EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Kathleen Ralph

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week is a prolific artist, working in pencil, watercolor, acrylic, collage and more. Her passion for art shines through in every piece she creates.

Who and where are you?

I am a mom, artist, writer, chocolate addict, and a hippie who was born at the wrong time.  I have an intense love of nature, that can occasionally be at odds with my love of technology and my obvious geek tendencies. I live in a place that manages to reconcile all of my personalities, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  A vibrant city in the foothills of the astounding Rocky Mountains.  The view out my kitchen window is of snow-capped peaks.  Every morning I take time to look out that window and get a shot of inspiration from that great view.

Surveying the Kingdom

How did you get started art blogging?

I started blogging just after my youngest child was born, writing about the adventures of raising young kids.  I remembered how much I loved writing and started a blog called Pencil Shavings to get my writing and poetry out into the world.  Later I met some wonderful women online, when I tried selling some excess life inventory on eBay, who convinced me to start creating and selling my art (they are still some of my best on and off-line friends).  It was lucky that my original blog was called Pencil Shavings because I kept the name and began writing about making art.

Last year I started the 365 Days of Art project and the blog has been the major vehicle for that project as well as the new offshoot I started The Postcard Project which now has it’s own blog.  It’s a good thing I love writing with two blogs running at the same time.

Like Stained Glass

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

My number one tip is:  Social Media is your friend.  If you don’t have a Facebook fan page or Twitter account look into it (and link them to your blog and vice-versa).  Most artists sell to people who know them, so the more people feel that they know you, the more likely they will become a collector of your art. You don’t have to tell everything about yourself, but being friendly and chatty like you would be with a friend is a lot more engaging then just listing the bare bone facts about your blog entry.

Keep your blog current.  With my 365 Days of Art project I’ve developed the habit of posting nearly daily, and having new content keeps your readers committed to coming back.  Also having some kind of photo or image with each post is a big bonus for people who want to read an art blog.  A picture really is worth a thousand words.

Hand Study

What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio? And do you have any rituals associated with your creative time?

I have very eclectic tastes in music.  Right now I have The Tragically Hip, Barenaked Ladies and JackSoul on heavy rotation in my iPod.  But most nights when I’m painting I’ll listen to jazz on the radio and during the day I likely to listen to classical music.  CBC Radio 2 is my friend these days, playing both of those genres.

I can’t seem to create any art unless there is a hot cup of coffee or tea going cold on the table next to me, usually at just the right spot for me to accidentally dip my brush into when I’m really getting into the process of painting and letting my hand go on auto-pilot.

So Comes Sorrow

What’s coming next from your easel?

Right now I’m working on a new project called The Postcard Project where I send out original art in the format of a postcard to anyone who wants one (and asks for it)  That is really focusing me on being productive and getting something small painted at least every other day.  The pond down the road from us is teeming with bird and frog life this spring and I’m finding myself down there a lot making sketches.  I suspect a series of bird and frog paintings is imminent.

Thank you Kathleen 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 Friday Five

The EBSQ Friday Five offers a brief look at noteworthy news from around the EBSQ Artist Blogosphere.

1. 365 Days of Art – Day 287 – I’ve known about artist, Kathleen Ralph’s 365 Days of Art for some time, but I didn’t know she also has a Postcard Project. Stop by her blog and be sure to click on the links to the project. Hint: Free Art!!

2. Plein Air Georgia Paint Out – Pat Burns and many artist around Georgia will be out in force this weekend painting. See the details on her blog.

3. OPS Paint out in Granbury – Yes, it’s that time of year for sure. Tina Bohlman shares her new Watercolor Palette Shelf, perfect for plein air painting.

4. SRP’s Fridge-a-Thon – Artist Joanne Gallery shares some info on the upcoming Fridge-a-Thon in Phoenix, AZ. Don’t miss out on seeing her and many other artists who’ve used a fridge as they canvas!!

5. Huge Weekend in Chattanooga, TN – This weekend is the annual WHO-FEST, celebrating art and music. Our very own Suzan Buckner will there with many other artist.

Have a great weekend and for you Americans, a safe one too on this holiday weekend.