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Question #11 – What do you collect or have you collected?

Okay, take a wild guess!! Right! TURTLES!!! I don’t collect real ones, although back in the 80’s I did have a red-eared slider for awhile. But he died. I never have owned a real one again.

I have been collecting turtle things since I was in high school. I have so many turtle figurines that I had to pack some up, because I don’t have a special place to display them in our little house. I have stuffed sea turtles, and I had a bulletin board with a huge turtle on it who was wearing a hat with a flower in it. That was back in high school. It hung in my room for years, and I now realize that I have drawn turtles similar to it hundreds of times, just little doodles, a turtle wearing a hat with a flower in it.

Also when I was in high school, my mom took a ceramics class. She made a turtle planter for me, because I used to like to keep small plants in my bedroom. It has tennis shoes on its feet. My oldest brother even painted the details on them bright yellow so they would stand out. 🙂
But I don’t want to display it outside, because it would probably end up broken somehow, and I don’t really have anywhere to put it out in the house right now either. So it sits in a closet for now….:-(

Oh well, have a great day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Question #10 – What things are you interested in outside of your artwork?

I love to read all types of books, but mostly fiction. However, I like to write non-fiction more than fiction. I have tried writing fiction, but it feels like it takes me forever just to get a short story out even though in 1995 I wrote a novella. I gave it to my mother, my husband, and a couple of friends to read, though. I never tried to do anything else with it; maybe someday….it still needs tons of work, believe me!

I also like to ride my stationary bike while listening to my iPod and use light weights to work out. I used to walk about a mile or so a day until my feet exploded with bunions! So that is too painful to do now.

I like to play Scrabble with my husband who says I always win, but I have the score sheets in the box….he has won more than he realizes!

I like photography, but again too much walking does me in, so I don’t get out and take pictures as much as I would like to.

I like reading and writing or drawing at the library or the Barnes and Noble bookstore. In fact, Monday, when I was at the bookstore, there were two guys and a girl studying college chemistry together. I never even had to turn my iPod on and put my earphones in, though, because they were polite in their talking to one another, they never once cussed, and they were having fun. It was refreshing really. I was in town all day that day, because I had to get one of the tires on the car fixed. But I got a lot done, so it was great. 🙂

Question #9 – What do you do extremely well….

The whole question is:
What do you do extremely well, or what would you like to do extremely well?

Out of all of the mediums I do – watercolor, acrylics, and pencil work – I think I do watercolor well. I don’t know if I would say “extremely” well, but I feel I do have a good sense of color and how to mix colors to get the shades I want. This has taken me many years to perfect, and I am still learning! I would like to do watercolor much better, but it takes lots of practice which is what I am planning to do all summer – try and learn some new techniques. Also, I would like to perfect the use of acrylics more.

Question #8 – What artists do you like?

Previously I mentioned that I liked Van Gogh, Monet, and Renoir. And as you may know already, I love Georgia O’Keeffee’s art. But since I started my blog, I have found many other artists I also love.

Here are links to their blogs!

http://annesartstuff.com

http://moodsaplenty.wordpress.com/

http://myartattackblog.wordpress.com/

http://matt.wordpress.com/

http://theartistaslisalee.wordpress.com/

There are many others I love whose blogs I follow. But I am having a difficult time getting the links posted for some reason. If I didn’t mention you, and you know I love your art, I apologize. If I am following your blog, I love your work; that goes for all of you writers as well. 🙂

Have a great day, and give someone you love a hug! 🙂

Questions #6 and #7

Question #6 – Are there countries/cultures whose works inspire you particularly? Which ones?

Right now I really do not have a preference for any particular country or culture.

Question #7 – Do you ever go look at pottery, armor, clothing, jewelry or reliquaries? Which of these, and why?

If I happen to be in a gift shop or gallery where there’s a variety of things on display, I will browse this kind of stuff, but most of the time I don’t feel drawn to much else besides drawings and paintings.

Question #5 – Are there time periods of art that you respond to especially?

I have always liked the Impressionism era of art. I was first drawn into the art world through an Art History class I took in college in 1990. Previous to that class I had no knowledge whatsoever about art, artists, mediums or anything except contour drawing. The only art I had done formally (besides my own doodles) was in a high school art class which I have already written about in my piece called The Art Class. Clever title, huh? 😉

Anyway, my favorite artists who have done impressionism are Renoir, Van Gogh, and Monet. I have always liked the look of impressionism except when a painting is SO impressionistic that I can hardly figure out what it is! Then, to me, it may as well be an abstract, and I have never been a fan of abstract paintings. But that is probably because I am such a realist. That’s just me. I have liked other people’s abstract art, even Georgia O’Keeffe’s abstracts are interesting.

