Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Upcoming Scratchboard Demos

There is a lovely posting regarding the upcoming scratchboard demo/classes in Florida, Texas and beyond. Take a look at it here. I love Ampersand products. They are simply the best surface for your art.

Today I am working on, you guessed it, the kickstarter book. I'm working on a questionaire to help folks write their or their dog's 120 words or less. This is going to be more of a challenge,I mean, the editing all of them, than the drawing of 40+ new dogs. I'm up for all of it though. And Fay Barclay, my co-author will work on it too, thank the gods! I've decided that this is my major breakout year. Is that
crazy to say? Am I tempting fate to come kick me down the stairs? Don't care. I'm feeling it in my bones (sometimes it's just the arthritis, I know...)that doing this book is going to change something in my path. What is it? Do I know where I am going? Honestly no. But, knowing that I have been doing this work as an artist, seriously for the past 8 years, and steadily moving forward, sometimes just treading water, but still moving gives me hope. Sorry if this seems a bit disjointed..I've been driving for hours and also, Mercury is still Retrograde!! If you are in the Sarasota or Orlando area come play with scratchbord with me!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Still Scratchin' And Florida Demo's

I'm still here. Still running the kickstarter project pitch until April 7th. Still looking for new rescue dogs to draw and stories to tell. If you get a chance, go take a look at the project here. If you have not pledged to become a backer, please consider it. Any amount will help Fay and I make this book and get it out there.
This time next week I will be teaching and demoing (is that a word?) Ampersand Art scratchboard at the Art & Frame store in Sarasota Florida. That's Friday March 30th at 10am for 90 minutes. It will be hands on, and everyone is invited.  I'm hoping for a good turnout. It's my first time teaching in FL. The next day, Saturday March 31st I'll be at Sam Flax in Orlando. The class there will be from 11am-2pm. And then I have to get to the airport and fly to Austin for the Animal Trustee's Petcasso fundraising event. AND my Birthday!! I'm really looking forward to all of these events.
Those who know me, or who have read my artist statement, know that I believe that life is just a series of activities and events...some good, some bad, some in between. We run from some, we embrace others. That being said, I'm pretty happy to get to experience them all.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dog Scratchin' Kickstarter Project And Some Other Things...

I've got a lot rattling around in my head today, so tighten your seat belts. 1st thing;  Yes, my kickstarter has project funded, Whoo Hoo! It was a day ago, or maybe a day and a half, I am traveling so the days seem to merge. We are now sitting at just a little over the $5,000.00 amount. There are about 30+ dogs to draw and as many stories to tell. I am very, very excited about this. That being said, with about 16-17 days to go before it ends on April 7th. I'd love to add to that number. And not just because I love drawing dogs..(which I do).There is a matter of having to pay about 7-10% of the amount raised to kickstarter and Amazon.  I know of more than a few folks who have expressed an interest but have not pledged. Come on now! You know you want to. I hope you want to! And I'm thinking this book is going to be awfully sweet and you and your pup could be in it! There are some folks who don't have a dog, and they have pledged anyway, just to sponsor someone else who does have a dog and a story. Heck, it could be the 1st dog you had as a child, who is long gone. There is no rule that says they have to still be in your life. There is another kickstarter project associated with dogs that is using some of my information in a youtube video (but I cannot share it yet as they have not launched) It's pretty cool. It's a different sort of project from mine, but dog related.
So, what I'm asking is; please, continue to share this information with your friends, and if you haven't pledged yet, please consider it. Any amount will help Fay and I to put this together and we will try to make a difference in the lives of some of the many shelter dogs out there...waiting. Go here to see the project And you folks with cats? Gather your photos and stories because the next book is for you. Stay tuned.
Here's an old scratchboard piece of mine. Years back I was afraid of color. I did all black and white, all the time. Now? I couldn't imagine one of my pieces without color. They don't feel finished to me with out some splash of red (my favorite) or blue. This is a large Ampersand Art supply scratchboard. It is out there in a collection somewhere. I forget who bought it. If you look at my kickstarter project here, you can see a newer version in the video.
 Ok, veering off into a different direction; I had the nicest time on Saturday at Jerry's Artarama Austin. It was SXSW so the crowd in the store to participate in the scratchboard demo was at about 10+, but they were determined and appreciative. A Grandmother brought her 3 Grandbaby girls, 2 sisters and a cousin. The oldest was 6. They had a great time, and I enjoyed working with them. It was cool to see how they took to the process. One of them was hyper-critical of herself and the marks she was making. Grandma helped and I ended up getting a great photo of her with her piece. Finally a smile!
Anyhow, I'm back to Arkansas in the morning. There for a bit and then back on the road to visit and teach some more scratchboard classes. This life is a good life, and it's good enough for me!
Thanks y'all....

