Saturday, July 31, 2010

100 Follower Givaway!

Oh my Gosh! I can't believe it. I really never thought I'd get to 100 so quickly. In fact, I not only reached 100 followers last week, but blew through that number this week. I'm thrilled! I sure do appreciate all my readers and their kind comments. You all make me happy. :o)

I really didn't think I'd be good at blogging when I started. I mean, how would I know what to say? Wouldn't I run out of  ideas? Would people actually be interested in watching me grow as a painter and come back to see my work every week? I started blogging in spite of all these thoughts because I wanted something to force a schedule to my life. It worked perfectly. And what a blessing to find I actually acquired readers along the way. It's only been 6 months and I now feel ready to take on the next step, opening my Etsy store. All the encouragement from your comments have pushed me along that road and helped me feel good enough to put my work out in the public to be purchased. Thanks for that. You guys rock.

So, my 100th follower giveaway is celebrating all those people who left a sweet comment or signed up to read my blog. I am giving away the following package to one winner...
  • a matted original watercolor painting called "Night Sweetpeas"
  • a watercolor bookmark (Cherries & Leaves) with a bejeweled tassel
  • a sketch pad & sketch pencil
  • a red choker with matching bracelet.
Here's a picture of the booty. :o)

Here are close ups of the choker and the bookmark! (click to enlarge)

So, this is how you enter. All you have to do is follow my blog and leave me a lovely comment under THIS post telling me just that. If you want, to you could tell me what art means to you but that's not a requirement to be entered, lol. The Giveaway will close at midnight Saturday August 14th, 2010. I will randomly draw a name and announce the winner on that Sunday. Good luck to all my followers!
I want to also congratulate my friend Kim from Kimminita who also hit 100 followers this last week. She's having a giveaway also, so you should click over and go enter. She's giving away a fantastic purse that she made herself. She is self taught and her talent shows in her product. Hopefully she'll start selling her creations in her Etsy store soon. The purse is amazing in its yellow polka-dotted goodness and I actually hope I win it myself, hehehe.  Kim has a totally awesome blog and I enjoy going and reading what she's up to.

I'll be back soon with a zentangle I'm just finishing up. Later, K?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pay It Forward...

I'm participating in a swap on Swap-Bot. In this swap one of the suggestions is to host a networking blog post to show everyone the blogs that are participating in the swap. Hopefully all the collected readers of each participant's blog will find a gem or two in the blogroll that they'll want to continue following. I thought this was a great idea so I'm going to do my first annual "Pay It Forward Network Blog Post". :o) I thought I'd include a list of the blogs I visit and enjoy and some of the resource links I use on a regular basis along with a list of all the participants of the swap I'm in.

