Vote now in the EBSQ May Exhibits

EBSQ May Exhibits

Voting ends tomorrow for our May Exhibits. Have you voted? This months exhibits, Flower of the Month: Irises and Still Life, are filled with amazing art by EBSQ artists. Even if you’re not a member of EBSQ you vote can count by click on the Facebook Like buttons for each entry. Which ever piece has the most, for each exhibit, is receives a Cloud award.

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EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Torrie Smiley

Who and where are you?

Hello, my name is Torrie Smiley. I am a “trying to be daily painter” from West Texas now living and painting in Charlotte, North Carolina. I am blessed to have a wonderful life full of adventure–not really, I am a mom to four, grandma to one, and leader of the pack to three dogs.

How were you introduced to Facebook?

I was introduced to Facebook by teenage daughters back when you had to be in college to have an account. In 2008, a young girl in the local coffee shop who admired my paintings, created a “Facebook Fan Page” featuring my paintings and my Etsy store. My younger daughter began getting questions regarding my paintings and how to purchase them on her Facebook page. She gave me one of the “mom your ruining my life” speeches and told me I had to start my own Facebook page to handle my own painting business……I am surprised she didn’t just ask for a cut of my Facebook income~ Well, as they say, the rest is history. I have been on facebook since 2008. It was fun in the beginning listening to the kid’s friends say “I can’t believe your mom is on Facebook”.

Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?

The biggest tip for the Facebook page is make sure it is searchable by your name and your collectors can find you. If you are on Facebook, you know they are constantly making changes and updates. The “Fan Page” has gone, replaced by “business/professional pages”. In 2010, I started my Facebook page under the title “Original Works of Art”. I forged ahead as with all my online adventures ~ trial and error, realizing later my page was not searchable by my name, Torrie Smiley, only by Original Works of Art. I found this to be a problem for new customers to locate my page. I started the new page this year under my name Torrie Smiley, Artist. Not wanting to delete my Original Works of Art page and lose my page regulars, I maintain the two pages making it available to new and returning customers. Tips from lessons learned is to make sure you are searchable by your name. If your name is taken add “artist”, “designer”, whatever you do to your name in order to keep your page searchable to your name. If you stores have a different name, use what is most familiar to your customer. Also post, post, post!! I try not to neglect regular posting, but sometimes I do, and I definitely notice a drop in sales and commissions.

What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?

There are so many to choose from~ My Etsy store and Fine Art America stores are linked to my Facebook page. New posts on those websites update themselves to my page. I post new paintings to Facebook first and then add to my stores giving regular customers and friends a sneak peek before the paintings go into the online stores. The share feature allows people to share my work and stores with their friends and on their page adding to my customer base. Link everything using the links feature-DailyPaintworks, Etsy store, eBay, Twitter, Website, and blog. I post the same painting in all the different locations to purchase the painting–eBay, Etsy, Daily Paintworks. Collectors have their favorite websites and can purchase where they feel most comfortable.

What’s coming next from your studio?

I am always working on commissions along with the work put in my store. I will be painting several cupcake paintings, the larger ones will be placed at Cupcrazed, a local cupcake shop in Fort Mill, SC (Cupcake Wars Winner!). I will also continue to paint pears, martinis, and still life. I continue to be fascinated with landscape painting and hope to be completing more soon.

I love participating in the challenges at DailyPaintworks.com. I plan on participating in the EBSQart.com Nibblefest by the end of the year. I just have to get past the next wedding in September and I will have more time to have fun in the studio. It seems everyday there is a new idea I need to get on canvas before it vanishes from my brain…..I need more time!

http://torriesmiley.ebsqart.com/

Facebook: Original Works of Art

Team EBSQ August Showcase Pt 2: Still Life

Welcome to part two of our incredible Still Life showcase!

Promises by Caroline Baker  Ripening by Jeanne Forsyth

Remnants of Childhood II by Aimee Dingman  Ginger Jar by Aimee Dingman  Cupcakes by Aimee Dingman

Onion by Christine Streimer  Paintbrush by Christine Streimer  Bowl of Lemons by Christine Streimer

Inspired by Janet Fish by Heather Sims  Gerbers and Babytop Bottles by Heather Sims  Hershey Kisses by Heather Sims

Signs and Symbols by Amanda Makepeace  Ginger by Amanda Makepeace  Beach Pebbles by Amanda Makepeace

Peppers Five by Ricky Martin  Fiesta Mexicana by Ricky Martin  Juicy Pears by Ricky Martin

Featured above are: Caroline Baker, Jeanne Forsyth, Aimee Dingman, Christine Striemer, Heather Sims, Amanda Makepeace, and Ricky Martin.

Are you an EBSQ Artist selling on Etsy, eBay, Zazzle, Artfire or RedBubble? Why not join Team EBSQ?

Team EBSQ August Showcase Pt. 1: Still Life

Artists have been depicting inanimate objects (still life) for thousands of years. So its not surprising this month’s showcase is HUGE! Be sure to stop by tomorrow for part two.

Grandma's Pears by Carolyn Schiffhouer  Orchid with Bottles by Carolyn Schiffhouer  Still Life with Flowers by Carolyn Schiffhouer

ACEO Still Life by Theodora Demetriades  Bouquet in Blue by Theodora Demetriades  Hydrangeas by Theodora Demetriades

Lemon by Torrie Smiley  Glass of Red Wine II by Torrie Smiley  Little Green Pear by Torrie Smiley

Enchanted Forest by Melanie Pruitt  Enchanted White Orchid by Melanie Pruitt  Enchanted Butterfly by Melanie Pruitt

Makeup Brush by Pati Springmeyer  Vagabondastical by Pati Springmeyer  Fresh Flowers by Beth Fiedel

Featured above are: Carolyn Schiffhouer, Theodora Demetriades, Torrie Smiley, Melanie Pruitt, Pati Springmeyer, and Elizabeth Fiedel.

