EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Patti Ballard

Artist Patti Ballard

Who and where are you?

My Name is Patti Ballard. I am a Whimsical mixed media artist. I live in Saint Cloud, Fl. a small town about 30 minutes east of Walt Disney World.

Runaway with me by Patti Ballard

How did you get started art blogging?

I felt I really needed to connect with other artists and bloggers that shared the same interests as myself and also I really wanted to learn how I could get my art out there and basically learn about others art and how they felt about going public with it.

Under my Umbrella by Patti Ballard

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I really think blogging is about making friends and being your true self. People can feel if you are genuine when you write. Also Its just like a regular friendship. You have to nurture your new friends besides just talking about yourself. Letting your emotions and true self come out makes it seem to others that you are real and they will treat you like a real friend.

Intruding in my World by Patti Ballard

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

It really depends on the mood I’m in, or even what I’m painting. sometimes I am so engrossed in what I’m doing that I don’t want any distractions so I just love to listen to silence and my own thoughts. Music is important to me though and I have a very wide range of music favorites. I love Pop and alternative rock. I like to listen to radio even the talk shows.Sometimes just oldies from the 50-90’s and sometimes slow romantic songs.

Dreaming by Patti Ballard

What can we expect to see next from your easel?

I am really loving doing a more quirky kind of subjects with lots of hearts and words lately, every once in a while an angel or fairy in a more realistic form will pop out but right now I literally have at least 25 drawings( I doodle all the time) that I will be transferring to canvas.

http://pbsartstudio.blogspot.com/

Thank you Patti 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?

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EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Karen Winters

Karen Winters

Who and where are you?

I’m Karen Winters, a California contemporary impressionist artist. Most of my work is based upon the California landscape and coastal areas, and I travel extensively all over the state to capture its beauty painting outdoors. I use these plein air studies to paint larger studio works. I also travel outside of California to paint, when I can.

Return to Golden Pond by Karen Winters

How did you get started art blogging?

I began blogging about nine or ten years ago, using Live Journal at first as my blogging platform. Then I installed a custom blog on my own website and I’ve been with that ever since. Art has been a part of my blogging from the very beginning, although in the earliest years I was primarily scanning sketches from my art journal. These days the content of my blog is my oil paintings, with occasional pastels and watercolors.

I paint every day and try to post work several times a week – daily, if I can – but with my travel that’s not always possible. I like to hear from my readers – especially if they have tips for good places to travel and paint. Some of my best discoveries have been from suggestions from my collectors and others who like my work.

Sierra Light by Karen Winters

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

My best tips for art bloggers are to work hard, strive for excellence, behave responsibly (don’t badmouth others on your blog) and always watermark your work. I’ve found my paintings “stolen” and displayed on other people’s blogs and websites, but my name is still there to tell the tale and lead a path home to me.

White Cactus by Karen Winters

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

I don’t listen to music as a rule when I paint. When I do, it’s often via Pandora, where I have a number of different stations book-marked. I like music that creates a mood of serenity – light classical, gentle instrumentals, and so forth. Because I have to produce a large number of paintings every year for shows, competitions and commissions, the last thing I need is music that makes me feel agitated or jumpy.

Radiant Shore by Karen Winters

What can we expect to see next from your easel?

Right now I’m working on several large paintings for upcoming juried competitions for exhibition in museum shows and for my November-December 2011 solo show at Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, CA. And I’m completing several commissions. I don’t show work in progress, but they will be among my larger pieces and will reflect the beauty of California.

http://www.karensblog.com/

Thank you Karen 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: Drusilla Kehl

Drusilla Kehl

Who and where are you?

My name is Drusilla and I live in Hudson, NY. I have a background in commercial art, and am self taught in watercolors and acrylics.I am a long time pet rat owner, and some 20 years ago my late husband and I began producing artwork catering to other rat lovers. Thus The Illustrated Rat was born. I have expanded into all kinds of other pet and people portraits and illustration.

Iola and Maverick by Drusilla Kehl

How did you get started art blogging?

A few years ago I discovered BlogSpot and thought it might be fun to do one. I already had a website, and a presence on Zazzle and Etsy, and, I’m happy to say, a growing fan base. This seemed an opportunity to showcase my work with a more personal touch. On the blog, I can comment or give a background to each image. It is also a way of reaching new people.

