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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Setting up Google Analytics for Etsy


If you have a shop at Etsy you've probably been frustrated at the lack of stats and information on your visitors. Etsy shops now support the use of Google Analytics, and if you want to set it up I found a great walkthrough here.

I may rethink my own Etsy strategy soon; unfortunately I don't think my style of art is the kind that does well on Etsy, so I may move some of my still lifes to eBay and start focusing on prints and potentially something like sketches for Etsy in the future. I was thinking of investing in some Copic markers when I get some extra funds. They look like they'd be fun to use for sketches. I love having a shop on Etsy and wouldn't want to close it down completely.

I'm still sick, so no new paintings today! Hopefully I'll kick this bug by the weekend.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Three Sisters

4x6 on canvas panel

I started this painting and decided to do a similar one for this month's giveaway, so they've got the same palette and vibe going on.

I'm still feeling pretty miserable but manged to get some painting in today. I wish I could knock myself out until I'm feeling better!


Monday, February 23, 2009

A Storm Rolls In


6x8 on stretched canvas - $69

Stormy clouds stalk an empty beach...I was in the mood for blues and beiges when I painted this one.

I've gone and gotten my second cold of the year. I've already slept most of the day away but hopefully will be able to get some more painting done soon. I have a sister piece of sorts to the painting I'm giving away this month that I'll post tomorrow.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

February Free Painting Giveaway!

Win this painting!
4"x4" oil on canvas panel

February's winding down, and you know what that means: Free painting giveaway time! This month I'm giving away this freshly painted 4"x4" oil painting on canvas panel of a golden sunset; one of my favorite things! To enter, just follow these steps:

1. Email me by 11:59 PM EST on February 28, 2009. DON'T just leave a comment on this blog post (though comments are always welcome!), you have to email me to enter!

2. In your email, include your name and physical mailing address. Your address is not given away and is not used for anything other than this contest, and is deleted after the contest is over. I like to already have it on hand if you're name is chosen so I can get the painting out quickly!

3. That's it! I'll use the random number generator at to chose a winner from the entries, and the winner will be contacted shortly thereafter.

Good luck!

Friday, February 20, 2009

ACEO Prints

ACEO fine art limited edition - $7
Purchase this on Etsy

Recently I learned that iprintfromhome had started offering ACEO prints. ACEOs have been a trend for a few years now and are a great way to collect art inexpensively. The only real requirement to an ACEO is that they measure 2.5" x 3.5." I think iprintfromhome offers the ACEO sized print on both photographic paper and fine art paper; I went with the fine art paper which is more expensive but I really love the look of it. They come uncut eight to a sheet. The only downside to me is that it doesn't leave much of a border when you cut them, but it's enough of an overlap for matting purposes.

I decided to just do a test run with my recent painting of an egret, and since they came out well and matched the colors on my screen I'll order some other ACEO sized prints soon, along with some slightly larger prints of some of my favorite recent paintings.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Morning Boat II

6x6 on stretched canvas

This painting was much more challenging to me than the previous one because of the perspective of the boat; it just kept messing with me.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Morning Boat I

6x6 on stretched canvas

One of my favorite sights is a little boat sitting patiently on still waters. This is one of two, the other will be up tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

At The Close of Day

6x12 on stretched canvas

Skyscapes always present a bit of a challenge for me unless I'm in the perfect frame of mind for them. I always want to make set the values of the different planes of the cloud further apart than they really are, sometimes ending up in a discordant mess. After struggling awhile on this one I had to go back and soften the sky with a large brush, and I think it helped a lot. I enjoy working with purples but having a hard time getting a really vibrant purple.


Monday, February 16, 2009

A Timid Moon

4x4 on canvas panel - $50
Purchase this painting on eBay

Maybe it's the romantic in me, but I love using the moon as a subject in paintings. This one was based on a lovely photo from Morguefile.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mini Marsh Dawn

4x4 on canvas panel

Here is another small painting created from the leftover paint after I finished a bigger painting. I guess I'm doing things a bit backwards, since most artists do the small study to warm up to the big one, but it has a certain appeal to me as a cool down exercise too. It helps relieve some of the stress of a larger painting.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Marsh Dawn

20x20 on stretched canvas

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Three Chocolates

4x8 on canvas panel

In honor of Valentine's Day and its ability to soothe the sweet tooth in all of us, I decided to do this little painting of three chocolates in a row awaiting their fate.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


6x6 on stretched canvas

I saw this egret from a pier behind the Pine Knoll Shores aquarium, making trails through the water and hunting for goodies. I always meant to paint him but never got around to it until now. I don't paint animals very often but I just had an itch to try some new things this week because the normal subjects just aren't doing it for me creatively. I guess all artists get like that once in a while, huh?


