Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Please Visit My New Blog....A Ring a Day!

Hello all! Although this blog is closed down for further posts, I thought I'd point you in the right direction for my newer works. One thing I'm enjoying doing right now is working on my licensed art titled "Hoppy Humor", a line of humorous pieces featuring my tree frog character I've created named Hoppy. I have about 70 more designs in the Hoppy line to get completed, and after that, I've been hired to do another art project under the Silajai name. (which is the name I use for my digital art designs)

Another adventure I've taken on is my "A Ring A Day" project. What can I say - I love jewelry and can't stay away from it. Especially since I have so many supplies and jewelry component treasures here to work with! Click the link to read more about it and see what rings are available at this time.

Hope all is well!


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

No further posts....

There will be no further posts to this blog, but I am leaving the content up for those who might find any of it useful. Thank you for viewing and your comments in the past.

Blessings to you all,

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Life update from Jai!

Good morning all! I thought it was time for a life update. I've been very busy on my new line of digital art, specifically a humorous series (click here if you'd like to see).

And remember the painting of the deer (pictured here) titled "Ten Pointer"? Well the original sold yesterday at the gallery, so if you were thinking about picking that one up from my website - sorry - it's gone! However, PRINTS are still available of this art here.

Speaking of the gallery, we are doing another Venus Soiree jewelry show - the opening is Friday night, November 24 - yes, the day after Thanksgiving....i.e. the biggest shopping day of the year! All of us jewelers at the Dickson Gallery of Fine Art here in Jackson, TN (118 E. Lafayette St, downtown Jackson) would love to see you drop in from 7-9 on Friday night and say hello, as well as fill your unique jewelry needs/desires for the upcoming holidays!

We have several new jewelry artists, and though I'm not making any new jewelry currently, I have many, many items I've made - many NEVER seen before - which will be on display and for sale at this incredible show. So please drop in if you are in the Jackson, TN area!

Life is going very well here lately. Seems unreal after all the crap I've been through prior, but I think a lot of the change has to do with me removing negative energy from my life as well directing my efforts toward things which are fun and make me laugh. What you put out = what you get back. And I see that coming to pass more and more each day.

Hope you all are doing well and have a happy holiday season! :)


Friday, November 03, 2006

It's been a while

I know it's been a while since I posted here. There are two reasons for that - one is because I have had trouble with an obsessed person "monitoring" me (I call it "blog-stalking"). I had no idea, but I did know I was sensing a lot of negative energy. Then when I was informed of this person's activities, I checked my stats and sure enough, saw she was visiting here and all my blogs constantly in order to "feed" her obsession. ...hence my sensing the negative energy. (someday, I will learn to listen to my instincts better.....sigh) If I hadn't been feeling such negativity from her presence, I would have kept right on posting....but I decided to walk away from the negativity until she went away.

I think she has moved on now, but who knows for sure. I would hope she would find something better to do with her life. People can be nuts though - that's why our world is in the shape it's in. I've taken this break to work on some new art - which is totally different than the various works I've posted here and in fact is being published under another name. I don't particularly want to advertise it here because of the woman I mentioned above, so if you're interested in seeing it, personally email me to let me know and I'll send you the info. on where to see it.

Since I stopped posting, I've had a lot go on in my life.... first I had several hundred dollars stolen from my purse at a residence which SHOULD have been a safe place.

Second, I moved my office myself and almost killed myself lifting things I shouldn't have been, and third....after not having had an accident other than a simple parking lot bump in 1987....

I have just today been hit by a crazy girl who decided to BACK UP rather than continue OUT of the exit of a shopping center. Not only did she back up in an OUTGOING drive and hit me, but she FLOORED IT and I could tell she didn't see me approaching the exit behind her. In fact, her backup lights were not working, and it took me a minute as I was approaching to see that her car was moving BACKWARDS instead of FORWARD, as she should have been going.

In order to keep the front of my truck from being hit, I swerved to the right into a part of the parking lot which had no cars. I was praying I could avoid being hit by her at all, but NOOOOOOO.....she smacked right into the drivers side passenger door and back panel of the SUV I was driving. No one was hurt, but my truck is damaged. Her car was already damaged on the front from a wreck she had a month ago, and now her back end is damaged to match the front. I think she was on the cell phone when she did this, which could have distracted her. She admitted she saw me coming to leave the lot, but "thought she had enough time" to get backed up and turned around to go the other direction after she changed her mind about which way she wanted to go. Hence her "flooring it"....she was in a hurry to accomplish her mission before I reached the exit. Her hurriedness made the damage worse. Sigh.

I'm glad I swerved to the right like I did, because otherwise she would have hit me dead center in the front of my truck (and probably would have lied and said I hit her from behind) As a result, the police were be able to see exactly who hit whom and she had to admit she was backing up (the way she hesitated when they asked, I thought she was going to lie).

As is, the truck is driveable and the door she hit still works. I'm sure glad I turned because possible damage to the front would have been worse (think grill, headlights, parking lights, etc).

After that incident, I had two other wild ass drivers attempt to turn left in front of me - one changed their mind and stopped, and another whizzed on across and caused me to lay down on the brakes. PHEW! I decided at that point, to get my butt home as soon as possible and just STAY HERE! It's CRAZY out there!

So all of that being said....other than working at the gallery tomorrow for about 3 hours in the afternoon, I'm staying home and going to busy myself with my new art. Plus, I have an idea of something creative to do with little bits and pieces of items I have left here from other adventures - including polymer clay and jewelry supplies......but I won't be making jewelry! I have a neato new idea about how to combine the two into something fun and artistic and I will post those here when I get something ready. They are cute artsy little things I want to do for fun using up my other materials. So you'll just have to wait and see! :)

Hope you all have been well, and hopefully I'll have something new to show you soon!


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Internet Defamation can carry a Big Price Tag

Interesting article I read today:

"A Florida woman who won a lawsuit against a Louisiana woman, who posted messages on the internet accusing her of being a "crook" and a "fraud" said of the State of Florida’s Broward Circuit Court jury award of $11.3 million "People are using the internet to destroy people they don’t like, and you can’t do that."

Read the rest here:

I thought some of my blog visitors might be interested in reading it.


Saturday, October 14, 2006

A most unique treasure....

Today I received a wonderful treasure - all the way from ISRAEL! A lovely ring, called the Lotus Ring, made by David at Ka-Gold-Jewelry.com. My ring is absolutely beautiful! It has a moonstone in the center and it fits perfectly! I feel so honored to own this stunning piece of jewelry, and it was made just for me! I highly recommend David and his work - now that I've seen it "in person", it makes his pieces much more special and I think you'll agree if you purchase one of his unique creations.

Thanks David - it is such a wonderful ring and I will treasure it forever!


P.S. David is the one hosting the jewelry design contest - check it out on his site - my entry "Birth Journey" is in the contest, too!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Playing Around With Digital

This morning I've been playing around with my Wacom Tablet. I painted the two paintings shown here using my airbrush in PSP.

The little bluebird was going to originally be painted into my Zodiac series of paintings. However, I decided to paint the bird digitally and use it as part of the logo which will appear on the bottom of the prints where the name of the print goes (as I have a border there across the bottom of all my prints). The background of the bird is the same background of the border I place my logo and name of the painting on. I think he turned out pretty cute!

