Monday, August 27, 2007

back from Marquette

We went to Marquette this weekend because our daughter was starting back to school at NMU. What a beautiful place! We love to go there! We went to the top of Sugar Loaf, spectacular view. I took lots of pictures there, and lots of pictures of Lake Superior again. At some point I will definitely do a series from these photos. Possibly a triptych.
We also looked through some art galleries. My favorite thing I saw were relief pieces from found objects by Jeff Krino. I'm going to see if he has a website.
Since I'm thinking about changing my prices, I'm especially noticing pricing as I go to galleries and shows now. Some things were super cheap- but the quality wasn't great... there were watercolors at $1,200 for a fairly good sized painting. I thought they were possibly more inline with what I am doing. I got some good display and storage ideas too. One painter made a really practical rack out of pvc pipe, and used some insulating foam to cushion the edges of the frames. I'm going to go to the lumberyard to price those things. I'm also looking for the best way to tack canvas to wood rather than stretching the canvas like I've been doing. I really liked painting my last painting on wood- it was just a scrap piece my husband put together for me.
I'm looking forward to painting tonight with my friends!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


By the way, the polls are open again! The first one I did was open for 6 days- I think this one might be the same. I only had 2 votes, one was my husband and one was my daughter- lol!
Anyway, I'm trying it again. There are just 2 choices so make a decision and press a dot. Thanks for participating!

Art workshop at Joan's

I have a wonderful neighbor named Joan who is an artist. She creates colorful monotypes- very beautiful.

My daughter, my painting buddies, and I recently spent the day at Joan's workshop. It was super fun. She had a lot of sunflowers in bloom and she invited her art friends to come down and capture them in the media of our choice. There were about 15 of us that spent the day creating. It was interesting to see how different each of us chose to work; different compositions, different media, different set ups... everyone was unique! I still haven't finished my painting- but I will! You can see what I have done so far on the top right- those of you that know how I paint know that it won't look anything like this in the end. I drew all over it with a sharpie, so we'll see what happens with that! It seemed like a good idea at the time :-)

Joan also demonstrated oil pastels. She has such a bubbly enthusiasm for her artwork, it's just fun to be around her. I also really liked how she put up artist quotes on stakes all over her yard, and each stake had a cheerful little stuffed flower at the top- it was cute! Thanks Joan for a great day!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

back from camping

Just home from camping. We were gone for 3 nights. It was beautiful on Lake Michigan. I need to paint a sunset, I never have...
I got home and received in the mail the application for the Guild review of Standards. So, that's my next thing I need to do. I have to send in slides of my work and a booth slide for review to see if I can get in next year. Hopefully, I will get my booth slides from the photographer soon! I want to send this in right away!

Friday, August 3, 2007

I want to give a super warm welcome to any 43things friends who are helping me reach my goal! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Cheers to you all! I just posted on 43things 2 new goals. I want to get 25 comments on this Blog, and have 25 people take my survey. If you don't know about check it out. It's a goal setting website, it's fun, try it!


Just took a family trip to Toledo. We went to the zoo, the Mudhens game, and the Art Museum. I'm hoping to capture some of it in drawings and paintings. I really love Toledo! There are the cutest polar bear cubs right now. They make you remember how much fun life is, they romp around with such joy! The animals are fun but don't miss the garden! The zoo has the absolute best gardens around. The gardener there is amazing, he is so knowledgeable. Last year he gave me some seeds from an unusual plant called "Love in a Puff". The seeds actually have a heart on them. He has a huge collection of colleus, roses, and many more perreniels. The trimming and pruning is scrupulous. Flowers are a favorite subject of mine in my art work.
We had a Mexican dinner on the river, very pretty and relaxing. The Mudhens game was fun, they won! The weather was perfect!
At the Art Museum there was a Warhol show. I especially liked the prints on the glittery paper- diamond dust. Might be fun to try to replicate that with my art students...
I love the Vasarely, Close, Marisol, there. I love Picasso's woman with the crow- has to be one of my all time faves. and Cezanne, what's not to love... What a great day! What a great trip! I'm so lucky that the whole family loves this type of thing. Go Mudhens!

