Friday, February 17, 2017

My Package Arrived for the Bead Soup Challenge - I Can't Wait to Start "Cooking!"

Look what came in the mail today?? My "Bead Soup" package from Leslie Scholz, my exchange partner from Denver, Colorado!!

The package is a small, delicate little box wrapped in pink tissue paper and tied with the most beautiful and soft pink bow.  I'm so saving the yarn for another project I have in mind.....and here's what was inside:

The picture does not do justice to these babies.  The little round beads are small multi-colored glass beads that go beautifully with the exquisite glass pink peacock button (which I believe is a vintage piece of pressed glass - truly a treasure!).  AND a sterling silver purse charm plus two small enamel metal flowers that Leslie made herself.  I hit the Mother Lode!  Here are some close-ups:

The color of this button is breath taking and I absolutely love it.  It will not become a piece of jewelry but will become a focal point of something else I'm going to create for the Bead Soup challenge - you'll just have to wait and see.  I don't know how old this piece is but it is definitely vintage and it's captured my heart big time.  

Leslie said she purchased these soft, delicate glass beads at the same vintage market and believes they may be Venetian glass.  I concur - they are tiny glass beads rolled in soft shades of pink, blue and yellow "frit" which is tiny shards of glass the lampworkers roll the beads in to create the mottled look.  They are gorgeous and I see at least two new jewelry designs happening with them.....

These small metal flowers were made by Leslie herself!  I haven't confirmed it yet, but I believe they are enamel on metal, and I'm making earrings out of them.  They are the palest of lavender, pinks and yellows, and they are simply fantastic.

And lastly, there's the sterling silver purse.  IT OPENS!!!  I've never seen anything like this before and I LOVE it.  I'm not sure how I'm going to use this particular gem but I do know I'm not ever parting with it.  How did Leslie know I love purses??  I think perhaps a small, dainty necklace or just keep it on a shelf, where I can tuck my mental wishes inside.....truly a magical piece.

So - these beautiful presents are what I'll be creating things with over the next few weeks.  I am so very grateful to have drawn Leslie as my exchange partner - her generous and thoughtful gifts have made me so excited to get started, and I'm anxious to share the new creations with you on the 25th March. Stay tuned - I'll post the links as soon as I get them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

It's Time for Bead Soup Again!!!

So what does a painter|glass artist do when she's not creating with sharp/sticky mediums??  Jewelry and beads!!  I'm excited to be participating again in the wonderful "Bead Soup Blog Party" again hosted by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things Blog .  

Despite raising a family and fighting Lyme Disease, Lori manages to somehow pull together the strength, time and energy to sponsor a very popular bead exchange event for us Beadies and let me tell you, I'm very grateful as are all the other participants.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the BSBP, we are each assigned a partner to exchange beads with; and we create something using those beads.  One requirement for this year's exchange is we must give something we treasure.  For me, I wanted my partner to have a lamp worked bead from the German glass bead artist named Anastasia.  Her beads are incredibly beautiful and intricate, and I own a few, but have never quite been able to bring myself to make anything with them.  When Lori said we needed to let go of something we hoard, I knew this was my opportunity.  You can see more of Anastasia's beads here and you'll see what I mean.....amazing, right??!!!

For my BSBP partner, I was assigned a wonderful jewelry artist from Colorado named Leslie Scholz. You can see some of her fabulous jewelry here in her ETSY store, and follow her blog if you get a chance.  I love her style, and am beyond excited to see what she sends for me to create with.  I know I'll be enchanted with anything she gives me.

Here are photos of what I sent to Leslie, including a focal and two spacer beads from Anastasia:
A photo of the box I used for the beads - of course I had to add my own creative touch!

Inside the box I put the beads in chiffon bags - I wrapped tissue around the Anastasia beads
because I didn't want them to get damaged in transit

Here's a shot of what was inside the box - I kind of went overboard with sending so many
things, but I wanted to make sure Leslie had plenty of options to choose from when designing
her piece for the reveal.  The only requirement is she must use the main bead - but she's also
welcome to make additional items with the other beads, if she chooses.  I included some bits
of jasper; a couple spacer beads from Anastasia, tiny round bone beads, one of my glass sea beads
and a round tan bead; a bakalite bead and some miscellaneous beads including a metal Chinese coin.

