Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday

I began this painting by loosley creating the basic composition in black paint. I then filled in the table with black and randomly scattered black around the top part as well and dry brushed black withing the flowers and vase. I usually work dark to light, but in this painting I mixed it up a bit. I added a bright red on the table and filled in the areas on top that didn't have black in them. When the red and black layers were completely dry, I added a bright green over the background. I applied thick paint with a fairly dry brush, so the texture would really show. I then added a darker red on the table, vase and flowers.

Next I began to build the flowers up, applying more dark red paint, then a brighter orange/red with my fingers. I left hints of the dark show through the center and applied the paint in semi-circles to subtly give the flowers a rose shape.

Finally, I added a bright blue, then some of the same blue mixed with a tiny bit of white. Because it was applied over dark colors, it makes the blue appear very bold and rich.

Here's a a close-up, which really shows off the texture!

And here's the finished piece with plenty of favorite color!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Talk Art Tuesday

Tonight I have been making a video tutorial. Though it will definitely need some editing, teaching art is much more in my comfort zone than just talking on camera, so it didn't take 32 tries this time around like my video announcement did the other day! I sure had a lot of trouble remembering to keep the project in front of the camera though! At the moment, it's very, very long, but when I get it edited I'll post it here and on youtube. I don't want to give away exactly what the project is, but here's the tiniest of's a recycling project.

So for inspiration tonight, have a look at the work of Kieron Williamson, an artist from Norfolk. Once you see the quality of his work, it's hard to believe he has been drawing and painting for only a year. His progress and understanding of light, perspective and scale would be impressive for a person of any age. When you realize that Kieron is only 6 years old, it's shocking, but in the best possible way!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Art Market Monday

It's hard to believe I'm already talking about Christmas, but before we know it, the holidays will be here. With that in mind, I am listing gift vouchers in my Etsy shop, which are valid toward the purchase of any of my items. As an introductory offer, I will give you a voucher worth an extra 20% with every voucher you purchase! IE: Purchase a $50 gift voucher, get an extra $10 voucher for FREE. That means you can buy one for a gift and get a little something for yourself too. Check my SPECIAL OFFER section for vouchers starting at only $25.

If you are in Northern Ireland, a selection of my work is now available at Dream Jewels, 84 Main Street in Moira. Dream Jewels is the sort of shop that any 'girlie' girl will adore, so be sure to go and have a look. You can also still see my work at The Yard Gallery in Holywood and Montmarte Gallery, Lisburn.

As always, you can meet me and see my work in person at the Artisan Market at THE OUTLET in Banbridge on Sunday, from 1-6PM. The special offer applies to purchases at The Artisan Market as well.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Solve it Sunday and October Giveaway

Every month I do a prize draw and this month, I am GIVING away this 5 x 7 inch ORIGINAL painting! This giveaway is open worldwide and you have until 9PM GMT on 10/31/09 to enter.
The winner will be selected at random and will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. I will announce the winner on my blog, but if you would like to make sure you don’t miss out, leave a valid email address in your post and I will notify you personally as well. Thanks for entering and good luck!

Required for Entry: Visit my Etsy shop then leave a comment here, telling me what your favorite piece is.

Extra Entries: It’s easy to get extra entries (see below), but please make sure you do the required entry first, as well as leave a separate comment for each entry.
  • Suggest a name for this painting (1 extra entry)
  • Follow my blog publicly (1 extra entry)
  • Become a fan of JolieArt on Facebook and leave your FB name here (1 extra entry)
  • Add JolieArt to your Etsy favorites and leave your username here (1 extra entry)
  • Start a thread in the Etsy Promotions forum about my giveaway and link back to this post. Leave the link to the forum post here. (1 extra entry)
  • Subscribe to my blog feed via email and leave your email address here (1 extra entry) .
  • Blog about this giveaway and link back to it. Leave the link to your blog post here, so I know where to find it. (1 extra entry)
  • Make a purchase at JolieArt and leave your username here (5 extra entries)
  • Refer a friend from Facebook, MySpace, Bebo or anywhere else and ask them to leave your name in their comment. (1 entry for your friend, plus an extra entry for you!)
  • Mention this giveaway in your Youtube video and tell me where to find it. (1 extra entry)
  • Follow JolieArt on Twitter and tweet this message "RT@JolieArt giveaway. WIN her gorgeous original painting! Details here:". Please leave a link to your tweet in your comment. (you can tweet this up to once per day and get 1 extra entry each time!)

