Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Junk Food Again Next Year - Happy New Year!

Our Resolution - Do it Again Next Year!

Hi Everybody! - I wasn't going to blog again until Jan. 10th, but today I participated in friendly banter with a couple of swell gals in a facebook group (ladies, you know who you are).

In the back and forth posts, I posted what we do EVERY year for New Year's Eve. I think we have been doing this for 30 years now - so even before my husband and I had kids.

We have a picnic style Junk Food Night and watch a movie at home on New Year's Eve. AND we RESOLVE to do it again next year :-) The menu is absolutely what ever you want. Candy, ice cream, etc.

This year's menu: cheddar cheese that squirts out of a can, home made orange julius smoothies, little smokies, summer sausage, Ritz crackers, sour cream and onion dip, chips, cheddar popcorn, caramel popcorn, AND in the paper bag between the second and third blue paper plates in the photo above is KFC Chicken Bites. We used to get popcorn chicken, but they are not offering it any more.

Don't believe me? click the photo to see it larger.

God only knows how many years we have had KFC Chicken. My son wanted it one year when he was small along with the cheese-in-a-can.

Even better? It is all done by 8:00 pm and my husband and I can call it good :-) The kids head out to their friends homes.

So there. I have publicly admitted my New Year's resolution is to have junk food again on New Year's Eve. What is your New Year's resolution or tradition?

Have a wonderful and prosperous New Year!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy Holidays 2013! "Elfed Myself"

Happy Holidays to all of you! I will be back blogging January 10th.  I gotta say, I do have some awesome dancing moves!

 Note: I removed the dancing elf video of myself because it auto plays and I can't figure how to shut off the music! To annoying to have running while you are reading other post :-)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Artist Spotlight - Kimberly McSparran

Read about the big names Kimberly has designed for!


Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
Long before I entered kindergarten, I began drawing and knitting. In first grade, I won the Easter Egg Hunt Poster contest. In second grade, I made myself a bikini. I continued to draw, paint and sew throughout high school. As a young model, I “recreated” everything I saw in the New York showrooms. I decided to become a Fashion Designer and began studying fashion design at the University of Vermont. After my first semester, I decided to switch into fine arts. Between my metal-smithing and oral interpretation teachers, for whom I made illustrations, I was encouraged to attend a higher caliber art school and transferred in the middle of my sophomore year to Syracuse to study illustration. I spent my junior year at St. Martins College of Art in London where I first met Robert Welch, the famous metal-smith. Little did I know, three years later I would be at the New York Hilton introducing three flatware patterns I designed for Yamazaki along with Robert Welch and four other international designers. My career in the Tabletop Industry had begun.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?

I am inspired by everything that surrounds me. I grew up in the hills a of Pennsylvania. I was constantly found in streams and ponds looking for polliwogs, turtles and frogs. I loved long walks through the fields with my dog Muffin, who I watched as she pranced through the tall grass. After school, I would visit horses on my way home, even before I began to ride. I was fascinated by nature.
In London I learned of Sir Edward Burne Jones and did my thesis on him. He and William Morris were best friends at Oxford, so I studied about him as well. These Pre-Raphaelite artists strongly influenced my art. A trip to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, blew me away and I began to draw everything I could see. That summer, I traveled to every museum I could get to throughout Europe.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?

I have worked in watercolors for decades since my work was primarily for delicate designs for dinnerware,  stationery, fabrics and wall coverings. When I began getting commissions for Pet Portraits I began working in oils and love it. I use Liquin and water soluble oil paints so I can use glazing techniques just like in watercolors and I can work quickly.

What are you working on now?
My current licenses are Lunt Silver for Reed and Barton, designdesign, and Jason Products. I have licensed my designs to over 30 manufacturers internationally for the past 3 decades. Several manufacturers are still in production with my designs since the 90's.

Anything else you want to tell everyone?
I am obsessed with my art and want to paint and draw all the time. I don't think I could ever really retire because, I can't stop myself from wanting to create things. Painting to me is like dancing, I love the flowing lines, I adore color and new color combinations...I never know what's going to happen next. The painting just evolves.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?

I start working at 7:30 or 8 each morning and work till 7 or 8 at night. Then have my dinner and walk my dogs. I don't pull all niter's or work past 11 pm. I'll get up early if I have to finish something up.

