Friday, January 30, 2009

Joan Crow of Crow Productions

I found Joan Crow at Jenny Carter's Wonders of Whimsy. I featured Jenny on Monday.

If you recall, there was a near-disaster for a little bird at my front window yesterday, so I was in bird mode when I spied Joan's work.

These bird paintings are so special - she obviously adores her subject matter. We see birds in fine art, but somehow they seem too perfect and unapproachable. Joan manages to give each of these a personality.

Joan Crow's charming bird paintings are for sale at eBay.

Along with the birds, she paints various other subjects. I believe the following paintings are of Jenny with one of her rescue cats. They really reflect how Jenny feels about her work with these little wild things. I doubt these are for sale because I'm sure Joan painted them for Jenny. But that doesn't mean she won't consider painting something for you, perhaps with your pet.

And last, but certainly not least, look at this cheeky raccoon. I know raccoons can be a nuisance, and some of you don't find them particularly appealing, but I do. I've haven't seen any on Main Street here in Brighton, because this little town is surrounded by countryside, and they don't seem to need our garbage to rummage through. Brings me to the question: what do raccoons eat in the wild? In Toronto they would gather in small groups, mother and children, snuffling around the back yard, and of course I fed them. They were incredibly tame, and would come up onto the deck and stick their faces through the patio doors if they were slightly open. This totally freaked out my poor Australian cat, because she'd never seen a raccoon before!

Check out Joan's blog to see more of her paintings.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lorna Smith at Artflock

I think you'll enjoy these lovely artworks. Lorna Smith is a U.K. artist selling at Artflock, where I am also a member. She paints and draws in a variety of subjects and styles and I'm only showing you a handful here. You must check out her gallery at Artflock. Lorna also has a shop at Etsy - naturally - but I thought it would be a nice change for you to check out Artflock, which is an art-only site, for those of you who aren't familiar with it.

Oh, and Lorna ships worldwide, in case you wondered.

This last painting is of Loch Lomond. Full of mood and magic, this scene obviously captured her imagination.

All of Lorna's art is delightful, but I particularly love that regal cat. She has managed to show the soft feeling of that wonderful fur, the wise expression in those eyes.

I wanted to broach a subject we tend to ignore, our heads firmly in the sand. Are you selling right now? How long has it been? I have the distinct impression that this economy is impacting us; I know I haven't sold for months. It makes sense that people have to feed the kids, pay the bills, before they buy art, but we all need that little piece of beauty or whimsy in our lives to make us feel good. Mall shopaholicism is probably a thing of the past, but a purchase of art online can be so reasonably priced for the uniqueness of the piece and will last a lifetime - perhaps several lifetimes - being a true collectible, an heirloom.

Please comment. You don't have to go into detail, just give your gut feeling about how things are going for you right now.

Well, how's this for a little symbolism? Just as I was finishing this post, a bird hit my window so hard that I thought the glass would break. I could see the poor thing almost buried in the snow, just one wing sticking out and the little head. I figured he was dead, as he was so still, but I put my coat and boots on anyway, to at least move him. There is so much snow piled up at the front of the house, it would have been past my knees, and I was totally freaked out at how I was going to reach it - I can't bear little wild things to be in distress. Just as I got there - he was simply knocked out - he took off and flew away, as if nothing had happened, although he must have a headache. I am so pleased. I love a happy ending.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Scratching Through and Pumpkin Seeds

Linda Sheets of Scratching Through is an innovative mixed media artist I spotted during my daily research. Her paintings are so colorful, although she claims difficulty with color - hard to see it with these bold pictures.

But it was her paper houses that caught my eye. She cuts and pastes strips of paper to her canvas to produce these one-off houses. I've never seen anything like it before. If you saw a posting about it on my writing blog, or you're familiar with my own artwork, you'll know that I have a thing for houses, so naturally I was drawn to these. There's a lot more going on here than immediately meets the eye...those images in the windows, full of mystery and symbolism. Mind you, I still think she's a child at heart. If there's one thing I applaud, it's retaining that child. She gets that.

Scratching Through is now in Great Sites to Visit in the sidebar.

I had to show you Janell Berryman's latest sculpture. Isn't this evil-looking 'Devil Cat' wonderful? I featured Janelle of Pumpkin Seeds a few weeks back. I couldn't resist her latest piece. He's an eye-catching 6 inches tall, and would look great in a window or on a coffee table.

Don't forget that I'm always on the lookout for new art to feature. Email me or leave a comment if you know of someone. It doesn't have to be painting or sculpture, but anything created lovingly by hand which is delightful to look at.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Studio 155 at Etsy

I'm featuring another Etsy artist today. She is a fine artist, working in all mediums on canvas, all sizes of work, and she specializes in landscapes. I like to paint landscapes, too, always obsessed by skies, and I suspect today's artist is the same. Her skies are wonderful. I'm still trying to perfect mine.

I've put up her link in Great Sites to Visit, but simply click Studio 155 for today. Read the artist's profile at Etsy to appreciate what a great opportunity this is to buy her art.

