Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Grinch's Thought

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? [Christmas] came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

—Dr. Seuss (1904-1991); writer, cartoonist

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shann Spishak - Images of Home

I'll be paying my little homage to the Season over the next few days, so don't expect anything from me for a while.

Of course, I will still be writing away, because the Hafan Deg bug won't take a vacation, regardless of firmly turning off the computer. I wander aimlessly for a while, and then I just gravitate back to it. I'm two-thirds through the novel revisions now, so I should be normal again by mid January. I think...

Today I want to show some paintings by Shann Spishack out of Washington State. I came across them through the Google search for artists that I tag to be delivered into my mailbox each day. Surprise, surprise.. she's with Etsy. All the best ones are. Her link is under Great Sites to Visit, in the side bar.

The thing I particularly love about her art, apart from her brushwork and color, is the feeling of warmth you get from them. She is a happy artist! They are just such cosy images, and make you want to curl up with a good book, and snuggle by the fire. These are French Impressionist, to me, the strokes loose and confident. I envy that, from my own rather restrictive use of my brush. I won't change now, after all these years, but I can still hanker after just a little of this kind of talent. Enjoy!

Enjoy a peaceful and happy holiday season. See you next week.

Friday, December 19, 2008

No Other Artists Today

That title sounds like this site is closed - a restaurant out of food, a pub with no beer - doesn't it? It's just that I haven't had any time to spare today for researching all the wonderful art that's out there. I certainly will never run out of them, so that could never be an excuse.

It's only my novel that's taking up so much of my time. I said I wouldn't talk about it here, but perhaps you've wondered why none of my own art is ever on this blog these days. Well, I'm not painting! I don't think I will be painting until February. That's how long I think it will be before Hafan Deg (my novel) is completed. I'm just past the halfway mark for the revisions. Sometimes it moves rapidly, sometimes I get bogged down with awkward structuring, the usual things.

In the meantime, I'll go on showing you what a wealth of talent there is out there in the fascinating world of online art.

Just not today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pumpkin Seeds Folk Art

You will adore these sculptures. I find them particularly appropriate for the time of year, when we all feel a little child-like, even wondrous, just for a bit. These figures make you smile, if not laugh outright. The artist, Janell Berryman, is so talented, and never seems to run out of ideas. She is, of course, at Etsy, but the link I've added is to her webpage which shows far more of her creations. You should see what she does for Halloween! Along with these brilliant sculptures (which I fell in love with) she paints and does other things, equally impressive. This much creativity could never be restricted to one kind of art.

Janell is making a name for herself, and selling well. And why not? These are collectibles we will hand down to our children and grandchildren. Folks will say, "Ah, it's a Berryman!" Pure Folk, pure fun. See her web link in the sidebar under Great Sites To Visit.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mina dela Cruz and Realism

The name is exotic, but Mina is another Ontario girl, in Toronto. I didn't deliberately set out to focus on a local artist again, but she just presented herself at my art site, Brushspace, as I was doing a random browse.

This is the best in Realism, so real you feel you could touch each item, smell the fruit and vegetables. The work is superb, but the fact that Mina is self-taught, except for drawing lessons(!), is astounding.

An ex-corporate 'suit', she has escaped, for the good of all of us!

I hope you enjoy them. I know I'll be following Mina at Brushspace.

Do check out her drawings and more of her paintings at her site. The link is in the sidebar under Great Sites To Visit.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lori Mirabelli at Etsy

I wasn't always a follower of abstract art, really. It was difficult to understand the point of it sometimes, as it can appear over-simplistic, crudely wrought, too bland, or way over the top. I've changed my attitude over the years, realizing that even the experts can never know what is good, or what is bad, despite claiming that expertise. It all boils down, in most cases, to marketability.

From really looking, really thinking about it, I've become more receptive to abstracts. For instance, I am now strangely drawn to the early, almost blank canvases of Mark Rothko. (Google Images, for more on him.) And, of course, there are other names, famous, not so famous, that I enjoy.

Today, I wanted to show you a tiny sampling of work by Lori Mirabelli, who is a member of Brushspace and EBSQ, as I am, although in a totally different league. Her paintings are so charged with color and texture, the dreamlike images so alive, that I cannot imagine ever becoming bored with one of these on a wall. You find more and more things to look at, the more you look at them.

When I decided to show her work here today, I discovered she also sells on Etsy. What else is new? There is a wealth of talent at Etsy. Her Etsy link is in the sidebar.

Anyway, here are a few to sup on. They are, after all, quite delicious. My only regret is that I can't show larger images; it just didn't happen, although I tried downloading twice. Some of her pictures are BIG!

Oh, and she just happens to live in Ontario as I do. Who needs New York for great art?

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Little Art To Warm Us In Winter

Today I thought you'd like to see some very nice folk art by an artist called Maite Tobon who's been selling on eBay for a few years. It's so different from our idea of folk, that I thought you would enjoy it. I've popped the link in the sidebar, if you'd like to see more.