This is the list of blogs from my Swap-Bot group blog swap. Maybe you'll find a Gem you like!
  1. Watercolors by Mimi Torchia Boothby - She does beautiful work!
  2. Olivia Arrow's Blog - Olivia has such a wonderful way of writing, she's also talented in a myriad of things. Go enjoy her lovely blog please, her art is wonderful. I always especially love artists.
  3. Our Host's Blog! - Thanks so much for hosting this wonderful swap!!
  4. Sugar Crawler - She has a wonderfully happy blog "voice" and her zest for both cake and life is infectious. Please be warned though, you'll want cake before you leave her site!! :o)
  5. In Search Of Exceedingly Good Baked Goods - A great food blog, yummy!!
  6. Crafty Carrie - She makes happy little stuffies to trade, they're so cute!
  7. Careless In The Care Of God - April is doing a 101 things in 1001 days, what a challenge!
  8. In The Attic - Her blog is sweet and enjoyable.
  9. I Don't Care If Monday's Blue - Celine is fun, go read her ramblings about life.
  10. Ms. Lovender - Follow a pictorial of this 20 something's life.
  11. Kelly's Place - This is what Kelly Lynn says about her blog... "This is my place (Kelly's Place) to talk about my projects and inspirations. A record of ideas and pictures of all the fun things and adventures I have!! :)"  Kelly is a pleasure to read and a terrific crafter! Go look.
  12. Faith, Hope, Love - a personal blog giving us a glimpse of her inner turmoil.
  13. Peacefully Chaotic - Such a fun lady who writes about everything in her life, from crafts to music.
  14. Give Time Or Money - a blog dedicated to bringing you easily accessible ideas about how to give and help more. Wow, I'm so impressed with this one. Extraordinary. 
Here are the blogs I visit regularly. They're fun, entertaining, amazing and easy to read. I admit a few of them haven't updated in a while but I hold out hope as their previous stuff is so awesome. Maybe if we all cross our fingers... ;o)
  1. Hyperbole And A Half
  2. Joy The Baker
  3. Kimminita
  4. Star, Simplified
  5. Flutter
  6. You've Got To Be Kidding Me.
  7. Pen & Paper
  8. Pearl, Why You Little...
  9. Flying Saucer Jones
  10. The Wheel Is Turning, But The Hamster Is Dead
  11. The Rotten Fish Of The Sea
  12. 365 Days Of People
This is my list of artist's blogs that I especially enjoy... They all make beautiful art.
  1. Shirley Schmidt at Watercolors by Shirley
  2. Sinclair Stratton at Sinclair Stratton 
  3. Annelein Beukenkam at Watercolors
  4. Mitsy at Artmind Etcetera
  5. Elizabeth Chapman at Color Splashes 
  6. Ben Heine at Ben Heine
  7. Ginette Callaway at Ginette Fine Art 
  8. Thaneeya McArdle at Thaneeya McArdle
  9. Anne-Lockard Huskey at El Milagro Studio
  10. Joan McKasson at Joan McKasson Watercolor Artist
  11. Alisa at Alisa Paints
  12. Carolee Clark at Carolee S. Clark
  13. Chris Beck at I'm Painting As Fast As I Can
  14. Showcasing many talented artists at Brush, Paper, Water.
Here's a list of all the useful places I've found on my journeys through the web. 
  1. Check the load time of your blog here.
  2. Add a border to any digital picture here.
  3. Find a definition or I use it to find a better word for what I want to say... go here.
  4. Go here for a laugh. ;o)
  5. Go here to participate in a world wide book hunt, for free! So Cool!
  6. Make a mosaic here. (share your mosaic every Tuesday with Mitzy at Artmind)
  7. Get a stat counter here. It can even be invisible on your blog!
  8. Participate in both online and snailmail swaps here. (I'm Jaemac on Swap-Bot, btw. :o)
  9. Go here to learn how to put several pictures in a row in a blog post if you use Blogger.
  10. Enter to win stuff here. How lucky are you?
  11. Get a grade (from A to F) for your blog, just go here and put in your site name.
  12. Go here and get this app for free, it allows you to capture anything you want to off the web!
  13. Try this game, it's totally addicting and you even learn & keep your mind active too.
  14. Go here, learn how to bid on an auction and win stuff for amazing prices, for serious!!
    Ok, that's everything I have. Whew! I hope you all enjoy the exploration. I would love it if any of you want to leave fun, interesting, useful or entertaining links for me in the comments. You can even leave your own blog! I'd be interested in visiting you all. I love new links to follow, especially interesting and useful, fun to read stuff. I hope the links above are that kind of good. So, grab your mouse and get clicking!

    I hope to hear from you all soon. :o)

    Monday, July 26, 2010

    Get In Line!

    1. We are one family, 2. Windowsill FGR 2.0 HBW, 3. Brighton Beach Huts February 2009, 4. Pear Parade

    This mosaic seemed appropriate this week since I've spent the last few days going down the line of blogs  on a blog hop swap from Swap-bot. It was such fun learning about other people from their blogs. I especially love the artist's blogs, of course! :o) Tomorrow I'll be doing a link list of all the places and links I go to on the web plus a list of all the people's blogs I've gone to this past weekend. Hopefully you all will enjoy some of the blogs and find new friends. 

    If you want to participate in this Flickr favorites mosaic please go to Mitsy's blog at Artmind. Speaking of artist's blogs, she rocks!!

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Flotsam & Jetsam Retread

    I have a bunch of little stuff to post about so I thought I'd chuck it all into the "stockpot" and see what kind of soup we can make. First, here are a few bookmarks I've been fiddling with. The left and right ones are Zentangles on one side and an abstract watercolor that I cut up on the other. The middle one started as a practice background that was crying out for the addition of a subject and then I zentangled the back of it. 

