Archive for the ‘creativity’ Category

Photoshop Friday

This is the original of a photo I snapped on vacation while at the Boston water front. Since it’s been 16 years since I saw east coast flowers (and trees and water…) I was snapping pictures of everything. I loved the purples in these flowers, and it is my desktop wallpaper now.

But – I knew when I took the picture that I would be playing with it in Photoshop. I haven’t done much playing around just for me, as I have been working on a licensing presentation and the issue of repeats, so my work has been focused in that direction. But it’s Friday night and I want to have a bit of fun. As I usually do, I applied a bunch of adjustments and filters just to see what would happen.

One of the tricks I have learned is to make a selection of various parts of a picture and jump it to a new layer. I get a very rough edge, raw kind of look that I really like. Here’s where I went next:

I cropped the photo, tried to look at  a heavier bottom, and changed the background with a couple of filters. You should be able to click to see this larger. The darker green (after trying about 8 other colors) has three filters to it, including the sponge.

I was playing with hue and saturation for each of the sections of the plants. I’m thinking this looks pretty ethereal, which is how I like a lot of my plants (especially cactus…).

This is continuing to play with the hue on other levels. I like the additional green in this and the fact that there is a more distinct background and foreground.

Another variation, but i think I like the one before this better, although this is not bad. This is with a radial gradient, which givs it a very different feel – emphasizes the pink and to me gives it a distinct Asian feel.

There’s something to be said for each manipulated shot. Which one speaks to you? Which one would you like to see as a piece of stationery or a print? And…ideas for a title?

DON’T FORGET – You have till July 13 to sign up for our newsletter (link at the right) and be entered for our drawing of marbled goodies:

* A remnant package of 100% pima cotton, hand-marbled with assorted colors and patterns – 6 pieces.

* Three postcards for mixed media collage of digital marbling (TN).

* A few pieces of marbled papers, again for collage.

* A 10% Off coupon for anything on our website.

* A Polynomial Quilt Pattern, which would make a great present for the math teacher in your life, if not for you!

* 14 small pieces (about 2 x 5 inches) of some heavy-weight colored (not marbled) silk, again for collage or some crazy quilting or piecing – it’s all for your imagination!

* A set of digital marbled notecards (four cards, with envelopes)


Work-in-Progress Wednesday

Marbled Fabric

I think one of the biggest challenges we face as artists and business people is making sure our art doesn’t suffer, that we continue to create. My summers away from school usually lead to one big new piece being finished, and this year it will probably be my bamboo piece. But right now I am finishing up some small pieces to go in my soon-to-come Etsy shop.

This is my lava piece, which is not from marbled fabric, but was part of a group challenge a couple of years ago.

Lava Fields

Originally I didn’t do any background quilting beyond the whitish streaks, but the more I looked at it over the years, the more it felt like it wanted additional quilting. So I free-motioned the whole background, so it would look like rougher solid lava. Then I thought it was done….but now I want to add more lava, and as I was looking through my beads and stones, I realized I have some actual lava pieces I bought at the gem show. I will add that around the piece to represent more of the rougher hardened lava.

This piece originally came about because of a quote I had read concerning the volcanoes of Hawaii: “Seeing lava that has traveled from the center of the earth to the ground at your feet is something that speaks to the soul.It is the most basic of things. The creation of earth unfolding before your eyes. Each person has their (sic) own reason for wanting to see this awesome power of nature. For some, it is the scientific aspect that fascinates and confirms. For others, it is simply creation unfolding before their very eyes.” This from Gloria Hopkins in her article “Photographing Hawaii’s Lava Fields.”

If you have stood on the rim of a volcano, walked a hardened lava field like some of the beaches on Maui, or watched the lava creep across the road on the Big Island, then you know what a spectacular sight you are witnessing.

On another matter, check our yesterday’s blog for details on our Give-Away of marbled goodies. You need to use the Subscribe button to the right here to add your email address  for our monthly newsletter. You have till July 13 to do this before we use the random generator to choose a winner! And – there is a big coupon coming in this first newsletter, so sign up now.


GiveawayGiveawayGiveawayGiveawayGiveawayGiveawayGiveawayGiveaway! I’ve done 400 Blog posts – who knew I could keep going this long! I hated journaling as a kid, but with the advent of the computer, my writing took off. Now I love keeping track of and processing life.

