Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Past Is Past




Just a few early pictures of me with Santa.  At W&D's Department Store in No. Indiana. My mother really went crazy with the pink sponge curlers on me (I can remember trying to sleep in those damned things)...this was during the Shirley Temple years. As in, she had a desire for me to BE Shirley Temple. I have the tap shoes to prove it. These are the only Santa and Me photos I have. They stop in 1962 when I was 7. I don't know if I got too old to sit on his lap, if I stopped believing in him, or if those photos are still buried somewhere in my mother's house. The thing is, she saved everything...and the problem is, she saved EVERYTHING.  I have lots of artwork from elementary school that she archived. It seems I was very prolific even then. And as you can imagine, not very good. But still, I remember saying that I wanted to be a freelance artist, even though I'm sure I didn't really know what that was. Well, that and a plumber, both of which I have been and am.
I'm working on building the Cat Scratchin' kickstarter project, with the launch planned in January. It's all good, even though I'm going through a very restless time. Happy Happy, and Merry Merry y'all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Compassion

video
Here's a little video that I look at when I'm feeling spiteful/hateful/angry/confused at the behavior of others. My dear friend Poet Miller Williams says it best.
Compassion and Serenity now please....Let's try and be decent to each other.
I'm busy shipping books like a little elf. If you are in the Austin area and you need a few more books to give as gifts Wally Workman Gallery has at least 7 of them available. They are open from 10-5 Tues-Sat. and located at 1202 W. 6th St. Austin. If you are in NW Arkansas, I will happily deliver. They are $25.00 each and this month I'm giving 10% of sales to PAWS in Beaumont, TX. Speaking of happy, one of my books is on it's way to Antarctica. Yes, that Antarctica! I think that is so wicked cool!
Working on the Cat book project for January launch on kickstarter...stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

East Prospect Event Fayetteville

This time tomorrow I'll be fixin' ta set up at Megan Chapman's house for a two day Holiday Sale event. You can read more about it here... http://eastprospect.blogspot.com/  I'll be with a bunch of fine art/artists, it's sure to be a sweet time!  I'll have Dog Scratchin' books, my fine art magnets and just a few of the vintage reclaimed wood "totes" I've been making. If you're in the area I hope you'll make it by either Thursday or Saturday.  After that? Don't know. The Holidays are just about here, I'm working on commissions (which better be done and shipped soon,) so I'll hunker down and continue to work on the Cat Scratchin' project video for the January kickstarter launch.
The Nov. events at Wally Workman Gallery and Eye of the Dog Art Center were very successful. I was happy to get in some good visits in Texas as well. I'll be back in TX in Feb. to teach some scratchbord classes...stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Calm Before The Event...

Like "Max" here lounging, I am trying to have a nice calm day before the big event at Wally Workman Gallery tonight. Those who know me well know that usually I bolt out the door when the crowd at the gallery gets to be too much...it's my first instinct. I don't know why, because usually, if I am persuaded to stay, I have a nice time hanging out and meeting folks. But tonight I am going to throw off that tendency to run and just take it all in. It's about the book tonight, which is about dogs after all, not me. I can do this. And really, ultimately, I would be very sad and disappointed if no one came out to see the book and art (and me) tonight.  Here we go.....

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Little Houses, Purple Hearts





I just finished this little house. It was a birthday gift for a very good friend. This was a tough project. She gave me a shoebox full of things that belonged to her father. He was sent over to fight in WW2 and died July 4, 1944. She was in her mother's womb when he died, and he didn't know he had a child on the way when he was shipped out. Well, he never knew he had a child period, and his child never got to know him.
Originally she said I could glue the purple heart on it and paint it black.  I couldn't do that, so instead I rebuild the original box it came in (because it was falling apart) and turned it into a door.  Some of the objects glued on are from my collection since she didn't have enough to cover the house. The roof lifts up and inside are some items I couldn't embed, like the official letter from the government and a card he had made for her mother. The chimney is his brass lighter, the roof is a feather hat that belonged to her aunt. I built all of this, the house and the stand. It was an honor to be entrusted with these items, but honestly I've got to say, the purple hearts our government gives out should be solid gold for the price paid in order to receive one. They are really kind of cheap looking. Don't get me wrong, I have great respect for those who go and fight and get injured or killed, I just don't agree with all of our endless wars.
The title of this is: "Daddy Johnny Comes Home."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Makin' New Animals