This sunflower painting is a quick, roughly painted piece, actually based on the same sunflower which will be in the Leo Zodiac painting. I know....you've probably looked at the sketch I shared the other day and said "HEY! That's not the same flower!" Well, you're right, as yesterday I completely redesigned the first painting in this series! Something was bugging me about the original design. Composition wasn't right, and I didn't care for the woman - she wasn't quite right for what I perceive as a Leo woman. So I sketched an entire new design, and then spent the rest of the day fretting over colors...which I finally decided on last night. Today, I'll actually start painting it. It's a 16x20, btw, and each painting in the series will be a 16x20.

For some reason I got it in my brain this morning to play with the sunflower part of the sketch using my computer paint tools. (I used to paint digital works many years ago and got away from it) So I've been doing that all morning, and now I'm primed and ready to begin the actual watercolor on canvas painting for Goddess Leo in the Zodiac series. :)

Anyway, just thought you guys might like to see my "playtime activities"....LOL. Yes, I paint all the time and am always thinking about painting, art, and design. Can we spell a-d-d-i-c-t-e-d? Haha!


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Coffee Thoughts ~ Wednesday

I hear my northern friends are shakin' off their shovels and sending some cold dust down my way.....UGH. Time to dust off the sweaters I guess!

I've been working on revising the LEO design a bit - I've changed up the sunflower on her dress and adjusted the dress a bit. I guess today I'll start the actual painting.

Yesterday I added a guestbook to my website - it appears at the bottom of each page in my shop. Maybe I'll get to hear some comments from people who stroll in there. I've also added it to the bottom of my blog pages here. So drop me a line! Let me know where you are from and what you think of the artwork I've been doing!

Yesterday I also added 29 of my prints to Ebay. One of each of my favorite pieces of art is now available at a discount price on Ebay....yes, just one of each. I'm hoping to get some sales here and get my art into some "new hands"... and don't see why it wouldn't happen - At only $10 per print (normally $32) and they are 8x10 and matted in 11x14 coordinating mats - ready to frame - I think that's a bargain!

I've also finished updating the "For Business Owners" page on the site, and prepared a flier I'll be mailing to business owners to advertise my mini prints.

I have a ton of originals here now I need to get frames for. Even though some of my canvases have sides which are painted, I still like to frame them up....and the canvas board paintings need frames too. Sigh. I wish I had a "frame maker" in the family....it gets expensive when you have to frame as many as I do!

Well I guess I'm off here to get started on my day. I didn't get as far on the Leo art yesterday as I wanted and I want to make more progress today.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Taming the Ego is now complete! Click the photos to see larger versions. The original is available for purchase from my website. I also have matted and signed 8x10 prints available for purchase.

Don't forget our new service offering for business owners - our mini prints make wonderful gifts for your customers and we have numerous art selections available on the website!


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Leo Sketch in Progress

While I've been having my coffee this morning, I've been working on this sketch for my Zodiac series. I always do a Leo design first (since I'm a Leo!) when I work on anything Zodiac.

Just wondered what you all thought of this design? I was going to make her a fairy or an angel, but, I think I'll leave her this way....like a goddess. :) This is a small piece - only 9x12 - and this design is sketched directly on the canvas board. I'm wondering if I should go larger with these in this series? Decisions, decisions......


P.S. 3:11 pm - I've decided to go larger with this one and the others in the series to a size 16x20. Since I posted the sketch this morning, I've finished it, as well as designed a totally different painting (also will be a 16x20) and I've now finished the horse's wings in "Taming the Ego"! Hooray! Onto the details of this magnificent creature!

P.S.S. 9:09 pm - Taming the Ego is now complete. It will be photographed tomorrow and 8x10 matted prints will be available at that time.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

"Taming the Ego", in process (yes, still!)

Taming the Ego, still in process....I told you all, it's a big painting! Very detailed, still a lot of work to do. View previous drawing and in process photo via the links to your left for previous posts.

A side note: I've redesigned my website, and added a new product option for business owners (see "For Business Owners" on the left menu on the site). Please take a look at http://www.jaiart.com and let me know what you think! I've also placed several of my previous original miniatures up for purchase there.

I'd also like to add the following pieces are now at the gallery for sale - please contact Rachel Dickson if you would like to purchase these original paintings:

A Little Bit of Chocolate Goes a Long Way - framed
Chocolate Mint Delight - Framed
Bluebell Lane - unframed (sides painted, gallery canvas)
Autumn Jewels - Framed
The World Out There - unframed (sides painted, gallery canvas)
Ten Pointer - Framed
Bluebird Portrait - framed
Patience - framed
The Edge of Emotion - unframed (sides painted)
Lavender Field - unframed (sides painted)

Prints are available from me for all works on the site - they are 8x10 and all are matted in coordinating color 11x14 mats. These make wonderful, unique Christmas gifts for the upcoming holidays - AND all are signed by yours truly! Enjoy!

As always, thank you for looking at my work!


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Taking a sabbatical for a while

Good morning everyone. I'm going to stop making posts in this blog temporarily due to a family member and his associates who are hitting my blog sites constantly, watching everything I say and do. I've asked them to stop and they continue. When they do this, each time they load my pages which have images hosted by my main site, they are using my bandwidth and it's costing me more money. Not to mention, I am really good these days at sensing energy - and when they are hovering around every day, I can feel it long before I ever even look at my stats! So in order to deter them from coming around, I'm going to have to not give them anything of interest to read about.

So, for now I've deleted some images off of here, and I'm taking a sabbatical from posting - the only thing I will post here will the images of my new paintings (which will be hosted by blogger). See, they aren't interested in me and my art...so just looking at paintings will bore them relatively quickly. They are only interested in anything I might say because they have become obsessed with my brother's ex - whom I'm close to. So they are using me to try to find out things I might say about her, or might be doing with her, etc. Their doing so has cost me money, however, and I'm not in a position where I can handle that right now. (despite the fact our new Prosperity Pendants are working, I'm still playing catch up on other bills)

My thinking is if I take away the food (which is my "words"), the flies will go somewhere else. :) I guess for a while you can say I'll be "speaking through my work". I've always had a lot of opinions on things in our world and I love to share those with others and get responses. But for now, I'll just say what I have to say via my paintings.

I invite you all to sign up for my preferred customer newsletter at my main website where I will be posting updates each month about new work and news about events and such. I also have another mailing list you can sign up for where I post more frequently about new work as well as auctions when I run them.

Thanks for your patience, and I hope the situation will be resolved soon. The archives are all staying in place at this blog for your reference - they are accessible through the list on your left.


Monday, October 02, 2006

Taming the Ego...In process painting

Thought you all might like to see an "in process" painting on this one. I don't normally show these photos because I am so dissatisfied at this point in the work. But overall, I DO think this piece is coming along nicely so far. I'm taking my time and not rushing.

It's been a rough past couple of days. One of my dear friends has had to go through a very trying circumstance in the last 24 hours, AND......my dog got sprayed by a skunk and got in the house before we knew it. YUCK! So, I've had two things I'm dealing with.

As for my friend - without going into details, please pray for her. She desperately needs the support of others right now, as do her children. So please, just say a prayer that she will have the strength to deal with what life has delivered her.


