Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekend Chat Line...Blogger Issues

"Uncle Sam Wants You"...artist unknown

"Uncle Sam is going to want me...if I don' get my taxes done, and it wont be "to join the armed forces". Hmmm...Wonder if they would let me take my art supplies with me to the jail house?

No "studio time" this weekend, Drats.... I have a tax appointment on Monday and I have been a very bad girl this past year. I'm frantically getting my books in order. All my expenditures are in their little envelopes, but NOTHING is posted in the ledger!

I usually do this throughout the year but one missed month lead to another and see where I am now. I decided the best way to get it done was to make a "Tax Appointment". You see I work pretty good when threatened with a delivery date!

Now for my other problems...Are any of you experiencing problems with blogger? I've had multiple issues of late. ALL your comments for the past two weeks went to the 'comments moderation page'. Since I have my settings set to be notified by email....I thought NO ONE LOVED ME ANYMORE!!!

I only found them a last "hopeful' resort I checked the moderation page.

THEN...when writing this post, I find I cannot upload a photo.

I am really getting frustrated here. I went to blogger to see if others were having the same issues. Couldn't see any specifics...was a quick look. I will go back later.

THIS IS WHEN I HATE BLOGGER....there is NO ONE to contact and NO ONE to get answers from.

So I ask...Are any of you experiencing issues with your Google Blog? If so, how on earth do you resolve them? Have you considered switching to another provider such as Word Press or Type Pad?

The "Chat Line" is open... Remember...when you share, others are blessed. In this case, since I'm the one with the blogger will be blessing me!

I would really appreciate your input here...these issues with Blogger are so frustrating!


UPDATE: as you see, the image upload issue has been resolved, for lets see what happens to your comments this week...I'm still considering switching to something else.


Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
The Extraordinary Pencil...blogspot
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques

Sunday, March 22, 2009

First Colors of Spring

...First Colors of Spring...
Watercolor on paper 7x10

Here is another look at my progress with watercolor. I actually took the photo last summer at a friends house with the idea of using it for a drawing. Every painting is a 'new' struggle. I'm still 'fiddling' too my fiddling, I'm loosing highlights. The background is a little darker and the leaves not quite as prominent as they show here. Yet, the colors of the tulips are fairly accurate...interesting.

I've always wanted to do really 'loose' watercolors...I think I'm stuck on the detail. When you figure I came from drawing, I guess it's only natural. So...I guess I'm going to quit fighting it and settle for the realistic style of watercolor you see here. Maybe I can loosen up later.

When walking in my own garden this week I noticed that my tulips were bursting through the ground. It always fascinates me...once they stick their heads up, it's like they grow in front of your eyes. My tulips aren't nearly this pretty. Possibly because my flower garden doesn't get the care it should.

My friend is a 'master gardener'...I just love visiting (with my camera) and sitting on the patio with a glass of wine. She doesn't even have mosquitoes! We have a deal...she provides the wine, the grill, and the 'extras'...and I bring the steak. Such a deal. We get together several times during the summer months. She is just as a good a cook as she is a gardener.

I'm open for critique...I look forward to your comments

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sharing...My Latest Marketing Find.

Commissioned Portrait

As many of you know, I'm also a working hairdresser and this is a 'salon day' for this is going to be a quick post.

I wanted to let you know about a great new little marketing tool for your blog....that is FREE.

Check out the Widget at the bottom of this post. It automaticly pulls up three of your previously posted related articles. It is supper easy to download. I think this will be great to point people to other articles written on the same subject...or close.

It will retrieve and index all stories from your blog archive, not just recent stories, making them accessible to new or casual readers of your blog who would not otherwise encounter them.

You can learn more, see it on other sites or try it out by clicking the link below the widget at the end of this article or by using the link here.

Marketing is a never ending process and one that continually fascinates me. I've always felt that many of my better articles get lost in the shuffle. So far, this little guy seems to be bringing them forward. Granted some of the matches are not always spot on...but If you post a photo of your work, your reader may be enticed to read on because what they see is interesting.

Notice the three photos there anything that makes you want to look further?

Have to go for now...Enjoy!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday's Watercolor..."Standing Together"

...Standing Together...
Watercolor 140# Arches

Well guys, I'm posting this only because I said I would. The painting does look a little better than the photo. The background and foreground are fairly accurate. The cherries are considerable brighter when looking at the actual painting.

