Buffalo Roam In Their Ozark Home

Home, Home on the Range

Buffalo [AKA, bison] roaming the range in old western films is shear movie magic. I loved the pivotal movie moment when cowboys would ride over a mountain top and see herds of cattle or bison below with the soundtrack playing in the background…Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam….

I found those films fascinating in my childhood. Beloved cowboys Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Hopalong Cassidy named their horses, carried a guitar strapped to their saddle, made grand entrances into a saloon, and rode down trails amidst rolling sage brush.

Flash forward to the Ozarks today. Thanks to brilliant conservation, you can ride or drive to a mountain top in Missouri and Arkansas and see  a herd of bison below in a nature preserve like Dogwood Canyon or spot them grazing along a ridge, like Buffalo Ridge Golf Course.

Famous Sculptor Designs Most Famous Buffalo

End of the Trail, James Earl Fraser
James Earl Fraser, “End of the Trail,” at Top of the Rock, Branson, MO.

Renowned sculptor James Earl Fraser, artist of the famous End of the Trail bronze, also designed the buffalo on the collectible Buffalo Nickle (minted between 1913 and 1938). The Fraser buffalo on the nickle is the most famous buffalo of all.

Of course, there are the beloved Buffalo wings, Buffalo Bills, and Buffalo, NY.

Bison roaming Ozark mountains and nature preserves remind us to conserve nature and to celebrate our pathfinders, cowboys and Native Americans who once slept beneath the stars.

Little known facts about the American bison

  • American bison is the formal name for the American buffalo.
  • The bison is the national mammal of the U.S.
  • In addition to being a major food mainstay. the American Indians found a use for nearly every part of the bison: buffalo robes, tools, utensils, and implements for hunting and war; hides for canoes and various styles of portable huts and teepees.
  • American bison are gregarious. It was not uncommon for herds to grow to 1,000 bison and for herds to migrate together and form a herd of two- to three-thousand.
  • Known as herbivores, they snack on grass every two hours, moving between snacks to greener grass, throwing in a nap along the way.
  • The American bison have distant relatives in Europe.
  • Bison share international lineage with the Asian water buffalo and the African buffalo.
  • The average bison weighs over a 1,000 pounds.
  • They are protective of their space. Stay out of it, or you may find a 1,000 pound buffalo charging at you.
  • The average lifespan of the American bison is between 15 and 25 years.

Modern Portrait of Pres. Donald J. Trump

My first portrait of our new President, in a Modern style

Trump of Spades playing card
Trump of Spades

I went Modern when I got out my pen to ink the portrait of our new President, then framed it for a deck of cards. The first thing that pops into my mind when I hear the word trump is … Play Your Trump Card.

A great painter is always commissioned to paint an Trump of Hearts for Valentine's Day, a Modern Portrait of Donald J. TrumpOfficial Portrait of the President to hang in the National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian, a tradition since Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of President George Washington.

My portrait is the unofficial portrait.

Trump of Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, and Clubs

Play your Trump card of Diamonds
Trump of Diamonds

I had to frame Donald Trump’s portrait with all of the playing card suits, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, and Clubs, so  you could play with a full deck.

Here’s a link to a coloring page. Go wild with  your color palette when you paint, like I did.

Credit: my Modern Art of Pres. Trump was inspired by Newsweek’s Special Inaugural issue: Trump, Commander in Chief.


Color and doodle 45th President of the U.S.
Click to paint Trump Portrait

Contest Crazy Led Me To Winsor & Newton Contest

The words Prize and Free always turn my head

So, when Winsor & Newton hailed a new line of ink pen and brush markers with an art contest centered on their ProMarkers and BrushMarkers and having a grand prize of a complete set of their ProMarkers, I was in.

Contest Pay to Play

The catch was, I didn’t own any of their markers, and I had only used gel and ink markers in lettering and calligraphy – not illustration. Still I jumped in, cannon ball style, to win their prized markers.

