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Archive for June, 2010

It’s the end of the day. A good day mind you as I took most of it off and I played some PS2 and did a little light reading.

As I was making dinner (or is it Supper? I can never keep them straight) Mike was reading my blog, which you may well be surprised to know he almost never does. (I know, I know you’d think he wouldn’t be able to get enough of me despite spending nearly 24 hours of every day together.)

The reason he’s reading my blog is because earlier he was at the computer and I had left a tablet next to it with the poorly (one might even say . . . franticly) scribbled sentence. “The voices in my head tell me to kill you.”

Now thinking he may have noticed this note I felt obligated to tell him why I wrote it. You know in case he was wondering if I left it out as some sort of premeditative insanity defense for when I killed him later in his sleep.

I’m like “Uh, that was a search term someone used and and for some reason google thought it best to send them to my blog for help. And well, I kinda wanted to know what I wrote that would qualify..” (Turns out it was my Breyerfest post – who knew?)

So after Mike uncovered the mystery of Google’s belief that my blog is exactly what potential killers need) he started reading my blog. Which happens so rarely I got the “Ah crap!” moment that I was just telling you about. You know where I feel like I’m being judged and it’s too late because I’ve already exposed my fluffy vulnerable underbelly through my writing.

Mike reading recent post “You’re a 40 something channeling a teenager?

Me
looking sideways at him to see if he’s mocking me “Well I did just spend the day playing video games and reading a teenager vampire novel.” (borrowed from an actual teenager mind you)

Mike:
Looks at me speculatively, then nods slowly in an understanding way and returns to looking at the monitor.

(Sigh) Perhaps it would have been better to let him believe I was plotting a murder. At least that makes me seem like more of an adult.

As To The Vampire Book I Was Reading
Actually I’ve been reading a couple of different series. Both are remarkably the same story though with of course different names and basic plots. But both books are set at some sort of vampire school and both have good vampires (who are considered alive and take blood from willing folks) and bad vampires (which are considered dead and take blood forcibly.) Of the two series I enjoyed the Vampire Academy (as opposed to the House Of Night) more. Rose is a kick butt kinda character (like Lara Croft of Tomb Raider) though she still makes really rather child-like decisions at times. All in all both are a fun easy read that entertains and fills the void for all those who read the Twilight Series

Spirit Bound by Richelle Meade is the fifth book in the Vampire Academy series and I believe from what I’ve heard (from the aforementioned teen who is also reading the series) the next will be th the last and then the author will start a new character line using the same school backdrop.

Burned
is a house of night book by Kristen Cast. What allowed me to actually read this series was that I started reading it after 6 books were written and I just read them back to back. Had I to wait 6 months to a year between books I would never had gotten past the first one. Frankly the first 5 books could have been condensed into two and the story would have progressed much better. The first few books cover like a couple weeks at a time. I really like to move a little faster than that in general. None-the-less I still enjoyed the series for what it was and by the time I got to the most recent book Burned the story had gotten more intricate and I was actually curious as to what happens next.

So there you go. If your looking for some fluff reading for summer and you’re one of the millions loving the whole vampire thing try a couple of these on for size. (Okay you can stop judging me now.)

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Back From ArtFest Midwest

Okay so I really DID take pictures this time. But unfortunately I appear to have deleted them as soon as I downloaded them. NOTE TO SELF: I really need to learn to not do things (you know like blog, operate heavy machinery that sort of thing) when I am excessively tired. So dang it, no pictures unless by some miracle the hubby is able to retrieve them because he has magic skills. (don’t hold your breath though, hubby is working double time right now between the gallery and making hay. Umm . . . to be clear, that’s not a euphemism. I really do mean he is making hay.)

So the show went well. And by well I mean I made pretty much exactly what I expected to make. I probably/possibly could have made more at Omaha. But as I said Saturday morning it stormed overnight. And while now I feel bad about the “neener-neener” comment because it was an actual storm where tents got trashed not just a rain shower, I also feel so much better about being indoors despite the potentially lower sales.

A Short Story Titled “I Don’t Care.”

