EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Alma Lee

Who and where are you?

I am an artist and poet, my husband and I live and work in a rural area just north of Green Bay WI aka Packer country. We have come to call our hometown, the Kissikimee of Wisconsin, you know the middle of nowhere just 15 minutes from everywhere.

How did you get started art blogging?

I have to be honest I started only because I was told I should. For the life of me in my native’ I could not imagine how this was going to help me market my art. I have come to understand people have an innate sense of curiosity about art and artists. I was completely dumbfounded about what I would blog about. At the same time there seemed to be some negative chatter around the idea of blogging about yourself. I set out to interview some fellow artists to fill the space. Though it was not a bad idea, I found that many artists are more than willing to share their art, but seem somewhat reluctant to share their processes, or thoughts behind a piece. After a while I realized my entries seemed contrived and more like an artist Crit than an interview. It made me think back to the simple foundation I learned in a technical writing course in college, “Write what you know and dream about the rest” Well I may not be sure of who I am most days, but I do know my art, my processes, and inspirations and dreams behind each work. Once used that knowledge, pick a work of art and used it as a springboard I felt I was on surer footing. And I found that process simpler to start, and very useful even in interviewing others.

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I find that I the beginning I was caught up in the hype of blogging. After all this is about marketing and requires some serious planning. Doesn’t it? When you find yourself caught up in the numbers game ie how many hits, likes and followers you have, it can be pretty discouraging. I kept asking myself with all the other blogs people are reading who is going to find time for yours? Then I would look at other artists blogs and see they had more followers than I and I felt totally defeated. I became a comment junkie, if some post went without comment I would wonder what was wrong ? Is it the art or the writing? It became an endless spiral to something that is supposedly FUN! It was some time before I realized that the biggest concerns were not how many would hits, followers or comments. But what is your standing with the search engines, where are you placed? If you can get a potential customer to “google” you, can they find you? Can they find your work, auctions, website ect? Google honors new and frequent content on blogs so if you do it right your blog should appear on the first or second page of the results. And you are able to direct them from there. I am also fascinated with where my audience comes from, I love looking at the analytics, it helps me fine tune just who my target market is. It was vindicating for me to learn that most of my audience aka potential patrons come from far out of state. I learned my art is better received on the coasts and even overseas than the conservative Midwest region I live in, I have to take that into account when I am in the studio. In reality I will probably never meet any of them, but thanks to blogging, we can connect. For me it is like having lunch with good friends, expect I do most of the talking and never blow my diet! Does it get better than that? My best advice would be commit yourself to it, Be bold, make it about your passion, your art. There is no greater patron aphrodisiac than the evidence of an artist’s passion indeed I believe they will not purchase art without it.

What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

When I am working in my studio, I start out in silence, the inspiration phase tends best attended by silence it keeps my mind and spirit free lead unencumbered with clutter. However once it is time to translate the vision into reality, I find music blaring, just this side of ear splitting a great catalyst. I have rather eclectic tastes and wander my way through, Selah, LeAnn Rimes, Adele, one of the 3 tenors (my favorite being Carreras), Elton John, Streisand and when I grow tired Heart will always bring me around with Magic Man and Crazy on You.

What’s coming next from your studio?

I find myself drawn to giving my hand drawn, painted originals a 2nd life in digital. I have been entranced with pulling my finished works into Photoshop and Painter and reworking them into completely new digital paintings, with virtually no recognition of the beginning original, the same painting in another dimension if you will.

http://almaleeoriginals-artscape.blogspot.com/

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EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Melinda Dalke

Artist Melinda Dalke

Who and where are you?

My name is Melinda Dalke and I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for over 12 years. I live in Lebanon, Oregon with my wonderful husband, two fantastic dogs, four beautiful cats and two pretty parakeets.

One of my favorite things to do is drive around on the back roads and take photos of scenery and farm animals-it is always a treat to see local wildlife too! I also enjoy packing up the dogs and going to the Oregon coast.

Melinda Self Portrait

I grew up in the busy city of Las Vegas, Nevada. I received an Associates Degree in Graphic Arts from the Community College of Southern Nevada. In college I found myself being drawn in my Art History and fascinated by arts ever changing ways.

I do most of my creating in the Shop/Studio – My favorite part of my art area is a large old drafting table that was my fathers and is over 40 years old. I love art books and have
a large diverse collection. I love trying new techniques, mediums and styles. On hot days I like to sit on the patio and paint.