Saturday, September 30, 2006

Taming the Ego, Sketch in Progress

Actually, I think I might be finished with the sketch. As you can see, this is a large painting (24x36). I worked on the sketch all day again yesterday and I think it's done. I'm going to go for a walk and do my exercises, and then get started on the painting stage. I thought you all might like some glimpses of the work as it stands now, so I'm sharing these work in progress photos (which kinda stink, but hey, I'm still half asleep! LOL)


Friday, September 29, 2006


I absolutely LOVE the beginning stages of a painting. The deciding on references, the layout of the painting, the tweaking of the design......I spend more time on all of those things than I do the actual painting sometimes! To me, it's foreplay....it's slow, gentle, playful and easy. It's the most fun part of the painting, methinks!

I'm still working on the drawing for "Taming the Ego". I'm glad I'm not rushing this one, as I think it will be a much better painting as a result of me taking my time, and loosening up with it....getting into the fantasy, if you will.

I'll be working on it all day today ~ then tonight I'll be going to the gallery for Mary Spellings watercolor show opening. I got a sneak peak yesterday at the art and it's FANTASTIC!

BTW, I've been wearing my prosperity pendant. Since I have, $433.33 of extra money - totally unexpected - has come into the family bank. :)


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Horses horses horses!

In case you haven't figured it out by now, I LOVE horses! The new large painting I'm working on has a pegasus horse in it (I hope I can do him justice - I'm still feeling very nervous about attempting a painting this size!). When I was transferring design-to-canvas I remembered my daughter took a photo of me with Freedom (a beautiful Thoroughbred gelding) recently, so I thought I'd share and you can see where I get some of my inspiration. It's not the best photo in the world and Freedom has a leg injury right now, so he wasn't feeling that hot at the time it was taken.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I had a nice lunch yesterday with Rachel after moving all the art back to the gallery. And we were talking about me making jewelry. Which got me to thinking about these coins.....

Two fair maidens were in the midst of deep struggles in their lives. Unsure of their future, they prayed for assistance from a higher power. Shortly thereafter, a mysterious gift was delivered. Gently unwrapping layers and layers of delicate paper, and untying yards and yards of ribbons took hours, but once deep inside, the maidens discovered something amazing! In the center was a collection of abandoned and forgotten coins, many of which are very, very old, as well as quite unique and beautiful. Deep within the middle of the coins was a note..."Using your creative skills, we ask you take these found treasures and turn them into something beautiful and inspiring for others."

And that, my friends, is what Kelly and I have done! A new addition to my website is the KelJai Art Jewelry Collection. Using the coins found in this wonderful gift box (which we feel was left by a true angel), we have created a selection of Prosperity Pendants, both small and large.

And tomorrow....yes tomorrow.....I will be working on my painting I mentioned a couple of days ago. But visitors to the gallery for this Friday's art opening will all have the pleasure of selecting a Prosperity Pendant for themselves and a loved one. :)


P.S. Now I know why I like PAINTING more than making JEWELRY - it's SAFER! My hands are raw, and black (don't ask!), my fingernails are all torn up, and I have this horrible blister on my middle finger......I've come to the conclusion all jewelry designers deserve a HUGE RAISE!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Working on my next painting

Today I'll be working on my next painting - and this one is making me a bit nervous because of the size. It's a 36x24 canvas, and it will be the largest watercolor on canvas I've done to date! The design is all complete, and now it's time to transfer it to the canvas and get started. The title is "Taming the Ego" and it's a painting which will stand on its own - i.e. it doesn't fit in the series of work I've been doing and doesn't need to since it is one to deliver a powerful message all on its own.

I'm really, really suprised the original ACEO of the Emerald Fairy didn't bring a bid on Ebay! I had it significantly lower priced than the price on the website, but oh well! The Amethyst Fairy ACEO is still on Ebay - maybe it will get some action. These are ADORABLE miniatures and even though I've only completed 2 in the series, I can see how this can shape up into a really neat series!

Well, off to get a little work done on the new piece. I also have to go help move artwork today, so I'll be gone part of the day doing that as well.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Busy morning

Well I've had a busy morning already......as I'm waiting on my fellow pack members to arrive, I've been working on a new webstore for the group. Now I'm getting ready to eat and then work on my painting until the crew strolls in!

This should be such a fun weekend - Girls coming in from both sides of the USA (thanks Dad for making that happen!!!!)! How fun it will be to see everyone! Unfortunately we are having TORNADO weather - UGH! But it isn't raining yet and maybe if it does rain, it won't last long (I *hate* driving long distances in the rain!).

And I got to thinking, with all the running around we'll be doing starting this afternoon, I'm doubtful I'll get too much painting done until Monday when they all leave, so, I guess I'd better get busy for the next 4 hours.

Heading to the studio,

Friday, September 22, 2006

PHEW! What a day and I'm not done yet!

Wow, I can't believe how much more energy I have lately! AMAZING! Anyway, I spent the morning moving art up to Premiere Place for the Vino and Van Gogh event tomorrow night. Unfortunately, I won't be there (but my art is!) because I *do* have company coming after all!

Got home, took a shower, and then got the new fairy up on the website. I've also placed a Limited Edition ACEO (pictured here) on Ebay, and I've placed a 5x7 matted print and an 8x10 mini print on Ebay as well. The original, of course, can be purchased from my site. Now that there are 4 fairys completed, it's GREAT to see how this series is shaping up! Someone just needs to buy the entire collection! They sure look terrific in my living room all together. :)

Phew....now all that work is done, it's onto other things. Time for a GREAT weekend. I've got to get to the store for sure. And thank goodness the kids have been helping more to keep the house clean! It's going to be a good bit of R&R, a couple little short trips out of town, and hopefully a couple of fun outdoor activities too. I'll also be working on my new painting, "Taming the Ego", because to me, painting IS R&R. :) So I'm off here again to get moving on the grocery stuff, and I plan to spend the entire evening listening to Yanni and working on this bigger piece.

Then on Monday I'll be helping Rachel to bring all the art back to the gallery. (THAT is REALLY GOOD exercise, btw!)

I'll pop in once each morning the next couple of days to check email and orders, so don't worry! I'll still be attending to the business end of things!


Take a peek at the Goldfinch Fairy!

Hi all! I did get the Goldfinch Fairy done last night after a long day out...and now I'm on the run again so I don't have her up on my website yet, but here's a quick look at one of the photos of her! She is the 4th in the Backyard Beauties Collection.

Hope you like her!


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Coffee Thoughts ~ Thursday

Good morning world! Having my coffee here and thinking about many upcoming things I have going on. Today is the day it's time to "turn on the engine", so to speak. :)

I'm ALMOST DONE with the Goldfinch Fairy in the Backyard Beauties Collection. After I finish this cup of coffee, I might be awake enough to go do a little more work on her - not sure if I can get her completed before it's time to do everything else though.

Yesterday I spent most of the morning designing a large painting. This one will be 24x36 and is called "Taming the Ego". It's one of those personal and meaningful pieces to me. I was working on different elements of the painting up until lunch and didn't get back to Ms. Goldfinch until later yesterday afternoon...so I'm running behind.

I did have company coming this weekend, but that's not worked out as of yet, and I'm not sure if it will. Regardless, I have a LOT of other things going on. Today I have to frame up 3 pieces to take to the gallery, then I have several errands to do (including find a way to pay that utility bill before they cut it off later today! EEK!) and then it's an afternoon with horses! Yippee! :) After that, it's back here to work. Then tomorrow I've volunteered myself to help Rachel move art from the gallery to Premiere Catering where there will be a big art show Sat. night. Monday I've volunteered to help bring it all back. Guess that will give me some more exercise for sure!

