Friday 9 September 2016

New Works, literary and visual

Temporary cover design for book. 
The images help me to edit text down to the basics. 
I've been working on first drafts for two middle reader novels, a novel for adults and a number of visual arts projects. All have been slowed down as I've taken on a couple paid commissions and am busy setting up a gallery space, vendors booth and all the necessary promotional work for them both. (Special thanks again to Ahti Tolvanen for use of his space! I wouldn't be getting all this work done without his help.) Which work gets attention at any one time depends on my mood and ability to focus on a project – the number of free days I can afford and probably a bunch of other factors. I can't leave a project for too long or it takes a couple days to re-familiarize myself with it. There are benefits to leaving a project aside for a while. Time can give a writer/visual artist a fresh pair of eyes to work with. A number of times I've made major changes because the thing I was originally dedicated to doesn't seem so worthy any more or in a couple cases, I decided I needed a more interesting character for a story. Or that the hand is too big in a painting. That sort of thing. I'm not worried about a project taking a long time. But I do worry that I'm not taken seriously because I'm slow to produce a work. However I already have a number of completed works looking for a publisher so there's no rush.
Dr. Yes tries out new foods outside of the International Fast Food Restaurant.
     With the use of a studio/gallery space (118 Cumberland St. S.) and a quiet apartment in which to focus on writing I'm in the unique position of being able to balance painting and writing as a full time writer/artist. (Special Thanks to Ahti Tolvanen!) 
    I've been asked to show at two local restaurants, which is perfect timing for me as I'm trying to complete a couple larger paintings and start a couple more paintings in new styles.  Article link:   
Fire Fish. Oil on Canvas. 3'x3' $750.00
$750.00  Duncan Weller

Monday 9 May 2016

Writing in Finland

My wonderful host, Anna,
checks her phone.
Writing in Vihti, Finland
     I'm hold up in a cabin in the wood care of the Tolvanens. My father knew Ahti Tolvanen years ago when they both taught at Lakehead University. I met Ahti through my friend Anna who I came to visit in Helsinki. Anna is moving to Oulu when she returns from Singapore.  I had a chance to see her  and a bit of Lapland and the Arctic Circle. We also travelled to St. Petersburg to visit the city and stroll around the Hermitage museum, which was larger than I expected. Anna, as of this writing, is in Bali on vacation with a friend. I plan to stay here at the cabin for a while longer. The next stop is either Holland or Spain.
Meeting with Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin, one of Finland's top
 children's book illustrators, now retired.
Northern lights in Oulu, Finland.
Cindy, the house cat.
In the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, standing in front of Danae by Rembrandt. 
Anna at the Hermitage.
Giving a talk and reading my books to
children at a Finnish International
School in Vantaa.
At Caisa conference room to attend meeting
with a presentation by Sandi Boucher.
Host Ahti Tolvanen.
Members of different political parties attend. 
So my mission right now is to complete several projects and find an agent or agents to represent me in order to procure a publisher in the United States or Europe. I had a publisher in Canada, but because a Canadian bestseller is considered only 5,000 copies it made sense to try my hand at self-publishing for a while. That went far better than I expected. I was earning a profit of eleven to twenty dollars per book after the printing costs were paid, which didn't take long, due to the wonderful support of the citizens of Thunder Bay. I spent $50,000 in three years printing four books. However, I'm not making a professional wage and for that I need a better publisher with wider distribution. So, here I am in Finland cleaning up a couple projects and starting a couple new works. The surroundings are immensely inspiring. Ideas come to me while I'm doing yard work, housework, canoeing, or when sitting in front of the fireplace. I've been incredibly productive and feeling great, although I feel a little like I've abandoned my home town, family, friends and others. So at some point I'll have to regroup in Thunder Bay.