When I started, the blog was solely a place to record my Photoshop work, as I was taking an online class and needed a place to dump my work. I started January 20, 2007, and I was so pleased with my ability to even set up a blog to begin with. And…if you’re interested, you can see the very first thing I actually created with Photoshop here. I periodically go back and look at the earlier posts to remind myself (when nothing seems to be working in Photoshop) that I really have come a LONG way.

These are some of my more favorite posts:

Quilting Like Crazy

Ansel Adams Exhibit


Absolutely Fabulous Glorious Day

My Wonderful Seventh Grade Art Class

The Spring Art Show

Over the years I have met some wonderful folks through blogging and the accompanying social media, for which I am very grateful. Staying in touch with other creative souls is such joy. So to say thank you, hubby and I have put together an assortment of goodies, most related to marbling, but the occasional nod to the math geek in me.

Now to be eligible for the giveaway – you need to subscribe to our new newsletter. I am exploring a brand new format to our monthly newsletter (which has been “yearly” for the last three years), complete with pics and video about marbling. Subscribe and I promise you won’t be disappointed (and if you are, you can unsubscribe…). Just fill in your email on the box to the right of this entry. You have till July 13 to subscribe, and then I will use the Random Generator to choose a subscriber. Feel free to let others know about the giveaway.

Giveaway Goodies

Now let me explain what you could receive (and the pic is just a sample – not everything is photographed):

* A remnant package of 100% pima cotton, hand-marbled with assorted colors and patterns – 6 pieces.

* Three postcards for mixed media collage of digital marbling (TN).

* A few pieces of marbled papers, again for collage.

* A 10% Off coupon for anything on our website.

* A Polynomial Quilt Pattern, which would make a great present for the math teacher in your life, if not for you!

* 14 small pieces (about 2 x 5 inches) of some heavy-weight colored (not marbled) silk, again for collage or some crazy quilting or piecing – it’s all for your imagination!

* A set of digital marbled notecards (four cards, with envelopes)

So – it’s up to you now – the count-down to July 13 begins….sign up and spread the word!

Creativity – When Does It Strike?

Marbled Paper

Sometimes creativity hides in the closet, buried beneath all those boxes of supplies and half-completed projects. Sometimes you are so focused on other business-related things that creativity is lost from view. I’ve spent so much time over the last two weeks working on business-related tasks that I haven’t made anything, art or not. So this weekend I took a break from the computer.

Friday was my birthday, and our local quilt store gives you a discount that is half your age. So I bought a new book for inspiration, and of course a bunch of fabric. I saved the equivalent of another book, but couldn’t quite convince hubby of the benefits of my buying yet another one….

I had been in the store on Wednesday, and when I realized I would be entitled to a birthday discount, I put the plastic away and waited. In those two days I decided exactly what I would do with that set of 16 fat eighths all in blacks – I needed a new purse, and I already had the clothesline, so I could wrap my way to a new bag…which is what I did on Saturday and Sunday while watching television.

Wrapping clothesline is very satisfying, as you watch the pile of rope build up. Sunday morning I headed to the sewing machine to start framing the bag. I used a beginning measurement from the pattern book and I was on my way. I don’t want anything fancy, just something different from the same-ole same-ole black purse I carry. At this point I have the bag almost to the height I want it, and now I am thinking abut finishing it off, what to use for handles, and how to make the shoulder strap. And it feels good to be at the sewing machine again.

This was an important lesson. Since I make art, and that’s what makes my heart zing, I need to make sure I don’t let all the “other stuff” get in the way. Yes, I am trying to build my business this summer, by getting updated web work and marketing plans done before school starts again, but I can’t let a lot of time go by – I have to at least take some time each day – even if it’s only wrapping clothesline in front of the TV – to make sure I feed that part of my soul. Plus – I wanna carry the new bag….


Thoughts for a Thursday – Marble-T Design

Marbled Fabric

While on vacation, hubby and I had plenty of time to talk about our marbling business and how we wanted to proceed. Readers of this blog know we went through some very difficult times as we had problems with marbling: nothing worked – water, paints, fabric finishes – nothing. Prior to this time we had an active business, with a mailing list of about 300 people, and a list of products that sold each month fairly well. Once the art problems hit, at the same time I changed jobs, and time became a real premium.

