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Showing posts from March, 2008

Handpainted, Bamboo Pendant and Cherry Blossoms

I listed my first Art Pendant in my Gallery Juana Etsy shop today. I love the idea of functional art. I also love to paint and collage. Now both loves can meet together in this pendant. This bamboo pendant is an original, handpainted, collage small work of art.

Cherry Blossom season has already started in Japan. In Sendai, which is further north on Honshu island, the blossoms have yet to bloom. The tradition is to sit under the Cherry Blossom trees and drink your brains out or have a picnic, depending on your preference. I prefer the picnic and in a secluded area. Finding a secluded area is hard but possible. Usually it is under a not so pretty tree, but with enough blossoms to enjoy the feeling that spring has arrived. The cherry blossom blooms for just a short time, so traditionally the blossoms represent the transient nature of life. I guess I am reminded to enjoy what I have and appreciate and utilize the possibilities that each day has to offer.

Music and Art and a Featured Etsy Artist

Recently, Nicole Hanley of art2theextreme featured me in her blog. She has a variety of art and creations for all different needs, occasions, and tastes in her Etsy shop. I wish I could do block prints! I love her hand printed block print of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

I have joined several sites in the past 6 months to promote my Art. You can see them in my side bar. Everyday, I am amazed at how connected the world has become since the birth of the internet. My days are spent balancing my time at my ESL job, creating my Art, keeping my sites up-dated, and chatting on the Etsy forums.

I listen to music when I am painting, drawing or doing anything Art. Today, I finally got around to putting my Gallery Juana playlist together on playlist.com.

ACEOs on the Web

I have returned to painting my favorite motif: the nude figure. Recently I have been doing small nude figure drawings for my ACEOs. What is an ACEO? ACEO stands for "Art Cards, Editions and Originals". These cards have one rule: they must be 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches - the size of a trading card. They can be in portrait or landscape. I have several of these mini paintings in my Gallery Juana.etsy.com shop, and I continually add more.

I spent this morning browsing websites that feature ACEOs. I ran across several sites:

Acetsy

A popular Etsy BB thread on ACEOs

ACEOS on Etsy


Collage ACEOs on Flickr

Original (not print) ACEOs on Flickr

Watercolor ACEOs on Flickr

Figure (mature content) ACEOs on Flickr

artcardswanted : another venue to buy and sell these small works of art.


This link is unrelated to this topic, but I thought the digitial images were interesting.
Tricks on the Eyes


Blogs with ACEOs from technorati:

ACEO Nude in Ink with a Red Towel on Rice Paper No. 2

65 mm x 90mm
2.5 inches x 3.5 inches
I have started a new series of Nude in Ink with a Red Towel on Rice Paper. I love the movement of ink on rice paper. These small paintings are mounted on 140 lb. watercolor paper.

I spent yesterday drawing and painting,. This morning I got the photos taken and listed the above ACEO on GalleryJuana.etsy.com.

I should really be getting ready to go to the gym, but I am still stting on my buttocks working on the web. Why do I grumble my way to the Gym? I always feel better once I have started exercising. Pulling myself away from my happy, little art studio in my house is always difficult. Lately, I have been so focused on my art that it is effecting my sleeping habits and my day job. This week I am going to put a daily plan together. I need to stay focused yet balanced. How do you stay balanced?

Excel Spreadsheets

I have gotten most of my excel spreadsheet programs for free thanks to the good-heartedness of two Etsy sellers. These spreadsheets have helped me tremendously, so I thought I would post the links here. They both have beautiful jewelry in their shops too!

lavajewelry.etsy.com has two free spreadsheets available for download from her Blog (scroll till you see Downloads on the right column). One helps to track your cost versus profit for a particular item. The other will track monthly sales per customer as well as your profit/loss for the year.

chrisparry has twofreespreadsheets that help to determine a retail and wholesale price for your work. These are on his Blog available for download.

Excel spreadsheets are new to me, and Allen Wyatt's site is full of Excel tips.

If you would like to purchase a spreadsheet, here is a list of sellers on Etsy : Spreadsheets on Etsy

New Paintings and a New Lightbox

I spent all day painting yesterday. I only went out for a bit to mail a package for a recent sale. I was actually glad to get out. I needed the walk to refresh my mind. While working on these latest paintings, I was listening to the soundtrack from the movie, Once. My husband and I saw that movie on our anniversary.

These two collages are my latest ACEOs. They are small, measuring 2.5 x 3.5 inches.

Last night, I finally got around to making a lightbox. There are two easy ways to make one.: out of a cardboard box or a plastic box. I took the cheapest route. A cardboard box that we had laying around and scrap rice paper. For the how to, visit these links:

WikiHow

Chaton Designs

Mounting a Rice Paper painting

I thought it might be a good idea to explain what it means to back or mount a rice paper painting. Washi is commonly referred to as Rice paper. Once it's painted on, it can be framed as it is, but gluing it to a thicker sheet of rice paper will sharpen and enhance the colors of the painting. Years ago, I learned how to make my own glue and use that to back my paintings. For large paintings, I still use that method. For smaller paintings, I use a more convenient and popular method in Japan. I buy thick rice paper which has already been prepared with the archival glue. A warm iron is used to fuse the painting and backing together.

Backing a painting is always nerve-racking for me, regardless of which method I use. First I have to lay the paper face-down. Then I fully wet the painting and hope that the sealant keeps all my paint set. I carefully brush out all the bubbles and hope that it doesn't rip. After letting it sit for a bit, I place the backing paper, glue si…

I would like to introduce you to...

my new digital camera! I have been waiting since November to buy a new digi-camera. I spent the last two weeks researching on the internet and hanging out at the camera shop. I was stressed over this purchase not only because of the price, but because I had to do it in Japanese. I had a very patient salesperson who didn't mind my list of questions and then my constant reconfirming of his answers. Everything worked out and I am happy with the G9 Canon Point and shoot that I got.

As soon as the battery was charged and the software was installed, I tried out the camera. My first pic was of my cat, Sputnik.

I have much to improve on my camera skills since this has lots of functions. My first few shots look fine on the computer but I don't think they are print quality yet. So now I will be researching how to take a good, crisp photo.

My husband got my old digital camera which he was happy to inherit. We took a long walk today up toward the Tohoku University, Aoba campus. B…