Here she is for a bit of Solve it Sunday puzzle fun!
Click to Mix and Solve

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Simply Saturday - And the winner is...

Since it's the first time I have opened my monthly prize draw to online fans, I thought I would make a video to announce the winner. Boy, it's not as easy as some people make it look! It took me 32, yup, that's right, 32 tries to get it right. Even on take 32 there were still a few ums and pauses and I would have preferred not to have the sleeve of my very ugly pink painting sweatshirt show up at one point in the video, but I don't think I could do another take! It has already taken me over an hour and a half to record a two minute video. LOL

And the winner is...

I'll post the official entry guidelines to October's prize draw on tomorrow's post, so be sure to come back and check it out!

Friday, 25 September 2009

Fresh off the Easel Friday

Remember the show 'It's Your Move' from the mid 1980's? It starred Jason Bateman as a scheming teen whose mother was dating the new neighbor across the hall and he was always coming up with some outlandish plan to get rid of him. I used to love that show!...probably because I thought Jason Bateman was so cute. I stumbled across it on Youtube tonight and have been watching old episodes while I finished the 2 paintings I posted on Wednesday. I've just finished them, so the photos were taken in artificial light again.

I added more color to the hair, blending various tones to give her hair a bit more texture and highlights. I was going to make her eyes brown, but they seemed too flat to me, so I dotted a tiny bit of metallic green on top. Now they appear more hazel and also have a subtle, interesting sheen. I added some eyebrows and tidied some lines around her face and she's done!

I had originally planned on making this girl's eyes brown as well, but just wasn't happy with it, so I painted them over in blue. I used the same metallic green for her eyes as I did on the other girl, tapping just hints of it on top of the blue. It's the same green from the background, so it subtly repeats color and unifies the painting. I'm really pleased with how she turned out.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Thumbs Up Thursday

While getting my daily Youtube fix, I came across Florida band, Boyce Avenue. I have been subscribed to their channel for a while, but had forgotten about them and hadn't watched their videos in ages. After listening to their music again, I don't know how I could have ever forgotten...Boyce Avenue is amazing! I love the accoustic guitar and the lead singer's earthy voice. Boyce Avenue have many great covers, as well as a few of their own originals on Youtube, so I had a really difficult time choosing just one song to share.

Though they have certainly made it big on Youtube and have fans all over the world, they aren't superstars just yet. So imagine my surprise when I discovered Boyce Avenue is playing here in Belfast in just a few weeks! Besides the obvious thumbs up for Boyce Avenue, I've got to give a thumbs up to Auntie Anne's for bringing this fabulous band to town. I hope I can still get tickets!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday

Taken without flash, shows variation of color in hair slightly better

Taken with flash

Each Sunday, while exhibiting at The Artisan Market, I bring my paints along and work away. As I was working on the painting on the right, a family with 3 little girls stopped to watch. When I asked what color I should paint her hair, one of the girls answered, "lots of colors, like yours", so now she has hightlights! I still have to work on the eyes on both pieces and add eyebrows. I also have a bit of tidying up to do, as I tend to paint quickly and go back to clean up lines and lost details. Unfortunately, I forgot to get the camera out during the day, so I only have 2 mediocre photos to show at the moment. Now it's back to work on these girls for me. I think I'll put a movie on while I paint. Hmm...what to watch, what to watch?