What is your favorite food?
My favorite foods are salads with arugula, basil, tomatoes from my garden with fresh mozzarella, fresh grilled tuna fish and shellfish. Another reason to live in the Hamptons!

Website: mcsparrandesign.com
For licensing inquiries please contact; Jen Kramer Jenerosity Marketing

Read more! Enter: Artist Spotlight in the blog search box.
If you are interested in being spotlighted - email me: anntroe@cox.net

Thanks doodlebugerz for reading and posting your comments. MAKE MY DAY and follow this blog :-D

Friday, December 6, 2013

Bucking "Target's" Color Trends this Holiday

Traditional colors work too.

Last night my high school senior daughter and I decorated a gingerbread house. We have been doing this for MANY years and usually buy a kit from Target. This year Target's kit had pastel color candy in it.

I figured my daughter would like the colors. When we got started she was unhappy with the pastel color selections. The side she decorated is in the photo above on the left with the traditional red and green. She is by far the largest consumer of stuff in our house and is a walking resource of trend information!, —right down to her brand new Vera Bradley iPhone case. I would never have guessed she would want traditional colors.

That got me thinking. I am sure there is a LOT of thought that goes into what colors will be trendy in the coming year. But given the choice at the store, "trend consumer daughter " would have bought the traditional red and green kit.

Are color trends all that trendy? Or are they just what's available at the time of purchase. Weigh in and tell me your thoughts
- Thanks!
Make my day and follow this bog :-D

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Calling All Messy Artists, You Need this Apron!

Your apron purchase supports the Food Bank.
Click here to buy now!

I recently closed my CafePress Store. I was donating what I made from the store to the Food Bank. The short back story for closing the store is that when I signed with my agent, part of the agreement was to take down the images they are representing. I was/am totally cool with that! BUT, the images/stuff that was selling was removed from the store. I kept thinking I would create new art for the store but never got around to it.

SO I am advertising through social media these "Art Happens" Aprons in hopes of raising money to donate to the food bank. They are customizable! Different sizes and color are available. Kid sizes too!

I am also asking for your help - Artist are such amazing people! Buy an apron, Tweet, Facebook, Pin, Google+ share on any social media site you like. THANKS so much for the help! I can't do it without all of you.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Artist Spotlight - Sandy Laipply


Read a bit about Sandy and check out her work! - Post in the comments what your favorite piece of her art is!

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I have been creating for as long as I can remember, starting with making new clothes for my paper dolls as a little girl- after I finished all my coloring books. I had 2 years of high school art, and my teacher gave me a wonderful foundation. Other than that I am self taught. I try to take classes whenever I can, in all kinds of mediums.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?

Anything and everything can inspire me, but I think mostly nature. I love flowers, birds, animals, landscapes and seascapes. Sometimes it is the words in a song. Or just not painting for a while. I find that I tend to get very cranky if I spend too much time on the business side of my art and not the creative side. It's often difficult to find the right balance.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?

I work in almost every medium. I spent 15 years working in the craft industry, helping companies show their customers what to do with their new products, and I loved teaching and demonstrating. My friends keep encouraging me to license my work, and when I decided to do that, I knew I needed to focus. So right now I am working in watercolor-my favorite painting medium. Photoshop and Illustrator are so much fun, and allow one to provide clients with files in the format they need, but I still go back to a paintbrush in my hand. Nothing compares to the thrill of putting pigments on paper and watching the colors merge and magic happen!

What are you working on now?
I'm working on a collection of fruits and vegetables in watercolor. I'm on the Board of our local Arts Council, and this summer we were invited to show our work at the local Farmer's Markets. Seeing all that lovely produce each week was very inspiring and I was allowed to take a lot of photos for reference. I see a trend of using a lot of fruits and veggies in home decor, and several clients have asked for them.

Anything else you want to tell everyone?
I love working with manufacturers and learning about their product processes. I got my first licensing deal because I did cold calling on manufacturers at the Atlanta Gift Market, after I had walked the show 6 months earlier and identified companies I wanted to work with. I met a manufacturer who liked my style, but I didn't have what he wanted in my portfolio. We worked together to come up with the look he wanted for his product line, and it has done very well. Click here to see some of the Pretty Tools products with my art:  http://sandylaipply.com/art-licensing/licensed-products

I've since signed with an agent so I can spend more time focusing on my art, cplicensing.com. We're currently in discussions with several companies. Handpainted art is very much in demand now and with a computer I can format my art for almost any surface. I want to be in tabletop, giftware, home decor, greeting cards, party goods, etc. And since I love to sew, I definitely want my own fabric line.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?

