Monday, July 26, 2010

Ornaments aren't just for Christmas

Hand painted ornament ©2010 Angie Nelson
I painted this handsome fella Saturday afternoon. I love painting on such a variety of canvases...and this is one of my favorites. I love the way the acrylics work on frosted glass...or maybe it's just the contrast of the detail against the soft white.

Anyway, he's headed to Oklahoma as a gift to the owner of this gorgeous stallion. Shhhhhhhh! It's a surprise.

I think I enjoy making the gift boxes as much as painting the ornaments. I never expected I would enjoy making them so much but this last year I've really gone quite wild with covering boxes with great papers and trims.

Hand painted ornament with faux ostrich/pink paisley gift box ©2010 Angie Nelson
For ordering details click here Pet Portrait Ornaments. It would be my pleasure to paint a mini portrait of your sweet horse or favorite pet.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Worktable Wednesday...A Peek into my Art Journal

When a customer orders a floorcloth from me they can have anything under the sun they would like...some want something completely original and some like the standard designs just the way they are...and then some want the standard design, but customized. That's the beauty of a can be tailored to your needs.

On the worktable today is a blank canvas waiting on approval of a design. The customer found something on my website that she liked but wanted something with fringe. In my mind I couldn't see fringe on it in it's original composition and I asked her if I could tweak it a bit in order to make it work with fringe.

Here's where we are today....

The Original Floorcloth Design      Hugging Bear            Angie Nelson© 2009

These are the sketches from my art journal...where I keep records of my designs and ideas..sometimes for specific client's and sometimes just things I'm thinking about painting. For this client I've scanned the page and sent her three options according to her thoughts on color. This is the first time she's seen the idea of using the bear motif as a border rather than as the only focal point on the rug.

Here are a couple pages from 2008 when I first started thinking about tipi art for floorcloths...I either use markers or Prisma colored pencils...and sometimes both.

Since my customer already knows what the bear actually looks like I probably won't do a mock up of the entire piece like I would do for a new design. There is a small design fee for new work that covers the time spent on the concept and I will actually do a small acrylic painting on paper representative of the actual piece. The fee is applied to the cost of the new floorcloth so it really is no additional cost.

So here I sit with the blank canvas...ready to start. I'm looking forward to seeing her decision...I'm kind of leaning toward the red fringe 'bout you?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cowboys and Indians Magazine...My Favorite!

I'm checking in this morning for a quick hello and to touch base with you all. I hope you are having a wonderful summer...seems like it's hotter all around the country than ever...I know it's been killer here with the 90 degree temps and 80 % humidity.

I'm spending my time during the heat of the day in the studio or online researching the values of things going into the shop. I am working hard on my time management skills...the ad I mentioned earlier is now in print in the latest edition of Cowboys and Indians Magazine -look for Reba on the cover. I got a preview about two weeks ago and wanted so badly to show you...

Most months, there is a handsome cowboy on the cover, but every so often they will feature an outstanding cowgirl. This time it's our girl Reba with a 10 page feature article.This is also the Western and Native Art issue. Good stuff!

FYI, I have 8 years of back issues that I'm going to start parting with  soon. Who's your favorite cowboy? Real or movie star, I bet he's been on the cover of C & I. And, just so you know in advance...Russell Crowe is not going anywhere.

At any rate, my website traffic was somewhat improved over the weekend and I am excited. This issue will be distributed through September at lots of interesting venues such as the Western Design Conference in Jackson Hole, Wy and the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. My ad is in the back in the General Store section.

I had wanted badly to try and exhibit at the Western Design Conference this year. I haven't been since 2003 or since they moved it from Cody to Jackson. After some discussion with Rick back in March and a few tears later I decided he's right...again...and that it would be crazy to throw another element into my life right now...I am, after all  supposed to be enjoying this journey I'm on. So, I thought I'd take a shot with my favorite magazine and see what happens.