Are you an EBSQ Artist selling on Etsy, eBay, Zazzle, Artfire or RedBubble? Why not join Team EBSQ?

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: Pati Springmeyer

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week is a newcomer to EBSQ, but she’s already made a lasting impression with her rich still life paintings and her wonderful character!

Pati Springmeyer

Who and where are you?

I am a painter. I paint pictures for a living. I refer to myself as a painter more often than as an artist.   I paint representationally, and believe that self expression is a given, so I don’t try to “express myself.” My unique perspective is imbued in every painting I create, whether I try to put it there or not. I am interested in the beauty of  light describing  the human form. None of my teachers ever talked about teaching me to paint, or draw.  Just how to “see.” I am just emerging from my academic training and don’t fully know who I am as an artist. That’s something I aspire to. So, for now, I call myself a painter. My home and studio are in Las Vegas, Nevada, where I live with my husband.

Vagabondastical One by Pati Springmeyer
How did you get started blogging?

It was the perfect answer to my dilemma of finding myself living in a city that doesn’t have any representational fine art galleries, at least not ones dealing with contemporary classical academic and alla prima styles such as I paint in.  I was working in my studio every day, but, feeling increasingly discouraged over the past three years, about not having a local place to show my work, that I liked.  Paintings were piling up, and I was beginning to think I should get a “real job”.  So, my husband thought I should start my own presence on the internet.  My son, who is a  computer programmer,  had also been after me to do something on the net.   I liked the idea of taking matters into my own hands and having full control over how I market my work.  Plus, something I’ve discovered about blogging, is that I can help people by sharing truly useful information.  That was a powerful realization.  I get almost as much enjoyment out of turning people on to the Google Art Project, as I do when I receive positive comments on one of my own paintings.

Portrait of the Rider by Pati Springmeyer
Any tips for EBSQ art bloggers?

I’m  pretty new at this game, but I’ve learned that there are a few things that are working for me:

1.   Showing up on a regular basis  so that there is some predictability to my blogging.  I try to  have a post about a new painting up at least twice a week, and if not, I’ll post some of my older academic work to keep it fresh and the energy moving (only pieces I feel really good about,) while I finish a day painting.  My larger canvases can take up to several weeks  to complete and  I post those whenever I  can.  The day paintings are good for me both technically and in terms of momentum to keep the energy on my blog moving.

2.  Being helpful. At least every two or three posts is about something that I am  passionate about that is art related and that will be useful to other artists and art lovers. To date, my biggest viewership came from sharing information about the Google Art Project. That single post attracted hundreds of new people to view my blog, and my paintings, that I didn’t have before.

3.  Brevity. I write succinctly when it’s an article. When posting a painting, I let the painting speak for itself.

4.  Key words and phrases. I am just learning more about this, and now believe it is  important to pick words that that are targeted to my marketing plan for search engine attention so people can find me.

5. Search engines can’t see or find images. If you are only posting images of your art or creations, your post is invisible to search engines and won’t exist for search results. You must use the “alternative text” HTML code with the image or at least a chunk of descriptive text to accompany the image.

I also check my Blogger stats and Google Analytics data regularly, and have learned (with a long way yet to go…) how to read and interpret them. It is useful to know which posts and words your readers and collectors are responding to.

Belly Dancer by Pati Springmeyer

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

My painting day starts with classical music, such as Bach cello concertos, or Mozart.   The most important ritual is the first thing I do when I am getting ready to go to my studio, and it’s called “turning the colors”.  I take my paint box out of the freezer, and with my pallet knife turn each blob of left-over paint from the day before onto my wooden pallet, peeling off the skin that naturally occurs on oil paint, and making sure I have enough paint on my pallet for the day.  This takes about 20 minutes.   This simple action is necessary functionally but, also it  settles me and prepares me for the intensely focused  experience in which I am about to engage.   Later in the day, if the painting is going well, I put on increasingly rowdy music,  like upbeat Rick Braun, flamenco guitar by  Marc Antoine,  R&B, a-capella  groups like Take Six. Then I may turn to the incredible operatic countertenor, Andres Scholl if I need to calm myself down because I am frustrated when I’m not  “seeing”  well.

Pomegranate by Pati Springmeyer
What’s coming next from your easel?

I am working on a large portrait, 78″x 89″, oil on canvas, called Shangri-la, which is intended to launch my project area in painting sensual couples portraits. The link to the image of the in-progress work is: http://flic.kr/p/9mESxy

http://www.original-oilpaintings.com
http://www.facebook.com/originaloilpaintings

Thank you Pati 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 Friday Five

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

Cherry Tree by Carmen Medlin

1. Cherry Tree – Anyone ready for Spring? EBSQ artist, Carmen Medlin is, and I have a feeling she’s not alone.

2. The Burning Secret – Artist Lee Lynch is setting fires in his studio!! I won’t say anymore, go check it out.

3. AZ Art Alliance – Congratulations to Jeanne Forsyth, who was recently juried into the Arizona Art Alliance!

4. Current Fiber & Art Projects – Lori Rase Hall has been one busy lady. Wow!

5. Quirky Dame Designs Zazzle Shop now Open – Julie Behm has opened a shop on Zazzle featuring her wonderful art and designs. Go show her some love!

 

Have a great weekend!