Sunday, August 24, 2008

When creativity slumps, buy a printer and some caramel!

Many have suggested I sell my art as reproduction prints and art cards. I had a great source for printing and began the endeavor quite successfully. I did find, however, that ordering a print, waiting a week to see the outcome, wanting to correct color or format, then waiting another week was more creatively dampening than fulfilling.

Along came Etsy, again, with consistently generous and helpful shop owners participating in the forums. responded to a request for large format color printer recommendations with a glowing referral to Epson's Stylus Pro 3800. One purchase and two days later - and I could not be happier or more inspired.

This printer is complex and technically challenging - but even out of the box, the color quality and accuracy is amazing. I have surpassed the quality of print I was getting from my vendor and do not have to wait to see the results of color correction tweaks. I'm ecstatic!

As a result, I will have a great flexibility in custom sizes for reproduction prints and making art cards is a sheer joy! The best part of it all is that I can do more, at a higher quality, and charge less. My customer base expanded over night.

Now THAT is Living in Full Color!

Thank you, Epson, for this high quality product! And thank you earcmra for the recommendation. You changed my world!

Visit earcmra's fabulous Etsy shop - - but be careful! You will not be able to resist her amazing caramels!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Along came Etsy

For the last few years, I've spent some time every day painting because it made me feel whole, connected to the universe in some inexplicable way. I had no intention of being in the business of selling my art. I made a website so that I would have a place for people who were not physically with me to see what I was painting. One thing led to another and I ended up opening an Etsy shop to sell my paintings. Since then, the entire focus of my days changed dramatically.

I have met some of the most amazing, friendly, helpful, talented people in the world - yes, in the whole world. People are there from everywhere! The lights never get turned off at Etsy.

I started a group with the intention to raise the awareness in the greater marketplace that Etsy does indeed have high end visual art and that it was more than a craft selling site. In just a couple of months being active at Etsy, I have discovered an additional mission for my group. To raise the awareness of high end visual art WITHIN Etsy - and especially within Etsy ownership and administration.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not there to be the new person on site - telling everyone how they should do it. I'm not antagonistic or even a troublemaker by nature. I am, however, very capable of being an advocate if I truly believe in a cause.

And I truly believe! Etsy is a great concept, generally run very well, and is growing - both as a community of artisans and as a business. It seems that it began as a place for "all things handmade" which translated easiest into a place to sell crafts. Visual artists began to congregate on Etsy and I'm not sure Etsy was expecting us or know quite what to do with us. They do try, but we are a serious lot and seriously ready to be presented at the top level of everything Etsy.

Over the course of the next few days and weeks, I will post entries of our group's mission, goals, and efforts - - and report on our successes. We will have successes. We already do. Below is a link to an ongoing thread of visual artists trying to get Etsy's attention to bring Visual Art to a top level category for listing and searching. My bet...we'll have it before the end of 2008.

Stay tuned! And live in full color.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Kerri Birds

Have you ever run across a painting you thought would make great fabric or a piece of pottery you thought would make beautiful flooring?

This happens to me all the time. I am not a designer, but perhaps I was in another life time. An interior designer, a fashion designer, maybe even a choreographer. I constantly see things and wish I knew Michael Miller, or Jimmy Choo, or Bob Fosse so I could refer the artist to the famous one and voila! Match made in heaven!

That was my reaction to Kerri Birds. At the very moment I saw the first one, I was instantly excited about the possiblities. I saw silver pendants, classy silk tees, children's books. I had this woman's art merchandised as if it were the star character in a Disney movie ... a DISNEY MOVIE! YES! That, too!!

Enjoy Kerri Birds. And watch your local stores and boutiques. When this creature sudden shows up on the Red Carpet - remember, you heard it first from me!

(And if you want to own a Kerri Bird, contact me. I'll get you hooked up! They currently sell for $300 USD - but don't be surprised to see the price only go up as they get famous (or picked up by Jimmy Choo!).

Friday, April 04, 2008

Amazing Potter and Etsy store owner

I just purchased two pieces of pottery - salt shakers, to be exact - and I want to tell you about my experience!

I visited a shop on called Studio Elan and the images of the pottery just took my breath away. I loved the salt shakers (makes sense, since I've painted so many apples and pears, huh?). LOOK at these!!

