Nightmare in eBay Town With Spooky Buyer

Antique art meets nightmare Buyer

We sold a dreamy framed print of Pharaoh’s Horses on eBay. My husband remembers seeing it hanging in his grandparent’s parlor, and we were hoping to find someone who would treasure it, which we did, but only after encountering a nightmare eBayer.

Packing with care Pharaoh's Horses with bubble wrap and customized foam cutout
Packing with care Pharaoh’s Horses

Hubby photographed the art for eBay and packed it for mailing: two of the five scary steps to selling on eBay:

  1. Photograph item,
  2. Write item description for listing,
  3. Package and weigh item for shipping,
  4. List item with proper information and photos,
  5. Ship sold item securely to Buyer.

Selling on eBay with fingers crossed

Even before my nightmare eBayer saga, we had some misgivings concerning the pitfalls of selling online and the drama of mailing fragile antiques.

However, with great confidence in this piece, we took photos for our eBay ad and packaged it for shipping weight and size.

The frame had a delicate gessoed border, which made it fragile. The wood frame had a veneer that was fragile. And the rolled, antique glass was fragile. Hubby cut round foam spacers for the inset glass and customized the packing materials for travel into the great unknown, the postal system.

Pricing on eBay can be spooky

Victorian Jack-o-lanterns made of paper mache bring a smile or give a nightmare
Spooky jack-o-lanterns once held candy for children in the Victorian days

 I listed for sale our Pharaoh’s Horses with two different prices: a starting Bid price on a  7-day Auction Format and a Buy It Now option for Buyers who prefer to buy immediately and not bid.

Antique Pharaohs Horses Sold on eBay
Antique “Pharaoh’s Horses”

The price difference between the two purchase options was 35%. The more expensive BIN price was my dream selling price, and the lower Bid price was for Buyers who like to bid for the best deal.

Well, I no sooner had listed Pharaoh’s Horses than an eBayer launched a number of e-mails. She wanted the best of both worlds: to Buy It Now, but at the 35% lower starting Bid price. I explained that wasn’t possible. However, I said that if Pharaoh’s Horses did not sell on auction in seven days,  I would lower the Buy It Now price when I relisted it.

Sold, Day One

Anxious to buy the antique print, that eBayer clicked to Buy It Now, day one.

Drama ensues: minutes after the eBayer had clicked to buy, I got a series of panic messages from her to cancel the sale.

She had a dilemma. She said when she clicked to buy my Pharaoh’s Horses, she  inadvertently bought everything in her cart. I didn’t know that was possibly on eBay. However, sadly, she drained her bank account with a single click.

The eBayer was e-mailing me and calling eBay to correct her error and to cancel the sale. eBay Customer Service got busy. So did I. Immediately, I cancelled her order. Her money was returned to her the nano second I clicked Cancel.

Nightmare begins

Normally, I would have simply relisted my item after I took a deep breath, but the eBayer e-mailed asking me to wait a week until she straightened out her banking. I had empathy for that, and I waited several days.

I waited several days but not a week because (1) it takes only hours to a day for eBay and PayPal to restore your funds and (2) the eBayer was beginning to spook me. The nightmare begins …

Within days of her cancelling, I received multiple e-mails from the eBayer saying not to relist Pharaoh’s Horses because she was the rightful owner.

Even though she cancelled the sale within minutes, this eBayer felt that buying, then cancelling and getting a refund entitled her to buy it at some future time when she had the money.

She even called eBay for my personal contact information, which eBay gave her (naughty eBay). That eBayer began harassing me by phone.

The calls appeared as unknown caller. I don’t answer unknown calls. She left a voice message telling me not to sell Pharaoh’s Horses to anyone else but her. What a nightmare.

Later in the week, I relisted Pharaoh’s Horses, with the original asking pricing, and I e-mailed the disappointed eBayer with a link to my new ad as a courtesy to give her the first chance to buy.

She returned my e-mail saying she could not make up her mind whether she wanted to buy at this time since I had not lowered the price.

Well, with my new listing, within an hour, a Buyer clicked to Buy It Now …. Sold!

Nightmare, take two …

When the disgruntled eBayer saw that it sold, she began dumping e-mails telling me to cancel the sale to the Buyer because she still wanted to buy it; therefore, I couldn’t sell it to anyone else. She even e-mailed that she had reported me to eBay. Why? I have no idea for what. I started to feel like Alice in Wonderland.

After her many ensuing, threatening e-mails, I called eBay customer service asking eBay to evaluate the e-mails from her User ID and to report her abuse of eBay Buyer policies. Customer Service was able to open my e-mails and track her comments and accusations.

They say there is the first time for everything. It is still incredible to me that an eBayer would insist an item belonged to them after cancelling the sale with both the Seller and eBay. Buying on eBay is straight forward. If you want something, you buy it or you don’t. It’s not yours just because you want it.

On eBay, sometimes you have to hold your breath before a happy ending, like The End of a Hallmark movie. You cannot let unscrupulous Buyers bully and threaten you.

