The Yellow Daisy Festival with Patti Ballard

September 2012 marked the 44th annual Yellow Daisy Festival in Stone Mountain Park, Ga. The festival is named for the Confederate Yellow Daisy that grows on the granite outcroppings of Stone Mountain. Every year it features more than 400 artists and crafters from all over the country. In all the time I’ve lived in Georgia, I have never been to the Yellow Daisy Festival. I’m not a native to Georgia, but for many years the festival was only a ten minute drive away! While I don’t live so close to Stone Mountain now, I decided it was about time I experienced the arts, crafts, food and live music of this wonderful event.

I discovered soon after planning my trip that former EBSQ artist Patti Ballard, of PBS Art Studios, was going to be there selling her whimsical paintings. What a treat! If you ever have a chance to see an artists work beyond the monitor do not hesitate. Nothing compares. Patti’s paintings are like a piece of childhood wrapped with magical daydreams. Browsing her booth was serene and calming.

Patti was kind enough to chat with me a bit before the next wave of visitors hit her booth. Here’s our mini-interview:

AM: How long have you been coming to the Yellow Daisy Festival? And what made you choose this festival?

PB: This was my first year at this festival. I was recommended by a fellow artist who has been doing the show for a long time.

AM: How far in advance to you begin preparing for an art festival?

PB: I usually have shows 1 or two weeks apart so when I am not at a show I am making more art and preparing for shows.

AM: What do you like most about participating in art festivals?

PB: I love meeting new people and seeing all the art. I always find something interesting. And it’s always fun to see other artists I have become friends with at other shows.

AM: Do you have any upcoming festivals? And if so, where?

PB: I have a show scheduled almost every week starting in October. My next show on October 6-7 will be in Melbourne Fl. Only 45 minutes from home… If you like You can see the rest of my art show schedule on my website…mostly all are in Florida!

You can also find Patti here:





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: Claudia Roulier

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week is both a exceptional artist and a captivating blogger. Her art is sometimes whimsical, sometimes surreal and often a little deliciously creepy! I especially love reading about her art WIPS!

Claudia Roulier

Who and where are you?

I am a very late bloomer to the art scene here in Denver. When I graduated from art school I was a widow with two small kids, so I immediately had to work. About five years ago I quit my part time job with the Post Office, and began to do art again. I started by selling on eBay to get a feeling for the direction I wanted to go and to have a sense of the business of art. A little later I took some on line marketing classes from Alyson Stanfield (Art Biz Coach), who happens to live in  near by Golden Colorado. Shortly after I joined an old co-op I used to belong to right after art school which gave me courage to try for a co-op in the Art District itself. So I have belonged to both for the last few years.

Over the years I knew I wouldn’t be happy unless I gave my all to making a name for myself here in Denver. I live in the foothills west of Denver I have a studio in my house, quite literally. Recently a friend and I have rented a studio down in the center of the art district. It’s an exciting place to be right now, lots of energy, lots of great art and we have a huge First Friday Art Crawl. Since it is centrally located we both teach classes there and work of course. It’s been a very gratifying experience.

Shark by Claudia Roulier
How did you get started art blogging?

I decided to start blogging when Alyson, made a very good case in one of her classes about web sites vs blogging. She pointed out we need both but if we could only afford one then blog….why? Blogging uses lots of words, for search engines to pick up and they almost all connect to Facebook and Twitter. Your message and name can go almost viral sometimes depending on your topic.

The Beginning of the Tweeters and Umbrella Wars by Claudia Roulier
Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I would say that the single most important thing is to do it regularly. I had someone ask me last First Friday if I added content on a regular basis, I knew he was asking me was it worth his time to check in every so often. You need to keep it interesting and give people something to come back for. It’s a great way to show your new art. I really like showing point A to point Z during a project. Sometimes I feature things I see that are of interest  on other blogs (always ask permission first). Some of my content is about my dog who is a real character, I did a recent flyer featuring my dog. On my blog we can also add a snippet of a sentence or two to help entice people to swing in for a look. One time I was having the blues about my art and the short phrase I chose was “my art sucks”…boy did I get a lot of interesting  comments and a bunch of hits. Pictures are always good I use them almost every time I post. Try to be concise, sometimes you don’t need many words, people tend not to read long rambling posts. I try to mix it up, with tips and suggestions to just posting art. Spell check everything!

