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 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 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 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" 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's not their 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 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!) 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'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 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.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Half my life is event-less birthday and my new painting "Behind the Brick Wall"

My birthday has come and gone - it consisted of running errands, grocery shopping, looking at a still-messy house, and getting one gift...totally opposite of the chocolate mint chip ice cream cake I wanted....a bottle of wine (wine and I don't dance well together....I shouldn't have had any of it...but I didn't want the giver to think it wasn't appreciated, since it basically was the only gift I got...LOL!).

So I figure now half my life is over...I'm now 42 and I had a vision years ago I would live to be 84. So I'm halfway there and I've been thinking of what I've done with the first half of my life and how best to live my second half. :)

To start the second half of my life, I completed my painting "Behind the Brick Wall". This painting is currently in my collection, and probably will stay there for quite some time based on my price to sell this one. It's a personal work for me - it really took a lot emotionally for me to create it.

Here's my description I just added to the website for it:

Currently in the collection of the artist, "Behind the Brick Wall" is a somewhat surreal vision of a place we’ve all been from time to time - hiding behind a self-created fortress.

We place ourselves there usually because of extreme emotional distress caused by painful life experiences. In seeking to protect ourselves from more of the same, we build our wall, one brick at a time, often leaving a tiny hole or two, enabling us to peek out and catch glimpses of the world passing by.

At some point, when we feel safe enough, we begin to chip away at the wall we’ve built and eventually we emerge back into life. We’ve grown older and wiser, and we may exhibit extra cautiousness.

But we must come out - we can’t stay behind the wall forever. Because, you see, when we keep out the bad, we also keep out all of the goodness, joy and happiness life offers. And to miss out on the many wonderful experiences life can bring us would truly be a shame.

You can see closer photos of it on the webpage for the painting. Maybe someone else can relate to it as well.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

It's time for my James Harvey Stout story...

Several years ago, I had a small online publishing company. As owner of this company, I frequently sought out new authors to publish. I came across the writings of a man called James Harvey Stout and found them intriguing. So I decided to see if he had a website.....he did.

And I found a very strange letter on the website.....a letter which gave me a very erie feeling, and as I could read between the lines, plus had experienced this issue in my family myself, I knew this writer intended to commit suicide.

Frantically, I went into an investigation to locate the contact information for him via his domain records (as nothing was on his site other than an email...which I did try first, and my instinct said it wasn't enough). I found a number, and proceeded to call the number listed....only to be told.....

Mr. Stout had did the deed 2 days before. He was dead. In talking with the owner of the park he lived in, I learned my reading between the lines was exactly on point. I was devastated. I thought this would be my chance to rectify something terrible before it happened. I was too late.

At least I tried....I tell myself that all the time. Mr. Stout left his writings to the public domain - I still have all of them saved. Since then, numerous people have published his writings - I'm not sure if they know the full story I learned or not.

I learned in reading his works that he had a daughter, and I searched, found, and then contacted her. She appeared very bitter about him at the time. But she was young....I can only hope she got over that.

It's just a shame that this very talented person was reaching out with his work, and was never recognized for his talent. No, he might not have been the best husband, the best father, the best friend or co-worker....he was just seeking recognition for who he was and his talents he possessed. And it's such a shame his work was never published until after he died. Few took interest....until after he died.

Maybe it's what he intended....maybe he thought in his mind, one can only be known and appreciated for their talents after they have died. After all, that's a big thing people say in the creative world - "you'll be famous after you're dead....then your works will do well..." like it does the person who died a lot of good then.

Why am I telling this story? I guess to say, how about being there when someone is still alive? Why wait until they are dead? Does being dead make the works more viable? Better quality? More desired because they aren't here to create more?

I guess what I'm trying to say is why don't people show others they care when people are alive? Why do I see so many things like this where they come out in droves after the person has died.....but while they're alive, it's like they don't exist...or what they do doesn't matter?

As the phone company said - 'reach out and touch someone'. You might just make a difference in someone's might make a difference in a life or death decision.

It's a shame no one did that in time for James.


