Murals and Trompe l'oeil - Crumbling Wall Effect

Chris's book Trompe L'oeil Interiors is one of the first books I bought when learning to paint murals. I still refer to it today. Check out YouTube for more of his videos.


For You Green Faux Artists

Beer glaze

Art Academy Live

I can't remember if I've posted about this site before, but as November is just around the corner you may want to keep an eye on this site for upcoming listings of their live online classes. They also have a monthly membership ($10) to have 24/7 access to their library of instructional videos.


Jacques Fresco On Drawing - Lesson 7 - Two-Point Perspective Part 2

Another great one on drawing lettering to scale using two point perspective.....easy peasy.

Jacques Fresco On Drawing - Lesson 4 - One Point Perspective

This is a great video on how to add people to a scene in perspective. If you need help with perspective drawing, there are tons of videos on YouTube.


Dog Portrait Update

Here's the original photo I had to work from...
And the 5"x 7" portrait.....

Craigslist...love it....hate it

Craigslist used to be a pretty good source for finding jobs. This morning I woke up with a vision that soon the only people posting and answering ads on Craigslist will all be scam artists and they'll just cancel each other out and hopefully go away. It seems every ad I answer and every ad I post results in a response from a scam artist. Sad, sad, sad.


Saw Some Manatees This Afternoon

They are so hard to get a shot of!
This is a mother and her calf. You can just see the calves head to the left of the mothers.
Looks like I got a spot on my lens...right on the manatee's face.


New Pet Portrait

A new project to do today..... a small pet portrait. This will be a challenge due to the quality of the only photograph they have of the two dogs, but I'll give it my best shot :-)
This is the photo I'll be working from.

Some random shots along the water outside my apartment building. Still waiting for that elusive manatee shot. I'm told there are also sightings of dolphins from time to time.
When the tide goes out the miniature crabs come out by the hundreds.They have only one claw. Wonder if these guys get full size? yummy!
We've been getting a LOT of rain lately...these guys are enormous.



I'm so tired of waking up sad. I'm getting ready to go clean someones home today. Prior to moving back to Florida I had explored the idea of finding a live in position possibly at a B&B. It might be a good idea to revisit the idea. Every day that goes by without work, debt accumulates and the hole gets deeper. This weekend I need to let my brand new landlord know my situation, I am not looking forward to this.


Maybe I Need To Return To My Roots?

Found these old pictures from when I first began to paint. Its how I taught myself to paint....copying other artists work onto furniture. I'd go around to thrift shops, buy inexpensive pieces of furniture, paint em up, and sell them in a charming little shop...Jane Loves Cheap Furniture store in Lake Worth, still there 16yrs later. Yes....maybe I'll consider this.


Not Again

I heard from the most recent 'potential' client about the sketch for his sky scene.....guess what......he changed his mind. He's now talking about continuing the faux stone work that's on the other walls in the foyer onto this wall. He returned this sketch of his new vision.
The logical and smart thing to do would be to have the people who did the walls to also do this one. So............I'm not needed for this project.

I filled out an application for Home Depot and Walmart today.

Sent Off A Sketch and Estimate

I sent the client a sketch according to his description with an embellishment or two. I thought a beautiful trompe l'oeil urn would bring some interest to the work and maybe a bird sitting on the ledge or the rim of the urn. The colors in the sketch are not what would be on the wall. Can you tell my printers about out of ink.
Can't replace it now however, financially things are just not good. Today I actually sold my old wedding ring and a pair of earrings......its bad. Tomorrow I'm meeting with another potential cleaning client. Man, I miss going out to paint everyday. I'm wondering if its time to slash what I charge for mural work. I think of it this way, for example........would I rather clean someones home for $20/hr, or would I rather be painting for $20/hr. I'm not saying $20/hr would be the rate I would choose, but I don't think I should expect to make what I used to make a couple of years ago, no one else is. I don't know..........its a dilemma. I know many artists argue against lowering prices because it will effect what other artists are able to charge, but these are new times, people are just trying to survive, rules change.
I'd love to hear your comments on this.


New Potential Client's Wishes

Moving on :-) Below are the areas that the client would like painted. First in the foyer, way up at the top (2 storeys tall) he'd like me to create a ledge that would in effect end the wall and then open up to an exterior view.
Then that would continue on to a sky ceiling.
Then in the master bath, he'd also like a sky ceiling.
I'll start working on ideas/sketches for this today.