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kickstarter Dog Book Project

Holy dog! We are less than $200.00 away from the $5,000.00 total. Please, if you love dogs and if you like/love my scratchbord drawings...and if you are in a postion to do it. Pledge to help fund this...If you would, please share it with friends who may be interested too. This is how it works folks. We share and share. and then share some more and then, things happen. This is so very cool. I can hardly wait to start the project. And then, of course, to see the finished product. Today I am feeling very thankful and happy. The above and the wonderful scratchboard demo I gave at Jerry's today have combined to make me over the top with joy! Thank you! I'll write about and post some sweet photos of the demo on here later.  If you can help with the Dog Scratchin' book product take a look at it here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kickstarter Dog Scratchin' Book Project

Well, the project has a life of it's own. I push and pull and try to control this wild dog, but ultimately I must just follow where it wants to lead me. Whew, that's some heady stuff! 
What I really want to say is; this kickstarter project, which you can see right here, is going at it's own pace, in it's own time. Am I having to let go of the leash sometimes and just let it run? Yup. Am I learning about patience and trust. Yes sir. Is all of this hard for me? Well, those who know me would say YES. I am so used to micro managing (some would call that controlling) and trying to push things in the direction that I want them to go in. This waiting and gently nudging is different for me. Not bad, just different. All that being said. Today I am happy. The project is at the 88% funded mark and I'm pretty sure it will reach the goal and thus I will be putting together a book of my drawings and folks stories with the help of Fay Barclay and the most excellent Liz Lester Design. I am looking forward to this new experience. Look at the project here.
All of that being said, what has happened to me lately is that I have not been working on anything new in scratchboard to hang in the gallery. But I will be dropping off the above dog and 8 other 5"x7" scratchboard pieces at Wally Workman Gallery in Austin.
 I have been doing some woodworking there are 8-10 small curio shelf units that I've been sanding and sawing on. When I moved (2x) last year, there was a huge pile of vintage lumber that went along with me. I have really, really, good friends who helped me move it.(Cindy Jo thought it should go on the burn pile!) It has been sitting under a blue tarp for the past year. A few weeks ago, I got a wild hair and uncovered it and started making stuff. Mostly these small table top curio cabinets. The lumber is from various remodeling projects. There is a lot of old long leaf pine, beadboard and trim. My 'problem' is I can not let lumber like that go to waste, or end up on the burn pile or a land fill. I am compelled to make something new from it.  One has sold already. When I have them 'more finished' I will post a photo here. They will mostly be around $65.00. I will put some of them in my booth at the All My Treasures Antique/Flea Market mall here. I may list some of them in my etsy shop. Stay tuned. Please share the dog book project. And Thank you!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kickstarter Dog Book Project Keeps Going

A few things to report today:  The Dog Scratchin' book project at kickstarter continues. See it here. Currently at 71% funded. It's an amazing thing. Come up with an idea, present it, fund it and make it. Oh how I love this. Here's a great thing, I will be getting the boards from Ampersand Art in Austin, TX. I frequently teach scratchboard classes for them, and have licensed 6 of my designs with them, so we are closely associated. They are really nice folks, and they make the best art boards. They will provide these boards and therefore, I can put more $$ into the book itself.  What's my ultimate plan or vision?  I see the book spinning off other products. Cups, tee shirts, calendars, greeting cards, dog accessories. All these things which can then be used for fundraising purposes by various rescue groups. Why am I doing this? The short answer is, because I care about these animals. There are so many of them, waiting in shelters or foster care. Many who never make it out into a loving forever home. I'm not in a position to adopt any right now(which is hard). Also, because of this economy I can't give heaps of money to them. But, I can make my art and give that. Believe me, I get a lot from the making of the art. I just finished a large piece for the Animal Trustees of Austin Petcasso event April 1st.  (not shown here, it's a secret until the event. Will post image after that) What I get from this is, two tickets to the event, a nice meal, good company, a shout out, and a bit of applause. They will auction off the piece and the money goes to them. But, the absolute joy I had this past week working on this piece, it was worth every minute for me. It's hard to explain this to folks not in the creative industry. Although I love the finished piece and I'm happy and proud to put it out there, (and in fact, most every new piece I make is my new favorite!) it was the process of making it that gives me the greatest satisfaction. While creating art I go into a special zone. I'm at peace, I'm excited, I'm engaged, I'm unaware of the time passing, I'm outside of myself, I'm so in touch with my inner self.  All these things happen while making art.  Now, I don't get it the same every time while making art. Sometimes a piece just doesn't work,it's frustrating, maddening, and no matter how much I work at it, it doesn't succeed. But I think if I got it every time the 'magic' would become commonplace. Here's to having magical, special experiences!! Love- my- life!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dog Book And Little Houses

Still raising money to make the Dog Scratchin' book. It's going great, 54% raised so far. Plenty of time to pledge folks!
In addition to working on the above, I've been assembling little houses...and building stands for them. All of this is vintage, antique, and what- have- you wood and pieces parts of misc. stuff I've had in my stash for years. I'm working on getting rid of it all. What better way than to make art from it. At least that's what I think. Tell me what you think.