Fast forward to now, and I am spending lots of time reading and researching how to build our business. About two weeks ago, on the road in Tennessee, I had one of those “2 by 4 on the head” moments, when I realized that everything the internet marketers tell us we have to do to build an online business we had been doing years ago. So I have been spending time updating, revising, incorporating social media (which wasn’t around when we went online in 1998…). I have learned a HUGE amount, I have loads more to do, and most importantly, I am having fun, as well as meeting lots of new and interesting people. I am glad that I am on summer vacation right now, and I don’t need to take classes or teach any remediation, because building this business is taking a lot of time.

So what does an art business need? We have a website that has gone through several versions since 1998 when the learning curve was EXTREMELY steep.  It has again been updated by our amazing web designer Suzan at Saltwater Systems to reflect new fiber work, some of our digital work, and some new products to be released within the next two weeks. It is now easier to sign on to follow our work through our newsletter.

We did a lot of work off the website way before blogs, but blogging makes it a lot easier to update and refine offerings. Plus, I like being able to write about and reflect on new work, especially as our digital marbling (TN) increases. Now on our blog, Marbled Musings, you can follow updates to the blog, as well as sign up for our newsletter.

Social media has mushroomed. I’ve been on Facebook for about two years, and I have loved getting back in touch with former colleagues and students, as well as meeting and reconnecting with other artists. I am learning about Fan Pages and am just beginning to experiment with one. If you are interested, sign on to follow Marble-T Design on Facebook. Pretty soon we will have a button you can just click.

Now Twitter….this is really interesting. My students make fun of me for being on Twitter, but I tell them I am way ahead of them in this piece of technology, especially when it comes to business.  I am not always logging on with information about what I am doing, but I do enjoy the resources that are posted. Following the NY Times arts columns has led to some great artists. If you’re in to Twitter, you can follow me @ArtsyLindaMoran. (And there wil soon be a button….)

Have I made any art lately? No, and that is by far the downside to building a business and doing the necessary marketing. I worked on a few pieces before I left for vacation, and there is time next week built in for working on art. My goal is to have the business running smoothly within the next four weeks, and then I will carve out the art time throughout the school year – a tough task as any artist knows who has to share creativity time with the job that pays the bills.

I am very interested in what all of you do. Comment about how you’re building your business, what you have found that works, and anything in particular you know HAS to be done. Love to read your comments.

AND….giveaway this weekend with Blog Post 400 – I promise you it’ll be a good one!

PS – a popular post about Martha Stewart and her “marbling” – this ran a year ago as we were just coming out of our hard times marbling, and I was incensed at how she tried to put her spin on this ancient art!

Top Ten Tuesday – What’s New on the Web in Marketing

This has been a really productive week for marketing – mostly all the lose ends that we need to do to move our businesses forward. I haven’t had a lot of time for art-making this week, as my goal for the end of June and July is to do everything on the “list” to have the business ready to go for this coming holiday season, before teaching starts again in August. Lots and lots of thinking has led to this point, and now I actually have the time to do these things! That said, here’s some cool stuff I have stumbled on this week on the web as it relates to moving our art along.

Steve Jobs

* The World of Apple –  “Invincible Apple: Ten Lessons from the Coolest Company Anywhere.”  I have been an Apple user since 1989, and I’m on my 4th Apple (I make them go a looonnngggg way). This is a look at how Jobs and crew – mostly Jobs – makes the Apple brand so powerful.

Tara Reed

* Tara Reed is an expert in art licensing. This is a listing of her ezine articles for those of you interested in looking into licensing. She has loads of information to help you navigate a HUGE field. Here’s her website for more information.

Lateral Action

* Lateral Action – creativity plus productivity equals success. Here’s a recent post on things you Do and DON’T need to sell your art.


* All Art Licensing – again, great info if you want to look at licensing your designs. J’net Smith made Dilbert a phenomenon.


* Blurb – a great way to make a portfolio of your work, plus loads of ways to get marketing materials based on your own designs.


* Problogger 52 Blog Tips to Kick-Start Your Blog – good all year round, if you’re having problems getting your blog off the ground.

Art Calendar

*Art Calendar A must for any artist – see what’s new in shows and opportunities.

Social Media Examiner

* Social Media Examiner – Your Guide to Social Media – sign up to get the Twitter tutorial, which is extremely helpful.

100 Places 10 Appreciate Art

* 100 Best Places to Appreciate Art Online Galleries, Porffolios, artist sites – look at what’s new in the art world.

Number 10??? What have you discovered this week on line that could help your marketing? Let me know!