Thankful for Friends

OK, so, I'm still thinking about the Ann Arbor Show... One of the things I'm most thankful for are my friends and family who made such an effort to drive over and find me at the show. I know some people came who have never been to the art show before! I'm sure I'll forget someone when I try to list everyone, but I want to try to remember.

On the first day, first thing, while I was still in a daze, my good painting buddies Sandia and Mary came! That started my day out right!

I remember Michelle and her husband showing up- and said it was hard to find me, I wonder how many other people had trouble too. I had given post cards to a lot of people with the initial location that the Guild gave us, then right before the show they changed our location... I'm so glad they found me- what a great surprise! I heard Judy was there when I was away from the booth:-(, sorry Judy.

Our good friends Doug and Vandria came, I even got to sneak away and have dinner with them thanks to Lauren. So many of our longtime favorite friends came-Steve and Becky and Laura! and I got to spend some time looking around with them, yeah! -Dawn, Vern, and Brittney! It was such a fun surprise to see you! -Joan, Chelsea, Carol, Cathy! You were all so sweet to make the trip over. I wish I would have been there when you showed up, I would have enjoyed it so much. Patti and her sister Terri came out for a fun sister day! Happy birthday Terri! Jen, You're the best! You are such an encouragement and a blessing to me! I hope you had an awesome day with your girlfriends.

My dad and Becky even came! That was a huge surprise! We were taking a break and eating dinner when they happened to walk by!

Of course my favorite visitor and helper extrodinaire was Jamie!! and my favorite girls Cara and Jena. Thanks everyone for your support! and my family for your patience and help while I was concentrating on this for so long- you know I love you.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

What's next?

Here's a photo of our shared booth. The sign above our booth said "Art as a Living". That was the name of the workshop that the Guild sponsered for teachers. Michigan art teachers could participate in the workshop then send in slides of their work to be juried. 5 of us were selected to share the booth. The Guild provided the tent and display units, and guidance from professional artists. It was very generous of them. This gave us the opportunity to experience what it is like for professional artists firsthand. I know this experience will benefit my students.
Now that the Ann Arbor Fair is over, I'm on to thinking about what I should do next. I sent some prints up to a local coffee shop for display today. I need to get more work up around town. I have a lot of original work for sale, and quite a few prints in a variety of sizes.

My artist friend down the street stopped by today to invite me to a workshop she's giving on Aug. 14th. That will be fun! I'll get to spend the day painting. She also invited me to participate in a small show at her house with a few of her other artist friends. That will be in Sept. Sounds like great fun to me. I'll get to meet her friends and try to sell some more work! So, I have to get ready for that now. I'll need to send postcards, and work on some display racks. Hopefully, we'll have good weather! Can't wait!

The Ann Arbor Fair was a good experience, I'm so glad I had the opportunity. I can't help but be disappointed however that I didn't sell enough to cover my expenses. Hopefully, I will get back the money through later sales. I have a lot to figure out on the business side of things... It would be great if I had some sort of manager to do all that for me. I need a rich patron!

I'm also thinking about the direction of my painting. I'm in the middle of 2 paintings that are barn scenes. They are off to a great start. I need to get back at it. We'll be camping next week, so I'll probably get some drawing done there- although, I am bringing along Harry Potter... that might be all I do for the whole trip, read and relax. My daughters just finished the book and loved it, it is sad that it's the last book... I'm going to take my time and really savor it. Talk to you soon.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fair is On!

Just taking a quick minute to update. I've been at the fair for a few days. It has been a great experience! I have met so many friendly, talented people! One of my favorites so far is MJ- Emily Joy who is a 6 year old artist. She has already had her own show! She's on her way! I also loved meeting Sally and Connie, and Sally's daughter Erin (sorry if the spelling is wrong). They are artists who are at the same stage I am, looking to get beyond the hobby stage and really do something with their work. I met many others who I don't even know their names, but enjoyed our conversations so much.
The artists that I'm sharing a booth with are incredibly talented and so sharp. I admire their work, and the people that they are. They are such hard workers to have accomplished so much at such young ages, I am totally impressed with each one of them. Nels has popped in to check on us, I'm so thankful that she made this happen and really cares about this program. This experience will be important to my students.
Many professional artists who have been doing the fair circuit for years have been willing to share advice and encouragement. I enjoyed talking to a lady who makes beautiful masks, she gave me some great inspiration for my students. The man in the booth next to ours has been super helpful. He is the voice of experience. He has the whole fair thing down to a science!
Another great person has been the man with the restaurant behind our booth. He has been so kind to us! He was born in Greece, and he has had this restaurant for over 30 years.
There's an awful lot to tell.... I haven't even mentioned the tornado yet! I'll have to make another post later, I have to go for now, lots going on today. Check back!