Red Chair Beagle by Melinda Dalke

How did you get started art blogging?

I used to follow several art blogs and wanted to share my art that I donate a portion of the proceeds to charities with others. I have been blogging for a long time and have tried several styles, but found the charities were the most important part of what I do and felt they needed to be shared also. I plan on adding another more personal blog at the beginning of 2012.

An American Dog 2 by Melinda Dalke

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I think posting at least once a week, if not more, is important. I have my blog linked to my Facebook art page and Twitter page, so when I post on my blog – it posts on FB and Twitter too!

Angel Corgi by Melinda Dalke

What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

I love listening to Country Music and Rock – I find both to be uplifting and inspiring. I love singing while I paint, so do my parakeets-sometimes my dogs join in too!

Dog Portraits by Melinda Dalke

What’s coming next from your easel?

I am working on an acrylic dog portrait of Halle, a rescued pit bull terrier. Also, I am currently experimenting with Derwent Inktense pencils on Yupo paper and Watercolor paper.

http://lifeofmelindadalke.blogspot.com/

Thank you Melinda for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you’re not an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Jacqueline Kinsey

Artist Jacqueline Kinsey

Who and where are you?

My name is Jacqueline Kinsey and I moved to South Western Ontario, Canada, 3 years ago. I set up a studio in our home on the ranch which I share with my husband. The studio is currently upstairs in our 108 year old home over looking lush green horse pastures, the Big Otter Creek valley, ponds and historical outbuildings on the family farm.

I have really lead a varied life in my 40 + years. I grew up in the beautiful South Okanagan Valley in British Columbia (straight A student in art class, winning international art contests in Arizona at the age of 15 years), then attending Art School in Vancouver which brought about the opportunity of a lifetime to study art in Europe for a full term. Studying the art of the world’s greatest painters and sculptors greatly influenced me as a young student. I then went on to complete a Diploma of Fine Arts and returned to the Okanagan Valley to help with the family business, running a Dairy Queen for almost 5 years.

Although I had this great opportunity, passion, and talent for art, my interests took an unexpected turn into the area of law enforcement. For almost 20 years, I was a Constable with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I always kept up with my drawing throughout my police career and I am elated to be able to pursue my love of art full time now.
Recently, I retired due to an injury suffered while on duty. I have re-launched my passion for art and began painting again 4 years ago. Within the past 3 years I can now say that my drawings and paintings are collected across North America and around the world, including Hong Kong and Australia thanks to the World Wide Web!

Three Amigos by Jacqueline Kinsey
How did you get started art blogging?

I started out just wanting to share my life and art with my family and friends back in British Columbia. I did not know anyone except my husband and his parents here in Ontario. It allowed me to keep connected with friends and family over the past 3 years and has now developed into sharing my art and life with the world!

Small Miracles by Jacqueline Kinsey
Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

The only tips I can give is to keep your blog relative to your art but at the same time, I believe you have to share a bit about yourself. I know its kind of scary for some of us, but I am of the belief that we all share the same experiences and can relate to one another and connect if we are willing to put ourselves out there a bit. I see some art bloggers that just post a painting and title on a regular basis. I find that I personally don’t feel that I want to re-visit those blogs as much as those that tell stories about their life and their art. I have found that the deeper I go, talking about my feelings and about my life experiences, the more comments I hear from people because they are able to relate to me and my experiences in their own lives. Its how we can connect to others.

Late Sun by Jacqueline Kinsey
What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

I listen to “Galaxy The Light” satellite channel while I paint. I enjoy inspirational and spiritual music most. I also try to remember to pray before I begin each piece. I have noticed a significant difference in my work when I take the time to invite God in to collaborate with and guide me in the creating process. There is just something miraculous about it.

Winter by Jacqueline Kinsey
What’s coming next from your easel?

I am currently working on more equine paintings. I have two drawn out with graphite in great detail. When I use this technique, I like to use thin washes of acrylic to start with. I allow the graphite to become part of the painting. I will then apply thin layers of color and glaze and will finish with further details in oil to define areas where needed. After these are complete, I am planning on a series of local landscapes done in an abstract acrylic style.

http://www.wwrcreaions.blogspot.com/

Thank you Jacqueline for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Melanie Douthit

Artist Melanie Douthit

Who and where are you?