Next week is also very busy. My son's birthday is next Friday (the big *12*!) and I also have an art opening for the amazing watercolorist Mary Spellings to attend for a couple of hours that night. I can't wait for that, as I love her work, especially her horse paintings!

Somewhere on my desk here is my calendar...course, I can't find it, so I haven't written anything in it....so all this stuff I have to get done is just stored in this ole brain. LOL! Oh well, my eyes might be getting worse, but I believe my memory is getting better. It's certainly getting a lot of exercise lately. haha!

Okay, off to work on the finch, then print three original certificates and get to framing work.


P.S. Did I mention I went and saw the Lipizzaners last Sunday?

Well I did and they were wonderful! Here's some photos taken by my daughter.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Amethyst Fairy ACEO

Today I finished the next ACEO in my Gemstone Fairies Collection of mini art. I am very pleased with how she turned out! She looks fantastic with the Emerald Fairy, too. These are so much fun! I've placed her on Ebay as well.

I'm also about 1/3 finished with the next painting in my Backyard Beauties Collection. It's the Goldfinch Fairy, and once she's complete, that will be a total of 4 finished paintings so far for the collection. I'm still thinking about going all the way to 12 with that body of work!


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Another blog

I've taken my old weight loss blog and turned it into a blog for personal issues and other stuff not related to my art. For those who want to follow it, bookmark this. I probably won't post there too much since I usually don't "get personal" except for with my art. But when things tend to outweigh my ability to create, then I will get personal - it's theraputic and maybe someone else can benefit from my personal struggles.


Vote for my Birth Journey pendant model please!

Me again! I have submitted a model to the spiritual design contest hosted by David at Ka-Gold-Jewelry.Com. Here's the page with the current submissions - please vote for my model titled "Birth Journey"! As many of you remember, Birth Journey was one of the most special paintings I completed this year. The original is not available, however, I do have fine art canvas prints of this artwork which can be purchased here. It is a touching tribute for any new mother and or mother-to-be.



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Spiritual Jewelry Design Contest

Hey girls and boys! All my jewelry designer friends take note of this.....I've been informed about a really cool contest.

Get Your Most Beloved Symbol in a 14K jewel!

Now this sounds really, really interesting, and I am actually thinking about entering (gee David....like I needed something else to do.....hahaha!).

The contest ends November 1, so if you guys are interested, you'd better get on the stick and get something designed....that date will be here before you know it! It's pretty simple to enter - basically you sketch your design, scan or photo your sketch and submit it according to the instructions on the website. Then you wait to hear if your piece is the lucky winner!

There are already some pretty cool models up there for viewing/voting. The users vote in this contest.

Just thought I'd share this with you all. Now I'm thinking about a favorite symbol myself.....:)


Jewels & Accessories

I know I've been quiet lately. I've been soooo busy here the past few days! I have 2 paintings on the table, and I've gotten the bug to attempt to get my art into jewelry. (yes, AGAIN!) As many years as I've worked on this issue, you think I'd have the perfect answer by now. LOL!

Last time I tried this, I ended up painting in polymer clay and creating the miniature art jewels that way. Well, being I really don't want to repaint each of my art designs in polymer (plus the fact my eyes are getting worse, so little things are more difficult), I've been struggling once again to find an answer.

I've come up with one way to get my designs into the brooch/pendant settings I made. Those are still on the work table and are setting up. The only issue I have with those is I have to use a toxic material to get it done. They look good - like the art is suspended under water in the brass setting. Very cool. I still am not quiet totally thrilled with them, however, and I think it's because I feel something is missing....yet I don't know what. Since I can't really handle them yet and try the brooch/pendants on and see how they look, I just don't know.

I also discovered some other forgotten supplies I had here, and I did figure out something cool to do - in the above photo, my art appears to be suspended in the center of a waterdrop. Oval and domed and made of smooth plastic, this little gem is one I've turned into a keychain! And I love it! It's so cool! I can also make earrings and pendants with these little gems and can do some things in some different sizes. The best part is they are not too expensive to make, and not very time consuming, so they make great little lower priced gift items featuring my original art designs!

I've placed the keychain on Ebay this week. My ACEO limited editions end on Ebay today. So far, no bids. No bids yet on the original ACEO I painted for the Gemstone Fairy Collection either. A site visitor here gave me a great idea about painting ACEO's with fairies and lampwork beads - how cool is THAT!? I think I might add that to my collections as well.

Currently on the easel are another gemstone fairy (this one is going to be either Ruby or Amethyst...I haven't decided the color of the gem yet) and then next design in the Backyard Beauties Collection, which features a fairy with a Goldfinch.

I'm feeling pretty good today - I sold one of my polymer necklaces recently to an online customer who purchased it for a gift for a friend. And I received the nicest letter back - I hope it's okay if I post part of the letter here:

"It is a beautiful piece....I am delighted with it...my friend will treasure it...Your careful packing, lovely gift box, certificate and thank you are all appreciated. Very elegant on every level! Many thanks for your artistry."

As an artist, this is what makes all of my struggles worthwhile...:)


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Fairies, Jewels, & ACEOs!

My love of jewels has been long standing...as many of you who read this blog know! And several years ago when I returned to art and illustration, I did this color pencil painting (using only shades of gray and black) of a princess cut diamond ring.

I found this painting, btw...it's still in my collection. I love this painting! It's only about 4" x 4" square and I plan to eventually frame it in a gold frame with black and white matting. I think that will set it off wonderfully!

Anyway, I digress. I've been challenged to TRY to paint some original ACEO's. As many of you know, it's becoming more and more difficult for me to paint tiny, but I decided to put on the reading glasses and try it!

And in the middle of the night the other night, I woke up and said "gemstones". I was thinking of a cute series I could do, which would fit in well with the smaller theme of the ACEO sizing. So, I decided to paint gemstone fairies. That b& w diamond ring painting you see here has ALWAYS been a favorite of mine and I've wanted to do more. I've never tried painting a jewel using watercolor, and not this tiny, but I figured, why not? And surprisingly, I was able to do it!

So, with further delay.....here she is! The first in my original ACEO Gemstone Fairies Collection!

And oh, aren't you guys lucky! I've done something else unheard of these days and placed this ORIGINAL MINI PAINTING on EBAY! For an opening bid of ONLY $9.99. So what are you waiting on? Go bid! :)


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

And she's done! (Hummingbird Fairy)

And she's done! This is the third in my Backyard Beauties Collection. Titled "Hummingbird Fairy", this one was a bit more challenging, but I'm very pleased with how she turned out. You can see all three of the completed pieces in this collection on my website.

Next up will be the Goldfinch Fairy. These are TOO FUN!!!!!


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

ACEO's art cards

Well I've finally done it....set up my art to do limited edition art cards (ACEO). I figure since I'm on a roll here with the fairy art (still working on that Hummingbird Fairy!), that they make good subject matter for ACEO's.

I'm doing limited editions on 140lb watercolor paper. And my editions are VERY limited. Under 10 per image. Why? Well, I have this *wonderful* printer, great inks, etc. However....it absolutely HATES this 140lb paper and it takes forever and a day for me to get one sheet to feed correctly. Sigh.

