Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Lists, Lists, and more Lists - Cleaning Up.

Lesle Saeta is cleaning up and reorganizing the physical space in her studio and has invited other artists to join her, re-organizing their studios.  For me, my physical space is working well these days, however I've been wicked dragging my feet on a big "clean-up" task that's needed attention for a long time now:  my mailing lists.

A few months ago my intern started consolidating information.  She did a great job in-putting information from lots of scraps of paper, onto a new spreadsheet.  The only thing left was for me to cross-reference a few other big lists I had which I finally did on Monday.  

Even after all Abbie's hard work, the cross-referencing took me all day.  It will be so nice to have one place where all my contacts are and where I can record new ones.  It was getting mighty confusing! My plan now is to finally get a new newsletter out and get back on track with some of my 2016 marketing plans.  There is always so much to do, but I really do find it invigorating.

In addition to mailing list troubles, I had some earlier systems of recording artwork and collectors which worked at the time but as time has gone by if I need to refer back for information it's way too difficult.  I think I now have a system in place that fixes all that and so my next "clean-up" will be to start back-recording old sales information into my new system.  I'm lucky that in addition to painting, I do love to organize!  

If you have some tips and methods that help you out, please share them in the comments.  I'd love to hear what helps you stay organized.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Weekend Progress

My husband's uncle celebrated his 70th birthday over the weekend so we took a ride up to New Hampshire, to join family at Dan's cousin's lake house on Saturday.  What a great day!  The weather was beautiful, the food was delicious and the company even better.  

I was able to sneak in a little painting time and made bit more progress on my commission.  So now all four paintings are well on their way.  

Happy Monday, I hope you all have a great start to your week!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Late Night Progress

I'm really having fun painting all the bright colors on this commissioned series.  Have a great weekend and thank you for tuning into my blog!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Throwback Thursday - "Parlor Afternoon"

"Parlor Afternoon"
19" x 11" (image size)
(watercolor on paper)
Click here to purchase.

I still really like this painting but it is need of a forever home.  It was completed in February of 2014 and is from a photograph I took at my friend's house.  It was a peaceful afternoon with beautiful sunlight that filled the room.  The rich tones of the wood floor and chair were fun to paint.  And I'm always happy to render the folds in fabric.

If you are interested in purchasing this painting -- it comes matted in a slight off-white mat - about 2 inches wide, and finished with a lovely wooden frame like the image shown.  This painting is on paper so it is matted and framed under glass.  A payment plan is available for this painting, just contact me for the terms.

Have a great night!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Busy, Busy, Busy

This is going to be a short post as I have been busy working on commissions and am actually headed to bed.  Oh how good it will feel to crawl under the covers!  

These are some 8" x 8" cradled aquabord panels in various stages.  It's fun to to work on multiple paintings at once.

Have a lovely Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

New Notecards

(clockwise from top left:  "Pristine,"
"Old-Fashioned Hydrangea," "E-Z" and "Coke Bottles")

I just ordered some new cards along with replenishing stock in some of my older designs.  I always order from catprint.com as I love their quality and customer service.

You can purchase my notecards and other prints and small gift items at my online store on storenvy.  I hope to be updating my store with more of my "Little People" cards this week.

"Little Yellow House"
5.5" x 4.25" notecard

I'm not sure if I ever shared my "Little Yellow House" notecard with you.  I think it's a lovely card for a housewarming.

5.25" x 5.25" notecard

Each notecard is blank inside.
(bottom image: "Sue's Crock")

Although I do have some of my "Coloring Peace" coloring books in stock, I don't have them listed in my online store as you can purchase them here at amazon.com for $8.99 each.

"Coke Bottles"
5.25" x 5.25" notecard

Thanks for dropping by!  I'm painting away on my commissions.  I can't wait to share them with you.  Happy Painting!

Monday, July 11, 2016


8" x 8"
(watercolor on 7/8" cradled aquabord)

I received word last night that the recipient of this commissioned piece had his birthday celebration a little early, so it's now safe for me to post "Lily." Check out her little snaggletooth!  Hilarious.  Many thanks to my client and a very happy birthday to Brian!  I hope he enjoys his painting.

Have a lovely start to the week!

Friday, July 8, 2016

An Abstract Sneak Peek

Sneak Peek - Commission
watercolor on aquabord
One of the projects I used to assign when I taught high school art was based on "abstract" design.  I think to turn out interesting and successful abstract work one must have a comprehensive understanding of the elements of art and principles of design.  Without this foundation, non-representational work can often feel empty and incomplete.  Students don't always have enough experience to really understand abstraction, so I made it as concrete as I could to lead them to successful solutions.

For all of my assignments I developed "project sheets" that included 10 objectives that my students were to follow while encouraging them to think as creatively as possible while meeting these objectives.

The criteria would center around what concepts I wanted to teach.  I may limit students to following specific "rules"  - they may have to work within a complementary color scheme or put their focal point within the rule of thirds, for example.

