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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kid in a candy store

And no time to shop. Next Thursday I'm going to Louisville to demo in the North Light/F+W booth at the NAMTA international trade show for retailers. Can you imagine sitting in a convention hall with every art supply in the world and not getting to browse? My demo on Confident Color is ongoing for 4 hours. I'm driving down and back the same day (total 5 hours), so that pretty much shoots the day. I've done these trade shows before, and they are so huge, you can't see much in an hour or so. Maybe with roller skates. I'd stay overnight and look around on Saturday, if I didn't have to leave on Sunday for my workshop in upstate New York. And going from there to Boston to visit my son. Got myself on another merry-go-round, didn't I?

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Lost Weekend

I spent most of the weekend trying to delete a virus that showed up on my Friday night automatic scan. When I got home from baby-sitting on Saturday afternoon, I ran Norton Anti-virus and it said the Delete failed and directed me to their Web site for instructions. I was involved in this merry-go-round until bedtime and most of Sunday. The virus is "adware.gen" and it was on my external backup drive. You wouldn't believe how many times I tried to get rid of it with Norton, then had to rescan to find out if it was still there. It takes hours to scan that big Seagate drive. I even tried to do it in Safe Mode; still no luck. I finally realized that the file I was looking for wasn't named adware.gen. When I got the correct name, I went to the drive's Windows System32 directory. As I passed my mouse down the list, before I got to the file, a Norton screen popped up and shouted that I had a virus, and they deleted it, just like that. About an hour later, another Norton screen appeared and in a self-congratulatory manner announced to me that they had rescued me from the virus. Now, why didn't they delete it the half-dozen times I ran the virus-scan program?

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Catch up time

Busy, busy, busy. Our granddaughter had her spring break following Easter, so we were involved in a sleepover and a natural history museum visit during the week. I spent most of this past week sorting files on my hard drives, which doesn't leave a lot of discretionary time. Or leisure, either, for that matter. Today I did some Web site updating, so I'm almost caught up. Just in time to prepare for a demo at the National Art Materials Trade Association trade show, followed by a workshop in Cazenovia, New York. Other pots are beginning to boil, too, so it looks like a busy summer coming up.

The other day I came across an announcement from the Society of Canadian Artists regarding the artist who ran afoul of the American Watercolor Society last year. Guess what! The Canadian society revoked the artist's awards from 2006 and 2007 and have rescinded her membership. Here's their statement:

A friend recently told me that the signatures on all her watercolor paintings have disappeared over the years. She had used ballpoint pens to sign. I knew that the ink wasn't permanent. I was shocked she didn't. I keep trying to get my students to sign with brush and watercolor. They counter that the pens are labeled "Permanent." Hello? That means they won't wash out. "Lightfast" means they won't fade. So far, the best pens I know are advertised as "light resistant." That isn't quite the same thing. Does anyone out there know of a lightfast pen?

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Collage and Mixed Media books

Alease Michelle's top 10 list of books on collage and mixed media. It's a great list. I've read seven of them and would recommend them all. Now I want to read the other three. Thanks to Alease for the recommendations.

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

The New Creative Artist South of the Border

In Central America, actually. Margarita Hernandez (on the right) of Honduras, who attended my workshop in Plantation, Florida, in March, spent nearly a year working at her home with a group of eleven women artists using the activities in my book. First, she had to translate the activities into Spanish so they could understand them. (I wish I knew Spanish as well as she knows English.) At the end of the class, she presented each woman with a certificate of completion. Here are a few photos she sent me of her class. I asked permission to put them on my blog--she says they will be delighted to be internationally "famous" on the Web.

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Check this out: 10 Essential Money Skills for a Bad Economy" by J. D. Roth.


Little paintings make a big show

On Sunday, April 19, the Wassenberg Art Center in Van Wert, Ohio opens an unusual exhibit of miniature art by sisters Pat Rayman of Ohio City and Janet Ravas of Scotia, New York. “Two Sisters” includes more than 100 watercolor and acrylic paintings, many smaller than 3 x 5 inches.
Rayman and Ravas paint landscapes and seascapes from Maine, Vermont, New York State, and rural Ohio, as well as flowers and animals. Ravas uses a magnifying glass when creating her tiny, delicate watercolors. Rayman employs some of the smallest brushes available for her impressionistic acrylic works.
The word “miniature” was derived from minium, the red lead paint used in painting small images in manuscripts in the Middle Ages. Miniature paintings are highly detailed, requiring much skill. Artists put the same amount of time and skill into miniature works as they do into large paintings, sometimes more.
“Two Sisters,” sponsored by Art-to-Art Palette Journal and Ralph and Jane Stuckman, will run from Sunday, April 19, to Thursday, May 14.
For more information, call the Wassenberg Art Center at 1.419.238.6837 or toll
free 1.888.238.3837, or e-mail wassenberg@embarqmail.com.
The Wassenberg Art Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging and promoting the visual arts, is located at 643 S. Washington Street in Van Wert, Ohio. Exhibit hours are 1-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays). Admission is free.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Paint the Parks competition

There are just a few weeks left to enter this year's contest. You can use any medium and paint any subject, as long as it's found in a national park. Paint America

Just a reminder to be getting your entries together for the 3rd Annual 2009 Paint the Parks100 Competition. $10,000 Grand Prize Purchase Award; $5,000 Mini Grand Prize Purchase Award! Thousands more in additional prizes and awards! The Paint the Parks100 has become one of the country's top juried exhibitions for established and emerging artists. Save $10 on your early entries postmarked by April 30. 2009. Final deadline: May 31, 2009.
Paintings should be representative, and depict any area under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, in any way, in any medium.
Go to www.nps.gov for a list of eligible areas viewable by state.

PaintAmerica is a national, non-profit organization to support and promote the visual arts.
Proceeds support the PaintAmerica Scholarship Fund and the National Park Foundation.

Don't miss this important juried competition – enter now! Full details and entry form at www.PaintAmerica.org or call us at (785) 273-4502.

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Spring is officially here--I hope

It's getting warm enough to work in the woods a bit, so that's a good sign. Here are a few pix of some of the early wildflowers and naturalized bulbs that are blooming. In a few days, bluebells and toothwort will cascade down the hillside.

Never mind that I lost a pair of glasses on Monday when I went out to photograph the flowers--they were old ones, at least, and might turn up as I wander the woods.

There's a lot of debris on the ground from the two windstorms we've had since September. I break up the small branches and throw them around the woods. The bigger limbs I carry to the edge of the woods and pile them up until I can get to them.

I've found a couple dozen honeysuckle seedlings and a few garlic mustard sprouts, but if I keep after them, I won't have the onslaught I had to deal with when I started my woodland project 7 years ago.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Florida Collage Workshop

Here are a few of the pieces, some unfinished, made in the collage portion of the creativity workshop for the Plantation Art Guild, including a shot of several students at work. I apologize for the quality of the photos. My flash reflected off the gloss medium in some of the pieces. I should have taken them outdoors to photograph. I love the variety in the work. These are all paper theme collages. Some used magazine papers; others applied cut or torn paintings.

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