Thursday, September 25, 2008

Change of Scenery: This Blog Has Moved, Sort Of

In the interest of simplification, I have finally completed the copying of all relevant blog posts from this blog to my Explorer's Notebook, and, although I have left many posts here intact for their comments (since I can't copy those but they boost my ego, so I want to be able to come back and visit them), or to keep other people's backlinks intact (far be it from me to be a link-breaker), this blog is essentially closed.

Please come visit me over at the "new" place, which isn't all that new, anyway.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Insert Cheesy Title Here, Like...



"The Tides of Change"


"The Winds of Change"

or (my favorite)

"A Rolling Blog Gathers No Moss"

etc., etc.

My original intent in having two blogs was to keep business and personal life separate, but the truth is that I don't necessarily want to do that, as an artist. I'm actually doing my best to live an integrated, whole life. So I am combining my blogs, slowly moving posts from this one to The Explorer's Notebook, which will be my main place until I get a web site up and running. I know that it still isn't the good old Paint&Ink blog, but it seems to be the best solution for now - so many blogging friends visit me there, and I hesitate to move out of two blogs at once.

(I feel like I should send out change-of-address cards.)

I will leave the posts with comments here in duplicate, because I can't copy comments nor can I import them, and I will also leave the post about the starry table, since so many people seem to find their way to that one (makes me proud!) but from this point forth, please look to my other blog for new posts, as well as all of the posts from both blogs. It won't be an overnight change, but it is already about 30 percent done.

I look forward to seeing you over there!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sailing the Vivid Sea

Every time one of my items is featured in an Etsy treasury, it's a thrill and a compliment and a pat on the back all wrapped up in one. And when someone features my artwork in their blog, it's even more exciting. Lynne Davies of the Etsy shop skully and the blog Autonomous Artisans has featured my map of the Vivid Sea in a wonderful story in her post "Sailing the Seven Seas" with a bunch of other really fun piratey treasures, including the dangerously sweet Thomas Tillerman and a dress that I love (I already have the stein to go with it, you see...). Check it out!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sweetness, Indeed.

The first time I had an Etsy order from someone I didn't know, I thought it was a mistake. Actually, what I thought was that someone had used MY Etsy and PayPal accounts to purchase something from someone else. (It seems so silly now, but at first glance, that's what I thought.) I was floored. And then, after reading the e-mails over and over again, and figuring out what had happened, I was still floored. Only much, much happier than I had been ten minutes earlier.

That customer, April Meeker, who sells her own wares on Etsy as secondsister, commissioned a second painting almost immediately after purchasing the first one, thereby doing wonders for my self esteem and my hope for my future as an artist.

And she has done that again by featuring my artwork this week on her blog, secondsister suaviloquy. (Suaviloquy is the coolest word, isn't it?) Many thanks, April. It's an honor.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Still Mapping, and Soon, Exploring

It's been a whirlwind two months around here, and I'm about to head off into the tropics to celebrate my birthday with some hands-on exploring of Hawaii (surely island travel falls under the category of business research, too?), but before I go, I thought you'd like to see what I've been doing around here. My latest paintings:

Realm of Good Cheer Map (Full)

Realm of Good Cheer, 8" x 10", (reproduction)

(This original has been sold, but reproductions are available in the Interimaginational Institute Shop. These others are all originals and available; reproductions of some will also be available when I return from my travels.)

City of Marvelopolis (and vicinity) Map

5" x 7", ink and watercolor on paper

Fortune Isle Treasure Map (knockout)

Fortune Isle Treasure Map, 8 1/2" x 11 1/4", ink on wood

Tall Ship No. 1

Tall Ship No. 1, 2.5" x 3.5", ink and watercolor on paper

And a special map just in time for Valentine's Day:

Realm of Love Map (Full)

Realm of Love,
5" x 7", ink and watercolor on paper

(This is actually one of two love-themed maps - I have yet to scan the second, which I like even more, but I'll share it when I do.)

Happy Travels, all.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Curious What the Fuss is About?

I talk a lot about Etsy on this site, but still I'm not sure that very many people know much about it, so here's two nutshells' worth (first someone else's nutshell, then my own nutshell).

Essentially, it's an online marketplace on which anyone can open shop as long as they are selling in one of three categories: handmade items (i.e. art, jewelry, pottery, furniture), vintage (over 20 years old), or supplies (beads, paper, yarn, etc.). The great focus is on handmade items, and you can find anything from a firepit for your backyard to a purse made from a hardcover Nancy Drew book to an original painting on gallery-wrapped canvas.

It is not an auction site; the prices are set by the seller. Just like Ebay, however, Etsy itself doesn't handle the actual payment, so once a sale is "completed" on Etsy, the buyer still must proceed with a payment method. Sellers offer a number of methods of payments, from PayPal to check to bank transfer (in Europe); most prefer PayPal (which has come a long way in recent years - you don't even need a PayPal account to use PayPal to pay with a credit card and the seller still won't have your credit card details).

There are some drawbacks: the search function is less than perfect, but still functional (the main catch being that if you wish to exclude things from your search, you must use the word "NOT" in front of a word, instead of a minus sign as you would on the Internet). And the features are not necessarily intuitive. Many have odd names and so you must explore them to figure out what they are (like Time Machine 2, which shows what has just been listed, and I think is the BEST way to get an overview of what's selling on Etsy, and Treasury, which is a great way to be introduced to new sellers and have someone else do the searching for the really cool items you might not find just browsing). If you're looking for something specific, the category list is probably the most basic way to find things.

Prices vary widely, so you can find something for any budget. And the quality of items for sale varies widely, too, sometimes even within one person's shop. But I think most people would be impressed at the way the average quality skews heavily in the direction of excellent, unbelievable, even awe-inspiring.

In short, Etsy is a fantastic place to do your holiday shopping. And although all prices are in U.S. dollars, it's not limited to U.S. residents; there are both buyers and sellers from all over the world. One of them might be your neighbor. And, with limitations, most people will ship all over the world too (the limitations mostly concern things like soap or perfume that might be prohibited in customs regulations).

If you're still wondering why you'd want to buy handmade, I'll answer that in an upcoming post. In the meantime, just go check Etsy out.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Use What You've Got.

If you were on an island with no paper, and you had to make a map of the island so you could remember many years down the road where you had buried your fabulous treasure and pass that information on to your wily pirate protege, what would you do?

Use wood, of course.

Claw Island

Deception Island

Sea of the Sun

Introducing my latest project, treasure maps on wood. These will be going with me to the Handmade Parade in Norfolk on November 10, and if they are still with me at the end of the show, will then make their way into my shop.