Thursday, September 28, 2006

Real Art

Getting back to the "real" art. I have an intention to pull this equine genre into the mainstream. I know I have the inventiveness, drive and vision. I'm embarking on a very big multi-canvas piece which takes up the entire studio. I love to work at home but may have to acquiesce to a larger work space soon. (Michael covets my space anyway) I just can't step back from it. The canvases loom overhead like aliens peering down and closing in. I'm so jazzed. As much as I'm grateful for my non-stop commission work, I'd love some time to sink my teeth into this project. It's been in my head for a couple of years. Oh yeah.

I absolutely adore and am drawn to ambitious, creative, inventive doer's. (might be the mirroring principle) Kudos to Ben Baugh for a beautiful article he wrote about my trip to Aiken, SC in the Aiken Standard. His writing style is powerful, flowing and brilliant. You are the bomb, Ben. It's going to be interesting to see where this stop takes off for him...and hey, you read it here first...

Speaking of ambition, my better half informed me today that he desires to start getting back on horses. He's about 50 lbs. from where he left off. Eat up your din din Howie. This endeavor begins tomorrow. Story and pictures at 11. (a.m. that is)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hooking up with Virtual Terminal

Did you know that when you open an account with PayPal they offer a service that enables you to take credit cards from anywhere? This includes phone, fax, mail, e-mail or, as an artist, at shows. It's called Virtual Terminal. How awesome. Michael says - "Who didn't know that!" and I'm dating myself.

My web guru, Angee Chase of Webwrx is working diligently on the re-design of my website. I think we both under-estimated the amount of dog work involved but when it's finished it'll be so powerful and dynamic. She "listened" to her client (me) and got a feel for what I wanted to convey. This is an issue that I have with my artist peers who don't listen, don't do research or try to get a feel for the needs of their clients. I've already written about this so I'll spare those who've persevered through my rants.

Maggie finished fourth by a nostril. It appears that she doesn't appreciate horses crowding her from the outside. Blinkers are in order. Michael left her at Calder with Milo this week so that she can get some company to break out of the gate and get her blinker card. She's very green and inexperienced having run only four times. This will be good for her although we already miss her.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Maggie's back in at Calder

Maggie's (a.k.a. Seeking First) in the 4th race on Monday at Calder. Michael always ships the day before so the horses can get some rest from the van ride. It's early Sunday morning and we're waiting for the van which is an hour late. All chores and preparation for the trip are finished. What to do? Photograph playful barn cats.

Maggie strikes a pose while Michael instructs the van drivers


She walks on the van like a good, classy filly. Always game.

Backing into her stall.

Makes friends with the grey.

See ya down there kids!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

a la Carol Gillot

I was inspired by a blog entry by Carol Gillot, whose blog is titled Paris Breakfasts. It's from Tuesday, September 19th and called "My Candy Store". Carol took photos of art supply store window displays in Paris. She travels to Paris frequently and we get to vicariously accompany her via her blog posts. These window displays are wonderfully cluttered and alluring with the invitation to buy fresh paint or try a new medium. You gaze at them with a familiar longing, perhaps reminiscing, taking in every detail. Oh the delicious fresh paint, so tempting I resist the urge to pop a color right in my mouth! I went back to my studio and there it was - a display worth photographing - my drafting table. Replete with the almost completed composition, tools, pastel box, stray pastel sticks scattered about, reference material and the two rejected comps in the background.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Low Country

Aiken was wonderful. So countrified. Visited Lydia delRossi as planned and was pleased with her beautiful little gallery/gift shop, Equine Divine. Lydia is so friendly and approachable. She has plans to move her shop to larger digs which will be such a positive move. Michael and I walked the quaint downtown area checking out all the shops and, yup, Lydia's is the only shop that's exclusively equine themed. I'm honored to be a part of the roster of artists and I affirm all the best for this endeavor.