Definitely an early riser. I'm often up before 5 am, and I love watching the sunrise. I prefer painting in the morning when my studio is full of light, and then do the business side later in the day.

What is your favorite food?
Chocolate. Or chocolate covered caramels. Or Reese's Cups ( chocolate and peanut butter) . Or chocolate ice cream. Or chocolate cake. Did I mention chocolate???? Maybe I should start painting a collection of chocolate candy......

You can find Sandy: SandyLaipply.com       sandy@sandylaipply.com

Phone-419-562-9825      FB-Sandy Laipply's Art      LinkedIn-Sandy Laipply

If you are interested in being spotlighted - email me: anntroe@cox.net

Thanks doodlebugerz for reading and posting your comments. MAKE MY DAY and follow this blog :-D

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

More Hand Painted Holiday Ornaments

MORE Fun ideas for painting your own pottery ornaments!

Above are our latest batch of ornament ideas for the Holidays!  Just to revisit (if you didn't read the last post on ornaments), they are three inch round tiles that my daughter and I painted. Before we started, we had the person working at our local paint your own pottery place drill holes so we can hang them with ribbon.

My daughter painted the Starbucks and Kitty ornaments. The Starbucks ornament is for a friend who is a Starbucks fan!

We sketched out our ideas on paper and then colored the back side of the sketch with a number two pencil making our own cheap carbon paper :-) Next, we traced the design on the the ornament. As you may know, number 2 pencil burns off when the piece is fired in the kiln.

You can find the first three ornament designs here:

Thanks for stopping by doodlebugerz!

Friday, November 8, 2013

File Formats - Down and Dirty

Do you know about this helpful Photoshop website?


Recently I have been asked about if a TIFF file is better than a PSD file. I am sort of an old school graphic designer and we used to send flattened TIFF files to printers because of the great image quality and there were less issues with a TIFF file than sending a PSD file. Now a days Photoshop is compatible with a lot more than the current version and I haven't sent a TIFF file in ages!

I agree with this website PhotoShopEssentials.com that I save my master files as PSD. Of course different people have different ways of working.

Below are snippets from PhotoShopEssentials.com post on different file formats

Photoshop .PSD

Of all the file formats that Photoshop supports, the PSD format is probably the most important. PSD stands for "Photoshop Document", and as the name implies, it’s Photoshop’s native file format.


The JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group) format has been around for nearly 20 years now and has become the most popular and widely used file format for viewing and sharing digital photos.


The GIF file format, which stands for Graphics Interchange Format, has been around even longer than JPEG, and it’s the format of choice for web graphics.


PNG (Portable Network Graphics) was originally meant to replace the GIF format (PNG also stands for “PNG not GIF”). That never happened and GIF files are still in wide use today, yet the PNG format improves upon the GIF format in nearly every way.


Like PSD files, TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is one of the few file types that support all of Photoshop’s features and is another great choice for archiving your images, with lossless compression that allows you to save photos with the highest possible image quality. The quality comes at a price though, as TIFF files can be very large, especially when compared with JPEG files.


EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) is another print industry standard format that’s been around for quite a while, but its use has been in decline over the years. EPS files are not really image files in the traditional sense. Instead, they contain a series of instructions for how a printer should reproduce the image. They can be imported into most page layout programs, but the “encapsulated” part means the files are essentially locked and can no longer be modified unless they’re re-opened in Photoshop. (My note: I still create and get request for a lot of .eps files for logo design).


Finally, while most people are familiar with PDF files for viewing, sharing and printing electronic documents (hence the name Portable Document Format), PDF is also gaining in popularity as a great choice for saving images destined for print. Like the PSD and TIFF formats, PDF supports and preserves all of Photoshop’s features, including the ability to use spot colors, something the EPS format does not support.

 Hope the link to PhotoShopEssentials.com is helpful as well as this post - thanks for reading and commenting!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cute Hand Painted Ornaments for the Holidays

Fun ideas for painting your own pottery ornaments!