For creating non-representational work these objectives always worked really well -- using concrete methods to teach something that's ummm . . . way less than concrete.

And to give students a starting point rather than just assigning "an abstract painting" I'd have students magnify an object or part of a still life, or a portion of a photo, etc.  They would create small viewfinders with index cards and look at things in a different way - thinking about the design elements listed in their criteria.  I felt that this method took a very "abstract" concept and gave it some concrete "teeth" that students could really grasp.

So why this long dissertation on a project I used to teach a lifetime ago?  This little tidbit from my latest commission reminded me of that assignment.  It's just a tiny little portion of the painting that made me remember how much fun it is to magnify objects to create unexpected non-representational designs.

If you never have, try out this method -- it's a lot of fun and I'd love to see your designs.  Email them to me at kkoz517@charter.net.

Thanks for popping in and have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

It's Thursday . . . Time For Another "Throwback"

"Plum with Grapes"
8" x 8"
(watercolor on aquabord)

Click here to purchase.

Technically this is a "Throwback Thursday" painting, but as I was writing this post I discovered that I had never posted it on my Daily Paintworks site.  Who knew?

This painting began as a demonstration painting for a talk I gave at a local art group back in the Fall of 2015.  I was very pleased with the way it turned out.  I like to say it's a contemporary take on two very traditional still life objects.

Thank you for viewing my work.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Safe To Publish

"Hello, Mr. Chips"
8" x 8"
(watercolor on aquabord)

I suppose it's safe to publish this painting now.  This was a surprise birthday gift commission, but since the special day has come and gone, I figure it's okay that I share this latest painting.  It was a lot of fun to do -- challenging too.  I hope the birthday girl enjoys it!  Many thanks to my client.

Back to the drawing board.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Good News on the Homefront!

work-in-progress (2)
6" x 6"
watercolor on aquabord

In personal news, my dad was released from rehab on Saturday!!  WooHoo!  So he is now staying with Dan, Teddy, Dee-Dee and me.  We're so glad to have him here.  He made wonderful progress while at HealthSouth in Ludlow, MA.  It is a tremendous facility, staffed with wonderful, caring people.  And I can't say enough good things about his team - so responsive, proactive, knowledgeable, diligent and compassionate.  A HUGE thank you to everyone who cared for my dad during his stroke recovery, from the bottom of my heart.

work-in-progress (1)
6" x 6"
watercolor on aquabord

On the artistic front: 

I've been working on some commissions as you know.  I finished one on Friday, but because it's not going to its recipient until the end of July, I can't publish it yet, but I will as soon as I can.

I've started another couple commissions over the weekend and will share some sneak peeks soon.  I also snuck in a little work on the orange wedge. 

Wishing you a delightful start to your week!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Friday, July 1, 2016

Blog Talk Radio . . . Love It!

Painted into a corner:
This is where I sit to paint -- my large monitor is in front of me
and I can look out into my gardens during the day.

"Secrets To The Perfect Art Studio"  -- That was the title of last week's podcast by Leslie Saeta so I've peppered this post with photos of my "perfect-for-me" studio while singing the praises of the Artists Helping Artists weekly podcast.

An old store counter is the perfect height for working while standing.
I cut mats and do framing here.  The curtain hides supplies and books.

Whether you're a veteran artist or just starting out I highly recommend listening to Artists Helping Artists, a weekly podcast from artist, Leslie Saeta.  I can't tell you how many helpful tidbits I've received over the years by listening to her shows.  Each show is usually about an hour and are recorded live on Thursdays.

I try and keep this table surface clean.
This is where my students sit and work.
The old baker's table houses supplies and displays cards.

Leslie usually has a guest artist with her and they share advice about being an artist/small business owner.  She's covered everything from social media marketing, how to set up a studio, tips on staying inspired, legal advice for artists, to interviewing specific artists and conveying their stories.  Each show has been archived so you can pick and choose which ones you want to listen to in addition to tuning in live.

My deskwork area.  I do my blogging, research,
scanning, editing and printing from here.
The armoire holds my printer and paper.
A small lightbox is on the old slanted desk by the door.
Two students can fit at the black card table.

One of my favorite things about the information Leslie shares is that it's always geared toward the artist with little to no budget.  So when she's talking about marketing tools, they are usually free or have only a small fee but have the potential to yield good returns.  I've never been steered wrong.

"Where's Waldo . . . ahem . . . Teddy?"
Teddy finds the studio most enjoyable . . . can you find him?

So if you haven't ever listened to one of the Artists Helping Artists podcasts, or if you have but just not recently . . . hop on over and turn one on.  I love to listen to them while I paint -- although I often don't get much done, as I'm usually busy jotting down all the great ideas!

My stash of "Little People" props.

If you'd like to share other great artist resources or photos of your studio - hop on over to my Facebook post and share away in the comments!  I'd love to hear from you.

From another angle.

Have a lovely weekend!