EBSQ Friday Five: Art Seen

This week’s Friday Five features five recent artworks from various galleries in our community. They are a taste of the diverse and amazing talent of our artists. I hope you enjoy them and have a wonderful weekend!

Please take a moment to check out the artist’s portfolios on EBSQ: Allesandro Andreuccetti, Sherry Key, Torrie Smiley, Martha Di Giovanni, and Janet M. Graham.


EBSQ September Online Exhibits

Voting is underway in our August online exhibits: Cats & Dogs, FOTM: Prairie Plants, and Plein Air: Water. Members of EBSQ have until tomorrow, 9/8, to vote for their favorite artwork in each show. Go show your support for our artists!

Entries are now open for September’s exhibits:




The deadline for entering a September exhibit is 9/30/2012. I’ll be entering the Autumn exhibit. Which exhibit is on your radar?

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.


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: Cathy Johnson

Artist Cathy Johnson

Who and where are you?

Actually settling on a name is a bit hard these days, but though I remarried a few years ago, I use my professional name “out here in the world.”  So, Cathy Johnson…(my friends call me Kate, and my married name is Ruckman…)  I live in a small town in the Midwest, about 30 miles from where I was born—Independence, Missouri.

Winter Morning by Cathy Johnson

How did you get started art blogging?

I began selling on eBay years ago, and made friends with a group of other really neat sellers, most of whom loved art and antiques; they invited me to join their consortium, a discussion list.  They told me several of them had blogs, and I checked them out…liked them, so started one of my own, the Quicksilver Workaholic on Live Journal.  It’s been crazy, ever since!  I now have 9 in addition to that one–two that I use for classes, two group blogs, and my own stuff.  I wanted to be able to focus rather than trying to throw everything into the Workaholic blog…some focus, eh??

Pepi by Cathy Johnson

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I’d say think about what and what you actually want to do on your blog.  Do you just want to share your work?  Do you want a place to put up good-quality images?  Do you want to open discussions on art and what it means?  How interactive should it be?  What should it look like?

Then research what the various services offer.  Do you want a free blog, or are you willing to pay?  Do you need one that’s user-friendly, or can you do your own .html?  Will you pay to have someone else design it?  Do you want to put it on your own website?

Do you want to sell?  Have links to places like Amazon or Dick Blick?  Teach? Run a group blog?  Some sites won’t allow commercial use of any sort, including classes, some are fine with it.

I know a lot of artists who use WordPress or Typepad, and they do look rather elegant and offer a lot of options; I found WordPress a little hard to navigate.  My original blog is on Live Journal, but it’s more difficult to add links and such; most of my newer ones are on Blogger.  It’s free, it’s user-friendly (though customer support isn’t all that handy if you DO have a problem), and it does allow commercial use; I teach classes right there, and also have a gallery blog where I sell my work—when I actually list something!

My group blogs are wonderful—one is Sketching in Nature, which features artists from around the world.  It’s here: http://naturesketchers.blogspot.com/  The other grew out of the new book, below…Artist’s Journal Workshop, here: http://artistsjournalworkshop.blogspot.com/  We discuss all aspects of journal keeping for artists.  (I also belong to the international group blog, Urban Sketchers, a wonderful group of artists sketching on the spot.  http://www.urbansketchers.org/)

I forgot to add not to let it get too addictive, too outward-focused.  It can be very time-consuming, photographing your work, uploading it, writing about it.  If you set  yourself a goal of posting every day, you WILL burn out.  It can make your creative time very surface, and can become a burden.  Remember, you don’t owe anyone but yourself, really…you’re not obliged to post, it’s a way to share.  If life gets in the way and you don’t post for a while, there’s no need to apologize…it’s your blog.

Old Dairy by Cathy Johnson

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

Sometimes I listen to Bach or Vivaldi, but mostly I prefer natural sounds and as quiet as I can manage.  I built a tiny shed/studio last summer, after many years of working wherever, and find it’s very conducive to working.  Sometimes I take a little time for meditation or visualization before starting…but mostly the flow is so ever-present I just reach for something to work with, and jump in that moving river!

Pods by Cathy Johnson

What’s coming next from your easel?

I’ve become hooked on plein air work, and seldom use photo references any more, so whatever catches my eye.  Usually it’s the way light falls on something…or some detail of nature.  I love being OUT there…
I keep an artist’s journal, and in fact my newest North Light book, due out in June, is Artist’s Journal Workshop…I invited 26 other artists to share their journals, tools, methods, thoughts, feelings, reasons for keeping a journal.  It’s been fascinating!

I’ve journaled for more than 40 years and written about it for magazines as diverse as The Artists Magazine, Watercolor Artist, Personal Journaling (no longer published), Family Adventures (also no longer around), Country Living and even Sports Afield!

So “next from my easel” is more likely to mean next in my journal, really…

Thank you Cathy 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: Carmen Keys Medlin

Artist Carmen Key Medlin

Who and where are you?

I’m an artist and illustrator living in the gorgeous, foresty Black Hills of South Dakota. I’ve got a wonderful husband and two squishy kitties who keep me company. My favorite medium to work in is watercolor, and I often use colored pencil in conjunction with it. I enjoy painting whimsical things that bring people back to a sense of their childhood and their inner selves. What touches my spirit the most and how I connect with God the easiest is through His creations… ie, critters and plants and such beautiful things of nature, so those are common themes in my work.