When I woke up in the middle of Friday night with the lightening and rain, I rolled over thinking “I don’t care.” sighed ands went to sleep.

When I walked into the building Saturday morning with my booth completely ready to go knowing that the humidity would skyrocket from the rain and the temps were to reach into the mid-90s with heat index around 100. I smiled thinking “I don’t care.”

When I woke up in the middle of Saturday night with the lightening and rain pounding hard against the window, I rolled over thinking “I don’t care.” sighed ands went back to sleep.

Umm . . you get the idea. This was probably the most stress free weekend ever. With the gallery going gang busters I wasn’t even sweating about whether I would have enough sales to make it worth my time. All in all art fair heaven.

The Event Breakdown

The event was held in the varied Industries building at the Fair grounds in Des Moines. They had around 250 artists which is down (by deliberate choice of the promoter) by quite a few from the last time I did this show. It runs in conjunction with the Outdoor Summer Festival that runs downtown which has about the same amount of artists.

Sunday morning a fellow critter artist friend Belinda Riley (click the link to see her wonderful critters. I’ve got a couple in my gallery but nothing of this size.) and I left our husbands to “man” the booth while we went on reconnaissance mission to the downtown event. While the setting is really lovely I can’t say that I think the artwork was anything superior to the indoor event. It was beastly hot when walking about and while they had a good crowd not too many of them were carrying packages.

Artfest MidwestThe Benefits
* Obviously the whole INDOORS air conditioned thing.
* Love being able to just walk out Saturday night and leave booth completely intact.
* Have load in helpers (for a reasonable fee)
* Donuts for Sunday Breakfast
* Works hard to include Iowa artists. The other event touts how many states their artists are from.
* Sue Stookey the promoter works really hard to address artist concerns. A rare thing to be cherished.

Downside

* Still the stigma of this being a lesser talent show

As I’ve said normally I would be in Omaha on this weekend but I heard a rumor that they are moving their event to a different weekend. If that is the case I will definitely be doing this event again.

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This weekend we’ll be doing “The Other Art Show” in Des Moines Iowa. This event runs along side of the city’s downtown art fair which is a big hoppla. Normally on this weekend we are in Omaha. But with all the crappy weather there I got a “bad feeling” when I was thinking of applying. SO to Des Moines I go.

The problem with doing this show is it has a taint to it. Many people tend to think of the downtown event as where the real artists are and this event is it’s ugly step sister. The truth is the downtown event is an originals only show and as you know I’ve no interest in taking my chances with that sort of event. This show, ranks quite high in the top 100 art fairs in the nation (though not as highly as the outside event.) The other thing I have heard so often about these two shows is that many folks go downtown to look but can’t afford to buy from the artists there. So then they come back to this event to buy.

Either way. It’s indoors which this time of year I am loving. So we’ll see how it goes.

So if anyone is in the neighborhood (and by neighborhood I mean the Varied Industries Building at the State Fair Grounds in Des Moines) stop by and continue helping me with my therapy.

UPDATED: Okay so I forgot to post this before we left so am doing it Saturday morning. It is currently raining and lightening so am feeling pretty good about being indoors this weekend. I’m tempted to drive by the outdoor festival and shout “neener-neener” at the poor souls sitting with their art out of doors.

Okay so no I’m not really tempted to do that. But the “thought” of doing it brings me a small satisfied smile to my face. In the end I think it’s supposed to be a very nice weekend. So ya’ll come out and attend shows.

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So I’ve been watching the Work Of Art reality competition series and for the most part enjoying it. I tend to roll my eyes a bit at the judges from time to time but I’m really enjoying the show on the whole. After the second week I realized there could be some actual artist life lessons to be learned here. So for the benefit of those who aren’t or can’t watch, here they are.

Week 1. was a portrait challenge where the artists had to do portraits of each other. I must say I was impressed with many of the artist’s work.

THE LESSON: When asked for a portrait don’t create a wall paper design.

