Friday, November 30, 2007

Priceless Postcard #24

TomatoesWell, here we are at the end of National Blog Posting Month. Yippee. I'm not sure whether this is the last of the free postcard art, but it will be a relief to cut them back-- they've been fun, but doing them has cut into my painting time.

If you'd like me to mail you this postcard, comment on the post and email a delivery address like it says here. And if you miss this one, no one has picked up my favorite, the chickens.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Precious

I remember back in art school, during a critique my professor, Marvin, asked for a piece of charcoal. I nervously gave him a drawing implement, and, to my horror, he proceeded to scrawl over my carefully rendered, finished ink drawing. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

PlantSketchI can't recall what he was trying to teach me, but I sure learned something. Today that drawing and other muddy student works of its ilk aren't adorning anyone's walls; at best they are in the box under my bed if they aren't buried in a trash heap. In the process of learning, I would have been better served by experimenting more, acknowledging weaknesses, and worrying less about preserving my legacy. For someone who professes more interest in the process of art rather than the product, I have a tendency to work conservatively and hoard my favorite pieces.

Perhaps this has something to do with the free postcards. I'm at a point now where I'd like to sell my work, but I need to liberate myself from the impulse to keep all the good stuff. Our house is full already. Each postcard is made with the expectation that I will be giving it up-- my reward has to be in what I learn from making it and the knowledge that someone else will enjoy it. It's definitely a different mindset.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Priceless Postcard #23

This is either an elephant acending a gargantuan red onion, or a toy elephant atop a normal onion-- you decide. If you'd like to receive this postcard, comment and email a delivery address like it says here.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Priceless Postcard #22

This one's probably my favorite of the month thusfar. These chicks were lying out on the counter at the lake house Saturday night before our big barbecue. If you'd like a shot at this free postcard, comment and email a delivery address like it says here. And the Tomatillos below are still looking for a home.

Two Chicks

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Priceless Postcard #21

It's an all pie weekend, and this Key Lime Pie has been present throughout. If you'd like to receive this free postcard drawing, just comment and email your delivery address, like it says here.

Key Lime Pie

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Priceless Postcard #20

Well, I've got some ink so here's today's postcard. I found these in a fruit bowl around the lake house. I'm pretty sure they are tomatillos, but I wouldn't bet my life on it. If you'd like to enter for this free postcard art, just comment and email a delivery address like it says here.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Priceless Postcard #19

Well, I'm on the road and my ink bottle leaked (thankfully into a plastic bag). In the spirit of sticking to it, here is a sketch I had cached in the event of production difficulties. In order to get this or any others I don't get around to awarding, please comment and email a delivery address just like it says here. I have limited internet access this weekend, so I may not be awarding postcards until after the weekend.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Priceless Postcard #18

Here's my image of the Thanksgiving Turkey. Actually, I was shooting for a stark, proletarian hammer in harsh black and white, but then the ink started bleeding a bit and I had to make do with a conventional capitalist hammer.

If you would like to receive this free postcard art, just comment and email a delivery address, as it says here. And, next time I check, I want some people claiming this card.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Priceless Postcard #17

SquashHere's a seasonal subject for today's postcard. My second shot at using the new watercolor set wasn't as effortless, and I am reminded of the challenges of avoiding muddiness when you can't overpaint. It's also much tougher to create a range of tones when you are trying to work in color. But I have a schedule to keep.

If you'd like to get this postcard, leave a comment and email a delivery address like it says here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Priceless Postcard #16

This weekend I picked up a watercolor set while buying some art supplies. A few years ago I colored some sketches with a grocery store set, but I really haven't used decent watercolors for a million years. They are kind of fun.

If you would like to win this postcard, enter by commenting on the post and emailing a delivery address, just like it says here.

Stacked Apples

Monday, November 19, 2007

Will Draw for Links, Continued

Parts of My Dog Sketch 3I got the second "Will Draw for Links" entry today from Cedarfield. I had been sitting on this drawing of my dog's leg, but Cedarfield is a Pappy aficionado. I think she'll give it a good home.

Priceless Postcard #15

Honestly, we don't have a new cake every evening. My wife wants you to know that there have been a lot of dinner parties this week. Here's a chocolate cake she made. It's kind of backwards because there are no eggs in the cake, but eggs in the frosting.

If you would like to win this postcard drawing, just comment and email a delivery address like it says here.

Chocolate Cake

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Will Draw for Links Postcard

JacksonWell, old buddy Jackson is the first taker on the Will Draw for Links offer. I swear I am not trying to become a dog portraitist here, it's just that Jackson, like Finnegan, is going through a rough spell with his health. There's nothing wrong with being a portraitist, dog or otherwise, but there is a different set of expectations that go along with capturing a likeness or someone's character. I'm enjoying the process of sketching for the first time in a while, and I like the freedom to diverge from my subject. But a couple of portraits won't hurt.

