Wednesday, July 30, 2008

When the handwriting on the wall...

starts to glow in the dark, you know you'd better pay attention. A number of marketing projects that I've tried in the last couple of months were beset with difficulties. The co-op gallery I've been in for the last two years recently adopted some policy changes that make it a poor fit for me. And I've been so preoccupied with gallery matters that I haven't been producing enough work for the show circuit, which had been an important part of my artistic life.

So this week, I made the decision to leave the gallery at the end of September and focus on show quality painting. I had two acceptances this past week that boosted my confidence and I have ideas spilling out of my head for new paintings.

The first show I heard from was the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club 112th Annual Exhibition. This painting was selected:

"Out of Service: Old Plow"
20" x 15"

Second, I heard from The Artist's Magazine that two of the pieces I submitted to the 2008 Annual Competition were selected as finalists in the Landscape division. "Old Plow" was one, and the other was:

"Moonlit Cactus"
16" x 16"

I couldn't be more jazzed. To top it all off, my website is starting to generate interest from collectors. It's a good time to be alive!! And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to work on a painting for a group show that we're hanging this weekend at the gallery

Friday, July 18, 2008

Rare Bird...

6" x 6"
acrylic on gallery-wrap canvas

I had so much fun painting this one! There's just something kind of sassy about this little bird. The bright colors and the fun, cartoony shape go so well together. To top it off, this toy is just plain fun to watch in action. It's very basic, but the hopping and pecking just make me giggle. I have to confess I'm a total eBay addict at this point -- trolling for cute tin toys and silly salt shakers almost daily. It's gotten so a lot of the offerings are sadly predictable, but every once in a while, something like this jumps off the screen. Delightful. Click here to go to the auction and a chance to place your bid.

One more time now...

Been dining on humble pie lately. I had a large serving courtesy of eBay. My first auction ended without a single bid, and I finally had to admit that perhaps I didn't do quite enough research into the finer points of writing a listing title. I've relisted the little snail painting with some revisions to the wording and will be running the auction for 10 additional days. Click here to go to the auction for a chance to place a bid on this cutie:

6" x 6"
acrylic on gallery-wrap canvas

The other helping of humble pie came from CafePress. You may recall that I ordered a pair of tote bags printed with two of my recent duck/bird images. Due to some faulty advice, I ended up with very sad, washed out images. But CafePress stood behind their guarantee and I uploaded a new, darker image with the promise of speedy turnaround. The package never arrived. Back to CafePress again where the customer service rep ordered up a reprint. Two days later, I had a second sample set -- of the original faded images!! Aargh!! They printed the wrong file. Once more, CafePress stood behind their guarantee and ordered a duplicate printing of the darker files. Even speedier delivery this time. Alas, the darker files were TOO DARK, and it also became clear that primary colors are much more successful than some of the funky purples and oranges that I like to use. So it's back to Photoshop to see if I can tweak the duck image to print nicely. And just maybe one of the other primary color bird images will print well too. I have to try one more time....

I'm planning to post another painting Friday afternoon. Check back later in the day.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


6" x 6"
acrylic on gallery-wrap canvas

I'm thrilled to have my first auction underway. This little vintage toy snail was itself an eBay auction purchase. I love the patterned shell and the little wheels and I'm sure it goes faster than any snail known to nature. (A note about the image: my scanner is so sensitive that it picked up the minor variations in the weave of the canvas, giving the wee beastie a rather streaky look. That's not visible when you view the actual painting.)

Click here to go to the auction page.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Almost there...

Hang on just a few more seconds. I've got the auction listing all ready to go, but it seems absurd to have it end at 11:15 p.m. some days from now. So I've saved it and will post sometime tomorrow. Look for this little guy at auction, starting tomorrow:

6" x 6"
acrylic on gallery-wrap canvas

As for the CafePress tote bags: when I was setting up the print files, the online preview image was very dark. I spoke with a customer service rep who told me to adjust the image file until it appeared right on the screen. Sadly, when the bags arrived on Monday, they looked like they'd been through 20 laundry cycles -- the images were so faded and blah. A call back to customer service revealed that instead of telling me to lighten up my print files, the first rep should have reassured me that the actual prints would be MUCH LIGHTER than the online preview. In fact, she probably should have told me to darken up my files. Fortunately, CafePress has a fantastic customer service program and I'll have new bags by week's end, no charge. As soon as I see how they've turned out with my revised print files, I'll either be opening my shop doors or crying in a beer.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Has it been almost a month?

Dear Readers, my apologies. I got myself so exhausted in the preparations for my shows in May that I was a near-zombie for much of June. But I wasn't a complete blob. I did manage to massage my website into the form I'd envisioned at the start and I've ordered some sample tote bags from CafePress, which should arrive tomorrow. If they look as good in real life as they did on the website preview, I'll open my shop and put them up for sale right away. And you'll be the first to know!!

I've also been trying to "educatize" myself about the rules and protocols for selling on eBay. There have been moments when I feel like I'm caught in one of those endlessly regressive mirror images. The first page of a tutorial will have several links to other critical information pages. Each one of those pages will in turn have links to other critical information pages. Each one of those pages will in turn have links to other critical information pages. By the time I reach the last link in the chain, I have completely lost track of what I started out to learn. My friends, this is information overload at its finest. But I am very close to being ready to put my first little painting up for sale. I'm hoping to have a post either tomorrow or Tuesday with a link to my first eBay auction. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I've just started on a painting for a group show at the gallery. I'm really excited about it and will share it with you when I have something other than a few pencil lines on my watercolor paper. I've also got a couple of new-to-me vintage ceramic critters that are just begging to model for their portraits. So off we go...