I forgot my camera (duh) so I'll try to explain the impression left on me from the "low country" artists. On the way home from Aiken we detoured for a quick stop in Charleston. Most of the galleries were closed (Sunday) but you could peer through the store windows. Michael was impressed with the quality of the work, stating that Charleston had a strong and healthy art community. I was especially taken with the landscape work that depicted the tidal marshes. Those snake-like, meandering streams of water mirroring all the color, temperature, sky, and anything else that could be reflected. A quiet timelessness, achingly longed for and recognized. I could almost hear the locusts. It must be such a connecting, spiritual experience to be a plein air painter.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Aiken, South Carolina

I'm driving up to Aiken, South Carolina this weekend to check out the growing horse community. It's my understanding that the polo, hunter/jumper, eventing, dressage and driving genres are flocking to Aiken. Great weather, affordable real estate and open space are just a few reasons for these relocating horse people. Visiting a gallery/gift shop which has a few of my pieces on consignment is on my list of things to do. "Equine Divine" is owned and operated by Lydia DelRossi who I've not yet had the pleasure of meeting even though we've conversed via e-mail and phone conversation.

The talented journalist Ben Baugh now calls Aiken his home. We met back in the day of Wire to Wire when I was working in production and he was a free-lance writer. He's become quite the writer extrodinaire at the Aiken Standard local newspaper, covering equine events, features and the like. I'm looking forward to seeing him. When I described to Ben our new Florida Horse Park and it's cool cross-country course he informed me that Aiken has five (5!) in the surrounding area.

Here's the race call of Howie's (a.k.a. Howdy Pardner) race yesterday at Calder. He finished second to a buzzsaw. The world of horse racing is fraught with the bittersweet emotions of expectation and disappointment. He ran his best and we're proud of him. That's me urging him on in the background.
this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

Attention Artists!

Many thanks to Alyson B. Stanfield for featuring my painting on her weekly newsletter. If you haven't signed up for Alyson's newsletter - do it now! It's packed with marketing information we all crave and she offers lots of services designed for our unique requirements.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Art Auction

Thought I'd try an online art auction, It's the auction which received publicity in the USA Today article expounding the benefits of blogging and other alternative means of selling artwork. I put up the infamous "Live Oak" painting. Lots of lookers but no bids yet. I may be too high priced for this particular outlet. These are my first dabblings in selling via the internet. It's VAST. I'm learning as I go along. The e-bay foray was a bust and I learned category, category, category. I'm still trying to figure out PayPal. Knew I should have picked up that book, PayPal for Dummies! Here's the auction: Live Oak

Today it's back to work on what I know for sure. Another mural comp has been requested for the Motor Yacht Unbridled under construction at Trinity Yachts in Gulfport, MS.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Age Ponderings

I messed up the audioblog on Monday when I was attempting to record Maggie's race call. The instructions were clear and direct but a huge storm was approaching and I forgot to press 1 to post it. The wind came up severely and people were dashing for cover as papers swirled and whipped about. She finished fifth in a tremendous headwind. Not sure about Calder and the surface after training on the great track at Gunn Farm.

I had a discussion with an artist yesterday about age and retirement. She stated that she was approaching sixty and in a dilemma about the work involved in marketing her paintings. How much longer did she want to do this? It got me thinking about what retirement is. I always assumed that I would paint and schmooze until I dropped dead (or killed myself). She appeared to be in the same space regarding the marketing aspect of this business and how overwhelming the work load can be. I can't even remember the last time I had a day off and experienced what it is to relax. My vacations are "working vacations" which means I'm on the road selling or helping Michael run his horses.

Happy birthday to my dearest friend and fellow artist, Lynn Occhiuzzo! She and her partners have carved out a unique and profitable niche in the computer animation field. Check them out at Swarm Interactive.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Maggie's In

Maggie (a.k.a. Seeking First) is in the 11th race on Monday at Calder. This time I'm going as I need to get out of Dodge for a couple of days. I'm going to try audioblogging the race call.

Bought a new car yesterday. Moving on up! Actually my little Ford Escort with almost 160K miles was about to croak. Hard to say goodbye to her as I put 100K on her travelling all over the country. My new acquisition is the new Jeep Compass. Driving it down to Miami tomorrow to break it in.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Trying E-Bay

After spending some time with an internet marketing guru a couple of days ago, I feel like I'm missing the boat regarding internet marketing of my artwork. There are infinite tools out there to drive hits to my website and blog. I thought I'd do a test run on e-bay, and it's day three and there've been no bids. I put up some very popular low-end placemats which I can never keep in stock, so I've obviously got lots to learn about increasing exposure. And there are only 3,000 other placemats listed! Perhaps it's the catagory, my images, who knows. I'll just have to figure this out as I go along. It's all so time consuming - time not spent in the studio. Michael keeps telling me to spend one day per week just marketing. I know he's right but that's alot of time! Actually, my work is very well-known with no marketing so imagine...
Here's the link: please bid!