I’m a full-time artist and freelance craft designer. I live in West Monroe, Louisiana with my husband and two children. I manage my creative biz from my home studio. I inherited my creativity from my grandmother who was of Anishnaabe Algonquin and French Canadian descent from Ontario, Canada. My father was in the United States Air Force and after his retirement, they settled in Louisiana where he was from. I was involved in the local art community in the mid-1990’s and around 2000 I listed my first painting on eBay. I joined EBSQ not long after.

Mardi Gras Dachshund by Melanie Douthit

How did you get started art blogging?

I took a creative detour around 2004 and got involved in the paper craft arena. I loved how I could incorporate photos and family memories with my artistic urges. I joined the design teams of several paper craft manufacturers and started selling designs to craft magazines. Blogging was what everyone in the industry was doing, so it was a natural path to follow. When I got back into painting full-time again, I started my blog for my art.

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

For people to be attracted to your blog, photos are a must – and if you are marketing your creations, then good photography skills are important. Develop your “voice”, and be real on your blogs. Don’t be afraid to share bits and pieces of your life with your readers. If readers like your art already, they will love getting to know the artist behind the creations. Since I only started my art blog a year ago (to be separate from my paper craft blog) and haven’t been faithfully maintaining it as I should, these are things I’m currently striving to reflect on my own blog. Sometimes don’t have any new art I can share, so I’ve decided to just be creative. I may go through some old or new photos and tell a story about it. I’m so thankful for camera phones because it makes a blogger’s life so much easier. If you are new to reading blogs, I suggest spending time reading a variety of blogs and making notes of what you connect with the most.

To make sure my blog gets some attention, I post a link to my Facebook page every time I post a new blog entry. My Face book “page” (separate from ID) is linked to my Twitter account so it gets posted there as well.

Another way to gain exposure is to participate in blog hops and network consistently with other art bloggers. I’ve recently opened up my blog to include guest bloggers, much like what EBSQ is doing here.

What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

I love music while I create! I love having my creative biz at home because once everyone is at work and school, I can have my music as loud as I want and play what I want. My music varies from old rock, alternative, new country, soft rock and maybe some Louisiana Zydeco. I like to mix it up and keep it fun.

What’s coming next from your easel?

For the next six weeks I’ll be fulfilling commissions and creating gift size New Orleans themed art.

Thanks to EBSQ for allowing me to share with you. Happy Creating!

http://douthitgallery.blogspot.com/

Thank you Melanie for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Charlene Murray Zatloukal

Charlene Murray Zatloukal

Who and where are you?

I am Charlene Murray Zatloukal…mother of six and grandmother of ten. Widowed five years now, my husband was truly the source of my inspiration and continues to be. He made me believe in my gifts and talents and encouraged me to try to make a living doing what I love to do..my art.

In thirty five years together, my husband, myself and our children lived in a number of different states; including Washington, Wyoming, Tennessee, Iowa and Nebraska. We came back to Nebraska, my home state, in 1997.

Steampunk Flight by Charlene Murray Zatloukal

How did you get started art blogging?

Shortly after taking early retirement from corporate America, I decided to try selling my art on eBay. I was ecstatic at how quickly my art began to sell. I encouraged my husband, my youngest daughter and one of my sons to give art a go and we were soon selling as a family group. It was then that I wrote my first blog post…I didn’t even know what a blog was until then.

I blogged about what we were doing with our art..and then I began to include updates of my husband’s health and how he was doing. I ended up starting a couple other blogs for my art but, still maintain…somewhat all three blogs.

The Spirit Within by Charlene Murray Zatloukal

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

Try to stick to just one blog, if you can. Three blogs are a bit much…but since my first blog was a group blog and contained so much personal “history,” I couldn’t bear to let it go. I do have my “main” blog and it has the most followers. I try to balance information about my art with information about myself, so my readers can get to know the ‘artist behind the art if you will.

Forest Deep by Charlene Murray Zatloukal

What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’reworking in your studio?

Since I’ve moved to a much smaller house I find that I’d much rather listen to audio books while I work. My books of choice…Harry Potter. I listen to those over and over. I’m ‘hooked’.

Alice in Wonderland Encore by Charlene Murray Zatloukal

What’s coming next from your easel?

I just finished my first two panel fairy tale painting. Alice in Wonderland – Encore and I loved painting it and how it turned out. This week I will be working on a Snow White painting and a Red Riding Hood painting, both much smaller paintings so I’m hoping I can get both done by the week’s end.

http://anotherpaintingblog.blogspot.com/

Thank you Charlene for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Melanie Pruitt

Artist Melanie Pruitt

Who and where are you?