Sunday, February 08, 2009

Mini Marsh

4x4 on canvas panel - $50

When I finished my larger painting the other night I had some paint piles left on my palette. I thought it would be a good opportunity to do a smaller piece inspired by the larger version. It was nice to go with a painting that wasn't quite as planned out as my usual pieces, and it's been a while since I worked this small.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

A Work in Progress of Bogue Sound

24x24 on stretched canvas - $235
Purchase this painting on eBay

I've been wanting to show a painting in progress, and I kept that goal in mind while I painted this painting of Bogue Sound. Unfortunately even using a tripod these pictures didn't come out amazing and are slightly blurred, but I hope they still illustrate my steps. This painting is 24x24. Above is the final version, and here's how I got to it:

I start by covering my canvas in a red gesso. Most of my paintings are heavy on blues and greens and I love a little bit of the warm red peeking through in the end:

Then I do a very quick sketch in pencil and fill in some of the dark areas with a reddish-purple of where the land meets water, and add in a little bit of the greens where the grass will be:

More filling in of the grassy areas:

Up to this point I've just been brushing in chunks of green color, but now I actually start trying to make it appear more grass-like in the front:

I finally decide I should add in some of the water behind the foreground so I can get to blending the grasses further back with the water:

And even more refinement of the foreground:

I'm happy with the front for now so I add in the basic sky value. I bring it in close to where distant trees will be:

I add in the darker values of the trees:

This one really caught a lot of glare, but I basically merged the trees with the sky with some careful blending:

The final part was to refine the trees and add in some details, like building some clouds and brightening the water and grasses. This picture was taken outside so it shows up better than the previous ones:

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Friday, February 06, 2009


My blogger labels were such a mess. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, blogger lets you assign tags to each post so you link posts together under certain categories. You just click on the label the writer assigned and you'll be shown any posts with that label.

I was really inconsistent about the labels I used on my posts, so I had a long list of things that had only been used once. My goal last night was to go back through and clean everything up. It was easier to do than I thought; I thought I'd have to go through and edit each individual post and that it would take forever. But if you go to your Edit Posts section, it gives a list of labels that you've used. You can check beside all the posts you want to change and either bulk add or delete labels from there.

Now you can scroll down my sidebar on the right and see a section called "Labels" and sort my paintings by broad themes. I've also added an "Available Paintings" label so you can check out which of my paintings are still available for purchase. I hope this will help with navigation.


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Cracked Egg on a Plate

6x6 on 1 1/2" thick canvas

First, let me apologize if you subscribe to my blog feed and are getting a bunch of weird out of date posts. I'm going back through and merging my blog posts from my previous blog and cleaning up a lot of older posts. Everything should hopefully be in working order from here on out.

This painting was done on linen canvas, which I haven't really worked with much. I liked the difference in texture from my regular canvas and the fact that I didn't have to gesso it with an undercolor before working with it.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cracked Egg

6x8 on stretched canvas

A few days back I mentioned that I was going to attempt a few more egg paintings. I painted this on Saturday but wanted to give it some time to dry before listing it. The egg yolk is always the most fun part to me, and the shell is always the most challenging, along with keeping the values on the lighter side. In paintings like this I definitely find that it helps to lay out my color mixes on my palette before I start painting. I have another egg painting for tomorrow!


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Meet Me Under the Old Oak Tree...


I thought I'd try my hand at a small tree painting. I think trees are a constant challenge and can potentially drive an artist to insanity.


Monday, February 02, 2009

Fort Macon Beach Sailboat

20x20 on stretched canvas

Looking back I believe Fort Macon may have been the first beach I ever visited, or at least the first I can actually recall visiting. The actual fort is still standing and makes a good walk-through. When I caught a scenic white sailboat cruising past the beach I couldn't help but be inspired to paint it.

Here's a photo I took of the late afternoon sun hiding behind clouds. It's funny that I never appreciated the beach (I'm a landlover!) until I started painting it.

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Painting Giveaway Winner for January!

I want to thank all 98 entrants to January's painting giveaway! I used to select a random integer between and including 1-98 and the result was entry #6, Linda P of Coon Rapids, MN. Congrats Linda! The painting will ship to you on Monday.

I do monthly painting giveaways towards the end of every month so I hope you'll keep checking in for another chance to win. To make sure you don't miss February's giveaway, you can either sign up for my eBay newsletter near the top of my eBay store or you can subscribe to my blog's feed.