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Talk Art Tuesday - Gel Transfers

I'm no expert on image transfers. As a matter of fact, I've only tried them a few times, with mixed results. It does seem that there are about a million ways to do them though. I stumbled across this video by Darlene Olivia McElroy, known as 'collagegoddess' on youtube. Her technique is pretty simple, is different about it is that she wets the paper that she is transferring the image from, so that it dries at the same rate as the matte medium. I've never heard of anyone else doing that and it makes a lot of sense.

I love that she uses images more to layer in texture and interesting imagery, rather than using someone else's image as a major part of the art. The pieces she transfers an image onto started out very interesting to begin with, but the transfer added a spectacular dimension to it. It's got me itching to try it out for myself! With several commissions and a deadline though, it will have to wait. :(

Monday, 21 September 2009

Art Market Monday - FREE SHIPPING

I'm quite busy this week with commissions, so rather than making lots of changes tonight, I have decided to extend my FREE SHIPPING offer on select paintings and prints in my Etsy shop for another week. However, I am changing some of the items that are included on this offer, so if you have your eye on something specific, make sure you snap it up before it's taken off the offer.

Also, because I have been working on commissions, I don't have many new girlie paintings to list, but will continue to put up some of the pieces you have seen on 'Fresh off the Easel' in previous weeks, as well as a few prints this week.

If you would like to see my work in person and are in Ireland, be sure to stop by the Artisan Market at THE OUTLET in Banbridge on Sunday from 1-6PM. We can be found in unit 63, near Warehouse.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Solve it Sunday

My student, Emma has been painting with me since she was about 4 years old (she's 8 now) and is enthusiastic about art each and every time I see her. We recently looked through her gigantic portfolio of art and boy, is it impressive! She has a body of work to rival any professional artist of 30 years. I hear she is working on a new piece and I can't wait to see it!

Today's puzzle is an impressionist style painting created by Emma when she just under 7 years old and it's one of my favorites. The view is of Belfast Lough, sketched, then painted while looking out of the window from her mum's 2nd floor office window. I always encourage Emma to take liberties while painting...after all, it is her painting and her imagination, so it can be anything she wants it to be, right? In this painting, I particularly love how she chose to include the train, but made it a shade of blue, so that it didn't detract from the sea she had so carefully painted. It was just such a well-thought out, mature creative decision and I think a very good one too! I wish I had taken a reference photo, so you could see her subject matter in real life. You can see more of Emma's work on my flickr.


Click to Mix and Solve

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Simply Saturday

While checking the BBC One website tonight for information on the season premeire of 'Merlin', my husband discovered 'Waking the Dead', a show similar to 'Cold Case' in that it is about a team that investigates old, unsolved cases. I don't know how we missed it until now, as the show is actually in its 8th season.

You can watch many of BBC One's shows on their website for a few weeks after they air, so we thought, 'What the heck...we'll see if it's any good.' British TV tends to be a bit slower paced and less glamorous that American shows, and 'Waking the Dead' seems to be no exception. As an American, it's a bit of an adjustment for me, so I was surprised to enjoy it. As a matter of fact, because the show doesn't rely on gorgeous characters, special effects and a big soundtrack, it really has to be all about the storyline and the acting. There was a character that creeped me out beyond belief and I actually cried while the victim in this episode was describing her experience. I was just so engrossed in the story! I'm not sure if it's available in all countries, but if you can access the show, I definitely recommend watching it.

By the way, don't forget that I will be drawing a winner for my giveaway next Saturday, September 26th. If you haven't entered for your chance to win this original painting, be sure to get your name in for a chance to win! Have a look at the original post for details.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Fresh off the Easel Friday

This week I have been working on some commissioned paintings, but am not ready to show them just yet. I have also had the same two girls sitting half finished on my painting table all week and am finally ne-e-e-e-arly finished with one of them. I have a few finishing touches left to add to her before she is ready to be photographed. This painting, called Liana, was finished earlier this week and is on 5 x 7 inch canvas. She is one of several short haired girls I have painted recently.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Thumbs Up Thursday - Moleskine Journals

Sure, I've heard about Moleskine journals. Many artists swear by them, but I never saw the point of spending the extra money. I thought, 'Why would I want to spend 25GBP on a Moleskine journal, when I can get the same size in a different brand for only 5GBP?' I rarely work in a journal anyway, because I get frustrated with the fragility of paper and find the paint more difficult to manipulate.

