Saturday, April 25, 2009

where i'm at....

the last few weeks have been a struggle for me. i'm finding it hard to find the motivation to create work. and in part , i think its because i don't have any direction or brand identity or a place i want to put it. agh i sound so distraught! but really....

i am losing faith in etsy. i will probably keep a shop there on the off chance that someone in that dismally low-priced market will be interested in some fine art. fact is: fine art doesn’t sell on etsy. people are looking for oochie goochie 10$ shit to give their mom. i have played the etsy games and chattered in the forums (which i find to be largely self congratulatory) i still see little success financially. and when it comes down to it, my hourly wage is wasted talking to faceless knitters and jewelers who aren’t interested in my drawings and prints. furthermore, any serious critique threads or business discussions i try to bring up are quickly ignored. unless im under someone's desk in brooklyn i dont think we'll ever be seeing fine art making a regular appearance on the front page. i'm not trying to be harsh, but that's how it is.

i even thought of abandoning the traveling painter name. i've been using this moniker ever since i realized that my art is always influenced by where i am. and after a stint as a guest artist at a nature conservatory, i thought, "hey this is pretty fun...traveling around and making my work.' but i digress. i've been "traveling painter" for years and it's catchy enough (tell me if I’m wrong!) so i think it will stay.

i've decided to go out on a limb and try to create my own marketplace. primarily because (especially from a business standpoint) i want to direct anyone i talk with to ONE place. not a blog (a long hard to remember address), a shop (another unfamiliar address- eeetsyyy? etsy? what's that?), my twitter (at least that's still pretty fun), etc. I don’t want business cards plastered with 45 urls. i think it looks disorganized and amateur.

I bit the bullet and went with wordpress hosted from my own website. this will allow me to have a blog AND my own store, with advanced selling options, my own rules and no "fees" under one easy to remember, subdomain free web address. you can check out my work in progress if you like.

i'm still messing around and auditioning shopping carts so forgive my dust. once it's officially launched, i'll shut this blog down and redirect there. i'll be updating in the future from

maybe getting this off my chest and out of my head will free up some creativity. i'd like to feel excited to create new work for this newfound concept, but it's hard to shake the "will etsy receive this well?" thoughts from my head. not that it should matter, but i doubt any artist hasn't had the conflict of making for art’s sake and making for an audience.

so. that's where i'm at. i want to make art in my place, for a different audience. has anyone else been having these thoughts?

thanks for listening to my rant. :-)

p.s. i'm done worrying about capitalization. this is after all, the internetzzz.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Safe Places

I came across this picture while looking for some stock images, and it really struck me. Not because it's a beautiful composition although it is. It makes me feel safe and enclosed, and reminds me of trail riding in the woods as a child... a bunch of us kids and horses and dogs all convoying in a line. We'd always end at the creek. Let the horses paw and drink. This is almost exactly what it looked like...this image seems like it was plucked from my sometimes fuzzy memory- and that's why it's striking.

I miss summers full of trail rides, and it hurts a bit more knowing I will probably never see that creek again. I think I'll save this photo for a while. I don't know where it is, but it might as well be home.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wreck This Journal Vlog

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mixed Media Ship Collages

This is the first time... in a long time... that I have REALLY had fun in the studio! I went into this knowing I wanted to use 3D boxes. I wanted to make some ready to hang (without frames) pieces of art. I just tore into my paper supply and had so much fun!

Blueprints from work that I had used earlier as a drop cloth...

...with leftover blue paint...

...cut outs from a vintage National Geographic story on Pacific Islanders...

... strips of old maps, ink and ModPodge...

I am REALLY happy with the results! I'm not sure if I'll list in my shop yet... what do you think? These may be prototypes for more to come!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Inside the Studio Tour

Aaaahhh. I can breathe! Welcome to the re-organized studio. (See before pics here) I cannot promise beautiful because A. I am poor and B. I am busy. However what we have here is utilitarian and I know where everything is! Let's take a look around...
Finally here I can paint with a dedicated area to place my pallette and solvents! I rearranged a little and gave myself a table for all my supplies. Much better than the ghetto-rigged rickety stool I used to set buckets of liquid on before.