Not to mention this little issue it has sometimes of printing only a part of an image. I managed to get 6 art cards made of each of the two images here.

There would have been 9 images, had everything worked perfectly. Which it didn't. So I'm left with 6, I've signed and numbered them, and that's all I have the patience to deal with. Which is why my editions are very limited. :)

So, as I go along, I'll also print the matching ACEO's to the larger paintings. But once they're gone, then that's it!

Yesterday I found a place to order a journal type notebook with my art on the front. I've ordered one to test the quality. If I like it, I might add those to my product offerings as well. They have calendars as well, so after I see the quality of the book, and after I get this Backyard Beauties series complete, I'd love to produce a calendar with the all of the images on it.

I'd also like to find how to have keychains made with my art. I think that would be a great little trinket to sell down at the gallery as well as from the website.

Well, it's back to the easel for me. Oh, and I put 2 ACEO's on Ebay for a bit lower price. Take a look if you have a moment!


Monday, September 11, 2006

Coffee Thoughts ~ Monday

Okay, so it's wayyyyy past coffee time. I've been up and working for 4.5 hours already. :) I had some postcards to get ready for a client. We've partnered together - he's going to give free mini prints of my Blue Bird Portrait to his customers who refer him new business...sort of a nice "thank you for the referral" gift. I'm selling him the prints at my wholesale cost - he is doing the mailing/postage part of the deal. I've designed and am printing the postcards for him to give to his customers - his company is paying the postage on that as well.

I won't make any real profit on the front end of this deal, but if the recipients like the matted mini prints, perhaps they will order more direct from me. And who knows....maybe another business owner will pick up on this deal and contact me about doing the same for their business. The mini prints are a great little "thank you" gift, which is original, and something they can use. This client picked the blue bird because he says everyone likes birds and bird art in their home. Which is a good point, since birdwatching is the #2 hobby in this world - right behind gardening!

Since I finished up with that project, I've been working on my website, adding more of the mini prints to the appropriate categories. I've also set up the larger prints for my Backyard Beauties collection.

And I've just finished laying out the design for #3 in that collection - the Hummingbird Fairy. Now I have to get the drawing completed on the actual canvas, and then I can start painting this one.

I need to mow the yard (at least the front....my kind neighbor mowed the back for me the other day), but I'd rather paint!

I was looking over my Ebay records last night when I uploaded the large fairy prints as items for sale there. I find it interesting more and more people are not leaving feedback for transactions. Recently I sold the original of my rooster painting there, and I guess everything's fine, as I've heard no complaints...but still no feedback. I also bought something recently, and while I paid immediately and left feedback upon receipt, I've not had feedback from the seller. Is the world just getting so wrapped up in things they forget to say "hey thanks"? Of course, for me, feedback from buyers has always been an issue. Many do eventually come and leave feedback, but it just takes so long (just got one recently from a transaction for some notecards I sold months ago!). In the meantime, here I sit as a seller, wondering, well? Do you like the work? Are you pleased? But like I said before, I guess if they weren't they would certainly say so! LOL

Oh well, I was just sitting here pondering that this morning as I take a breather before hitting the easel again. Maybe I'll go mow the yard before I actually do that....I don't know. Decisions...decisions...LOL!


Sunday, September 10, 2006

New painting! "Cardinal Fairy" in the Backyard Beauties Collection

Here's my newest work! This is the second in my "Backyard Beauties" collection of beautiful fairies with their little wild bird friends. It's rich and colorful and I'm so pleased with the way the painting turned out!

Photographing and scanning was a nightmare.....gosh, sometimes I wish I had some help with that stuff because OMG it can get tedious. *Especially* when you screw something up and save something over something you shouldn't....and then you spend 3 hours re-doing everything!!!!!! EEK! So much for my "day off"....I've been working since 6:30 this morning and it's now after 8pm.

I feel really good about how this collection is going. Okay, I know this is only the second image. Long range plans for this are to have 12 of the Backyard Beauties. Initial plans were only for 4 of them, but now I'm thinking 12 would be good. The next one on the agenda will be the Hummingbird Fairy. After that a Goldfinch Fairy. After that, I haven't decided yet.

Anyway, I hope you like her! I've got the originals and various print types/sizes on my website and I've also put a few prints on Ebay.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Working on prints and I've got company coming!

Today I've been working on prints. I have a great printer for printing small art prints. (8x10 and smaller) It does a wonderful job, though the ink is incredibly expensive. And I've decided to offer my prints as MATTED prints. They present so much better to a customer that way. I've also placed an order for hanging clear bags so retail locations will accept my prints as well.

My next painting is the Cardinal Fairy. I'm still working on the drawing, and because I've been figuring out printing/matting, I haven't gotten very far on it. But the plan is to work on it tonight and try to get it ready to begin painting before morning.

I've been working longer and later hours every day lately, but when I see what I'm accomplishing here, it makes it worthwhile. People fuss at me all of the time and say I should work less, spend more time doing fun things. (i.e. things they want me to do with them usually! LOL) But I know I have to pay my dues to make my career happen and I am willing to do that.

Although, I will be taking some time off later this month - I've got company coming! Normally company stresses me out, but this time I am really looking forward to it. And I'll get to see my nephew from FL too! Yeehaw! He's getting so cute now and I can't wait to see him "in person". I'm going to take him and his mom and show them where I used to live....where all the country singers live up around Nashville. Beautiful area, and I haven't been back there since a few months ago, so I'm ready to go again. Plans aren't totally finalized yet, but I am hoping they will be able to get here by the end of the month, if not before.

I'd like to plan a trip to see Paula up around Gatlinburg, but that might be a while before I'll be able to go to the mountains. I'd love that though....rent a chalet in the mountains and paint for a week! Some friends from the gallery are going in October I believe, but I don't think I could swing it with my budget right now. Plus I'd have to make arrangements for my kids, and that's difficult sometimes. But I can certainly dream about it.....how wonderful it would be to be up in the mountains, to be away from the "busy-ness" and to just be free to draw and paint for a while with no phone, no internet, no daily trials and tribulations......ahhhhhhhhh. Soon.....:)

Anyway, guess I'd better get to my drawing now that I have the prints figured out and have been to purchase the mats and order the bags. I have the matted prints of the Blue Bird Fairy available on the website in case anyone's interested....just click here.


Coffee Thoughts ~ Karma & Such

Just thinking this morning while I had coffee...they say when you do good things, you will create "good karma". And of course bad things create "bad karma". Basically it's the theory I've always believed in, which is you get back what you give out.

I'm trying really hard to create some good karma lately. I really do want to be able to create the best paintings possible, and establish myself as a person who actually can make a good living from her art. So I've been doing some good things to try to create some good karma....such as helping to pay someone's rent when they needed it, working at the gallery helping Rachel out, being there when someone needed to talk, getting rid of negative people/energy who tried to enter my life on my daughter's recent birthday....etc etc.

And I think I'm starting to feel some good karma coming in - no, I haven't figured out how to pay my OWN rent, but we could handle being tossed out on the street better than a mother with a newborn! But I have started seeing a definite improvement in my work, my mind is focused more on my goals, and I am suddenly feeling stronger against the yuck in the world and more lighthearted and fun with myself and my life!

Maybe it's the people who I've chosen to associate with. Negative/Nasty/Condescending/Abusive people are no longer included...I've made new friends and associates who are positive, uplifting and encouraging. And I'm still blessed with a few of my old friends and acquaintances whom I love dearly (yeah Paula, that includes YOU!!!!!!!:)).

