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Archive for November, 2008

On Aging and Snowpants

Hopefully by now everyone has recovered from their turkey comas, Since today is Sunday, I am in the gallery pondering a new cow painting. This time a group of Holsteins (dairy cattle.) I will talk more on them next post, when I’ve actually done something to talk about.

Anywho, as I sit here, I realize that I must be adjusting to this whole getting older thing. I’ve recently done two things that drew me to this conclusion.

The Two Things

1. We recently bought a Nintendo DS with the intention of playing Big Brain Academy and similar type games. After all my talk of playing bloodthirsty, alien huntin’, bag guy killin’, shoot before you think, style games. We have finally purchased an age appropriate game. (I wonder what’s next . . . Mahjong and card parties?)

For those unfamiliar with Big Brain Academy (and the many other versions out there) it is developed to test and strengthen your mental performance. Some studies have been shown that doing this sort of activity is good for maintaining mental acuity as you age and for staving off Alzheimer’s. (As are many activities such as painting.)

2. The aforementioned snowpants. My husband has been nagging me every single winter since . . . well since we were married, some 18 years ago, to buy a pair. I always stubbornly refused. Mike would point to the thermometer outside, I’d say “Oh give me a break, it’s only 20 below, jeans and sneakers will be fine.” Mike, would sigh heavily, accompanied by much rolling of eyes.

I grew up in rural Minnesota where, unless you owned a snowmobile, you were considered a pansy (well thats not actually the word used. The actual word is spelled similarly, but since this is a family friendly blog . . .) for wearing them. Now my redneck family honored and rewarded tuffness. For instance, a favorite winter test was to run barefoot to grandma’s house (a block away) in knee-deep drifts. (Uh-huh, thaaats right! I did mention we grew-up redneck. Though interestingly enough, besides encouraging the visual arts, we also listened to allot of classical music. Go figure. I guess we were our own special breed of redneck. )

Finally this year I agreed. I walk a couple of miles everyday, for my health. And as it is now below freezing most days, the idea of of going out in the cold becomes less and less appealing. Now however, bundled in my new snowpants. (No photo supplied, because I have to draw the line somewhere on my humiliations for your amusement) I feel all toasty and warm in the harshest winds. Though I have been heckled by one person, I don’t care. My cheeks won’t get chapped this year.

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Happy Turkey Day!

Today, be sure to remember what Thanksgiving is all about, eating too much! (urm . . no that’s not it.) Falling asleep on the couch with your pants undone? (nooo.) Waking up early on Black Friday to hit all the sales? (definately not) Spending quality time with family? (ha ha ha, sometimes I just crack myself up. . . wiping tear from eye) Okay, it about being thankful. (yeah, that’s it thankful.)

And if you get to spend fun time with family, eating too much and falling asleep on the couch with your pants undone . . . well, you really do have many things to be thankful for then, don’t you.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Happy Blogday!

Well Fur in the Paint is officially 1 year old today. And like any 1 year old we are still trying to figure out how to go from crawling to walking. I’m guessing by the age of two, I’ll be a terror and running wildly about. (okay the baby metaphor is losing steam.)

Blogging has been more challenging than I imagined when I started. I mean the fluffy bunny posts are easy enough but anything that has real content definitely takes effort. Because I really knew nothing about blogs (I didn’t read any before I started my own) I had a serious learning curve. Not to mention learning how to use the software and upload pics. Kids these days are born with electronic knowledge, I, on the other hand had to painstakingly learn. (Don’t they say learning new stuff as we age is good for staving of Alzheimer’s?)

Here are a couple of the unexpected good things that came from blogging.

  • It caused to me really think about my art process. (I always just let the force flow through me without caring how it happened.) And while I still do that, I now also think about how and why I do what I do.
  • I developed some relationships with other artists. The blog has introduced me to people I would never have met. And in some ways it has replaced (not that they ever could be replaced, what I mean to say is that it provides a similar function) as my art group.
  • Of course the end goal was to generate and direct traffic to my website. The blog has done that, but in a limited way. I think I spend too much time talking and not enough time offering the art for sale. Something to work on for next year. (I’ll probably keep talking as much, I’ll just fill in the quiet with artwork.)

    So anyway Happy Blogday! to me. And Happy Thanksgiving Eve to all of you!

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    The Framing of "Cowgirl"

    Despite the fact that I do framing (or maybe because of it) I don’t always settle for what is available. Since I am the artist and gallery owner, I can order in frames that suit my style and my artwork. But even then occasionally I am unable to get exactly what I want. So what’s a girl to do?

    I make exactly what I want.

    Cowgirl is a prime example of it. I was unable to find a suede matboard the color I wanted. As for the frame, I have a moulding I love, it just doesn’t come in the color I needed.

    So here’s what I did to get what I wanted.

    For the frame I used steel wool to remove some of the stain from the surface of the frame. This particular molding is my favorite for these handmade paper pieces, but it only comes in 3 colors, all very dark and almost indistinguishable from each other.

    The face of the frame is an unvarnished veneer which is why I can actually remove some of the stain with steel wool. After some trial and error I found the most effective technique was to rub the steel wool in small circular motions. After about 30 minutes (some cramping of fingers and twinging of shoulder muscles) my frame is done.

    The left side in photo is the altered side.

    For the mat
    I simply took the broad side of my oil pastel and lightly drug it across the surface, in circular motions. This took moments. Thats it. Talk about simple. I had done the frame thing many times before, but this was the first time I colored a mat using oil pastel. (Which I’m pretty sure would only be effective with suede. Otherwise the oils would cause something, not so attractive, to happen to paper board.) Overall I’m fairly pleased with the outcome.

