us, art is selling and some of it is mine.
I’m super excited because I have now completed the project mentioned previously which will be sold to help raise funds for a hunger charity.
A picture tells a 1000 words so please feast your eyes on this one off signed work. The completed installation presents far better than I had hoped for and I really love the piece.

 

Entitled ‘Love and Hope’, it features 400 hand finished feather butterflies within its 100x100cm acrylic case and can be purchased via my website.
I’m hoping that my next post will announce the completed sale and the sum donated.
Stay safe.

Michael May 7th 2020

Somewhere over the rainbow

The rainbow has taken on new significance for us all. For me it signifies a light at the end of this long tunnel and a belief that there’s better to come.
I’m fortunate enough not to have been touched personally by a tragedy attributed to COVID,  of course I still feel the sadness thats pervading our society.
There is joy as well as sadness and my philosophy is to seek the joy from where it may be found.
My new puppy Martha, a chocolate brown cockapoo who is a total delight and just a little naughty.

 

The fact that I’m healthy and seem to have avoided COVID despite some worrying symptoms a couple of weeks ago. These have now passed.
Butterfly Art moves on slowly with the odd enquiry as mentioned in my last blog. 

I’m super excited to announce a fund raising version of the rainbow. This will of course feature feather butterflies. The difference from previous creations are 3 fold.
1. The classic rainbow shape and colours are being held within the shape of a heart.
2 This installation will be a one off and non repeatable item, signed by the artist and is 100x100cm
3 50% of the proceeds will go to charity.
I want to continue to make my contribution to those in need. This intended sale will I hope, go someway towards that end.
PART COMPLETED but on its way…………..

Michael April 28th


Lockdown , Butterflyart and my birthday

I’m trying to feel upbeat today as it’s my birthday but in keeping with the rest of the nation, my mood has not unreasonably been affected by our current crisis. The fears, losses of loved ones and loneliness of people isolated is sobering. Sitting in my garden in the sunshine I feel blessed that I’m safe, have enough food and I’m with my wife and sweet new puppy Martha. Surprisingly I’ve had two butterflyart enquiries in the past few days which is a bit of a shocker all things considered. Who would have thought that people were interested in purchasing art right now? Enquiries feed my soul so keep em coming. Nothing new to report except get well soon Boris.

Michael April 7th


In It Together

24/7 in your face & in your ears so I’m only mentioning COVID 19 in passing as it would be wrong to ignore.
There are devastating outcomes resulting from the pandemic but its my belief that when we emerge from the darkness, we will all be in a better place.
This enforced pause gives us the space and time to evaluate what is important in our lives and I’m not talking toilet rolls here.
Out of necessity, businesses will spend time to look more closely at their operations. Friends and family relationships will meld more closely as they care for loved ones even from a distance.
I’m in the ‘at risk’ group but I’m continuing with my work and will use the copious time I’m now going to ‘enjoy’ to re-think, re-design and come out stronger at the end, whenever that will be.
Not however 12 weeks as BJ suggested, thats wishful thinking but I hope I’m wrong.
I’m also trying to access the grant made available to small businesses in order to survive. More on this next time but for now the grant is high on rhetoric and zero on content.
Under the circumstances the following image is kind of frivolous given the seriousness of our times but I never forgo the opportunity to post a decent image of myself. This one was taken at Affordable Art fair Battersea last week.
Till the next time.

Michael March 20th 2020


Pushing On

Despite the current woes of the world I’m pressing ahead with my aims and ambitions to improve the reach, acceptance and growth of Michael Olsen butterfly art.
Last week I appointed a social media guru Matt Paris, to help me spread the word. He and I have made a great start. The ad campaign is planned, images of my work have been curated and I’m very excited to assess the outcome of Matts efforts in the coming weeks.
Unrelated to the above, I took 2 orders last week which is encouraging for me. Both were from Cloud Gallery in Worthing so thank you to Damian.
As mentioned last week, Affordable Art Fair opens in Battersea Park from Wednesday evening. I’m hoping for a good reaction to the display of my works on Linda Blackstone’s stand.
The new design below is a variation on the ombre theme but with 2 colours only. its 75x75cm and priced at £2195

Michael March 10th 2020


Praise indeed

After 9 years of creating my butterfly art, I still get enormous pleasure from the positive comments and appreciation made by buyers and followers of my work.
The installation below arrived in the US last week, sold by Canvas Gallery Winchester, and this is what the purchaser had to say…,


As I was leaving this morning for work. Pnina and I spent a minute looking at the piece, we are both enamoured by it. We saw the handiwork that went into each individual butterfly, they are magnificent!
Please convey to Michael the joy he is providing us with. One of the reasons we chose a butterfly piece is that it reminds us of Pnina’s mother and father, who are both deceased. More than sixty years ago my father-in-law gathered ‘real’ butterflies and framed them for my mother-in-law.
For many years we had that on our wall, as it continued to fall apart. This piece is a gentle reminder of that and her parents too.
I think Michael accomplished the primary function of art with his work.
He made the viewer have an emotional reaction, and in this case for us it is a warm fuzzy feeling. Not to mention of course how beautiful his art is.”
Priceless remarks.

Next week Affordable art fair opens in Battersea Park. My work is being represented by Linda Blackstone Gallery. Here’s a preview of some of the works of mine that Linda will be displaying.

   


Michael, March 2nd, 2020.