Top Ten from the Web

Even though I haven’t been blogging much lately, and not reading my usual blogs, I have still managed to accumulate some really interesting websites. When I go back through all the bookmarks, I am reminded about what an awesome thing the internet is. You can find just about anything, and then some. While I so enjoy the eye candy from fiber sites, there are still so many things that interest me. Here’s a mere ten for this week. I’m going to try and get back in the habit of doing this once a week.

Cabinet magazine cover

Cabinet Magazine(from the website) Cabinet is an award-winning quarterly magazine of art and culture that confounds expectations of what is typically meant by the words “art,” “culture,” and sometimes even “magazine.” Like the 17th-century cabinet of curiosities to which its name alludes, Cabinet is as interested in the margins of culture as its center. Presenting wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary content in each issue through the varied formats of regular columns, essays, interviews, and special artist projects, Cabinet‘s hybrid sensibility merges the popular appeal of an arts periodical, the visually engaging style of a design magazine, and the in-depth exploration of a scholarly journal.

Sounds like a potentially great look into today’s art and culture!

Homework shelters

Homework – Hand-Built Shelters – (from the website) features: homes, cabins, cottages, bungalows, homesteads,   sheds, shacks, huts, treehouses, bottle houses, yurts, hogans, tipis, tents, beach shacks, stilt houses, greenhouses, small houses designs, and MORE!

The sheer scope of different types of homes boggles the mind.

A Moment in Time – from the Lens project to document one moment of one day on the earth. As the site says, “make no plans for the rest of the day.” You get to look at photos from around the world, all taken at the same time on the same day – a great look at “us.”

When Graphic Artists Get Bored – a great selection of graphic art. Take a good close look – you won’t be disappointed!

Real World Math – Using Google Earth in the Math Curriculum. Oh, to use this in the classroom – and if this had only been available when I was in school! My ideal job would be a curriculum coordinator for Google Earth. I would never be off the computer!

While I have had my own blog about teaching, I occasionally read others, like this one – A Teacher’s Education. I can so relate, and if you are a teacher and any good in the classroom, you will relate, too.

Urban Homestead

Urban Homestead – since I have become very interested in sustainability and locally grown food, I found this interesting. Path to Freedom – the Original Modern Urban Homestead.

The Scribbler – be prepared to waste lots of time, because after all, you have to get good at this – scribbling, that is…who knew it could be so much fun to just doodle – no, make that scribble, and in color – and you can save them! Here’s info about how it got started. You have been warned…..

Quantum Learning – Visiting Auschwitz –  interesting blog. “Help build a world where everyone is valued irrespective of wealth, origin, colour or beliefs and conflicts are solved peacefully. Here you’ll learn how to do this in day to day life.”

Gray Eagles

And finally, Gray Eagles , a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the stories of World War II pilots. “The Gray Eagles Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping aviation history alive through dynamic audio-visual media created to educate and inspire those from all generations. Specifically, it is our hope that our films will encourage others to share their stories, and by doing so, build family connections, foster community, and nurture a culture of multi-generational understanding and respect.” After all, the past is prologue.

Other Top Ten Website articles:

Thoughts for a Thursday

Sunday Sampler

Top Ten Tuesday – Cool Stuff

Visual Delights

Visual Delights 2

Top Ten Tuesday – July

Top Ten Tuesday – San Diego

Top Ten Tuesday – Getting Here

Our First Show!

So we have officially decided as a mixed media group to participate in our first art/craft show in March to get a feel for what it takes. Monday was a great time as we determined some basics about our operating together. We decided to all have our own individual business licenses, rather than trying to create a new entity entirely. I’m thankful our jewelry-maker is a great accountant!

Now the work begins for the next two months, as we determine what product goes, and what we still need to produce. Talked to Brenda tonight, and she is weaving up a storm. Alison already has a great inventory of jewelry, and Betty has started some really exciting digital work with architectural images she has taken over the years.

We’re looking at some small, medium, and large fiber art pieces already finished. We have some digital images already framed, and I want to start planning for some smaller digital ones that will be mounted on foam core and simply wrapped. We’re going to take a dozen or so hand-marbled silk scarves, smaller pieces of silk, remnant packages, marbled papers, and stationery. I’m sure a few other things will crop up as we start seriously planning.

This I think will provide us all with good momentum. One of the things we all emphasized on Monday is that we don’t want our group to be solely a business group; we like the fact that we motivate each other to create new work for each of our meetings. Karin is going in some interesting directions with her water colors, and Suzan is absolutely amazing as a digital artist, quilter, and potter. We should get some good photos to share as we get closer.

It has been a sparse week creatively for me personally. I think it’s because I’m getting back into the swing of school after two weeks to do whatever I want. I don’t want to waste time sitting in front of the TV – too much I want to do! Brenda dropped off our order of crepe silk scarves – some for marbling, but I want to try dye painting on them.  I need to find something for my hands to stay busy so I don’t eat!! And I want to continue quilting the salmon sunrise piece to get it finished up.

Tomorrow is Friday, planning to see Fantastic Mr. Fox after school, with dinner out. Haircut and a power walk on Saturday, and another walk with the trainer on Sunday. Got to make time for art!

A Fabulous, Glorious, Absolutely Magnificent Day!

What a perfect ending to the year – we started at 7:30 this morning getting ready for a photo shoot for our small group of mixed media artists. Got the table set up, brought out the easel, found the black velour bought 8 years ago to make pants to cover the table, and we began the first round of photos. We needed to take individual photos of work, plus a group photo that would represent what our group booth might look like as we prepare the paperwork for a show entry in March. Three hours later, after our combined efforts, we had some great shots. It was such fun, taking everyone’s input, rearranging our work, commenting, making suggestions. Our pictures are better for the group effort – once everyone got comfortable, each jumped in with suggestions, leading to some nice arrangements of textures to show off all our work. While on the one hand we are hoping to become business-like, on the other we don’t want to lose the camaraderie and encouragement we give each other.

This is a sample of the work we will bring – marbled fabrics, stationery, marbled papers, fiber art, marbled scarves, and digital marbling (TN) with Suzan.

Brenda is a weaver and just getting into silk painting. Her scarves are so incredibly soft.

Karin is our water colorist, and we fell in love with her fairies. Those should definitely sell.

Betty is our author and digital artist, and Suzan is one of our potters and another digital artist.

Alison is our jeweler, and she works almost exclusively with semi-precious stones. Her work is really unique.

Yvonna is our other clay artist, with a very unique style.

And finally, the group of us….

We then went out to lunch and saw “It’s Complicated” – and laughed till our sides hurt. I wonder if Apple realized all the details about their “product placement”….

And on the way out of the theater, we were treated to a spectalular moonrise – sunset turning the sky orange to the west, and the moon slowly peaking over the Santa Catalina Mountains, a beautiful yellow-orange – took our breath away!

Happy New Year everyone!!

Quilting Breakthrough….

I’ve been away from the sewing machine for a couple of weeks, and I was experiencing withdrawal…I am almost finished basting my Desert Heat quilt, but I had been thinking about my Sunrise piece, since I want to finish it for Show and Tell at our January meeting. I started work on it tonight as I got home from school early (7 teaching semesters left till retirement!!). Getting home early today was like a half-day off.

The piece to the left is similar in color and pattern to my Sunrise piece, but the piece of marbled fabric I am using has more subtle blues to it. I started out free motion quilting the waves to accent the clouds, and suddenly I found myself following the curves of the marbled patterns – rather successfully, I might add. Quilting marbled patterns can be interesting – stone is fun and easy, and freeform just is zen-like. But the more complex patterns call for lots of curves and steep turns. I just kept at it – which I really shouldn’t because too often I end up having tension problems that I never check till I’m done. This time – everything seemed perfect. I pulled it out of the machine to look at and realized it was a breakthrough – I have found a way to quilt some of these curves while “staying on the lines” and accenting the curvature of the pattern.

That’s the breakthrough – more fabric is getting pulled out for possibilities in quilting. In the meantime, I think the name is getting changed – to Salmon Sunrise, and I think it will become my entry for the Cordova show this spring. I think it’s going to look subtle scaley – if that’s even a state of being…..

Speaking of zen-like, I have my grades done, as well as my lesson plans for the frst week back – almost unheard of for me. I want to look at linear relationships a little differently, pulling in careers where being able to figure slope is important. Then it occurred to me, since these are straight lines, that we should look at some zentangles, and then have the kids do their own – straight lines only. I did a couple with just straight lines and incorporated them into my power point – here they are:

So I started cheating on the last one – just a couple of curves…..

A Very Productive Week!

A great week was had by me! Lots of art planning, getting ready for the end of the semester and Christmas break, and lots of thinking about making art and the business of art.