I had always pictured our beautiful antique on some happy Buyer’s wall. Happily, our official Buyer loved it. After it arrived in the mail, she wrote that Pharaoh’s Horses arrived quickly and intact – music to my ears when we ship antiques.

The Buyer had a half-bred Arabian horse at one time in her life that she loved. And she decorates with antique furniture and vintage items — a perfect home for our treasured Pharaoh’s Horses.

Selling on eBay has been an adventure, but that month I hit a bump in the road.

Selling on eBay is a two-way street. The Seller needs to list their product honestly and ship it intact per agreement. The Buyer needs to pay on time, and accept the item. The sale is not final until (1) the Buyer holds the item in their hand and likes what they bought and (2) the Seller is paid. The goal is for a happy Seller and a happy Buyer.


word balloon advertises coming article on great eBay Buyers

Circus Clown Poster Art to Make You Smile

Clowns, giraffes, tigers, lions, and elephants make great circus posters

Florida vacation meets Circus World

Circus souvenir bag from Circus World, the home of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus World Shopping Bag

Circus posters found a way into our house after a family vacation to Florida and a stop at Circus World, a theme park and the home of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. We hit every theme park in Florida that year because my husband was drumming up business for his souvenir product line that included park brochures, maps, games, children’s books, and coloring and activity products.

Darrell was watching the elephant training and spotted posters for sale on a table. He bought 17 posters.  Those posters stayed in the Circus World souvenir bag until now when we decided to sell them. It was fun for me to unroll them and see the imaginative art after all these years.

Selling original Circus posters on eBay and Etsy

Polar bear on a Ringling Bros. circus pPoster
Our most popular poster on eBay, a Ringling Bros. circus poster with polar bear art

Of the posters we are selling on eBay, the “Ringling Bros. World’s Biggest Menagerie” poster with a polar bear gets the most views. I have to attribute that to the poster being from the early days, before the Barnum & Bailey merger.

The Ringling Brothers circus was established in 1884 in Baraboo, Wis. In 1919, they acquired their noteworthy competitor, Barnum & Bailey, and became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. They headlined their consolidated show, “The Greatest Show on Earth!”

My favorite posters

Circus clown designed by Italo Baggoli for the Monte-Carlo International Cirque Circus
Monte-Carlo Circus Clown by Italo Baggoli

One of my favorite posters is from Monte-Carlo. It features the classic  clown designed by Italo Bazzoli (see note at pg. bottom), the iconic clown art for the Monte-Carlo International Cirque  Festival. The clown art is a haunting and enigmatic image capturing the essence of the veiled clown.

Another favorite is the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey poster with six clowns, a piglet, and a balloon. It has a story-book look to me. You see the clowns sitting, from the backside, as they look down to watch the show in the Big Top. I want to grab a balloon, sit down, and watch, too.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey poster with six clowns and a piglet
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey poster with six clowns and a piglet

Sadly, on May 21, 2017, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey closed its doors. Watch their video of “The Greatest Show on Earth” and read the history of John and Mabel Ringling and their estate and museum in Florida.

I’ve always had somewhat of a fascination with the Ringling Bros. because I was born in Baraboo, Wis., the home of Ringling Brothers. As a child, living in Wisconsin, I loved to say, “Baraboo — the bear that says “Boo!” I knew it was corny even then, but I still liked to say it. I guess I have more “circus” in me than most

Note: Italo Bazzoli launched the “Studio Bazzoli” in 1969. Originally, the studio specialized in graphic design and photography, but grew into EPI Communication, specializing in marketing, consulting, publishing, advertising, travel, and all things Monaco.

Laptop Art and Wicked Tuna, a Perfect Duo

Laptop art, perfect for binge watching Wicked Tuna

Laptop art Edvard Munch's The Scream in pixels as transformative art in a frame
Framed for hanging, my transformative art of The Scream

Often, I am busy on my laptop designing digital frames whenever I watch  Wicked Tuna on the National Geographic channel. If I end up with something to show at the end of the program, I justify the bucket of time I dumped watching TV.

After I completed my first pixel art of The Scream, Edvard Munch’s iconic masterpiece, I thought it needed a frame. So, I made a frame for it while I watched Wicked Tuna, and I recolored my Scream from Munch’s classic palette to my favorite Jelly Bean palette of colors.

I’ve asked myself, Why do I binge-watch Wicked Tuna?

What is it about Wicked Tuna that I find myself binge watching fishermen catching bluefin tuna in the Atlantic until their eyes dilate from lack of sleep? Is it the suspense waiting for a tuna to bite or holding my breath while the fishermen land the fish. It’s an epic tale until that tuna is landed and turned into a paycheck for Sushi and the Japanese marketplace.

Will that tuna make good Sushi? Does it have a clear core and does it have good fat in the majors and minors. I’m spellbound for an hour to see which boat catches the most fish and how much they get paid for their fish because that determines which boat is ahead on the dollar scoreboard at the end of each week.