To enter, I bought the required Winsor & Newton ProMarkers and downloaded their template. They didn’t want random art, they challenged artists with a template of five flowing lines taken from their iconic, winged lion logo.

Winsor & Newton ProMarker Contest template
Winsor&Newton contest template

Inspired by those five flowing lines and a table full of newly purchased W&N ProMarkers and BrushMarkers, I began a month-long obsessions to create my very first masterpiece.

contest entry with pumpkin, fish, turtle, leaves
“Summer’s end” – Farewell to summer … hello, autumn!

In the end, I submitted Summer’s End, the first layout I had inked. I knew it was a flop, but I had worked my heart out and felt compelled to enter the contest if for no other reason than to validate my month-long obsession. Summer’s End got four Likes on Instagram.

I had allocated so much time to the initial layout and idea phase that little time remained for the final work and inking. No time for a re-work and no time remaining to ink my favorite layout, Kitty Diva.

Contest Entry Kitty Diva in Fish Repose
Kitty Diva lounging on a chaise lounge, surrounded by fish, line work for inking

Contest over. Winners announced. View their work.

Still a winner! I have a drawer full of newly-purchased Winsor & Newton markers and a feeling of accomplishment.

The beauty of entering art contests is that you challenge yourself to think outside the box. I mean, I never would have drawn Kitty Diva lounging on a chaise sofa and in a room decorated with fish, were it not for the contest and those five flowing lines.

So, everyone wins when you challenge yourself to be better.

You can color your own Kitty Diva and Summer’s End on the Color page of my website.

Original Contest Rules for Winsor & Newton’s 2016 Contest

  • Create your artwork – it can be anything you like, but you must use the lines displayed on the template below
  • Your artwork must be made using mainly ProMarkers and/or BrushMarkers
  • Upload your picture to Instagram using the hashtags: #InspiredByProMarker and #WinsorNewtonChallenge. You can enter as many artworks as you would like and the closing date is 31 October 23.59 GMT. (Check out the talented artist who entered the contest on Instagram.)

Winsor & Newton

Founded in 1832 in London by William Winsor and Henry Newton, the company continues to supply artists with paints, brushes, and art papers world wide. Headquartered in England.

Check out their new travel watercolor palette and brush set for sketch books and their professional compact palette for your masterpieces. And watch some art tutorials. Maybe there’s an art contest in your future.

Illustration for Children’s Books

Annual Talent Search For a Children’s Book Illustrator

illustration of birds on teacup for global talent search 2016
Birds Chatter on Tea Cup, my entry for GTS2016

I’ve emerged from my cave after sleeping through the fourth annual Lilla Rogers’s Global Talent Search. I would still be in the dark about the talent search if not for artsy friends on Instagram. Fortuitously, a hash tag led me to a talented network of artist and illustrators who had entered a contest to win agency representation by Lilla Rogers Studio.

Lilla Rogers at Make Art That Sells sponsors an annual  Global Talent Search competition to find talented children’s book illustrators. The Grand Prize winner receives agency representation from Lilla Rogers Studio; career development support in illustration; and numerous product licenses. Zowie!

Stop the presses: Lilla Rogers announced the winners of the Global Talent Search 2016. Entering the finals, Five Finalists were selected! Also, Mara Penny’s menu cover for Sunny Spindler’s cafe received the People’s Choice Award! See their work!

Continue reading Illustration for Children’s Books

Philosophy of Sprinkles and Artwork

Extra, Extra Sprinkles, Please!

ice cream sundae with sprinkles for greeting card
Greeting card art with sprinkles

Sprinkles on ice cream at a drive-through window inspired my fancy sundae art. I was seeking ice cream, AKA Fun Food, with my granddaughter, Tori, and discovered the secret of life — sprinkles.

We were traveling, and pulled into the nearest Dairy Queen.

We sailed past the menu board  (we have the DQ menu memorized). We rolled down the car window, and chirped out our order.