Have a great day, and give someone you love a hug! 🙂

Question #4. When you go to an art museum or look at art books, what are you drawn to?

I haven’t been to any really big art museums yet. I have been to lots of smaller ones in the towns nearby me. But usually in those, it is one artist’s work in their particular medium of interest. But in a couple of small galleries where there is a variety of mediums, I am drawn to watercolor paintings the most. If I have a lot of time, I try to study their work and figure out how they made something look a certain way.

I like drawings and paintings of realistic things and people. I am amazed at what portrait artists can do. The realism in some portrait work I’ve seen has actually fooled me into thinking I was looking at a photograph! Some portrait artists are that awesome!

Have a great day, and give someone you love a hug! 🙂

Questions #2 & #3 – What is Your Primary Medium and What are you interested in…..

Artist's Career Guide
http://www.margaretpeot.com/

This is the next question I’m going to answer from the book “The Successful Artist’s Career Guide” by Margaret Peot.

I would have to say my primary medium is watercolors. I love mixing colors, applying pure color, playing in the water with brushes (I guess that’s left over from my kindergarten years), and just the whole process of painting. Speaking of kindergarten, I still remember what the paints we used at our easels smelled like! I even purchased a small easel, those paints, bright colored cups to put them in, and huge brushes for my kids when they were preschoolers! I still have them of course; I’m saving them for grandchildren, you see. And of course I have most of their paintings stored away to go through when they leave home as part of the grieving process of that “empty nest” syndrome. Getting back to the reason for this post…

Question #3. What media are you interested in but have not yet tried (bookbinding, encaustic, puppet making, glass blowing, ukiyo-e, shibori, egg tempera, pop-up structures, animation, type designing, letterpress printing, weaving…)?

Of course there are many many mediums I could choose from. I have only tried and kept doing graphite pencils, colored pencils, and acrylics in addition to watercolors. I have read a little bit about egg tempra painting, but I don’t know enough to write about it. It sounds interesting, but maybe messier than I’d want to deal with.

Puppet making perhaps? But I would just want to make the designs on paper I think. I am capable of sewing – I’ve even quilted some – but it is not something I would say I ENJOY! So, if I could design puppets, I’d have to get someone else to sew them. 😉

One profession she lists elsewhere in the book is a Botanical Illustrator. This has always interested me since I love to draw flowers. But I guess I wouldn’t want to be concentrating solely on plants and flowers as a profession.

So to conclude, I think that I will stick to drawing and painting whatever interests me. This gives me the variety I crave in my work.

Until next time, have a great day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

MY ART STUDIO DREAMS

This post is going to be the first in a series of posts where I will be sharing my thoughts in answer to the worksheet questions from the following book: THE SUCCESSFUL ARTIST’S CAREER GUIDE – FINDING YOUR WAY IN THE BUSINESS OF ART
BY MARGARET PEOT

“Chapter One – What Do You Want to Do, and Where Do You Want to Live?” There are many brainstorming questions in this chapter, but today I am only tackling the first one.

Worksheet 1: Imagine Your Dream Life

In your most extravagant dreams, what would you like to do with your life? Imagine the most gorgeous fantastic life you can think of with all the trappings: time to work, a wonderful studio, interesting clients or buyers, a supportive mate, a nice place to live, etc. Don’t shortchange yourself in this exercise by not writing down certain dreams because you “know” they won’t come true. Write it all down. Fill the page with your dreams.”

I am going to back track a little to give you an idea of how long I’ve been a dreamer. I guess I’ve always been a dreamer more than a go-getter. But in the last 10 years I’ve been trying to become more of a go-getter.

When I was 15 I began writing poetry. I tried writing fiction but I could never stick with a story long enough to develop strong characters and exciting plot. I also found I hated writing dialogue. So I stuck with poetry.

As I sat in my pink room with the white French provincial furniture at the desk I bought myself with money I earned babysitting full-time one summer, I dreamed of being a writer, getting poetry and books published, being famous and making lots of money. What 15 year old who loves to write doesn’t dream these same things? The funny thing is I still have that desk! I can’t sit at it very well, though, because I did get a couple of inches taller since I was 15 – I think.

