Monday, 11 February 2013

You are cordially invited!

The last 2 weeks I have been hinting about an announcement I am about to make, and today is the day! I have been working flat out to get everything ready, invitations are sent out to everyone I have an email address for, and all the rest of you get your invitation like this, via my blog.

You are hereby invited to my brand new art gallery! But relax, you don’t have to book a plane ticket to London, you don’t even have to move from where you are sitting, my art gallery is online and all you need to do is continue reading! 

I got my first digital camera in 2004 and I took about 7000 pictures the first 12 months. I still take a lot of pictures, but not as many, around 3000 the last 12 months. However, those 3000 pictures were all taken within my house and garden, I didn’t taken one single picture outside my property, as I don’t leave my house except for when I go to hospital and doctor appointments. So what do I do with all my pictures? What do you do with all the pictures you take? Many of mine simply end up on my blog accompanying my stories about my garden. But some of them end up as sort of experiments in Photoshop, applying lots of different things, layering several pictures together and every now and then (far from always!) something interesting or nice eventually turns up on my screen. The picture here is one example, which started out as a photo of my Dicentra 'Valentine'. (Click to get a larger version - a much nicer view, promise!)

I used to upload some of my pictures to my website so I could show family and friends what I had made, and I also uploaded many of my greeting cards. Over the years family, friends and people I have met online have asked if they can buy my greeting cards and pictures, and up until now that has not been possible unless I arranged for it. Now all that has changed! Most of my digital prints and greeting cards and some of my photos can now be found on my very own online gallery – and you can buy any you like! The prints are museum-quality enlargements, framed art prints and canvas reproductions of my original photos and digital art. All of my prints can be bought as greeting cards too, and many of the prints are especially made for greeting cards. This is a photo from East London, facing Cananry Wharf.


The company where I have my art gallery is called Fine Art America and they have something like 5 mill. visitors every month. That’s a lot of potential exposure. I say potential, because advertising is all up to each and everyone. I as an exhibitor can easily drown in the masses there and therefore need to make sure people know I am here, that’s what I am doing now – so hey, I am here, online, with my pictures! So far I have 134 pictures in my gallery, nicely placed in separate sub-galleries according to type of pictures and themes. I have a separate gallery for pictures from my Woodland Corner in my garden, so far not that many pictures but many more will come in the future. This picture started out as a photo of an Arisaema speciosum and went through many stages and techniques in Photoshop before finally ending up like this. It is part of a series of 4, the other 3 pictures are of different types of Trilliums from the same woodland corner of my garden.

It is worth trying out the many different options for frames, prints, canvas prints, acrylic and metal prints and posters in the galleries when you come for a visit, as they make the pictures look all the more striking. The prints are made in the US and they send worldwide, postage is unfortunately quite expensive for large prints with frames or as stretched canvas, more reasonable for smaller prints - but all the pictures can be ordered as greeting cards too, and many of my pictures are made especially for greeting cards with text like Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas. Prices and postage for greeting cards are very reasonable and if you buy a 10 pack or a 25 pack of the same print the price would be quite favourable to most shop-bought cards here in Britain. I am expecting my first delivery of greeting cards so I can't yet tell you anything about print quality, thickness of paper and envelope etc, but I hope to receive my first order sometime this week. I will of course let all my readers know what I thought about the prints - but I expect them anyway to be fantastic from what I have read from other users and exhibitors on the Fine Art America website :-)



Some examples for you, in British pounds, although you can choose currency on top of the page at any time. All prices include envelope.

Single cards            = £2.63 / card
Pack of 10 cards     = £1.42 / card
Pack of 25 cards     = £1.27 / card


10 cards     = 16.66 incl. shipping     = £1.66 / card
25 cards     = 35.80 incl. shipping     = £1.43 / card
100 cards   = 131.43 incl. shipping   = £1.31 / card

OK, without further ado – whether you go to shop or just do some window shopping - here is the address for my art gallery: www.heleneutaylor.co.uk  I hope you enjoy your visit!

Oh, and please come back here and leave me a comment, I would so appreciate to hear what you think. And if you after the visit would like to do the same for your own pictures then please just ask if you have any questions, I’d love to give a helping hand to anyone who would like to do the same! Take care.

