Contact: karenhetzer@gmail.com

Sketch for next wall

I got a quick sketch done and accepted for the next (and final) wall in this room.
This bed will not necessarily be placed where it is now.
There are more flowers indicated in this sketch than will be in the final work, it'll be more tall grasses with fewer flowers.
Work will begin the weekend of September 9th.


Call Back

Remember the last mural job?
This was done last December, and in January another wall was done in the same room but with a completely different theme.  This is a favorite vacation spot of the woman of the house.....
This is her private room in the home and her idea was/is to surround herself with images that make her happy, that is their (the murals) connection.
I've been called back to finish off the room, there's still a corner of the room with blank walls.
This area because of the challenges created by the slanted walls and future positioning of furniture will be fairly simple design with the blue sky and a simple tall wild flower landscape.  I'll post sketches here as the process develops.
The homeowners have also asked me to do a bit of stenciling for them, a simple shell pattern on a living room wall and a more complex faux tile design on an exterior wall.  This is a wall of the garage....

and it looks as though the previous owners (and builders of the property) may have had in mind to do (for real) what the current owners are asking me to do (only with paint and obviously minus the fountain). Something like this..........
 or this......

What looks like a doorway was not built to be a doorway and there's an electrical outlet box half way up the framework which makes me wonder if it was going to originally be tiled and have a fountain.  Well, regardless, I will be doing a faux Moroccan tile design on the wall once the weather cools down a bit.



Rack Arrived.......

Now to get it filled up, its looking a bit sparse.  Well, its really just for me to see right now so no matter.
I still have more to box up and new images/prints on order.  I don't want to get too crazy here because this is still in the 'will this work' stage and costs are an issue.  When I know they will sell I'll be able to order things in larger and less expensive quantities.  I've gotten all the ones above up on etsy now but really need to learn about marketing and promoting and will study that over the next few days. I still want to add a shop page on my own website and will get to that next week.

Things Slowly Coming Together

I've gotten 16 images printed so far for the card collection and I haven't been disappointed with one yet, I'm so happy with how the prints have turned out.
Now I'm focusing on photographing all the cards to display/sell on Etsy (and other places).  I decided on using a desktop as the setting for the cards/photos.  I want a traditional and hopefully classy feel to the photos, so I went hunting on ebay for some props.  I found a vintage desk set from Germany and scooped it up for about $30 and change.
So with that and utilizing things I already had, I set the scene.....no I lie, I got the pen and ink at Michaels. I love that the glass cup for the ink was still with the set.
Now comes taking all the photos necessary for a good presentation and then getting all the listings up, this is the tedious and time consuming part and will take a few days.

As the card collection grows my space is getting taken over by supplies, I've got to get better organized, to help a little I decided to look for a card rack.  I like being able to see all the cards neatly packaged and displayed, it inspires me to keep going. 


I also want to be prepared in case I decide to do a craft fair in the future and a display rack would be a must have.
I started looking on ebay and then moved on to Amazon, found something I felt would work without breaking the bank and ordered it. 

For some reason I went back to a google search right after ordering and saw the same product being sold by the manufacturer, clicked on it and it was almost $20 less!  I got back to Amazon in time to cancel the order. I have to stop assuming Amazon is always cheaper.....its not.
So.......hopefully I will have a link to share of my etsy shop in about a week or so.
Oh.....and the ACEO birds listed below sold :-)



New ACEO's on ebay

I have two new bird paintings on ebay.


Old age? Senility? ADD? Or am I just becoming aware of a lifetime issue of not thinking things all the way through.  Sigh........
As I was ordering a couple more ACEO size cards from Printfirm.com, clicking on the item link several times, I suddenly noticed a link where you could order thank you cards, why I didn't see this before is beyond explanation, they were right next to each other.  Anyway I went to check it out and low and behold thank you cards in several sizes beginning at 3"x 3" and 50 to an order versus the 25 per order for the ACEO cards, and for just a couple of dollars more.  I immediately got excited and my brain automatically shut down again as I quickly placed an order for one set of 3"x 5" size cards.  If I can get printed cards without having to enlarge the images too much from their original size and at a great price and without having to order a minimum of 250 and up, it would be perfect. It was a few minutes later after submitting the order when I suddenly wondered.....are these flat cards or folded cards?  No where could I find a proper description and folded is what I wanted.  Luckily there is a chat link on their site and I was able to send a message (too early to chat live, they're on the west coast).  Hopefully they will get the message before they start printing, I've asked them to cancel that particular order if the cards are flat.  Still, its only a few dollars so not a huge problem, could use them as giveaways.

Meanwhile I did receive my second order from them, 5 bird cards.......
and the boxes with the clear slip on lids also arrived.......
so I'm able to start putting things together. Lots of packaging to do and photos to take.

UPDATE:  The thank you cards offered on Printfirm are just flat cards so I was able to cancel that :-)


What's that song?......

Oh yes.....Welcome Back, the theme song for that 70's show Welcome Back Kotter, it keeps playing through my thoughts right now.  Its been some time since I've visited my blog and as I'm sitting here I'm trying to pin down the reason(s), not sure that's even really important though.  Life is all about changes isn't it.  This blog was (is?) mostly about my time being an artist and I don't seem to be doing much of that, at least not in the last few months, not sure if that will change.  I've been stuck in this fork in the road totally unsure of myself and its like my feet are planted in cement, I can't seem to move in any direction.  Certainly can't go backwards and there's not a lot of forward left.  Aging is a crazy thing, realizing you have 10 maybe 15 years of life left if you're lucky, what a strange concept.  What's it all about?  You're just a tiny, insignificant speck in the realm of things, think of the billions of years before us and the billions more to follow.  I feel so small.

