Archive for March, 2011

Yes it’s been a week since I posted about wanting to do a lion painting and I did in fact complete a drawing of three lions but then things kinda went sideways.

: Happily sitting on the couch working on my drawing.

(walks in) “That’s a really big drawing”. Now if I break out my secret decoder ring that means “It’s gonna be a bugger to scan”

Me: “Yes, but it needs to be big to contain all it’s awesomeness.”


: Swirling my hand over the drawing like a witch over a cauldron as I reaffirm in a reverently hushed voice “Awesomeness”

Mike: (long pause)“You doing it in oil pastel?

Me:Nope watercolor pencil so I can do all the little bitty hairs.”

Mike: holds up his hand in the claw shape I usually do for comedic affect every time my hand hurts from working on watercolor pencil paintings.

Yeah I know. But seriously … awesomeness!”

Mike gives me a look that I totally deserve and leaves. I’m looking at all my beautiful lion drawing and thinking “Yup it’s really quite big.” And by big I mean 24 x 40.

And thus begins my spiraling decent into the 7th circle of hell, and it goes something like this
(voices in my head)

It REALLY is quite big.

So what are you gonna do for a background miss smarty pants.

What were you thinking taking on a project like this after not really working on anything in … how long has it been?

If I screw this up … well … no awesomeness.

Man could I use a diet coke about now … or a cake.

Maybe I should do something smaller first to get me back into the swing of things.

Yes, that’s it.

So then I spend the next day or so working on a drawing of the male lion’s head which measures something like 14 x 18. And so today as I am beginning to trace the drawing so I can transfer it over to the suede board I’m like. (sigh) it’s just not nearly as awesome.

So guess what I did then. I started working on the original drawing but making the lions smaller this time. Currently (it’s not finished) it measures 20 x 35. Totally worth wasting a week to shave over those couple of square inches..(that’s sarcasm btw)


So it’s gonna be a surprise to both you and me which piece I actually begin working on.

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So I’m still working on making lens and have crossed over the 100 lens mark. My pages are getting sales most every day and that bit of change everyday is adding up and keeping me motivated. In fact things are going so well that I’m actually building two new website. One will be for cross stitch which since I’ve been framing for so long I know quite a bit on the subject and the other will be about art fair. This is a proactive step in case Squidoo ever closes up shop. Google makes changes regularly and so writing platform collapse all the time. Yup I created a blog to drive traffic to my website and then started squidoo as a backup plan for the blog. And now I’m creating new websites as a backup plan for squidoo. Ah the circle of life.

The inspiration for making these pages was that having had a frameshop as part of my gallery for the past 20 years (Yikes … time really flies) many stitchers complain about the difficulty they have in finding patterns. Currently I have well over 20 cross stitch pages and plenty more in the works. Here’s just a sampling.

Additional Cross Stitch Related Information You’ll Also Find On These Pages:

A Selection Of FREE Horse Cross Stitch Patterns
Tips For Creating A Beautiful Cross Stitch
Tips For Framing Your Cross Stitch
A Quick And Easy Way To Stretch Your Needle Art Yourself

So here’s some cross stitch lenses for any stitchers out there.

Dimensions Counted Cross Stitch, Galloping Horses

Horse Cross Stitch Patterns
Dozens of Horse Cross Stitch patterns To choose from including some fine art images that have been made over into patterns. If you are a horse lover or know someone who is, you’re sure to find a pattern here to thrill them.

The Horse Cross Stitch Patterns Categories Are:
Art turned into Cross stitch patterns
Stylized Horse Cross Stitch Patterns
Traditional Horse Cross Stitch Patterns

Dragon Knot
Cross Stitch Pattern

Dragon Cross Stitch Patterns
Again dozens of patterns to choose from. Collected here are dragon images that range from the whimsical, to the mythical. There are a few stunning Celtic inspired Dragon cross stitch Patterns that are really stunning.

Categories Of Dragon Cross Stitch Patterns Found Here:
Exotic Dragon Cross Stitch Patterns
Dragon Cross Stitch Patterns
Cute Dragon Cross Stitch Patterns
Dragon and Mythological Creature Pattern Books
Cross Stitch Supplies

Baby Buggy Girl Birth Record Counted Cross Stitch Kit-13X15 14 Count

Baby Cross Stitch Patterns
This is a big page (or rather 2) filled with a wide assortment of baby cross stitch patterns ranging from the traditional baby samplers to fun and whimsical designs.