That was then, this is now! Last week I had the pleasure of working in a Moleskine journal for the very first time, as part of Gary Reef's Create and Pass Journal project. I was a little nervous, as I tend to work my surfaces over pretty hard and was worried I would damage the journal...or worse, Gary's artwork, which was on the other side of my page!

What I found instead was that the paper could take a fair bit of abuse. Early on, I did have too much water in my brush, which caused the paper to pill a little. I soon got the hang of it though, and once I had the perfect balance of moisture in my brush, the paint glided so smoothly. The feel was absolutely wonderful and the finished result was so rich. I was amazed at how much visual texture I was able to create and how none of my work damaged anything on the other side.

If you look closely, you can see the paper pilled on the forehead, but the
paper is so forgiving that it wasn't that noticable.

Sadly, I had to ignore temptation to keep painting in the lovely little Moleskine journal and posted it on to the next person on the list. I did, however, buy one of my own the other day! I have called my girl that I painted in the journal 'Mirabelle', which apparently means wonderful in French. It seemed fitting, as she was part of my wonderful discovery of Moleskine journals. If you haven't tried a Moleskine journal, run out and get one...they get a big thumbs up from me!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday

I began this piece by painting the canvas black, then painting a layer of red over it after it dried, letting hints of the black peek through. I then mixed a little purple with black and loosely established the lines of the table and the shape of the flower pot.

I dry brushed a warm yellow on the background, added a purplish red color over the flower pot, and used the same color to create the flowers. I also brought some of that same purple/red color into the table. When the first layer of the flowers was dry, I began to build up color, starting with a very warm orange/red. I applied this with my fingers and was careful to leave the dark outline of the flowers.

Next I added a very pretty pink over the flowers, applying this with my fingers as well, using a soft, circular motion, skipping some parts to allow the previous layers to peak through. This gives it an organic feel that is vaguely roselike.

Now I start adding in the highlights by applying bit of white on the flowers, letting it blend with the still wet pink. I have added a turquoise blue on the left of the pot and a brighter green on the right, as well as brought those colors into the table. A general rule of thumb is to repeat colors around the painting, which helps with balance and to keep the eyes moving.

To tie everything together and balance the painting, the last thing I do is dry brush some of the pink I used on the flowers onto the table, allowing hints of the previous layers to peek through. I blended a little white with the pink on the right side, so that the shadow is on the left and light is on the right, as I did with my flowers. This reinforces my 'light source', which appears as if it would be shining from the right.

On this painting I used a color combination that I rarely, if ever use. I'm not usually a huge fan of pink, yet it just really felt right here and I love the final result.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Talk Art Tuesday - Standing out from the Crowd

Today, I stumbled across a blog post by Celeste Rockwood-Jones that got me thinking. On her blog she has gorgeous pictures and generously offers a free pattern for making paper fortune cookies. She used them to create lovely Valentine messages, but I have something else in mind.

We all love fortune cookies, don't we? We know they rarely say anything that makes a profound difference in our lives, but it's fun to break them open and see what you are going to get anyway. It's that element of surprise that is so great, so I have decided to take this concept and run with it!

I'm going to create a bunch of lovely 'fortune cookies' using scrapbook paper, but rather than inserting a fortune, I'm going to use them to market my work. I'll put a bunch of them in a bowl when I do the Artisan Market on Sunday and let shoppers choose one. They will contain various offers, such as '10% off any print', 'Buy a necklace, get a ring free', ' 20% off when you commission a painting', etc. It will be a great way to offer value wrapped up in a package of fun. I will also include some free stuff, such as 'Congrats! Choose any bookmark.'