Tori ordered her favorite Blizzard, topped with sprinkles.

A minute later, she springs up from her seat, remembering she forgot something on her order. In her most polite voice she adds …”and extra, EXTRA, sprinkles, please!”

Add Sprinkles to Everything!

ice cream sundae art with extra, extra sprinkles
Extra, extra sprinkles, please!

What’s a few more sprinkles? I loved the delight in Tori’s eyes when she saw her Blizzard generously covered with sprinkles.

When I think of good getting better, I visualize extra, extra sprinkles and the enjoyment the little things in life bring. Don’t skimp on the good stuff.

It is that practice in life to top what you are doing with something better and to want to change the ordinary into the extra ordinary that maximizes the little joys of  life. Continue reading Philosophy of Sprinkles and Artwork

Miniature Art Collection of Icons and Symbols

Icons, Art in Miniature

 

Icons and symbols are miniature pieces of art. Their swirling lines and shapes create iconic images that decorate, illustrate, and identify. These icons can become epic, i.e., the Mac Apple. (See a page of icons on my Blog and a more complete collection at Swim Yellow Duck.)

miniature "pw" monogram with calligraphy border
My “PW” monogram, underwater

I christened my PW monogram floating in the sea alongside a whale as art in miniature and on a lesser scale.

Working from a sketch, I had envisioned my initials inside a formal cartouche symbol, somewhat like a monogram found impressed on an old English manuscript. However, my mind wandered to Lollipop Land as I worked, and soon my “PW” initials were under water watching a whale swim by.

An Iconic Collection

Art from the Free Icons & Symbols Collection
Free Icons & Symbols Collection

I’ve launched a  collection of icons and symbols from my digital doodles for you to use as a resource, gratis. It’s an Iconic Collection of Free Icons and Symbols .

The zip folders include various file sizes in three formats, JPG, PNG, and SVG, that you are free to download. I’ve showcased some on my Free Icons and Symbols in a gallery on my blog. For a more complete visual reference, check out my Swim Yellow Duck gallery.

purple imperial insignia icon from the Free Icon& Symbol Collection
Imperial Insignia Icon

I tend towards elongated swirls. I think flowers. Many of my icons are flowers and scrolls. In my handwriting, much like stopping to smell the roses, I stop to twirl my letters because I love the curve of a line.

Icon for Christmas in July

Oh, Christmas Tree
Oh, Christmas Tree

If you are one of those who dream of snow on a sunny day in July, you might be a Christmas in July person. It’s a great time to buy yourself a gift because summer sales in July are door busters.

The fun thing about icons in my collection is that you can make them any size and any color.Christmas tree decorated

Cactus Icon

Flowering Cactus Icon from the Free Icon and Symbols Collection
Flowering Cactus

What comes to mind first when you see a cactus? You’re thirsty, an iguana, desert sand, sun screen, a western movie or possibly, tequila … ?

For me, it’s Cabo San Lucas, my favorite vacation spot. Although, anywhere in the tropics with sand and the ocean would suite me well.

I will post more icons from time to time. Until then, happy trails ….

How-to: Add Color To Digital Art in a Click or Two or Three

The art in my folders is, for the most part, saved in three formats, JPG, PNG, and SVG.

Inverted icon in JPEG format and framed withwith green border
JPEG: inverted black & white and added a green border to the bounding box

A JPG image is compressed and set in a white bounding box. There is little you can do to affect a JPG  in two or three clicks. In art programs like Adobe Photoshop, you can invert the colors, i.e., change the white to black and black to white.  And, you can frame the bounding box.

The PNG and SVG formats lend themselves more simply to editing.

PNG image of a cactus icon colorized and embossed in Photoshop
PNG: colorized and embossed in Photoshop – retained the transparent background

In art programs like Adobe Photoshop, you can lock the transparent background on a PNG, and paint away to change the color. As well, you can do anything to a PNG that you can do with a JPG and still retain the image transparency when you save it as a PNG.