Life just seems to feel like it's getting better. I'm giving out more good and getting more good back in return. Today I feel it is a joy to be on this planet! :)


Thursday, September 07, 2006

New Painting! "Blue Bird Fairy"

Ahhhh.....finally I have finished "Blue Bird Fairy"! In my Beyond Imagination Series, I have decided to do certain themed collections. The first collection is called "Backyard Beauties" and each original will be a 9x12" painting on canvas board, each featuring a fairy with a wild bird. The first in the collection is the Blue Bird Fairy, and here she is!

I had SUCH FUN with this painting! The detailing on the glove was really fun, but more than that, I love the tattoo! I couldn't stand that naked arm, so I gave her a Bird of Paradise floral tattoo. And the feathers....I had a BLAST painting them! Now I can't wait to do the rest of the fairies, each themed in colors/style to a different bird! I still haven't decided whether each will have the same style of feathered wings or if I'll do something a bit different on some of them. I'm definitely working towards 4 designs in this collection, but if all goes well, I might expand that to 12. We'll see!

If you are interested in the original painting, and seeing a couple of close up photos, you can see it here.

I've also listed a signed mini print (5x7) on Ebay.

Hope you enjoy her!


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Thinkin' and workin'

So what else is new? LOL Always thinking and always working. I am taking a day off tomorrow though. At least from painting. I figure, why not? No comments on any of my latest work, no bids on Ebay, and 14:1 spam mails to "real" emails. So since there's not much going on out there, I figure I'll just leave! At least for a mere one day! Haha!

I've been planning out fairy/goddess/nymph paintings. Different little "series" of work I want to do. From the last couple paintings I've completed, I see I'm a lot better at it when I do more illustrative techniques rather than straight painting (as in the loose, impressionistic type of work). Illustrative techniques are much more particular and they take longer, but from seeing most of the popular fairy and goddess designs out there, they use a lot more illustrative techniques and I think part of this is for the potential for licensing.

So I've made some adjustments in techniques over the past couple days and am working on a Bluebird Fairy. I think you guys will see quite a bit of improvement in the overall work. I'm still having issues getting skin tone to look smooth enough for my liking on this watercolor canvas. But I'm going at this current painting with a lot lighter touch and it's working better.

I've made some rules for myself to follow with my work in this area. Not really "rules" as much as standard things which I will do with each painting. One thing I am implementing into these paintings is the use of ink outlining. Since the ink I use is waterproof, that is working well for me. But I'm using very little ink - it's just enough to set off the major features a little better. I've also set myself some standards on hair coloring methods. I've done one section of hair so far on this fairy and it seems like it will be really cool when complete!

Anyway, so I'm just keeping to myself here, and working away. Since I'll be on the road tomorrow, I'll probably be doing a lot of brainstorming for the future of my business and the directions I want to go. Guess I'd better take a notebook with me so I can write things down on the way! If I don't, I'll surely forget half of the ideas and plans.

Off to the easel,

Sunday, September 03, 2006

"Tree Frog Maiden", my newest painting!

Here's my newest painting! It features Kelly, who has become the "tree frog fairy" for this work of art. The original is on Ebay, and I have canvas prints available on my website, as well as mini prints (5x7). Comments welcome!


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Help Me out Please! Vote for your favorite Art Selection:

Morning all! I was hoping my blog visitors could help me out with a little something. I need to pick only ONE of these paintings to submit for a contest. I have chosen my 4 favorite designs of the paintings I've completed which I feel would fit in best in the home decor market. These are the 4 images (click on any of them to see the larger one) and I would appreciate it if you could vote for your favorite using my poll button below. THANK YOU for taking the time and helping me choose the best art to submit!

Thank you!


Thursday, August 31, 2006

"Capture the Magic", fairy & Pegasus horse painting

Here's my newest painting! "Capture the Magic", featuring a sweet fairy in her purple riding gear and her Palimino Pegasus horse! This one is on Ebay RIGHT NOW!

And then I've also set up "The Golden One" as a 16x20 fine art canvas print. You can order yours here. This little colt Boomer as a Pegasus has been just so well received! I'm sure you guys will love him as a 16x20 for your wall. Remember, on the canvas prints I sell, they are stretched and ready to be mounted in an open-back wood frame - no glass necessary!

Fairy Paintings

I'm having fun with the small painting I'm working on, which is a design featuring a Pegasus horse and a fairy. I don't normally paint fairys. I love painting people, and I love painting nudes/pinup style art...which I did for many years and then I stopped for some reason. I went to painting more animals and birds instead.

Now I'm working on this fairy painting - which of course is this magical person with wings. It's interesting, and I'm really enjoying it. I know I sound shocked...and I guess I am. I've always admired the work of the great fairy artists out there.

Yesterday I was doing some reading about creating fairy art, and I came across a statement by someone. Can't recall who it was or where I saw it, but the gist was what makes a good painter of fairies is the one who adds their own unique touch to the creation of the mood or theme. In other words, it's not just a human figure with wings added. It's the whole package deal.

And I remembered that statement as I have been working on my painting. I can feel it taking life - I am starting to feel the mood coming from within me and onto the canvas....the creativity is emerging and it feels really good, especially since I have been so blocked this week. It's like I'm feeling "free-er" doing this kind of work - as if the magical is taking over? Hard to explain, but I feel like I'm becoming one with the fantasy.

Who knows - maybe this will be the start of something new for me to explore and pursue. I've got to do something different - I do know that. Real life hasn't been that hot for me lately, so maybe I just need to "disappear" into the fantasy.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"Birth Journey" Canvas Prints

Canvas prints of my original art titled "Birth Journey" are now available. The size is 20"x16" and they can be ordered here, for those who have asked.


The websites of big businesses...

Okay, so not ALL big businesses have this issue. But I can tell you, it's happened so many times, it's not even funny anymore. You see something advertised and then you see "go to our website for details". So you go. What's there? NOTHING about what you were looking for details on! I mean, come on people!

One would assume if *I* can advertise something on my site and actually make sure it's on there, that these big companies - who have gazillions of employees - could actually get one of those employees to do the job and make sure the information is there.

So then I email for details. Tap...tap...tap...(that's the sound of my fingers tapping my desk waiting for a reply). I've had 3 meals and a good night's sleep and am still waiting for a reply. You know, one time a big company emailed a response to an inquiry I made *3 months* after I had sent it. Just a tad late!

This is why I love dealing with smaller websites and singly or family-owned businesses. Those folks are so much more attentive to things than mega-corporations are. And the bigger companies which began as an internet business are usually pretty good about things (except Ebay....but then that's a story for another day....LOL!) - but so many of the brick and mortar places that set up these fancy-schmancy websites just don't have a clue about internet business.

Guess that's my gripe for the day. In the meantime, I'm working on another design (a small commission - YEAH!) and still plan - if all goes well with this design - to work on my Hydrangea flower paintings today too. This commission design is interesting.....it could actually lead me into doing yet another series. I'll just have to see how this one goes first.


P.S. Glad to see Ernesto didn't knock my Florida family members upside the head too bad! Hopefully he won't be too bad for other parts of the US either.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

New Painting: Ten Pointer

Phew! I finally finished this deer painting, titled "Ten Pointer". For some reason I had a hard time with him. But at least I finished and I can feel the momentum coming back! Prints are available here.