I confess my favorite crew at the moment is The Pin Wheel, AKA, The Pinhead, by their competitors. They are rather free spirited, and I enjoy the energy on the boat. I love that I don’t have to listen to foul language or hear tales of woe from the crew, and that these two fisherman are just fishing for the love of it and to be the best. They don’t have the biggest and best boat, but they are dedicated to doing their best.

Maybe I need to draw a Bluefin Tuna while I watch Wicked Tuna.

Wicked Tuna equals ocean waves, boats, and fish

Like any good movie, book, or adventure, it’s all about the setting, and Wicked Tuna is set on fishing boats in the Atlantic. No wonder I am mesmerized watching ocean waves and beautiful sunsets and sunny skies, all aboard a boat. What’s not to love?

Transformative Art of Edvard Munch The Scream

Digital transformative art in pixels that references an oil painting The Scream by Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch’s oil painting inspired my pixel art, and hence my transformative art of The Scream

Why I Painted a Copycat version of The Scream

Normally, I would term my digital recreation of Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream a copycat, but today to recreate the art or photographs of others in a surprising or unexpected way is termed “transformative art.” Transformative art has a fair use copyright standing in many cases.

My transformative art of Edvard Munch’s The Scream came about after watching an Adobe Live downstream featuring a Photoshop Contest with free digital brushes, designed by Kyle T. Webster.  Kyle designed the brushes after seven Munch brushes curated at the Munch Museum/Oslo.

I downloaded the digital brushes from Adobe for Photoshop, and had dreams of creating a piece of digital art in the Munch style for the Adobe contest. I made my sketch, and started to paint with my Wacom pen.

However, my computer is a dinosaur, with a slow processor. Every stroke I took with the Munch brushes was like watching a swath of color slowly populating across my screen. As grand as it was to play with the Adobe Munch brushes, it was far too tedious for me, so I abandoned my sketch.

The Scream by Munch has proved itself a timeless classic due to its original expression of a universal theme, panic. Munch painted from life. He was walking with two friends on a bridge, and suddenly he heard nature screaming at him and deafening his thoughts. It was a singular experience that found its way onto his canvas.

Munch painted four different versions of The Scream. One hangs in  Oslo at the Munch Museum.

Adobe’s contest was to find a “Munch 5th” painting to hang in the Oslo Munch Museum alongside one of the original four paintings. View entries on Behance.

My Digital How-To

This was my first attempt to recreate on my computer an oil painting that had brush strokes, blending, and layers of rich paint and diverse values. I wasn’t able to achieve the richness and depth of a painting, but rather created a transformative version with digital splashes of paint.

I began my digital art with a Munch palette of colors that I had sampled from his painting, but those colors morphed as I worked.

Background painting work on Munch The Scream digital art for transformative art
Background work on Munch The Scream digital art

First, I blocked in a background of the Munch painting. Next, I built up shapes of color to recreate Edvard’s brush strokes.

Munch used thick passes of oil paint, tipping the brush on one side with one color and the other side with another color. His paint was so generously applied as he blended his strokes, that I couldn’t see any signs of the canvas texture peaking through in his painting.

I hope to create more transformative versions of The Scream as Munch did; probably on my iPad while I watch this season’s Wicked Tuna, The Outer Banks.

What is Transformative Art?

The copyright status of Transformative Art is an offshoot of Fair Use when the creator of the secondary or derivative work adapts the original work in a surprising or unexpected way. (Elephant)

I highly recommend reading the great article on copyrights in the Spring Issue of Elephant that beautifully illustrates and details with court cases copyright standings in today’s multi-media art culture, drawing a dividing line between fair use and copyright infringement – something you don’t even want to think about.

Seven copyright standings explored in Elephant include:

  • Copyright
  • Copyleft
  • Copyright creep
  • Fair Use
  • Orphan works
  • Public domain
  • Transformative Use

Source: Elephant, The Art Culture Magazine, Issue 30, Spring 2017

Cover of Spring 2017 issue of Elephant Art Culture Magazine
Spring 2017 issue of Elephant, The Art Culture Magazine




Free Munch Digital Brushes and Scream 5 Contest

Munch The Scream 5th Contest Sponsored by Adobe

Transformative digital vector art of Edvard Munch's The Scream
Scream 5 Sees Pixels

Edvard Munch’s The Scream is one of the most recognizable paintings ever. One of four renditions of The Scream hangs in the Oslo Munch Museum as part of the largest collection of Munch’s works in existence.

Also, the museum has curated seven of Edvard’s brushes. Adobe has now commissioned artist and art teacher Kyle T. Webster to replicate digital versions of Edvard’s brushes for Adobe Photoshop CC and Sketch.

Adobe is offering these digital brushes to us – free – and is sponsoring a contest for artists to create their version of The Scream.

Download the free Adobe digital brushes to Photoshop or Sketch, then enter The Scream art contest. Chop-chop. Contest deadline is July 14, 2017.