48 comments:

  1. Oh, Helene! All your art and greeting cards are fantastic. I especially enjoyed the greeting cards! I've had calendars and greeting cards on a couple of sites, but I'm thinking about new options. Thanks for the tips. You're work is incredible!

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    1. Thank you Beth, so nice of you to say that, graphic design on my computer has been a hobby of mine for many years and it is nice to finally have a plce to show off what I make :-)

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  2. How exciting - it's no wonder you've been busy! It's so good to know that your photography has a platform and I still can't believe that they've all been taken within the confines of your own house and garden. I've had a quick look at your gallery and the artwork is lovely - I'll stop by again when I have a little more time. Good luck with it all Helene, you deserve it!

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    1. Thank you PJ, there are pictures in my gallery going back almost 10 years, but the last 2-3 years all the pictures have been taken within my property. I was able to walk more in the past, and I even used to go to Kew Botanical Gardens way back - from park bench to park bench though, but I could manage a few hours trip and some of my older photos are from Kew. I haven't been back to Kew since 2006 and miss the pristine and excellent photo conditions there. You won't have to dead head any flowers before you take photos of them, that's all done early in the morning before they open the gate :-)

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  3. I'll be sure to visit your gallery. I have a link with an online company that create wall art and greetings cards. I upload photos to there site a get a commission if anyone uses then to create wall art of cards.

    There's a link on the sidebar of my blog to may Designs on Nature website and blog that I use to 'promote' this. Not as big time as you but just a way of getting some use from my photos.

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    1. Hi Sue, I had a look at your online gallery, one of many companies I looked into when choosing where to place my work. The thing with Fine Art America is that every time a visitor click on one of my pictures they can see what that particular picture will look like as a greeting card or a canvas print or in a frame etc. That I think, makes this company unique, and I like that feature very much myself, from a customer point of view.

      I am however, looking for other companies to display my pictures too, now that all the hard work of collecting my files is done, so any other place with nice features and good interface might be possible :-)

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    2. So does the company allow you to sell elsewhere too and do you have to pay them anything to house your work etc. I know MyDoodle allows you to sell elsewhere.

      I am interested like you of using another source. Must admit MyDoodle contacted me as I hadn't thought of doing this sort of thing before.

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    3. Fine Arts America comes as a free account where you can upload up to 25 pictures and everything is free, but that was not really enough for me! I paid for the Premium account, it cost $30 per year and you then have unlimited upload plus a few other useful things. I have found nothing in their rules preventing me from exhibiting and selling other places and I have read on their forum that other people exhibit on other online sites so I have assumed that they are perfectly OK with that. They do however have a nice feature where you can tick a box if you want to sell the signed original of your artwork, for example if what you have uploaded is a photograph of an oil painting and you also would like to sell that original. You obviously can’t sell that original more than once, but prints of it can be sold as many times you want.

      I will still be looking into suitable other places to exhibit and sell my work, but I will be rather picky about how my pictures are displayed – seeing how nicely it is possible to get it done from Fine Art America!

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  4. Helene-your photographs are beautiful! I especially like your intro one of the Dicentra 'Valentine'and the flower photographs and greeting cards in your gallery. I have dabbled in photoshop but have never come up with anything like that...you are very talented! Best wishes to you!

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    1. Thank you Lee, I feel I just 'dabble' in Photoshop myself, I am mainly using it for a bit of photo correction before posting my photos, but I do enjoy a bit of playing with the tools like layers and masks too!

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  5. Goodness that must have taken a lot of work - there are some beautiful images in your gallery - wishing you the best of luck with it.

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    1. Thanks Elaine, some of the pictures are almost 10 years old, but most of them are from the last 6 years and the most recent ones from last week.

      Setting up the gallery has taken a lot of time, several weeks, as I had to dig out all the original work files from around 30 DVDs where I keep them for storage. One day I will get a mega big external harddrive and put all my Photoshop files on it so I got everything in one place!

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  6. I loved everything, but I think my favorite category is the Digital Art. It would be really nice if you can create some card using your digital art -- the red flowers that you have in this page. Fantastic set up, photography and the digital art. You are so creative.

    I hope everything is fine with you as you have mentioned that you only go out when you have to go to hospital and doctors.