It's miserable here today, rain, probably of the freezing variety, and it's grey and windy outside. I'm glad I don't have to go anywhere. These African paintings will warm you down to your toes.

Friday, December 12, 2008

More of Other People's Art

I haven't shown many of my own paintings lately because of the writing, which is taking up all of my time. By late January, the novel will be ready, and I can start painting again. I acknowledge that the so-called creative side of the brain is responsible for both, but there are obviously various compartments within that and the painting daemon has no inclination to emerge from there for the time being.

However, with all the wonderful artists out there, I must admit that I'm having much more fun showing you their work. After all, anyone can pop into Etsy (see the link) and check out my paintings, but I doubt many of you will have found some of the talented people I've been presenting here. It's my taste in art, not necessarily yours, of course, but I figured that if you were following me and my rather offbeat creations, you would enjoy what I like, as well.

Today I am showing you CATS! I love cats. You know I have two, who rule my days. Well, this clever artist in Italy, listed as Roby's Italian Art, seems to love them, too. They're not all that she paints - I have added her Etsy link in Great Sites to Visit - but I find her cats absolutely charming. The images below range from a tiny 2 inches square, to somewhat larger, and one of them is a rock painting. They all have an almost three-dimensional quality, as if each kitty is coming out of the picture. Enjoy these lovely folk art pieces, and don't forget to check out the rest of her listings. After all, we all deserve some real Italian art in our lives.

I showed you some Gwen Meyerson paintings the other day. Well, she was listing at eBay then, and now she's at Etsy. I am so pleased she's joined such friendly people, and she'll feel the encouragement there. You don't get that at eBay. Just one of hers below, just to remind you.

Jeeves and Baby are sitting ever so patiently in the doorway, waiting for dinner. They seem to have accepted that I spend most of my day (and often my evenings) in here.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Josh Kadtke

Just found this wonderful artist at Etsy. Believe me, he has a huge future. No one this young should be quite this good. The items on Etsy are limited, so go see more of it on his blog page, which is also a very enjoyable read. Talent, or what? The link to Josh at Etsy is under Great Sites to Visit in the left sidebar.

I feel so very warm looking at this picture. I could have used this image earlier today...

I learned from Josh about water-soluble oils as a medium. Never heard of it until this. He also suggests walnut oil instead of linseed. I do have such a hard time with the smell of turpentine and linseed. I may well go back to oil painting. I talk about it enough. Perhaps in the New Year...

We had a power outage here this morning from 8am till 11:30am. It was around minus 10 Celsius outside (well below freezing for you Farenheit people) and after two hours it was getting very chilly inside. I lit quite a few candles, thinking they could keep the room a little warmer. To repeat, it was cold! I was starting to have little fantasies about people succumbing to hypothermia in their own homes.. I had just started to wrap myself up in a really big duvet to replace the useless throws I had around me, and the power came back on. For ex-smokers, you would know about lighting a cigarette so that the bus will come...

There was a glitch at Blogger today. Hope it's fixed. People couldn't get the security letters in order to comment. My friend Josh had the same problem with his. Despite its more than generous utility, sites like Blogger can be pretty frustrating when it comes to problems. I mean, who're you gonna call?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Clever Etsy Girls

Sunday Rose. Isn't that just the loveliest name? She is an amazing artist at Etsy. I'll leave you to check out her link in Great Sites to Visit in the sidebar, but I have put a few of her samplings here because they are delicious to look at. These original pieces of art in the form of cards, bejewelled and sparkling, with earrings or other tokens attached, would make the most unique holiday gifts, not too overwhelming, but thoughtful, memorable little keepsakes. Even without the jewellery, they are pretty.

On a totally different note, I was so impressed by this shawl, the one article for sale in Judy's Fine Knitting shop at Etsy, that I had to show it to you. Those of you who knit know how long this must have taken to complete, and the concentration required - no one-row-plain, one-row-purl in this heirloom-quality piece. I admire her patience, and also am dumbfounded by the price. What do you think? I've put her link in Great Sites to Visit, because she deserves it.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter is Here

I'm afraid winter has officially arrived here. We got a big dumping of snow last night, and it seems it will continue for a while. For those of you who can only imagine it (and it is lovely during the holiday season, but it's a shame it hangs around), I took this picture this morning from my studio window, looking across the road to that dear B&B house. My street is very pretty, very country. All the stores I need are just a two minute walk from my house, and you know I don't (purposely) have a car, so it's ideal for me.

Success! I am now a member of the Etsy Vegan/Vegetarian Team, and proud to be there. I told them I was vegan except for cheese, and they gave me the name of a really good-tasting alternative, but it is devilishly expensive for me to import it from Chicago. I must just do more research closer to home.

I put up a new picture on Etsy today. Well, it's not new, done last year, but new to Etsy, so I've put it here, too, along with the one I put up on Friday, which is also in that picture trail at the top of the page. Perhaps a bit repetitive? Do you appreciate how patient I am with you? I realize that some of you will not raise a finger to click on the links.