Rat and Unicorn by Drusilla Kehl

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

Promote your link–have it in your signature if you can. If you follow other people’s blogs, chances are they will follow yours. A blog is quite subjective–I generally do not post work in progress, but other people do. I think it’s important to remember here you can talk about your work and offer unique insights. You can’t really do that on a website (in my opinion).

John by Drusilla Kehl

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

I always listen to music. It really depends on what mood I’m in, Lorena McKennit, 70s rock, opera, classical, movie soundtrack…

Castro by Drusilla Kehl

What can we expect to see next from your studio?

I have one or two pet portrait commisions. I am also preparing for the ArtsWalk Weekend here in Hudson (early October) where there will be many opportunities to display my work.

http://illustratedrat.blogspot.com/

Thank you Drusilla 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 Bloggers of the Week: Tips for Blogging Part 2

This week, in lieu of the Blogger of the Week feature, we are taking a look back through our featured Bloggers and focusing on some of the tips they gave for successful art blogging. Most artists know by now that blogging can be extremely beneficial for marketing their art, but it can also be the biggest hurdle to overcome. We hope some of these top tips help!

Diapente by Sandra Willard1. Sandra Willard

The best way that I’ve found to improve my blog is by reading other people’s blogs.  I make notes about what I like about their blogs and then consider doing the same thing with mine.  One of my favorite blogs is usually about art but every so often she interjects personal or interesting comments regarding something she had discovered that day.  It’s fun to see what other artists do outside of their studio.  It helps me to understand what inspires them and where they come from.

The Google Analytics tool has become my new best friend. For example, since following the statistics of readers to my blog, I’ve noticed that the titles of my posts seem to be the reason people find my blog. So I try to make them relevant to the content of the post.

If someone leaves a comment be sure to follow up on it.  There is no better feeling then when I get a response to a comment that I’ve posted on someone else’s blog!

Needles of Light by Jeanne Forsyth2. Jeanne Forsyth

Stay current – I try to post at least once a week.  When I do a work in progress, I will spread that out over several posts.  This keeps my readers interested and checking back for progress updates.

Pictures are a big deal.  Good quality is a must.  Art buyers, and gallery owners are looking at your work. First impressions mean everything.  I edit every picture before putting it on the blog.  Usually the color from the camera is not as vibrant as my painting in real life.  I will do the necessary adjustments needed for the best quality.  Cropping the picture also allows the viewer to see the piece clearly and pleasing to the eye.

I try to keep my articles in my blog on an upbeat and positive note.  I think most people are in looking more than reading, so keeping it simple and directed to the artwork works best for me.

My objective is to motivate and inspire my readers.  The best compliment to me is when a reader takes the time to comment on my work.  I always try to respond back, and pay that blogger a visit if they are keeping a blog.

Watercolors by Erika Nelson3. Erika Nelson

My biggest tip is not to get too wordy and try to have a focus like you need a focal point in your painting. People live busy lives and they’re looking for a quick read and hope to gain something (knowledge, humor, good news, etc). from the 5 minutes they have to spare. Must use IMAGES- they are wonderful baits! But same advice – try not to get carried away; too much of anything is too much.

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Stephanie Allison

Artist Stephanie Allison

Who and where are you?

Stephanie Allison. I currently live just outside Shelbyville, Kentucky, with my husband, 4 dogs and 2 cats. I am originally from Fulton, New York. I have had a love for painting and photography since childhood. I used to walk through the neighborhood with my little Brownie camera, taking pictures of my friends playing—or I’d sit on the front porch drawing anything that interested me. I’ve always been fascinated by faces, which is why I mainly focus on portraits now. People or animals—faces show so much and I just love painting them.

The Music Maker by Stephanie Allison

How did you get started art blogging?

I started looking for new ways to market my work, and read quite a bit about the importance of the Internet. I actually began using a blog as a journal, but kept it private. Then I took an art marketing class, and the instructor again stressed the value of the Internet—and how putting my thoughts and work processes out in public would not only help promote my art, but might also help other artists in similar situations. Living in a small town, the art market is also small—and a blog helps me connect. People visit my site, maybe make comments about my work, or commiserate about issues all artists face: where and how to market, what to do when you’re stuck and/or out of ideas, etc. And I try to reciprocate by visiting their blogs, if they have one, or their websites.

Denise by Stephanie Allison

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

My advice is to try to put something new on your blog at least once a week. Don’t be afraid to share your ups and downs with the creative process—it helps to know other artists struggle with the same issues, whether technical or personal, and I’m always interested in seeing what others are doing. It helps keep me motivated. Visit other art blogs, leave comments, ask them to visit you, exchange links—if you find a site that’s interesting, or offers advice on a particular art process or technique, post it on your blog. Blogging is a great way to connect with other artists and make new art friends!

Guitarra de Baile (Dancing Guitar) by Stephanie Allison

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

I love all kinds of music—jazz, country, classical—so what I listen to often depends on my mood, and/or what I’m interested in painting. One time I was jamming to Jimmy Buffet’s “Desperation Samba (Halloween in Tijuana)”, and ended up painting “Guitarra de Baile –Dancing Guitar”. I also have a little plastic 2-headed monster toy on my drawing table that I call my “inner critic”—when I start getting too fussy, or critical of what I’m painting, I can pull off one of the heads, and sort of change personalities…..is that too weird??

The Potter's Hands by Stephanie Allison

What can we expect to see next from your studio?

As far as painting goes, I’d like to continue a series I started a few years ago, “Working Hands.” We do so much with our hands, so I’d like to show hands doing all sorts of things: playing music, making pottery, digging in soil, etc. I’ve already completed two: “The Potter’s Hands” and “The Music Maker” – both have sold, which is a good thing, but now I’ve got to start the series again. I’ve also begun to make jewelry—so maybe I’ll paint my own hands!

http://witsendstudio.blogspot.com/

Thank you Stephanie 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: Maggie Stoller

Artist Maggie Stoller

Who and where are you?

Hi, I’m Maggie Stoller. I am a self-taught artist from a family of artists and musicians, and art has always been a part of my life. I have 3 brothers, and 2 sisters. I’m the fifth, with one younger brother. My early years were spent on a farm in Kansas, then we moved to Iowa where my parents still farm today. My father started teaching me to draw when I was around 4 years old. He was all about detail, and I learned a great deal from him growing up. I remember spending countless hours in my room sketching all kinds of animals on paper bags, typing paper, anything I could draw on, just trying to be as good as he was. Without his guidance in my early years, I would not be the artist I am today.

I was a graphic artist for a magazine for several years in Scottsdale, AZ. I have painted on a lot of canvas, and after 40 years of trial and error, painting in different mediums, I feel I have finally hit my stride in my art career. I paint animals on Arizona river rocks with great care, paying special attention to the eyes and fur.  Animals have always been my favorite choice to paint, but I will be expanding my horizons to paint other things in the future. There is just something so relaxing about using nature-made river rocks as my canvas. All the different shapes and sizes are endless, and the coolness and how smooth they feel in your hand is calming. The only thing I won’t paint is people, but other than that I will try anything, and basically paint on anything that doesn’t move.

I am married and we have lived in sunny Arizona for over 10 years and now live on 2 acres in the beautiful desert with surrounding mountains, far west of Phoenix. I get to enjoy the natural wildlife outside my studio window every day. Yesterday, I saw a roadrunner run right past my window. We have prairie dogs scampering around, horny toad lizards that squirt blood out their eyes if they feel threatened (frightening! lol), scorpions, and hummingbirds visiting our feeders daily. I am so blessed to look out on this beautiful scenery every day.

Eagle Rock by Maggie Stoller

How did you get started in blogging?

I got started blogging after I set up my website at weebly.com about 6 months ago. I had never had a website or blogged before and wasn’t sure if I could capture an audience with all of my daily babbling and posts, but saw quickly that people were interested. I figured if I was just myself…like talking to a bunch of good friends…invisible as they might be, that it would be a good approach to do my blog. Although, people don’t leave a lot of comments, I see that hundreds of people visit my site every week from my Google Analytics reports, plus I’m getting a lot of commissioned work.

Jaguar by Maggie Stoller

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

My advice to other people regarding blogging…is to just be yourself. Post photos of your work in progress, how you are feeling about your project, your favorite quotes, give some tips, what your cat or dog did today, be silly and don’t take yourself so seriously, etc. People love to see the process of art from start to finish and they want to know you as a real person that they can relate to. Don’t be stuffy, be approachable. I’m not a writer, and I’m sure my grammar and punctuation is not always correct on my blog. That’s the least of my worries. lol

If you don’t have a website, get one. Weebly.com is free and easy to use with thousands of templates to get you going. Get Google Analytics to see who visits your site every day. It doesn’t show names, but does show what pages are being looked at the most, and what city, state or continent your visitors are coming from, and how many people come to your site each day. This information is very useful and can show you which pages you may want to tweak a bit so more people hit on those pages. It also shows which pages your visitors like the most, which is also a good thing. I have had visitors from all over the world, and only have 7 more states in the U.S. to get to visit. Valuable information to have for your site.

I also have a Facebook business page. I have gotten so much commissioned work from networking every week than I ever got by going to art shows in my entire career. I know as artists that the business side can be daunting and we don’t think we are good at it. We just want to be left alone to paint because that’s what we do best. But, if you don’t get yourself out there and pound the pavement on the internet, people just aren’t going to find you or stay interested if you don’t remind them now and then that “Hey! Remember me? I’m that girl that paints on rocks!”

Get on Etsy, StumbleUpon, Twitter, and any networking site you can find. There are tons of blog networks on Facebook. I set aside time every day to network so people always know what I’m working on and new items in my online gallery. Also have a business card made and lay them out everywhere while you are out and about. I’ve left them in restaurants, my bank, at my Dr.’s office, handed them out to perfect strangers, and always throw a few in each package I ship out. I am relentless, but it’s working.

Llama by Maggie Stoller

Do you have any rituals associated with your creative time?

My daily ritual is getting up, having a couple cups of coffee, then getting into the studio. I don’t listen to music oddly enough while I’m painting in my studio. I always have the TV on. My favorite channels are Discovery, History, NatGeo, and anything to do with nature and wildlife. I think because I grew up in such a large family I need to hear talking in the background. lol

Baby Rhino by Maggie Stoller

What can we expect next from you studio?

I’m always trying to come up with new ideas for the river rocks, so I’m always sketching things to try out. I have a 4-inch binder full of ideas and the possibilities are endless. Lately, I’ve had a lot of back-to-back commissions. The commission I finished last week was for a 9 pound dinosaur doorstop rock for a little boys room, which was a lot of fun to paint. I have 3 upcoming commissions. One is for a BMW cartoon race car rock, and the 2nd is for a hamster rock, and the 3rd is a portrait of a greyhound dog rock. I’m going to be pretty busy for awhile.

So to all of my EBSQ fellow artists…keep putting out your beautiful work. The world is a better place because of it, and thank you EBSQ for having such a wonderful site and art community for all of us to show our work!

http://www.riverrockart.net/

Thank you Maggie 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: Cindy Couling

Cindy Couling Art Brain

Who and where are you?

I’m Cindy Couling. I’m an artist and graphic designer from Sunnyvale, CA. By day I run my own design shop and I illustrate commercially now and then. By night (and whenever I can fit it in) I do art for myself. I’m Canadian born, fell in love on the internet with a wonderful American man who married me and changed my world. I play around with any art medium that catches me eye. I do ceramics for awhile, then paint and journal, then do a little of whatever craft that’s interesting to me that week and come full circle back to ceramics. I think I am a little A-D-D when it comes to art. I love every aspect of art and want to try everything.

Skulls by Cindy Couling

How did you get started art blogging?

I’ve never been a good writer. I find it really hard to express myself with words alone. I loved the idea of blogging, but wasn’t excited about writing. Instead of writing, I decided to post a visual journal and let my art tell my stories. Over the years I’ve become more vocal and more confident in my writing.

Peace on Earth by Cindy Couling

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

Don’t be worried about being a good writer. Let your art speak for you. Post what appeals to you, not what you think the viewers want to see. Be your true self.

Namaste by Cindy Couling

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

I love all kinds of music, but I love good, cheesy 70’s and 80’s music. Listening to ‘Car Wash’ or ‘Bennie and the Jets’ takes me back to being a kid again, playing and not giving a sh*t about what other people think. I also love letting my ipod decide what I want to hear based on a single song choice. (I’m amazed at how smart the ‘genius’ function is.) Technology blows me away. (I’m such a nerd in soooo many ways. lol.)

Be Yourself by Cindy Couling

What can we expect to see next from your studio?

Who knows! (…and I like ‘not knowing’!) Right now I am working on ceramics again, but my art journal is calling to me again.

http://lunagraphica.blogspot.com/

Thank you Cindy 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?