Taking action.

It was brought to my attention recently that a company called Wallpart.com were selling my images online. They do not have and never have had my permission to do this.

Not only do they have my work, almost 1000 pieces, offered for sale but they also have the work of thousands of other artists. Before you go to their website to see if they have your work remember this, they are a Phishing site. They will gather information, from email addresses to credit card details so DO NOT fill in their forms complaining they are using your images without permission. They know this. They don’t care. And get off their site fast, because you don’t know what forms of malware might be lurking.

I know they have images from Erin Keen, Karin Lillamy of Celestine and the Hare, Nancy Suttcliffe, Catherine Hyde, Jean Haines and many, many others.

It would seem that they have harvested these images from facebook, websites etc. All are low resolution. None would print off to give a viable product, but that’s not really what Wallpart seem to be about.

They run google adds on their website. This will give them a source of revenue. They are also, maybe, just taking payment from people, gathering credit card details etc. Who knows. The very least they are doing is attempting to steal from artists by offering their work for sale.

If you are an artist take a look at their site and if they have your images on the website then report them to Action Fraud, either online or by phone. Talk to your network of artists, friends, make them aware of the site. Reach out to your followers, buyers and supporters and tell them under NO circumstances  purchase anything from Wallpart, explaining why. The more people who take action, the more people who talk about this,  the more chance there will be of shutting them down.

They are a company based in Russia in Kostrom. Their current ISP is ENOM, but they have been moved 4 times already. You can write to Enom, I have, but received no joy there. Spread the word as much as you can to make people aware that these people are thieves. With luck it will stop anyone buying from them. Write to the Arts Council, your local MP, Baroness Neville-Rolfe ( Parliamentary Undersecretary of State and Minister for Intellectual Property).

Why should this matter?

1. I work hard to create the work I do, and am lucky to earn a fair living but many artists struggle in these times, and it is not right for these people to profit from our work. It is theft.

2. I have worked hard to build up a following for my work, not ‘fans’ as such, but people who engage with me as an artist. Along with this comes a level of trust, so when people see these images, know me, and my work, they trust the site. I don’t want people to be lured into parting with their credit cards details.

3. I have publishers who I work with including companies like Graffeg who have invested time and money into bringing out a range of cards, and hopefully soon posters of my work. They pay me a royalty and they have in house staff who depend on their sales for their income. Sites like this can put at risk legitimate companies like Graffeg who also sell online by undermining people’s confidence in purchasing online.

4. I hate to see my work alongside images of soft porn, ugly images.

So please spread the word. At the end of the day I don’t think these people are taking money directly from artists with their business practice, but what they do undermines and demeans us all.

If you have any similar experiences please use the comments here to relate them. If you can think of creative ways of fighting back please add those too. Let’s share ideas. We are creative. There must be ways to stop them. And if you are an artist then DO report them.

The one good thing about this horrible scam is that it is bringing artists together, making connections with makers and galleries all around the world, bringing people into conversation. I feel that the best thing we can do is shout as loudly as we can about it so that people who love our work don’t fall into the trap of sending them card details, ask our trade boards, The Arts Council, The Association of Illustrators, other gilds, politicians and police to do something about it, and then get on with what we do best, which is making art.

I discovered this scam when Wallpart tweeted one of my images, The Guardians. It sat on a twitterfeed surrounded by images of children and also images of soft porn. Sickening. This image is available for sale from me, as an original, as a print, but also from the Syracuse Cultural Workers in USA who have a legitimate licence to sell posters of the work.

guardiansbig

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bear’s wings

Polar bear found a dusty butterfly on the windowsill of his home. The colours were still bright, but this was a butterfly that had woken too early in winter. He looked at the fragile wings, understanding for the first time what the colour scarlet looked like. The back of the wings reminded him of the contours of a map he had found years ago in an abandoned tent in the Arctic.

He tried the wings on for size.

They fitted perfectly.

butterflybear

 

Later that day the twin bears arrived. They were born before 1932, but had never ever been played with. They waited patiently while Polarbear posed to be painted and then he took them out to see the world.

onmydeskpbwings detail

 

( ‘The colour scarlet in a butterfly’s wings’ is for sale at The House of Golden Dreams, my online gallery)

 

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One Cheetah, One Cherry

onechonech

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Cygfa helped by bringing nettles.

tpdropThe Wild Swans is officially published in October. Before then there will be two events, one at Solva Woollen Mill, where I will talk about and read from The Wild Swans as well as revealing some of the work I will be doing then. Details for this will follow and the date looks like being around mid September, a beautiful time to visit Pembrokeshire.

On 3rd-4th October I will be in Dulverton in Somerset. The 3rd sees the opening of an exhibition of my work alongside the beautiful glass work of Tamsin Abbott and porcelain work of Eleanor Bartleman. On 4th there will be a special event to celebrate the launch of the book. More details will be coming soon from Number Seven, Dulverton. Places are limited. Tickets are £20 to include the price of the book.

To celebrate I have painted an image, not included in the book, a special ticket. Not sure how many places there will be. See the blog post on Number Seven’s site for details. The image is of Cygfa, swan brother helping Eliza to collect nettles.

ticket

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Writer’s retreat

When Nicola Davies said that she had booked herself in to the Druidstone Hotel for a few days I couldn’t help but gatecrash her serenity. It wasn’t that Nic was indulging herself in a holiday. She’s had a long term injury which has given her pain for months, years, followed by a ‘simple operation’ that turned out to be anything but. So, a few days out, by the sea, thinking, writing, reading, playing with ideas.

I’m not sure what my excuse was, but in a way I feel that I am in recovery too, from years of working really hard, being on a treadmill of book after book, from which I have stepped sideways.

