After writing about a nightmare experience selling online on eBay, I want to follow-up with a few stories of angelic Buyers who gave me the benefit-of-the-doubt.
Nothing is straight forward when selling and shipping antiques online.
My workflow: I research the item in our library and on the Internet. I place a value on the item and write an ad for eBay or Etsy. I take phone photos and hubby takes studio photos if needed. When the item sells, he packs & mails. We work for perfection — but to error is human.
And when we make an error, things can go north or south.
EBayer purchases one frog gig – we mailed six
Inadvertently, we had mailed every gig in our toolbox. The Buyer calls after he opened the package to find the gig he ordered plus five more.
In good spirits, he wraps and returns the extra gigs. We paid the return postage and said, Thanks – you are an angel!
Really, had the Buyer not alerted us to this packing error and mailed back the extra five gigs, we could have spent months wondering, “What happened to all of our frog gigs?”
We sold a pitchfork online to Australia. The Buyer did not pay immediately, and I was beginning to wonder when I would receive payment. The following week, I opened the mailbox to find a hand-addressed envelope filled with bills and coins. The Buyer had mailed cash from Australia for his purchase. Lovely trust between Buyer and Seller – and the postal system. Continue reading Angelic Buyers When Sales Go Awry on eBay
Rushing to finish my Thanksgiving cooking list, Pumpkin Pie, Frosted Apple Pie Slices, Sweet-potato Puff, and a bowl of Romaine Crunchy Salad, I veered out of control.
I pumped the brakes with the newsflash on TV, “Just in! ALL Romaine lettuce – RECALLED!”
Yikes! Hubby dashed to return the Romaine we had chilling in fridge, and I headed to our favorite neighbor grocer for gourmet lettuce to replace Romaine.
I dashed to make up lost time, and hurriedly flipped on my KitchenAid to whip the sweet potatoes, using both hands at once, I flipped the speed to high with my left hand and I pulled the lock lever on the mixing bowl with my right hand. Unfortunately, I had not seated the bowl into the locking groove at the bottom of the mixer stand.
My sweet potatoes went flying. The bowl flipped and wedged against its base at a 45-degree angle. The motor froze.
I panicked, of course. Fortunately hubby saw this as an opportunity to employ his engineering skills and ran to the garage for tools.
Laptop art, perfect for binge watching Wicked Tuna
Often, I am busy on my laptop designing digital frames whenever I watch Wicked Tunaon 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?
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 an unexpected way is termed “transformative art.” Transformative art has a fair use copyright standing in many cases.
I downloaded the Munch 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.
Edvard Munch’s The Scream is one of the most recognizable paintings ever. One of his four renditions of The Scream hangs in the Oslo Munch Museum, which houses the largest collection of Munch works in existence. The museum has also curated seven of his priceless brushes.
Adobe sponsored a contest for a Scream 5 in July 2017, and offered these brushes for artists to create their own digital masterpiece, one inspired by the iconic Munch masterpiece. A print of the winning art would be exhibited at the museum next to Edvard’s The Scream.
Update: Contest ended August 1, 2017. See entries for Munch 5th on Adobe’s Behance.
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.
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.
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.
Learning from Pro Motion Designers
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.
Over a 3-day time span, designers worked in their favorite Adobe animation programs and with their favorite tools and plugins.
On Day 1, watching Lucile Patron’s live stream, I caught the bug to design a pixel art animation.
Lucile Patron, AKA Fulifuli, made pixel art animation in Photoshop look so easy and fun, I thought, Why not me?
Digital art and design just got more creative with Adobe Creative Cloud. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I subscribed to Adobe CC. Buying a subscription was happenstance because I needed a current version of Dreamweaver, which now resides on Adobe’s Creative 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 provides templates to put up your website if you have a URL. I made a basic portfolio website, PatriciaWiskur with Behance in a matter of hours, thanks to Adobe templates.
Discover the Adobe Community on Behance.net
View tutorials live on Behance Live and YouTube/Adobe CC channel. Subscribe to be alerted of the current live stream schedule.
My favorite live streams from France, 2017, can be seen on YouTube as replays. Moderators for the live streams are Michael Chaize, Head of Creative Cloud Live Streams at Adobe, and Rufus Deuchler, Principal Manager of Creative Cloud Evangelism Adobe.
In 2017, they filmed artists and designers from London, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, etc., as the artists work in real time.
Adobe Live gives an inside glimpse into how the pros approach an art project. Filmed live from Paris and California, the Adobe team films artists who work from concept to finished art, using 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 working 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)
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
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).
Illustration Tee-Shirt Art Streamed Live from San Francisco
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 Adobe Live:
My first portrait of Prez Trump, in a Modern style
I went Modern when I grabbed my pen to ink the portrait of our new President, Donald J. Trump, 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 notable painter is always commissioned to paint an Official Portrait of the President and the first lady for the White House gallery, a tradition since Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of President George Washington in 1797.
And one of many decisions our Presidents and First Ladies make as they leave the White House at the end of their term is who will paint their official portraits for the Smithsonian.
Benefactors underwrite the cost of these portraits to honor the President and First Lady and to present historical portraits for public gallery viewing at the Smithsonian.
My portrait of President Donald Trump is an unofficial portrait.
Trump of Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, and Clubs
I framed Donald Trump’s portrait with all of the playing card suits, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, and Clubs, so you could play with a full deck.
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.
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.
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 Winsor & Newton’s Instagram page.
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.
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.)
MENTAL NOTE TO SELF
When inking a masterpiece, go small. I had a pro-print of my black line-work made on glossy paper, 17-x-11 inches, for inking with color. I used a lot of ink. No time for blends.
For watercolor, I like to go big. Consider your media.
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.
Annual Talent Search For a Children’s Book Illustrator
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!