Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ponce Inlet, Ponce Inlet,Fla.

The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse has been a constant sight all my life. It is located slightly south of Daytona Beach, Fla. on the peninsular at the very point where the river runs out into the Atlantic Ocean. As a child and through my years of growing up in the area, and growing old the lighthouse has stood tall in all its shining glory beaming lights to ships at sea. Everywhere people are fishing, and the seagulls are anxiously waiting for a piece of bait or a piece of bread. What a wonderful sight to see the big pelicans taking a nose dive into the water and coming up with a fish in its bill. All up and down the shoreline little sandpiper birds run and their little legs look like blurs. People are sunbathing, picnicking, fishing or playing beach volleyball. Surfers are catching the waves in an area zoned for surfing. It is a place to walk and explore picking up unusual sea shells and pieces of driftwood. You can see the architects of the sandcastles running away from the incoming tide only to watch their
labor washed away.
The area has grown and been updated with more picnic areas, and restrooms. The large park has been kept intact. The Marine Rescue Center and Museum has been added for sightseers . The Rescue Center Marine Biologists nurse injured sea turtles and dolphins back to health and release them back into their natural habitat.
This picture is a print of my original done in watercolor, pen and ink.

Even though you can see modern condominiums in the distance it is the same magical as it was in my youth where you can walk and see the ocean meet the sky. The lighthouse is still standing tall in its shining glory.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

How I Got Started As An Artist.

Things happen and your life takes a complete turn around. In 1982 I retired with 31 years service with Southern Bell as an Assistant Manger of Customer Education. At first the retirement felt like I was on vacation. Then I began to feel restless. I was offered a job at my
old alma mater assisting a friend of mine in a class room. In June during summer vacation the Principal of the high school call me in and offered me a permanant job in Attendance. From there I was promoted to the school registrar position.

Our plans to retire, buy a motorhome and travel was almost a realty when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Within six months he was gone. It was such an adjustment for me so I stayed with the school. At that time our daughter was a senior in college. She needed all the support that I could give. In 1995 I was diagnosed with cancer so I retired and battled through treatments and survived.

What to do next was my big question. My daughter was well on her way with a teaching and coaching career. I had always been creative and I wanted to painte and create note card designs.
I found the School of Folk Art and a great teacher in Mary Sue Baldwin.
Through her I have learned so many techniques in the world of painting. I still go ever week and paint with my buddies of 13 years. We are like a family.

Now I paint with acrylics, watercolor, pen and ink with watercolor wash, one stroke, and now for a whole summer colored pencils. My canvases are wood, watercolorpaper, candles, glass, card stock, and as a matter of fact, stand still might get painted.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"And I Shall Wear Purple"

As Usual I try to have themes for each project or technique that I pursue. My art career started with the Bob Ross Oil Technique. Then I started Decorative painting. Watercolor techniques came next.Combing the watercolor and pen and ink was next in line.Many pieces of my art work were done in acrylics.From there I drifted toward painting different objects like glass, candles, plates, salt and pepper shakers, and wood for awhile in the different mediums.Each object required a different paint and finish technique.

After painting on glass it didn't take me long to try the One Stroke technique and then adding embelishments. It was faster and baking it was a neat thing to do. Otherwise, curing time to fix the paint is 21 days.

Now I am working with colored pencils which I find very rewarding and relaxing. The very process of colored pencil and the art of layering of color will almost work you through a color theory class.

One thing leads to another. The colored pencil themes I have picked for this blog are birds and butterflies. "And I Shall Wear Purple" is the first. It is an 11" x 14"
of a butterfly and a wild rose. The second one is the same size as the first. The theme for this is "The Monarch and the Morning Glory"

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Summer Studies

The summer was quite eventful for me. I took a little time off here and there away from the computer,tv and the usual nose to the grind stone stuff.