    How much should I charge for a bookmark?? I was thinking something in the range of $8-$10. Do you think that's too much or to little or just right? (Jeez, now I sound like Goldilocks! Hehehe.) Should I add tassels to them? Do you all like tassels on your bookmarks? I'd love it if you'd leave suggestions in the comments section. Ooh, I'm giving you guys jobs! ;o)

    The second thing I wanted to mention is my number of followers. Did you notice that I'm getting close to 100 followers?? Ya! Me too!! I can't believe it. I'm so thrilled. I love my followers (all you people are so great!), so I certainly think it's appropriate that I do a 100 follower giveaway. I'm thinking a painting, some handmade earrings or maybe even a bracelet, a bookmark... maybe a sketchbook with a drawing pencil to inspire the artist inside us all. (Post Script: I'm now AT 100, wow!! Now I gotta get on that giveaway... I take suggestions on what you'd all like to win!)

    I'll give the prizes some thought this weekend. OH! I have another question, since you'all will be commenting about the bookmarks anyway. If you were to purchase a piece of art from me at my Etsy store, what size would you be more apt to want? I am trying to decide what sizes to do usually so I can have matting for a couple of sizes on hand at all times. I want to do 5"x7" for sure, with matting the pieces would be 8"x10". The other size I was thinking of is 9"x12", with matting it would be  12"x16". Is that too small?? Should I do 12"x16" then with matting it would be 16"x20"? The question that goes with the larger size is: would you pay for shipping of $15 with that because of the size?? Anyways, I appreciate all your input. Seriously. Thank you. 

    We'll talk soon, K? 

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    Hosta La Vista, Baby!

    So, as promised, here's my Hosta drawing. I haven't decided what to do next but it was requested by it's future owner (read: Mom) that I take pictures to show it's changes as I continue to finish it. Part of me wants to continue with either pen & ink or pencil and leave it black and white. Another part thinks I could then do a watercolor background. Or... I could paint the whole thing using watercolors. Or... I could use the copic markers to flesh out the leaves and stems then watercolor the background. Grrr... I don't know which direction to choose!

    Title: "Hosta #1"
    Medium: Pen & Ink

    The one thing I do know is that I love the drawing. I'm so thrilled at how it came out. It's the first time I've done anything "plein air". (definition: Term used for paintings or drawings made directly from nature and infused with a feeling of the open air.) It was great!! I just sat down in the garden and drew the beautifully undulating Hosta in front of me. And it looked JUST like that. I'm still smiling from the experience. I thought I'd have trouble drawing directly from nature. I can't wait to do it again. I'll have to put a travel watercolor kit on my Christmas list. (I'll have to research the best one too. Any suggestions from fellow artists would be welcome!)

    Ok, next!!
    I had the before and after of this painting so I thought I'd show and tell. I did this last week when I was experimenting and learning about backgrounds. I seem to have an issue with wasting paper so I decided I'd draw a quick rose before doing the background around it so it could be a painting instead of just a pretty but quite useless background, lol. I LOVED how the background turned out. I felt after this one that I was finally starting to "get" how to leave some spaces and fill in others. 

    Now with the rose added, I'm even more thrilled. I can't believe the background stood up to the powerful rose and didn't need any retouching to give it oomph. I guess it means I did it right. :o) Doing a little happy dance. So far I've named it "Bi-color Rose" but that title kind of sucks. I'll take suggestions on names, though. What would you name it?

    We'll talk soon. I have a post coming up probably this week with a lot of links, places I go, blogs I enjoy etc. so come back for that and of course... more art!

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    Egress: Doors & Windows

    1. the funny green door, 2. paint me, 3. Y FFENEST, 4. blue door with heart, 5. Window Garden, 6. The town that invented the yo-yo, 7. door 212, 8. Barcelona - Creu dels Molers 035 c, 9. RGB - Barcelona

    It's Tuesday and therefore mosaic day with Artmind. This last week mom and I have been overhauling the apartment because of the new iPad I bought her. She gets to get rid of a huge cabinet in her room. This overhaul of her room "spilled" over into my room then the rest of the large apartment. Think of it as an overdue Spring cleaning of sorts. With all the furniture repositioning etc., I strained my back and have been down for the count through the weekend. Because of this I've been sitting on the couch in a slight medicated haze watching my mom clean windows. That's what inspired this mosaic. 

