Tuesday, August 25, 2009

They choo-choo-choose...... me!?

Last month when I was in Maryland for my grandmother's funeral, I had one bright spot of good news during the week I was away. I received a voicemail from the Greater Harrisburg Arts Council telling me that one of my images I had sent in for jurying into the Kipona ArtFest had been selected for use in some advertising for the Kipona Festival. Print ads were mentioned, as well as billboards. I did get excited.... but tried not to get my hopes up for anything too spectacular (and, besides, I was a bit preoccupied with family matters). I assumed my image would be very small, maybe amongst 5 or more others, perhaps in a collage, used on a couple of things? A great honor to be chosen, obviously, and I looked forward to seeing my image somewhere in print in the near future.

Imagine my shock when a few weeks later, my husband and I were returning home from a trip to Wyoming... and just as we drove into the city, he saw this:

When he saw it, he yelled something to the effect of "WHOA!!" and, since I was driving, at first I thought there was a hazard in the road.
Rolling tire? Pet? Small child? Caterpillar in the street?
"WHAT? What is it?! What's wrong??"
He said, "Isn't that your picture!?"
Oh no!!!! Even worse than a hazard! I was immediately assumed he meant a photograph of me, so I panicked. Impending doom.
"Oh no! What picture IS it? Why me? Why is MY picture on ANYthing?"
He answered, "It's there... It's your ARTwork."
Ohhhhhh yes. Yes it is. What. A. Relief. But it's *my* art on there, all alone- where are the others I assumed would be accompanying it? I mean, really? Just mine?
Here is a better and closer picture of it.

At that point though, I was really excited to see the billboard- but also assumed that other artists' work was being used on some advertising, too. After all, no one ever said anything about just using my image on things.

Later that week, we picked up the August MODE magazine. My husband was flipping through it on the couch. He mentioned there being an ad for Kipona in the magazine, and sure enough, there were my lilies again. I thought it was odd that both of the ads we'd seen so far were showing my flowers- I just figured other artists' work was being used on some of the advertising somewhere, too. Just hadn't seen it yet.

The following weekend, I got an envelope from Kipona in the mail, with a gigantic promotional postcard in it. (Artists participating in the festival can pre-order their postcards or wait until they see a sample, and then decide how many they want.) This particular sample had... again, my lilies on it.

I remarked, "Ohhhh, how nice of them to customize promotional postcards for each of the artists!!"
My husband gave me a funny look and replied, "I think EVERYONE has that postcard."
"Noooo... why would everyone have postcards with MY art on it? That doesn't make any sense."
"Sure it does. They used your art on the other stuff. They put it on the postcards for the show, too. It makes sense. The card you have is the same one as everyone else."
I just stared at it for a few minutes... then burst into laughter. Seriously?? All 149 (or however many) other artists have MY work on their postcards? Ridiculous. Hilarious. So they will be sending these out, and tons of people will see it? My painting? Really??? You've got to be kidding! I'm not even sure why I found (or still find) it funny... it was such a strange feeling.

The following weekend was the Mt. Gretna art show, and the postcards made their first public appearance. I guess the other artists who had pre-ordered had brought them and were handing them out. Most people were using the cards as fans since it was pretty hot, but it was still funny to me to see them everywhere.

When The Patriot called me yesterday to ask me a few questions about me, my art, Kipona, etc. (I can't believe I've been in their paper twice this year!) I did learn that Kipona does, in fact, pick one image and this artist is their "Featured Artist" for the show. Apparently... that's me. I am still shocked, and beyond flattered that, of all the images the judges must've seen, they liked mine enough to even consider it- let alone select it. I was already very excited about the show since it's in such close proximity to where I live, it's on the water, beautiful time of year- what could be better? Now I'm counting down the days until I can go set up my tent- I'm SO excited!

Even more about this show:

As if the show didn't have enough other cool things going on, there is also a Chili Cookoff and I believe I also read something about a Margarita Tasting! Guess unlike most other art shows, this one will have some refreshments to write home about.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Passion Flowers Progress...

Back in May, I was finishing my grapes paintings and trying to decide what to paint next. Passion Flowers were high up on the list, but I was afraid that after painting grapes- consisting mostly of greens and purples- I would be tired of that color combination.