First a word about being happy. I am almost medicine-free – just a small water pill for blood pressure (which seems to be down on its own…). Turns out everything else I have been taking has been making me feel worse and worse. I weaned myself off the depression medicine, and I am feeling the best I have felt – in like forever. Not to say I’ve never been happy – I absolutely adore my hubby. But now I seem to be happy about life in general, not just one or two specifics. I visit more people, I do more things, I have been far more productive when it comes to making art, I attend more events. It seems I might not be content any more to just sit at home. I truly like the feeling.

The pic at the top is of a new zentangle this week. The doodle actually “reads” happy to me. I tried another, thinking I could focus on a set of them using the alphabet, but while it’s “okay,” I found I really don’t want to force what comes from the doodling. I am quite content to just let them happen. I like the ribbon effect, and I imagine I will use that more often. Everything else just seems too forced.

So I set up my notebook and have been busy working within the various sections. Brenda and I got together again last night to look ahead to the first show we are planning to enter. I did quite a bit of reading on licensing, and I think I am ready to send out my first set of images, as well as my first query letter. And I am thinking about attending the licensing expo in Vegas in June.

Now here’s where I would like to hear from you making art as a business. I found this week that I spent plenty of time planning and reading about the business, and making plans for getting art out there. But I did very little actual art (beyond the zentangles, and making fabric fortune cookies for Christmas presents). A number of things came to mind: I have the opportunity to make and submit some pieces for two shows. Do I want to commit to that at this point, or do what needs to be done to establish some income from licensing so that I can continue to make the kind of art I want? I’m sure I’m not the only one experiencing this issue, and I would love to hear from those of you who struggle with this.

Doing some art for licensing really appeals, not just for potential streams of income, but because I am enjoying the production – working with Photoshop and doing really interesting manipulations of the marbled fabrics and patterns. So this potentially will allow me to do lots of other things, like take up painting on silk…..

I already have lots on my resume as an artist over the last 14 years. Some juried shows and articles, so part of me wonders how much I need to continue with that – which takes time to create new pieces, applying and maybe getting chosen, and then spending money to get the pieces to and from shows. Haven’t sold anything via that route…yet. There’s always that possibility. But I am thinking there is more possibility pursuing some of these other options at this time.

Interested in what y’all think….

Mission/Vision Statements

I love my turtles – definitely one of the more successful digital renderings I have done with the marbled fabrics. Need to collect some more pics of turtles to play with.

I should be marking papers to get caught up for the kids’ progress reports before finals week, but I have too many other things to do right now – and the Glee finale is tonight….but I do want to report on yesterday’s work. My notebook is organized, and this time it looks like it will definitely be an asset for me.

Now I HATE mission and vision statements as they apply to large organizations, like school districts. I hate all the linguistic squabbling over words. However, when I sat down to actually do them, I found it flowed pretty well. The only person I had to please was myself. So here goes:

Mission Statement for Marble-T Design, LLC:

The mission of Marble-T Design, LLC. is to promote the ancient art of marbling, particularly its adaptation to fabric and fiber art. Marble-T Design will create and present fiber and digital works of art, all based on traditional as well as contemporary patterns, to the public through a variety of artistic venues.

Vision Statement for Linda Moran:

The vision of artist Linda Moran is to explore her artistic abilities through a variety of media, with the emphasis on fiber art using marbled fabrics. She will offer to galleries and the buying public works of art created not only for her enjoyment but for increased retirement revenue.

Now I want to do a vision statement for the blog, to be sure I keep myself on track over the next year.

Comments on the above greatly appreciated!

Some Thoughts for a Monday

So all day today I have been thinking about working on a plan for the coming year – well, I was thinking in between lessons. I am hereby making a public commitment to my art – one year from now I will be making $500 a month from my art endeavors. As I accomplish this, I will make up the income lost by taking a regular contract next year.

It’s very do-able, no question – just have to plan and do….to that end, Brenda and I got together again tonight to talk over what we have accomplished on our ideas of a small mixed media arts group. Lots of ideas – first thing I discovered is I have to be more organized at keeping track of what I decide to do. Three-ring notebook coming home with me tomorrow, as well as some tabs for sections.