So, I said to Nic that I’d asked Mister Stenham to look after the cats and Bella, and was coming along too, and we could meet up for supper, or whatever. I had a book to write,(‘haven’t we all dear’) and two books to read, so would keep out of the way.

What followed was a small slice of heaven. Writing, thinking, playing with ideas, chasing unexpected stories with hope in heart as Ivy chased seagulls along the shore. And Nic read to me, told me stories, ideas, and sang with the sound of the waves as accompaniment.

Bear came too, loved the beach, and creatures.nicdbear

Nic found anemones in shallow rock pools.anenome Ivy was mostly good, ocasional Snarkhound, frequent crab hunter and chaser of birds.

ivy'sfeet The rocks were sculpted by stone, time and tide.

sculpt

Below shows how determined Ivy was to uncover a crab. “She’s the kind of dog that, if we found a body in the woods, as dog walkers do, I would first find it because Ivy was eating their hand,” I said. Yes, she’s that kind of dog. Spider crab legs munched and crunched, she tidied the beach as much as she could.

crabbingivy Nic sat on golden rocks and sang to herself but I listened as I looked for bears in the caves.

nd pillars Beautiful light, sea and space.

lastmorning And we separated to work and below Nic sits, chasing wolverines while the tide comes in. and I read City of Dragons, chasing images for covers. ( Hard work, but someone has to sit in the sun and do it, so it might as well be me)nicw workinghard And in my small house beside the sea I dream of an old friend and am shushed to sleep by the turn of the tide, and waking in the night smell the salt on the air and see the full moon over water.

smallhouseSo, did we achieve anything other than sandy toes and suntans?

Well, I had news of a new project of great secrecy and the news was good so I thought we might celebrate by buying Ivy a velvet coat and a crown.

celebrate

And we celebrated with Dru Cru too.

fizz I found the beginning of a new story.

storystart We watched the sun set over my house, behind the hill I had climbed earlier in the week.

sunset And the next day we celebrated a wonderful project that Nicola is working on with Graffeg.

celeb2 And Ivy, who had raced the beach so hard chasing birds, at one time seeming to be flying a gull like a kite, grew wings because her hope to catch a bird had proven so fierce strong.

growingShe loves her wings, and preens them daily.

preening I managed to order a cream tea the size of my head but was rescued by Eva, also seeking refuge.

creamtea Bear loved the beach, the rocks, the shells. He saw a starfish, a hermit carb, and was a little concerned by the monstrous footprint….

mussels seashell

…what manner of beast could make a footprint so huge?

giantfoot

Ivy became the sandiest dog in the wide wonderful world.

sandydog Nic read more stories to me, turning the sea to women, seals to girls, children to creatures, hard hearts to learning.

stories giantdog eve All in all we found peace, words, images, friendship. And Mister Stenham joined us for supper. Which was wonderful.

dogwelkThanks all the staff at The Druidstone for looking after us with such care and kindness. You are the best.

Oh, and tell Seren and Osian to take care of those dragons.

 

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Oh my word

robinh

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The first of the stories of bear

When Bear met Moth he was astonished by the dusty beauty of her wings.

bearandmoth

 

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These are the days of The White Cat and the Grey Dog

A short walk to the hilltop, but once again rewarded with a snake!

In the lane it was warm, sheltered from the wind, heavy with fresh elderflower scent.

elderflowers We walked up to the rock to sit for a while with Floss’s ashes.

catrocksea withfoxgloves whitecatwalking Settling in the shadow of the wind it was beautiful warm, not hot, just perfect, no one around, just two kestrels fighting for the biggest bluest sky.

resting greydogwhite rosiewhitecat colliecat The White Cat’s coat was too bright for an iPhone. Should have brought the camera, but the stonecrop pink and the lichen covered rocks made for perfection in flower, cat and stone.

whitecat brightcat And then, for the second time in two days an adder! Small again, and this time very different colouration, sleepy in the sunshine. I managed to get two photographs before the dogs and cat caught up, but he moved away hissing an angry warning and leaving a scent that fascinated the White Cat.

Beautiful adder.

snake21

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Just what I needed to find.

Early morning walking. Needing to tidy my head to focus on work.

I decided that the best thing to do would be to look at  things from the top. So I walked up the highest hill I could find.

honeys The day was overcast but warm. Honeysuckle grew along the path.

thorn On top of the hill a stunted thorn tree stood. I need to go back, with a sketchbook, sit, draw.

greydog And I thought about a new book of Where the White Cat and the Grey Dog Walk.

uphigh It is a long way to the top so we sat for a while and looked at the patterns drawn in the land by fieldstones and roads.

bestdoog rosiedog Ivy grazed on small plants. Strange dog.

nortyivy homewards On the way up there were ravens dancing in the air. On the way home a small snake, stretched across the path in the sun, and Ivy must have stepped over it. Beautiful.

snake2 snake1 The sea, so clear, shushed against the empty beach.

sea4 yel rs1Home now. I need to read, write, paint. Eat lunch.

Feel blessed for having seen an adder.

 

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Where do you get your inspiration?

Yesterday I posted pictures on my blog of a small lead bear who has sat on my desk for years, travelled with me to events. I said that I had always thought he had lost his piano, but Jane, in a comment pointed out that he was sitting at a singer sewing machine making a patchwork quilt, because it gets cold in the winter. So obvious.

mydesk bearquilt And so, a new painting arrives, accompanied by the steady click click clicking of the turning of the handle on the sewing machine as bear poses for me. Perhaps even a story. And meanwhile bear thinks and plays music, solitary bear music on a concertina.

bearmusic Other things wait patiently to be included in paintings, in books.

elephantand storiesMy least favourite, most asked question. “Where do you get your inspiration?”

Answers:

Life.

Keeping my ears open and listening.

The third isle in the supermarket, next to the cereals.

Unexpected places.

 

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