......artist's current mood.....

Blah. Depressed. Blank.

At least I'm painting. But that's not even working to make me feel better.

Maybe it's WHAT I'm painting. As I'm working on it, I realize the concept has hit home with me on a certain subject. Which at first I thought it was good, because it would help me title the work. But now I think it's not-so-good. And no, I'm not gonna say HOW it hit home with ME, because that doesn't mean squat to a potential buyer. Seems to me most buyers form their own impressions of the work and purchase because of THEIR feelings and emotions about it. I might be wrong, but in my opinion, my thoughts about the work make no difference. It's not about ME. It is when I paint it, but when it becomes a purchasing decision for someone else, then it's about them, not me.

Right now, however, the painting is about me. And it's depressing me because of what it's saying to me (it's not a depressing painting - it's a cool painting - however, right now it's depressing to me).

Sometimes I love that my work makes me "feel things"...sometimes I hate it. This is one of the "hate it" times. BLAH


What I want for my birthday....

Since tomorrow's my birthday, I've been thinking of what I want. (lots of people usually ask that, only as the years go by, less people ask - why is that?)

So as I was sitting there eating peanut butter on toast, I was thinking of different things - one thing I definitely want is someone to go to the grocery store for me, bring the groceries home and put them away! LOL

Another thing I want is for all of my original paintings to sell. I also want to be booked up with enough commission work for the next 6 months. I'd also love for a company to license one or more of my works so I could get some guaranteed residual income off of my art coming in here each month.

Let's see....what else would I like? My house paid for...a black Ford Mustang convertible just like the one I sold on Ebay sitting in my driveway, titled to MOI and paid for in full (yes, there's a photo of the lucky winner of that fabulous piece of machinery....gosh I miss that car!)....a fenced addition built onto the studio so I could have more space to perhaps work on several paintings at one time.....

Gee.....I don't want much, do I? :) It might suffice if everyone around me was in a decent mood on my birthday, if my kids cleaned up the house better, and if it was a peaceful and quiet day with a little less of this TN heat....AND if someone gave me a chocolate mint chip ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins! (But I can't lie....I would like all the other stuff too!)

Oh well, enough dreaming.....back to the easel to create another work of art!


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

New Painting! "Chocolate Mint Delight" - Mouth watering! (click here to bid!)

My newest small painting - just listed on Ebay for your bidding pleasure.....but OH MY how I would love to take a bite out of this in person!!!!!! :)

Hope you enjoy it!


Coffee Thoughts ~ Wednesday

Well I'm about done with my coffee.....LOL. Took a break from the studio yesterday and was doing more of the stuff that makes me "self taught" - STUDYING!

I was feeling somewhat in need of a challenge. I've been painting "normal" things for quite some time now and have a good array of work on the website for viewing. And I feel more than confident with the medium I've chosen to work in as well as the support (the watercolor canvas). So now it's time to step things up a bit.

I love surreal art (Surrealist works can have a realistic, though irrational style, such as "dreamlike fantasies"), and I also like Trompe L'oeil (French term meaning "trick the eye"). Trompe L'oeil is seen the most in mural work - where a doorway or window is painted where there isn't one really there, or a skylight might be painted on a ceiling showing a view of the blue sky and clouds. It's the type of work which really adds a cool effect to a room, and can open and expand rooms tremendously.

I discovered yesterday many have done trompe l'oeil works on canvas and found this interesting, as in many cases, it crosses over into the surreal art I love. So I studied both types of work all day, as well as read some demos and tutorials online of how to do specific scenes, etc.

Now I feel challenged to create a surreal painting, with a trompe l'oeil feel to it as well. There are some rules in trompe l'oeil - one of which is to make things painted of a realistic size in order to make the viewers think what they are seeing is "real", to the point they might actually reach out and try to "touch" or "pick up" the object. In the painting I've designed, I am currently off a bit on the realism of the size. I don't know if it's something I'll be able to fix - but even if it's not exactly to size, it will still be a really cool painting with the surreal look/feel I am after. I plan on beginning the painting today - it will be size 18x24 on gallery wrapped canvas.