August 1 Update: See contest entries for Munch 5th on Behance.

Fabulous Prizes for a Winning Masterpiece

Edvard Munch created four versions of The Scream. Adobe wants you to create the 5th version with its digital brushes in The Adobe 5th Scream Contest, June 15-July 14.

    Fabulous prizes

  • 6,000 euros
  • All-expense-paid trip to Adobe Max in Las Vegas
  • Creative Cloud 1-year subscription and 100 Adobe Stock images
  • All-expense-paid trip to the Munch Oslo Museum, where your winning masterpiece will be displayed next to an original of “The Scream.”

Download Free Digital Munch Brushes

I’ve downloaded the Munch brushes. View videos of Kyle T. Webster demonstrate the brushes, June 20 to 22, on Adobe Live. Afterwards, watch Kyle’s tutorial as replays at and on YouTube.

These digital brushes are  tool presets with a .tpl extension. Kyle gives how-to install instructions at the beginning of his tutorials.  These brush tool presets are compatible with Photoshop CS5 and above and Adobe Sketch, a free app for the iPad.

Download the brushes and paint away. Enter The Adobe 5th Scream Contest. Get the brush download along with instructions and tutorials from Adobe.

I am contest crazy when the contest feeds a creative whim within me and nudges me to create in a new genre and with new insights.

Do Over

Cow Screams Fenced In. Painting in the mood of Edvard Munch
Cow Screams Fenced In. Painting in the mood of Edvard Munch

My first digital painting, Cow Screams, was painted with Kyle T. Webster’s Munch brushes in Photoshop. It was my first-ever digital painting in Photoshop. I need a do-over. Like Munch, who rendered The Scream four times – his most colorful being in pastels – I will need further attempts to perfect the concept and style of the neighborhood cow who says hello when I drive past the golf course.

Munch’s Color Palette

    Base colors in Much’s historical palette (from my reading):

  • Lead white
  • Zinc white
  • Artificial ultra marine
  • Vermilion
  • Red lake
  • Red ocher
  • Emerald green
  • Chrome yellow
  • Zinc yellow
  • Cobalt blue

I sampled palette colors from Edvard’s masterpieces with my eyedropper tool in Photoshop, and came up with an array of colors in different tints and hues to inspire a digital painting for Adobe’s Scream 5th Contest.

Sampled colors from Edvard Munch's paintings
Sampled colors from Edvard Munch’s paintings

Who Is Edvard Munch?

Norwegian painter and printer, Dec. 12, 1863 – June 23, 1944

Although I am mesmerized by The Scream, I am unfamiliar with the artist. That  prompted me to Google Edvard Munch. It was fascinating to read about how his art defined him and transcended personal loss, from an overshadowing father to the deaths of both his mother when he was five and his favorite sister in her teens from tuberculosis. Another sister exhibited mental illness during her young life. And illness followed Edvard throughout his youth.

Other challenging events shaped his persona and led him to a painting style of expressionism and symbolism. His paintings do not celebrate ancillary esthetics of nature and mankind but rather evoked psychological themes. People in his paintings are more symbolic than realistic.

“Illness, insanity, and death were the black angels that kept watch over my cradle and accompanied me all my life.” -Edvard Munch

Rebuffing marriage, Edvard referred to his paintings as his children. He preferred to keep and treasure his art rather than sell it. At his death at age 80, he bequeathed his phenomenal, personal collection to the city of Oslo, numbering over 1,000 paintings, nearly 5,000 drawings, and some 18,000 prints.

Volunteer at Legends of Golf Tournament Bass Pro

panorama image of golfers on course with swans and waterfall in background

I like to Volunteer at Bass Pro Legends of Golf, and thought you might want to see what it’s like to volunteer at the tournament. Think green lawns, sandy bunkers, legendary pros, media, eclectic crowds, divine landscapes, and swans ant boats in ponds with waterfalls — christened with rain — all that at the PGA TOUR® Champions Bass Pro Shops® Legends of Golf® at Big Cedar® Lodge, played on premier courses at Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge.

Why I Volunteer

Volunteer? Friends and family chuckle that I volunteer at the tournament because it cost $50 and it takes 3-5 days of my personal time. Some think I am starstruck, but – no. Volunteering for me is the big picture of what this extraordinary tournament brings to me personally, to the sport, and to our area.