The Parts of My Dog 9 and 10 (2007)

The Parts of My Dog 9I finished up two more of the 8 x 8" paintings in this series, an attempt to get ready for a local juried show at the Touchstone Gallery in a couple of weeks. My question remains whether my work is quirky enough to be considered by the art pundits, so I find myself pushing the oddness and the dissonant colors a bit-- hopefully it's not too forced, or worse, hideous. I'm probably better suited to a less hip art locale, but I am where I am. The same gallery has another call for work just four days later, but I don't know if I can get my act together to enter. It's worth trying because there is something terribly appealing about applying to shows where I don't have to angst about packing and shipping the work. Bliss.

The Parts of My Dog 10

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Priceless Postcard #14

Sorry, this postcard is not up for grabs. This postcard is for Andrea, an old blogging friend who has been my Nablopomo buddy from the start. This is her stoic dog Finnegan, the three-legged Irish Wolfhound and retiring blogger. Finnegan prevailed over serious illness to hang around and keep Angela company, but more recently has been losing a step. Hang in there buddy.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Priceless Postcard #13

Here's the latest free postcard art-- our leftover coconut cake is lucky number thirteen. Enter by commenting on this post and emailing a delivery address, just like it says here.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nablopomo Midpoint

Well, I've reached the midpoint of National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), so here's a quick assessment of my thoughts thusfar:

  • I'm happy to have had something to help me refocus my efforts to do art on a daily basis. So far it has felt pretty natural and hasn't ever been odious or trying.

  • I had a whole series of wordy posts about art in mind for this month, but so far I haven't done any of them. I've spent some time thinking about the art blogs I visit regularly, and most of them have useful advice about the mechanics of doing and selling art, or have info about the art scene. I'm afraid my posts would have been more along the lines of "this is me, my background, and what I think". Yawn. We're all better off with me drawing pictures and giving them away.

  • The free postcard gig has been interesting from a sociological standpoint, and it has also taught me something about art marketing. Some of the postcards have been surprisingly difficult to give away given the volume of traffic passing through. Part of that is certainly the result of peoples' unwillingness to surrender the anonymity of surfing to comment and send a shipping address. Part of it is also past winners' concerns about being judged for being too greedy (believe me, it's okay with me if you win multiple cards). But I think a lot of it is that these ones are less exciting images and people are discriminating about what they like even when it's free. It's not like the feeding frenzy we get at work whenever there is free food; there's some sliding scale of perceived value that even applies to art items with no cost. Lesson-- it's hard to even give away mediocre work, so only put your best stuff forward. This is a surprisingly difficult lesson for artists, because, after putting time into a piece, you feel like it ought to have some value even if it doesn't work out.

  • I've been pretty disappointed in the platform used for organizing Nablopomo. Last year's Randomizer, a page for cycling through random participants' blogs, worked well to distribute traffic and allow one to explore the sites. The Randomizer is just broken, repeating the last few entrants' blogs. Not that increasing readership is my sole goal, but I want a little affirmation and engagement from this. Instead, I've gone ahead and drummed up some activity by myself through other means.

  • I also find that, which is more of a social networking site like Myspace or Facebook, sort of works at cross purposes with organizing an existing blogging community. A lot of participants are clearly confused whether to post in or their existing blog for Nablopomo. I've also found out that I am not really cut out for the social networking world-- being an INTJ, I need something more contained.

I don't mean to overemphasize that last whiny part, because I still feel very good about my commitment to post throughout the month. Plus I have been fortunate enough to discover some simultaneous blogger events better targeted to art blogs-- namely Drawmo, Art Every Day Month, and Pay It Forward. These events are of a much smaller scale, so it all feels a bit more immediate. Now if I can just figure out how to post while I am in the boonies over the Thanksgiving holiday, I should be golden.

Priceless Postcard #12

GrapesUmmm, grapes. If you'd like to receive this postcard art, enter by leaving a comment and then email a delivery address, just like it says here.

And thanks to everybody for stepping up to fill my slate for Pay It Forward. I didn't have to resort to bribes... not one penny.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Priceless Postcard #11

I'm afraid the pictured postcard is not up for grabs. I read about an ailing Boston Terrier, and decided to make this one a get well card to dog and owner.

However I do happen to have a preliminary sketch I would be willing to send as a postcard to an interested party. If you would like this sketch, just leave a comment and send an email with delivery address, as detailed here.

Boston Terrier

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Priceless Postcard #10

Parts of My Dog Sketch 2Here's another of the postcards from my plane ride this weekend. If you'd like a sketch of my dog's eye, just leave a comment and email a delivery address just like it says here. And if you would rather have a sketch of my dog's tail, this one is still up for grabs.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Priceless Postcard #9

To enter to win this free postcard sketch, just comment then email your delivery address like it says here.

We were flying up to Massachusetts this weekend for a wedding, so I took along a pen and a little pile of postcards-- sorry no ink washes. I've been trying to work out whether I can make engaging compositions out of some of the more chaotic bits of my dog. In this case, I'm trying to see if a picture of Pappy's tail can be anything more than just a loopy, whorly, ambiguous vortex. When we first saw him posted on the adoption site, it was his tail that caught my eye.