Friday, July 13, 2007

sold a sunflower

sold a sunflower postcard today! first one, so that was fun! Hooray! hopefully, they will all sell! I've been thinking about using procedes from sales on the cat postcards to donate to some kind of animal rescue, and today I talked a little to someone associated with the Jackson County Animal Rescue Friends. I'm not quite sure how this works? Do I have to sign up with someone, somehow? I need to find out.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

details, details, and more details

There sure are a lot of little things to take care of. Today I took 5 more pictures in to have professionally photographed. I left postcards advertising the fair at a few places. I bought some more mats and frames for the prints I had made. Spent time matting and framing. The prints look great in the black mats with black frames. I'm really pleased with the way they came out. I hope I have time to frame the snow crab pictures, they would look really good framed the same way. The beach pictures look great in the black mats too. I priced some more things today too. My costs are really adding up! I hope I make some money back!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Getting Organized

I keep dabbing around on this one, still reworking the lace hankie... These things belonged to our Grandmas. Grandma Z's hankie, Grandma M's flower pin, Grandma J's pink earring... everything has a memory...
Getting organized. Last night I labeled, numbered, and wrote the size on the back of each piece. I made an inventory list. I'm working on labels to put next to each piece- gallery style. I bought foamcore yesterday for the backs of the labels. I'd like to get that done tonight.

I'm working on pricing. I'm thinking the smallest pieces at $150, mid size $300, and large will vary $500-$800. The gyclee prints will be $75, small photo copies $8, and postcards $1.50. I think these are very reasonable prices considering the time I put into some of them.

I actually do think that time-wise I would make more money this summer if I would have gotten a part time job at Walmart. Last fall I made $150 one day working at Walmart- all I had to do was stand in the school supply aisle with a Crayola apron on and hand out free markers to kids. I used that money to buy a new mattress- our old one was killing our backs. That was more money than I will make on one of my paintings- bummer... I don't want to be a "starving artist"! but, I do love to paint! I love playing around with color, I love how surprises happen in the process, I love how one color can look so different depending on the colors you put under it and around it, I love how mediums can change the whole effect, I love my brushes and my pallet, I love the feel of the canvas- especially bumpy canvas, I love the beginning of the painting when anything is possible, I love the struggle of knowing how to procede at each step, I love it that I never really know when I'm done, I really do love the whole thing!

Friday, July 6, 2007

finishing touches

spent the day today looking everything over. I reworked a couple things, changed a few things, added signatures, measured for frames... I feel like I really improved a couple of paintings that I wasn't too sure of. The 2 crabapple snow scenes are starting to pop better, I might just leave them alone. I keep dabbing at the littler sunflower painting- since it doesn't feel like a very important painting I feel a little freer to play around with it.

I still have to decide whether or not to spend the money having them professionally photographed. Today I will also order more frames- can't decide how many...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

new booth location

Change in location! I received an email today that our art fair booth location has changed to Liberty and 4th! Something about the sponser- which is Disney- (I didn't know that)!
the booth space is #278-A the corner of 4th and Liberty right by the Cloverleaf Restaurant.
We have a children's activity center next to us! so bring your kids! it sounds fun!
I hope this won't be confusing for the people I already gave postcards to... sorry, it could change again... I'll keep you posted.