You can totally edit an SVG image in vector art programs like Adobe Illustrator etc. The sky is the limit. Add a pattern background to the image, animate the image, or completely re-make the image, make it huge or make it tiny,  all without loosing image quality, thanks to the nature of the beloved vector format.

Original cactus icon
Original SVG Cactus Icon
Changed the flower to a bird and replaced the black and white with color
SVG: original image edited in Illustrator: changed the flower to a bird and replaced the black and white with color, all with a few simple clicks!

Happy Campers Own Trailers

RVs are Home on Wheels

I’ve always preferred camping out in a hotel room, but watching a steady parade of campers to the Ozarks this summer has made me curious as to the world of RV trailers.

I now picture myself hauling a teardrop Tab camper or other glam buggy to a nearby lake or camping spot for spontaneous outings and for hauling around my art supplies.

poster with nine campers
Campers on Parade

Campers in Art

Hence, I was inspired to draw some campers recently, and I have added a few of the campers to my Free Image Gallery of digital art.

Camper RV with patriotic trunks
Dory’s Camper

Dory’s Camper was inspired by my cousin. Her RV is huge and modern, unlike the vintage one I drew, but she prompted the red, white and blue trunks waving  from the antenna.

My first sketch included a flag, but thoughts of Dory and the family reunion in Nashville popped into mind.

Dory had arrived at the campsite driving her mobile home, loaded with food and fun. Later in the day, she pulled out some undies and clipped them on the clothesline.

The panties were huge. It was fun watching her decorate the camp site.  I always smile when I think back on the fun time with family and the reunion and picture those panties waving in the breeze.

Cousin Dory hanging large undies on a clothesline at the campsite
Undies for the clothesline

IMG_0064

Flip Flops in my Digital Art Gallery

I Love Flip Flops

Flip Flops with a black and white check pattern
Flip flops with a Checkered Past

There is nothing that puts me in a vacation state of mind more quickly than slipping on a pair of flip flops.

In May, I was in my perpetual vacation-state-of-mind, and drew lots of flip flops, which I added to my Free Art Gallery.

Also, I modeled them together with some sandals for a poster and added it to my Art Gallery.

 

Flip Flops Take My Mind Off Politics

icon for free digital art
Wide Eyed Me

Wide Eyed rather describes my state of mind this political season. I am in a dizzying state of whazzup.

First, Jeb bowed out of the 2016 Race for the  White House 2018, more accurately described as the demolition derby. He and the clan are dissing the National Republican Convention, even.

Pretty bummed. I like principled governors like Jeb Busch and John Kasich, who accomplish reforms and know how to navigate the system. I want to see in my lifetime an immigration policy for Hispanics in particular that institutes a pathway to citizenship for a people who have enriched our culture and who have been welcomed through our back door for some 50 years. Continue reading Flip Flops in my Digital Art Gallery

Portrait of Lady Gaga, a Nod to Cubism

Lady Gaga portrait, Cubism
Lady Gaga Cubic

My Lady Gaga in Roses illustration was inspired from magazine photographs. The ‘roses” in the art title comes from her skirt of rose petals.

In the beginning, I was drawing portraits and intended only to draw Lady Gaga’s face, but one thing led to another. Soon I was drawing her hands, arms, dress …. in juxtaposition.

I was studying Cubism. My first attempt at Cubism was a self-portrait,  titled Modular Me.

digital art self portrait. wistful of cubism
Modular Me, digital art to the power of three

Since I enjoy geometric prints and adored geometry in high school,  Cubism promised to be a natural for me, but I have some work to do.