I think this is a creative way to stand out from the crowd and will make people remember me, whether or not they choose to purchase any of my art that day. It's a concept that I can modify as well. Perhaps I can make origami pumpkins at Halloween (is there such a thing?) or mini Christmas cards that shoppers can dig out from a Santa Sack.

I'm terrible at learning from patterns, so I found this simple tutorial on youtube.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Art Market Monday - FREE SHIPPING

This week in my Etsy shop I am offering FREE SHIPPING worldwide on select paintings and prints. Have a look in my Special Offer section to take advantage of this great deal!

I will be continuing to list my 5 x 7 inch acrylic stylized girl paintings all week in my Etsy shop. They are only $55 each. Some are already listed on Etsy, but if you catch me BEFORE I list one, you can have it for a special blog price of $45 (plus shipping).

As normal, I will be at Sugahfix's Artisan Market at THE OUTLET in Banbridge from 1-6PM on Sunday. We have moved to Unit 63 opposite Warehouse.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Solve it Sunday

Today was a great day! For at least the 4th or 5th day in a row, the sun was shining, which is a rare occurence in Ireland. Sales were great at The Artisan Market and to top it off, two of the nicest guys bought one of my floral originals and one of my favorite prints. They moved here from the USA a few years ago, and as it turns out, one of them grew up only 30 minutes from my hometown. Talk about a coincidence! Given the size of the USA, it's a real shocker to run into someone from my area when we are halfway around the world. Thomas and Gustavo are major art enthusiasts, are so friendly and funny and were just great to chat to. Today's puzzle is the floral painting they chose. Enjoy!

Click to Mix and Solve

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Simply Saturday: Pay it Forward

I found this Pay It Forward Game on a L.A. Glass Studio's blog. She happens to be a fellow Etsian and has some truly amazing work in her Etsy shop. The post in quotes below is nearly exactly as I found it on her blog.

"Okay - Here's how it works:

I am entering into the following contract with the first 5 people who comment on this post and then commit to do the same on their blog.

Just read below and if you feel up to the task copy the following into your blog and leave me a comment.

I am willing to send a surprise worldwide (I live in the United Kingdom, BUT before any goodies are sent out, I must see a post on your blog - send me a link - that would be perfect).

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get.
2. What I create will be just for you, with love.
3. It’ll be done this year (2009).
4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber.
5. I reserve the right to do something strange or weird.
6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your blog post.
7. Send your mailing address – after I contact you.

Welcome to everyone. I will however, make an effort to do something that you like based on what I see on your blog, BUT there are no guarantees."

...and she is part of my own little twist to the game!

I love, love, love the idea of this Pay it Forward game and think whoever first came up with it was brilliant! I collect a lot of art, so any opportunity to do so is always exciting to me. As a matter of fact, a new original from AutumnArt is on its way to me right now! I would buy a new piece of art everyday if I could and I would give away some of my work everyday too if it was practical. With that in mind, I am adding a little extra twist (in addition to the above) to my Pay it Forward game. If you play the game on your blog, even if you are not amongst the first 5, I will email you a high res print quality file of the painting above for you to print and hang on your wall! Just make sure to link back to my blog and to post here as well, so that I know you have done it.

Now have fun and pass the word on!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Not So Fresh off the Easel Friday 'My America'

'My America' created 9/11/02

Detail shot showing 'fireworks' texture

Detail showing hint of Declaration of Independence embedded between layers

Rather than sharing my new work with you this week, I thought it more appropriate to share an old painting that is NOT so fresh off the easel. I don't often feel the need to make a statement with my art. I'm generally content just to paint something pretty and to enjoy the process of creating. This painting was different. It was painful and raw and I felt like it had to SAY SOMETHING.

I remember exactly what I was doing on September 11, 2001. Who could ever forget? I was watching the tragedy live on the news, with horror and disbelief. I had moved from the USA to Northern Ireland only the month before and I have never felt as far away from home as I did that day.