Week 2. The premise for this challenge was to create ART from an electronics garbage dump. Old computers and miscellaneous stuffs. While I thought some work was interesting. What intrigued me the most was those who had an extensive story to go with their art, did well. Even if what they were selling was bookended between two concrete anuses the size of bean bag chairs. (true story)

THE LESSON: If you create a good and believable story you can sell just about anything as art.

Week 3. The most recent challenge was to create a book cover for one of six classic novels. The novel for each artist was assigned through drawing tubes of paint. This seemed like it would have been a real fun challenge to do.The winner actually got their cover on the book.

THE LESSON: This episode has two.
1. While sex sells it doesn’t necessarily impress the judges (especially for a Jane Austen cover.)
2. If you can’t work under someone else’s parameter and consider yourself above making commercial work, then don’t join a reality art competition show.

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My 500th Blog Post

Whoohoo! Can you believe it, we actually made it this far. To think I started out so many years ago, a young girl with a dream. A dream to write about art with little regard to sentence structure or punctuation (and a grotesque abuse of brackets . . . or are these things parenthesis?) And here we are. (wiping tear away from eye)

So everyone prepare to raise a glass of champagne, diet coke, beverage of choice in a toast. But first . . . a few words.

A statistical survey
In honor of this great achievement I have conducted a poll. As you know I am a woman who loves the numbers, so I would like to share with you the results. It shows that my blog Fur In The Paint is overwhelmingly the single most popular artsy/critter oriented/weird artist (I prefer the term quirky thank-you-very-much) blog out there.

I’d like to do that but my husband insists that a survey consisting of my mother, a couple of close friends and someone who owes me money, is not a statistically valid sample. (Sheesh!)

But as I have said so often on this blog it is dam near a mantra by now. “Let’s not quibble over reality shall we.”

Still got your glass raised? Okay a toast

Oh, hold up . . . In all good conscience I should say that “technically” this is not my 500th blog post because I had a few tester posts when I first started. Also I have deleted a couple of posts over the years that I started and later thought “Meh . . .” But as I have said so often on this blog it is dam near a mantra by now. “Let’s not quibble over reality shall we.” The blog post counter thingy says 500. So 500 it is.

At any rate “Here’s to you guys! My readers and dare I say it . . . friends. Because without your support I would have quit the bloggy experiment thing a long, long time ago.Salute!

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Yesterday I got an email from my friend Linda (thanks Linda!) telling me of Kinkade’s arrest and so I did a little digging. While it’s not exactly breaking news (I think he was arrested on the 16th for suspicion of DUI) some of you may not have heard about it yet.

So apparently the guy was kinda a dick. Which I was unaware of and also one of his companies has declared bankruptcy. Since his arrest all sorts of nasty (and petty) stories have come to light. Like this one from the A.V. Club.

The wolves are circling him right now. I am not the type to join in on something like this. And while I was never a fan of his work, I don’t find any joy or amusement in his downfall. To be clear, I don’t doubt that no matter what, he personally will continue to make millions.

I guess I find it all a bit sad. You know like could this “thing” happen to anybody? An unknown achieves unbelievable fame (so much so the Lifetime channel does a special about him) and fortune. That would have to change you. I’d like to think that no matter how rich I got I would never undercut the people and galleries who got me there in order to make ever more millions. But who’s to say how twisted one becomes. Fame and money can be a powerful corrupter.

At any rate listed below are more information on both the arrest and the bankruptcy.

This is the most comprehensive article I found.
TheRecord.com

What a few more well known news organizations had to say.
L.A. Times

USA Today

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Is This Wrong, Or Is It Just Me?


So being a person who has a mild interest in all things marketing and image branding, and well . . . cat food, I did a double take yesterday while perusing the cat food isle in our local grocery.

I mean I literally passed by, stopped and looked back over my shoulder and then backed up. Sitting there was stacks and stacks of a brand of pet food I’d never seen before. But what actually caught my attention was the picture on the can.

It appeared to be a boy, leaning over a large bowl, lapping up milk (and since it was a cat food can, well it seems a logical conclusion perhaps there is cat food in the bowl as well.) Regardless, here’s this kid apparently eating while sadistically forcing his hungry kitten to watch. The way the boy is hunched over clearly indicates that he is not sharing.

