Sunday, July 30, 2006

It's been a long while since I updated my blog, so there are a lot of pictures to add! Many of these are already sold, but some are available on auction at eBay: The Dapple Dachshund at left is my first offering on stretched canvas in several years. I am quite proud of it actually. After a frustrating start I think I am getting my acrylic fingers back. A major difference in painting acrylic rather than watercolor is that you can correct, change, adjust, fiddle with and generally paint on one forever, whereas if something isn't right with a watercolor, especially a watercolor with an ink outline, there is no going back. You can to some extent lift a color mistake from a watercolor or add some white gouache to add back a highlight, but you can rarely paint over something you don't like, and there is no disguising a line out of place drawn in ink. I love watercolor, but I am very excited about the possibilities of acrylic paint and hope that sales on them will be good enough for me to continue painting them. Most will be on 8x10 canvas so that I can scan them for prints. Anything larger won't fit on the scanner and I don't trust a digital photo to capture the image well enough for a printed reproduction.
The painting at right here is the first acrylic I offered, which closed tonight. After a rough start I think it also turned out well. It is painted on a gessoed masonite board rather than canvas. I don't think the scan did it justice. The acrylics scan a little darker than watercolors. I think that is because the light bounces off the watercolor paper and transparent watercolor paint,
while it does not illuminate the opaque acrylic the same way. I'm sure I'll have to adjust my settings to show the paintings on canvas "in their best light."
My newest offering is the work-in-progress to the left here, of a longhaired black and tan Dachshund sleeping in the clouds. This is a revisit to work I have done before, and this coat has been much requested in this pose. I had a lot of fun painting the clouds and hope to have this one finished soon since it is already on auction! Be sure to click on any of these to see larger pictures!

I have some ideas for other canvas paintings and will probably mix them in with more watercolor Art Trading Cards. I was pleased with the interest in my theme park Dachshunds so I will very likely do more with that. My husband thinks I should have all of them with the "You must be this tall" theme, but I think it would be fun to have them in tea cups or sky cars. I am always happy to hear ideas if you have any!
Only three weeks left of my oil painting class. The biggest thing I have learned is that I am better off painting in acrylic! I simply do
not have the patience to wait for oil to dry, and being a poor planner I do not compose my art with that in mind. Unfortunately much of the class has been painting swatches of colors on canvas sheets and painting still lifes. I have seen no improvement in my technique, and as I already know how to mix colors and make gradients this has not been a big learning experience. I spent $200 I didn't have to take this class and I am going to eek every last thing I can out of it. When you are three months' behind on your bills like we are it can be hard to justify something like this. I do like the instructor very much. He is very talented and I know it must be difficult to teach to so many levels of experience.
And speaking of bad finances, I belong to a couple of groups of artists and many are also struggling to keep doing their work and pay bills. Many of them, myself included, have seen sales dip 70% this last several months. My husband is starting to make more noise about me getting a real day job. If that has to happen I guess there will be a going out of business sale, because there is no way I can do art and hold a full time job outside of home. I don't want to sound whiny, but that is how it is right now. eBay just send a notice out last week that they are raising fees again. It seems they don't think they make enough from eBay Stores because things take longer to sell there.
They are doubling the fee to list in a store and will now take 10% of each sale in addition to that. They raised the fee to have an eBay store by 50% a year or two ago. I will deal with the latest increases by removing a lot of items from my eBay store, and I may yet have to close it altogether. I will still have auctions on originals , but at the high price just to list, the final value fee, and the fee from PayPal it simply makes more sense to sell mostly from my website at If you ever wonder why you can't get stuff cheap on eBay anymore it is because they are actively trying to rid themselves of the little guys. Some sellers have dealt with the high fees by selling items for a ridiculously low price and charging a silly shipping fee, such as selling the item for a penny and charging $20 for shipping, which eBay does not levy a fee on.
I will be opening another store soon on a site called Etsy. Etsy is all handmade items, and many artists hope that it will be a good alternative to eBay. I will post a link to my page there when I have it completed.
Kelly finally made it the speech therapy center for an evaluation. We did not get a lot of feedback yet except that she knows lots and lots of nouns, some verbs and is not all that interested in speaking in sentences when you get right down to it. My pet theory is that she actually has a mini Einstein Syndrome, which is when very bright children are late talkers. Kelly is exceptionally bright but is more visual and physical than verbal. Her dad, who is a very analytical and smart guy, also talked late. Kelly has many of the trademarks of Einstein Syndrome except that she is not physically inept or socially shy as many of those kids tend to be. She is a joyous, happy, funny child who happens to get exactly what she wants without bothering to say it. I have recently updated her website so if anyone is interested they can see pictures of my gorgeous daughter at