Got the deer sketched in and tomorrow starts the mural. The scene will be a fall forest with lots of the autumn foliage colors with a stream.


Frugal Friday...the art of living on the cheap

I can't believe how bad things are......well, I guess I can, I'm living it. I'm really looking forward to the time when the economy turns around and folks can once again afford the special things in life...like hiring a muralist :-( I can't imagine what else I can cut from my life to make it easier. Keeping an open mind I started looking for ideas online. Here are a few things I stumbled on. My favorite I think is this one.. zenhabits.net
Check out the 10 things you can do today to simplify your life, 50 tips for frugal living, there's lots of good stuff here.
You can check out freecycle.org, see if there's a group in your area, I love free stuff! And of course there's the old standby Craigslist's free listings.
Got the sofa on Craigslist, it wasn't free but it was only $75. and its a sofabed. The pillows all came from a thriftshop....the curtains were free from a house my friend just bought, they were left by the previous owner and she didn't want em. The coffee table was free...someone left an old ikea computer table in my apartment when I moved in, and I took it apart, cut it down and made the table. Still looking for a good deal on a 'grown ups' chair. You can find thriftshops in your area here.... thethriftshopper.com . You can even shop Goodwill online!
Check out mygrocerydeals.com for sale items in stores near you, they have links to coupon sites as well so you can save even more.
Well, that should keep you busy...if anyone has some good tips or sites to share feel free to leave them in the comments area. I've got to get started on a canvas mural. This is the sketch of the project.
The portrait is finished and will get shipped on Monday.


OK....I'm thinking this is done, a little work on the foliage and that's it......I think :-) lol

Wearable Art Wednesday

Dominos isn't just a game anymore.....I love these by LastingExpressions.
For $8 a pop I think I need to order one or two of these crazy beautiful rings.....they're shrink plastic! Visit dillondesigns etsy shop to learn and see more....too cute.

There's a great interview with artist Margaux Lange, creator of this unique fun piece, at
Beads Art. And you can see more of Margaux's stuff here.
And finally artist Janet Nelson, frustrated with all the annoying spam filling her in box, decided rather than get angry......have fun with it. She translated that spam into fun artwork that you can wear. Check out her gallery of 'Innocent Spam' designs here and you can order t's at her Zazzle Shop and see some of her other artwork too.


Tasty Tuesday: the art of beautiful food

I sometimes think that if I weren't painting I would love to be doing this. Have you ever seen anything so gorgeous that was editable! This is from Wildflowers located in Bridgeton, NJ. They offer classes!
And how fun is this! Created by Colette Peters author of "Cakes to Dream On: A Master Class in Decorating" (Wiley, $40)
Something a little more modern you say?.....a bit more edgy? In my opinion Jin Patisserie cakes fill that bill.Art indeed is all around us.
Well......my one cleaning (et-hem exercise session :-) job canceled for this week, money I was counting on, so much for income security......one step forward, two steps back, now I fall behind in a bill and get to add a late fee to it......sigh. Ah.........the glamorous life of an artist.
Tomorrows post.......Wearable Art Wednesday.


OK....not true, I didn't work on the portrait today, but instead decided to rework my blog a bit so I could open up some space for advertising. My goal is to offer some affordable ad space for other artists and get rid of those unattractive google ads. I'm really happy with the way my blog is growing and I honestly do like helping other artists, so if you'd like to put an ad here and get some additional exposure, there's some more info at the bottom of the page.
Came across another silhouette mural site but with a twist, not quite a true silhouette... SuddenShadows.com
Most of their offerings look well suited for the teen population.
Looks like they're only available through retail or online shops (not the suddenshadows website) ie Target prices around $25.00


OK......got some work done on the portrait today, but it still needs some tweaking. The hair needs to be refined and I'm not happy with the mouth....I'm thinking its not full enough or the shape is off? Will be back at it tomorrow. Why do pictures post lighter on Blogger?

Here's the original photo...


How President Obama looks installed.
This weekend I hope to finish up the childs portrait.