I spent some of the time with neighbors taking those day time bus trips through out the Central part of Florida. These were the sightseeing trips which took us to historical sights, tourist attractions, restaurants, and dinner theatres.Sound of Music on stage was a wonderful experience.The play was in Orlando, Florida st the Starlite Theatre. My group of neighbors had front row tables,in the middle of the row.You could see all the actors up close, where even the make-up artist's work could be appreciated.Everything about the play, voices, dance, music and costumes was marvelous.My favorite were the children performing. As you can tell, Sound of Music is my favorite all time musical.

The trips provided many mental images of nature and ideas to paint, sketch or draw to last all year. During the summer I continued to work with colored pencils.This was a new technique for me and I find it very relaxing and rewarding.
It is also easy to pack your colored pencil case, some art paper, and do your work here and there as you travel...a good summer choice for artists.

The above picture is an 11"x 14" colored pencil art piece of the Florida State Bird and Flower.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

At 75 I Am Still Learning

The best thing that ever happened to me was the gift of a computer given to me by my daughter. First, I learned how to email of course. It helped me keep in touch with family and friends. I have friends all over that I meet at state conventions. Business and Professional Women/USA, Seaside Decorative Painters, Pallette and Brush, and Now

I didn't travel for the last five years due to a severe accident. I was able to keep in touch the whole time. I also learned how to do many research projects on "how to" subjects I needed to know. I enrolled in an on-line class with Hewlett Packard and completed a course in the use of my digital camera and get the most out of my picture taking.

I was able to write articles for many of the organizations's newsletters, magazines, and flyers.
I learned how to publish my Homeowners Association Newletter. From there I became a Publicity Chair for my organizations. With my computer, I was able to compose an article, edit it and then send it on line to the public newspapers.

Over the past 5 years my daughter has provided me with many essential tools as gifts for birthdays and Christmas. My office equipment now consists of a scanner, fax, answering machine, business printer, and a digital camera with a printer. From here it is uphill and a lot of work. They say your mother was your first teacher. With my daughter, I think the roll model has been reversed. She is leading me into this modern communication world. Also, through her eyes I am finding my way to cell phone, text messaging, airline tickets on line, and ordering supplies on line.

What is next, through my daughter, I learned about an internet market place for handmade items. I set up shop , and opened my shop. Visit and see what I do. Now I am learning to promote myself which is through all kinds of media and of course with this my second blog. Look out world here I come.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My Etsy Experience Thus Far

There are not many arts and craft show in the area where I live. Churches and city events have their crafts shows annually. There is one juried show in my area and one in two small towns nearby. Juried shows are very expensive and the judging is very stiff. Through research and my
own situation I decided an on-line business.

My daughter sent me a timely newspaper article about a network for selling handmade items only. When I typed into my computer the world opened up for me.. Etsy offers easy uploading templates to list your items, a very affordable fee, forums, workshops, a community newsletter, treasuries, showcases, Etsy Labs and many how to articles. This impressed me greatly.

My learning experiences with etsy began immediately. My writing skills began to improve by writing my profile, descriptions of my items for sell, and store policies. I found many useful tips in the forum posted by different shop owners on making your shop inviting. Next I went on-line with Hewlett Packard's free classes.I took a course on using my digital camera beyond pointing and shooting. Next I learned how to download the pictures from my camera. Sizing the pictures
became another lesson. Templates are used when uploading and require the proper setting in pixels in order to upload. Shipping was the next lesson . Many vendors again posted to threads in our etsy forums. It is there and Etsy's How To's that pointed my way to shipping. Also we learn from one another the best and reasonable suppliers for packaging and commercial supplies needed.

My computer skills have grown. From the Etsy forums I gained short cuts and knowledge from
split screens to cut and paste to designing a banner.

The one thing I am most proud of is the fact that I have joined a wonderful community of shop owners, who can share problems and solutions in a forum They share ideas, and information. What network like this has seasoned shop owners who volunteer to mentor what they call "newbies" Where else can you share news of interest, the successes of our network and our vendors? Where else can you call meetings in the chat rooms, and attended on-line work shops?

And the beat goes on. But let me warn you! As great as it is you have to work hard to keep an interesting shop and promote, promote, promote. No one is going to know you have opened up a shop unless you let them know you are open.

Next my products.