I'm busy, busy, busy. Cutting up old books full of animals, Oprah and Vanity Fair magazines, and any other pictures of animals I can find.  Getting ready for a 45 minute workshop that I'll be giving at the Texas Art Educators Conference in San Antonio next month. I'll be there teaching and selling Ampersand Art products.  I put if off long enough. It was much easier just coming up with the idea, now I have to put it together. This is one of my first finished pieces that I'll use to illustrate the process. Let's hope I can write a good lesson plan and present it in a understandable way. Just another "performance". This is either a Prairie Dog or some other rodent with a sweet little Doe head. Red tie and Red Fez!! I'll also be doing a scratchboard workshop called "Scratch Happy." That one is a piece of cake for me!
Meanwhile, I'm taking Dog Scratchin' books tonight to the For Pets' Sake meeting and to Petco on Saturday during adoptions event, to sell a few. So far I've raised about $100.00 each for the above group and the Fayetteville Animal Shelter.  I'll give them both a check at the end of the month. I hope I can bump them up by having more sales. If you are interested in one or two or more, you can contact me or just send a check (I'm old skool) to PO Box 8963 Fayetteville, Arkansas 72703.  Books are $25.00 each and I'm donating $2.00 of every sale to animal rescue groups.
Ok, that's it for now. The show at the Anne Kittrell Gallery on the campus of the University of Arkansas until the end of October. Open M-F 10am-6pm
Next dog event will be in Austin, TX Nov. 13th at Wally Workman Gallery from 6-8pm.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Book and Art Debut at Anne Kittrell Gallery

 
The day is finally here. I've got boxes of books, the art is on the wall, and I'm fixin' ta get myself prepared to meet and greet folks tonight. The reception starts at 6pm. I hope the gallery is packed. I promise I won't panic and bolt from the room. My friend Megan Chapman (a brilliant artist) will be helping me with the book sales so I don't have to focus on that while I'm talking about the book and signing. Thanks Megan!
I need to forget all of my fears and just be happy with what I've done with my life in the last 10 months. Sometimes I forget how to do that. This sweet little creature above looks like how I feel right now. Her name is Monica. She's in the book, along with her story. She died recently, from breast cancer. Her people (John and Richard) who rescued her, say that she was a puppy mill dog that might have been thrown into the river if not for their taking her in. You all know how I feel about puppy mills and the people who operate them. I don't believe in using animals as products or "currency" to be used up and thrown away. I'm hoping to sell a lot of books tonight so I can give two large checks to a couple of local rescue groups. 20% of the proceeds tonight will be split between the Fayetteville Animal Shelter and For Pets' Sake (a Springdale Ar group who do great work).  So come out tonight if you can. Stay tuned. I'll be in Austin, TX next month on the 13th at Wally Workman Gallery for an event.
And thank you all!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pugs And Such...

Here's a sweet little Pug face on my drawing table tonight. I don't know who this is, just part of the collected images in my download file. I must have snagged it off of the internet, maybe facebook. Anyhow, I'm back to sketching dogs and, tah dah, cats (in preparation for the next book). And, oh yeah, The Dog Scratchin' books are here! They are beautiful. I'm happy, but also, in such an Aries way, ready to be on to the next thing. Must remember, first things first. Get.These.Books.Sold. (and of course give a significant number to rescue orgs) The big opening of the show is at the Anne Kittrell Gallery this Thursday night the 11th from 6-7pm. Wonder how many books I can sell and sign in that time period. Seems kind of crazy to me. Most gallery openings that I've been a part of go for at least two hours, and then some. Hope we don't get thrown out. Or maybe I hope we do...it would certainly keep things interesting. I expect it will be a whirlwind of fun.
Ok, that's all for now. The weather has changed, coolness is here, finally. My heat is on, and I've been building cabinets, little wooden totes, and "franken-furniture" to sell at my new favorite store, Warehouse 54 in Springdale, Ar.
I wonder what's next?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chicken Scratchin'

