Wow! It's been way too long since I paid attention to my blog. Who has time?!! Three weeks ago I got the call from Adjectives Market that they had a space for me! Thrilling and exciting does not begin to explain it! There was a long waiting list to get in here and they apparently liked me well enough to bump me up! If you live in the Orlando area, you must check it out. There's no place like it. The next day Eddie left for three weeks of travel (poor guy - a Crystal cruise to Hawaii and Thaiti followed by a week at Maryann's in Bern, Switzerland) In his absense, our whole house has turned into a workshop! Used furniture and fix-it projects are everywhere! Between all this and regular licensing work, suffice it to say, there's been little sleep going on in my world -much less blogging.
Thanks to the support of family and my wonderful friends, I am happy to report I finally moved a few things in on Friday and made my first sale on Saturday! It's got a long way to go, but I am so excited to carry out all the ideas in my brain. It's a big, wide, open canvas begging for creativity! I'm up for the challenge!!
Good bye, When Pigs Fly, Hello, A Chequered Past!
Nothing like good friends to help with the grunge work!
THANK YOU LOREEN!!
Also, my wonderful son, Jeff who is always ready to run all over creation picking stuff up for me. And when he can't do it he let's me borrow the monster truck! But that's a story and photo-op I'll save for another post!
Finally... open for biz. And my big turquoise birdcage sold immediately! The shelves are bare and the merchandise is sparse, but the foundation has been laid for many exciting creative opportunities. I hope you will visit often!
They are out there!! By the droves! Cons and Thieves - and we are so vulnerable! Kind, sweet, generous artists... happy whenever anyone pays us a compliment on our work- thrilled beyond words whenever anyone wants to pay us for a piece of it!
I recently got an email from a "woman" who wanted to purchase three of my paintings. She didn't seem to care what the price was and was pretty insistent that she would take care of payment with a cashiers check - even after I told her I only accept PayPal - she insisted she would also handle the shipping. As the emails went back and forth I became more and more suspicious. You see, she and her husband were here in Seattle, but were building a home in South Africa - her husband had some important job to go to there. Uh,hu - and they were buying lots of items in the US to furnish their new home with so that's why she would have her shipper contact me. The truck would just swing by and pick up the stuff. Sure. When the shipper contacted me wanting my address I told them I would not give it until I was paid for the art. More red flags went up when I noticed the name the shipper gave for the client was totally different from the woman I had been emailing with. Ooops... When I pointed this out, the story got even more dramatic. She was on bed rest because she's having a baby, and her auntie was helping her... must have accidentally put her name on the correspondence. Yeah. Right. Pretty convinced at this point that this was some kind of scam, I talked about it with some friends who also agreed it was way too suspicious. Still, I thought, this art was only worth about $300.00 - why would anyone bother to rip me off for so little? Well... here's the way it works - my next email had an explanation that the check was on the way, but sincere apologies... her husband made it out to include the shippers fee too, so would I be so kind as to cash the check at my bank, take my fee, and send the rest to the shipper? I THINK NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, again... I say BEWARE. What happens here is they send you a check for way more than the price of your goods. If you do take their check to the bank, it looks very real and your bank will probably cash it and you won't find out until weeks later that the check was a forgery. Your bank will reverse these charges and you will be stuck for the amount.
Sometimes having a cynical side pays off. I was immediately suspicious of these people and with a little help from some friends, my suspicions were confirmed. Best advice I found is only accept PayPal as payment. Once I told them that, I never heard from them again.
Geez... like it's not hard enough for artists to make a living?!! ARRRRGGHHHH!!!
I found almost the exact scenario on this site:
Also, got information and the graphic above from here: http://www.artscams.com/
Back in May, I reluctantly agreed to take a one day sketch workshop with my dear friend, Christy. I love doing these things with her but it was literally the day after I returned a 5 day trip to NY to attend Surtex. I knew I would be tired and not in the mood for a day-long outing but she begged so I agreed to let her pick me up at 6:30 that morning and drive us over to Melbourne to take a sketch-about workshop with Diana Hollingsworth Gessler. All I can say, is "Thank you Christy! and thank you Diana!"
Right off the bat Diana greeted us with her catch-phrase which I love and have since tacked in big letters on my studio bulletin board:
Diana is a lovely and talented artist. Her workshop was pure delight! She has published several beautiful sketch books and teaches a great class full of tips on how to take notice of your surroundings and ways to quickly make your notes and drawings into delightful books of colorful memories. I so enjoyed the entire day and I greatly appreciate the valuable insights she shared. I recommend her workshop to anyone out there of any skill level. Everyone can be an artist and enjoy sketch journaling. Sign up for one of her workshops here.
That day was the catalyst for serious change. Do I need someone to show me how to sketch? No, but do I need someone to kick me in the ass... YES! It was such a wonderful, carefree day and just the jump-start I needed to open the blank sketchbook and get lost in the pure pleasure of drawing again, for no one but myself. I am grateful for that gentle reminder that creating art can and should be fun! Something that has long been missing while I've been consumed with creating commercial art for a living...and something I intend to change!
First on our agenda was creating an interesting cover page from the research she had done of the area. Of all things... Melbourne beach was known for it's large mosquito population!
Picking some fun and historical facts to illustrate is key when creating a sketch journal about your trip. After a quick tour and chat from our lovely host, Marty, we sketched the Ryckman house and the park next door. Adding an element of architecture and something botanical as well as a "surprise" (the fire hydrant) gives a variety of design elements and keeps the pages lively and interesting.
