paddling

In every blog post I’m doing something completely different! I’m kind of freaking myself out at this experimentation-phase-gone-wild. It’s fun, but it’s not moving me forward very much creatively! At least in my equine life I’m focused; I’ve decided to understand and work on the basics of dressage only at this point in time.

This latest idea happened on Friday morning. By the evening I’d bought a couple of canoe paddles at Canadian Tire and had done this little watercolour painting.

By Saturday I was sanding and priming and researching and trying to figure out how to do this. The actual painting came next, and I discovered that acrylic paint works well, but is just transparent enough that it takes two coats, which takes too long! I haven’t figured out how to solve that problem but have several ideas on how to hang these for display.

Yesterday I added the design details on the handle. Today is varnishing day. And tomorrow?

laser-cut wood art and art card sets

I am embarking on a little collaboration project with Adele Miller, owner of the new Just Be Caws Etsy shop, and a dear friend of my late son, Adam. Adele and her mother made the trip here from Seattle for his memorial service, and to read a beautiful poem that she’d written about him. Together we are making pendants and earrings, laser engraved in birch. I do the design, Adele creates the pieces. Since we both live in the Pacific Northwest — both sides of the Canada/USA border — natural themes engraved in wood seem like the perfect combination. Her shop is here.

I am also offering more art cards in notecard sets of four. I have listed a set of four different designs, plus more sets of one design in my online shop.

notecard sets

Hello Beautiful Things – notecard sets of four

I have been continuing to experiment with watercolour and gouache, and hate to admit it, but these small artworks often take longer to do than much larger oil paintings, sometimes a LOT longer, so they need to start paying their own way. I’m starting by offering notecard sets of the first one I did in this series. They are available here.

I am thinking of ordering the rest of the series-so-far as notecards, and offering them as sets containing one-of-each. Stay tuned.

HELLO series

a question of etsy

My compulsive experimentation has led me astray lately — into the world of small watercolour paintings/illustrations. These little ‘retro tech birds’ have been a fun and easy solution to not having large chunks of time to devote to oil painting. I have just updated my online shop and included them.

I must admit that I updated Etsy with some reservations. Way back when, Etsy was a great place for certain kinds of artists to sell online. If you got in early, kept your prices low and appealed to a wide range of art lovers, it could be the key to your success. Some of these artists have had enough momentum to continue their Etsy success to this day. For me it was one element in my toolbox that did fairly well for a couple of years, but I quit listing on Etsy when I realized that larger originals selling in bricks-and-mortar galleries was a better fit for me.

Fast forward to today, and I have been looking at different marketing options, including Etsy, as I start up a three-year-lapsed art career again. It looks to me like Etsy has become so huge that unless you have an established client base or a huge social media presence, your Etsy listings disappear without a trace into the behemoth that the sales site has become. I have read the articles and obeyed the advice about tagging, titles, attributes, etc., but still my work gets virtually no remote views via Etsy — only via me. Where do people go now to buy art online? Every step I take reminds me how things have changed and how much I have to re-learn about art marketing.

birds and things

These are a few of the things I’ve been working on. I’m using this time to do a lot of experimenting with media, style and subject matter, though I do seem to be painting and drawing a lot of birds these days! These are finished pieces; I’ve been trying (and abandoning) some mixed media work incorporating some urban photography as well. There are a lot of “aha!” moments followed by just as many “oh never minds”, but I do feel like I’m inching closer to a new direction.

playtime

Crow Moon Waning – 24×30

This is the painting I was planning to do at Whistler two weekends ago. When road conditions and other issues cancelled it I spent the weekend at home finishing it up.

Web of Shadows – 8×10

It’s definitely been playtime for me in the past couple of weeks. I’ve been experimenting with mixed media and different interpretations of some themes I’ve been working on for a few months. Sometimes it feels like I’m banging my head against the wall.

The little panel to the right hosted three completely different diastrous paintings before I did this one, at the end of a long and frustrating day. I’m glad I tried just one more attempt because it inspired me to paint these two small panels: