Tuesday, February 25, 2014

spring fever

 we got new mugs! pretty huh? on sale too of course.....
we got them at pier one and we got two of the floral ones ......and four of the striped ones...i think we need to go back for two more floral ........
they are soooooooooooooo spring like
i was thrilled as we needed new mugs and i just love the colors.... then when we got home, we had to order more firewood.... will real spring ever arrive?

meanwhile i am plugging away with the copyright work. i've decided to split the files into their respective series, and then make each of those series a zip file to upload.
after this i am hoping to do copyright quarterly, and i am hoping to do at least 40 images at a time

so i am working on that.. it's starting to get a bit easier.
i am making the files slightly larger then thumbnails
and i am embedding information into the digital signatures of each image

and also today i am making approximately 4.5 pounds of cranberry orange sauce.
some i'm using for a pork loin, the rest is for table use.
i've got another bunch of pounds of berries in the freezer
along with parakeet seed we got today

i am also drinking a cup of tea in one of our new striped mugs. i like the mug, i think the handle is a bit light weight..... but then again maybe not
i do like it .......i think it's a 16oz mug
i'll measure it later
the floral ones made me want to replace our every day dishes....... we're still talking about that
i can't justify it as we still have ok dishes..... corelle
and these mugs are stonewear..........
we'll continue to think about it

well that is my current news..... oh and it snowed a bit today
ha.........summer will never ever come or so it feels like it now

how about by you?

Monday, February 24, 2014

copyright registration.......plugging along

so the work starts
with me of course kicking and screaming and whining...
why you ask? mainly because i've never done this before and i'm afraid i am going to miss something somehow and screw up the batch registration
 but here i am at 4am......doing a spread sheet with code numbers for the paintings so i can imbed that into their digital signatures when i also resize them and compress them for batch uploading
(say that three times fast)
i am also stoking the woodstove and trying not to procrastinate anymore
i really would like this and our taxes done and behind me
because i really want to just start sending packets out to licensing companies and agents again and then get on with my work
i think i am going to attempt to do the copyrights quarterly and i think i am going to try for 40 per batch copyright
that seems like a decent number- given my average output

meanwhile my poor journal, it's beginning to look like a mess
i have ideas, notes, sketches, designs, floor plans, business information, agents names, series outlines, pr blurbs, future project outlines.
paper cutting size guide lines for the different series
pigment notes and numbers
and general life information, it's more then a journal i suppose.... and it's got scraps of this and that tucked in...papers with notes stashed.... all in what is a drawing journal....(and it's got a few of them too)
not at all like the pretty creative artsy journals of most artists..... but it is my journal...and it, along with this blog is charting my journey

Sunday, February 23, 2014

copyright registration

is not for the easily confused.
i'm sure once i do it a few times it will seem silly that i am so confused by it
but right now.....OMG

TIPS and file sizes  ok i been sort of trying to figure this out
i have 70 paintings to upload as a batch
this link tells you how to prepare your browser to start the process as the website is particular about how you do things

and i am trying to see how to do it...... i did find out that windows will zip a folder! i had to go on the net to discover that piece of information 
i found THAT information HERE- how to make a zip file

there there is FAQ 

and TYPES of files you can upload HERE

and a basic guide to online registration HERE

and i had to edit to add this link to a pdf file that step by step walks you through.....i must have read this file a dozen times already....

i am overwhelmed..... i THINK that if i put the files as jpegs on a dvd, then compress them ....that could work?
i'm not sure 
i keep wanting to make the files uniform in kb size but maybe that's getting too fussy?
also do i number each one? use a letter/number code on each painting?

what if i screw it up? can i fix it?
i did ask on the art licensing board but they just directed me back to the websites above...
maybe it really is easy and it just seems complicated to me?

meanwhile...it went up to 60 degrees outside so i let the fire go out, i cleaned the stove yesterday including the glass door ......what a treat to watch the fire dance last night.
i'll clean the ash out again today while i avoid this whole overwhelming copyright thing...

and that's just the tip of the muddle right now
with this i am also being brought up face to face with some deep seated beliefs and emotions connected to my work.
sounds nuts but there it is
i'm working on the files now....i hope i am doing them right
time will tell i suppose

til next time

Friday, February 21, 2014

and now the rain?

i am so hoping that this wildly extreme weather is not the new norm
today it's raining...... hard
snow is melting
buildings in town are falling down
and my painting isn't going well
maybe i should just do the dishes today and forget about painting for today?
it's also very warm out but due to the falling snow/ice....i decided not to go out with the ducks
i figure it's safer to have us all inside
i also spend a day fighting with myself over starting a facebook page for my art.....
and i am still trying to get my sleep deprived brain around uploading files for the copyright office
i know i need to
meanwhile i am trying to think of how to again rearrange my studio
and what to do about the woodash dust that covers EVERYTHING in like three minutes

i really am considering going back to bed.....it's warm enough to leave the stove
everyone is sleeping anyway
i really could absolutely use some more sleep