The owner, and potter, Eleanor Hendriks, answer a bazillion questions for me before I made the purchase. She communicated with me precisely when the purchase was due to be shipped. She answered my questions regarding approximate arrival date. Then, yesterday, the happy day arrived! The packaging was well done; secure and compact. The pottery well protected. When I unwrapped the actual pieces, and held them in my hands, and watched the light bounce off the finish, and marvelled at the detail - - ohhhhh. It was Christmas in April! Bruce exclaimed, "WOW. Those are BEAUTIFUL!" Pretty cool, coming from a very picky collector of salt/pepper shakers and grinders.

I'm so thrilled with my purchase. I want the world to know about this stellar Etsy seller, artist, and my new favorite place to buy gifts!

Thank you, Eleanor, for being a fine artist, a superb business owner, and a great representative of all things fine at Etsy. You make me proud to be a member of the Etsy community (to see my Etsy shop - click here).
Have you had great shopping experiences at Etsy? We'd love to hear from you. Comment on this blog and we'll spread the love.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

March 15 - Everyday Angels

Admittedly, I muse a great deal when I'm painting, or when I'm thinking about painting. Today's muse is about Everyday Angels. I am being interviewed for a feature piece on another blog and asked questions about how I got started painting. I don't think I will go in to the minute details for them...but I might "think out loud" here. Thus the beginning of the muse about everyday angels.

Angel #1 - Shana, a mentor and spiritual guide, told me one day - out of the blue - that I "should paint". I had not previously painted nor ever considered it. Much in line with my natural response to any suggestion, I immediately disregarded it.

Angel #2 - Bruce, my husband. I told him what Shana said. He immediately packed me up and took me to the art store. He has been long accustomed to me starting some new craft and buying all the crap to do the craft, and before too long - I'm bored and all that junk is cluttering up some closet. His reaction this time was different. He didn't roll his eyes or bring up all the past craft binges. He said, "I think it would be very cool to see what paintings are in you." How about THAT?

Angel #3 - Anonymous, (or perhaps I just can't remember where I learned this but whomever it was - it became immensely important in this process). At the art store - in the paint department - among stuff I have never looked at twice and had no idea what it was... I remembered hearing about just walking slowly among *whatever* (the forest, the people in a crowd, unfamiliar "stuff"), breathing, and being "open" to what ever "jumped out". So...I did that.

Angel #4 - Pat R. Prior to the above, Pat recommended I read The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

Angel #5 - Brandie. The very next day, Brandie called me from a bookstore to tell me of a workshop that she wanted me to attend with her. You guessed it. An Artist Way workshop. Coincidence? Synchronicity? God? Sign me up!

Angel #6 - Julia Cameron. Her book changed my mind, and that changed my life.

Angels #7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 - Brandie (again), Jessi, Kerri, Kris, Tracy, Cyn, Sidse, Dora, Merrie, and Beth - participants in an Artist Way workshop who encouraged me to keep painting.

Angel #17 - Michelle - art teacher. Talanted, skilled, spirited, encouraging, and honest. Thank you!

Angel #18 - Brandie, again. Brandie opened a beautiful store in Kirkland, WA and invited me to bring my paintings to hang on her walls, and sell. It was surreal, dreamy, and the hallmark day that is truly the first day of the rest of my life.

Angel #19 - Jennifer D. - referred me to ETSY.COM as a good online store to sell my paintings.

Angel #20 - - for being there, easy to use, reasonably priced, and creating a community that fits me as if it were custom made JUST for ME!

Angel #21 - Name Unknown - whomever it was at ETSY that posted a referral to

Angel #22 - - the COOLEST way to find websites you didn't even know you wanted. That site led me to

Angel #23 - - 'nuff said. Here we are.

Unlimited Angels - all the people who encouraged me to build a website, publish, and sell my paintings. Especially Peilin and Kathleen for helping me with the website.

That's a lot of Everyday Angels who, just being themselves and doing what they do, changed my life forever. I am so grateful and so humbled and so happy. Thank you.

"But maybe if we are surrounded in beauty
Someday we will become what we see. "
-- Jewel "I'm Sensitive"

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A sampling of the paintings available in my ETSY shop!