    The darkened outer edges in the photo is the new color. It shows up very dark in both this photo and the finished Cowgirl photo, than it is. It is actually just more purple, instead of being blue. The overall color value remained the same.)

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    "Cowgirl" From Start To Finish

    Cowgirl
    Oil Pastel on Handmade Paper
    10 1/2″ x 13″

    So here she is all finished and framed (and a little crooked. Mental note: always use a tripod.) I really like her and will be making some prints of her shortly.

    I decided to call her Cowgirl. My husband suggested Flaming Cow. But after my Flaming Sheep viagra spam fiasco, (I don’t know if the title and huge spamage are related. But if they are, what exactly does that mean?) I am hesitant to go down that road again. Besides I think Cowgirl is far more clever and amusing.

    Early stages

    I started to throw in some really bright oranges and yellows and I’m liking them.

    I’m beginning to love the bright colors and start replacing some of my more “normal” coloration.

    And finally, the actual scanned (not just a slightly out of focus photo like I usually post) completed image.

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    Desc Price Qty

    Bang Head Here – 15″ x 15.5″

    $10.00

    Bang Head Here – 8″ x 8.25″

    $5.00

    Just In Time . . .
    Due to popular demand we created a BANG HEAD HERE poster. And it’s just in time for the holidays! Buy one for your home and office. Or get several and hide them in closets throughout the house, for that emergency getaway when family arrives for the holiday’s.

    For your convenience, we’ve simplified the ordering process, so you can purchase right of the blog! And because it comes from Wild Faces Gallery you know it is made with quality materials like acid free papers and archival inks, to ensure years worth of usage.

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    Here is the continuation of Thursday’s post regarding giclee print service. Once again, what we do for our printing service at Wild Faces Giclee, is in italics.

    How is the artwork handled and stored? Always a good question to ask. Some companies make a big to-do about using white gloves while handling the prints.

    We don’t, but will do so if asked. (the wearing of gloves bit, not the making of a big to-do bit.Though I suppose if you really wanted us to . . .) We wash our hands thoroughly to wash away any naturally occurring body oils before working with either your original work or prints. (which is why in winter, we have the driest and scratchiest hands around.)

    All original artwork taken in at WFG is stored carefully in protective sleeves or in boxes.

    Archivability and longevity You should ask whether the prints will smear or scratch easily. Do they need to be coated to prevent this. If they need to be coated is the printing company going to coat them, or are you supposed to do it. If they coat them, is there an additional fee for that.

    Our paper prints have no need for a coating, as they won’t smear or run from water. We do coat our canvas prints however, though again they are water proof. We use a brush on coating which both enhances its UV protection and adds to the illusion that it is a painting, because of the noticeable brushstrokes on the surface. And yes, there is a nominal fee to have that service done by us.

    “Some companies make a big to-do about using white gloves while handling the prints. We don’t, but will do so if asked. (the wearing of gloves bit, not the making of a big to-do bit.Though I suppose if you really wanted us to . . .)”


    Find out how lightfast the inks are and if their papers acid free. If your printer says something like this ink and paper combinations has been tested to last 75 years. Bear in mind that is under museum conditions. Which may include, temperature and humidity controlled environment and possibly in the dark (seriously) Since most of us don’t live in the dark, ask if they have any real world samples of printouts.

    Also an important fact to consider, is that most of the longevity claims are based on simulations. I mean giclee has only been around for about 15 years. There is no way any real world testing could be done to verify that, yes indeed the print will look unchanged for the next 75 years, (again, under the best possible scenerio, museum conditions) when 75 years hasn’t elapsed yet.

    My experience with my own prints hanging in the gallery is, they have held up beautifully. And I have some fairly harsh conditions. My front room is all windows along one side and my overheads are flourescent (which is the absoloute worst for uv.) I’ve had some prints sitting about for years and they look as good as day one.

    We did one test where we printed a small printout. Hung half (as in taped to) the west facing window (all my front room windows face west) for 6 months. When it was taken down and compared to the half that was stored away in a dark drawer, it looked virtually identical with the exception of a slight yellowing of the paper. From my perspective this was truely excellent results. Trust me, had I hung a major printing house offset lithograph in the window for 6 months, it would have been barely recognizeable.

    That being said, I would urge caution when trying to push some longevity results on potential clients (buyers of your art prints.) Yes, the test have been done, and their results are real. As real as simulation results can be. Get my point?

    “I would urge caution when trying to push some longevity results on potential clients (buyers of your art prints.) Yes, the test have been done, and their results are real. As real as simulation results can be. Get my point?”

    Do you get to proof the reproduction before the prints are run? Digital color profiling systems are geared for the photography industry, as they are the “money” market when it comes to giclee printing. This is partly because they naturally have a higher volume of work. Photography profiling differs in process from art prints in that it has no “original” to match to. It just needs to look correct.

    This is why it is important to know whether you get proofing. In other words, do they run a program and what you get, is what you get. Or do they offer to tweak and modify colors per your request. If so, find out if they charge for that service.

    We offer proofing as part of the setup package. There is no additional fees for that service. We strive for artist satisfaction.

    Do you retain all copyrights? This seems so obvious but it is always good to look into it and to make sure that somewhere it states that you (the artist) retain all your own copyrights.

    Of course at WFG the artist retains all copyrights. We keep the rights to profiles and adjustments used in the creation of reproductions.

    To wrap up the giclee series, in upcoming posts we will have a few miscellaneous questions answered as well as care and storage of your prints and artwork.

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