Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Don't know if I'll get around to a post tomorrow, or over the weekend for that matter, so I thought I'd wish everyone a Merry Christmas today. Click on the title to (hopefully) open a link to a Jacquie Lawson ecard, which was sent to me by some friends, and that I wanted to share. The photo here of Santa coming in for a crash landing is actually a life-size doll at the Kris Kringle Store in Leavenworth, from our trip there two weeks ago. He is suspended from the ceiling, and is quite impressive. His eyes seem to follow you as you make your way through the shop, so he's defiinitely keeping tabs on you to see where you end up on his list.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Well, here I am, a day late and a dollar short as usual! In addition to my website, FineArtAmerica Gallery, and CafePress Storefront, I now have an aStore as part of the Amazon Associates program - just in time for the last three days of Christmas shopping! It pays to check into your various accounts once in awhile. Here, I've had an Amazon account and been part of the Amazon Seller Central program for about a year now and wasn't aware of this other option until I went shopping at the Kindle Store last week and noticed the section on the page regarding opening an aStore as part of the Amazon Associates program. So anyway, I've been working on this for a few days, starting out with some basics and adding a few different categories to get started, and voila! Here we go. For starters, I'm listing categories like Apparel and Accessories, Books, Music, Cameras & Photo, Computers, DVD, Sports & Outdoors, Video Games and of course Kindle Store. Eventually, I hope to have the entire gamut of Amazon products available as I continue to add more categories. So, all of you online Amazon shoppers out there - please bookmark my storefront for easy access. Of course, I'll provide quick links on my website, newsletters and this blog as well.
As a follow-up to last week's post about our trip to Leavenworth, WA - a great time was had by all! We checked into the Pension Anna, on Friday. Pictured here is the old Chapel, which was converted into lodging at the Inn, and is where we stayed. Spacious rooms downstairs, with a loft and two single beds on second level. Saturday morning brought the snow - started about 9:30, and continued all day long - to the tune of about 16 inches of snow! Made for a great sleigh ride/dinner that evening, although getting back into town afterwards was a little tricky. Last weekend was the Christmas Lighting Ceremony. The whole town is lit up and looks like a picture postcard; the streets are blocked off for pedestrian traffic, and there are all kinds of events that take place throughout the day. All in all, one of my favorite places! The only bad part of the weekend was that we didn't get to see our friends A.J. & Terrie. Due to all of the snow on Saturday, he had to spend the day Sunday plowing out his driveway and road to their B&B - Sky Meadows Retreat, so their guests would be able to get out. We'll catch up with them next time around.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
|Misty River Band|
As much as I complain about the rain in Oregon during the winter months, this is a great time of year to be in the Pacific Northwest, if for no other reason than the Holiday Concerts. A couple of weeks ago I did a couple of blogs about one of our favorite Portland area bands - The Trail Band, and their terrific concert. Well, last night we attended the Christmas Concert of another of our favorite Portland area bands - Misty River, so I guess this was the HOLIDAY CONCERT SERIES - PART II. Another great night of music! The link in the title will take you to their website, where you can check out their schedule if you live in this area, read about their 13 years together, and even download some of their music. Again, I think we have every CD they've come out with so far. MISTY RIVER blends folk, bluegrass, country, Celtic and original music into a seamless and highly distinctive Americana sound that has entranced thousands of fans. In two weeks, we'll have the HOLIDAY CONCERT SERIES - PART III - New Year's Eve with PINK MARTINI! Yet another fantastic Portland area band. I'll keep you posted on that one.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Heading out to Leavenworth (no, not that Leavenworth) for the weekend. This is a photo of Leavenworth, WA from a snowy day last January. We were visiting some friends, getting in a little snow-shoeing, a sleigh ride some great meals and some wine tasting. This weekend starts the Christmas Lighting of the town, and we wanted a return visit. Leavenworth is a quaint little Bavarian town about 20 miles west of Wenatchee, and is one of our favorite spots to visit. We are actually hoping to relocate there one of these days, but that is another story. The link in the title will take you to one of the Leavenworth websites, and you can get an idea of what the town looks like all lit up with Christmas lights. Quite breathtaking! Every building in the town must follow the Bavarian village theme, and it is quite a festive little town. There's always something going on. There a couple of ski areas nearby, so it is a winter destination. In the spring and summer, the town square is home to a summer-long art festival (which is why I want to find my way there one of these days). Lots of friendly folks, and the neighboring towns of Cashmere and Peshastin are quite nice as well, and nearby Wenatchee is large enough to have some of the anemities of a large city, yet small enough to retain that small city feeling.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Today's post could be sub-titled "an oldie but a goodie". But before I get into that I just want to do a follow-up to a post last week regarding The Trail Band concert that we attended on Friday, Dec. 3rd. This group never ceases to amaze me. Not only does every member of The Trail Band play about a zillion different instruments, everything from a piccolo to a contra-base, with assorted stringed instruments and hammer dulcimers, horns, woodwinds, you name it, but they manage each year to mix it up and put on a show that is without parallel. After 17 years, they definitely have found the formula for success.
Monday, December 06, 2010
In this case, I had a couple of small scratchboards, measuring 5"x7", lying around that I wanted to experiment with. The first attempt was my piece titled "Barn Owl", which can also be seen at the FineArtAmerica Gallery. Then, as I was working on "Soulful", I thought that this particular piece would make a good ink rendering as well. However, I didn't want to limit myself to the constraints of working on such a small piece, so I upped the measurements to 8"x10" for the ink version. What a difference those 3 inches made. That and the fact that I was back in my comfort-zone of working with laying down the ink, rather than scraping it away. I felt that I was able to get a little more depth into the end result by adding layers as I needed them.
It should be pointed out that working in Scratchboard is not always a question of taking out the negative space from the image you are working with. You also have the option of starting out with a sheet of paper or a board that has been treated with the white, chalky clay, but has not been coated with ink. This is great when you are going to have large areas of white in the rendering. Scraping away the ink coating would not only be tedious, but the end result often will not look very uniform. Instead, you add the ink to the areas that need it, and leave the rest uncovered. In this case, you will then actually add the ink as you would in an ink rendering, a stroke at a time. The desired result here is that the transition between the ink work and the scratchboard work flows seamlessly, and you can't tell where one or the other technique begins or ends.
Just a reminder here: anyone interested in purchasing Giclee prints or fully-customizable note cards through my FineArtAmerica Gallery can take advantage of 20% Savings through 2/26/2011 by using the following Discount Code: GDPDBZ
Friday, December 03, 2010
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Wow, two days in a row! I'm on a roll! No artwork today. Earlier this week, some friends lost a very special member of their family to bone cancer - they're own Lady Liberty, or Libby for short. In their email informing us of the news, they included this link to a website that had been set up for Libby 9 years ago. Click on the title to read all about her story. It is truly remarkable, at turns heart-breaking and heart-warming, and amazing how this little Rottweiler pup brought so many people together along her journey. It particularly hit home with us because we said goodbye to two of the companions pictured with me in the profile photo this past summer, Henri and Sheba. They were each about 14 1/2 years old, brought us endless hours of joy, and are sorely missed. We've added another companion to keep Boots company, Cooper, but that's another story. Actually, they all have their own stories, and maybe someday, I'll post them here as well.