Archive for February, 2010

Isn’t he just the cutest little guy. Makes me want to squeeze his fuzzy little nose, followed by a kiss of course.

At any rate you know the drill. Either run out and get yourself a copy or get a subscription from the Apples ‘n Oats website.

Below is an excerpt from the article about my Spanish Gold painting.

An Excerpt
“Of course I was not alone in my adoration as Big Al was almost constantly surrounded by fans. I, however was by far the most tenacious, probably because I was there for a completely different reason than all the others. I was on a mission to get some seriously beautiful horse photos.

When I got my photos developed, it was very much like Christmas. I’d be carefully opening up the many packages and rifling through all that glossy equestrian goodness, all the while breathing in the deeply that hint of developing chemical wafting from the photos. Ahhh! All in all, I took around 800 pictures that weekend with well over 400 being of Big Al. Choosing on which of the photos to base the first painting, took quite awhile (like aound a year.) “

Let the Preparations Begin.
Well as it’s Sunday you might think I’d be working on my Buffalo painting but alas no. I am packing my artwork so I can deliver it tomorrow to the Redrock Art Center in Fairmont MN with my friend Barb for our joint show.

The reception is set for the 16th and I plan to take some pictures for the blog. I may even take a few of the hanging if I can remember the camera.

Have a great weekend ya’ll

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An Art Fair Primer Lens is Launched

I finally got around to gathering together my art fair posts as well as some new information into one handy location. I plan to add a segment on display units and zapplication yet, but that may not happen for awhile. At any rate hopefully it will be a handy resource for all you art fair goers out there.

An Art Fair Primer What You Need To Know.

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Ask The Budda Feb-March 2010

As a long time gallery cat, Budda has generously agreed to answers your art and/or cat related questions around the first of every month. He also now has his own lens on Squidoo containing all the cat related questions from this column.

Dear Budda,
I’m new to doing art fairs and I hear your human does quite a few of them. What is the best way to keep my tent grounded.

Fear of Flying

Dear Fear of Flying
I can’t tell you how often I get asked this question. The best way is using corkscrew style dog stakes. (yes they are actually good for something besides restraining unruly dogs.) But obviously this only works on grass. For pavement I strongly suggest using HappiFeet. I know some cases where in high winds the HappiFeet tents remained in place while their neighbors’ went . . . as you say, flying.

The good news is my human is currently working on a post about this subject and she’ll provide more in depth information soon.

Best of luck,

Dear Budda,
I hear you get to be indoors. I envy you, although, since I am black and white, I am not green with envy. Where I live, Bill is black and white in that I bit him and I no longer get to be in the house unless construction people let me in or Louise is really nice to let me in. I really like Bill and I want to purr inside the house and enjoy him, just like I know Mike and Mona enjoy you. Although, I did hear that sometimes when Mona is on the telephone, you make more noise than just purring. But, then, she’s on the telephone, so what does she expect!

<img class="alignright" src="http://mona.myartbliss.com/Image/10/MissKitty200.jpg&quot; /

So, my question for you is, if you just happened to know a kitty-cat (I’m not asking for myself…I’m asking for a friend) who bit her or his owner because the owner got after the kitty-cat that was naughtily on the kitchen counter, and the kitty-cat wants to get back in the owner’s good graces, what do you think that kitty-cat should do?

I think I like you, but I’m thinking that maybe a long distance relationship would be good for us.You know, to make a spark and keep it alive! (I live with another boy kitty. His name is Sammy and our relationship is purely platonic.)

Yours truly,
Miss Kitty

Well Hello Miss Kitty, (Grrrouw)
Hmm . . . it’s very hard to get in your humans good graces when something of this nature has occurred. I’m sure you were very frightened or something really dreadful must have happened for you to bite one of them. But since cat bites are quite serious I must thoroughly allow that your being able to returned to the life you once lived may not be possible. Mostly I think this depends on the human.

Your best bet is to make yourself as loving as possible. Since the last time you touched your human was less than ideal I would suggest simply sitting a few feet away from him and look at him as loving as possible. When he makes eye contact. Close your eyes and purr audibly. After a few seconds open your eyes and if he is still engaged with you feel free to move cautiously (because some humans spook easily) and accompany the loud purring with a leg rub. This kind of affection make take months to work but if his heart is open it should. If he does not, you will just have to live with the consequences of your actions.

Also it might not hurt to try this technique on your other human. She may just come in to your defense.

As to your affections, I am flattered. Unfortunately a cat in my situation must be ever so careful as I am constantly in the public view. Perhaps correspondences for a few years are in order.

As always, those of you who are googling for enlightenment . . . this ain’t it.

Affectionately yours, but with reserve,

Oh Wise Budda,
Is there a safe paint in which to paint my cats?

Wanting Some Colorful Kitties

Dear . . . Left Wanting,
I have kinda already answered this question in a previous Ask The Budda. At that time I said something along the lines of “Please for the love of all that’s Holy, don’t!” But the amount of queries I get on this topic is so shocking that I felt the need to look into it a little further

Apparently there is a whole bunch of folks out there who paint their cats. (sigh) There’s even a couple of books. If you would like to see a few photos from the book and read some rantings both for and against cat painting, check out this site.