Also on the agenda for today is a small 8x10 of a piece of chocolate mint chip ice cream cake. LOL! Hey, why not? My birthday is Friday and each year when I was a child I had a chocolate mint chip ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. Since I haven't had one for many years, and I doubt I'll get any cake for my birthday this year, I figured I'd just paint a piece! LOL It will go well with the chocolate chip cookie painting I have listed currently.

And speaking of listings, looks like the rooster painting "Walkin' the Talk" is going to sell as it has a bid. Several people are watching the other auctions as well - I hope this means Ebay is picking up a bit now that the end of summer is around the corner!

Well, off to see if I can fix this surreal piece before beginning the actual painting. Then I'll have me a bit of chocolate mint chip ice cream cake......:)


Monday, August 07, 2006

The most YUMMY Painting (click here!)

This has to be the most delicious painting I've done to date. :) Titled "A Little Bit of Chocolate Goes a Long Way", it's a piece of small sized art (8x10) that will tickle the taste buds year round. Click here to bid on this original art on Ebay so I can go buy more chocolate chip cookies! :)


NEW! Blue & Gold Macaw Painting (click here!)

Here's the newest addition to my original art collection - titled "The World Out There", this impressive blue and gold macaw portrayal will be a fine addition to any environment!


Sunday, August 06, 2006

What a way to go! The passing of Fred (or one of his relatives?)

Before I get into this little story, let me explain about my house layout here...

My studio is down on the lower level of the house - and there is a big bedroom/living room area attached to the studio area. That's where I sleep.

Because it is a basement level, there seem to be more little "critters" finding their way in. (they might come in upstairs too, for all I know, but I think my cat snatches them up before I see them!)

I have an over-abundance of "crickets" it seems. And I don't kill them...if I can catch them, I'll just open the door and toss them right back out. But I name them all - I call each one "Fred" and sometimes, if there are two crickets, I'll call them "Fred and Ethel" (yes I'm an old I Love Lucy fan!).

Anyway, so I'm getting ready to hit the sack last night and walk into the bedroom area to lay down. I always keep my remote to the TV on the pillow next to me. I glance over there and WHOA! Something is on the pillow!

I freeze at first, wondering if it's alive and what's it doing in *MY BED*?????? (that has NEVER happened before! The crickets stick to floor level ONLY!) So as I stand there staring at this visitor, I notice he's not moving. I lean in's FRED! And he's DEAD!

Yep, sure enough, this cricket laid down on his back and just flat-out died right by the remote control and on the cushiony pillow! I decided I couldn't let this pass without a photo because no one would "get" the full effect of it unless they saw it.

So these photos are of Fred, laying on his back, arms folded across his chest, legs extended, passed on to Cricket Heaven. Bless his little heart!

My son, the ingenious thinker he is, came up with the solution that Fred might have touched the remote control and shocked daughter swears after he saw my bird painting I just finished, he kicked the bucket because the bird looks so "real" and he envisioned this BIG MACAW (16x20) coming after him. LOL!

Anyway, I thought you'd get a kick out of seeing these photos. I changed them to B&W because my camera didn't like my lighting in that room and everything was way too saturated.

Poor Fred....but at least it looks like he went peacefully!


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Afternoon update....

Do you know I have not left this computer since this morning? Have I gotten to work on the macaw? NO. LOL What a day! For some reason I began designing my informational artist's brochure and price list (yeah, I'm finally getting around to that!). Well after being here all day, I have an attractive 10-page document. I've uploaded it to my website as a PDF file. Click here to see/save.

At least it's done. It's been kind of difficult when someone says "what do you charge for this?" and I'm like "um...well...I have to figure it up..." Not anymore! I finally figured it for every size canvas and the basic types of work I do. Yippee! Project complete!

Okay, NOW I am off here to work on my macaw!


Coffee Thoughts ~ Saturday

Yesterday ended up being a major "artist crisis" day for me....phew! I was trying to figure out how to do the triptych of the cheetah for the living room. And the plan just wasn't working. I was still fretting over it when I went to bed last night!