Kid Rock Swinging Golf Club
Kid Rock styling in camo for the Skins Shootout with Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Lee Trevino
    • The tournament is held in April, my birthday month, and it’s a gift of entertainment to me.
    • It supports Missouri tourism and the conservation efforts of Johnny and Jeanie Morris and the Bass Pro Shops.
    • Love the color green, and April and May sprout the most beautiful greens in the Ozarks.
    • Love the outdoors. The gardening and horticulture at Top of the Rock are majestic.
    • Always something new and exciting. This year Kid Rock played in a Skins Shootout with Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Lee Trevino. You had to be there.
Medallion for service given to veterans, military, civil servants at the Bass Pro Legends of Golf Tournament
“Service Beyond Self” Medallion presented at the gate to military and civil servants by sponsor H.E. Williams Electric
  • I volunteer to celebrate the efforts of Johnny Morris to make golfing a premier event in the Ozarks. Fun fact: Golf became an Olympic sport back at the 2016 Games in Rio.
  • I like crowds and meeting interesting people.
  • Top of the Rock overlooks Table Rock Lake, an idyllic setting.
  • The tournament gets more exciting each year. (Johnny Morris recently announced his purchase of the Legends of Golf franchise for another four years.)
  • It’s meritorious to volunteer at this prestigious golf tournament that not only celebrates golf but also raises money for education at College of the Ozarks.
  • And you get back much more than you give, thanks to the generous support of Johnny Morris and the tournament sponsors.
I was there: 2017 Tournament, April 19-23, 2017 – Top of the Rock

Golf is Only the Half of It ….

Dude Perfect and fan in Gift Shop at Top of the Rock
Thanks, Cory! Granddaughter Lucy spotted Cory in the Gift Shop at Top of the Rock

There is more than golf at the tournament. Cory Cotton, Twin #2 of Dude Perfect, was on stage Saturday to demonstrate golfing tips for young fans. It was cold and drizzly, but no one seemed to notice.

The tournament provides opportunities for area civic and business organizations to support golf and tourism. This year Branson Chick-fil-A surprised attendees at the gates with free, warm, yummy chicken sandwiches.

When not golfing, competitors are treated to bass fishing, accompanied by guides and pro fishermen on Table Rock Lake, skeet shooting at Bass Pro Outdoor Academy, and fly fishing for trout at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park.

stained glass art palette table favor for painters
An original stained glass table favor for guests

Golfers’ families are entertained as well. This year wives were hosted to a luncheon followed by an acrylic painting class at College of the Ozarks. Table settings included an art glass souvenir of a painter’s palette, crafted by the C of O students.

Volunteer Perks

  • The tournament is an ideal time to see the golf course and all its beauty.
  • Volunteers receive free access to the tournament and a Gold Pass for a guest – for the duration of the tournament.
  • Volunteers are in the thick of it, and often have opportunity to meet legendary golfers.
  • Volunteers are honored at a post-tournament dinner with prizes and awards.
  • You are part of something bigger than yourself.

Volunteers Party-Party-Party!

Following the tournament, Johnny Morris and the tournament chair thanked volunteers  with an awards dinner of Famous Dave’s BBQ and Bluegrass dinner music by Missouri Train.

Volunteer goodie of a ABU Garcia reel and an autographed ball by Johnny Morris from the Legends of Golf dinner for tournament volunteers
My loot from Legends of Golf dinner for tournament volunteers

A table piled with goodies welcomed us. I chose a fishing reel by Berkley/Abu Garcia! Score.

And Johnny Morris signed a golf ball for me, a souvenir from the Pro-Am.

Another evening highlight: Johnny greeted volunteers, shaking hands and chatting with us. He asked for our continued support as he works to curate the resources of the area into a golfing destination for families.

BONUS GIFT: Volunteers were gifted with their choice of either golf for them and a guest to play 18 holes at Top of the Rock or Buffalo Ridge or a pass to Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. Hip-hip-hooray!

Bluegrass and BBQ for Volunteers

Volunteering, Not for Wimps

Volunteers in rain ponchos bearing standard for Faxon and McCarron and Forsman and Reid
Volunteers make good use of their rain ponchos

Volunteer at the tournament! Make an unforgettable moment! And plan for the good and the not-so-good. For starters, this annual tournament is held in April, AKA April Showers, when in the words of Goldilocks, it is either “Too hot,” “Too cold,” or “Just right”! As one volunteer recounts, “I felt like a Popsicle.” Also, you may find the crowd and the players a tad intimidating at times. Key point: If you work the tournament, you can’t watch the tournament, i.e., except on a free day or when assigned to the course with a good viewpoint of the golfers. And, golf is played on a golf course with rolling greens and seven miles of pathways and golf cart paths. As well, standing in the middle of a golf course on duty for hours can be solitary. Finally, if you are a shutterbug like me, taking photos is prohibited while in uniform. Well, that pretty much sums up the whining.

Register to Volunteer in 2018

On October 15, 2017,  register to volunteer at the Legends website  for the 2018, PGA TOUR Champions Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf. Be the first.

Save the date: April 16-22, 2018 – for the next Bass Pro Legends of Golf Tournament. As always, the tournament will host events and activities on a grand scale. And pack your rain boots in case of April showers.

More to Come from  Bass Pro …

Big Cedar Resort opened  Fun Mountain on Labor Day 2017 with a golf simulator, laser tag, bowling, arcade, bumper cars, rock wall, pool table, restaurants, and more.

In 2019, the Tiger Woods designed Payne’s Valley opens. It is the first public-access golf course in the U.S., thanks to Johnny Morris, Tiger Woods, and the Payne Stewart Family, who partnered to make a dream a reality.