What a roller coaster ride, a learning experience to share

Well, I felt I had to walk away from the Miami mural job I was anxiously waiting to start. It went from agreeing on a price and my sending out the proposal and request for the deposit....ok, that was fine.....he said "I'll get the deposit out", he emailed pictures and ideas for the murals....... to a few days later when asked if the deposit had been sent he said he'd rather wait til I start the work to give me a deposit as stated in my contract. There was no contract, only a proposal stating the deposit was due prior to start. First red flags are starting to show. When I asked for a time line, I was told maybe about two weeks. I'm getting really anxious, knowing I have no money and the rent in a brand new place is due in less than two weeks, and no other work is presenting itself. Checked in a few days later and asked again about the deposit and was told he knew I was anxious to begin work and needed the money but he'd let me know when things were ready. More red flags. At this point I needed to know his reason for not sending a deposit check so I asked. His explanation was that he's been a business man all his life, dealt with contractors, and the number 1 rule is deposit at start of work......may be his rule, but its never been mine or any other artist I know. The other thing that really bothered me (and I probably shouldn't have allowed it to, I'm always more human than business) was that he knew my situation and was not willing to help by sending the deposit......me still thinking that the job was to start in a week or two......didn't make sense to me....yep more red flags.
He finally responded with he wasn't sure when the work would start, maybe a month, maybe two, maybe not at all....that money was tight and the mural work was not the priority, and suggested when the project was ready perhaps I could submit a bid.......UH????? He did apologize if he had misrepresented the situation.......right.
I hesitate to tell you how foolish (ok..desparate) I was committing to do this job in the first place...I had agreed to do several large murals for a mere 3 grand....I know...I know, but I was in a situation where I had just relocated and getting some work, any work was at the fore front.
Now....still in need of some new clients.....but do not regret walking away from that experience, I felt a great sense of relief. The next day I won $84.50 in the lottery! Can you believe it...two more numbers I could have been a millionaire...as it is, I get to eat this week :-) I also met with a new potential client :-)


Early Morning Storm

Typical early morning storms out over the ocean, the low rumble of thunder in the distance. This is the intracoastal...I'm on the property of the apartment building I'm now living in. You can see some of the many apartment buildings that sit between the 'lake' and the ocean.
I was actually out here hoping to spot some manatees. I missed a great photo opp the other day when I saw one exposing him/herself in order to lunch on the grasses. I couldn't believe how much of its body was out of the water. It was a real treat to see.


Great Article About Janet Nelson and Her Art

Janet is an online artist friend of mine. Not only does her art have great style....so does she. She always comes up with creative ideas and she always tries to help me stay positive when times are tough...no small feat there, uh Jan?..lol. Just click on the photos to read.


Chatham Pen Works

I meant to post about this person a while ago, Yussef Hyman. When I was in the process of moving, I was giving a lot of stuff away that I couldn't take with me. One of those items was my most favorite work table...thick solid pine with two large drop leaves....it was a perfect fit for my tiny apartment.
Anyway, it was Yussef who got the table, he answered my ad on Craigslist. As he was struggling to get the massive table apart for a more manageable transport, I asked him if he was a carpenter (he had a LOT of tools). Turns out he turns wood, and uses that skill to make one of a kind pens, pencils, key chains, etc. I suddenly had a vision of my large table being turned into a thousand pens and sawdust....lol. I was shocked when he reached in his pocket and pulled out three pens for me to choose one from as a gift for the table. My choice....
The wood is its natural color and called Yellowheart, its from Brazil.

How about this one, African blackwood and 24k gold. Got someone special in your life? This pen and pencil set is only $40! Stunning.

The one below is made from Sapele, it's an exotic African hardwood from the mahogany family, often called Gold Coast Cedar. I just think it is so beautiful and elegant.You can see more of Yussef's work on his website . Bookmark his site so you have it handy for Christmas shopping.....remember all those folks that have everything already? the hard to buy for?.....I promise you they don't have anything like this.

Looks like about two weeks

Got an update from the Miami client and it looks like it'll be about two weeks before they're ready for me.
I'm spending a lot of time on facebook looking for groups to join, ways to get my name out there and network with others.