Section 1 – calendar and events – we have tentatively agreed to go in on a non-juried art show in March, and we will get together December 28 to put together a “sample” booth for pictures, as well as to determine layout with potentially four artists participating. A list will no doubt be derived from what we discover then. Brenda will call to check out registration guidelines. Tucson Museum of Art show possibly next November. Fish Follies deadlines beginning of April – need to work on that.

Need a section on licensing – have loads of ideas here, and I need to make a start – what images will I put together as a package to present for licensing.

Need a section on vision and mission – I’m not usually one to participate in these “corporate” things, but I want to clarify where I want to be in a year, in 5 years, so I need to be very specific in goals. I can see the need to write these out – much like in the blogging class last spring, where we worked on our tag lines for our websites. Mine is Marbling – An Ancient Art Made Modern.” I want to work with that within everything else I do.

Section on To-Do’s – both immediate and longer-range. First thing is to update members of the group as to what we are planning and see who is really interested in coming along the journey. We decided that this first step is important enough to front the money just divided two ways (unless others want to join) so we can get our feet wet.

Section on trainings, etc – need to put in my School of Threadology sign-up, some web readings on marketing.

Online outlets need their own section.

As does “product.” Just what exactly am I focusing on? What needs lots of intensive work and what can be done more easily and can bring in a steady stream of income.

I have already outgrown my small journal-style notebook, so there is a definite need to expand to stay organized.

Thinking and doing, thinking and doing……

PS – a thoughtful article from the Fine Art Views Art Blog on joining groups….

It’s About Time….

“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

~Anais Nin

…or, as my Nana would say, “Shit or get off the pot.”

It’s time to stop thinking about being/becoming and artist and DO IT. A couple of events this year have led to a lot of thinking about being an artist and selling my work. And I spent November as Art Every Day Month, and while I didn’t work every day, I did more than I ever have, including summers when I have lots of time. I was creative and enjoying every minute.

But when I want to work on art, like today, I am either dealing with being sick, trying to get lesson plans done for a substitute, or marking papers (which I have been doing for the last 4 hours, and I’m not done yet)….

I decided this summer to retire in four years instead of three. And now I am looking to go back to a normal teaching contract next year instead of the extra money in a 6/5 contract – because I don’t want to wear myself out, and I want more time for art. As I get older – which has taken a long time to come to terms with and admit – I know my time is limited. I want to be able to travel with my hubby and just enjoy not working and doing art – and maybe actually have my art help supplement my retirement.

This means a lot of decisions – and planning. Lots of places to investigate, lots of art to make, and a business plan/selling plan to make. All of which need time. So I need to use my blog time to get back to marketing and questions and planning and decisions and techniques…..

I do read a lot of marketing blogs, not as many design blogs, and lots of creativity blogs – so there are loads of ideas floating around. A couple of years (like 9) when I had my first big breakthrough with fiber and the marbling, a friend Ellen said, “Don’t wait till you’ve mastered technique until you try what you’re thinking – do it now.” And I did, and evolved some very special unique ideas, like my weavings in my Gaia series. I need to reiterate that to myself right now – stop waiting to get good – start doing what I CAN do well.

I have the notebook ready and waiting to start writing. I am rolling around the idea of a regular contract next year – and I think we can make it work financially. Now it’s time to get back to papers, plans for the week, and a few lists for the end of the first semester so that I can use planning day to get the first month ready of the new semester. A goal for the second semester is to squeeze out more time for art – make it happen.

And I already took a step toward enjoying the art more – signed up for the School of Threadology to gain more knowledge about ways to make all these percolating ideas to happen. Plus, I continue to do my Zentangles – gained a lot of thinking and relaxing time doing those, and I see lots of possibilities for the future.

So join up for the ride – lots if ideas and thoughts – and of course comments welcome. Let’s see what I can accomplish when I actually set my mind to it!

"Art Every Day" Month – Day 22

I’m playing again today – figured out somewhat of a watermark to begin protecting these images, and I am really enjoying trying out all the filters and adjusting for different effect. The pic above is of a piece of fabric from about 10 years ago. We have a small scrapbook of pics from many years ago, before we used digital. There are some great pics for playing around in there. What has to happen next is figuring out setting up quilt blocks….that’s this week if there’s time….
Texture Extrude – Pyramids

Texture craquelure

Texture craquelure

Texture mosaic

Levels – a beginning adjustment

Texture grain


Texturizer burlap

Texturizer brick

Texture posterize

Texture patchwork

Texturizer sandstone

I’m fond of the brick and burlap. Comments?

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