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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Redtail Hawk at Tablerock

This was requested as a wedding gift. The redtail and the location have special meaning to the recipients. The mats were scanned in and placed with Photoshop to show how they'd look with the feather, but we ended up going with a darker red-orange (Bainbridge's "chaps") for the second mat.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Puyallup Spring Fair

Puyallup Spring Fair at the Oldfield Western Heritage Center!

I'm going to jump in and try doing a postcard to advertise. This is new to me, I haven't tried it before. Got Print makes it easy to give it a test drive though... you can order as few as 250, but I've ordered 500. I'll go through them, I have a pretty good mailing list. I created these in Photoshop by way of GotPrint's template. I wanted to go with humorous/fun, and I think this will fit the bill.

There was a lot of info to put on the back, it took some creative editing to get the most important times and dates in there. One concern with mailings, postcards, etc. is the accidental placement in the circular-file when it arrives in mailboxes. I'm told that one way to avoid that is the day that one mails the cards. I was told by a savvy artist to mail on Tuesdays or Wednesdays so the mailings will likely arrive to their recipients on Friday or Saturday. The reason for this being that Mondays and Tuesdays tend to see a glut in mailers , ads and circulars, while the week's end tends to be very light in comparison. I've been watching my incoming mail and have found that he is right - at least in my area. Your area's mileage may vary.

This shipment of cards is going to be delivered most likely on Friday. You know how I'll be spending much of my Easter weekend!

Friday, March 23, 2007


Ok, for the most part it's up! The website overhaul has progressed enough that I felt comfortable publishing. I still have a lot to do, but I should be completely finished in a few days. Woohoo!

Featherlady Studio

supporting the galleries

I've got several shows coming up all around Western WA - actually I'm looking at a minimum of one a month from April through October, which is the most rigorous schedule I've put on myself yet. Most of these shows are within reasonable proximity to at least one gallery who carries my paintings.

Much preparation to be done! It's been a very busy year, more so than I've seen yet, and as a result my inventory is not as high as I would like. That's ok, I'll get there - I have a month before the first of these shows.

Part of my preparation is getting with each gallery who represents me, and getting a stack of their business cards। When I set up the table in the center of the back wall in my booth, it contains my brochures, my business cards, a guestbook, a couple of WIP's, some unpainted feathers for kids to touch... and lots of gallery business cards.

I keep the business cards of all galleries in the region in a tidy little rack in a prominant place. I let local patrons know that they can also find my paintings in these galleries nearby। I make sure I have a list of what that gallery has, so in the event that a patron is looking for a specific animal that I do not have or no longer have in my booth, I can cheerfully tell them that so-and-so has a feather with that animal in their gallery, and I describe it to them, and describe the gallery and its location if they are unfamiliar. There have been a couple of cases where the patron exclaims, "Oh, I didn't know there was a gallery there!", which is good for the gallery because I've just pointed a new visitor in their direction. It's good for me because they'll be very likely on the lookout for painted feathers when they do visit that gallery. I've seen some gallery sales that way. It's good for the patron because now they know where to find my work, they don't have to wait for next year's show - they may also have a new venue on their list of galleries to explore.

And I always, ALWAYS keep the prices consistent: at the gallery, at the show, in the studio. One should NEVER undersell a representing gallery, it's just bad form all around.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Website progressions

I'm not publishing yet, it's going to be a while! But I did want to put up this screencap of the new links page. It's settled, that's the way the links bar is going to be.

The photo inclusion was via a suggestion from a friend of mine. I was showing off some turkey feathers I had recently procured, so I took a snapshot of them all laid out on my button blanket (which is under construction, hence all the basting stitches). She said, "Oh, you should put that on the website!" She was right, I think it looks pretty cool there. Those turkey feathers are going to be a LOT of fun to work with!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Commission completed and received

Yes, it is a very familiar scene. And I had a lot of fun doing it. This was a special birthday request for a lady who collects End of the Trail. The style and color palette were not my usual, which made it even more fun and challenging. I hope it goes well with the rest of her collection!

Website remodeling

It has come to my attention lately that my website lacks.... professionalism? Polish? Continuity? Ease of use? Oh let's face it, it looks like a great big mess put together by a hobbyist. Because it is. I first built the site a number of years ago and kept the same look, so it has that dated feel. The way it was laid out was adequate for showing a bit of work, but I kept the same format and just kept piling more work into it. It has grown so much that the beast has become unwieldy indeed. By every right and appearance it looks like an ameteur did it - that just won't do, not for a professional art site. Time to roll up my sleeves, bite the bullet...

