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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ready, Set, Go.... starting at 99 cents

One thing I continue to do is participate in a contest with artists friends on Ebay. It's called Nibblefest and the purpose of the contest is to see how many unique bids our art can get. So in other words each person who bids on a piece gets counted once even though they may bid 5 or 6 times. It's fun to do and all auctions start at just 99 cents. It's also fun to see the bids go up and see how high they get.

Of course when you participate as an artist you do risk that you might get only one bid and sell something for just 99 cents. I know it's happened to me before. I don't mind though, I just look at it like it's an investment in getting my name out there.

Nibblefest always starts at the same time each month, the 20th and ends on the 27th. This month's theme is Nursery Rhymes. I chose Mary, Mary Quite Contrary. Currently in my artwork I have transitioned from painting in acrylics to oils, so I thought I would like to do a quick study of a girl, added a few flowers and called her Mary. She's kind of a modern Mary. The origin of that particular nursery rhyme is a bit gruesome and several hundred years old, so I decided to depart from the old and ugly to new and pretty.

Taking a picture of an oil painting when it's freshly done is a touch difficult. The new paint is shiny and reflects the light. I got a fairly good shot of it, but the color didn't come across very good. The background is a colorful but muted array of purple, greens and blues mixed into grey tones. Mary's coloring and dress is delicate pinks and roses but in the photo it looks washed out. Normally I would enhance the color in photoshop but it made the background blue-blue, too blue, so I had to settle for the washed out looking image because the colors were more true to the painting. I don't know what is worse - enhanced wrong colors or washed out impression of the right colors. What would you do?

Anyhoo. This is an invitation for you to visit my auction of Mary and bid on it. Help me get multiple bids so I can win the contest! (Is that bad to ask?) You may even win a lovely 8" x 10" oil painting! Check it out;
Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

Monday, March 11, 2013


This week will be the opening of the Utah Watercolor Society show for their Two Star and Signature members. The title of the show is "Breaking Through - Something New" and the artists were urged to create something a little different from traditional watercolor techniques and go for creative and experimental.

My painting titled "Unlimited" is painted on watercolor paper mounted to masonite. The majority of it is in watercolor, since the guidelines state that 75% must be water media. My 25% departure was in small details of the painting. I collaged die-cut blossoms and buttons of watercolor paper that were washed in pale shades of watercolor. The buttons have little threads of brazilian embroidery floss giving the appearance that they are sewn to the dress. The silver lining of the cloud is enhanced with white glitter. Recently I bought some Derwent Ink Tense pencils. They are so fun! Like watercolor pencils, you draw with them and then take your brush with water and blend them in. The difference between them and regular watercolor pencils is that the Ink Tense becomes permanent after it dries. I know, pretty cool. I used them for adding little details around the painting, including drawing designs on the dress using stencils and then lightly washing over them with water.

The final touch was to apply and spray matte finish over the painting and then brush on 5 layers of a satin poly-acrylic varnish. This very durable finish allowed me to frame the painting without glass. 

"Unlimited" will be showing at Michael Berry Gallery, March 15 - April 12th. The address is 163 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT.
This painting is available for purchase $650 contact me for info.