Enough of that!  I can tell you what is new........I moved again!  I moved at the end of April from the lovely suburb of Narberth to the edge of Philadelphia back into Germantown.  My rent was to go up again in Narberth and $1055. was just too much for a studio apartment, at least in my income bracket anyway.  I found a charming 2 bedroom apartment for $950 right off of beautiful Wissahickon Drive.  I'm still trying to get use to having all this space! A living room (with a fireplace), dining room, kitchen with all new appliances (even a dishwasher, but I don't use it), two bedrooms and a bath, plenty of closets, and my own thermostat!....no landlord controlling the heat.
Even though I'm not painting much, artist that I am, I claimed the largest bedroom (no, not as a master bedroom) as my studio!  Pictures don't do it justice, to me its huge.....
Lots of shelving on one side and a huge closet on the other as you approach the door to the studio (ex master bedroom/dressing area), plenty of storage and room to work.  I'm still working on the space, I need to get some lighting set up and better organize my different work stations.  But what fun to have all this space to create in, this one area is almost the size of my entire last apartment!
This is the building I live in now, built in the early 1900's, she's a bit tired looking inside but still charming.  I should go back and look at older posts.....I feel like I may have shown this already?? I'm having a deja vu moment......oh well.
And I have to show you this building down the street from me on Wissahickon Dr, Alden Park Apts (view from my living room). I remember posting about this place before, I was considering moving there but it was too expensive, has a gorgeous indoor pool. Grace Kelly's mother used to live in a penthouse there.  Its such a beautiful building. Philly has some of the most beautiful old architecture.
Although I'm not painting right now I am still working with my ACEO paintings.  I'm having prints made of some of my best ones and putting card collections together, note cards.  I will add them to my website for sale and probably here and on facebook as well, craft shows are also under consideration although I'd include actual paintings to the mix as well if I do that.
Don't judge the picture quality of the cards, the prints are in clear sleeves so there's a dull glare in the photo. The cards themselves are very bright and the image very crisp, I'm really happy with them.
If you are considering having prints of your own made I can recommend two places I use.  One is iprintfromhome.com , they are who I use to do giclee prints of my ACEO paintings, I think its 8 prints on a sheet for $10.  For the prints for my note cards I'm using printfirm.com , they print 'collector' cards in various finishes and papers but don't do giclee printing.  I get the cards done on 16pt card in a glossy finish with a UV protective coating and its just $5 for 25 cards.  You can order a sample package from them for just the cost of shipping.  Just to share more info.......I'm using pocket frame note cards/envelopes from Jerrysartarama (online), the only place I could find such a product made for an ACEO card specifically. they're Strathmore brand and don't bother checking Amazon for better pricing cause Jerry's is the cheapest....I checked.   I have to say though that once I received them (and I do like them) I realized I could probably make them myself with pretty paper and a steady hand......still they're reasonably priced and nice quality (and I'm lazy hahaha). For clear packaging ie sleeves/card boxes I discovered Clearbags.com , good prices and selection.  Hope this helps anyone who has thought of doing something like this and spent hours and hours and hours searching for good products with reasonable prices.
Till next time :-)



Two new.....

I got this little paint box/easel yesterday from Amazon to help ease the stress I'm beginning to feel in my  back from bending over a flat desk top to paint.......it helps :-)  And I have to say, I don't think I'll buy much from Michaels anymore, their product offerings seems so limited (not to mention over priced) compared to whats available at Amazon and I never seem to find the 'on sale' items when visiting their store, very frustrating.


Long time....

Its been a while since I've posted here, I confess I just haven't been feeling inspired lately.....winter blues perhaps, not sure.  I've been thinking about (and missing a lot) my old shop/studio in Florida. Its been a couple of years since I move to Philly and left that behind so I'm not sure why its on my mind now.  I'm bored I think, and painting seems to be falling further and further to the wayside as my focus has to be on keeping up with the bills. Doing work that guarantees an income has to take precedence.......a familiar circumstance to most artists.
I have to turn this around!
I decided step one was to think about when I was the happiest and see if that could give me some direction......two things came to mind.  One, as mention, was when I had the shop/studio......lots of social interaction, tons of room to work on projects, great resources to find furniture to redo and treasures to resell, space to hold classes.....perfect.......til it all came to an end.
The second happiest time was after the move to Philly and doing lots of mural work for The Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania, so so happy.  Again.....lots of social interaction, putting smiles on kids faces, and tons of room to work, those are looooong hallways.

Well, I can't replicate what I had in Florida (for financial reasons) and mural work has eluded me for the last two/three years, so what to do.
If you follow this blog you know that when mural work stopped coming I turned to painting smaller......way smaller!  If you're new to this blog see what I mean here: http://aceopaintings.org
But three hundred plus small paintings later....I'm bored.  I'm wanting to paint large again.
No........no one has asked me to do any mural work, and to be perfectly honest?........it would take a lot of money plus an assistant to get me to do any mural work these days, age takes its toll.
So......what to do.
I just ordered this......
For two reasons, no make that three reasons......one, I can paint large......two, I live in a studio apartment and can use a screen.......and three, I can try to sell it/them for a lot more than I get for the small aceo paintings.....a LOT more.  I got it from roomdividers.com  and they offer a bunch of different sizes and free shipping.  Let me share some images that inspired me....




 Years ago I use to build my own cloth panel screens from scratch......


And did some painted ones every now and then.....
We'll see what happens :-)