I have factors working against me. I am technologically-inept. The site content is HUGE. It was put together with a WYSIWIG program. My time is limited. I can't afford/don't want to pay for a professional web designer.

So I've been looking at a LOT of art sites and their layouts. I'll take an appealing page into MS Word, and rework it. Change the colors, the table/cell sizes, create the necessary graphics I'll need for my own, add elements I've seen on other pages that I like and want to incorporate into my own format. I've got a start on a design I kinda like. It needs further tweaking, such as reducing the nav bar/title-logo occupation as they take up too much room on top. It's a drastic change from what my site has been for the past.... 6 or 7 years? Hey, I'm overdue! This change won't be immediate, it's going to take a LOT of time and work. I won't drop older works, they will be archived and available on the site.

T'ain't easy, but I'm learning a lot as I go.
If anyone would like to chime in with an opinion or a critique, such information would be heartily welcomed.

Monday, March 19, 2007

New canvas!

Spring Calf

I have new "canvases" to play with! Just about everything over the 17 years I've been painting feathers has been on peafowl plumage, male and female. I now have a nice little collection of Royal Palm turkey feathers to try things on. I love how the natural patterns of this feather elude to an intended background, and many people see different things with it - high cirrus clouds, a snowy mountain, rolling hills... each mind interprets it differently, which adds to the fun of the image.

Explorations in cedar

BSA DIstrict Awards

It was so much fun having a part in these! I was on the District Awards Committee, and part of the creation of the awards. A *very* talented Assistant Scoutmaster made all of these from a lot of cedar boards that he had onhand, and designed and created the patches. My task was painting the PNW Flat Design on all.

There were 10 paddles (sorry for the blurry pic), each unique in size and shape, so each received its own unique painting - there was Salmon, Raven, Sea Monster, Halibut, and so much more. With each paddle I became more and more comfortable with the process. The other two photos show two sides of one box. There were several boxes. This particular box told the story of Raven Steals the Sun; you'll recognize the lid design from a previous work I did on paper. Moon is seen on one of the panels, and Sun (not shown), is on the other. I kept Moon's features soft and basic, and very much in contrast to Sun's features, which were highly detailed, more angular, and also giving him a hooked beaklike nose. Personalities along the lines of the contrast between sunlight and moonlight, I suppose.

Upon arrival, most of the awards were decorated even further with wrapped feathers, which really set them off. In all, it was a neat proceeding, well organized, flowed well, great dinner, and most importantly, most of the recipients were present. A great evening, and I hope it all encourages a higher attendance next year.

I don't think any BSA District in all of Western WA has done District Awards like these! Lots of fun, and I hope to be involved again next year.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Many brands on the coals...

I've not been posting much here lately, but it's with good reason. I've been pulled in many directions over the last couple of months, some in art and business and some in Scouting.

I've recently had to make a decision to cut something out. I had to step down as Cubmaster. It was a hard decision, as I've been with that unit for 6 years, since my younger son joined Scouting as a Tiger Cub. He advanced on up to Troop last year, though, but I was still in a leadership position with the Pack. Two sons in two Troops. Art business that has suddenly taken off this year at a much greater rate than I anticipated. Involvement with local arts communities to network and to find opportunities. My family was not seeing enough of me either - something had to give. I know the Pack willl do fine without me, it's just a matter of adjustment and other parents stepping up. That position needs to be filled by a parent who has a son there, not by someone trying to be active at Troop level too.

So now I'm playing catch-up. I've several commissions to fill, I'm mustering art to hang in a local restaurant, I've a big show at the Fair next month to prepare for. And I'm working on awards for an all-too-quickly-approaching BSA District Awards Banquet. These awards are very unusual and pretty cool. The idea grew from paddle-making which I put an OA youth onto up at Camp Black Mountain last summer. That and aspirations to learn steam-bending cedar - which we still want to do, just to be able to teach to youth. These awards are a joint effort - a talented craftsman of a Scouter built them. I'm painting them with PNW Flat Design. Then four of us will get together and finish the decorating andadornments. District has *never* seen awards like these!

After Banquet, I will post photos. I wouldn't want to give away the surprises before the event. I must say though-- I feel like I'm getting ready for a Potlatch!