You'll notice in the right side bar I've added a policy clause....I needed to. After spending two days preparing for a project that I had no guarantee of being hired for, I had to ask myself, "what are you doing?" I've only been asked a couple of times in thirteen years to submit a bid for a mural job, and I'm pretty sure I got the job each time so I never really thought about it before. But now, especially with the slow economy, giving my time away on a chance, well it just seemed stupid. That feeling had me stop working on the sketch for this project about three quarters of the way through, and letting what I had done speak for my competency. But of course it wasn't really about my competency, it was about the lowest bid. And there is obviously someone out there who needs the money more than I do, cause although I gave a quote at about half of what it should have been for a 9'x 25' mural of Noah's Ark (all those animals!), someone else was even lower. I've now become an advocate of charging for consultations and sketches in bidding situations.
Want to see the incomplete sketch :-)? They wanted cartoon-y. There were more animals to add, and a Noah of course, and an extension on the left with more foliage. Oh well.....would have been fun.


A site called Gifts With Humanity offer fair trade products. Fair trade is a system of exchange that seeks to create greater equity and partnership in the international trading system by providing fair wages in the local context, supporting safe, healthy, and participatory workplaces, supplying environmental sustainability, respecting cultural identity, offering public accountability and transparency, building direct and long-term relationships, and educating consumers. Here's a few examples of their products.
A recycled tin preying mantis for $17.95
Recyled metal steel drum art (24" round voodoo art) for $89.95.
How about a sweet little woven bowl made in South Africa from recycled telephone wire $19.95
Love these woven gypsy bags from San Jaun at $40.00
And I love the strength in the simplicity of this copper ring $53.95
Check out the site, there's lots of cool stuff on there.....a great place to get unique gifts.
Here's an interesting site I found a few days ago, Art Academy Live.


A progress photo of the child's portrait. I always hesitate to show portraits in progress especially in the early stages cause they just look funny, but this is to encourage others to try painting people knowing that it doesn't magically flow from the paint brush, it takes a lot of effort, patience and corrections to get to the end.
Tomorrow I'm getting paid to exercise.......for those who don't know what that means, I'm referring to the fact that I had to go back to cleaning homes to help supplement my income during these slow times. Thinking of it that way makes it easier on my ego.....lol.
Thursday I'll resume work on the portrait and I also have an appointment to look at a potential mural job.....Noah's Ark in a church......fingers crossed :-)


How to Post Image Based Ads on Craigslist

Anyone else have trouble figuring out how they get those picture ads on Craigslist? Well, I finally went to Youtube.......you can find out how to do anything on Youtube!!.......and there they were, several videos on how to add an image to an ad. This is the one that helped me.

First though I had to create a picture ad and for that I used Picnik, a fun photo editing site you can use for free (or 'upgrade' for more options). This is one of the quick photo ads I created to use on Craigslist. They have several free templates you can use.

I saved this photo to Photobucket. Then copied the html/image code and then simply pasted the code into the Craigslist ad.....simple :-) I ran into a gliche when trying to paste the code on Craigslist, but solved it. If you have the same trouble instead of clicking on the code of your 'picture', click on the 'more' button below the codes and you'll see a new code displayed.....use that one.

Got a lot done on the child's portrait today, and will get back to it on Tuesday.

It was a gorgeous day today and with my windows wide open I could hear all the comments from people passing my apartment and noticing the new window screens.......people waving and yelling "Hi, Mr. President".... I love when they stop and make comments....very cool.....I need to put a sign in the lawn in front of the building with contact info like contractors do!


I've been wanting to do this for a long time, so I carved out some time today to do it.....its my latest window screen portrait. Not sure he's quite finished, something seems a bit off....can't quite put my finger on it, so I'll step away for a while so I can get a fresh look. Gotta get to work on my little guy portrait.
Check out some other painted screens here.


I was responding to a comment left on one of my YouTube videos when I came across this.


Did a mural yesterday and managed to get it done in just a day (just under 10hrs). Of course any mural that I do I'd love to spend more time on, but in these budget conscious times its not always possible. This was the sketch I did for the clients....
The room is quite small so it was difficult to get full photos of the work....
Today I will be back at work on the portrait.


Art Is Everywhere!

Have you seen these? You can now design your own shoes! Click the photo to go to zazzle.com