I mentioned the other day the importance of trying to build a collection of original art. These are perfect examples of the kind of work you could start with. Were you to buy these same paintings at an art gallery, you'd have to dig very deeply into your pockets. Etsy makes it possible to not dig very deeply at all.

They are romantic paintings, taking us away from the noise of our day. Put on some Mozart, or a little Brahms, and really study these. They are classics, too.

I hope my friend, Judith, back in Australia, sees these, because she would love them.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wonders of Whimsy - Jennifer Carter

Jennifer Carter, of Wonders of Whimsy, is featured here today. I'm proud to have her here.

I found Jenny because we are both cat lovers. Not just ordinary, 'Aren't-cats-cute?' cat lovers, but 'Oh-my-God-I-have-to-do-something!' cat lovers. Jenny mentioned wanting to open her own sanctuary and if she wasn't so far away I'd gladly join her in the operation. Seriously.

Her Cat Rescue blog is so heart-warming, and seeing all her efforts trying to save unwanted cats, I wish the distance didn't exist between us, because I would take over some of her night shifts. She's out there at all hours, trying to catch the poor things, to get them to safety. She could do with some donations for this, too, although she's also offering two of her creations as prizes in a raffle to help the cats. I urge you to check out what she's doing. I hope you are as moved as I am by her dedication and perhaps can help her in some small way.

The following is a tiny taste of her work, because she is into so many different things, and you should go to her Wonders of Whimsy blog to see what I mean. Today I'm featuring some of her wonderful folk art dolls and just a few of her paintings. Of course, her link will remain in Great Sites to Visit in the sidebar.

I know Jenny would be delighted to have you visit her art site. I suspect she would be even more delighted if you checked out her cat rescue site. I'm searching for a perfect award for her. She deserves it, tenfold.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Calling All Tuscaloosa Cat Lovers

Ok, this is not my usual art posting, but I was so moved by a blog I read early this morning that I've just spent the whole time trying to connect with people who might be able to help. I've done everything else I can think of: Etsy convo-ing, forum links, twittering, and my blog is my last resource.

Just saw a sad blog that is totally obsessing me. This poor woman, Victoria, has an aunt who must go to a retirement place, leaving her house AND her CAT. Victoria hasn't been able to find anyone to take it, and it seems she will have to drop it off at a KILL shelter today.

Do you have any contacts in Tuscaloosa, Alabama? I'm trying to reach as many people as possible.

If you have any forum links, can network, or twitter, could you put the word out?

Her blog is

If someone could even give temporary shelter until a new owner could be found, it would be wonderful. They should leave their email on her blog for her to contact them.

Sorry to do this to you. I don't usually do things like this, but I am an animal lover and this really upset me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ryan Conners - Kilkenny Cats

You know how much I love cats, and dogs too, of course. Dogs were always my favorites, but my heart got truly broken over one or two, and so I only have cats now. Dogs seem to need more love, are more dependent on you. They tweak at your heart strings in some undefinable way. My cats are totally in control, affectionate on their terms, taking or leaving me according to their moods. Dogs aren't like that.

So my cats are my family now, and I show them the same respect and consideration that I would extend to any human. Of course, I have conversations with them, which fact my son said I shouldn't broadcast. But if my cats talk to me, why shouldn't I talk to them?

Today I am featuring the artwork of Ryan Conners, of Kilkenny Cats at Etsy . Looking at these, anyone can see that Ryan is regularly in conversation with her cats. The colors and settings are amazing, aren't they? There is one sweet dog, just for the dog lovers, and do you see how much he tugs at your heart strings? That's what I mean. Dogs are needy.

Ryan produces all kinds of art, and you must take a look at her Etsy shop to appreciate it all. Some of her items are prints, and some are originals, and there are other little pieces. Remember what I said the other day about buying originals - everyone deserves at least one piece handmade by an artist, or reproduced by that artist. This is your right, rich or poor.

Of course, I've added Ryan's shop to Great Sites to Visit in the sidebar.

I do want to draw your attention to The Animal Rescue Site logo in the left sidebar. You simply click it to help feed homeless animals - no cost to you, other than the clicking action. Once you're into their site, you'll find all kinds of interesting things for animal lovers. Their shop stocks unusual items that you won't find anywhere else, at very reasonable prices, and you know it's all for a worthy cause. I do hope you'll check it out, perhaps install the widget on your own site, if you have one.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fantasy and Romance in Art, Julia Guthrie, East of The Sun

Julia Guthrie is a phenomenally-talented artist from Cornwall, in England. Of course, this area has always been associated with the mystical and magical, so Julia's paintings should not be so surprising. Yet they are.

Each one - and I offer you just a handful here - is full of mystery, enchantment, and romanticism. This is a writers' artist, a great illustrator. On second thought, she needs no words, because her pictures say it all. Look closely, because there is so much more to see within each one, beyond the initial image.

To see all of her beautiful creations, go to her website East of the Sun.

For all of you more mature types out there, East of the Sun, West of the Moon is a very beautiful love song from days of yore. Check it out on your Playlist site.