Now I think I'll push myself some more to do the two hydrangea paintings, with will be the last two companion painting for my landscape The Entrance.


The fear...oh deer oh deer...

The fear: I've lost it. I've forgotten how to paint...

The subject: A Deer

Now a deer is an animal I should be able to paint with my eyes closed...especially a close up portrait of one like I'm working on. But yesterday, I struggled with this guy. He's 1/2 done now and last night I was sitting there thinking....what do I do next here? And then the fear came in.....Oh my God I've lost it! I've forgotten how to paint!

What happened here is I've lost my momentum. I've done exactly what I tell everyone around me I absolutely cannot do....I haven't painted in 3 days up until yesterday. MISTAKE! Truly, I want to paint EVERY DAY to keep my momentum going, keep that positive flow moving.

But as we all know, I allowed my flow to be disrupted over the past week and now I'm paying the price. Last time I went 3 days without painting and I had the most difficult time getting "back in the swing of things". So I said, I'm not doing THAT again! And whaddya know.....I did it again. Sigh.

I'm not giving up though - I can't let this buck sit there 1/2 done. I'm going to try again today to see if I can get into it.

I wonder if other artists face this issue? Or is it just me?


Monday, August 28, 2006

What am I willing to accept?

I was reading my thought for today which appears each day at the bottom of my blog home page.

Today's thought begins with: This day you will be provided with precisely what you are willing to accept. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

And it ends with: Consider carefully and thoughtfully what you are willing to accept. For whatever it is, you will most certainly have.

So I was thinking....what am I willing to accept? Now one wouldn't think a person would be willing to accept "bad stuff"...such as someone being smart-mouth or critical or laughing at you...or someone brushing off what you just said like it was nothing....or someone walking into your house and trying to take over like they own it....or someone calling you when you are working and demanding you do this "other thing right now". One would think a normal person would reject those things and just say "no".

But how often have I personally let those things occur? How often have I fallen into that powerless state of mind? I probably did it because it was easier....I didn't want the conflict...so I just sucked it up and went along.

And guess what? I got exactly what I was willing to accept. The thought for today is right! You WILL get exactly what you are willing to accept. YUCK!

After thinking about this, I realize I need to change what I'm willing to accept in several areas of my life. And that may have to be re-affirmed daily for it to stick....in fact, I can almost guarantee I'll have to be re-affirming it daily in order to get it to truly become a part of me and for me to be able to create the life I desire.

So what am I willing to accept? Am I willing to accept someone demanding I stop working on a painting to do this "one little thing" they want me to do? NO. I am instead willing to accept people will respect the fact that I am working - just like they do at their "normal" jobs - and they will wait until I am through with my work day - just like I do for them.

Am I willing to accept someone trying to come in and take over my house? NO. Instead I am willing to accept those who have done that will graciously move on when I say "no" or "it's not a good time", or "go do that at your own house".

Am I willing to accept a smart-mouth, critical person trying to step into my life and treat me like a piece of crap? NO. I am instead willing to accept those people move out of my life and respect the fact I am walking away from them. (They will find someone else to take their abuse, I'm sure.)

I am willing to accept that:

  • My art is good - actually it is exceptionally well-executed and very reasonably priced for the medium and support systems I am using.
  • My painting ending on Ebay today is much more worthy than my asking price, and should quickly sell at the listed price.
  • My commission rates are very fair for the market
  • My new series is going very well, and I am pleased with it. I believe the public will also become more and more pleased with it as I move along further into the series, and these paintings and their prints will become true collectibles in households around the world.
  • I am deserving of a full work day without lengthy personal interruptions, and I am willing to accept waiting until the end of my work day to deal with personal issues.
  • I am calming down, becoming healthier, and making more healthy decisions.
  • An increase in my print orders weekly.
  • Comments, including compliments on my art, even from those who are not in a position to buy at this time.
  • Respect when I say "now is not a good time" or a certain day is off-limits.
  • Full attention paid when I am discussing something, and a remembrance of what was discussed.
  • I have a right to say what's on my mind, too. (this stems from people who tend to dump their crap in my lap, tell me their feelings/decisions/etc, yet don't want to hear my response. You bring it to me, you share it with me, then I am deserving of having my words heard too!)
  • My decisions are accepted, simply because I made them for my life...that is good enough. No further explanations are necessary. (but I will listen to other's opinions)
  • Respect of the fact I am SLEEPING at night, and don't desire to be awakened by knocking on my door at 2:30 in the morning because the other party "wants to talk"....in other words, I deserve my sleep...LOL!

That's a short list of what I am willing to accept. Anything other than that, or which goes opposite of those things, I will have to send out of my life like lightning in order to create the life I want for myself. Because, see, I've been learning over the past few years, no one else is going to "give me" the life I want...it's not their responsibility....it is mine. *I* must create the life I want for myself.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sharing a great post by a fellow artist...

Here's a link to a great post by Shanti Marie....click here to read it. Very inspirational and informative for artists!


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Nice to Know there are still some good people in the world! Thanks Rachel & all the artists!

Wow....what a great party at the gallery last night! Tons of people, and I'm sure Jacque's jewelry sales were awesome. I'm having her custom design me a cross with amethyst and jade. Sure, I could make it myself, but I want to get a bit of Jacque's great energy into my life, and by owning something she made, I'll achieve that special something I can't get from making the piece myself.

And then Rachel Dickson, gallery owner, delivered up a BIG SUPRISE in the form of a chocolate chip mint ice cream cake for MOI! Woohoo! I was shocked....I never expected it! So I ended up with a birthday celebration FINALLY - thanks to Rachel and the other artists at the Dickson Gallery for their KINDNESS & GENEROSITY!

It is a true blessing to experience something so wonderful, especially in the midst of the turmoil I've been dealing with in my personal life due to extended family members, which is causing me all kinds of stress and affecting me badly. Not that how *I FEEL* matters to any of them though (that is like SO OBVIOUS!)...day by day I am learning to accept this and just move on with my own life - I don't need the negative energy, especially from sources who are obviously so unfeeling and uncaring about other human beings.

You know, it's bad enough to deal with negative energy from those who really do care and might just be "having a bad day" - but it's just SENSELESS to put up with negative energy from sources who are obviously destroying everything and everyone in their path. I won't do it anymore. I refuse to do it. I refuse to allow anyone ever again to talk to me the way I've been talked to during these past 3 months, and I refuse to allow anyone in my presence to ever treat me badly again. THERE ARE BETTER WAYS TO LIVE and it STOPS NOW as far as I'm concerned, even if I have to walk away forever. And if they dare to press on with me and push me when I'm trying to just walk away and claim the good life I DESERVE, I have no qualms about giving back to them exactly what they are giving out. If that happens, it won't be a pretty scene. After all, I'm a LEO and while I can sit here and calmly watch the madness, and even deal with some personal attacks in a calm manner, eventually the claws and the teeth will come out!

In the middle of dealing with all of that, however, I can honestly say AMEN! When I experience such kindness as I did last night, it affirms to me there is still something decent in the world these days, and it's great to see there are people who actually CARE ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE! This goes on the top of my gratitude list this week!

