Painful Self Promotion


I am trying to learn self-promotion. First question: how do I know I’m good enough to promote myself? Originally the point was to get rid of art that I call closet stuffers, or insulation. But, silly me, I doing the whole social media thing with digital downloads which doesn’t help get rid of anything! So again, why bother? I hate to say it but maybe I need the acknowledgment, or social acceptance? Would I go as far as to say I need praise? Jeez – pathetic.

The process to me is so far from the artistic process that it becomes cumbersome. Like the sizing and editing of prints in photoshop – pixels, inches, resolution etc. Yet here I am putting my silly little paintings (cartoon-ish looking animals) on Etsy, and Pinterest while promoting them on Instagram. Nauseating somehow, but necessary. Wait, why is it necessary? I can’t imagine that I can make a living off my goofy little digital downloads. This all must be in the hopes that people (publishers) might explore further and buy (want to publish) a book or two? Yes, I do write fiction.

Well, here’s a glimpse of the goofiness:

Weird, jelly fish looking monster having a bad hair day.
Bad Hair Day https://www.etsy.com/listing/686075793/digital-watercolor-crazy-hair-person?ref=shop_home_active_3

Sketchbook


Just some fun pictures in one of my books.

Well, apparently when you post from your phone the pictures come up on the right sidebar…Not a techy, I don’t get it. But, if you click on the pear and the little arrows, that’s where the other sketchbook pictures are.

Illustrations for my book


I’ve been working on and off on this book for months. Maybe it’s been a year or more, I’ve lost track. In any case, I have the bulk of it done but can’t help but add and subtract pictures. My husband, desperately trying to learn In-design, cringes every time I want to make a change. I’m so sorry, really I am.

The book is an easy reader, for ages 7 to 9. Most of the time publishers don’t want illustrations for that age or if they do, drawings are simple. Since I haven’t found an agent or publisher, I’m doing this on my own and not paying attention to publishing guidelines (standard me behavior).

Here is the problem. I started with a picture like the one below. At first making a simple magnifying glass, then deciding I could make it a little more interesting. And so it goes…one picture after the other.

What that means is that, if nothing else I’m enjoying the process.

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Lessons From the Art Studio Tour


I’m so honored when friends stop in to support me at the art show and say hello. But boy am I uncomfortable selling my art to them. Don’t you give stuff to friends? I love my friends and want to give to them, not take their money. . It’s the way I give gifts, which I don’t otherwise give. I really suck at gift giving. So this is really perfect…isn’t it? They pick out what they like, I give it to them – everyone’s happy!! When I explain that, the thought and sentiment behind it, is brushed off.

Then to top it off I had one young lady fall in love with a painting. When she asked how much I wanted for it she lost it. “That’s too low!” she gasped “It should be at least double what you have marked here!” …and then proceeded to pay the lower price. ( -.- shrugg). oh well.

Okay big lesson – add ten dollars to each tag. ok, $20. but that’s as high as I’ll go!

The top picture and at the bottom of the other pic, is a new little kids book I’m working on. It’s about an Ant and an Elephant. Before it’s even done I’ve gotten some interest. Actually someone wanted to buy that unfinished little sketch book. Wohoo! They also like the one about the seagull that gets kicked out of Bologna cartel. He then gets a kid to help flood the market with bolgna to ruin his former comrades. Once that’s done, he starts a new gang that seeks out and hords peanut butter….something like that.

Me and my guy


It’s that time of year again. Inktober.  I’ll try to do more as the month goes on but I’ve finally figure out how to illustrate my latest story: The Glass Bottle. It’s a mythology or folklore, something like that. I’m excited about it! Maybe I’ll post a couple of pictures as I finish them.20181004_155953

Muggy Walk


The perfect word for this weekend. Swampy, maybe that’s because of tRump, but it actually has been. I had to wear my Wellies for the morning walk. Mosquitoes buzzed around my head. I swatted, to no avail, so I let them do their thing and kept on.

When we first got my dog (a rescue) he couldn’t believe I would allow him to go in the puddles. Now he doesn’t even ask anymore if it’s ok (he use to look at me questioning if he could actually get wet and muddy). His hair long is a problem for me when he wants to get back in the house (with ac) but not for him. He likes to plop in the creek too. He doesn’t swim, he just plops and slurps. 20180610_170754.jpg

The Big Reveal, over and over.


True story and sorry no pictures for the pervs out there!

What I Wore:

  1. Dark blue, baggy, linen, button down tent dress,
  2. Pair of dark blue Capri leggings (meant to be taken off as the day got warmer),
  3. Pair of orange (maybe coral) espadrilles,
  4. Cross-body pocketbook (is that what it’s called?), and
  5. Big tote bag full of stuff to do (but never seem to get to) while waiting for the car to be tuned up.

