Monday, March 05, 2012

Book Arrived

Yay my first copy of 365 Universes arrived today and it looks excellent, better than I'd expected. It's a pity the software is awful, and their ability to accept or treat feedback (bug reports) because Blurb do lots of the "everything else" very well.

It's the first book from Pentangel Books, which I've set up to publish it, and will be available in two formats initially; a £100 limited edition full colour hardback, and a monochrome paperback for £10.

The book contains over 200 illustrations, over 100 small watercolour paintings, with other even smaller watercolours on plain paper. Over the weekend I added a new Watercolours section to my website which shows all of them, including a few older ones from previous years. It's been a productive 2012 so far.

I've also just completed my first oil painting of the year, Prometheus As A Turkey Being Eaten By A Peacock. A trip to an up-market high-street gallery over the weekend was an inspiration. Although the "art" was as dead as ever emotionally (it's what people like, I'm learning that, deadness) I was impressed by the quality of the presentation, to the extent that I've already secretly decided to make my frames larger in future.

I'm also toying with reproduction options, prints I mean, not children. My current system is imperfect but I've got problems... What if a print costs more to make than an original? Can a reproduction cost more than an original? Should a reproduction cost the same price as any other? What if some frames are more expensive? Should reproductions be limited then? By how much?

Most of the time I simply want a cheaper alternative, so I'm toying with the idea of keeping my current reproductions series as just that, then having a second series of well framed expensive giclees. Commercial art publishers have an odd way of working to me, but they all seem to work the same way; selling prints with editions of 400 or 500 for £400 or £500.

That musing can wait.

My main task of the month is to assemble props and put together the Love Symphony Performance. Initially this was, and still is, due to be set at the Axis Arts Centre, the MMU campus. Five students were there at the original contact, then two at the second (the first "real") meeting. Not enough really, and in between other friends and friends of friends were drafted in to help, but not students, and no students mean no free facilities at the MMU because they understandably need this to be a useful educational experience. Now, some students couldn't make it for different reasons, so I'm hoping that more will come on board now that we have a script. If not, then I'll move venue and buy, beg or borrow my some equipment. That will make things harder and more expensive, but it will mean we could do more than one show in more than one place with more ease.

The script has been pencilled in and consists of lighting, fan, scent, explosion, balloon, smoke, video and other effects. I've ordered willow and tissue paper to make the large stage props, and bought silvery white cloth for use as a general backdrop.

I have two exhibitions to plan this month, and three oil paintings to begin. My novel is approaching 4000 words and at the end of the first chapter. All is in hand.


John Salmon said...

Jeez! Mark. Just reading this leaves me out of breath. Don't forget to put a little time aside just to be.

You're doing a great job and I'm so envious of your determination and obvious stamina for everything.

Robin said...

Your ability to create so many different art forms has always been mind-blowing to me, Mark! I think your book cover looks fabulous, is there a way to view a few pages inside? Congratulations on your first edition.

Mark Sheeky said...

I'm bumping down today over the Axis Arts Centre. I've spent about £100 on materials and was all set for the show and it's a knock back to be told it might not go ahead because we can't find people who are interested. I could ask why should they be? But on the other hand some are and we were all up to speed and enthusiastic and now it's all ground to an anxious halt due to "more powerful people" saying we can't do it. "More powerful people" are the ultimate cause of anxiety. Why didn't they say this before I bought everything??!

Must refocus.

I'm really pleased with the book. I might be able to activate a "preview" type option somehow but I'm not sure yet. It's official release date is a few weeks away so it might not happen until then. This is all new to me. But at least this newness is fun :)

jill said...

Hi Mark, Just come back to blogland after yet another absence but im so glad I popped over to your blog, where will your book go on sale, I will have to go for the cheaper one but it looks great, well done as it has been said before you are so busy

Mark Sheeky said...

Hi Jill. I'm going to check out your block in a minute. The book will be available from soon.