My name is Melanie and I am a watercolor artist. I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for 23 years. I raised 3 children here with my husband of 27.5 years. It’s a wonderful place to live – as long as you can put up with “liquid sunshine.”

Garden Enchantment by Melanie Pruitt

How did you get started art blogging?

My career as a self-taught artist began about 6 years ago. After a very active life, I came down with a chronic illness, M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), more commonly known in the U.S. as CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).

Anxious that illness would not ruin my life, I began looking for things that I could spend my time doing. I began to learn to paint with watercolor. I also joined many online communities to stay connected. I soon learned that blogging was the “new” way to share my artwork.

I originally had 2 blogs – a personal life blog and an art blog. Last year I combined the 2 blogs into one WordPress blog where I also had store pages to purchase my art.

This year, due to the economy, I had to downsize to a WordPress.com free blog and no longer have the store pages, but I still blog about art, my personal life, and I do occasional reviews and giveaways.

Northwest Enchantment by Melanie Pruitt

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

When I first started, I just blogged when I had a new art piece to share. But as my connections with other artists online grew, I began to appreciate and admire many different art forms and artists.

I think the best advice for any artist who blogs, is to look outside yourself for blogging inspiration. Don’t be afraid to feature other artists or artwork you admire. We should not look at other artists as competition, but rather, we should view ourselves as a family of creative people. If we all take the time to take our eyes off ourselves, we suddenly discover amazing talent all around us. I truly enjoy exploring the art of my fellow artists and sharing their artwork with my readers.

Oregon Coast by Melanie Pruitt

What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

I do have a “painting” playlist on my iTunes! I love Marc Enfroy’s Cinematic Piano when I’m painting. I also often listen to Michael Allen Harrison, and Jim Brickman. At other times, I really enjoy some of my “Solitudes” music – soft soothing music blended with sounds of nature. Music is very important to me when I’m painting.

Aloha Hula by Melanie Pruitt

What can we expect to see next from your easel?

I’ve been working on a series titled “My Enchanted World”. I am currently working on 3 18×24 canvas pieces. I’m using YES! watermedia canvas and watercolor. I look forward to sharing those! I also have more 4”x6” Hula Dancer paintings in process, and several more impressionistic coastal scenes planned.

http://thecreatorspalette.com/

Thank you Melanie for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Miriam Schulman

Artist Miriam Schulman

Who and where are you?

I am a full time watercolor artist who lives in Scarsdale New York with my musical children, sensitive husband and a quickly growing tuxedo kitten.

Art by Miriam Schulman

How did you get started art blogging?

My first blog post appeared November 2007 after reading an article in Art Calendar magazine. In the first few years the egocentric posts averaged about 4-5 per month. I sent out blogs to my email list of online collectors and they seemed to enjoy getting posts about my new work. This May I completely changed my philosophy towards my blog. I started writing 4-5 days per week and wrote about more than just my own art. My topics range from art shows I go to in New York, to social media tips I learn that I want to share with other artists, to color trends in decorating and fashion and more. Due to the breadth of topics and frequency of my posts I decided it was no longer appropriate to send my updates to my mailing list and started to build a following for my blog organically through google connect, twitter and facebook.

Art by Miriam Schulman

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

Don’t underestimate the power of promoting others to increase exposure. Every post I do features someone besides me in a small or large way. Either they get a free advertisement on the bottom of my blog or I may be discussing their hand crafted item in my post. Not only does this make the blog more informative and interesting but all the other people who get featured work hard to promote my blog. A post about artist wardrobe staples was republished on the GAP’s website. The Metropolitan Museum of Art tweeted a post I did about getting inspired at the museum. Some self-representing artists also have large followings on their social networks which are very effective.

Art by Miriam Schulman

What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

I have three pairs of overalls/ rompers that I rotate as my painting uniform. Putting on the overalls signals to me that it is time to work. Playing music keeps me focused in my studio as well. I listen to anything from classical to Bruno Mars. I also like to make myself tea. My painting students enjoy hot tea and cookies when they come for painting lessons which keeps my classes social and fun.

Art by Miriam Schulman

What can we expect to see next from your easel?

I am enjoying creating ethnic art with an eclectic culture clash. I mix African art with luminous watercolor, and far eastern art with a modern abstract twist. Living in New York’s backyard I have incredible resources for constant inspiration.

http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/

Thank you Miriam for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?