As to a cat safe paint, often it is suggested that anything child safe is cat safe. I’m not convinced this is true as cats have bad reactions to many common foods that are harmless to people. I suggest you do some real research on your part before moving forward.

Happy just the way I am,

Note: Some of these “questions” were based on search terms that brought people to my blog. And some were posed by readers of this blog. Most of the names have been changed to protect the innocent. If anyone has any questions they’d like to submit for Budda’s review, you are all welcome to do so. Just leave a comment here or contact me directly

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A Few Thoughts About Art Fair Tents

It may seem odd that since I’m surrounded by mountains of snow to start talking about art fair tents but the season is fast approaching (as evidenced by the myriad of applications going out.) So here’s a brief post discussing the two main types of tent used for fair and festivals and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

But first I want to say that you should get only a white tent. It allows in the most light and shows your work to it’s best advantage. Colored tent cast a glow onto the work and at dusk turn your booth into a cave. Many an artists says “Yeah, but my purple (red, blue, black) tent stands out. People can spot in a sea of white tents. If you want to be noticed. Hang flags, create color full banners don’t go with a colored tent.

Most art fair canopies come in two main types.
1. EZ-Up type (pointy top) Other brands are KD Canopy, First Up and Caravan.
2. Craft Hut type (Dome or Hoop top.) Trimline and Lightdome

I am going to use the brand name of the big dogs of each type to identify the style of tent I’m talking about. (It seemed easier than #1 or #2)

EZ Up is the most common of it’s type because of availability and cost.
These tents tend to be:
* very light weight
* not all that sturdy
* and in a heavy downpour they not water proof. (You can buy a water proof spray coat and take care of that yourself.)

On the other hand they are
* lightweight this is both a plus and a drawback.
* quick to set up, though still much easier with two people despite what the box says
* cheap if they do get trashed they are easy and cheap to replace. it is available at Sam’s Club for around $200.

The Craft Hut
* Very sturdy and water proof
* More difficult and time consuming to assemble
* Cost between $800-1500 depending on brand, model and features. If they get damaged your replacement parts cost will be high as would be buying a whole new tent.

I have said previously EZ-Up tents work just fine if you know how to use them. But since their main market is for newbies they often end in disaster. Many artists think that these type of tents are the mark of a non professional. But I also know allot of artists (myself included) who have been doing event forever. Many have had the more expensive then reverted back to the cheap and easy because replacement costs were much easier to deal with. I also know several artists who use the Craft Hut type for multi day show and EZ Ups for one day shows.

So I guess my point is they both serve the same function just differently and if you have the knowledge how to use them to their advantage either tent will work exceptionally well.

Upcoming Posts:
Additional art fairs post covering weighting and staking your tents as well as items that you should pack when doing events.
Also a new Ask The Budda

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Buddy Finished and Framed


Watercolor Pencil on Suede
10 1/2 x 12

So as promised here’s the portrait of Buddy all done. The photo’s kinda dark but it gives you the idea.

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White Buffalo: 2 Attempt

So here is my White Buffalo: Take 2 (nod to Lorie for that) 🙂

I already like it better. I think the animal seems more peaceful and I definitely like the sizing better. It’s odd. I liked my line drawing of first attempt but almost as soon as I started laying in the color I was thinking it was too big.

This often happens when color first goes in. So it’s important for me to continue on as usual otherwise I’d never finish anything. That being said, if this was a large scale piece of artwork I would have pondered the issue a whole lot more. Instead I figured “Ah well, it’s only about 6 hours work so why not?”

Seeing Double
These are a couple of white buffalo calves that I photographed this past Spring. As you know from my last White Buffalo Post this (the birth of a white calf) is supposed to be a really rare occurrence and here we have two of them.

The only thing I can think (though I really have no idea) is that genetic engineering has come a long way. And I imagine that nowadays once you have one white buffalo you can probably create a whole lot more. It’s a theory anyway.

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A Couple More Lenses Are Launched

Well I’ve been plugging along on some of my work in progress squidoo lenses and I finally felt they were ready to publish.

The first is a remake of my All Good Things Come From Art Fairs which may indeed need a new title for better search engine optimization. As with all my lenses which are scraped from my blog, it has been redone with new content and streamlined a bit. I did this one for a Giant Squid challenge in which we could only use 5 modules not counting intro and guest book.

The other new lens is my lenography (called curiously enough Wild Faces Gallery Art Lensography.) This is a combination of an all about me lens mixed with listings of all of my lenses by category. There’s some new photos of me plus a new story or two. I was fortunate enough to get a blessing on this and a couple of star ranking before squidoo even got it featured. So I guess even if I’m not raking in the dough I’m getting some recognition for my writing. It’s all good.

And just to prove my blog isn’t always just about me . . .
This is the funniest thing I’ve read in along time. Perhaps because I can relate to just about everything on it. (not hot flashes yet thank God) The Art Of Aging Ungracefully The YouTube vids are also particularly funny.


