IAN DAVID SPENCER
Every year around autumn / winter time, I re-release my best selling seasonal work "Winter Moorland Moon". Created in 2015, this image was originally shot at the Merry Maidens stone circle in West Cornwall. You might be forgiven for thinking that this image was shot in the winter - but it wasn't! As with all my work, I create with an open mind and allow things to flow naturally - organically if you like - and so with this, a wintery theme started emerging. A composite image was created with the moon and layers of wintery colours and frosty / snowy effects that give it a truly wintery feel. Just how I like my favourite season! It has remained a popular image in my portfolio and is once again available as prints and greetings cards. https://www.iandavidspencer-artist.co.uk/store/p45/Winter-Moorland-Moon-By-Ian-David-Spencer.html
The greetings card - a birthday or any other celebratory essential. One of the most amazing inventions in all of our history. Like sliced bread. Or electricity. But the greetings card, now taken for granted, can be traced right back to ancient times when the early Egyptians amongst others sent greetings to each other on papyrus scrolls. In Europe, handmade greetings cards were exchanged as early as the 1400's and were made of paper. In 1843, Sir Henry Cole invented the first commercial greetings card for the Victorian Christmas. The rest of course is history. These days our modern greetings cards are a plethora of subjects, designs, humour, age-related - you name it, it may well adorn the cover of a greetings card. And not to mention that it is of course now possible to send a card electronically, thereby helping to save resources and hence the environment. But, I am still a champion of an actual card. Nice to receive, good to hold a tangible thing that has been handled by a friend or loved one who has written a special greeting in their own handwriting, who has bothered to think about you and sent you their good wishes. Like receiving a handwritten letter or a postcard. There is nothing quite like that when it comes to sending a greeting. More personal even than a greeting via social media. There is now so much choice when it comes to choosing a greetings card, and the majority of them are pre-printed and mass produced unless you purchase them direct from an artist.
Which is where my cards come in. All of my greetings cards are handmade. I guess it's that desire to slow down the process of creativity, like our ancestors would have done before commercial printing was invented or perhaps even like you might have done when you were a child. I remember making my parents the occasional "greetings card" - more like a drawing and a message scribbled on a piece of paper. But the principle is the same. I believe a handmade art greetings card is just as beautiful as a top quality pre-printed art card. I make my cards from an actual small print - size of 6 x 4 inches - mounted onto a nice thick blank white card that is size 5 x 7 inches and at least 300gsm in weight. By doing this, the print sits within its own space where it has room to breathe. Yes, the image on pre-printed cards are mostly printed right to the edges of the board and can look great. However, I like to give my art room to breathe. Where my images are cropped during their creation, the actual print may be smaller than 6 x 4 inches, otherwise if I printed to fill the paper, the image would be cropped. I use a semi-gloss photo paper to print my card images on and they are mounted to the card with acid-free adhesive to prevent degradation of the print over time. There are no pre-printed words inside the card - they are completely blank for you to add your own greeting for whatever occasion you have in mind. I use a rubber stamp to stamp my details on the back of the card where you will also find the handwritten title of the work. When you receive your card/s, you'll notice that they won't arrive wrapped in plastic sleeves. This is to cut down on plastic waste. However I will use a natural wrapper or band of kraft card (known as a belly band) to keep them together which not only looks nice and presentable but is more environmentally friendly too!
I love making my own cards. Yes, it can be time consuming but therapeutic as well. And is a relaxed part of my work process enjoyed with some music in the background. I take great care over the creation of my cards and for the most part they are made to order. I use high quality materials so you will receive a quality handmade card that some of my customers collect and keep or of course to send a special piece of miniature art to make someone else's day with! You can of course place your card directly into a 5 x 7 inch frame, so they are great as an entry point into my artwork.
To order, just select the card option from the drop down menu for each of the images in my collections. Very soon, I will be offering packs of greetings cards offering more value per card. In the meantime I have tried keep the cost of my individual cards as competitive as possible. My current prices include postage too.
During the weekend of the 4th & 5th March 2023, I exhibited with an expanded stand at the Woolwell (near Plymouth) Mind Body Spirit and Craft Fair. One of the best and most well attended fairs in the South West, this fair is always a delight with its exuberant atmosphere of high vibe and amazing energy. I was honoured and delighted with visitor responses to my artwork exhibit. Of course, attending events like this can be unpredictable - it's a risk us artists take in that we know how our livelihoods can depend on those all important sales. As ever, the little sales can add up and even the purchase of one greetings card will help enormously. However, one other very important aspect to exhibiting is the opportunity to promote one's work and indeed oneself. For me, exhibiting in person can be one of the most challenging at times but certainly one of the most rewarding and most enjoyable aspects of my art career. Fine art should be showcased "in the flesh" and my exhibit will indeed make this as easy as possible for viewers to get involved with the process of "being present" with my artworks. By this I mean I want viewers and prospective buyers to experience the works up as close as possible which is why I will always create an open stand policy. The artist in this situation is then poised to be present for answering questions and conversing with the viewer on a more personal level rather than being confined behind a table. I can stand with the viewer and admire my work with them while talking about it. For the viewer, it is important for them on a certain level to hear what the artist has to say and the conversation should reflect the artist's passion and creative energy behind their collection of artworks. I will, however, raise my hand and say that my childhood shyness will, on rare occasions, resurface. But once I go with the flow and a connection is made, I am up and away and in the moment, off the earth and beyond reality.....!