Handling criticism as an artist...

The awkward part about selling artwork is that it is literally like selling a page out of your personal diary. Recently, I was reminded how sensitive it is for an artist to give up a painting (that truly means so much to them) to an absolute stranger. I remember my first official show in my senior year of college at Wolfarth Gallery in Brookland NE, DC like it was yesterday. Many people came out to see the group show and talked about how much they liked, loved, hated or disliked each piece of work hanging. (Luckily, as I was 20 and the low man on the totem pole at the gallery, my work was placed in a doorway with less viewers...haha!). But, what really struck me that night was how vulnerable I felt just standing there listening to criticism (albeit positive or negative) about something so personal.

I have a couple of paintings that I won't sell. Ever! And the reason for this is that as I sell some that mean a lot and some others based solely on commission for someone who asks for a custom work, my "old standbys" stay with me and define me as an artist.

The first represents the beginning of my style and represents the first painting class that rocked my little world in college. It's called a "system painting" and our task from my amazing professor was to invent our own style of painting, not imitated from another. Hours and hours were spent working in the painting studio on this guy, but this was truly a defining moment in my early career.

The second represents my personality best - warm, friendly, bright and a little crazy! It was a painting that frustrated me so much that it, at one point, sat in my parents back yard through a rainstorm, was walked on by the neighbor's cat, and was nearly ruined until I decided to try a little harder and make it beautiful. And now I will love it forever.

The rest, I love too. But you can buy them, I guess. Just be gentle with them, I put my heart and soul into them.

"Blogjacked": Mother's Day 2012 has been "Blogjacked" by Megan's husband and daughter to tell the world that she is an amazing Mother/Wife! So let me explain the significance of this "Blogjack" besides the obvious (Tell everyone on the World Wide Web that Megan is the best). I don't Facebook, Tweet, or blog. So I don't get that daily (sometimes hourly) chance to update everyone on all my thoughts and activities. Which means I can't update my status or hash tag (spelling/correct usage?) about how my wife is a Supermom/wife on a daily/hourly basis!

SO...this one time on this very SPECIAL DAY (Megan's first Mother's Day as a Mom) I will share with you all one of my thoughts and offer my wife the largest public display of affection imaginable...

Megan I LOVE you! You're a great mom/wife!

"Enough with the mushy stuff Dad, my turn! Mom this is baby, Thanks for being the best Mom. I appreciate all your hard work!" (Not bad for someone who is almost 1 year old. She got it from her Momma.)

So if this insight has not been clear my friend buddy the elf said it best when he said, "I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!"

Megan you are the best! Keep up the good work.


Your handsome husband and beautiful daughter

As for the rest of you get out of my head but keep on reading because wouldn't you know Megan is an amazing blogger and artist too!

I'd also like to thank my friend the webmaster for allowing this intrusion and his assistance.

Etsy - Love this painting!

On Etsy the other day, I fell in love with this painting and contacted the artist to learn more about her.  I love the childhood nostalgia and memories associated with her pieces.

Details: Printed on canvas using archival pigment inks, this print looks amazingly like the original painting. It is printed on cotton canvas and is stretched over 3/4" pine stretcher bars. It measures 6"x6", is signed on the back and ready to hang.

Check out more of her work online at, which focus' on her portrait work.  She is also getting ready to lauch a new series of work here, More about the artist:  My art is an extension of my life and as that has grown to include children so has my art. Since my childhood I dreamed of being an artist. I initially studied photography, the influence of which can be seen in my paintings. Much of my work explores the memory of childhood and how watching my own children influence the snapshots of these memories. The name, in fact, is inspired by my daughter’s love of a bird she named Kiki, and for her imaginary friend Polly. Polly no longer visits our house as she once did, but I try to keep the spirit of childhood, wonder and imagination with me in my Portland, Oregon studio.

Siiso Art on Etsy

New artist inspiration for a sunny Thursday  - Siiso on Esty. Check out these bright but tasteful paintings - abstract and easy to enjoy!

A little bit about the artist:

"I am an artist currently residing in Toronto and working in a variety of mediums. I graduated from Sichuan Fine Art Institute in China with a BFA in Painting in 1998 and MFA in Design in 2002. I was working as an art teacher in this Fine art school before my husband and I moved to Toronto. My work has been shown in various art spaces. I start sell my art through Etsy since 2008.

Painting for me is a process of discovery. My works inspired by plants, textures and the natural world combines exuberant color. I work mostly with a palette knife giving much texture to the finished product. I created mixed-media abstract paintings in which I explore my interest in the wonder and the curiosity I feel about the world I live in. My fascination with old crumbling buildings and walls also inspires much of my work.

I like to explore all..."

Yum - Food Art!

On Etsy, I found a great Parisian artist who watercolors fruit and other delicacies (delicious looking desserts, soups, etc.).  The images are a combination of a traditional "still life" painting with a modern spin of mixed media. She is a great inspiration for a new way to look at the kitchen and how to incorporate my love of cooking and baking in some new paintings!  Stay tuned!

Read more about her on Etsy at -

Her artist website is -

Some of my favorite images of her work include the following:


Oh - and a great idea - her work framed nicely would make a great Mother's Day Gift - great kitchen art!



You are invited! A blog-book club!

So, I am in this Book Club that we started at work and it seems like more often than not, we all read the books and then never can find a good time to get together (due to the craziness of life) to discuss the darn book!

I think I might have found the solution - Lets pick a book together online and then determine a date when we will all post discussion and comments about our readings.  Nerdly, yes!  Amazing, maybe!?

First thing: We need to come up with Book Club friendly reading ideas.....

Second thing: We will give ourselves about a month to read / digest the book...

Third thing:  Anyone and everyone will be invited to "discuss" (albeit by internet, ahhh the future) the book online and comment to one another!


This way friends near and far can "come" to book club!!

What do you think little bloggers?


A painting a day for 43 days...Wow!

On Etsy, I randomly stumbled upon a painter who made it her mission prior to her 43rd birthday to create 43 paintings in 43 days.  What a great way to create affordable artwork for collectors just starting a gallery of their own and for an artist to truly challenge themselves with an achievable but challenging project! Follow Ms. Betsy on Etsy at:

She describes the project in the following words:

"A painting every day for 43 days straight, is the challenge I created for myself to commemorate the last 43 days of my 43rd year. And in keeping with the “43” theme, each painting in the series is priced at 43 dollars.

Each piece is an original work of art, not a print or a giclee. It is priced so affordably, nearly anyone can own an original.

I wanted to do something silly that would challenge me to create each and every day and promote artist made work. It was serendipitous that the idea came to me just in time to begin the 43 day countdown till my next birthday."

Here are a couple of my favorites from her Etsy shop: