There is a place. Like no place on Earth.

A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger!

Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.

Which luckily I am.

~The Mad Hatter

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Creative Process

Analyzing Local and Atmospheric Color

Knowledge will not always take the place of simple observation
-Arnold Lobel

The sky is green and the grass is blue.

Yes, you read correctly, and not just in my little private Idaho, but in certain realities.

Prior to and during a thunderstorm, a greenish cast appears through out the sky. And even on the sunniest of days, in the shadows in grass is a blue-violet.

Analyzing color and seeing the subtleties in an object then translating it to represent your vision or interpretation of the subject could be the hardest challenge the artist faces.

Local color is what we know about the object. Local color is the actual color of the object without outside influences.  Atmospheric color is added by outside influences such as; natural or artificial light, smoke or dust particles in the air, shadows or reflections cast by nearby objects, weather, distance, and light and shadows of the texture within the object itself. If you have a person wearing a blue sweater, a little bit of that blue, will be reflected onto your sitters skin.

What we know about the object often gets in the way of what we see and how we depict it. Beginning painters will often paint in large masses of one color giving a very amateurish look to the painting. While experienced painters will depict more variation and modeling in the highlights, mid-tones and shadows which, in turn, gives the subject more depth and dimension.

The artist sees what’s there, but can render the subject any way that pleases him or her. The artist can represent it accurately, idealize it, simplify it, dramatize it, or distort it.

I do not take color reference photographs but rather I make notes of the colors I see in the scene or an object. I do not want to be held hostage to a labs representation of a scene. You are dependent on the film type, the age & storage of the film, how fresh the processing chemicals used, if the technician is competent, and a host of other variables. I have found that all the subtleties are lost. That’s one of the main reasons I began hand coloring. I have total control.

Color Temperature & Perspective

Reds, oranges and yellows are considered warm while blues, greens and violets are considered cool. However, it is not that simple. There is a warm and cool variation of each color. Carmine is a cool red with violet bias while Vermillion red has an orange bias.

Objects in the foreground are brighter, sharper and warmer. They will advance in the scene. Objects in the background are paler; details are less defined and cooler. These objects will recede in the scene. Notice how the objects in the foreground are sharp and bright while that mountain range in the background is cooler, paler and bluer and as the mountain ranges progresses into the background they become more muted than the one in front of it. Distance subtracts the warmth from an object. A tree in the foreground will appear much warmer and sharper than the same tree placed in the distance.

JMW Turner often broke this rule by adding a bright light at some distant object, making it the brightest and most dramatic object in the image. Degas, on the other hand, often painted objects in the foreground cool colors and placing them against warm, vivid backgrounds. So you can see (pun intended), there are no rules.

Seeing the Light

A “tourist” sees the leaves in a tree as green - just green, while an artist sees the mid-tones as a variation of greens and the highlights as yellow-green while the shadows are blue-green. Analyzing what you see and translating that vision into paint isn’t based in any rules but rather how one artist may view color and form.

Every object has a mid-tone, a highlight and a shadow regardless of shape.  In general, highlights lean toward the warm, white-yellow side and shadows lean toward the cool blue side. This is just a point of departure, not the rule. Objects must be examined individually for the highlight and shadow colors.

Become aware of all the colors that make up a simple object. The color of an object can also be influenced by the color of the neighboring object. Neighboring colors can enhance or subdue each other. Notice how an apple on a white tablecloth will reflect some red into the shadow.

Don’t just look at what colors should be mixed together to make up the desired color, but also look at how colors relate to one another. Do they merge together? Do they sit on top or next to another color?

The color of light is constantly changing and is dependent on the time of day and season. Evaluate how objects are affected by atmospheric color. At pre-dawn and on rainy or overcast days, the overall color is bluer than at sweet light as the sun crests the horizon. Light is ever changing. Monet was fascinated by the changing effects of the light and revisited the same view of a subject at different times of the day and under different weather conditions.

Great artwork should never be accidental, but rather be created from an understanding of the materials, color behavior and techniques. Fore thought and planning will give you repeatable results. If a successful image was accidental or dumb luck, you will never know how you made such a successful image and can never duplicate those fabulous results.

Developing Your Power of Observation

For more information on analyzing color, find something you like and just sit and look it. Go to a favorite location or find an object in your home. Bring a notebook and a pencil. Find an element or scene and jot down all the colors and their relative location. Draw it out, don’t worry about your drawing skills, reduce the object to the most basic shapes, use stick drawings.

Pay attention to the color of the light and the colors in an object as the day progresses. How does it change? Move around the object, how does it change when the light source changes directions and angles?

Objects are comprised of shape and color. Relative placement of the colors and their relationships to one another will give shape definition and depth to an object. Don’t be afraid to take a chance and experiment with different color combinations.

No one can tell you what is the perfect green for a Pine tree or the right pink for a child’s cheek. This is totally subjective and offers many variables. One size does not fit all and it never will.

Before you begin applying color to your print, it is important to take a few moments to think it through. Pre-planning is important regardless of whether you are working with layers.
Ask yourself a few questions:

What is the overall feeling or mood that I am trying to create?
Do I want to create a fantasy or do I want realistic colors?
What colors are in the highlights, mid-tones and shadows?
What colors will enhance or carry the mood?
What local or atmospheric colors will be left in and which colors will be excluded?

As you go on with your daily routine, observe the everyday objects in your life. Take a moment to examine the colors in the highlight, mid-tones and shadows. Keen observation and practice will bring your vision to fruition.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ramblings from Rosemary

Making The Most Of Holiday Events

It’s Holiday Season! Parties, Art Openings, Festivals and other gatherings fill our calendars!

No doubt, you will meet several new people over the holidays. Some of them may be new collectors, others could prove to be great friends. Taking the time to follow up can make you stand out from the pack.

Collecting business cards at events and making notes about each person you meet is a great first step in building a network. Get business cards from every one with whom you met in order to get the titles and names right. Scribble something interesting or significant about the conversation on the card's back. Keep a small note pad just in case someone doesn’t have a card to get thier contact info.

The next step is to follow-up
with your new contacts to build the relationship. Relationship building is one of the most important elements of success in business. Giving people a reason to remember you positively helps to develop positive rapport with folks, and you have a marvelous opportunity to begin the process with thank-you note and follow-up correspondence.

How many people remember to thank you or take the time to keep in touch? Most professionals don't bother to send a thank-you note to the people they meet at events. A sincere note expressing your appreciation may tip a new contact in your favor. A personal note showing your appreciation is always a great way to build relationships. Besides making them feel appreciated, people love to be remembered.

After the event take time to send each person you met an e-mail, note or greeting card letting them know you're glad you met them at the event. Ideally, send a note within 24 hours after meeting. However, if this is not possible, send it as soon as you can. "Better late than never" applies in situations like this.

Send notes telling people how much you enjoyed meeting them. Refer to something they said or to a common interest you discussed with them and be sure to mention ways to work together near future. You'll be on your way to building a tribe.

Sending a greeting card with your artwork is a creative way of standing out and top of mind from your competition. Emails are a convenient way to quickly communicate, but there is a lot of competition out there in that sea of emails and they are often deleted. Greeting Cards and personal notes are warm, personal, and heartfelt. They an ideal tool to build & nurture warm relationships while quietly promoting your artwork. They are often displayed on desks and bulletin boards or used as a bookmarks.

Letting people know that you enjoyed talking with them helps them remember you -- and it helps you recall the reasons you wanted to stay in touch with them.

People need to be reminded that you care about them. WE equate relationships with regular communication.

Developing a warm relationship is critical We need to develop warm relationships with the people you meet at these events. People do business with and refer to People they Know, Like and Trust.

It may seem hard to find the time for these follow-up techniques, but stick to them. A well-composed, friendly note has a lasting influence on recipients and marks you as conscientious and courteous--just the kind of person folks love.

Fortune is in the follow-up.

Art Marketing ~ Life on the Dark Side ~ Power of Lists

Last month, I shared an article by guest blogger, Linda Tomsho, CIO of Different Drummer Coaching. Many of you have written how much you enjoyed her article. My personal, big A-Ha moment was to think of my day-job as a business loan.

This month, I have the pleasure of having The Effective Detective, Matt Tomsho sharing a secret to the power of your list. As a child, I loved the Sherlock Holmes. If you share my love, then you’ll find Matt’s unique story telling in the manor of Sherlock Holmes will amuse and enlighten you.