Oh hey... I DO have a sewing machine. I switched the printing station (which is also my dog's crate covered in printers, heh) with the sewing table. Now the table is fully accessible. Before I had to worm behind the easel, and thus, never looked at the machine. This a sweet little vintage machine. $35 from some neighbors who had a basement full of them! The Chemex magnetic board is a gift from my mom. She finds the coolest stuff in books at the thrift shop and then makes crazy stuff!

Just to prove I didn't just shove things behind doors and curtains- here's a peek under my workstation. The shelves are 2 halves of a garage shelving unit with a piece of melamine (easy to clean) on top. I keep everything covered up with a *classy* cloth shower curtain.
I have room for paints, papers and my less frequently used materials like beads and pastels. (anyone wanna buy a bead loom?)

This is the top of my workstation. I have room to do computing and some mixed media papery work. I've got two squeaky but comfortable stools, so ya know...someone can come hang out and nerd around with me. Those little cubbies look unorganized but they aren't! Each one holds thematic doodads like camera accessories, webcam stuff or freebies I give away with orders. Just small, lose-able stuff.

And here's the real star of the show! Meet Kaya. She's got pretty flexible hips. This is her normal "whatcha doin mom?" stance.

I hope you enjoyed the tour, come over and craft some time :-)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Planting Daffodils on a "Rainy" Day

Today in lovely Chicagoland where the winters are six months long, it decided to rain, then hail, then snow. Currently: horizontal snow.

I am longing for my back porch apartment garden, so today we decided to bring a little plant life indoors! After a trip to Ikea for a planter and Lowes for the bulbs I have indoor Peruvian Daffodils.

They don't look like much, but within a couple weeks we should have some really sweet smelling and spindly petaled daffodils!

It's easy to make your own zen-dils.

One Ikea (or whatever) glass planter. About 13" x 4" x 3"
3 Bulbs of your favorite Narcissus variety (side note: Peruvians are not really in the Narcissus family although they look similar and can be grown the same way)
River rocks - basically the decorative fishbowl rocks
Water to just cover the rocks

Place your bulbs in evenly spaced from each other.

That's it! Watch 'em dirt necessary!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Embarrassing Messy Studio

Ohhhh geeez, here we go. I am exposing myself here. This is my super gross, super disorganized studio. I really should be cleaning the apartment, but this will be more fun!

The "Painting Corner" is a hot mess, and it also hides the "Sewing Corner" which pretty much cannot be used...yea there's a vintage sewing machine back there- who would have known???

The "Packing Station" is where I wrap gifts - the ribbon on the dowel is actually a big improvement from the box of constantly tangling ribbons and strings. I also pack Etsy orders here. Note the huge stack of recycled materials! I try to be green, I do.

God... this is just...where my printer hides....oh the sorrow!

This is my workstation for computing, drawing, carving stamps and underneath are big shelves that I'm not even going to show you. The barstools are a sweet Goodwill score by Pleyades- thanks for the eagle eye!

OK guys, I'm off to clean this rat hole! I hope my next post will be much more Martha. Peace!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Fine Artists of Etsy

I have so many favorite illustrators and painters on Etsy! I snagged a treasury last night and thought I should represent...Fine artists are grossly misunderrepresented on Etsy, so give this Treasury plenty of attention! Maybe we'll make a gift guide :-) Clicky clicky!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Twitter Followers Mosaic

Hello there. I admit I have been largely quiet on my blog these days. I told myself I was going to take time off until we actually had internet at the house (we had been *ahem* borrowing some wifi from Caribou Coffee across the street). Uploading pics and items becomes a labor of dedication and infinite patience over a shaky stolen connection!

Yesterday we got real shiny new net at the apartment, so now there's no more excuses! There needs to be a boot that flies out of the wall and kicks me in gear!

This was a cute thing I found on Glass Identities' blog:

A mosaic of all your Twitter followers! Hi all you guys I appreciate you all signing up for my inane babbling :-P

To get your own Twitter mosaic, go to this website and enter your user name. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekends. I'm off to explore "bourbon on the rocks." Hahah.