    How much time did you spend doing all these? I hope I will be able to visit your garden one day if I ever come to London as it seems such an interesting space. Perhaps you can give us a 360 degree picture of your graden.

    I will definitely buy whenever I need cards.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, KL. My health is a bit up and down, I have a list of health issues as long as my arm but it is mainly my problems of walking that prevents me going out anymore. I can however manage some light work in my tiny garden still, and for the more heavy stuff in the garden I got someone coming in once a month or so to help.

      I spend a lot of time on my laptop, writing on my blog, maintaining my website, doing creative stuff and keeping in touch with people so setting up this art gallery was just one more thing I did as a creative thing, but I am glad I did it, as I can now just keep uploading new things as I make them, all the hard work is done. The actual setting it up took me about a week, but I had all the files prepared and that took a lot longer, I have 138 pictures in my gallery now, all had to be re-saved from the original file in a size suitable for the gallery.

      And finally, if you want to see more of my garden you can watch some of the videos I have made, they give a better view than photos. Just scroll down at the left hand panel to POSTS LISTED BY CATEGORIES and you will find videos there at the bottom. Or you can copy and paste these links: http://graphicality-uk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/the-best-bits-of-this-summer.html
      http://graphicality-uk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/a-bit-of-reminiscence.html

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  7. Wow Helene! I've been over and had a look at your images - they are truly amazing!
    I've a few favourites but the Dicentra has just made it to the top of the list by a whisker! If I had not recently painted my kitchen, those red apples would have looked good on my wall.
    I hope this venture is a success for you and you get lots of sales. To think I gave my copy of Photoshop away as I couldn't get to grips with it - didn't realise it could do these kind of things - I may have to ask my brother for it back :)
    I hope your health improves and one day you'll be able to revisit Kew.
    Good Luck xx

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    1. Thanks Angie, those apple pictures were actually made especially for my kitchen, as I have the same colour on my wall, but only three walls, the fourth wall has white wall paper so I could show off the pictures. That crimson red colour is my absolute favourite colour, you can see my kitchen, with the apple photos here, just copy and paste the address: http://graphicality-uk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/i-just-love-red-things.html

      Photoshop is a huge program and takes time to get to grips with - I have never learned anything formally, just on my own. But I have done loads of tutorials since starting out in 1998 and that’s a great way of learning to use tools you don’t know what to does. So if you for example want to learn something about what to do with text in Photoshop, do a search for tutorials for text and do a few. It’s great fun and what you learn you can then apply to your next projects.

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  8. Congratulations Helene, your selection of photos is wonderful and I particularly love the work you've done on your Digital Art, great effects. Wishing you tons of visitors, buyers and success!

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    1. Thanks Rosemary, it will be exciting times from now on, to see if anyone buys anything at all...I might have to come blow my trumpet on regular occasions here on my blog, just to make sure people know about my gallery :-)

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  9. Wow Helene, it's amazing. I got a bit of a shock at first when I wandered onto your website tonight. I didn't know where I was at first! Love the photos of David Austin and also the collage of the pink hellebores. Sadly no pink hellebore for me when I went out shopping on Saturday after looking at your photos but I managed to come back with seven other plants so that's all good...

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    1. Thanks Claire, my blog has had a bit of sprucing up, and so has my website, they both needed that! My plan is to keep refurbish sections of my main website when I can, as most of it was started 10 years ago and is written is basic html. That’s no longer up to scratch and it shows...but my website is huge so it will take some time! It’s easier with my blog though, a new header picture and the ‘new look’ is in place :-)

      I know where you can get hellebores from: www.coblands.co.uk they have 23 hellebores online at the moment and some on offers. You can go there (Tonbridge) or mail order, same price. Looking forward to seeing what your new 7 plants are!

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  10. What a great talent you have Helene. I particularly liked the photos that were layered. The bleeding heart and fall leaves really caught my attention. It must take a lot of work but the result is fantastic.

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    1. Thank you Marguerite, I sometimes work for hours and hours with a photo, well sometimes for days - just to discard the whole thing and start from scratch again. Other times things come surprisingly easy and it just pops up on my screen and feels right :-)

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  11. That's wonderful Helene, I am sorry you don't get out and about much, but your artwork is wonderful and I hope you do very well. Now I will have a look at your site. Oh about that magnolia, yes it is only supposed to flower once a year in spring and not the end of summer, I think a cold snap we had a while back has set if off, again.