And here are the beads from Anastasia along with a sterling clasp 

Another closeup of Anastasia's beads and one of my own glass "sea beads"
at the bottom left.  I haven't torched in a couple years
and want to make more of these organic, frosted beads.

A closeup of the front of Anastasia's bead - check out that stringer work!
And here's a shot of the back of the bead.  Beautiful, front and back.

Leslie has already sent her bead package off to me and I'll post photos when I get it this week.  I'm excited to stop painting for a bit and start making some jewelry.  BTW - the big "Reveal" is Saturday, March 25 - stay tuned for more details!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Wisdom of Winter Series Continues!

"Between the Lines" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping

"Winter's Morn" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping

"Misty Meadows" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping

"Trees in the Mist" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping

"Heavenly Valley" - 24" x 18" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping

I've received a lot of interest from art consultants and designers on this series so am going to continue with it for awhile.  One group from Texas is submitting 9 works to a client and another one is submitting two designs to hers.  Last week I also submitted five paintings (three from this series) to a licensing firm for prints.

After the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge was over, I paid for a targeted ad on FaceBook that included art consultants and interior designers.  I think it's safe to say I am now convinced these ads work, and for very little money (I have spent $20 so far).  I also had postcards made up using my collage of all 30 images from the 30/30 challenge and am sending them to art consultants and designers that I've found through my searches on-line.  

My biggest challenge is learning how to photograph the individual paintings better!  Scanning is about $60 a shot, so that's not really an option for the whole series, unless I know they're going to go into production and numerous copies will be sold.  I'll keep you posted - I've resisted learning how to take better photographs for years, but I think it's time I suck it up and learn as much as I can. I purchased a nice digital camera a few years ago and it's still in the box - I'm sure it's antiquated by now, but I'm going to pull it out and learn how to use it!  

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Scattered Nation

"Scattered Nation" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping
I will begin by saying this is not a political rant and I'm not dogging anyone for their political vote or beliefs (my parents raised me to honor and respect others, for goodness sake!)  This is however, an observation and a call for grace. 

Most of you know I make my living selling my art and do some real estate leasing and consulting on the side to make ends meet.  I deal with a variety of people with widely diverse backgrounds in both businesses, and I absolutely love what I do.

January is notorious for being a slow month for artists, but I somehow managed to shatter this notion by selling 7 paintings; taking on 2 commissions; hanging one solo show and one painting is on hold for another couple (and picked up a couple new consulting gigs on the real estate end!).  This artist is doing the happy dance, and is very grateful.

Whenever I do sell a painting, I tend to post it on one of my FB pages and often get private messages from artists I know asking how I am making so many sales/where am I selling/who are my collectors/etc.  And I am usually quite free with the information (except for the list of my collectors - seriously?)

I sell on many on-line sites including Artfinder , Saatchi Art, ETSY and Vango Art.  I also sell through various art consultants and interior decorators, and sell a fair amount of art via my personal Facebook page and my Fan Page.  My social media pages tend to be filled with art - my art and others - and tips and informational sites. I stay away from politics and other controversy as much as possible because I know I need to focus on my art (aka career) if I want to eat, and I also know if I choose a side, it's very likely I'm going to be judged or alienated by the other side.  Right or wrong, it just is.

A few days ago I witnessed a full-fledged on-line attack to an artist whose opinion happened to differ from the attackers, and let's just say it was brutal.  No matter how hard he tried to respond in a kind, thoughtful manner, he was basically told it was "their way or the highway" along with other cruel, mean-spirited words.  He's removed himself from FB for awhile and who could blame him.

When one of the attackers of my bullied artist friend sent me a message asking about my recent sales, I had to consciously wait for a long time while I figured out what to say.  One part of me wanted to call her out for being so mean to my friend; and the other part of me wanted to ignore her altogether. 

But instead, I responded with all the information she had requested, and wished her best of luck with her art in the New Year.  I still haven't received a "thank you" for supplying the information, but that's on her.   I really have no desire to prolong the conversation any further.

We live in a nation where we are fortunate enough to have the right to say what we feel, and until that right is taken away, I intend to voice my opinion when it is called for, but in the event it differs from another human being's opinion, I will choose to respond with dignity and grace, kindness and compassion.