Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Let the lovin' begin...My first artist feature

For quite some time, I have wanted to point readers of this blog to some of the great stuff on Etsy (Not that you need my help, but work with me for a moment :). So I am finally getting around to it. Some days there is no news about me, so I don't blog. But if I was to spread benevolent truths and substantiated facts about other artists on Etsy, well...that would be nice, and positive, and make everyone feel good in the end.

So, as I sat trying to think who I might like to gab about, one artist leapt to the forefront. She is a fellow North Cackalackian, and our mutual affinity for robots has made us not so strange bedfellows in more than a few treasuries and front pages. She is often kind enough to give me a shout when I make the front page, and makes some of the coolest art I have ever seen with defunct everyday objects.

I have always been a huge fan of found object art, because I like the way that objects that have lost their function can be appreciated for their form. Wrote a college paper about it once even.

So...without further adieu, I give you: Cat Bishop! Known as Artsy to her Etsy friends. Read her profile if you want the real skinny on what the art is all about.

Visit her Etsy shop here.

Craft show issues, Elmer's Glue and White Bread

I came across a macramé necklace for sale on Etsy last night, and it stirred up some buried memories.

In my mind, my first artwork that I produced and sold was a linoleum block print of a sailboat. There was a companion piece of a surfer on a wave. I printed them on this really rough Japanese paper (probably contributed to my love of texture). I was 11 years old, and my mother had just opened the Golden Gallery in Wilmington, NC. I had a little corner called, appropriately enough, "John's Corner", and I sold my blockprints there.

The truth is though, as my run-in with the macramé necklace forced my mind to recall, I was making and selling something else before then.

My clearest memories of that pre-block print time center around 1976. It was the Bicentennial, and we lived in Charleston, South Carolina. My mother had not yet begun to master Watercolor, and was dabbling in other arts. Or crafts, for that matter. I am unable to pinpoint when I joined her in dabbling, but her involvement in craft shows goes back as far as the early 70s in West Virginia.

She worked in the practically lost art of Breaddough, a pre-Sculpey concoction of mashed-up white bread (no crusts), Elmer's glue and a few drops of food coloring. Mostly she made flowers, which then became jewelry of some kind or another. I can vaguely remember twisting and twirling a tiny petal or two around a fake stamen.

She also worked in macramé. We made necklaces from a waxy twine with small wooden beads and clay pendants that she had fashioned out of scrap bits of clay from a Potter friend's studio. We made macramé Owls with huge wooden beads for eyes, and pothangers from a rough Mexican Jute. I vaguely remember putting some of my work out for sale and occasionally selling a piece.

The most memorable thing we did had to do with the Bicentennial though. For all of 1976, as we went to craft shows, we went in 1770's period dress. My mom and my sister had matching dresses and hats, and I had knickers and a puffy sort of shirt. Somehow I don't remember my dad ever dressing up.

My sister still has what we refer to as "Craft Show Issues" because of this. We joke about it. I have fonder memories of it, and funnily enough, my dad now makes his living dressing up in period clothes and telling stories with a historical focus to schoolkids and such.

So, I had to decide if I should update my bios to reflect my newly remembered entrance into the world of making stuff. I decided that, while my dabblings in handiwork before the blockprints was fun, and formative I'm sure, it was a different direction than I have been traveling in since I was 11.

Monday, August 27, 2007

More Rockets and Robots....

I couldn't stay away for long. I'm known locally as that Robot art guy, so every once and a while I need to revisit the source of that moniker.

The seed of these images was planted way back in 2001, when the illustrations were developed as flat graphic pieces. Seems they needed a little character, so I experimented with an etching-inspired style.

These can be found on Etsy.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Time for another BOGO sale!!!!! Plus the Mystery Print giveaway!

My kids are headed back to school tomorrow, and as much as we love 'em, my wife and I are sorta looking forward to it. The two girls have reached their saturation point with each other, and their older brother has had about as much of those two as he can stand.

So, to celebrate that, I am having a Back to School Buy One Get One Free Print Sale in my Etsy store. Buy a print and get 1 print of equal or lesser value free. Limit 2 free prints per customer.

Here's how it works: You purchase 1 print, and tell me in the message to seller section which print you would like to have free. ****NOTE: If you put the print you want free in your cart, you will get charged for it.**** If you want 2 free prints, purchase 2 prints and then tell me which 2 you would like for free.

Furthermore...I will be drawing 1 purchase per day to receive an extra free Mystery print (based on which prints were purchased by that days selected customer).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New Rovinato

I have two new sub-series, Number 4 and 5, in my Rovinato altered photographs series. These are gradually being added to Etsy, and total 26 new photographs.

Work on Coaster sets is coming along. Testing for a Small Breed Dog set featuring a black pug, a tan pug, a Jack Russell Terrier and a Boston Terrier is very close to completion, as well as a Rovinato Set, and a Lunastrella Set.

Look for those on Etsy soon...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Cards, and other stuff

I have been trying to figure out the best way to start offering my work as things other than prints. So I have been working for a while on cards, and coaster sets, among other things. The hurdle is finding a method and materials that reproduce at the quality that I like and I think customers want.

The cards are very close to completion, and I hope to have a few sets up soon. The images will be hand-tipped (hand pasted) onto a white card stock. All attempts at a good card stock that reproduces the image well and is good for writing on were lukewarm, at best, so I am using the premium photo paper that I use for my photos to print the image on.

These will be available on Etsy...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Checking in...

It's been nasty hot here on the North Carolina coast, but you get kind of used to it each year. If you don't stay out in it for very long, it's bearable.

I've got a new print in the dog series, this Airedale Terrier. As usual, you can purchase one on Etsy.

I'm going to really make an effort here shortly to increase blog postings, and also to gush a bit about some of the other artists I've seen or know :). Etsy is dripping with talented and innovative artists and craftspeople.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Boston!!!!! Terrier, that is...

I have finally finished my most requested dog breed, the Boston Terrier. I have also completed a Red Dachshund and a Black Pug, all of which are in the Etsy shop.

Monday, August 06, 2007

No really...who let the dogs out?

Continuing with the Masonite, and to satisfy my urge to get some dogs out whilst I continue creating new ones for my Fido Series, I created these new images based on some vintage dog illustrations.

I am probably going to cause myself a little confusion if there is ever any overlap between this series and the Fido Series, but I could not resist. So far, I have the Scottie shown here, and Airedale Terrier and a English Bulldog available at Etsy.

Vintage musical instruments...

One of the textures I found recently was the back of an old water-stained masonite clipboard. It was such a rich brown color, that I entered a little brown phase...

The first digital collages that I have made use of the masonite texture in is this series of vintage musical instruments. I am finding that keeping these very simple seems to be working best.

I spent a good amount of time creating some new spatter brushes, only to have them all lost when Photoshop crashed. Won't be much much work to recreate them, but still, another aggravation I caused myself that I could have avoided by restarting Photoshop after I created the brushes. I thought about it, but sometimes I get too excited about making stuff.

These are available at Etsy.

Back from vacation...

Back to work! Vacation was great, may post on that later.

After numerous requests, the Red Dachshund for the Fido Series is finally done and available on Etsy. As usual, many other breeds are still underway.