On page two I have matching sets of various baby cross stitch patterns for samplers, baby quilts and baby bib as well as addition cross stitch patterns for baby quilt and bib.

The images range from traditional teddy to your favorite Disney characters like Winnie The Pooh, Tinkerbell and Princessess.

The Remaining Cross Stitch Pattern Pages

Fairy Cross Stitch Patterns
Geisha Cross Stitch Patterns
Angel Cross Stitch Patterns
Cat Cross Stitch Patterns
Tiger Cross Stitch Patterns
Rooster Cross Stitch Patterns
Thomas Kinkade Cross Stitch Patterns
Wolf Cross Stitch Patterns
Dolphin Cross Stitch Patterns
Big Cat Cross Stitch Patterns
Eagle Cross Stitch Patterns
Shaun The Sheep Cross Stitch Patterns
Mermaid Cross Stitch Patterns
Dolly Mama’s Cross Stitch Patterns
Jim Shore Cross Stitch Patterns
Beatrix Potter Cross Stitch Patterns
Unicorn Cross Stitch Patterns
Snowman Cross Stitch Patterns
Santa Cross Stitch Patterns
Religious Cross Stitch Patterns
Madonna and Child Cross Stitch Patterns

Most Recently Added
Dog Cross Stitch Patterns
Deer & Moose Cross Stitch Patterns
Frog Cross Stitch & Needlepoint Patterns
Hummingbird Cross Stitch Patterns
Owl Cross Stitch
Peacock Cross Stitch
Cardinal Cross Stitch Patterns
Ballet Cross Stitch
Dragonfly Cross Stitch Patterns & Needlepoint Patterns
Coffee & Tea Cross Stitch Patterns
Butterfly Cross Stitch Patterns
Wedding Cross Stitch Patterns
Cabin Cross Stitch Patterns
Rose Cross Stitch Patterns
Lighthouse Cross Stitch

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Yup I took a road trip with a good friend of mine and ran down to Des Moines to the daVince exhibit at the science museum. It was a fascinating look at his inventions and technical genius. It was all reproductions of course but was still really fun.

From there we ran to the zoo and of course being March in Iowa very few critters were out but the Big Cats were feeling Spring Fever. To be honest I think this is the first time in a very long while the lions were walking about. Lucky for me Linda is also an artist and so we were both oooohing and aaaahing as the shutters clicked away. I’ve got the big guy roaring, yawning, prowling walking into the wind so it looks like he’s on the Serengeti Stalking something and of course lounging. I have loads of photos of him looking at me with real intensity. Sometimes that happens critters gravitate me. But I think this had way more to do with my camera flash than anything.

To cap the day off we went to a movie and then finally (in the wee hours of the night) pointed the vehicle homeward.

Aren’t these two gorgeous?

You may remember that iu said I had some personal chaos which kept me from posting … well it also pretty well ruined the mood for doing that horse piece. Not forever mind, it’s just now been put in the “to do” pile instead of the “today” pile.

Since tomorrow is Sunday I am seriously hoping to begin a lion piece. I plan to sketch a little tonight to come up with a composition that I like. I have a couple hundred photos (between mine and Linda’s) and so I have all sorts of options though I’m thinking something along these lines though I may do them both in profile.

Decisions, decisions..

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Keyword Research

So as I mentioned earlier one of the unexpected benefits from my squidoo experience has been learning about keyword research and applying it to my own art website. On several of my squidoo pages I’m on page 1 of google searches for that topic. And a couple I’m actually listed in the number 1 spot which is like some kind of Christmas miracle come early. So now it’s time to apply what I’ve learned on Squidoo to my own art website. I want to be clear that I am in no way an expert on the subject I may well have just lucked into my successes with keyword usage on my squidoo pages.

But here’s what I’m doing …

I am looking at my work and my website and I’m pondering what word might people actually use when searching to buy what I have to sell. Then I took those words and plug them into a keyword tool. There are plenty of programs on the market but I use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool (which is also free btw)

So lets say I plug in Tiger Art. The Google Keyword Tool says that we have this many searching in the past months for these phrases. The first number is global the second number is local.
tiger art
14,800 9,900

white tiger art
590 390

tiger art prints
320 260

The more you do these searches the more you’ll understand how these numbers relate. But the important thing is that yes it would be good for me to incorporate the words tiger art, white tiger art and tiger prints more in my webpage.