But this morning my head cleared. See, I was having major issues with the thought of "cutting up the cheetah" - i.e. separating the one animal onto different canvases. It was REALLY bugging me - I guess that's my animal lover instinct coming out. :)

So what I ended up deciding was to do a landscape scene with the cheetah appearing in the middle panel. As I went along designing this art, I decided to add another cheetah in each of the side panels as well. After 3 hours of design time already this morning, I finally have it all planned out. The overall scene has some architecture - stone columns and a wall. Behind/over the wall in the background you can see the ocean and mountain landscape. In front of the wall on each panel are cheetahs in various positions/poses. The sun is coming from behind, hitting the ocean water and splashing up onto the stone wall/columns, and cheetah fur. Also decorating the wall area are various other elements, such as a stone venus sculpture and some pots with flowers. Down in front, near the cheetahs, are some more flowers - and the flowers span from canvas to canvas, connecting the three images. So hanging together, it's one large scene. Yet, because of the way I've designed each panel, each can be hung separately and stand on it's own.

Overall this has been a very interesting challenge so far. It's not as easy as I thought it would be, but that's probably because I'm so particular about the animals, the room this is going to hang in, the size it needs to be overall, and what colors need to be in the piece. Of course, like all of my art, it will be up for sale. I can assure you this though....this piece will be a prime price and won't be going on Ebay. LOL

And speaking of pricing, I was doing some research the past few days and ended up on the site of another artist who does watercolor on canvas. I'm not sure if the artist is using the special watercolor canvas I am, or if she is using a regular canvas which has been primed for watercolor somehow. Anyway, I was looking over her art and prices. I didn't like the art at all, but that's a matter of personal taste on my part due to the subject matter and color choices, which didn't really appeal to me. I noticed, however, her prices mostly were in the $8,000-$20,000+ range, and she had several pieces marked sold. She has a 16x20 up (same size as most of my watercolors on canvas) and has a price on it of over $20,000. Methinks I should raise my prices!

Maybe she is a well known artist - maybe her subject matter is being collected by people who will pay those prices. I don't know. All I know is seeing that gives me hope that someday, I'll actually be making a decent living from my work.

Yesterday I got a bunch of canvases in - this time I ordered different sizes and also some canvas boards which can be easily popped in a frame for display. Now I just have to order the canvases for my cheetah trilogy and I'll be all set. Unfortunately after paying bills this morning, I'm kind of stuck before I can order those...I need to sell some paintings first! I have 2 paintings on Ebay currently and I have another I'll be finishing today of a blue and gold macaw. He's turning out wonderful!

Rachel called last night and told me she sold my elephant pendant. It's about time he sold! I thought he was really quite cool and I can't believe it took him this long to sell! He's from my "Portrayals" series in this album on my old gallery site.

I still have quite a bit of jewelry there for sale. I was going to have a big summer sale and mark pieces down, but Rachel has a jewelry show scheduled for the end of November. Since I'm not making any new pieces currently, I figure I'll save my inventory to take for the show then. Our jewelry show last year was quite successful and many pieces sold. I want to make sure I have inventory available for it again this year.

Well I hear the blue and gold macaw calling my name....guess I'd better get down there and finish him up so I can get him online later today! :)


Friday, August 04, 2006

Coffee Thoughts ~ Friday

I'm amazed at how much better my tired old dining area looks after framing and matting my print of Golden Guardians and hanging it up. Suddenly, there is a burst of brilliant color in the room, and it looks great with the black mat and black and gold frame. The prints are actually a bit brighter in hue/contrast than the original...Interesting!

I guess you'd have to understand more about my house to "get it" on why hanging this one piece of art excites me so much. I have a BIG house - size-wize. Large rooms, which I really like. The decorating, however, is OLD OLD OLD. The wallpaper in my dining area is hideous. It's gotten to where I've just blocked it out of my vision. LOL! The house needs some redecorating to become more up to date. Which costs money I haven't made yet. (an no, to those who are wondering, I still have the same leaky roof, although I did get a repair done to stop that...which is just a temporary fix and it's just a matter of time before it does it again.)