I chose to use an old pet portrait that's still on my website because it's one of my absolute favorite pieces. It was exhibited at the WDC in 2002. The adult dog is my dad's and is still alive and well, while the pup, Cowboy, was my son's. We lost him 2 years ago to kidney disease and there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about that dog! He was the one I yelled at every morning of his life with us until his last couple..."Bad dog, bad dog!" He reminded me of the dog from the movie Hope Floats that chased and barked at the ducks everyday...well Cowboy barked at and annoyed the horses coming into the barn every morning. It's just what he did. Good memories.

I hope you will run out and get a copy of the September edition of the magazine if you don't subscribe to it already. It's full of interesting articles and the ads have more eye candy than you can absorb in one sitting. I always check them out first to see what's new with my peeps!

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Worktable Wednesday

I am using my worktable again and it feels sooooo good to know where all of my supplies are and have space to work. This was worth all the effort of the re-do. I hardly remember the bumps and bruises.

Today's project is for me. I am working on a collage with 20 years worth of memories...from day one in the floorcloth business. My first hand lettered and hand drawn business cards and brochures created by my sister and I in 1989 to accomplishments in 2009. I'm not quite sure where to draw the line or just how big this thing is going to be.

I wanted to do a collage to save wall space and put the history all in one area. I didn't realize until today what an accumulation I have! I have impressed myself. I think sometimes we forget how we get were we are.

This is me in 1990 from a newspaper article....I look like a kid! 
I had just mailed slides off to Country Living Magazine.

I think getting into the magazine gave the confidence to continue and build a business rather than to supplement our income while I was out of work raising our daughter.

The plan was to go back to work once she was in school and I did try that for a while but it felt WRONG! I am so happy the way things have turned out.

I can't wait to show you the collage when I'm done. No promises will evolve as I am inspired. It will most likely be done this month. I will keep you posted. 

Has anyone else taken on such a much in one piece? I don't think it will have any rhyme or reason, but we will see. Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Taking a Breather

Thought I'd surface and come up for a little air and catch up...

It took almost two weeks to paint my studio. When I started moving things out away from the walls one thing lead to another and I ended up throwing out loads of things and reorganizing. After being in business for over 20 years it was beyond time to purge and start fresh in some areas. It had gotten to the point that it was too cluttered to work on more than a couple of projects at a time and ideally I needed to take it back to the basics of more floorspace with better storage.

I found a new gallon of blue paint I had left over from a job and decided I'd love to have a Carolina Blue ceiling. This was an ambitious undertaking to say the least...but me and Rock 92 got the job done. When you are painting walls and ceilings all you have to do is think or I solved all the world's problems and sang all my old favorite songs from my teenage years...funny how you never forget the words.

Here is a peek at my office...I've started putting things back in place and this was the first area of business. There are a few things that need tweaking but this area is pretty much finished. I'm waiting on Hobby Lobby to put their frames on sale for 50% off and I want to finish the skirt to hide my "shipping department" and then I'll be ready for the big reveal.

I already like the blue sky above...I thought I would paint the floor but, now after some serious thought I'm leaving it the way it is...very paint splattered...because in a week of working it will become newly paint splattered.  Too much new will make me feel like I can't work as freely as I am used to...isn't that the point of having a studio?

Rick has been working hard on his shop...the longest project on record...nothing about it has gone right or on schedule, but it's coming along. 

Not much different from the last few photos really, but much has gone on inside...

Walls and ceiling are primed and we will paint the ceiling this evening after he gets in from work...looking forward to it in the 95 degree heat...NOT. But, I am looking forward to this being FINISHED so I can get started downstairs in my shop. 

I have designed my lighting plan and am going to order the lights next week. I'm going with track lighting similar to what we had in the gallery but with smaller spots. There is so much more to choose from today compared to only 6 years ago. I loved how the gallery looked, but I am really going to be happier with the look of this shop because it will reflect more of my doesn't have to conform to anyone's rules but ours.

Today, I've been catching up on neglected my blog, my Facebook Fan Page and my website. I have an ad coming out in a national magazine the end of the month and I need to get this part of my biz organized as well. So, if you need me, I'm not in my nice newly painted office in the studio...I'm sitting under the ceiling fan on the porch with my laptop...with my sweet tea of course. 

The view is pretty nice too...our Crepe Myrtle is in full bloom and will be this pretty until frost. 

Just my two cents on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon. Talk to you soon.