It’s fun to re-composite an image in geometric shapes, but more challenging is to imagine a flat object from different viewpoints and to create that final image with differing viewpoints and on different planes, which is pure Cubism. Continue reading Portrait of Lady Gaga, a Nod to Cubism

An Easter Dinner Invitation for Twelve

Invitation to The Last Supper … for the first Easter

Scripture reference, the Gospel of Luke, verses 22: 7-20

Dinner Invitation for Twelve

First, invitations for twelve to an upper room
A guest of honor, ceremony, singing,
Communion, a remembrance of His promise to come again,
I will not eat of this bread or drink of this cup until … you and I become one
His farewell shook the earth, blackened the sky.
Friends mourned His leaving not knowing
The Father above was planning the first Easter surprise.
The Lord’s day –a resurrection – a coming again.

The guest of honor has gone to prepare a dwelling place
with streets of gold in heavenly places.
We’re invited, too, but He led the way.
Because He lives, we too shall live evermore.
If these things were not so, surely He would have told us.
Peace be unto you

Continue reading An Easter Dinner Invitation for Twelve

Tin Can Dollhouse Chair, March GiveAway

Our Trinket GiveAway at Estate Trinkets & Treasures is a monthly deal.

White, tin can dollhouse chair
Retro, white, tin can dollhouse or miniature chair – March GiveAway

Each month we giveaway a vintage or antique trinket or treasure at our companion website, Estate Trinkets & treasures.

In January we gave away an antique half doll from Germany. In February, we gave away a figurine in the Hummel style, Made in Japan, and known as Banjo Betty. Our March GiveAway is a miniature tin can chair.

April 1 update: March Trinket GiveAway winner is Melissa in California – congratulations!

Gallery of Monthly, GiveAway Trinkets

Gallery of the current and upcoming monthly GiveAway Trinkets.

Click to visit Estate Trinkets & Treasures
Visit Estate Trinkets & Treasures, our companion website on antiques.

Tin Can Miniature Chair, Perfect for a Doll House or Collector’s Shelf

White, tin can dollhouse chair
Retro, white, tin can dollhouse or miniature chair – March GiveAway
White, tin can doll house chair
Retro, white, tin can doll house chair

Enter our March Trinket GiveAway! for a tin can chair, a retro collectible, made by hand.

Made by a creative craftsman of the past, this tin can chair miniature features a woven back and curlicue arms and chair lets. A perfect addition to your collector’s shelf or doll house.

Banjo Betty Trinket GiveAway

Why Not Enter Our February Trinket Giveaway

We’ve chosen Banjo Betty as our Trinket GiveAway to collectors in February at Estates Trinkets & Treasures. The figure Banjo Betty is a copycat of an early Hummel by W. Goebel titled Joyful (number 53), from the art of Sister Innocentia Hummel.

Note: The February Trinket Giveaway has ended. The winner sent a thoughtful note of thanks!

Banjo Betty was in the mailbox yesterday when I got home from work! Love her! She goes with my few other figurines that are not exactly Hummel’s, but are still cute. My kids all played instruments, so this figurine brings back those moments. Thanks again!!!!! Peg

When I first discovered Banjo Betty in our estate items,  I wanted to find out who made it and its value because we planned to sell it. I looked through my books of manufacturer’s marks on porcelain companies to identify the figurine and to set its sale value.

The manufacturer’s mark was unreadable and even though the figurine looked like a Hummel, I knew the mark on the bottom was not the famous Bee mark that W. Goebel stamps on its Hummels. With further deliberation, I determined the figurine was early Beswick and predated the Hummels by W. Goebel.

Skier Hummel figurine number 59
Genuine “Skier’ Hummel by W. Goebel: TMK-2/Full Bee
the Full Bee trademark on the bottom of the Skier Hummel
Full Bee trademark of W. Goebel

Convinced it was Beswick porcelain, I posted it for sale on eBay as a valuable, antique Beswick figurine.

Day’s later,  a Hummel collector e-mailed to say the figurine was NOT Beswick but a copycat by Akiyama of Japan and imported in the early 50s. (Reference: Hummel Copycats; Author, Lawrence L. Wonsch, pg. 43; 1987). Continue reading Banjo Betty Trinket GiveAway