And ready for the 2018 golf tournament, Johnny Morris’s Wonders of Wildlife opens Sept. 21, 2017, in nearby Springfield.

On the drawing board: Arnie’s Lodge at Top of the Rock.

Y’All come see us ….

Easter and Springtime Collide

Easter arrives at springtime. For me, spring brings marshmallow Peeps, chocolate bunnies, daffodils, dandelions, colored eggs, egg hunts, fishing, hiking, boating, canoeing, ball caps, flip-flops, summer clothes, summer colors, golf, tennis, camping, traveling, friends, flowers, sun glasses, plein aire watercolors, graduations, parties – and family.

Is it Easter yet?

Living in the Ozarks means I enjoy the best spring offers. Our lilac bush is blooming, and we bought a new lawn mower that’s still in the box. Too early to mow.

Illustration of a cardinal sitting atop an Easter egg surrounded by dandelions and a lucky worm
Cardinal’s Easter Egg

Spring comes with sounds. Canaries, titmice, woodpeckers, robins, and cardinals are daily sites at our bird feeders. The canaries made an early return from their winter’s journey, adding splashes of yellow to the backyard. Titmice and woodpeckers stick the winter out in the Ozarks. As well, some robins and cardinals winter here. All we have to do is step outdoors or open a window to hear spring.

We have a squirrel nesting in our back yard – and a possum!

Best of all, spring is when we celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His gift of new life evermore.

Slow down for Easter

Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, just came and went.

I say to myself as I do each year at this time, “Let’s not rush through this epic event.”  Do some bird watching. Watch Mother Nature wake up from her winter  nap. Journal an Easter Bible Study.

This week read the Gospel records on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that changed history forever.

  • Matthew 26:1-28:20
  • Mark 11:1-16:19
  • Luke 22:1-24:53
  • John 13:1-21:25.

As it is written … the week of Easter

Palm Sunday
  • Jesus enters Jerusalem in triumph, riding on a donkey colt (Mark 11: 1-10).
  • All of Jerusalem is stirred at the coming of Jesus, known as the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee (Matthew 21:1-11).
  • Crowds follow him and spread garments in his path and wave palm branches at him to welcome him as their king, shouting, “Hosanna to the highest!” … “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Mark 11: 1-10).
  • Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and foretells of future destruction for a nation he called to himself, yet did not recognize the coming of God (Luke 19:41).
  • Drives the money changers out of the temple for making the temple of prayer into a den of robbers (Matthew 21:12).
  • Jesus teaches his disciples how faith in God and forgiveness of others give power to prayer (Mark 11: 22-26).
  • Mt. Olivet discourse with disciples: Jesus tells of coming events and cautions the disciples to be watchful for his return (Mark 13).
  • Judas Iscariot plots with the chief priests to betray Jesus for a few coins (Mark 14: 10-11; Matt. 26:48).

(no recorded events in scripture)

  • Jesus asks Peter and John to find a room for the Passover supper and to make preparations (Mark 14:12-16).
  • Jesus washes disciple’s feet as they take supper together (Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; John 13:1-17).
  • Jesus is betrayed by Judas (Matt. 26:47-50).
  • Peter denies knowing Jesus three times (Matt. 26:69-75).
Good Friday
  • Jewish leaders condemn Jesus (Mark 15:1).
  • Pilate examines Jesus before the crowd of religious leaders (Mark 15:1-15).
  • Jesus is beaten, scoured with hyssop, and mocked (Mark 14: 64).
  • Judas Iscariot repents (Matt. 27:3-10).
  • Jesus,  crucified and buried (Mark 15:25-46).

Jesus’s tomb is secured by guards under the orders of Pilot (Matt. 27: 62-66).

Easter Sunday
  • Jesus rises from the dead
  • Guards find tomb empty
  • Angels appear at tomb
  • Jesus appears five times to disciples
    Mark 16: 6-14

Tune into Easter Worship

Adam Donyes, a Bible teacher from Link Year (Branson, Mo.) spoke on Palm Sunday at Woodland Hills. He led us through a study of the Passion of Christ.

SIDE NOTE: We live in a tourist area, and we dress rather sporty for church, being a camping and fishing kind of place. We want vacationing visitors to feel comfortable. So, ignore the casual dress of speakers at Woodland Hills Family Church. We may be casual about our dress, but we are serious about our faith.

Happy Easter and Happy Springtime from the Ozarks!

Illustration of buffalo chomping on a bunch of dandelions
Even buffalo get spring fever in the Ozarks

Pixel Art Animation Tutorials AdobeLive

Pixel Art of fish swimming in sea with an air balloon overhead that turns out to be a fisherman
Fishy, fishy in the Sea

Pixel Animation, Lesson One

Pixel Animation and Motion Design are mesmerizing and fun to watch on web pages if you like text and art dancing around your website like I do.

