Monday, May 23, 2016

A Good Reason

Some lovely lilacs from the backyard.  

Hello all.  I don't normally share many personal things on my blog, but I thought I'd share with you the reason I've been a little MIA.  My poor dad had a stroke a couple Tuesdays ago.  He called me at 3am and his speech was a little slurred.  Apparently he had slid out of bed onto the floor because his right side was immobile.  I called 911 and met the ambulance at the hospital which is between my house and his.  He had also called his neighbor, a dear friend, who hurried to my dad's side at that unGodly hour. (We are truly blessed to have friends like Phil and Sharon!)

Long story short, after a brief stay in the hospital where they addressed his blood pressure, cholesterol and blood, not to mention many tests and scans later, my dad is now situated in a rehab facility not far from his home.  He is recovering and making progress daily.  It will be a long haul I'm sure, but he has a wonderful team and we are hopeful for a strong recovery and doing all we can to prevent this from happening again.  His spirits are excellent and we all appreciate that things could have been a lot worse.  We are grateful for dear friends and family and the wonderful caregivers he has had and continues to have.  We also still manage to laugh a lot finding humor in some . . . um . . . well . . . awkward hospital situations.  

So thank you for your patience with my absence.

Fletcher Framer's Points - nifty little points that secure your paintings in their frames.

In "art" news . . . I have been trying to re-organize my blog and work on my various marketing strategies (a la Leslie Saeta -- the woman is a dynamo and VERY inspiring!)  

At that time, I had snapped a couple photos of my framing supplies with the hopes that at least one day a week I would share some of my supplies and studio practices with you.  I thought I'd start with how I frame.  Lots of you probably do your own framing already, but for those of you who don't, hopefully you will learn something new!

Aaaaahhhh  . . . the point driver and points.  Very simple and very easy!


Framing can be very expensive so I choose to do as much of it as I can, myself.  I will begin with two little items that you MUST have to frame.

Long ago I purchased a Fletcher Point Driver (pictured above) along with Framer's Points.  These allow you to secure your painting into any frame.  I think I bought my equipment through DickBlick . . . but many art stores and on-line framing sites sell them.  You can shop around.

These little items certainly make things easy when framing, and are a relatively minor investment that pay for themselves very quickly.  The point driver reminds of of a staple gun . . . you just load a sleeve of points into it, push the nose of the driver snug against the frame and your backing and pull the trigger.  

Voila!

close-up

I just put as many points as I think necessary to secure the painting in place.  I'll share more more about the entire process of framing a piece of art in another framing post. I just thought I'd get started with this little piece of equipment.  

If there are any topics you'd like me to write about, or you're curious about, (regarding watercolor painting, framing, or my processes as an artist) I will do my best to address them.  I'm happy to share whatever I've learned on this little ride!  

Thanks for dropping by!


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Online Self-Publishing



If you are thinking about doing any publishing on your own, I can't stress enough how easy the process has been on amazon's createspace.  By creating an account, you are led through step-by-step instructions on how to format and upload your project, how to price it, what royalties you can expect to get, etc.  Amazon handles all the sales, printing and shipping.  Costs are kept competitive because they print on demand and because of all that, you don't need to invest any money except for the hard-copy proof and any personal copies you may want on hand to sell on your own.  

You can read more about createspace here.  So far things have been working out very well.  I'll keep you posted on anything new I find out as I go forward through my self-publishing experience.  And if you've had any ideas about publishing, know that your dreams can become reality with just some effort and time and a small amount of money.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Lots of Slow Progress

"The Budding Artist" - work-in-progress
12" x 12"
watercolor on cradled aquabord


I'm getting close with this one . . . looking to have her done this week. There are lots of nit-picky details left to add to the realism; I'll be playing with some values and making sure my star artist stands out against her busy background.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Proofed!

Coloring Peace - A Fine Art Coloring Book



Coloring Peace has been proofed and approved and is now up live on amazon.com.



The book turned out even better than I expected.  I hope people will enjoy coloring in my images. I'm looking into having a place online for colorers to post and share their finished images.  So stay tuned in for more information.


Have fun coloring "E-Z"

"Rainbow Sprinkles"

If you happen to purchase the book, please be sure to write a review.  This will help give "Coloring Peace" more exposure.




Thank you for dropping by and Happy Coloring!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

It's LIVE!