This painting is waaaaaay different than the first ones I did. I've seen the really dark backgrounds used and liked the contrast...obviously I need more practice at this. It looks a little muddy here, but when looking at the original...I think that is actually one thing I managed to avoid.

Obviously...unlike many of you thought, I have not found my 'style' yet:(

One lesson (of many) learned here...Friskit does not last 10 years! I had planned to use friskit on the stems so I could do smoother washes on the background. Got my brush all soaped up and when I opened the friskit was a mucky mess. Absolutely unusable.

Trying to paint this dark around those skinny stems did not give the look I wanted.

I also REALLY had a difficult time staying out of this is definitely overworked in a few places. I learned that I had to have more paint on my brush than I expected or the painting lightened up on me. And, if I used the paint too thick (not enough water) it tried shiny!

I wish the cherries popped in the photo like they do on the original...they're actually the coolest part of the painting. I'm going to also have to learn how to do a little better on my photo editing.

Anyway...I'm open for critique and advise. I look forward to your opinions.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I've Been my first love

I cleared my drawing table, put away my pencils...and got out my watercolors, brushes, and paper. As I neatly placed my drawing stuff on the shelf and closed the door...I did feel just a little 'unfaithful' to the thing I love, but I did promise to return.

I started trying to paint water color maybe 10 years ago and my instructor stressed so strongly the importance of drawing and composition and being able to 'see' light and shadow that I laid the watercolors down and took a drawing class. The drawing class rekindled my childhood love...and you know the rest.

I've written often in my comments on other blogs and in the things I write here that I am a "watercolor want-a-be". I have never lost my desire to conquer 'watercolor'...I'm always drawn to the medium as I look at your websites and blogs. said you wanted to see. I wasn't going to post anything until I was satisfied but thought my 'journey' might be an inspiration to others who want to try a new medium.

My love is of course Portraits and Still Life...and would love to someday be able to paint some street scenes. Yet I chose to start with flowers because I thought they would be less complicated and help me practice the layering of colors and once again learn my pallet.

I probably struggle most with watercolor styles that I like and what I am able to do now. I'm not a patient person and very critical of my work. Right now...I tend to rework too much and wow, staying away from the wet areas was a challenge. In my drawings I start on one side of the paper and move to the other...this jumping around to stay out of the wet areas so the paint didn't run together was a challenge.

My plan is to paint again next weekend. Most likely more of the same 'simple' subjects. I'm still trying to learn my pallet and get a feel for the process.

Be kind. Remember '"I'm still just a watercolor want-to-be"....with much to learn.

Sincerely...I'm very open to critique and would love to here what you have to say. This is a learning process and I'm no where near where I want to be.

Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
The Extraordinary Pencil...blogspot
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mr. Lincoln is done...perhaps?

...Mr. Lincoln...
12x22 carbon pencil on paper

It's been quiet here on my blog for a few days, but
lots has been happening in the background.

First off my camera and I are 'friends' again. If you missed my last couple of posts you need to know that it wouldn't release the memory card. Well the camera came through the 'emergency room' visit but the memory card is ka-poot!

Memory cards are not cheep but this was a smaller one and had been around a long time.

I finished the commissioned drawing of Mr. Lincoln. I will keep it sitting out to do some of the usual tweaking on know the little things that only an artist would notice.

When deciding on a reference photo to use I wanted something a little different...which in itself is hard when drawing such a well know person in history. I decided on this particular photo for several reasons.

Being from the state of Illinois I wanted to use a reference photo that was indicative of the period of time when he was living in my state and practicing law.

I also wanted the drawing to emulate his stature...which was tall and lanky.

Then, and perhaps most of all, I wanted his eyes and expression to tell the story of the weight he carried as he contemplated his presidency and the hope he had for his country's future.

I used several different photos for his facial expression...and am pleased with the results. This is a younger Lincoln than we are used to seeing. The main photo reference was taken in 1860, just prior to when he was nominated for president. Lincoln would have been around 51 years old.

I'm still working on the final little tweaks...not certain but may 'ruddy' his face just a little more. In all the reference photos I looked at his hair is bushier in back at the nape, actually showing more all around the back of his ear...just undecided here.

I'm to the point that what ever I add will have to stay...there will be no turning back.

Also...just so you know...the black line across his chest is the 'leather' cord for his glasses. It was worn in all the photos taken in this photo session. I included it as I also saw it in others...although now I view the line as distracting. Yet I 'think' I made the right decision. it is for your critique.


Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
The Extraordinary Pencil...blogspot
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques

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