So anyway, hanging this print in the dining area suddenly filled my room with this color and vibrancy I didn't have before! Now I don't have to block out the wallpaper (nor do I feel pressured about re-doing it when I don't have the money!) - the print totally takes away views of the paper on the walls. And that's why I'm excited!

So I started playing around this morning with images to see how "Bluebell Lane" might look framed up. This painting has a terrific "glow" to it, and although I'm not a fan of blue, I think because I used a lot of golden yellow coloring, I really, really like this painting the more I look at it. What do you think? Here's a photo of it in a bedroom scene.

I mean think about it...if you lived in the city, what a COOL piece of work to hang! It breaks the view of skyscrapers out the window and give a bit of flowery countryside to look at instead!

It's just amazing to me how one piece of art can really make the difference in a room. Now that my dining area looks better, it's made me notice how the print hanging over my tired, torn, and worn out sofa looks just as terrible as the couch. It's an old print of foxes in the woods. It's not "colorful" at all and on top of that, it's framed in a brown wood and hanging on a light brown paneled wall.

Now I happen to love the paneling in this room - it's very rustic and goes well with the exposed beams and the built in bookshelf in the roof. But after hanging Golden Guardians in the connected dining area, I notice more than ever how much this fox print is blending too much with the wall and just basically disappears. That whole wall looks BLAH.

I need a new couch, yes, and I am about ready to start looking in the papers or at the garage sales to see if I can pick one up for a decent price. Either that or re-cover this one, which I have NO CLUE of how to do.

In addition to a couch, however, I now am thinking about the art. The foxes have got to go. Sorry boys, maybe just a transfer to another room WITHOUT paneling? :)

So I was thinking about a large painting there. I've ordered some larger canvases which are on their way, but I'm thinking about a REALLY LARGE painting - and this watercolor canvas only comes in 30x40 for the largest size (the size of the fox print now...which is really too small for the space).

So over coffee this morning I'm thinking about how to do a larger painting than 30x40 there, being as that's the largest size I can get the canvas in. I could make my own canvas, except by the time I buy all the stuff necessary to do that, I could have had a new sofa! I'm thinking of other solutions, racking my brain, and suddenly, the idea hit!

A triptych! I'll do the painting where it spans 3 canvases! DUH! Why didn't I think of that before? So I can get three 24x36" canvases, and that will give me 36" x 72" total size, which will fill the space amply!

I have two images I'm thinking about painting. One I've been wanting to do is horses running through ocean water. The front horse will be a black stallion (my absolute favorite!) and the other horses will be in other colors....white....brown....chestnut....maybe a palimino in there. I'll fill the ocean water with green hues, so it will tie in with my green carpet. I'll add some pinks/yellows to the cloud cover to give some brilliant color to the piece. Maybe a few birds in the sky, and who knows what other little jewels might appear in this work! :) other choice, which would really go better with the room - a cheetah or mountain lion scene. I'm leaning toward the cheetah as I watched a movie this week called "Duma" about a cheetah, and I really became quite fond of this big cat. The cheetah work would really go better in the room, as I have other wildlife items in the room, including a lion painting and a stuffed Bobcat on the fireplace mantle. Which speaking of the fireplace, HE blends in too much with the mantle (which is white brick) and the fireplace needs a piece of colorful art as well...MORE WORK! LOL

No matter which I decide to paint, I'll have a piece of art which makes the difference in the room without having to change another thing in the room. (except I AM going to have to do something about the's in really bad shape!)

I love doing this kind of work. If someone came to me and said, hey, I'd love a painting this size for my living room and my favorite subject is ________ and I want these colors used...etc, etc, I could definitely take on the challenge and do the work. I'm just not sure how to GET that kind of work.

I am working on a canvas with multiple images of animals (portrait style face views) which I'll be taking to the gallery and advertising that I'll do custom pet paintings. But how in the world does one get the word out they will do a custom painting to "fit the room", basically?

I guess that's a question to ponder for tomorrow's coffee break.