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    1. Thanks Karen, I looked up the magnolia, it's the saame type as I have photographed in Kew Gardens years ago here in London, I did wonder about why it flowered in your autumn :-)

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  12. Wow! I loved those videos - especially the timelapse one where you showed the garden from 2005 -- 2012. It gave me lots of ideas to me. it's amazing that you have so many plants in indeed a small space.

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    1. Thanks KL, those videos are great reminders to myself too, about how my garden evolve. So much has happened in the last few years. After getting rid of the lawn I managed to squeeze in many more plants, and there is still room for a few more, small ones :-)

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  13. Congratulations! You've made really beautiful photos and cards. I especially love those with your cat :o).
    I wish you a lot of success with the gallery.

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  14. Congrats! That's awesome! You are a really talented artist and photographer so I'm glad you've decided to do this. I'll be sure to check out your gallery. :o)

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    1. Thank you Tammy, I have been thinking about doing something like this for a long time, glad I finally took the plunge!

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  15. I checked out your gallery and you have some beautiful work. It is weirdly coincidental that I too have Photoshop paintings on my blog today, but I never put the good ones online. Unfortunately, internet thieves take a lot of my photographs and I am not willing to let them steal my art. Good luck with your cards and I wish you many sales.

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    1. I just had a look, your bird paintings are beautiful :-)

      It is sad that we are not able to have our artwork in peace on our blogs and websites, I have found so many of my pictures and greeting cards stolen and reposted on other websites – they don’t even bother renaming them so they are easy to find in a search! Over the years (more than 10) I have realised that getting my pictures reposted is part of the culture, if I want people to see and have access to what I make I also have to accept this as part of it. I no longer get upset about it.

      If you post your pictures to somewhere like Fine Art America it is less likely your pictures will be stolen as you can have a watermark on every picure displayed and the large picture displayed only show up in pieces (only 50% – you will need to have a look to see what I mean by that).

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  16. Your photos are amazing! Each photo you show here is uniquely different. Some beautiful, some thought provoking - all lovely. I wish you much success!

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    1. Thank you Holley, I thought I would show a few different types of pictures here on my blog, to get people to visit the gallery, there should be something for everyone there :-)

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  17. Hello Helene
    Ok - so I was wrong. I guessed that your big announcement would be a new book but this gallery and your cards are incredibly exciting! I have never even thought to do this - what an excellent idea!
    You have real artistic flair and obviously a lot of expertise in working with computer programmes. Your results are stunning and I wish you the very best with this new "business". Get out there everybody - buy Helene's cards!

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    1. Thank you Astrid, for your kind words and for your warm recommendation, I wish it was enough to attract lots of customers :-)
      I am afraid I am going to need a lot of good publicity in order to get this to take off. Not sure where to go from here, but I am looking into signing up to more gallery sites etc.

      My next book will come, no idea when, but I haven't worked on it for ages so...some day!

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  18. Beautiful!
    I think I could just reach out and get one of those apples to eat right now!
    Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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  19. Helene. thank you for invitation and congrats on your wonderful project!
    I love the collaged and one of yours is beautiful, is Pink pot rose. You did it with very taste: 2 photos on a dark background and 3 others on green background, wonderful!

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  20. Hi Helene,

    Congrats on having your art gallery. Your photos are amazing!
    Wishing you a wonderful Valentine's Day!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Donna, wishing you a great Valentine's Day too!

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  21. Your gallery of images looks terrific. I hope that this is very successful for you Helene.

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    1. Thank you Jennifer, I hope so too!

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  22. Your cards and prints are gorgeous. I am so glad you devised a way to do this from home. Congratulations.

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    1. Thank you Carolyn, now I just have to find a way to advertise what I got - I won't sell anything unless people (many people) know about my cards and prints!

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  23. Helene, what lovely work you've done, and what a great gallery! I wish you very well with it--and I am officially saving my pennies for some of your digital art.

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    1. Thank you! I haven't sold anything yet so you are very welcome to be my first customer :-)

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