Maybe I've posted this one before...it's hard to keep track of the art and the time. This is a 5"x7" Ampersand Art Scratchbord. I completed it a while back. I'm thinking today about the next few books that I'll be doing in the future. The Dog Scratchin' book is at the printers now. And paid for thanks to all the folks who participated in the kickstarter project. Should have some proofs to look at soon.
 Next up, Cats. And then Chickens. And maybe Snakes. Birds. Who knows?
Yesterday I taught a scratchboard class at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, AR. It was great fun, the students seemed to enjoy it, and I always get a kick out of watching folks playing with the boards and tools. It was nice for me to get some scratchin' in as well. After all the dog scratchin' the past six months I've taken a short break to construct some mixed-media birds (will show in next post) and little wooden "tote" boxes from vintage wood and pieces/parts. Planning on selling those at my antique mall booth and at the Eye of the Dog Art Center show in San Marcos, TX in November. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Year Of Searching For What Matters

It's been a month since I've posted here. There are updates about the dog book at the www.dogscratchin.blogspot.com site that you might be interested in. Today I am thinking about what matters most to me. I moved a month ago. I like the house I'm in now, I own a third of it and that's ok. It was a good place to park some money for a while. With this move though I've had a lot of thoughts about the future. Right now I'm thinking that I will be here for about a year and then, I really don't know where I'll be. For many folks that unsettledness might make them nervous. Not me, I've always had a restless spirit. I've moved many times in my 57 years.  I'm amazed and fascinated by folks who live and stay in the same place where they grew up. Obviously I have not and will never have that experience. What I'm feeling now is a need to divest. I'd like to get my personal needs down to around enough to fit comfortably into a 17' travel trailer. I'm thinking that will do. This may change, but that's the current plan.
 I've collected an odd assortment of objects, with the idea in mind to use them for artwork, assemblage, collage, and what not. After the past 5 months of working on the book and almost exclusively doing 5"x7" scratchboards as my daily art, I've decided I don't need all of that other stuff. The things I've been moving, and moving again, have lost their charm, or magical vibe for me. I recently put several large original artworks in my booth at the All My Treasures Antique Flea Market here. I purposely priced them low (really low!) because they were old work, had been in several galleries and not sold, and I was done carrying them around with some idea of asssigned value. Turns out just by chance a local couple who have their dogs in the book, stumbled upon them and were thrilled to get them. I love that. They were meant to have them. And the fact that they were so cheap? It did not make them feel they were less worthy of being hung in the house.
So stay tuned, there will be more revelations and insights in the next year.
When I consider what I value most, I think about how 20 years ago my Martin guitar was the most valuable thing I owned, and it was precious to me. And then, it wasn't. I sold it about 8 years ago, and haven't really missed it. Now I'm looking around and wondering, what is it I hold dear and value most? And what can I let go of?  I'll let you know when I figure that out...I'm going to lighten my load.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Drawing Dogs Just For Fun

Finished drawing this 5x7 Ampersand scratchboard the other day. I'm at the end of dog drawin' for the Dog Scratchin' book. This lovely pug is Boody. Won't be in the book, drawn just for fun.  The dog and the drawing belongs to a sweet family I know in Austin.
I've got a lot of detail work to do on the book now. Everything from edits to picking which dog goes on what page. Not my favorite thing as I more of a 'big picture' person. Every once in a while I stop and draw a favorite dog (or a cat). It helps to keep me sane. I will be opening my Dog N Cat Drawin' business soon. So if you want to commission me to draw your pet give me a hollar.
Ok, back to the detail work. Thanks for stoppin' by.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

East Coast Scratchboard Demos

 One of my favorite artworks from the Jerry's West Orange, NJ Demo.
 Working...
 Working....
 Working....playing....working...
 This little gal fell in love with Ampersand Art scratchbord. I really enjoyed watching her and her mother discover how much fun this medium is.