Thursday, February 20, 2014

it's so deep out there even a shovel won't help!

with snow..
it's warmer out today so i took two ducks out to bath them
one pen is collapsed with over 30'' of snow on it covered in ice
the other big pen is ok but not easy to get to
the a frame is covered but still standing
and the big pen out back.....well i think some of the drifts have got to be 5' tall thanks to the slope, wind and snow blower....so that's out

however 2 ducks happily had a bath (together)

all buckets are scrubbed and filled
ditto grain pans
everyone is shifted around
falstaff accidentally got lucky with prudence- (she came out of hiding and i didn't realize it as i was outside attempting to dig out the collapsed pen)
the quail people got their new waterer put up on a brick as they managed to fill it with feed and poop
they have real talent those quail people
they are going to be getting a rabbit cage to live in soon

it's warm out
and stuff is dripping and melting
and we are to get a heavy rain storm... which means that the snow will absorb water.....making it even heavier
i am hoping that it loosens and starts to slide off the roofs out there before

and now when i recover i am going to again attempt to copyright register my paintings
i really do need an assistant or something

Sunday, February 16, 2014

i think i need a career coach

as the 7 or so folks that follow me know......
i've been painting
i went back to illustration a few years ago
taught myself watercolor (as i'd only worked in pen/ink, or oils before)
then started to find my mature style and master color work

meanwhile i am working on series and looking for a licensing contract

and i'm overwhelmed

i tried to do my normal step by step thing but my brain right now (maybe cause of the annual winter sleep deprivation?) is not working

and the more pressure i put on it ...or get put on it... the more it is shutting down on me
i think i need a career coach... but one that is used to commercial illustrators- a general career coach won't work and i think a fine art coach won't work either

i've tried to get a mentor through SCORE but they've been disappointing to say the least...
any marketing 101 book is better then what i've so far found through SCORE
commercial illustration is pretty specialized and i think some things that you should be able to find out for a normal business model ...........you just can't for illustration

and instinctively i know that trying to be a generic illustrator isn't going to work ...not for me, not for the field.... there are too many generic illustrators........ and besides i have no interest in working that way.... i would rather go with my strengths as i figure maybe that's a smaller pond but less populated

i will repeat.....i am so overwhelmed
i really need someone to bounce ideas off i think.... without that person trying to force me into what could possibly be something that may not work

the trick is, how do i know if that feeling in my gut is just fear of change or.....if it's the real thing warning me off that particular path.....cause sometimes they feel the same way!

i also know that with the yearly sleep deprivation due to heating with wood- i am so not on the top of my game that it's a struggle just to get through what i have to do...(such as taxes, bernie hasn't done his receipts from otr from LAST YEAR- which means i have to...... and i am not sure where to start- overwhelmed ..... and actually today, sick ... sinus headache and dizzy as hell)

i keep thinking, get an agent....but maybe i need a career coach instead?

i have no freeken idea!

any one have any ideas? please let me know cause i am at my wits end

oh and btw, most of the paintings have been test printed now...and i have an amazon merchant account, so i believe they are ready to sell.
for the 8x10 they are 22.00 each print.  plus 3.00 shipping for up to 3 prints (USA only right now)

now to figure out how to market them to people who would be interested .....
til next time

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

a few of my favorite THINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(ok so who else hears julie andrews singing now?)

i was thinking.. there are thing over and over that i am attracted to.... here is a partial list

  • maple leaves, i love sugar maples! love them love the shape of the leaves and the trees
  • nests with eggs
  • birds
  • cookies
  • bird cages
  • terrarium and aquariums
  • knitting and yarn
  • sewing and crafts
  • books
  • cooking
  • laura ashley vintage prints
  • transferware in reds and purples
  • dishes and china
  • autumn
  • teapots especially vintage ones with violets or in pink or red
  • wool tweed coats and jackets
  • lace curtains
  • carousel horses and some of the other animals
  • good leather shoes and handbags (neat and tailored ones)
  • small stand up collars and fine but simple details on clothing
  • rice pudding
  • art supplies
  • minature teddy bears in blond colors
  • hand made artisan jewelry
  • lampworked glass
  • antique diamond rings
  • rose gold and copper
  • hand made alternative houses 
  • gypsy vardos and irish cob horses
  • british thatched roof cottages and stone barns
  • farm animals....( i adore farm animals)
  • ice cream, cheese cake and cannolis ..... THE food of the gods
this is my partial list...i was thinking of it all today
as i am getting ready to lay out another painting and started to rummage through my reference maple leaves..... 
these are some of the things that i reach for time and time again..things that you can be sure i'm going to notice

so i was wondering what all you folks had for favorite things?