Clearly Something Big was about to Happen by Claudia Roulier
What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

Well I like to listen to the tv in the other room and my favorite show is NCIS and on the week ends the scifi channel, just can’t get enough of bad horror and sci fi moves…lol. It’s in the other room so it works like background noise to help keep me from getting distracted. In my studio down in town I have a ipod with podcasts from a couple of local art podcast shows and music which runs the from old Walyon Jennings and Johnny Cash, to vintage rock ‘n roll, Leon Russell and some BB King. I have eclectic taste I guess. However I do have strict work rules for myself and work during my studio time whether it’s home or down town. I’m pretty serious when it comes to not wasting time.

Fetch 3 by Claudia Roulier

What’s coming next from your easel?

Currently I have a big show in May coming up, so I doing both clay assemblages and paintings, for that show. I’m hoping to have one semi big installation piece made up of smaller pieces, the clay molded ones I’ve been working on and been blogging about. Also I will have new paintings which feature black and white animals and backgrounds which have a little more substance for that one as well. This show will loosely follow the sideshow carnival theme I have been exploring for a couple of years. Then in the fall a small group of artists will be doing a carnival happening show in the district and another one in Boulder. I will also have another show at Pirate the other co-op at roughly the same time. So I will be crazy busy late summer into winter! Keeps me thinking and working hard.

Thank you Claudia 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: Dana Marie

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week is a painter of trees, a painter of color, a painter whimsical musings. Her work can brighten any room and will brighten your heart too!

Who and where are you?

I’m Dana Marie and I just recently moved to Salem, Oregon with my husband of 18 years and our wonderful twelve year old son to open an art gallery. The gallery will be called “The Timeless Talisman” and should be open to the public by the end of October!

As I paint I want to bring about positive emotions. The best feedbacks I’ve received aren’t the ones that say how beautiful the piece is, but the ones who tell me how my paintings make them feel. As I choose art for the gallery, this too is my aim. There is so many beautiful paintings out there, but if it doesn’t evoke emotion, even the darker ones, it simply leaves me cold.

Here are two of the most recent messages I received that brightened my day and validated what I do:
“You bring beautiful light in with your art and we could use as much light as we can get on this Planet!”
“I just discovered your artwork and I love it because it gives me a feeling of calm, hope and happiness.”

How did you get started art blogging?

I think it had to have been when I began seeing the blog icon at EBSQ and I became interested in how artists were using the blog format. After viewing a few I knew I would like to create one for my art. I still don’t get very personal on my blog as I wanted it to be a sharing of my art. I used to love to write and I hope that passion comes through in my blog in the future.

Later I started an art challenge blog, “Inspiration All Around Us” ( in which allows other artists to come together and challenge themselves as a group by offering their artistic interruptions of the photos I post. We now have 64 artists counting myself. Though I haven’t had as much time as I would like to participate as of late, there are always beautiful entries by some very talented artists!

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

Keep your work updated, you might be surprised who is watching your blog.
As a gallery owners my husband and I have found several Artists that we were interested in representing through their blogs. Not only does it show their talent and what they are currently creating, but often gives a glimpse of who the artist is, which I find very appealing.

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

Oh, I absolutely love music and I have a wide range of musical styles that I enjoy listening to. Though I do love to listen to music, it doesn’t really matter if I’m outside listening to the birds singing or inside with the tv on or in my studio with music playing, I’m always just delighted to be creating!

What’s coming next from your easel?

I usually have anywhere from 3 to 10 pieces I’m working on at a time! I’m primarily focused on nature inspired pieces that are whimsical and evoke the human spirit as well.

Thank you Dana 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?

Join Today!

Blogger of the Week: Kim Niles

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week is most well known for her adorable Westie illustrations, but no dog or cat is safe from her imagination! Spend a few minutes with us while we explore this wonderful artist and blogger.

Who and where are you?

I’m Kim Niles, a freelance Artist, and children’s book Author & Illustrator from Whidbey Island in WA state, and I think it would be safe to say I’m addicted to making art. I’m self-taught and have been selling my art professionally since the late 1990s, and working full-time at my KiniArt business since 2005.  I’ve been married for nearly 25 years to a man I’ve known and loved for 30 years. Together, we have a son, a daughter, one daughter-in-law, and we’re expecting our first granddaughter in the Fall.

How did you get started art blogging?