Monday, June 25, 2007

prints available

I just remembered to tell you that I had gyclee prints made of 4 of my paintings that I guessed would be the most "sellable". The titles are:
"Jena and Mickey", a painting of my daughter holding our black cat. It was in a show at Ella Sharp Museum a few years ago. It won an award of $250.00!
"Back to the Field" (that's the sunflower painting I posted earlier), this painting was in a MAEA show.
"Last Bouquet", I think this is a very likeable painting. I did it last winter. I noticed some pansies and rosebuds still blooming in February in my garden on the dining room side of the house! I hope it's not another global warming indicator! Yikes! In honor of their accomplishment, I stuck them in a little vase a did an a la prima painting of them. I love the memory of it.
"My Backyard" was also in an MAEA show. It won an honorable mention. This is my backyard, you can see the afternoon shadow of my house in the foreground.
I'm really excited about these prints, and I'm especially hoping something sells. This gives me another pricepoint. It really is difficult to price things.

new photos

added photos from the yard today! make sure you scroll down to the bottom to see the front porch swing...

links apology

Sorry about the links. I just tried clicking on that, I didn't know what it did, and now I don't know how to get rid of it.

time to paint: business cards arrived!

time to paint: business cards arrived!

time to paint: business cards arrived!

time to paint: business cards arrived!

business cards arrived!

Hooray! My business cards came in the mail today. I like the way they turned out! And the business that printed them was easy for me to use, they sure have been sending me a lot of emails though... I guess that's smart on their part, they send lots of enticing offers... I used It will be fun to hand out cards at the Art Fair. I hope they bring me good luck!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


This is what my card looks like on the front. I also created a new email address today just for my painting business. If you want to buy a painting you can email me at

getting more done!

Today I ordered business cards, so it's official! I'm in business! Or, at least it feels official. I'm not really sure what makes a business, but it's probably not just having a business card. This is the picture I put on the back of my card, and I also wanted a little pink on it to match the lettering so I also added a part of the bleeding heart painting. It does look a little sappy, but I guess I just need to admit that I'm a little sappy. I can't help it that I love flowers and the color pink. I also ordered 4 frames online, I hope they work out well because they are way cheaper than anywhere in town.
Yesterday I drew at Ave's studio, she's the one that told me about the online frames. It was fun to see her since it's been so long- probably last summer... I haven't been figure drawing for quite a while so it was nice to give it a whirl again. Part of me feels like I don't have time to mess around like that right now, but I do love to draw people even though I have trouble with proportion when it is so direct like that.
I tried to see Laura's work in the show that's at the same building that Ave has her studio, but her stuff was in the locked part- it won't be open until the weekend. I'll have to go back and check it out. It's an Urban Artwork show, what I did get to see was fun stuff -graffitti like.
My gyclee prints should be in today, I'm anxious to see how they turned out. So, I want to get hooks today and pick up the prints so I can show them to my art fair booth-mates tomorrow. We are meeting at noon at the restaurant that will be across from our booth. It will be good to see them again and talk over the details. It would be nice if I could have a draft of my pricelist before tomorrow so I could get ideas from them.

Monday, June 18, 2007

school's out

Today is my first day of vacation! I have a long list of things to do to get ready for the Art Fair. I'm headed to town to see about framing and some other odds and ends. Tonight I'm meeting with friends to paint at 6pm. I have no plan as to what I'm going to paint tonight. I think I need to do a portrait soon, and my horse. I want to do a series of barns. Well, I'm off... Here are my latest paintings with a photo of the barn I was looking at.

school's out

Today is my first day of vacation! I have a long list of things to do to get ready for the Art Fair.

Monday, May 21, 2007

paint process

Here's an example of my painting process. I started these paintings in Florida during Spring Break. There are 4 separate paintings that make one long picture. I began with a layer of oranges, knowing I would be using a lot of blue for the ocean. I love how underpainting with complements can make the final product more alive.

Next I started layering on blues.

Then I added reds where I thought I might be using green for foliage.