In the old days you would just stuff words on your page and Google search engines would be like wow this page says tiger art 800 times it must really relate to tiger art, lets rank it high for that. That is known as Keyword Stuffing. Keyword Stuffing is now a bad thing as Google changes it’s algorythms all the time but currently you don’t want to exceed a certain percentile of the same word on a page.

So for instance I won’t be writing something like this …

This tiger painting was done because I was really wanting to paint tigers. So I went to the zoo and photographed some tigers so I could paint them. The tigers were romping and so I said to my husband “Look … tigers, tigers, tigers. So many tiger for me to paint. And now that I’ve painted this tiger painting it is also available in tiger art prints as well. My only regret is there were no white tigers. Umm …. Tigers!

Yup pretty horrid to read but at one time this would have looked good from an seo standpoint.

At any rate this is why you haven’t seen any new art posts because I’m too busy trying to figure out better ways to sell the art I got. So I thought I’d share my journey for those of you with your own websites and wondering just what you can do to help people find your art.

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The new issue is out so go get it people. As per my usual I’ve provided an excerpt from my column which this time around was about the painting Tuckered Out.

What is Cutecritteradoraphobia?
I suffer from a condition known as Cutecritteradoraphobia, which is fear of overly cute baby animals in my art.

Yeah okay, I made that up. But it does exist in the deep recesses of my fevered imagination and in reality, as an actual aversion of mine.

As with all phobias the best way to figure out how to deal with a debilitating disorder, is to try to find the root cause of it.

Hm … let’s see. I can’t blame my schooling because I’ve had no formal art training.

I can’t blame actual baby animals because I love baby animals.

And no, it’s not because overly adorable baby animal art doesn’t sell. The fact is, it does and does so quite well.

Tuckered Out
Original Painting Size 12 1/2 x 16
Print Image Size 11 3/4 x 15

So after much pondering and reflection I have decided to blame my mother. (I know … how original of me, huh?) But hear me out. She is a painter and during my early artistic endeavors she pretty well drilled it into me that painting overly cute, doe-eyed baby animals is at the very bottom of the artistic pool.

In an artistic family her saying “Cutesy is not art” rings in my head much the same way as phrases like “Eat Your Vegetables,” and “Don’t run with scissors.” Those early art lessons taught me that an adorable little Appaloosa foal touching noses with say … a baby kitten, is to art what a prepackaged snack cake is to fine dining. As a result the number of baby animals I have committed to art is countable on one hand.

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So for some reason my post about the new Apples N’ Oats when I hit publish throws my entire page into disarray. Last time this happens we just copied the post into a text editor and recopied into a new post. I just tried that today and it failed. Hm …?

So I should probably apologize for the sending out notices about that post and having it not show up at all. I had thought since I deleted my wonky post within 30 seconds or so after publish a notice wouldn’t get sent out but I was recently informed I was mistaken in that belief.

So again sorry guys. Of course you can always go visit the Apples ‘n Oats website to read the whole thing.

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The Business of Being an Artist

I usually include books on selling art on my various art business and art fair lenses so I finally up and made a page filled with a wide variety of books on selling art.

The Best Books On Selling Art has a broad range of subjects ranging from the business of being an artist to art licensing. For you potential art fair goers there is also a selection of books dedicated to being vendors at both and and/or craft fairs.

The Categories On Books On Selling Art On This Page Are:
* The Business of Being An Artist
Contains books on business management, legal issues and creativity.

* Selling Art & Marketing Yourself
Contains books about selling through galleries, self representation * art marketing

* Art Licensing

Make Money at Art Shows and Craft Fairs

* Selling Art at Art Fairs & Craft Shows
Contains books detailing the in and outs of marketing arts and crafts at street fairs.

* Selling Art Online
Covers online art marketing like Ebay, Etsy websites, blogs and more.

And since the art fair season is just around the corner I thought I’d include my compendium page which list all of my art fair and art business related squidoo pages. It’s an easy way to pick and choose the information you’d like to read up on.

A Full Compendium Of All Of My Art Fair & Art Business Lenses

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