The Power of Your List

Guest article by Matt Tomsho

I noticed that The Effective Detective looked particularly contemplative, and more out of curiosity than concern, I asked about it. “Sir, you look very thoughtful. Is there a particular insight you are considering?”

“Eh? Oh Watson, sorry. A particular insight yes, but interestingly it is coming from a discussion I had today that taken at face value, could have been considered quite depressing. A friend and colleague was feeling rather cynical today. The trajectory of their business life was not quite what they had hoped for. In particular they have found themselves rebuilding once again,” The Detective began.

“That does sound rather depressing sir,” I agreed.

“Yet from that dreary beginning came a rather illuminating insight Watson. You see, they had started reaching out to connections, and even at this time of the year, when most people are not thinking much about business, had arranged some meetings to discuss some new opportunities,” The Detective continued.
“During the holiday season and so close to the end of the year sir? That is quite surprising,” I interjected.

“Quite so Watson, but the true insight comes from the phrase reaching out to connections. There is an old quote attributed to Andrew Carnegie, I am not sure of the exact wording but the basic idea is that even if everything is taken from you, if you still have a list of contacts, you can rebuild it all. My colleague down in the dumps as they might be, is leveraging their contacts to rebuild. How easy it is for us to forget the power of our lists, be it a contact list build through years of networking, to a list built through patiently speaking to people, and advertising. If you nurture that list, what you can create from it, no matter what has happened in the past can be astounding. The two keys of course are building and nurturing. It does one no good to sit and wait for people to realize our genius. We must go out and proclaim it to the world, and build a tribe. But then we must nurture that tribe, feed it if you will. Those who are willing to do that, reap amazing rewards,” The Detective concluded.
“Sir, I must admit, I have nothing to add to that,” I replied, surprising the Detective and myself for admitting it.

“Well then Watson, let us pour ourselves drinks, and salute the holiday season, and in particular the new year!” The Detective exclaimed as he smiled at me.

“Happy New Year sir!”

- See more business building mysteries unravel

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ramblings From Rosemary

How I Spent My Summer Vacation 
Five Stages To Unplugging At Gunpoint

Oh No! I couldn’t have forgotten it, it has to be in the blue bag . . . but its not there!

[ A Very Long String Of Expletives Deleted ]

OMG! HONEY . . . I forgot the [Expletive Deleted] power cords for the laptops!!

Planning a ahead for a week at the beach with some rain in the forecast, I brought my two laptops with the intention of getting my newsletter out on time, working on the layout for the workshop book and the daunting project of cleaning out my email. The best laid plans . . .

Honey, I will call Tatiana and have her express the power cords. I have an express shipping box at the bottom of the stairs, we can have them here by Wednesday.

What am I going to do when it rains and we can’t hang out on the beach? OMG, I can’t get my recipes for Buttermilk Biscuits or Lemonies.

[ Another Very Long String Of Expletives Deleted ]

My husband, Paul, very calmly turns to me and says, Honey, it won’t kill you to unplug for the week and really be on vacation. You have enough charge to open up and hand-write your recipes.

No, it won’t kill me. I can still write part of the newsletter – old school – in long hand.

WOW . . . A whole week unplugged !?! That’s seven days without a computer. It’s kind of scary . . . and a bit exciting! Maybe I can get that illusive Third Eye to open.

So, I went for a walk on the beach to work off some nervous energy. I collected tons of pretty shells and pebbles. I walked so far I had to use my GPS to find my way back.

And we walked some more. We even walked the beach during the pre-hurricane storm as high tide rushed in.

I sat on the beach and watched the Sandpipers and Plovers scurry along the surf’s edge and they pecked out tasty morsels.

I studied the waves turning and tumbling over each other with the fury of a raging redhead.


I analyzed all the shades of whites and grays in clouds. Have you ever noticed how the leading and trailing edges of a storm front paints the most intense and fascinating cloud formations?

So, this is what it feels like to Turn Off! I like it!

A week is too short. I wish we had more time here. Until next year. . .

Joy, Laughter . . . and Apologies for being late with the newsletter.

Art Marketing ~ Life On The Dark Side ~ Are You a “HO” or a “BO”?

Making Money From Your Art
Are You a “HO” or a “BO”?

Guest article by Linda Tomsho

“Being good at business is the most fascinating kind of art.  Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” – Andy Warhol

Every summer I look forward to the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh’s big art event of the year, where hundreds of artists and performers come to show their best work.

While visiting the Festival, I attended a talk by Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University called “Women Artisans to Entrepreneurs.”

Her point was that many women artists (and men as well, in my experience) neglect the business end of things. “I don’t understand all that business stuff, and I don’t have time for it. I’m an Artist, and if I create great art, people will seek me out.”

If that sounds like you, the question my business coach, Suzanne Evans, would ask you is this…

“Are you a HO or a BO?”

In other words, are you a Hobby Owner who creates art but doesn’t effectively monetize it? Or are you a Business Owner, serious about growing your market and making a real living?

Essentially, if you don’t see your art as a business, you’re probably indulging in an expensive hobby instead of creating a viable livelihood.

dollarinhandIf you really do want to become a serious working – by which I mean self-employed – artist, then you need to treat your artwork or your crafts or whatever it is that you produce, like a real business.
After all, there’s a lot of competition out there. So if you want to break out of the pack and make a real living doing what you love, you have to leverage your talent with sound business practices – and thinking.

1) Think of yourself as a professional artist – right now

artists palletYou may need to begin by changing your mindset about who you are and what you do.

Even if you’re still paying the bills by waiting tables or telemarketing, you need to define yourself as an artist and therefore as the owner of an art business.

That means you should be studying everything you can find about how to succeed in your industry. For example, how to get your work into galleries or how to sell on Etsy…

Depending on what kind of art you create, you should be educating yourself about the lucrative world of art licensing.

You also need to have a website and a social media presence.

Finally, you should always be thinking about building your portfolio and actively looking for opportunities to promote yourself and your work. That means networking at least once a week and attending events where you can expand your connections.

2) Don’t quit your day job (yet)

Obviously the plan is that someday your art will earn enough to support you. But the fact is, most artists or performers I know who are on their way up have a day job.

laptop-insideworkingMaybe you have what career coach and author Barbara Sher calls the “Good-Enough Job” – a job that 1) isn’t toxic and 2) doesn’t demand more than 40 hours a week.

In other words, you can support yourself without getting stressed out and still have time to work on your goals. Or you can have a side gig that pays the bills.

Either way, if you can think of your j-o-b as a “business loan” for your art business it will make it more tolerable!

3) Always be looking for multiple income streams

manwithlightbulbSomething that you enjoy doing that hopefully fits in with your creative work and what you want your life to look like. You could offer lessons to others… start a podcast… write a book… or sell your work to a greeting card company.

Use your imagination!

Start small with just one or two “alternative profit centers,” then add more if you want to. If one doesn’t work out, you can always bag it and try something else!

4) Create your personal brand

What do you want to be known for? What’s your niche?

You could be like Linda Barnicott, a pastel artist whose claim to fame is beautiful nostalgic paintings of Pittsburgh scenes.

Or you might become famous as the photographer who creates those distinctive images of newborn babies, post-industrial landscapes, or maybe even dressed-up Weimaraners (it worked for William Wegman!).

When you have a recognizable brand or niche, you become more memorable.
l design principles, and how to code your own email templates.

ABOUT Linda:
Linda Tomsho is the CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of Different Drummer Coaching. As a licensed Profiting From Your Passions® coach, she helps clients connect the dots between their interests, skills, and experience to discover their “right livelihood,” then guides them through the process of starting their own business using Valerie Young’s “Life First, Work Second” philosophy.

Linda started her career in the corporate marketing world but soon realized the cubicle life was not for her. Being a self-bosser allows her the freedom to pursue multiple passions including blogging about movies, writing, dog rescue, cooking, travel, and curating her eclectic collections.

Linda lives near Pittsburgh with her husband Matthew and canine companions Bijou and Zelda. She is the mother of 3 adult children, each following a unique path of their own.
As a cancer survivor, Linda understands the importance of making the most of our time on this earth. If you dream of creating a life that suits you and working at something you love, don’t waste another minute!
Visit her at Different Drummer Coaching, and to book your FREE 30-minute Discovery Session, send an email to with your phone number, time zone, and best time to reach you.