So, I made my first pixel art animation, Fishy, Fishy in the Sea. Plot: Fish are happily swimming  on an idyllic day when a seemingly peaceful air balloon floating overhead is piloted by a fisherman who pulls out a fishing reel and plunks a lure into the water. Water splashes. Fish scatter. End of story. The animation loops endlessly.

Famous Motion Designers Demonstrate Their Work Process, Live

Earlier in March, AdobeLive from Paris streamed video of motion designers working with animation. Designers included: Made By Radio; Alexandra Lund; Lucile Patron; and Cyril Izran. During the 3-day broadcasts, the designers worked in their favorite Adobe animation programs and with their favorite tools and plugins.

During Lucile Patron’s video on Day 1, I caught the bug to design a pixel art animation. I wanted to join the party. During the live stream, hosts Rufus and Michael encourage viewers to submit samples of their animations and motion design for critique and to win a year’s subscription to Adobe CC.

You know how I love contests, so I worked relentlessly during the 3-day stream to create my first pixel animation to post on Twitter.

Lucile Patron, AKA Fulifuli, made pixel art animation in Photoshop look so easy and fun, I thought, Why not me?

I bravely opened Photoshop CC to create my first pixel art animated masterpiece. I can do Photoshop, I thought.

Surprisingly, pixel art animation turned out to be work. Hopefully, I will make another animation in the near future after a tad more practice. Until then, I remain a starry-eyed duck, counting the stars!

vector illustration of two ducks on a starry night counting stars
Two Ducks, Counting the Stars


Subscribe to AdobeLive to Watch Live Streams & Replays from Paris

Watch Pixel Art and Motion Design video replays at AdobeLive or on YouTube AdobeLive. Search videos of motion designers to see their workflow, i.e.,  Made By Radio; Alexandra Lund; Lucile Patron; and Cyril Izran.

Viewing Tips for AdobeLive

  • Subscribe to AdobeLive so you can be alerted of upcoming live streams.
  • Watch at during the live streams to join the chat and to be eligible for prizes, and receive portfolio review when offered.
  • During the stream, hosts may give the option to submit on Twitter/#adobelive samples in whatever field of design is being spotlighted during the program for a portfolio critique.
  • Bonus: Adobe Illustrator celebrates its 30-year anniversary in March 2017, and some AdobeLive streams offer a giveaway of a 1-yr free subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, drawn at random by the Nightbot robot.
  • The live stream format is to film each guest artist at work in three, 2-hour cycles, over three days – so pop some popcorn and relax.
  • The video sessions are recorded in real-time as if a film crew watched you from the start to the end of a piece of art, so plan to spend some time if you don’t want to miss the tips and tricks scattered throughout the filming.
  • Once the 3-day live streams end, the videos from the stream are available as replays on AdobeLive and on YouTube.
  • When you are watch replays, it’s best to watch them chronologically, Day 1 of 3 first, because some artists spread one project over the three days, and it’s good to watch from the beginning. However, other artists start and end a project same day, and will present an entirely different project each day.
  • BONUS: The live streams from Paris film guest artists and designers from cities in Spain, Great Britain, Italy, France, Australia, Belgium, etc., presenting a wonderful international glimpse into today’s trendy digital art world. Also, English is not the given language for most guests, which makes the program even more dynamic as often they are working on computers with interface labels in French, Italian, etc.

Tips for creating pixel art animations in Photoshop CC from Fulifuli, streamed live from Paris

  • When you open Photoshop, change the Edit > Preferences settings from the default settings. In Units & Rulers, set the Rules & Type to Pixels; in Guides, Grid & Slices, set Gridline and Subdivision  to “1” Pixel.
  • Fulifuli cautions to start small with your first pixel art animation. Example: for one character, use a canvas size in the neighborhood of 56 pixels by 56 pixels.
  • View>Show>Grid will show you the pixel grid as you work. Toggle shortcut to show and hide the pixel grid is [ctrl + ‘ ].
  • Work in the Motion workspace for animation rather than the default Essentials workspace.
  • You will need to work with the Timeline window visible, which isn’t visible by default unless you are in the Motion workspace. If you prefer to work in a custom workspace, you can access the Timeline panel from the Window’s drop down menu.
  • In the Timeline panel, select Create Frame Animation as your are creating a frame-by-frame animation through layers.
  • Export and  Save for Web (alt+ ctrl+shift+s) your digital art animation as a gif.
  • Regarding number of frames needed for an animation: you can always add or subtract frames. It takes at least eight frames to loop a walking sequence as Fulifuli demonstrated on Day 2.
  • On export, to enlarge your gif animation in the Save for Web panel, increase the pixels by whole percentages, i.e., 200%, 300%, 400% 600% … do not increase by 430%, for instance.
  • Also, generally there is no need to change other gif defaults on export. You will want “nearest neighbor” and other standard defaults.

For a study in the art of color and color palettes, notice Fulifuli’s Color Swatches panel in Photoshop as you watch the video. Her swatches caused much excitement during the live stream. Also, enjoy Fulifuli and Rufus as they banter about swatches and “gif” vs. “jiff.”