I had heard that being a successful artist means you essentially work the hours of two full-time jobs because you spend at least 75% of your time marketing and promoting your work. This is very true. I typically work long hours and most days of the week just to have the time to get the new art ideas started on paper and out of my head.  I started to blog as means of promoting my work and I found it to be a fun and easy way to introduce myself to new collectors, and to keep existing fans up to date with my latest art and project news too.  I use a variety of blogging and social networking sites (Blogger, LiveJournal, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to inform, but also to keep in touch with my collectors. The majority of my blogs are listed and linked to from my blogs page at

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I do have a couple tips for art bloggers.  If you have multiple blogs, like I do, set up reminders in your schedule to post at different blogs on different days. This helps you keep them updated so they don’t get overlooked.  At the very least, tie your blogs/social sites together wherever possible. For instance, when I post on Facebook, it also shows up on Twitter and anything that shows up in my Twitter feed automatically shows up on Myspace, etc.  Tying your social media together is a huge time-saver for the multi-blogger.  My 2nd tip is for the art blog reader in you. Blogging and social networking can eat up a LOT of time. Set a maximum amount of minutes you’ll allow yourself to spend reading up on your favorite blogs so you don’t suddenly find you’ve spent your entire morning reading about everyone else’s productivity.

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

I love working to music when I’m drawing at my desk – slower songs I can hum to, but I don’t always get do so because I share an office with my husband who also works from home. Music is mandatory however, when I’m painting – no less important than my paintbrushes – and I even dance while working at the easel. I listen to a mix of favorites – rock, folk, oldies, pop, country, alternative, etc. While painting “Westie Up Close On Red” last weekend for instance, I listened to a mix that included Anjulie, the Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi,  KT Tunstall, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Duffy, Schuyler Fisk, Meghan Tonjes, Michael Jackson, Otis Redding, etc.  My new favorite song though is an absolutely beautiful cover of the Lucinda Williams song “Blue” by Mike Antone. I had the opportunity to see him sing it live, and it brought tears to my eyes. You can get the free mp3 of his cover of “Blue” online. It really is SO beautiful.

What’s coming next from your easel?

I always have way more projects on my wish list than I have time to finish. Commissions take top priority, as do my works for my monthly auctions at I usually have 1-2 Petcature Portraits in various stages of progress in the studio. But I have a long list of paintings I want to do but don’t yet have time. I’m forever getting new ideas in the strangest places (I saw a Collie in the marbleized pattern in the tile on my floor just last night). Sometimes these ideas are forgotten by the end of the day. But if I’m anywhere near a pencil and paper, they’re roughly sketched out and filed away in my “someday” project file.

I’ve been itching to try my hand at some landscapes too, inspired by some gorgeous photos of China, and I plan to do both whimsical and non-whimsical versions.  I’ve also been creating digital backgrounds for my hand-drawn dog art combined into designs for laptop and iPhone skins for Society6 and fabric for Spoonflower, and I’m finding those to be highly inspiring. I plan to do canvas paintings of some of those designs, as well.

Thank you Kim 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?

Join Today!

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Rebecca Salcedo

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week never fails to bring a smile with her whimsical and lighthearted paintings. If you love dogs and a little humor you won’t want to miss this incredible artist.

Who and where are you?

My name is Rebecca Salcedo, I am an artist and do-gooder, who longs to hold hands with someone funny when I am old and wear depends.  My motto: Never EVER give up!

I am a painter, illustrator, and trompe l’oeil muralist, with slightly quirky sensibilities that seem to surface in my work (and personality).  I also paint a lot of animals, including very unique custom pet portraits.  I am mostly from Seattle.  I majored in French and Fine Art and studied in France as well.  I live in Atlanta now with my incredible BF and 2 spoiled dogs.

Hang On! Flying Ace in Training

How did you get started art blogging?

I wanted to write more often and figured a blog would force accountability and give me a consistent venue for practicing and showing my artwork while I’m telling a story.  2 years ago I was just beginning to discover social networking and promotion for my art business, so I figured a blog was a step in a positive direction. (Still discovering by the way; this stuff doesn’t happen overnight!)

Poppy's Adventures

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I teach a blogging class to artists in my community and these are the top 3 tips I give them for blogging:

1) Be yourself. (or some made up persona. your choice.)  I used to be afraid to admit to the world (the 3 who are actually reading) that I have faults, ticks, issues!  Worried to say anything too personal, or admit how vulnerable I am.  I’ve thrown that out the window.  People want to relate to you, and if you show them that you are a genuine person who has those feelings and habits, too, that common ground may get you some readership!  Besides, it’s not like we would believe you’re perfect anyway!