In June I got to travel to the East Coast to teach Scratchboard classes at three stores. AI Friedman in Port Chester, NY. Jerry's Artist Outlet in West Orange, NJ. And Jerry's in West Hartford, CT. I had a ball. Great stores, staff and participants. A lot of fun artwork was done by all. Here are just a few of the photos I took when I wasn't teaching and scratchin'. Check out all the Ampersand Art products here. It took a while to post this as I've been busy scratchin' out 75 dogs for the soon to come Dog Scratchin' book of rescued dogs and their stories. (drop the g folks...I just discovered there is a blog for Dog Scratching... that's not mine!) It's hotter than hot here, just like everywhere else. I'm learning to live with it. I don't want to join the inevitable migration to the north. Stay out of the sun everyone!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Perfect Days

I'm at the tail end of travel. Headed back to NW Arkansas tomorrow. Today has been just the sweetest. Staying with friends who have a sweet little 2 yr old. She's swimming with Mama. Papa is mowing in the back field (he's very happy to be doing it) I'm sitting in the shade near the pool, listening to all of the TX summer sounds. Noisy bugs in the trees, the tractor mowing, music playing, and the laughter of a little girl splashing. Dreamy day. I'm happy to be here, and also happy to be going back home for a spell. I haven't drawn a dog in two weeks and I'm getting a little twitchy about that. I've got photos from 3 store demos that I did on the East Coast, will post those when I get settled at home. For now, I'm just so delighted with this moment in time. And I'm happy to be able to just take it all in.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Scratchboard Workshop Schedule Almost Time To Get Scratchin'

Just wanted to post all of the upcoming Linda Sheets Scratchboard Workshops/Demos. These are sponsored by the great Ampersand Art company who produce the best scratchbord on earth. Really. I've tried it all!
On Friday June 8th I'll be at AI Friedman in Port Chester NY from 1-3:30pm
Saturday June 9th Will be Jerry's Artist Outlet in West Orange, NJ from 1-3pm
Sunday June 10th I'll be at Jerry's Artarama in West Hartford CT from 1-3pm
I will be there with supplies and all the knowledge I can carry in my head, to share with you.
Come on out and play! All ages and abilities are invited.
Here are some photos from my workshop at Flax Art Supply in San Francisco CA

                                        Did I mention that we have fun!
                                           This little dude is so proud!
I love watching how folks adapt to the boards. This is from one of my designs. She has made it her own!

                                     A very cool, elaborate doodle indeed!
Wanted to let you all know I've started a new blog/website for the Dog Scratchin' book. I'll be posting photos of all of the 60+ dogs I've drawn thus far. And it will be a good place to keep up with what's happenin' with the book.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

San Francisco Here I Come!

Heading out to San Fran tomorrow to teach some scratchboard classes for Ampersand Art.  First one will be at Blick on Market St. Friday (5/18) from 1-4. The other will be at Flax on Market St. Saturday (5/19) from 1-3.  I'll be there with boards, tools, inks and instruction. If you're in the area come on out and have some fun with me.
In the meantime I'm scratchin' up a storm on the Dog Scratchin' book. Still taking dogs and stories until June 15th so if you didn't get in on the kickstarter campaign you can still be a part.  Contact me here and I'll fill you in. Here are some finished boards to enjoy:
Bisky

Dottie

Greenbean

Jessie

Magaidh

Max

More to come later. As usual, Ampersand 5x7 scratchboards with various inks. Let me know if you have questions.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dog Scratchin' Post Card