My daughter used it for several years in her room, but she surpassed my height by four inches, so she can’t use it anymore. I tried to sell it awhile back, but I didn’t get any bites on my offer, and I was only asking $50. Sure, it’s old, but it’s in great shape! So now it’s sitting in our living room being used as a catch all for books, etc. But that’s okay. I decided to keep it, because I would like to use it in my daughter’s room someday when she moves out. You see, I plan to use her room for an art/writing studio until I can get one of my own. But for the sake of this exercise, I am going to write about my “dream studio.” It is more extravagant than what a one bedroom studio will ever be! 🙂

My Dream Studio

My art/writing studio is right outside my home’s back door. I walk down the pebbled pathway with pink flower-shaped stepping stones to the green front door of my cottage. When I go in, I light a cinnamon-scented candle to give the front room a nice aroma. There are huge windows in the front room with rose and white flowered curtains. I don’t need blinds on the bay windows, because there are huge shade trees all around my cottage. There are light green bench seats in front of the windows where I can sit and think and let the light stream in all the time. I live by the beach, so I don’t need air conditioning in the summer. There is a little woodstove in the room that heats my place up in the winter. I can hear the waves crashing on the rocks outside and their receding sizzling sound taking them back into the ocean.

In the front room there is a dark green couch and two matching chairs with a round glass top coffee table in the middle. One wall is lined with built-in oak bookshelves housing all my art and writing books, my favorite novels, and other types of books showing my interests in many different things.

Off to the side there is an oak preschool sized table and two chairs with paper, colored pencils and crayons in little colored bins. This is for people’s kids who need something to do while I meet with them to discuss the artwork they would like me to do for them or the book they are getting ready to publish for me. There is also a big box of children’s books and a few toys they can play with quietly.

There are fresh-cut roses and/or carnations of all colors in vases on the coffee table, bookshelves, and the counter that divides the living room from the kitchen and dining nook. A few of my paintings of flowers are hanging in strategic places around the room. There is also a print of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting hanging on the wall above the children’s table. There is a full-sized wall mirror on the wall by the front door with an oak coat tree next to it. Light green stone tile is in front of the door with a small bench for sitting to take off and put on shoes. The carpet is an olive green color with white specks throughout it. It is soft and plush and feels nice on my bare feet.

The walls in the living room are light beige, but a light green in the kitchen/dining nook. The tile counter is a pale green with a dark green swirl design. The cabinets are oak open shelves. There are no doors on any of them, and they display my white fine china dishes. The appliances are beige, and the window over the sink has a light and dark flowered green valet instead of curtains to let the light in.

In the dining nook there is a bay window with a dark green window seat, a small round oak table and two matching chairs beside it. There is a crystal vase of fresh flowers on it with scented candles. This is where I have my morning coffee before I start my day. I sometimes write here on my laptop or jot down drawing or painting ideas in my journal. And sometimes I have tea with friends here when I am not working.

Under the stairs there is a closet where I store my dog’s food, have her food and water bowls, and store a few food supplies for myself. There is a round plush rug for her to sleep on when she is inside with me.

Next to the stairs is a half bath for visitors. African violets are on the counter with flower-shaped soaps in a dish. The walls are light green, and the floor is beige tile. The towel rack is oak, and there are small framed flower paintings I have done hanging on the wall by the door, above the towel rack and above the toilet. There is also rose-scented hand lotion on the counter in a pretty pink ceramic dispenser.
Now let’s go out the back door. I know we haven’t yet made it to my actual studio where I do the bulk of m work, but we will get there soon. It takes time to show you around. Outside in the back is a red brick walkway leading to a pond with huge goldfish in it. There is a red brick wall about two feet high all around it where we can sit and chat and look at the fish. A round fountain is in the middle with water coming out of the flower-shaped holes. There are small white ceramic fairy statues around the yard area that have Lupine flowers growing around their feet. Rose bushes of all colors line the outer skirts of the lush green lawn with a white picket fence all around. Under a huge weeping willow tree is a small table and chairs where I can sit and think when it isn’t raining.

Follow me back inside, up the carpeted stairs and into my upstairs studio. I open the sliding wood door and we step inside. There is beige colored tile with a few scattered non-slip rugs. To the left there is an oak counter about three feet deep and five feet long that is the right height for me to work at standing up. I use this counter for cutting paper, planning out drawings and paintings, and framing them when they are finished.

In the left-hand corner of the room there is a wide, shallow sink where I soak my watercolor paper. Next to it is a white tile counter where I lay out my paper to tape it to my boards to stretch it. There is another small sink on the other side of the counter that I use to wash my brushes, etc. A round window is above this sink where I can see the weeping willow tree. There is tile under the sinks and counters that is easy to clean water up from.

On the wall straight ahead there are huge windows letting all the light in. It can get warm there in the summer, so there are a couple of oak ceiling fans with lights. My drawing table is in front of the windows with track lighting on the ceiling above it for working at night. There are glass jars of various sizes lined up in front of and to the right of my workspace holding all of my pencils and paint brushes. There is a long table to my right with all of my paint tubes and other paint supplies organized in separate bins.