Yeah okay, on closer inspection (much closer because the actual picture is less than 1/2″ tall and the text it teeny tiny. Photo below blown up 4x actual size) it says something about teaching his cat to drink from a water fountain. Which still makes no sense and certainly doesn’t help sell cat food.

Where was this company’s focus group? I’m pretty sure I could have come up with something better on my worst day. Seriously what cat food company marketing geniuses thought this picture (plastered on every single variety of food they sell) was a good idea?

Of course I instantly thought I’d tell you guys about it, so I bought a can.

Ah . . . wait.

(repeating aloud to self) . . . so I bought a can . . .

Touche’ cat food company marketing geniuses.

Touche’

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20 x 22 3/4
Inktense and Watersoluble Pencil on suede board


Framed and Sold
Yup I went ahead and send an email to the person on the top of my giraffe list. About 5 minutes later I got a response. These two are now going off to live with many of my other giraffe works. This makes me happy and just a tiny bit sad as well. While I wasn’t totally ready to part with them just yet, I also am not heart broken about it. The biggest challenge will be getting prints made before the delivery date.

So anyway I thought I’d do the start to finish thing with this painting since it took me so long to actually finish it. I had wanted to do more tweaking on them but there just is no more time so, it is what it is.







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Bulls Eye – Rodeo Bull
10 1/2 x 12
Inktense and Neocolor II on suede board


Rodeo Bull Beautiful
So here he is. I do plan on just a tiny bit more tweaking but I wanted to get the go ahead from the Rodeo Club before I stuck too much work in it. Overall I’m happy, He’s not great but for time involved and pressure level to get it done I am content.

This is about 4 hours work time. I used inktense for all of my base colors and Neocolor II watersoluble wax pastel for the rest. I really need to get a set of these. I have around 10 openstock colors and I think they are so quick, clean and fun. They may replace OP to some extent for me. Especially when it comes to demonstration work.

Oh and the Rodeo Club was very pleased. In fact she was surprised that I had any doubts at all that they’d be unhappy with it. So whew!

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Perception and Reality

Avi and Big Al
Avi Cohen (the owner of Alborozo) actually commented on my blog recently. Technically it was signed “Avi Cohen and Alborozo” (How cute is that?)

My initial reaction was “Cool!” Which was then closely followed by my usual “Aw crap!” moment where I wonder about what I said and how I said it. You know for some people (like patrons, potential patrons, horse owners whose horses I want to paint etc.) I like to appear to be a professional artist (whatever that is.) And not like my usual self, which is something closer to a “40 something” who’s channeling a teenager.

When I started my blog I had seriously pondered how I would present myself here. I could pretty easily fall into professional mode, but frankly that seemed kinda dull. Especially when thinking of blogging for the long haul. On the other hand since I’m promoting the blog on my website (which hopefully reads professional) I had considered it carefully. How people perceive you can definitely impact sales. The beauty (and horror) of this on-line medium is that you can portray yourself and pretend to be anyone. The other thing is that most of the time it’s kinda like writing in a diary. But I seem to forget that people (many more people than I would have guessed when I started out) actually find my blog and read it. (yup, that part still weirds me out. But seriously you’d think I’d grasp that that is the whole point of a blog.)

My initial reaction was “Cool!” Which was then closely followed by my usual “Aw Crap!” moment . . .

Down To Earth
Often I ponder what perception people have of artists. That mental image you form in your head when someone says he’s a doctor, lawyer or an artist. Often when people meet me they comment on how down to earth I am. I usually respond with something like “shoveling horse poo every morning tends to keep me grounded in reality.”

In the end I went with my bloggy personality being someone who is pretty much myself. Hardworking, kinda silly and who gets uncomfortable with too much praise.

So now I’ve admitted that I thought Avi commenting on my blog was “cool” which then makes me decidedly “not” cool. Because if I was a cool fat cat artist I would be “so above it all.” But I’m not. I still enjoy simple pleasures like when people comment on my blog. So thanks to all of you who like me for who I am, and keep me motivated to share my world.

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