I avoided a lot of the news coverage that first September. I had made a choice to leave a place that despite its imperfections seemed secure, to live in a place that has had political upheaval and paramilitary violence for over half a century. It was impossible to believe that the place that was home my entire life, the place that seemed so strong no one dare invade it, MY AMERICA, was suddenly not any safer than the rest of the world. Facing the fear that something could happen to someone I love dearly or that America might not represent the same security it always had was just too difficult. Each time I thought about the events of September 11, 2001 I cried…sometimes I still do. I didn't know any of the victims and will certainly never understand the level of grief their friends and families must have experienced, and yet like every American, something about it still felt so close to home and I am not the same person that I was before that day.

On the first anniversary of 9/11, a program was on about the terrorist attacks. It showed all the footage I found too difficult to watch previously. I forced myself to watch it…the interviews with people who had lost loved ones, the footage of the planes actually hitting the towers, the people running through the streets in fear, the tales of the many heroes that day…2 hours documenting an event that profoundly changed the lives of everyone around the globe. It was then that I was overcome with the need to create.

This painting was part of the healing process for me. Its two gold “towers” represent not only the images of destruction that were flashed thousands of times on TV and seen in newspapers around the globe, but also America’s strength. The buildings are gone and so many lives perished on 9/11/2001, but MY AMERICA still stands tall and shines brightly as a leader for the rest of the world. The terrorists tried to destroy our will and our way of life, but failed, as it only renewed and strengthened our sense of patriotism. We wept for our dead and still sometimes fear for our security, but continue to live our lives as we please. The red, white and blue represent our flag, of course….but they also represent a lot of other things to me. They represent bravery and justice. They represent all the heroes who died working so hard to save lives or have ever died defending our way of life. They represent a place where everyone is or woman, black or white, Protestant or Catholic…we are all the same. They represent a place that is imperfect, as are the people who live there, but is beloved none the less. The 'fireworks' texture is subtle, but it is so American to me, and embedded between the layers is a copy of the Declaration of Independence, as it is embedded in every American’s heart. Very few of us know it word for word, but we all know what it stands for…FREEDOM!

I may live abroad, but in my heart I will always be proud to be an, if only I could say that without hearing 'at least I know I'm free...' in my head. It might be cheesy, but that song ALWAYS makes me cry!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Thumbs up Thursday...Facebook Ads

After doing lots of reading and research on Facebook ads, I decided to place my first one yesterday. With only 80 x 110px to make a strong visual impression with, I needed images that still pop, even when tiny, plus a noticable brand. I chose a few of my stylized girls and shop logo.

I chose a title based on a sale I currently have going on in my shop because I feel it's an attention getter. I was going to have my landing page as my special offer section, but decided against that and made it link to my main shop page instead. I did, however, feature my special offer listings and arrange the other ones to be at the top of the landing page.

I wasn't sure whether to pay for impressions or clicks, as I have read pros and cons for both. Some people swear by impressions and others will pay only for clicks. I decided that I should try both out and make my own decision. So here is the exposure I got for less than 1 day of ad time.

Total spend: $16.78
Total impressions: 51,566
Total clicks: 40
Average cost per click: 0.42

The beauty of Facebook ads are that they are shown to people who already have an interest in what you are offering. I know people who looked at my ad are interested in art, paintings, prints, etc based on the filters I chose. My Facebook ad hasn't resulted in any sales as of yet, however, 40 people who didn't know about me yesterday are now my potential clients. Most people don't buy art spontaneously and I could have easily spent a few hundred on a magazine or newspaper ad that wasn't as tailored to a specific audience and that wouldn't yield any better results. I still have plenty of experimenting to do with my Facebook ads, but I think their potential to reach your desired audience is huge and they deserve a big thumbs up!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday

I was thinking about my grandma today. She's been gone for nearly 15 years now, but I still miss her. When I was a little girl, my sisters and I would often go to her house for weekend visits. My favorite memories from those visits are of my grandma and I getting up before everyone else and having breakfast together on her back porch. We would chat over breakfast and she would ask me lots of questions, knowing that I would let my very active imagination go wild.