Creative Cloud Love for Adobe CC and a Flutterby

Creative bubbalo lettering, painted with butterflies and flowers
Buffalo and Butterflies

Creative Adobe Cloud, a Dreamy Resource for Digital Art and Design

Digital art and design just got more funner, thanks to Adobe Creative Cloud. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I subscribed to Adobe CC. Buying it was happenstance because I was in desperate need of a current version of Dreamweaver, and Adobe no longer sells its programs on disc – only through the cloud.

Now I am walking on a cloud. I grab free fonts from TypeKit, play with color palettes at Adobe Color CC, share my portfolio online and follow my favorite designers on Adobe’s Behance, integrate Adobe iPhone and iPad apps with Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign,  etc.

The sky is the limit. Adobe even gives you a website free with your subscription. I made a PatriciaWiskur website on Behance in a matter of hours, thanks to Adobe’s templates.

Discover the Adobe Community

To top it off, I discovered AdobeLive for the Creative Cloud on YouTube and subscribed to the Adobe CC channel to be alerted of future tutorial and events streams from Adobe.

For a creative, continental experience, watch replays from AdobeLive France with Michael Chaize, Creative Cloud Evangelist, and  Rufus Deuchler, Principal Manager of Creative Cloud Evangelism Adobe. They film artists and designers from London, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, etc., as the artists work in real time.

Once streamed, you can watch replays on AdobeLive and YouTube/Adobe Creative Cloud.

Michael and Rufus are engaging moderators. Not only are they Adobe Creative Cloud experts but also artists, photographers, and designers who bring substance and humor to the creative sessions.

Favorite AdobeLive Streams from France

Bird House designed by Maite Franchi and illustrated in Adobe Illustrator
My first attempt to replicate Maite Franchi’s exclusive bird house with Jacuzzi. Watching Maite execute her sketch in Illustrator is memorable.

AdobeLive gives an inside glimpse into how the pros approach an art project. From a small production studio in Paris, the Adobe team live streams creative artists who work from concept to finished art, armed with sketch pads, iPads, Apple Pencils, computers, tablets, and Adobe CC. The live streams are lengthy, two-hours each, and provide a rare insight into an artist’s style.

These are some of my favorite Adobe CC streams from Paris, that you can replay on  YouTube:

  • Maite Franchi: creates three illustrations from sketches with Adobe Illustrator, working with symbols, original color palettes, and design tips; then adds texture to her art in Photoshop (watch Maite’s AdobeLive YouTube video to see how she executes her bird house in Illustrator and Photoshop)
  • Marie-Laure Cruschi: has a French design studio, CRUSCHIFORM
  • Pieter Ceizer: demonstrates typography and hand lettering – Pieter is a superstar from the Netherlands now living in Paris, with clients such as Nike, Tommy Hilfiger,  Coca-Cola, etc. Visit his website or see him on Instagram.
  • Swerve from the UK: free-lance designer with his own popular YouTube tutorial channel and eclectic style
  • Amanda Berglund, free-lancer from Sweden, creates in real time a poster for an exhibition for Danish designer Finn Juhl and re-brands Science Illustrated with a new cover design – see her on Behance
  • Tina Touli: London based illustrator. In three sessions Tina creates a poster and pamphlet design to celebrate the 30th year anniversary of Adobe Illustrator – must see all three videos (link to the third of three session).
  • Victoria Uvaldy: illustrator from Barcelona – a modern approach to magazine design with Adobe InDesign. Victoria covers the nuts and bolts process from conception to layout with photos and text.

Illustration Tee-Shirt Art Streamed Live from San Francisco

Butterfly on leaf with iris bloom and a stem of lilies of the valley
Iris and a butterfly, AKA, a “flutterby”

In February, AdobeLive streamed from  San Francisco, with talented U.S. designers and their creative process, during a 3-day marathon that included portfolio revue, tee-shirt art, drawings for free subscriptions to Adobe CC, and tips and resources. Check out replays of the event artists on YouTube/Adobe CC or AdobeLive:

AdobeLive Streams Coming in March

AdobeLive is held every two weeks with artists from different digital art disciplines. Viewers are invited to share their work during the streams at and #AdobeLive. Also, Adobe gives away subscriptions to Adobe Creative Cloud and art prints during the live streams.


  • Motion Design, March 7-8-9
  • Video Editing: March 21-22-23

Get the Newest and the Greatest! Adobe no longer sells their world famous programs in a box of discs, AKA The Adobe Creative Suite, but licenses them online through the Adobe Creative Cloud that drops them down from a cloud to your computer like fairy dust. Farewell to discs! The best thing ever is you always have the latest versions of your favorite Adobe programs, and with your monthly subscription,  you have access to their entire library of programs, fonts, and apps.

Watch Maite Franchi create her birdhouse in Illustrator in real time!

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.
  • Mason and Dixon journal about spotting bison when they surveyed the Mason-Dixon line.
  • 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.