Bee and Mustard by Carmen Keys Medlin
How did you get started art blogging?

I started about six years ago (around the same time I joined EBSQ ), at first just to connect with other people and try to figure out how to start selling my paintings. I learned SO MUCH from the people I’ve met via blogging and made some lovely friendships. Reading others’ art blogs really inspired me that I could make a go of this art career. I would have to say that blogging was the number one factor in making most of the connections I have in this business.
I like having a way to immediately post paintings I’ve finished and be able to share them with other people, get feedback, and visit with them. I also like to blog about my life in general, because that is always what I enjoyed most about reading others’ blogs. I like seeing who the person is behind the art; in fact, this usually makes me like their work *more*, because I can connect with the artist better.

Wandering at Dusk by Carmen Keys Medlin
Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I’ll admit I’m not always the best at this, but post often – even if it is about your day or some photographs you took on a walk you had, write about things you love and definitely lots of pictures – whether they are paintings, photographs, digital art, whatever you like doing. If you tend to take a long time to create your artwork, perhaps consider doing a work-in-progress kind of thing where you show stages along the way. I think that’s a great thing to do if you work quickly, too.

Also, if I am coming up empty for content sometimes I’ll do an entry for Illustration Friday, even if it is just a sketch. The art exhibitions at EBSQ are also great ideas for creating something, which you can then post on your blog.

Fire Contained by Carmen Keys Medlin
What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

For me, music is most important in the sketching/drawing stage (as that is the most difficult in my opinion). It helps me get into the mood of whatever I’m drawing. My favorite types of music to listen to for art are ambient electronic works (such as Ray Lynch, Robert Rich, Mychael Danna, Steve Roach, Vangelis), movie orchestral scores (like from The Dark Crystal, The Secret of NIMH, Legend, The Village, and such), Iona, Mickey Hart’s world drum music, and lots of classical. Too many favorite composers to count, but I tend to go with things from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Impressionist eras. Love choral pieces. I also really enjoy drawing to the music of my very own brother, Travis Keys! It is along the lines of some of the electronic music I mentioned above; he goes by Free Energy Workshop on SectionZ.

When I get to the painting stage, it’s usually all about movies, tv, and radio dramas. Hulu and Live365 help a lot with this. I’m a big fan of sci-fi shows and things that are strange, like The Outer Limits, Fringe, X-Files, etc. Alfred Hitchcock and Murder, She Wrote are also shows I’ll paint with.

Owl's Hollow by Carmen Keys Medlin
What’s coming next from your easel?

Along with working on a lot of rubber stamp licensing designs right now (which can be found at SCACD), I’m focusing on bringing forth more nature-oriented paintings. I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching to focus my efforts in more or less one main direction so I quit confusing my audience with all this bouncing around I’ve done for the past couple of years (heh), and that direction I’m calling “nature whimsy”. I’ve got a lot of nature whimsy to do! There will be more of my favorite dressed-up little animals in woods and fields, and more botanicals.

Thank you Carmen 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: Chris Kapono

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week creates magic with polymer clay. It’s the magic of a beast from a fantasy novel and it’s the magic of Mother Nature all around us. Who is this mage? It’s Mandarin Moon, of course!

Who and where are you?

My name is Chris Kapono and I am from Creve Coeur Missouri. I am a self taught artist and I have been drawing and painting since I was very young. My second passion is nature and the outdoors and this greatly influences every thing I create. A couple of years ago I discovered polymer clay and I fell in love with it’s possibilities. I was amazed at the incredible things that others were making with this clay and decided to give it a try. My first few creations ranged from comical to complete disaster but I slowly I began to learn and develop a style of my own. I rarely pick up a pencil or brush anymore!

I have two children, Eric and Hannah, three aquariums and a cat named Simi. Simi is especially fond of my cabochons and I have to hide them or they start to disappear one by one. LOL!

How did you get started art blogging?

A fellow artist on Etsy recommended that I start a blog. I was totally green to all of this (and that was only two years ago ha ha!). I must admit that I don’t blog like I should. I work full time and when I come home I can’t wait to begin working on the ideas that bubbled up during the day. I answer a few emails and head for the art table and don’t look up again until bedtime.

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

Being the shameful blogger that I am, I hesitate to offer tips LOL! But I can tell you what I enjoy when I am cruising through blogs. I really enjoy blogs full of beautiful photos of the artist’s work and hear a bit of the process they went through to create it. I love to hear what it is that inspired the piece too.

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

Yes, I always have to have music when I am working on my art! I found Pandora Radio online and I have discovered so much more music this way! I have very eclectic musical tastes that range from classic rock to indie, new age, alternative and even electronic. Artists such as Beck, Cake, CSNY, Dave Matthews, Moby, RHCP, Pearl Jam, Eels and Enya. How’s that for eclectic?! LOL!

What’s coming next from your easel?

Oh gosh…who knows! Sometimes I don’t even know what is going to happen when I sit down and grab up some clay. 🙂 Actually, I plan to learn to make my own books using coptic stitch binding soon. I’ll use a higher quality art paper or handmade papers inside and create my own custom covers for them. I also plan to learn to wire wrap jewelry and will wire wrap my own polymer clay pieces and some of the beautiful jasper, amethyst and agate cabs that I have begun to import. At least that’s the plan….it doesn’t look easy so it all depends on whether I am able!


Thank you Chris 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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