"Coloring Peace"
A Fine Art Coloring Book by yours truly.
$8.99


Sharpen your colored pencils and get out your markers, Coloring Peace can now be purchased online at my createspace e-store!   Happy Coloring!

Have a great Mother's Day and thank you for stopping by!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Colorful

work-in-progress
watercolor on cradled aquabord
12" x 12"

We've had some very gray days all week so I needed a little color in my life.  I began this painting earlier in the week.  It's moving along well, so I hope to have it finished along with my blueberries in the next week.

Coloring Book Update:  I checked with tracking and my proof should be here this afternoon!  It's at the local P.O. as I type.  I'm so excited!

In other news . . . I'm sharing these photos of a painting I recently sold.  My collector has a very talented brother-in-law who dabbles in wood-working and he crafted this perfect little frame for "Fill-It-Up . . . Hi-Test." I think it's delightful, don't you?

Have a great day and Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!



Frame close-up . . . what lovely detail!

How cute is this?  I think it's the most perfect color.



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Reunited & It Feels So Good

work-in-progress
22" x 30"
watercolor on aquabord


It's so good to be back painting again!  Not too much has changed with this one yet . . . just working on minute details that hopefully will come together and lend some more realism to this one.

Thank you for stopping in!


detail



Monday, May 2, 2016

Uploaded & Ready To Proof

COLORING PEACE - my first coloring book - 8.5" x 8.5" paperback

As you all know by now, I've been spending almost every waking moment for the past month, designing a coloring book based on my paintings.  I've included a variety of subjects: architecture, still life, animals, to name a few.  Each image is a square line drawing, surrounded by corresponding original patterns for extra coloring fun!  

Over the weekend I formatted my pages, designed my cover and uploaded my book.  I was notified last night that my hard copy proof is on its way.  So barring any horrible errors, I am hoping to have my book ready for sale within the next week.  I'm very excited and can barely contain myself.  Ha! 

I'm happy to get back to painting though . . . I think this is the longest I've gone without painting since I began this full-time artful journey 8 years ago.  I have some paintings I began before this bookmaking madness commenced, that I intend on finishing this month and am looking forward to planning some new paintings.  

I'll be sure to let you know when my book is available for purchase.  It will be placed on amazon.com so you should have an easy time ordering it.  

Have a lovely day!  Now, I'm going to try to focus and get painting! 


Thursday, April 21, 2016

New Tools and a Teaser

Epson Scanner

I'm so excited about my two new acquisitions:  my Epson V800 scanner and my new Wacom Tablet.  I've been in desperate need for a scanner for a while now.  High resolution images of my work is a must and until now I've been photographing my work or using a friend's scanner (thank you, Roc!).  I finally was able to save up some cash and purchase this scanner and am sooooo happy I did.  I love, love, love it!

Wacom Tablet

After searching around ebay for awhile, I was able to snag this fantastic Wacom 3 Tablet at a fraction of its original cost and it is awesome!  I am using it constantly for work on my latest project, which I will be sharing soon.  Below is a snapshot of some of the work I've done so far . . . can you guess what I'm doing?



Thanks for coming by . . . have a great day!



Monday, April 18, 2016

Boating Weather


So I know my posts have been a bit spotty these past few weeks.  I'm working on an exciting project that I'm almost ready to share with you, so just hang in there.  It's taking a lot of time, but it's been fun.

In between obsessing over my project, I managed to get in a few different photoshoots with my little peeps. Today was such a delightful day, I followed the family out for some boating.  In order to get my shots, I was lying in wet dirt and sand.  I think I need an assistant the next time I go out.  Getting up, setting up my scenes, lying back down, viewing, getting up again, changing the scene slightly, lying back down again . . . ugh . . . what an ordeal!  I really felt my age today.

Have a great day and stay tuned in for my upcoming project news!

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Gift Wrap



I wrapped some packages for two special little boys over the weekend using my gift wrap.  You can find it along with a few other designs at my Spoonflower store.

Have a great week.  I'm working hard on my new project and hope to share it with you very soon!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Onto The Next!

"Cape Cod Pumpkins" - work in progress - watercolor on aquabord

After cutting a piece of aquabord for my last painting "Cape Cod Roses" I had another long, thin board left.  Luckily I had another composition at the ready.  I started "Cape Cod Pumpkins" last week.  Hope you all had a blessed Easter.