Grandma would often record our conversations and when I was around 4 or 5, she once asked me, "Aren't you hungry? Where is your appetite?" Without hesitation, I answered, "My appetite ran away. I went to the store and bought a new one, but it ran away too. I don't know why my appetites never like me!" It was hilarious and heartwarming to go back and listen to as an adult and I am so thankful that she took the time to do that. I'm sure my memories of those breakfasts are much stronger because the recordings.

Grandma's little back yard was full of all sorts of flowers and after breakfast we would go out to look at them. Sometimes, I even got to pick a few! "Fancy's Collection" is a whimsical reflection of those flowers and the wonderful, warm feelings thinking of them still gives me. Here is the work in progress of the painting above.

I began this painting by washing the canvas with a watered down coat of blue paint, just to get rid of the white. I then very loosely painted the line of the table, vase and basic shape of the flowers with the same blue paint I started with, but not watered down this time. Next, I layered some deep red over the outline of the flowers, still keeping it very loose.

I decided I wanted my background to be red, so I layered on some green. Green compliments the red and really make it pop. I have started filling in the flowers with my fingers and red paint as well.

I started building up the background with various shades of red, allowing bits of the previous layer to show through.

I added a brighter shade of red on the flowers, again with my fingers. Working with my fingers is not only fun and takes me right back to childhood, but also gives a nice textured, organic feel to the flowers.

Several more shades of red, then yellow and finally some white for highlights and the flowers were done. I dry brushed a few shades of blue and a hint of white on to the table and vase as well, making sure to let a lot of the green show through on the table and preserving the dark lines around the key elements of the painting. The process doesn't always flow so smoothly for every painting, but this one really did for me and was a joy to paint!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Talk Art Tuesday

An old friend of mine mentioned that she has taken up needle felting. I've heard of it and have seen some amazing jewelry using the technique, but have never gotten around to experimenting with it myself. I did a quick search on youtube and came across a great video with a lady who demonstrated how she needle felts on an old sweater she rescued from a thrift store. She is funny, charming and thoroughly entertaining. Enjoy!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Art Market Monday

My SPECIAL OFFER this week is 'Buy 2, Get 1 FREE' on prints of equal (or lesser) value. I have created a few listings in my Etsy shop of prints grouped as 3 that work well together, but you can mix and match any print that you like (see my other listings for ideas). Once you have decided which prints you would like, contact me to request a custom listing. The Buy 2, Get 1 FREE offer is available on select originals in my Special Offer section as well.

This week I will also continue to list my new 5 x 7 inch original girly portraits, as well as a few semi-abstract nudes.

As usual, I will be at the Sugahfix Artisan Market at THE OUTLET in Banbridge on Sunday. We are in our new digs opposite Warehouse and I am so happy for the move! The new location is much artier, and feels more like a loft gallery. My SPECIAL OFFERS apply to the Artisan Market as well, so be sure to stop in if you are in the area.

Don't forget my FREE giveaway for this 5 x 7 inch original painting is still on, so be sure to sign up for your chance to win if you haven't already.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Solve it Sunday

This is Nicolette. I just listed her on Etsy, but really, really wasn't sure that I wanted to! She is one of my new favorites, but since I can't keep them all, I decided I will be happy if someone loves her as much as I do. Enjoy the puzzle and don't forget that you can change its difficulty level if you like.