This is Roux. She was chosen to be the post card reward of the Dog Scratchin' book project on kickstarter.(each one will be hand colored by me) She has quite a story. Her owner sent me her extended story about Roux that just blew me away. This is why I do this project. To tell the stories and draw these dogs that survived conditions so bad that it's amazing to me that they are now, here and there, happy and healthy. You still have time to become a part of the book. I'm drawing and drawing dogs like mad. I've done over 35 now, closing in on the 50+ that are already a part of this. If you want to have me draw your dog and tell the story in book form, take a look at the kickstarter project here, and then contact me via my website (listed in my profile on that page and on this blog page) and I'll give you the instructions for funding and what I'm needing from you. I will stop taking dogs and money on June 15th. Then I will begin to scan the artwork, edit and put the pages together to deliver to the designer. After that, printing and distribution.  Every day I feel blessed to have this project unfold. I could not do this without all of you.  Thank you.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dogs,Dogs,And More Dogs

The Dog Scratchin' is an almost 24/7 thing for me now. Last night I went to bed late (after 11 is late for me) and had yellow and black ink on my hands...didn't even see it till this morning.  So far I have created 33 completed scratchboard drawings of dogs, with 5 additional in progress today. Every shape, color, and type you can imagine. This book project has brought so much joy into my already full and wonderful life. My little head is just about to explode from all the joyfulness. But wait, there's more!  I also scratched out a 12"x16" drawing based on Van Gogh's sunflowers that will be used at a fundraiser for Youthbridge.  I participated last year and it was a blast. Hope they raise a bunch of dough with all of the submitted works. They do such great work with at risk youth.
Also had a visit with Iti Agnihotri from our local NPR station KUAF.  She was here a week or so ago interviewing me and loved the studio space so much that she wanted to come back and video some of it to link to the interview on their website. I'll keep you posted and will try and put a link here tomorrow after it airs on the Ozarks At Large show at noon and 7pm.


In the meantime, here are a few Dog Scratchin' images for your enjoyment. Thanks everyone who comes here to look and read my scratchin'.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dog Scratchin' Winners!

Yesterday I put all of the dog names into a bowl and picked 4 different dogs to be the images of some of the kickstarter pledge rewards.  Da Da Da Dahhhh! Here are the winners:
Roux Dixie is going to be on the hand-colored postcard
Greenbean is on the blank greeting card
Tomichi is on the magnet
Luna is on the postage stamp
I have not drawn Roux yet, but here is the photo and the 3 after that are the scratchbord versions of the others.



There they are ladies and gents. The winning doggies. Really, all of them are winning, I mean it. Good thing I left it up to random chance in the choosing, because it would have been impossible to just pick 4.  I'm scratchin' like crazy to get all of these done. I'm a pretty happy camper doing this work. Today I had to attend to some house fixin' as I discovered the condensate line on the ac was backing up and made quite a stinky, wet mess on the floor in the studio and bedroom. Good thing I know how to fix such things.  I can hardly wait to get back to dog drawing though.  Have a great one everybody!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Daily Dog Scratchin'






It's day 23 of the daily dog scratchin'. By that I mean, since the kickstarter project funded on April 7th, and I began receiving the dog photos and stories it's been 23 days. There are about 29 dogs already drawn in one stage of the process, or even completed and ready to go. I've got about 20+ more dogs to draw. I'm keeping that number open because those of you who didn't jump in to the project during the campaign still have a chance to be in the book with your dog. Or just your dog in the book with the story of how you came together. If you contact me we can make arrangements for payment and getting the information. Right now at 50+ dogs the book is going to be over 100 pages. That's great. It feels like a 'real' book at that size. I must admit, in the beginning of this project I was afraid it would be a thin little thing...you all have helped to make this bigger and better than I could imagine. I thank you. And really, it has been such a joy and pleasure drawing these dogs and reading the stories. I don't want it to end, so I'd best start dragging my heels on the drawings! The above dogs are Blackie (b&w and finished), Booger (not finished), Gracie and her dino (not finished), Hattie Anne, and Hammy. You can see more at my facebook page (Linda Sheets Art), or at earlier posts on this blog. Now, more dog scratchin'...
Don't forget to get your dogs and stories to me (if you haven't already) before tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon at 5pm so I can put their names in the bowl to pick images for the postcard, greeting card, magnet. Thanks!