I went ahead with this painting anyway, and as of now I'm almost done with all of the leaves! And not tired of it at all, since painting these leaves is a completely different process than the grape leaves, and the flowers will be a completely different way of painting, too.
I used this photo (I took the original photo at Nature's Paradise B&B on St. Lucia) as a basis for the composition, but changed a few things to make it a little more aesthetically pleasing. I also adjusted the composition with the idea that this painting can be hung either vertically or horizontally.

Here are pictures of the progress so far:

Background blocked in.

Background shading done (can't see it very well in this pic),
base coats of leaves started.

Detail added to some of the leaves and vines. woody vines finished.

More detail added to leaves,
some of the darker background leaves have been finished.

Progress as of midnight last night: Foreground leaves' basecoats complete, and shading added to the foreground leaves on upper left and lower right. Leaf on upper right corner needs just a couple more detail coats.

I also created an artist page on Facebook to offer special deals or promotions to my fans :) I regularly upload pictures of art progress or other fun stuff- like the billboard in town that currently has my art on it. If you'd like to check out the page (or even better, become a fan!) here's the link!
Or you can get to it by clicking the "Become a Fan on Facebook" button above.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More Greetings from Hershey's Butterfly House!

Yesterday was not the most fun of afternoons I've had at the butterfly house. 3 casualties on my watch. THREE. I was beyond upset and trying not to let it show, after all they were accidents. Dumb accidents but nevertheless. Since the butterfly house is located in the Children's Garden, it has obvious appeal to most kids. I say most because plenty of children are NOT fond of butterflies at all. But most are. You would think that it might be grabby toddlers who you have to watch out for... but no. It's the photographers.... The adults.

I'm usually standing near the entrance on the inside of the butterfly house so if any butterflies are lying along the bricks (which, to my dismay, seems to be their favorite damn place to be), I can point them out with a word of caution to everyone who enters: "Be careful where you step because the butterflies do like to lay around on the walkway. They blend in easily if you're not looking for them. They're also fast, so while I'm trying to watch for them and let you know if you're near one, sometimes they land too quickly for me to warn people." I also attempt to get the butterflies move off the walkway, but they can be stubborn little things and will fly right back to where they were basking and refuse to land elsewhere...

So I'll point them out to people, sometimes more than once, and even so... you get someone taking photos, or just off in la-la land. They make a beeline for a butterfly who is minding its own business warming itself on the sunny walkway. I'll point out the butterfly to the person and say "Oh.. hey...Watch out..." and not once, not twice, but THREE times yesterday the person was completely oblivious... and, splat. Hellllooooo?? You're the only person within 10 feet of me! Who, exactly, did you think I was talking to when I started walking toward YOU and said "Oh, hey, watch out!"

At the end of the afternoon yesterday, I had a visitor that seemed like he really wanted to come home with me! I let him hang on for about 30 minutes but I finally had to try and get to my car before the heavy rains came... unfortunately I was about 2 minutes too late and had to wait it out for about 40 minutes. Ugh! But I did get a few great pics earlier in the afternoon...

Here we have a White Peacock on a Black Eyed Susan. I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to get some good photos of the butterflies' faces. A lot of butterfly pictures are taken from above, with their beautiful wings exposed, or from the side while their wings are folded up behind them. Those are great photos for obvious reasons, but like a lot of bugs, butterflies have quite cute (and silly) faces. You don't get to see them that often, but I think I got a good one of this guy here :)

These two are a Buckeye butterfly. It's too bad the photos don't really do them justice... in the sun, their wings have so many bright colors. There are pinks, purples, blues- but usually in photos, the oranges and browns seem to be all that show up. Those are pretty on their own, but the iridescence is really quite impressive when you can get a good look at it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Featured Artist: First Friday, August 7th, Gallerie 13

I can't believe I hadn't posted about this yet, but I didn't want to post about it TOO early... now time has flown by and I realized my big show is less than a week away.

At Gallerie 13 in Mechanicsburg, I'm one of two featured artists for the month of August. Brownyn Jean Hughes (whose work is absolutely fantastic) invited me to show with her this month and needless to say, I was flattered. It all happened pretty quickly, but I had just enough time to prepare, and enough work to fill up a wall.... so here I am!

I spent all last week framing and making prints. Sunday I spent the day hanging up my work at the gallery. I've still got 1 or 2 more things I might frame and put up, but not quite sure yet.

Anyway, here's a sneak preview:

There is more information here:

and if you're in the Harrisburg/Mechanicsburg area on Friday, stop by in the evening to check out the show!