    It's quite amazing when one looks out a newly clean window, how beautiful and sparkly one's garden looks. Don't get me wrong, the windows weren't filthy, but the haze from dust etc. that's been blowing around outside lately made for less than stellar views. I like newly cleaned windows, thank God I was "high" on anti-inflamitories, which helped mitigate the guilt that usually bubbles up from just watching instead of helping with the cleaning. Oh, and just so no one worries, I'm fine, all better. :o) 

    And now I have a newly organized room for painting, mom has a newly de-cluttered room and an iPad and we both can look out sparkly windows and see amazingly green Hosta plants in the garden. Lucky. About those Hostas, by the way? I have a drawing to show. Keep your eyes peeled for a new post very soon. 

    Talk Later? Yes! (I'll bring the gluten free cookies, I have a fantastic new recipe!!)

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    Finally Achieving Success!

    I did it. Finally. Whew! It only took me 6 months, but I have finally produced and adequately good abstract painting. Yippee!! I actually really like it. I'm always surprised how difficult it is to produce an abstract piece. I know in my head it's difficult, the fact that it looks easy is a ruse. But when I go to paint one I still think I'll just whip it out and be done with it. Hehehe, ego, I guess.

    I still need to learn to edit. Having more negative space (more white space) will dramatically improve the composition. Also, with more white space I'd be free to emphasize certain parts without feeling that I was going over the top and ruining the painting. This is titled Abstract "A". I'm going to go through the alphabet. :o)

    Can we talk later? Yes? Good!

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    The Versatile Blogger Award

    Before I get on to today's main topic I have a request from my blog followers. Yes, you lovely people out there reading me, I need a few seconds of your time.  I changed the widget I use for getting comments from the standard one that Blogger provides to the one from Disqus. I ask that you all who used the comments before I changed over to tell me if the new comments platform is keeping you from commenting. I need to know how everyone feels about the change. Do you hate it, love it, don't care??? I have a survey over in my sidebar ------->. It's waiting for some statitistical love. Hehehe. Please, please tell me about how you feel about my new comments widget. I have chocolate chip cookies for bribes. ;o)

    Ok, onward and upward, peoples.
    Sometimes I get the feeling someone up there is sending me messages. Seriously, twice in the same day I've been told I'm wonderfully versatile in my artistic and blogging style.

    The award was given to me by Julie, her blog is named Jewelsartyblog. She's a wonderful painter so it's especially great to get a blogging award from a fellow artist. Thank you so much Julie, your words really encourage me. Now, to fulfill the award rules I have to tell you all seven little known things about me.

    Seven Things You Don't Know About Me:
    1. I don't understand how to use Facebook. I know this makes me a freak, I accept that. I can't figure it out so I mostly don't use it. Every time I try again I get so frustrated I could scream.
    2. I'm so easy going that I sometimes let less than stellar people walk all over me. I just don't see the point of getting angry or upset if someone's late or forgets to send something, or other usually annoying behavior. It just doesn't bother me. This means that people who have few morals can take advantage of me. I try to guard against that by being picky about friends.
    3. I hum under my breath all the time. I nearly always have some melody playing in my head so I find myself humming to it constantly. The good thing is I don't think anyone can hear me because I do it so low.
    4. I haven't talked to or seen my father in more than 15 years. He was abusive and when my mom and he got divorced I decided it was better for me to break off my relationship with him. Self preservation, I'm rather proud of myself for that good decision.
    5. I completed High school one year earlier than all my classmates because I fast-tracked but it took me an extra year to get my University degree. I moved home after my third year and I switched to the University of Victoria. But they required 2 years of matriculation under their "roof" so I repeated a year to qualify for graduation. 
    6. I can't spell my way out of a paper bag. If it wasn't for spell check you all would think I was stuuuupid. Hehehe.
    7. I love gummy worms. In fact, I love all gummy candy. It's up there as one of my favorite things, along with chocolate and shrimp. But not together.
    That's it, whew! New art tomorrow, promise. I just have to write the blog post, I have the art. :o)
    Please don't forget to take my survey!! Thanks everyone, I do love your comments.

    Talk soon, K?

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    In An Artist's Hand...

    1. The Artist's Hand, 2. Pencil Vs Camera - 26, 3. Heavy Hitterz: Song Bird 4, 4. Day 310 {365}

    I love being an artist. It makes it easier to know what I present to the world. I used to feel a little befuddled about that. I knew who I was inside, but what did I project? How did others see me? Now that I feel that I'm enough to embrace 'artist' as my descriptor, I feel more comfortable in my own skin. I'm happy with my identity, both with how people see me and what I project. I haven't been this centered for a very long time. I do love having artist's hands. :o)

    If you want to join in the Flickr Favorites Tuesday mosaic with Artmind, come on over! We'd love to have you.