I also met some great people last night - saw several at this gallery event I hadn't seen before and enjoyed meeting everyone. It was so much fun! Thanks Rachel, for putting on such fabulous events at the gallery, and more than that, thanks for reaffirming my belief that there are good people in the world and that I can be blessed by having them in my life!


A marketing tip for artists

Yesterday afternoon before the gallery party, I spent quite a bit of time creating something artists might find to be an interesting marketing tool.

With every ink supply I purchase for my printer, I also get a pack of photo paper free in with the ink. There are 50 photo sheets (size 4x6) in this pack and I have several packs I've accumulated.

Being that all of my work is not at the gallery, yet others always say "can you do horses?" (or dogs, or birds or whatnot), I decided to use this photo paper to showcase what I do. I have a mini photo album here I wasn't using. So yesterday afternoon, I printed each image of my current paintings onto it's own photo sheet and inserted it into the album. I wrote the name of the painting in the border, as well as size and price and whether it was sold or not.

I also created a graphic image (shown here) to sell prints of my painting Behind the Brick Wall. Since the painting is obviously too high priced for the average person, I thought it would be a good idea to publish this art as an affordable print. So I created a graphic which acts as a "mini flyer" and printed several on photo sheets so I could pass them out. As you can see, the 4x6 photo shows the work as well as tells how to order the print.

I also created another graphic advertising my commission pricing. I have the downloadable brochure/price list on the website, but thought this little 4x6 mini flyer printed on photo paper summarized it all quite nicely.

So...if you are an artist and have extra photo paper laying around, this is a good way to create a "mini portfolio" to share your work easily in social situations. The photo album is small, and easy to carry with you, and customers find it easy to browse through. Make up some mini fliers too and print them on the photo paper, and passing them out is just like giving someone a photograph....easy and quick!


Friday, August 25, 2006

How nice it is to hear customer responses...

Yesterday I was working the gallery and a young couple with a little girl came in. They were there to see the artwork of another artist who teaches the children how to draw and paint.

While the woman was taking everything in, the husband and little girl seemed to settle in on a fascination with one painting - my work, Bluebell Lane. It was so wonderful to FINALLY hear a "real customer" response to my landscape work! Since this is an area which is relatively newer to me, I am very nervous about the presentation of the work, and very few people on the internet ever say a word about anything anymore...it's like if they love it they buy it and that's how you know the work you are doing is meaningful and worthwhile. If they don't buy - you just don't know.

I am happy to say, this customer said this was his favorite - he said he loved landscapes and he liked the colors of the painting and the added detail on the bunny rabbit on the path.

Then I told him I painted it, and formally introduced myself. :) He asked if it was oil, or acrylic, and I explained it was watercolor on the new watercolor canvas. He seemed AMAZED by that - he was totally fascinated about how these pieces could look so different than traditional watercolor, and how they can be framed or hung without glass. I explained how I have a problem with toxic substances and cannot use the toxic paints - but that I had always loved painting on canvas and canvas board. When this product came out, it enabled me to do what I love in a medium which is safe for me to use. And it also looks fantastic!

All in all, it was a nice exchange. I wish I could have sold him the painting, though! I couldn't seem to get that far along, but the little girl seemed she had a bad cough and he was a little concerned about her, so they left. I think they will be back though!

Tonight at the gallery there is the opening show for Jacque Hillman - she is a jewelry designer and it should be a great show. If you live in the Jackson, TN area, come down to the Dickson Gallery of Fine Art at 118 E. Lafayette tonight at 7 pm to enjoy live music, drinks and snacks (yes, I'm bringing my delectable sausage balls!), and to meet Jacque and see her amazing jewels!


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Two companion paintings - Bluebird & Squirrel

Here's my latest two paintings! These are "companion paintings" to my first landscape in the Orchard Hills Collection titled "The Entrance". Both of these delightful creatures are in the landscape, and this is an up close and personal view of each. Today I'll be working on the deer from The Entrance painting, and after that I'm going to tackle the hydrangeas. Then it will be time to complete the next 'address' at Orchard Hills. :)


Monday, August 21, 2006

A New Series....The Orchard Hills Collection

I know it's been several days since I posted...and I apologize. I've been working out the details of a very large series I'm designing titled "The Orchard Hills Collection".

My grandather (deceased) from Mifflinburg, PA added to his community greatly by building a fabulous area when he was alive. Not only did he build a shopping center there, but he built many homes across the Buffalo Valley. His personal home - where I visited many times when I was a child - was located on a street he named "Old Orchard Lane". I have very fond memories of visits there!

I was thinking about how he exercised his creative vision through real estate, and thought I'd love to do the same, but ON CANVAS. So I am creating an entire "community" of cottage homes - some small, and some as large as castles! I'm doing one painting of each, and each will have an address on "Old Orchard Lane" in my Orchard Hills Collection.

In addition to creating the landscape paintings of my fantasy world, I am also creating what I call "companion pieces". The companion pieces are smaller paintings, featuring up close and personal views of some of the subjects with the landscape paintings.

This first painting I have posted is titled "The Entrance" and features the entrance to Old Orchard Lane. Within the painting are various animals, including a deer, a squirrel and a bluebird, as well as a red fox in the distance. I've decided to complete companion paintings of the deer (16x20), and the squirrel and the bluebird (both will be 9" x 12"). The companion paintings can be displayed along with the main painting, or they stand perfectly fine on their own!

In addition to creating the original paintings in the series, I have elected to publish each design as a stretched and mounted canvas print. This is a more affordable version which is comparable to the original art, and it gives everyone an opportunity to place their favorite images from the collection in their living spaces.

So I've been busy working out the details of that, and I plan to complete 3-4 paintings a week - each week will be focused on a different "address" on my Old Orchard Lane. :)


Thursday, August 17, 2006

New painting...."Home for Christmas" (click here!)

I really challenged myself with this painting...it started as a complex illustration, and then because I was creating snow and a night scene (two things I haven't done much of), I found it exceptionally difficult! Finally finished, "Home for Christmas" is a cozy, heart-warming painting which brings out the serene feeling of returning home at holiday time.

The house was modeled after my dad's place, and that's Pike's Peak in the background. The dog is modeled after Dad's dog Beau, and I added the elk into the painting because they see elk all the time up at Dad's. And the girl walking down the drive toward the house is a reminder of me when I used to go home from college for Christmas break. That was always a good feeling to me.

I've hidden my children's initials in the painting - you can't see them, as my photos of this work didn't turn out that great. But each of the two chimney's on the house has my kids' initials faintly embedded into the design. :) They had fun searching for their initials when I brought the painting out of the studio, and they finally found them. :)

This art is 18x24", and it's given me a new passion for creating warm scenes which tell a story. I'm also going to create 2 of what I call "companion pieces" to this. In fact, I'm going to start doing companion pieces for all of my larger works. For companion pieces, I take certain elements of the larger painting and create them up close and personal on a size 8x10, 9x12 or maybe even 11x14 at some point (basically whatever smaller canvas I have on hand at the time is what I'll use! LOL!).

The companion pieces for this painting will be a close up and personal view of the dog Beau (I'm going to use a different pose for the dog, but it's the same dog who I used in the larger painting) and I'm also going to create an up close and personal painting of the elk.

Companion pieces can be displayed along with the larger art, or be sold and displayed fine separately as well. Since I like doing up close and personal views of things, I decided this would be a way I could satisfy my yearning to create the full scene paintings as well as focus on the details of some of my favorite features within the painting.