would you be so kind as to post lists here?
i am very interested in hearing

til then


Thursday, February 13, 2014

in the midst of the storm

bernie's phone needed to be replenished....
and i am hoping he's left to come home from work
meanwhile tuesday was our anniversary...37 years
it was mainly a day filled with chores....and preparing for this storm

now at the moment, i am sitting on pins and needles worried about him getting home during this
of course his phone needed replenishing... i am purposely keeping it on per call....as we're switching carriers and i don't want to lose a lot of money or of course...sign up for a plan
i wasn't paying attention though (i'm really that tired)

it's snowing out
i live in a brugel landscape now- and probably it's just as cold....i know it's just as white
in painting news.....
i finished the quail and hope they will forgive me soon
now i have a few paintings to photograph....something like 20 now
i am trying to decide which is next..... continue work on this more detailed nest series....
flesh out the other series?
move on to the teacup/teapot........
i think however it may be time to move on to something a bit more summery....as a LOT of the paintings in the past year or so have been so very cold.....arctic, winter.....
yeah maybe it's time for some sun and greens?
or maybe i need to do some peoples? i keep thinking of the inuit woman with her polar bear son...
she made me so happy while i was painting her
she almost painted herself
maybe i need to start a couple of series.....and set up multiple painting areas?

meanwhile stay warm and safe if you are within our bitter cold winter area
with this never ending snow and ice

Friday, February 07, 2014

more snow, more storms, more shore birds

i guess the ever growing snow mounds have inspired my flooding fears
as i dreamt that there was a HUGE wave/lake out back..... and that it came down the hill and across the front lawn into a lake that was dug right next to my driveway
however apparently i am dreaming in some sort of mirror ...through the looking glass way cause it came down the right side (as i watched through the front windows) and went over to the left......
in the dream THAT was downhill!
shorebird/gull 4
(and the back yard was UP hill in the dream.....)
but it goes to show..... how utterly pervasive this snow pack is for me
HEY you try getting up every few hours for the woodstove and see how your dreams hold up.

meanwhile we struggle with wet wood..... bored poultry
and quail tails
(still not done with that painting)
however i am doing a series of fast shore bird/gull paintings- some good......some not so good.... all
it takes less time to do the birds then it does to do the backgrounds which are just sort of random
with speckles added -it's to keep my hand/eye going while the quail resolve themselves-- they make me want to do a few 'big paintings'
i also came smack up against some of the limitations of this studio at the moment, no place to cut paper during the winter.
it's not easy during the summer either but i use the woodstove- i don't actually have that option in the winter..(not if i would rather not burn the house down)
so i was looking on craigslist and found flat files.... but right now there are a few marks against them
1) i don't have the money
2) i don't have a way to get them home (they are huge)
3) i don't have a place to put them
4) i don't have space to refinish them in

oye.....but they would solve a few problems.... like taking the bulk paper off the top of the bird cage and the big shelves (where i can't reach it) .....and the top would be the right height and size for cutting paper
(cause i was drooling over a 10 drawer unit)
if i put it on a rolling base...... i would have it made!
i could even mount a roll of water color paper on it and be able to cut that too!

now we are to be getting a few storms over the weekend and next week...with the already over burdened electrical grid... we may lose electric. although ppl has been reinforcing the grid here since sandy.
for me that means keeping cooked foods in the freezer that are easy to reheat and keeping stock pots etc filled with water for us
water for the poultry will be melted snow if the electric goes out
we really need to get the switch put into the circuit breaker box for the gen so we have water-
and i really need to get back to sleep even for an hour or  so
i think the woodstove is going to be ok for a while now

keep safe everyone

Sunday, February 02, 2014

catching up

after the ice age.....
we've been just trying to hang in there and stay warm
our rescue duckling is doing well.... she lost a toe and some webbing but she is eating and had a warm bath today (it was warm enough out to take her out to bath)
she's got a very soft hay filled indoor pen
and i think she is getting used to being here
i am still struggling with the quail painting...
so i took a break and am doing shore birds- so far gulls, this is the second one... they are tiny tiny paintings (photographed against my palette and paint table)
i don't know why but i am

in knitting ......i had to stop my mindless lace knitting to make a cowl and hat for bernie and another hat for me...i have more cowl/hat sets to make for us....since it seems one is always drying ....lost..... got cat spit on it...
(don't ask)

i am looking forward to spring, how about you folks?
we had a very hard time staying warm this winter, even with the woodstove, back up kero heater, and plastic wrapping everything......
we moved the ducks into the main basement (talk about crowded) and i was up every 1.5 -2 hours with the woodstove around the clock

we kept the lights on in the basement 24/7 for extra heat and i put the ash bucket full of hot coal in the stone sink with the lid cracked to keep enough heat for everyone....and dripped the faucets
we did make it through but boy...
i don't care to repeat that any time soon