Along the right-hand wall are shelves deep and wide enough to hold pads of paper in many sizes. The top of the shelf space has a set of book ends where I keep reference photo books, a bin with art magazines, and a bulletin board on the wall above it for tacking up notes, etc. My built-in light table is next to the shelves where I can sit or stand and do tracing work.

There is an open closet in a nook by the entrance door where I keep the apron I wear when I am stretching paper or mixing large quantities of paint for big projects. There are also a few changes of clothes in there as well. The shelf in the closet is where I keep my camera and batteries. I do not photograph anything to paint in the studio so there is no need for photography equipment. On the wall next to the closet is my small desk with my computer where I do all of my photo and writing editing and run my business. I do most of my writing on my laptop.

A few of my framed paintings decorate the walls along with paintings of other artists I admire as well. Also, there is a small stereo on a little round table to the left of my drawing table where I can play my music.

So I think we have made the rounds. I hope you enjoyed the tour. I know I wish I could just go there right now for real! Maybe I can someday. After all, some dreams do come true! 🙂

ART BOOK REVIEW – PART 2

HERE ARE JUST THREE MORE THINGS TO CONSIDER IN STARTING A CAREER IN ART:

4. Creating a Portfolio

I am still in the process of putting together a handheld portfolio. However, one thing Margaret Peot points out in her book is that my websites can be my portfolio. I think the most complete one I have is here on WordPress. But now I also have the Facebook page and the Etsy Shop. I do have a handheld portfolio book, but I just haven’t filled it with my best work yet. And as you have probably guessed already, I’m my own worst critic!

5. Art Jobs to Consider

Margaret has listed a ton of possibilities to brainstorm in the area of using artistic talent such as: teaching, writing, illustrating, photography, animation, and graphic design just to highlight some. She breaks things down in areas of interest such as working big or meticulously, functionality, technology, etc. She lists so many possibilities that I had never even thought of! (She’s amazing!) She even lists general job descriptions to many professions such as art teachers, designers, art therapists, calligraphers, botanical illustrators (something that interests me greatly), and animators, but there are many more!

6. Getting Down to Work

This includes setting up my workplace, making time to make my art, and a few fun ways to stay connected to my creative side. One of the things she mentions here is setting time limits. I have done this, but it is difficult for me. Sometimes once I am knee-deep into a project, I have a hard time stopping in the middle of what I’m doing, especially if I have my colors mixed just right for the painting I’m working on. Drawing is much easier to walk away from. All I have to do is get up and wash my hands! I don’t have paint brushes, etc. to clean up which takes a little longer.

I have been trying not to rush things either. I try to decide ahead of time how much time I have to spend on a project that day and only do that much work. I even use a timer some days.

But the thing I have not done yet is try to set in stone working hours for myself. I want to try and work the same days and the same hours every week. However, part of me has resisted doing this, because I feel like I might put too much expectation on myself to be productive while I have the chance. So far I have really enjoyed the last few years of time that I have invested in learning how to draw and paint. I don’t want to lose my spirit of curiosity or adventure. It has never really felt like “work.” That is to say it has not ever felt like the 9-5 job I used to have that I had to be at every day no matter what. THIS career I’m trying to start at the age of 53 is what I was looking for back then but didn’t know it! THIS is what I love about being able to work at home. THIS IS MY DREAM JOB!! So why would I want to mess it up?

Lastly, another great feature in Margaret’s book is the worksheet sections and personal interviews she conducted with other artists.
Her worksheet sections cover such areas as: discovering and deciding who I am, asking myself what I want to do with my art, how to build my dream life, creating my dream studio, and writing a business plan. There are more, but I’m hoping you’ll purchase this book for yourself and see just how great it is!!

There is so much meat in this book to chew and so much to think about. I have read through everything, but now I get to do the work. I chose to read the book without completing the worksheet sections at the same time. Now I am excited about doing it and plan to begin soon. I have so many books I’m reading, ideas for paintings in my head, and writing I want to do, that I also need to keep concentrating on those things as well. In fact I began my Hawksbill sea turtle painting yesterday.

In conclusion, I want to say,

READ MARGARET PEOT’S BOOK, “THE SUCCESSFUL ARTIST’S CAREER GUIDE.”

If you are an artist, read it!

If you are a writer, read it!

If you are a musician, read it!

I GUARANTEE YOU WILL FEEL CHALLENGED AND ENCOURAGED!

Here is a link to another of her websites:
http://www.margaretpeot.com
She has written several other books as well that I plan to get in the future. Happy reading, writing, and whatever else you love to do!

Have a great day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

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