How Many Events:

  • Three with one repeat

Where Disaster Struck:

  • Car dealership and several techie stores my husband had to go into and finally Costco

When:

  • Same day

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Two Nona v.s. One Sexagenerian


Let me preface this by saying I dearly love both of these incredible women. Okay? Ready – read!

I took two nonagenarians to the grocery store. Mom is  96. Her sister, Aunty J, is 92 They’re both creative in their own way, energetic and with most of all their faculties. Silly me I thought going to the grocery store was going to be, well, like going to the grocery store. Easy, right? You go in, you get what you want, you pay and leave. Boy was I mistaken.

Aunty J was visiting for the weekend and decided she wanted to go to the store to get some fun things to cook for her older sister. Mom also wanted to pick up a few things. It was only after the event that my cousin told me she would never go to the grocery store with her mother and “0h how brave you were to do that!”

“What?!! I yelled in to the phone. “Why the hell didn’t you warn me beforehand?” Continue reading

To Art


I’m gearing up to do the annual Spring Art Show in Great Falls. May 5th and 6th. I was reluctant at first but with some encouragement and incentives I’ve decided to go for it. They want to set up a time for me to read my children’s book. I’m not sure which one, maybe both? If enough kids show up, that makes it more of a community event rather than a sales event. I also have a dozen or so watercolors to hang up. I’ve been matching the paintings up with fabric and scraps of paper, like this:

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Some are more elaborate than this one but they’re already under glass making it harder to photograph. All but one out of the dozen or so, are in an 11 x 14 black frame with the same off white mat-board. Hopefully it will look professional and enticing. Of course there’s always insecurities but I guess I just have to suck it up.

 

Looking Down and How to Ride the Subway – Two Stand-Out Life Lessons


These two lessons came when my sister and I would visit our bohemian uncle in New York City. He was an artist and writer/illustrator of children’s books. During the week we were with our parents in Westchester County in a very remote, wooded area. It was idyllic and peaceful but for some reason we would end up in the city on many weekends and often during vacations. I loved the country and built forts and wandered in the woods, but I equally loved the city! Maybe it was because our uncle always seemed so happy to show off “his” New York. Daily outings might include a bagel, dim sum or some other treat. Wollman’s Rink was on the going-out-list, as was Times Square, Chinatown, Zabars and a host of other places to eat including the automats (ask your grandparents what that is). On any given weekend we might end up in Brooklyn to visit Gram. On all these excursions we would walk, take the subway, then walk some more. Taking a cab was for the “swells” not for artists. Continue reading

Coati and flowers in CR


We are staying in hotel with casitas. Each casita has huge sliding glass doors that lead to a little plunge pool.

We decided the air and temperature was so delightful at night that we wanted to leave those doors wide open. In the middle of the night I heard something and saw the tail of a rather large animal jumping down from the kitchen counter. I woke my husband and with two small flashlights we searched the villa. We saw and heard nothing further and decided I must have been dreaming.

However, the next morning I noticed crystal powder on the floor leading out to the pool. Sugar? Then saw a tea bag(brought from home) that was in the sink but there should have been two more. There on the counter was the second. It had been gnawed open with tea sprinkled around as if it exploded. I still haven’t found the third tea bag.

Finally we noticed our two bananas were gone. The peels were left by the pool. One to the right of the pool and one to left. It must have been a party!We were told it had been raccoons or coati. Apparently they can open the refrigerator door if they think there’s something good in there.

In my silly mind, I wondered if we closed the door tonight, will they knock to be let in?

Anyway, the sun was just right for picture taking.

Mixed Up


Mostly watercolors but also some acrylic ink and granulation medium. So fun!! Now I want to go buys all the acrylic ink colors.

Along the way – burnt sienna and dark greens.


Thinking about thistles


Not sure these are done but the colors are fun.

My Pass at Potty Humor


Do you have a building pass? The kind you have carry with you at all times. It either clips to your belt or hangs from your neck so everyone can see just how un-photogenic you are. Well, if you have one, don’t do what I did!

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I’ve had a busy few weeks. First was a studio tour last weekend. The kind of event where artists open their studio for people to visit and drive from one artist’s studio to another. They came to my house; mostly older women dragging their husbands. Continue reading

Turkey Tail


I don’t know mushrooms or fungi but I love them. The shapes and color are fascinating to me. In fact I just bought a blouse with tiny mushrooms all over it. It works.

Sunday Sillies


I love splotching paint on paper and then seeing what shapes and figures emerge. Not accurate or a great piece of art, but silly and don’t we all need a good dose of silly?

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Need This Place


Welcome to Vinalhaven. Maybe I shouldn’t advertise it and keep it a secret… I mean moss covered pine forests edged with giant ferns, I mean, come on! Even the dog smelled fresh and hug-able after a few days here.