2)   I tell them, “If you don’t know what to write, just post a picture of your most recent painting and then write a short description of how you came to paint it.”

Completely made up just now example:

I was recently in Morocco with my husband and there were these goats in the trees. Vinny said, “the boys at the shop are never gonna believe this one!”  I almost peed my pants!  After I wiped my eyes, and the fog from my glasses, I saw past the climbing goats to the most beautiful sunset over the desert landscape, and snapped a picture to paint later (and I might put the goats in it.)

You don’t have to have a funny quirky style, just write about what you did, and you’ll see the words will start to flow and you’ll get better!

3)  Try to post a 2-3 times per week. The most important part of blogging is just showing up! If you want people to read your blog, you actually have to write!

I enjoy sharing tips, techniques and art history!  Look back and visit my 31 days of rhinos, a journey into the history of art! I’ve got 16 different rhinos posted so far with more to come! (showing more vulnerability — haven’t finished that project yet!)

Otis at the Gelateria

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?

Rituals, oh yes! The first thing I do in the morning is write in my journal. I write about 2500 words a day, which is about 3 very large pages, plus I write ridiculously small (unless I just really want to get those pages done, then it’s large double spaced with lots of punctuation and smiley faces!)  I love Dave Mathews Band first thing in the morning!  Don’t ask me why it works, but when I come in and sit down with my coffee, I can put on DMB and gush with writing inspiration.  Then I start painting, and I’m all over musically!  Queen is one of my all time favorite bands to paint to, as well as Cockteau Twins, Pink Floyd and lots of jazz.  After years of thinking my “younger metal head friend” was nuts, I tried painting to heavy metal, and I really got my groove on!  Jimmy Buffet=happy painting.

Red Hat Dog

What’s coming next from your easel?

Finishing a mixed media painting with horses. THEN, a gigantic self-portrait!  I am doing a 3 woman show at the Defoors Center in Atlanta opening November 11th! Lots of room for large scale, which will be a challenge since most of my work is very small.

Thank you Rebecca 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?

Join Today!

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Tiffany Matthews

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week wears two hats, that of an artist and a crafter, and she wears them so well. Her whimsical, folk designs are a delight to young and old.

Who and where are you?

My name is Tiffany Matthews. I live in sunny (and hot!) Las Cruces, New Mexico. I am a full time stay at home mom and part time artist and designer. My studio is full of paint, canvas, fabric, paper, wood, wire, and anything else I find interesting. Children’s art (especially my own children’s) inspires me. I spend a lot of time in my kids’ school helping with the art program and teaching after-school art classes

Happy Girl

How did you get started art blogging?

I started a family blog for the grandparents to see the kids and added a few creative endeavors here and there. Then I decided I needed to keep the two separate—family blog and art blog. I was also incredibly inspired by other artists’ blogs. I love to watch the creative process! I like nothing more than to see a painting that isn’t working and how you tweaked it and played with it until you like it.

Art blogging also encourages me to stay current and always have something new I’m working on. If I haven’t posted in a while, I can tell it’s time to get back to work.


Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

Show your process. It’s fascinating to see a painting from sketchbook all the way through to completion. Also, it doesn’t just have to be art. At first I was torn because I am also a craftsperson. But I didn’t want to mix the two on my blog. I thought I had to choose–artist or craftsperson? Then I realized it’s all part of the creative process. I don’t have to choose. I am a person who creates. So I do have crafts, knitting patterns and tutorials on my blog as well as my paintings.

There are great creative prompts and ways to network with your blog too. I personally really enjoy sites like Illustration Friday, One Pretty Thing and Monday Artday.

Purple Cow

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

Shuffle! I am all about shuffle. I like change so I have all of my music on my IPOD and it’s always set on shuffle. Drives my husband crazy! I have everything on there from Joshua Radin (my current favorite) to Skillet, Breaking Benjamin and the Carpenters.  It makes for a weird/wonderful shuffle mix!

Wood Block Pear

What’s coming next from your easel?

Since school is out, my two kids are home during the day. So I won’t be doing any large, engrossing projects for a bit. The kids love to do lino prints with me. So I plan to work on some of those this summer. It’s wonderful working side by side with them! Smaller pop paintings are on my mind too. I’d love to get back to my Pop People Series. That’s where I really started and where I always seem to return. I started with A and did paintings for every letter in the alphabet. I’d like to go back to A and do it again–all people, all Pop with very vivid color and whimsical personality.

Thank you Tiffany 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?

Join Today!