    I have some fun news. I bought my mom an iPad yesterday. She never would have bought it for herself. She has a behemoth of a computer in her bedroom that takes up a third of the square footage of the room with it's own cabinet. So, she has now gone from a HUGE tower, monitor, mouse, keyboard etc. to a one pound device she can take anywhere. She loves it and she sees the value in the upgrade. But she never would have bought it for herself because she thinks of upgrades and new technology as luxuries. They're not just necessary tools to communicate with people and stay up to date with society. She thinks a new couch would be more practical. I'll buy her the iPad, she can get her own damn couch. ;o) Hehehe.

    I have new art to share, we have to do coffee, K? I'll bring the cookies!

    Saturday, July 10, 2010

    A Pretty Little Tree...

    New stuff! I've been working hard and have a bunch of paintings to show. The three I'll show tonight are the ones from a few posts back where I was working on learning backgrounds. The paintings are now finished. :o) I'm so thrilled with them! The first one was done using both Pen & Ink and watercolors. I've named it Orange Marmalade.

    I absolutely love the contrast of the background blue with the bright orange color of the flower. I feel like I'm finally understanding how to not only create a successful background, but also how to combine it with a strong foreground picture to produce a winningly lovely painting. My art is becoming much more deliberate thought and execution instead of hit and miss plodding.

    This second painting is aptly named "The Tree". It's also both watercolor and Pen & Ink drawing. I darkened the background of this one, just as I'd predicted I would have to. It was just too wishy-washy to stand up against the tree. I'm happy with how the branching came out, that's the part I was the most worried about.

    My final inclusion into tonight's artfest is a whimsical piece done just in watercolors. I named this one "Elipsis". Those of you who achieved wonderful marks in your English classes in University may remember that elipsis are those little dots one uses to omit words off the end of a sentence, like this...  I thought it was an appropriate name for a painting made up of big dots. :o)

    So, I look forward to your comments, I have a new comment program and this'll be the first time it will (hopefully) work. It will allow me to comment back to you lovely people. Won't that be special? Yes, I thought so too! I have a whole plethora of artwork in various stages of doneness so I should be back quite a few times this coming week with yummy new pieces of art. I'm also seriously thinking of finally opening my Etsy store, after one more prolific week I think I'll have enough stuff to adequetaly stock my "shelves". :o)

    I wonder how much I should sell an original painting for?? Hmmm. We'll talk soon, I think it's gonna be a spectacular week!

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    My Favorite Quote

    It's the first Tuesday of a new month so that means it's not only mosaic day with Artmind, but that it's also theme week!! This week Mitsy gave us a very cool theme... "create your mosaic around your favorite quote." Easy-peasy, I must say. I knew right away that I wanted to use this quote, I've loved it from the first time I read in in a Heinlein book. As some of you know, he's my favorite author of all time so one should not be surprised to find my favorite quote comes from him too. 

    - Robert A. Heinlien

    1. Dream, 2. I know you're there, 3. Puppy Love, 4. Untitled

    If you want to participate, just go peruse flickr to find some photos that illustrate your mood (in this case, your quote), then put them together using this. This week should be exceptionally good for blog-hopping from Mitsy's site. I can't wait to read other people's favorite quotes!

    Have a great week everybody. Talk soon? K!

    Sunday, July 4, 2010

    Now You See Me...

    Really quick post to show what the latest zentangle would look like with the bubbles colored in. I got this terrific tip from Kim of Kimminita. She suggested that I photocopy the artwork so I can test color in the bubbles. Brilliant idea! It made me realize that I already had it on the computer so I could just use my paint program and add color to the picture of the art. :o)

    Everyone who commented liked it without color added and I thought that I agreed... until I actually saw it with color. Hmmmm. Now I'm really confused! I like them both, hehehehe. I guess I need NEW comments on the colored version. Actually, I could use comments anyways as I'm trying out a new comment platform. Please tell me if it's easy to use. I'm hoping it allows me to REPLY to your lovely comments!! Won't that be nice? I thought so too. Ok, so here's the computer modified artwork zentangle.

    I'll be back soon with a terrific mosaic this week. It's theme week with the flickr favorites mosaic this week so I can't wait to show mine off!

    Talk soon, K? Thanks, you guys are so great!


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