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Actively Trying To Do Nothing


Its been really hard to not do stuff while on vacation. I’m really trying to not think about stuff like making the the reservation for the ferry to get off island, or making painting for the next book, or anticipating the long ride home. So little outside paintings, walks, watching the tides roll in and out and so on. Why is it so hard to relax? Anyway, actively trying.

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Crow Bar


My cousin saw a soft sculpture I did of three crows on a stick that I named the Crowbar….she wanted more. So here it is:

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Always With The Trees


My older sister once said, in her most snide voice “Why are you always drawing trees?” I was stunned and didn’t know how to answer. I love the trees, I thought to myself but she, being the big sister must right. So, I stopped drawing trees or at least was very aware of all my seven year old obsessive tree drawing.  Continue reading

Out For a Walk


Could it be any more beautiful out today? Warm, sunny, dry, but not too warm. How unusual for DC!

Leaf Lace


Little branch of lacy leaves. As a shadow, on a wet rock and in front of the garage door.

It’s Lush Out There


Just a little summer offering. It clouds, it rains, it suns, it winds. I can’t tell when to walk the dog. The path next to the creek is way too muddy. The clouds are bouncy thick…will it rain now? Now? Maybe I just have to get wet and muddy.

I bought grey ink and wanted to see what it would look like on watercolor and pastel. This is it but it doesn’t look very grey….However, the paper was white. Not sure why it looks pink.

Summeroffering

 

The Blue Moon Series


 

…or as my very adult daughter says about the first one it’s Fairy Cotton Puffs.

Global Warming Weather Selfie


73 degrees so far in the DC area – it’s February 24th – this can’t be right…..but it feels so good.

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Maybe Tomorrow


Thinking about a summer walk with my dog.

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Walking With Them


Walking with those in Standing Rock. Water Is Life. I’ve signed every petition, prayed every prayer…now what? Water Is Life.waterislife

Nose to Nose


If you ask an older person how old they feel on the inside, they might tell you they feel like they’re 35, sometimes younger like 25 or 18. Walking with the dog today, I realized that if I answered that question it somewhere between nine and twelve years old.

All my mind can handle right now is walking the dog, drawing and painting, meditation, cooking and making yummy things like chocolate and a few other basics. When I go beyond that, I begin to have anxiety attacks. I don’t know how to handle dissidence.  As a nine year old are you expected to understand why people don’t just get along? This is where I am during tRump time.

All I want is harmony, birds chirping, the smell of damp woods, honey, thoughtful discussions and laughter, my dog, a crackling fireplace on a cold night and rolling down a hill in summer. Is that too much to ask?
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Political Atmosphere Selfie


I’m trying to be strong, up-beat and pro-active. I’ve written to my Congressperson four times in the last few days. Then I listen to the news and the storm clouds roll in…..politicalatmosphere

A Light Snow


Today’s weather selfie. Snow.

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Aprons, yes or no?


Do you wear an apron when you cook? I don’t. I have one, but I have never bothered to take the time the put the damn thing on. Why? Why bother? I run into the kitchen after work and begin. There is no dawdling; no pondering the situation, no gazing into the depths of the deep, dark, refrigerator. And no measuring devices will ever taint one of my dishes. Let’s just get the job done! First you open the freezer and check out the meats, and if no meats are being sacrificed, then move on to the vegetable drawer. Easy, sauces, pots, pans, a little of this and that and, voilá, we have a meal!

I’ve been told that I cook the way I paint – with no patience. When I got married, my husband was aghast at how dirty the kitchen became when I cooked. I’m still not sure what he was complaining about. I mean, I always put my ingredients away after I use them. But preparation is like conducting an orchestra. Things splatter, pop, sizzle and fly across the room. I have stopped throwing the spaghetti against the wall to see if it’s done, mostly because our ceilings are really high in the kitchen.

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The Swim


Just a thought….

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The Swamp Has Its Virtues


I was going to title this Why Drain the Swamp. But then I thought wait a second I wouldn’t mind draining the stinky, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, rotting parts of the swamp. Otherwise, what’s wrong with the swamp?whydraintheswamp

Feeling A Little Abstract Today


Fun to let go, smear, spray, drip and drizzle paint…

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Meet Clever!


I used to make up bedtime stories for my kids.  One story that we all loved was about a a very smart Macaw who adopted a family and then takes them on an adventure to find his home. “Clever” was one of those stories that  survived the test of time (about 25 years since my kids were little). My eldest requested an illustrate version of the story so that she could share it with her children.

Clever is available on Amazon as a softcover real book (remember those?) or as a Digital Download. I hope you enjoy!

Written and illustrated by me!!

 

Earlier Last Night


I don’t know,  it was the color of the sky, the silhouetted shapes, the setting sun…the picture just had to be taken. It’s not great or anything but there was something whimsical about the berries and the stems they hung on and the rhythm of the leaves.

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