Parts of My Dog Sketch 1

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Priceless Postcard #8

If you would like to win this free postcard sketch, comment then email a delivery address (if you haven't already) as per these instructions.

Let me just start by saying that this idea of a crumpled paper airplane is pretty much lifted wholesale from the recent work of Mary Klein. But there's an additional paradox here-- this is a drawing of a 4x6" piece of paper on a 4x6" piece of paper. Try and wrap your head around that one.

Speaking of Mary Klein, I signed up on her blog to do a Pay it Forward. But, it being Nablopomo and all, I'm saving that explanation for a later posting.

Stupid Paper Airplane

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Parts of My Dog 7 (2007)

So applications for the 12x12 Show for small works at Todd Gallery, juried by genius and noted critic Dave "Meatgrinder" Hickey, have to be postmarked by November 12. We're away this weekend, but I figured I'd have a little time on Sunday evening to finish up any paintings and put the application together to mail on Monday. Then yesterday morning I figured it out. Isn't Monday Veteran's Day? Don't post offices close? No postmarks!

Thank goodness I figured this out yesterday so that I could scramble to finish this painting, take last photos, and get my packet in the mail today. I wouldn't want to miss the chance to be shot down by a genius.

The Parts of My Dog 7

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Priceless Postcard #7

If you want this free postcard art, enter by leaving a comment and sending an email with delivery address, just like it says here.

Banana and Apple

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Priceless Postcard #5

Crossed PicklesThe next free postcard art is of my family crest-- the crossed pickles. If you'd like to enter to win, make a comment and email a delivery address just like it says here.

I remember we used to have some cool stuff around our house, but now I just find myself staring into the fridge wondering what to draw.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Priceless Postcard #4

Mixed VegThe latest free postcard art is a teeny tiny painting of some frozen mixed vegetables. Seriously, if the painting were much smaller it could be the stamp. If you would like to receive this postcard, leave a comment and email your delivery address as per the instructions here. Too late for this one? The third postcard is still looking for a home.

The Parts of My Dog 6 (2007)

I finished this painting over the weekend and got another started. One week and counting to the application date for the first show.

The Parts of My Dog 6

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Parts of My Dog 5 (2007)

I redid the second painting in the series just because of some drawing problems that were increasingly bugging me. I like the big menacing teeth in the benign expression, and tongues are always great.

The Parts of My Dog 5

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Priceless Postcard #3

Seems I may have closed the competition for the last postcard a bit early, because I had a few stragglers late in the day. I'll work on giving people a bit more time between posts to enter. To win this free postcard sketch, leave a comment and send me an email with delivery info as per the instructions.


This sketch shows some of my struggles with picking up drawing after a couple of decades. I chose an unforgiving subject, and it shows some. While fruits and vegetables are pretty easy because little mistakes aren't obvious, errors in the geometry of a teapot are almost as conspicuous as flaws in a study of a face. Also, I have been using printmaking paper with little sizing, so it is very absorbent. I love the look of the diffuse washes, but controlling them feels like painting on a sponge.

But I don't know if I'm going to look in my giant box under the bed for some watercolor paper. The truth is I like slightly clumsy materials. Our drawing teacher used to have us draw with carved sticks dipped in ink as an exercise to break us out of easy habits and force us to look and work harder. My drawings can be a little slick and facile when I get too comfortable, and the current materials are certainly keeping me from that.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Priceless Postcard #2

Here's the drill, read the instructions to enter the running for this free postcard sketch. Heck, the paper by itself is worth free.


I finished another "Parts of My Dog" painting last night. and hope to photograph it this weekend to post it here. I need to get productive on these. I want to apply to two small art shows, and the first application deadline is November 12. I have to use two different sets of work for the shows because the notifications for that show don't come until after the application deadline for the other.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Priceless Postcard #1

For your chance to win this postcard, be one of the first six commenters and email me a shipping address as per the instructions.

And in the shadow of Halloween, here's the lid off of our jack-o-lantern. I'm still running off a "one-for-you-one-for-me" sugar rush.

Pumpkin Lid

Truly Priceless Postcards

Okay, I've accumulated a pile of paper scraps and a sheet of postcard stamps. In honor of Nablopomo, this month I'm going to do some postcard art and post it here.

Here's where you come in. To win the free postcard be one of the first six people to leave a comment on the post with the postcard, following that with an email to doingart-at-gmail-period-com identifying your comment and providing a delivery address (I promise no funny business with your personal info). One comment per customer. The big winner will be randomly selected via yellowed Monopoly dice from the first six or less commenters after an interval determined by when I am heading to the mailbox. Sorry, but no delivery addresses outside the US.

If your dog chews everything that comes through the mail slot, he's going to love this.

I've been getting some secondhand reports from friends that they are having difficulty leaving comments. If you are stumped about commenting, just send me an email to the above address and I will add your name after the commented entries when I roll the dice. The comments are just to help create some order to the entries.