Sunday 22 February 2015

Promoting Yourself

Every artist who wants to sell their art needs to make an effort at promotion. This can be very difficult as many artists prefer hiding in their studios painting to getting out in the world.

In the rural area where I live, it is doubly difficult. The majority of our  population is retired: people who are more likely to be down-sizing than buying art, and we no longer have a professional gallery in the area. Some artists display their paintings in local restaurants or book stores and some of us have small home-based galleries. Many of us display our art at the Creston Public Library and at the Chamber of Commerce as these venues offer 2 month long shows all year. Various groups put on annual Art Shows and we have a moderate influx of tourists from the late spring through to the end of September.

The problem remains! How do we get people in the door and buying? This year a number of us are trying something new. We are going to put together a directory: Artists and Artisans of the Creston Valley. The directory will be available at the Creston Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre for visitors to look through. Hopefully, it will encourage visits to our galleries and more sales of art.

I have spent the last few days working on my information sheet for the directory and after three versions I think I have one that will work.


The Artists and Artisans of the Creston Valley directory will be a simple binder with information sheets about a number of the artists in the area - lets hope it will be effective.

Thank you to my Google+ friends: Sheila Delgado  and Sea Dean -
for introducing me to so I could make the collage on the back page of my information sheet.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Learning and Adapting

I think that artists are always interested in learning new things; things that can be used as taught or that can be adapted to the artist's own taste.

Last Saturday I went down to Bonners Ferry, Idaho for a class at the Bamboo Room - This is the second class I have taken with Linda on card making and I really enjoyed myself. The focus this week was flowers, using die-cuts and other products that I don't remember the names of.

class cards

These are the cards I made in class. Linda always has most of the materials ready for students to just color and put together, but this time we had the chance to use the die-cut plates and the cutter. She also taught us how to mold the flowers so they have depth and dimension.

I took what I learned home with me and created my own card. However, I don't have any of the fancy equipment, so everything was done by hand.

my card

I used the flowers from the class as a guide and made my own patterns out of heavy card. Then I used the patterns and drew the flowers on one of my own painted papers, drawing in the detail on one set of petals with pen & ink. Each flower uses 3 sets of petals so I spent a fair amount of time cutting things out. I used another of my painted papers for the leaves, molded the petals, glued things together and once they were dry mounted them on a card. I finished it off with some paper quilling and a few extras.

it different view
Here is a view from an angle which shows the quilling a bit better.

I am already working on more patterns to make more flowers. As I don't intend for this to be a major part of my artistic life, I won't be buying all the equipment to make these cards or flowers the same way dedicated card makers make them. I have adapted what I learned to the materials I have on hand. It may take longer but the enjoyment is the same.

Saturday 14 February 2015

Looking for the Cute!

I am a member of two Google+ communities that are all about Anime - and I don't read the stories or follow the characters but I really enjoy seeing the art.

One of my goals this winter is to try to learn to draw this fascinating genre. Like every other creative endeavour it takes skill and practice. As drawing people is way outside my normal subject area, it is going to take a lot of work!

Using a "how-to" guide from one of the above communities, I have been trying my hand at some Anime heads. However,  I CAN'T FIND THE CUTE! So many of the Anime characters are cute - I think it is the eyes - but I know my drawings fall way short.
My first attempts

I admit that I haven't spent much time yet on this challenge but I will keep at it over the next few months and I will keep you up-dated too!

Thursday 5 February 2015

On to New Challenges!

The winter months of each new year have always been a time for me to try new things. In the past I have taken workshops by talented local artists ( and to name two) but this year I am going to teach myself. And that is the challenge!

I have already worked on Oriental Style painting: now I am moving on to Paper Quilling and Anime.

Valentine Card

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I decided to try my hand at a few cards. I have used my own painted paper for the hearts, some of the quills, and the leaves. 

Valentine Card #2

I will have to practice taking photos of my quilling work to find a way to show it off to better advantage. I think the cards look much better in person!

 I don't know if I will incorporate this skill in my regular art but It has definite possibilities for mixed media. Whether I use quilling just to make cards and to play or whether I add it to paintings, I figure all knowledge is useful - if only to keep the mind alive!

Monday 2 February 2015

DAY 3 - Retroactive

I am DONE! Thirty pieces of art done in 30 days! I think I will take a few days off after this - no, wait - I have Art Club on Wednesday so I guess I will only take one day off.

I decided to finish with the style that I have spent so much time on lately, so here is another Oriental Style painting.

Flowering Peach

Flowering Peach is a 7 x 10 watercolor on crinkled Masa paper. Once again the water is the difficult part of this style and using the crinkled paper added to the challenge. This paper is a bit thicker than normal rice paper so more water can be used which is good as it works better with the texturing. But I had to be careful not to use too much water - it is all a balancing act!

I hope everyone has a great week! Think Spring!

Sunday 1 February 2015

DAY 2 - Retroactive!

The challenge was 30 paintings in 30 days and, although I started late, I decided to keep to that commitment. Today's piece isn't a painting because I can't stop from trying new things. I got some new instruction books the other day and I just had try the techniques from one of them.

Card with Paper Quilling

I love seeing samples of paper quilling when I explore on Etsy, Facebook, and other sites on the web. When I had the chance to buy a book about it for a really good price I couldn't resist. AND, I couldn't resist trying a few things out, so I made a card, although I have none of the recommended tools. The book has decent instruction but I think I will need to check out a few videos too.

Just a reminder that all the paintings from this challenge and many of my other works can be seen in my Facebook albums at - or in the albums on my Google+ page at - BTW - Everything is for sale too!

I hope you are all having a great Sunday and that you will tune in tomorrow to see the last of my 30 paintings.