That's it for today.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gwen Meyerson

Today I am devoting most of this blog to Gwen Meyerson Gavios, an artist in New York. I found her on eBay some time back and just adore her paintings. Brings me back to what I was saying about the freedom of oils. She obviously revels in it. I am in awe of her. To reach her items at eBay, just click the link under Great Sites to Visit.

The feeling of movement in her paintings is amazing. I can almost hear the traffic noise as the girl crosses the road in that last image. I'm proud to show her here, especially if you haven't seen her work before this.

For little old folk painter me, I've have nothing new to show you today. I've been sketching a bit in readiness for my next picture, but the other blog (you know the one), is taking up more and more of my time. Copyrighted the book today. Just sort of threw that in, although I said I wouldn't bother you with writing stuff on here, but couldn't resist it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Online Galleries

I belong to a couple of online galleries, and which are wonderful sites with the most talented, amazing artists you will find anywhere.(Their links are in the sidebar.) I draw your attention to them because it's stimulating to see what others are doing. They are a friendly bunch as well, and spare no effort in making friends, and following you.

The truth is, with my lopsided sort of art - offbeat, alternative, outsider - call it what you will, I do sometimes feel like an intruder on these sites. Some of the work is so stunning, and I acknowledge that I'm probably just a teensy bit out of place there. But those fine artists - and some of them are very fine artists - encourage you, regardless of your training or style or subject. I guess, in the end, art is art, however it presents itself. Not everyone cares for abstracts, or landscapes, or surrealism (or folk art!). Perhaps they don't speak to us personally, but most of the time we appreciate the creative energy and individualism that went into each and every piece we see, and are grateful that we are all so different. Otherwise, why bother?

Go check them out. Join them if you're feeling adventurous. It can't hurt to be seen there, really.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Messing Around On The Web

I wonder how many of you experience the amount of difficulty and frustration I have when I'm trying to do things on the web. I'm talking about things that a few years ago would have given you the credentials of IT Specialist if you could do them.

In my effort to promote my art, I look at all the possible widgets out there than can bring it to the public eye. Playing around with Google Webmaster today - well, it was absolutely impossible to follow! "Cut and paste the Meta Tag into your web, and then.." etc., etc., "..or, if you prefer, upload an HTML file, and link it to.. and then..", etc.,etc.

I have a headache now. These sites do not take into account that some of us are still learning everything. The help button is just as technical as the instruction page. I give up. Will come back to it when I am more determined. Not feeling determined today.

Catherine Holman, who does wonderful snow scenes, really traditional, old Christmassy scenes, in rich, vibrant colors, is offering a freebee at her site, a sweet little original painting. You'll see it, but you must comment before the 7th if you'd like the opportunity to win it. Her link is as follows

I found a nice Etsy group today - hope they accept me for membership. It's for artists who are vegan/vegetarian. Well, of course, I am. It would be pleasant to chat and get feedback from like minds. Not eating meat is a big deal with me, but I don't get to talk about it much, as most of my friends are most definitely meateaters, and I rarely preach. My daughter in Australia has no friends unless they are vegan. She barely tolerates the fact that I still eat cheese. Shame on me! It makes for few social events, e.g. barbecues, Christmas dinners, and such, because I can't stand the smell of the meat. Anyway, if someone out there is interested, I have put the Etsy group link in the sidebar under Great Sites To Visit.

Only one picture today, because it's late and the felines are getting ferocious.

D'agular is an artist selling on eBay Australia ( and does these colorful, uncluttered paintings, that make you feel warm on the coldest day. Hope you can find him.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

To All You Lovely Viewers

I am pleased to note that someone in Sao Paulo, Brazil, took a look at my little page. I find this so rewarding. Did they visit for my art, and stay to listen to Jobim? You know I love him. This is for those of you who actually have your speakers on.. Perhaps the Brazilian viewer will leave a comment.

On that note, if you look, and if it pleases you, why not follow? I get such pleasure from those little pictures down the side of the page. It's like a little family.

I don't have a lot to offer today, because I've been busy with that other blog. You know the one. But I thought I would show you some of my favorite art. I don't have direct links to them, but you could Google them, if I don't provide a gallery name.

I wish I could make money from all the Google results on my name. It's astonishing. I wonder how many of us actually get new business from them. Perhaps you'll share. I twitter, and flickr, although I haven't a clue what I'm doing there, but it seems to be the thing to do. If anyone has any other promotional ideas, please share them with us. In this economy, we need all the help we can get.

These two are by Diego Manuel Rodriguez, and he's a member of, as I am. You should find him there easily enough. Can you feel the heat?

These are by Marilene Sawaf, and you should be able to find her at

This is by an artist called Jeanne Mance, I think out of Montreal, but I have no other details.

The only name I have for this is Weat and it's shameful that I have no other details. I think I saw this painting on EBay.UK. That's all I have on him.

I hope you enjoyed this little mini-gallery today.