P.S. The rooster painting is on Ebay for those who were interested!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

And a rooster is painting!

Well here's my rooster painting, titled "Walkin' the Talk". It might be sold - I won't know until tomorrow. If not, some lucky bidder might be able to take it home off Ebay. In the meantime, see closeups and read details here.


Coffee Thoughts ~ Wednesday

Oh my. Day 3 of this week and I've only completed one painting so far. I was all set to begin the Scarlet Macaw yesterday, and somehow, the plan got changed. The conversation went something like this...

"If you do a rooster painting, I can almost GUARANTEE you I'll get it sold for you."

My breath quickens at the thought!

"If I can't get him to buy the original, I'll for sure get him to buy a print."

Hmmmm. Already backing up on the sale of the original....hmmmm.

Now I've done this before, mostly with the jewelry I used to make...."Oh, if you do a such-and-such, I'll buy it!" So I rush to do the requested piece, and lo and behold, the "buyer" drops off the face of the earth. Years later, here sits that piece. So I kind of made myself a deal after the last time it happened....don't do a requested piece unless: 1) they secure it as a commission and pay the deposit up front or 2) it's a subject *I* really want to do.

Now I can guarantee you I wasn't even THINKING about painting a rooster yesterday. It was the furthest thing from my mind. However....the thought of a rooster painting is not so far-fetched, since I have thought about it in the recent past. I know many people love roosters. I just don't know a whole lot about them, and I tend to paint things I'm more familiar with. I have no doubt, though, that I can definitely paint a rooster and paint him well. After all, I love birds, have painted many of them, and a rooster is a bird, is it not? :)

So off I go to my stash of reference photos and I find the type of rooster I want to paint. As I'm looking through the photos, I'm not pleased with any of them in total. It's like "I like parts of this one, and the tail on this one and the colors on this guy..."

So I spent the afternoon yesterday crafting a sketch combining the poses and parts of various rooster references I had. Now I have the base design ready and I think I have a rooster I can be proud of, as well a plan for a very vibrant color palette (of course!). It's time to start the painting!

Off to the studio......Cocka-doodle-doo!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New Painting "Bluebell Lane" (click here to see it and bid!)

Here's my newest painting titled "Bluebell Lane". This painting is completed on the 1 1/2" canvas I ordered. Sides are painted and it can be hung with or without a frame. You can see close up photos in the auction for the painting.

My painting "Goldie", the golden tree frog, found a new home - a lucky bidder snatched him up off of Ebay yesterday afternoon and he is now on his way out of state! Bye bye Goldie! Prints are still available, of course. Just click the link.

Ending today on Ebay is "Leo", a 16x20 lion painting, perfect for those of us with August birthdays or anyone who loves lions like I do! :)

I've spent my day doing recordkeeping updates (UGH...I put that stuff off too long!), then went to the PO to send Goldie on his way, and then stopped here at a local store who had great buys on framed prints. It wasn't the PRINT I was was the FRAME. I found one to fit the print I have here of "Golden Guardians" and I have to admit, I'm really pleased with my purchase! I got such a great deal on this and I got to thinkin'....
(Another UH OH! LOL!)

Yes, I got to thinking about these cheap prints they have at all the discount/decor stores around here - and I realized, hey, the FRAMES on many of these are AMAZING! And for a good price! Much better than I could get a custom frame made for! So today I ordered some canvas BOARDS rather than the stretched canvas, and I went a little larger in size (18x24), hoping to find some of these great buys on frames, take out the cheap poster prints and use the frame for my original art and/or my fine art prints. Why not? The frames are WOOD and often of very nice quality. The reason I went with the canvas boards was because many of these frames are not deep enough for a stretched canvas, but they are great for a board.

So after racking my brain all day on what to order, Dick Blick now has some more of my hard-earned money. :)

Well, I'm off here to get busy on another painting. I haven't decided on what landscape/garden/floral type painting which will be next in the Serenity Series, so I'm going to work on the Scarlet Macaw portrait I've had planned for about 2 weeks now.

Tally ho,