I was ready to begin details. I used a pallette knife and gel medium to use some thick paint for the waves, trees, bird, boat, etc. I'm not even close to being done yet. I'll try to post the finished paintings soon.

creeping phlox

After work I went outside and painted the creeping phlox in the front yard. Once again I've posted a picture the wrong way. The painting is sideways- sorry, you'll have to just turn your head until I figure out how to change it. I've also posted a picture of what I was looking at. Unfortunately, one bug got stuck in my painting! I have 2 more canvases ready to paint what's in bloom. Hopefully, I will get one more done this week.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Well, here is my first successful picture post! Hooray! They are right side up! This is the bush in my garden and my painting. I picked a couple of stems and put them in a vase to paint them. The vase looks pretty stylized. Maybe I'll work on it more...

business cards

Did I say business cards would be a quick, easy thing to do? I was wrong! I tried at home on my Dell. I don't have a program with quick, easy templates for that kind of thing like I have at work. I tried using my daughter's Mac but I'm so slow with it because I'm not used to it. I tried looking around on the web, messed around with a few websites- time flew- hours later I had accomplished nothing! I'm learning!
Next day at work I tried a few templates, added pictures of my paintings, came up with something that looked good enough. It's fast for me at work because I am used to the computer and the programs. I can't print in color at work, so I thought I would just email it to myself at home... it was too big to send through the school email.
My solution- I burned a CD to take home.
At home- my computer at home won't open it because I don't have a compatible program. I looked around for something on the web to open it, but I don't know enough about what I am looking for so I give up for now. I'm stuck for now. This is taking too much time. More time than I wanted to spend on it. I'll figure it out later though. I want to have cards by this weekend.
This probably is funny to all you tech saavy people. See how hard it is to have not grown up in the computer age? Let me remind you that I learned to type on the old manual typewriters in High School. I never worked on a computer until I had been teaching for awhile- and that was back when the computer screen was black with white letters! I think they were commadores or something like that. I really can't believe what we can do now, it really is great to have so much available to us!

details about the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair

Finally a picture made it to my blog. It took a while, but here it is- upside down. Remember this is all new to me! I don't see a place to turn it over- I'll figure it out later. Maybe I have to turn it over before I browse and pick it up to post.
Anyway, our bleeding heart bush is in bloom. In honor of the occassion I painted this picture on Monday. This summer I will be in my very first art fair, so I need to be really productive.
This is my first big attempt to sell my paintings. The Ann Arbor Art Fair will be July 18th - 21st. I will be on the corner of Liberty and 5th streets. It is by the Post Office and across from a restaurant called "Afternoon Delight". The Guild sponsers the show, and they generously offered a booth to art teachers. Art teachers had to submit 4 professional slides to be juried. I was thrilled to be selected. I will be sharing the booth with 4 other art teachers. Each artist works in a different media, so I think it will make a good display. There is clay, glass, pencil, oil, and I work in acrylic. I can't wait to see more of everyone's work. This is quite a challenge for me!

Friday, May 11, 2007

posting picture trouble

My new blog goal is to get some pictures posted. I have tried several times and the dial just keeps spinning and it won't take the picture. I want to show the progress of the pictures I started in Florida on Spring Break... I'll try again later.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

first art fair meeting and first blog

I have never blogged before, so here it goes....
Today I went to the first meeting for the Ann Arbor Art fair teacher's booth!
The Ann Arbor Art Guild offered to help some teachers to show at the fair, so that we in turn could teach our students what it is like to be a professional artist. It was a terrific opportunity. The Guild members were providing the space, the tent, the display panels, and best of all- advice! Booths run about $700.00, and it is very difficult to get into this Art Fair. It is one of the most lucrative shows in the country.
About a month or so agoI sent in slides of my art work to the Guild to see if I could get juried into the show. I received a letter saying I was selected and to come to this meeting to find out more details. The initial meeting date was post-poned because President Clinton was going to be in Ann Arbor for the U of M graduation, and there would be too many problems with security and parking, so anyway, we met today.
There were 4 other teachers selected to share a booth. There is one glass artist, one clay, one graphite, and one other painter. It will be a 10x10 booth, so it will be tight. I think the other teachers will be fun to work with. I love their art work, and I'm proud to be displaying with them! I'm sure I will learn a lot. Right now I'm feeling like I have so much to do! I need an artist statement, business cards, labels, fliers... and I need more paintings. I need to have prints made, and I have to get a vender's liscense. I need to remember to bring a chair, and a table, and a money box, and stickers for the back of my paintings. I need curtain hooks to hang my pictures on, and more things that I've already forgotten- but I wrote it all down.
Tomorrow my goal will be to do one thing. Maybe I'll try to get the business card done, that seems like the easiest thing on the list:)