Click to Mix and Solve

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Simply Saturday

Today was my nephew, Maxx's, 1st birthday party (his birthday is Wednesday). The year has passed so quickly and I can't believe he is about to be one year old already! I live over 4000 miles away and sooooo wish I could have been there. I have been back home 3 times since he was born, but the distance is still so hard. I cried 3 times today already...wait, make that 4! I did phone during 'Happy Birthday' and sang when everyone else did. Someone recorded my friend on the phone with me, so someday when he is older and watches his 1st birthday video, he'll see that I was 'there'. Here he is with Mommy (my sister, Lanie) on the day he was born. Happy birthday, Maxximus the Mostimust (or as his daddy calls him, Lil Goo)!!! XOXOXO

Friday, 4 September 2009

Fresh off the Easel Friday

I finished the first of my short haired girls tonight. I'm not 100% positive that I am done with her, but I will leave her for a while, instead of potentially overworking the painting. If I change anything, it will be to make her hair a bit more choppy, as it is smoother than I originally sketched it.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Thumbs Up Thursday

I have had a Facebook account for a while now, but never really made use of it until recently. I didn't get it, didn't like it and just sort of forgot about it. However, with so many of my friends and family using it, it just made sense to give it another go. Not only is it a way to make sure I connect often with those who are important to me, even if only for a brief moment, but it is such an amazing networking tool. I don't know why I ignored Facebook for so long!

The next logical step was to create a Facebook fan page. I sent invitations to several of my Facebook friends and asked them to let their friends know about my fan page. That got me 26 friends and I really appreciate their efforts, but it's only a start. If I want my fan page to be successful, I have to be proactive and start looking for ways to build fans.

After a bit of research, I discovered I could get a custom URL if I got to 100 fans. This is important because it's easier to remember, I can add it to my business cards, and it's consistent with the rest of my JolieArt marketing. If I make it easier to find my Facebook fan page, it's more likely to grow, right? But how in the world do I get myself noticed out of the millions of people out there and get to 100 fans?

That's where 100 Network comes in. Their mission is to help small businesses get the 100 fans needed for a custom Facebook url. By posting your page on their wall, other businesses can fan it, which increases your visibility. The concept is that each business reciprocates and fans back, building everyone's fan base, and getting us all closer to 100. I posted on their page only 4 days ago and have more than doubled my fan base. If that continues, I'll get to the 100 I need for a custom url in no time and maybe even meet a few potential customers along the way! 100 Network was a brilliant idea and I think it definitely deserves a thumbs up!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday

This past Sunday at Sugahfix's Artisan Market, a mother and her little girl stopped at my stand. They were both all smiles as they oohed and aahed my work. As any artist will tell you, we put our heart and souls into our work, so it's such a thrill when people have such strong, positive reactions.

It nearly broke my heart a short while later when the little girl's smile turned to a frown. She was searching and searching through my paintings and prints. She picked up and looked all through my bookmarks, rings and pendants and couldn't find a single one that looked like her. You see, most of my girls have long hair, but the little girl had short hair. The few short haired girls I have done are in galleries and I haven't made any prints or other items from them. What an oversight!

So of course, I immediately started 3 short haired girls. When I am finished with them, I'm going to make some pendants and bookmarks out of the images, so that I don't break another little girl's heart. Here they are in the very early stages.

These are at my stand at the Artisan Market. I always paint while I am there, as it's a wonderful way to pass the time and people like the watch me work and chat about my process. If you look closely, you can see some of my materials and my very, very messy paint splattered table.

Here is a closer look at the painting I had on the table. Somehow I managed to draw her nose way wider than I wanted it with a pigment pen. Here's something I's permanent when you try to rub it off with water on fresh canvas, but takes about 24 hours to dry when you use it over paint. Handy at times, but sooooo annoying here. Oh well, I'll be painting over it anyway.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Talk Art Tuesday

I followed a link to a fantastic New York Times article that someone posted on Facebook today. The article talks about "pop-up galleries", which are essentially temporary art galleries created in empty shop spaces. I have heard of an artist here and there negotiating some retail windows for a week or two, but didn't realize creating temporary galleries had actually become so common that they have a term for them!

With ecomomic times the way they are and about a zillion empty retail spaces out there, it makes sense to try to negotiate an agreement with a few forward thinking landlords. It's certainly something I am going to look in to!


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