Next on the stop was lunch at Billie's On The Beach - 5* Urban Spoon rating... fabulous food!! and what about the view!
There were lots of quaint items to sketch here, but food and chatting used up most of my sketch time. It is turtle nesting season here so the sign above our table proved an interesting and quick art element. Before we left, Billie's husband surprised us with a unique and authentic key lime pie served in half a coconut shell. Delicious!
Next stop - a visit to the historical town hall, full of so many antiques and artifacts, was a feast for the eyes, so choosing one element and keeping it simple was the suggested lesson here.
Back at our destination point, we all created what Diana calls "Talking Heads", little quick sketches of ourselves to drop in the pages of our sketch journals now and then. A simpler version of what Norman Rockwell did in many of his paintings! ( I am in the top left hand corner.) Then we passed around our book and let everyone put their heads on our pages and sign them. A really fun ending to a really fun day!
Thanks Christy, for dragging me out and thanks Diana (the one in the hat) for a really fun day!
Always nearby, holding brushes and such, is this priceless mug created especially for me by Diane, my best friend of 40 years. She is more like a sister, really - we have been through everything together... but that's another whole story and would call for an entire book of sketches!
She found this mug in a thrift store. It is the actual mug used by the restaurant where we poured coffee and slung pancakes all those years ago. I was attending art school at the time and she claims I used to approach a table - coffee and mugs in hand - proclaiming "You know, I am not really a waitress". Funny, I don't remember ever doing that! - (well maybe once or twice).
Leave it to her to craft this treasure for me. It holds so much more than brushes... so many good memories. I can't help but smile every time I see it.
PS: there is also an OPI nail polish that I often wear aptly named "I'm not really a waitress" - Go Figure!
Well, I guess 6 months is more than enough time to ignore this blog!
Top of the catch-up list... In February, Eddie and I spent 10 fabulous days in California! Although the weather was less than ideal, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to connect two of his Jazz Festival gigs with a scenic ride on the PCH from SanDiego to Monterey. I can now say I understand why so many people want to live in California! Earthquakes... shmirthquakes!
I know this looks like painted scenery, but it's very real and oh so beautiful!
We had a lovely home cooked dinner by the fireplace and an overnight visit with friends, Dick And Johann at their amazing home in Emerald Bay. This was taken on their porch... what a view!
I just loved this tree! I could not get enough photographs of the unique and different foliage along the way.
Had to take this picture on their spot for them.
Not exactly the best weather for us and the scenic drive we'd so been looking forward to.
Still... the most amazing vistas appeared around every corner along the way.
Lunch stop at Nepenthe in Big Sur. Fabulous view but a $6.00 glass of iced tea? Oh yeah, we are in California!
A bright spot in the weather begins to open up on the way to Monterey.
My two favorite Eddies! An overnighter at our talented and dear friend Eddie Erickson's before we spend our final weekend at the Monterey Jazz Festival.
Cold and rainy day but we ventured out any way to take the 17 mile drive through Pebble Beach to Carmel.
Only my brave, fearless husband would climb down a cliff to get some real pebblesfor me from Pebble Beach! Save those chops, Eddie Metz... you have music to play!
The famous Lone Cypress tree at Pebble Beach. There were actually three guys playing golf just beyond the next turn. Burrrrrrrr!
Carmel - the beautiful streets and lovely, expensive boutiques and restaurants. We had a magnificent dinner at Il Fornaio - what a treat!
I could spend a day here exploring all the fabulous art galleries! Maybe next time.
This is Monterey harbor where the festival is held. Now that our time is almost up, the sun is out!
The natural inhabitants of the harbor just hanging around.
Finally... the love of my life doing what he does best! Thank you, baby for taking me along for the ride! Where are we going next?
Another Christmas has come and gone and while there have been many joyous events over the past couple of weeks, I have to be honest, I'm glad it's all over. I had a difficult time getting all merry and bright this year. I am so blessed and so fortunate and I'm really not sure what that was all about. Maybe it's the economy? World events? Congress? (X#%#$Q*****!!!) the jobless, the homeless, the scary state of the world? Crime and the lack of concern for fellow man? Financial worries..our artistic careers and our futures? Yikes! I don't know but for whatever reason I found myself in a funk - just sort of going through the motions and promising to make some positive changes next Christmas... like how about starting to prepare a little earlier, Joyce??? I know, I know... what are the odds of that happening?! Focusing on the positive couldn't hurt either. Anyway, enough said. Today the tree and the trimmings come down and attitude adjustment begins. I look forward to a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! (along with a cookie-free diet)
Now this was fun! Visiting with Mom, Deb and Jan, Kate and Brian at the beach condo... let the party begin! Sunny Jensen Beach weather and great family... lots of laughs!
Hard not to get in the spirit with Brian and Kate leading the party. Hats for everyone!
Our very own deer in the headlights
Back home for Christmas Eve dinner and presents with our kids. Heidi liked her new slippers and undies!
Oh... and how cute is this???!
Courney was Honey's Secret Santa this year and look what she made for her! Crafty... and a cutie too!
Our English-lit teacher got new shirts and ties in his favorite Gator colors!
Jeff dressed up in his tuxedo t-shirt and Michelle is donning her new scarf from her secret Santa, Leann
From one extreme to the other... Too funny not to photograph! Courtney and PJ
It's all been way too exhausting...
Less stress please!