Okay so within the last 24 hours my Lensography lens has been ranked 8 times and blessed by 4 Angels. It’s kinda weird that this lens is getting far more recognition in it’s first 24 hours of existence than any of my lenses have in their entire existence.

But it’s a good kinda weird. You know . . . kinda like Raisinettes. 🙂

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The Legend of the White Buffalo

So here it is. In case you missed my last post I’m going to try again with her. It will essentially be the same painting just pushed back a little farther to allow for more of a buffalo profile so it’s more clear what I’m actually painting.

I also hope to start a new Raven, but once again they are predicting more snow this weekend. Oh Spring, Where Art Thou!

The Legend of the White Buffalo
The legend of the white buffalo tells of an ethereal woman who comes to the Sioux tribes and offers them them the sacred gift of the pipe. She taught them how to use it and talked about the importance of woman and children and their connectedness to the earth. She said that what they do is as being as important as the warriors. As she left she promised she would return someday. And then lay down and rolled four times and turned into a white buffalo calf.

The white buffalo is seen as a highly sacred symbol to many of the American Indian Nations. It is seen as a symbol of hope and renewal for humanity and for harmony between all peoples.

A white buffalo calf (named Miracle) was born in Wisconsin in August of 1994. Since she was not an albino, she was considered to be the first white buffalo calf born since 1933.

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Believe it or not we yet again had a storm that kept me on the farm for a couple of days. This one was just a few inches of snow but with horrible winds. So as soon as the lane was cleared it drifted right back in. Soooooo no new art to speak of.

The good news is I’ve had a Swedish massage every night since Mike returned (twice last night.) I’ve never had a Swedish massage before just the usually kind. It was totally AWESOME! Seriously run, don’t walk and go get one. It may even be worth all the money the class is costing.

About the Buffalo

I did finish the white buffalo and will post her next. However I am not totally happy with her so I plan to redraw and do her again. I think I need to push back a bit. She is too close to be obvious it’s a buffalo and being white just throws that much more confusion on top of it. So it will be pretty much the same image just a little smaller to allow for more of the profile. Anyway I’m hoping that will do the trick. My Red Buffalo seems to me to obviously be a buffalo despite being red. So that’s what I’m going for. Other than that, I like her.

Winter Photos
The photos are from one of our outbuildings which had a new steel roof put on it this summer. I just love the weird little twisty ice fingers it’s developed. We’ve been in this repeating cycle with all this weird freezing rain, (not common this time of year) followed by nasty blizzards. I guess this is the result.

We’ve got mountains of snow in the yard and Chicory’s paddock fence, which normally he can rest his chin on, the top board is now only running across his chest. The snow is so hard packed he can actually stand on top of the drifts. Frankly if he was so inclined he could hop right over it his fence with little effort. Fortunately for me he is happy enough where he is most of the time and only wanders off if a gate is left open or the deer tear up the electric fence.

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I've Been Blessed!

But do I want to be a giant squid?
Okay, so a couple of my lenses were blessed recently and because of that (or so I’m assuming. Who knows maybe it’s because “I’m special”) I was invited to join in the Become A Giant Squid group which kinda mentors and helps writers along in reaching their goal of 50 lenses.

Perhaps I should explain the whole concept a little more clearly.

Squidoo is a place where you can write small webpages which they call lenses. Unlike many places the focus is providing quality information but also offering the writers to partake in earning money. This is done in a couple of ways.
1. Monetizing. This means including Amazon and other affiliate links. People click through you get paid. People buy you get paid more.
2. Squidoo Rankings. Squidoo pays out money depending where your lens ranks.

There are 3 payout level.
Tier three: Your lens needs to rank under 85,000
Tier Two: Under 10,000
Tier One: Under 2,000

Two of mine are Tier Two but close to Tier One and 15 are Tier Three. Two completely out of the money.

Currently there is like a million lenses (not kidding there) and so a person writes a lens and then waits for it to rise in the rankings so it can start earning it’s keep

In order for a lens to get ranked higher there are numerous ways.
1.Other squidoo members Star rank your lens.
2 Comments left by either members or non members
3.Clickouts. How often someone clicks through to affiliates
4. traffic. How many people visit your lens.
5. Becoming a Giant Squid Which is having at least 50 quality lenses.
6. Creating Over 100 lenses
7.Squid Angel Blessings. (which is the reason I wrote this post) Squidoo has a group of volunteers who go around looking for lenses that are well executed but may not be ranking highly. When they bless them which helps them temporarily raise in the rankings and so hopefully get more attention from the ranking systems and thus elevate the lens.

In theory you can get a high ranking lens with just any one of these ranking tools but it usually requires all of them working together to make it happen.

Okay so anyway back to the point of this post. Do I want to be a giant squid? Yes . . . someday. Frankly I thought shooting for 20 lenses this year was pushing it for me but I have already surpassed that (a couple are still in the building stage) and it’s only Feb. Can I really do 50 before the next deadline? Doubtful but possible.

We shall see.

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