The ornaments above are "hot of the press"! They are three inch round tiles that my daughter and I painted. Before we started, we had the person working at our local paint your own pottery place drill holes so we can hang them with ribbon.

We sketched out our ideas on paper and then colored the back side of the sketch with a number two pencil making our own cheap carbon paper :-) Next, we traced the design on the the ornament. As you may know, number 2 pencil burns off when the piece is fired in the kiln.

Thanks for stopping by doodlebugerz!
See more ornaments here: http://anniesdoodlebugz.blogspot.com/2013/11/more-hand-painted-holiday-ornaments.html

Friday, November 1, 2013

Artist Spotlight - Cindy Wider

Artist and author started out in Papua New Guinea 

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I studied art right through high school, then I graduated with a Diploma from 'Art Instruction Schools Inc. USA' (which I studied by correspondence when living in Rural Australia). I was also awarded a government scholarship to study silk screen printmaking to further develop the style I work in. So my background is in commercial art and design but like most artists I am a continual vacuum for learning.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
Mostly the memories from my childhood growing up on an island just above Australia called 'Papua New Guinea'. The gorgeous flora and fauna, brightly coloured plumages on the birds and long hanging vines all remain with me in my imagination and just call to be expressed. I am also inspired by the works of many other great artists such as the famous French artist Henri Rousseau, and Modern Primitive artist Raul Del Rio to name a few.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I paint in acrylic on paper or canvas and often create studies in realism graphite and charcoal. I  mainly create images in Adobe Illustrator for my art licensing projects. I love working in Illustrator because its so versatile and I can act upon the creative decisions really quickly. I work hard to make sure that my digital artworks maintain the softness of a painted image. I like to breathe soul into the image and inject it with personality.

What are you working on now?
At the moment I am working on my 'Castaways' series (above). The first in the series was 'Castaway in Paradise' which was just shown in 'Art Buyer Magazine' http://www.artbuyermag.com.

The second is 'Castaway Home'. In this line I am expressing the fantasy escape to paradise. I love the whole idea of getting back to nature and through these artworks I aim to connect people back to the roots of where all peace and tranquility resides; within nature.

Anything else you want to tell everyone?
I am absolutely besotted by art, it is my life and I love sharing my knowledge about drawing and painting with others. Besides creating art for licensing, I am also an author and I wrote the soft cover books; 'Paint In Your Pyjamas-every woman's guide to finding your life purpose through art' '12 Charcoal Techniques' 'Six Pencil Strokes' and 'Action painting workshop' as well as 37 ebooks that form the 'Complete Drawing and Painting Certificate Course.' My soft cover books are available on Amazon and you can find my course at http://drawpj.com.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?

Night Owl but only if I am working towards a major goal. I like my bed and believe in regular sleep patterns if I can. I limit myself to working no later than 11pm or 11:30 pm maximum and only up to three nights a week or I start turning into a mad woman due to the upset in my body chemicals.

What is your favorite food?

Oh it just has to be oysters, crayfish, prawns, fish and anything seafood yummmo!

You can find Cindy http://www.porterfieldsfineart.com    
Agent: Lance Klass, President, Porterfield's Fine Art Licensing Sarasota, Florida
email: cindy@drawpj.com     (+44) 01274 985 974

You might also like these post: (click) Artist Spotlight - Peggy Wilson  
Artist Spotlight Sarah Hudock
If you are interested in being spotlighted - email me: anntroe@cox.net

Thanks doodlebugerz for reading and posting your comments. MAKE MY DAY and follow this blog :-D

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Carving: Peeling Teeth

Help settle a $20 bet - vote for A or B as your favorite

Happy Holloween! Above are our attempts at carving pumpkins this year. My 17 year old daughter and I each think the one we carved is the best. I bet her $20 that my pumpkin will win!!! If I lose, she gets $20.  :-(

I really like the peeled teeth on both pumpkins. Gives it a little more depth and interest. It was kind of like peeling a thick apple with a knife.

I will be collecting votes here in the comments, on facebook and twitter! Let the games begin :-D

The winner will be announced on Wednesday Nov. 6 to give people a bit of time to vote AND to keep my daughter waiting for her $20 (in case she wins!).

THANKS for playing along!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Let's Backup a Bit - What Do You Do for Backup?

So many images - even more files!

Happy Friday everyone :-D Bottom line, I want to know how you handle backing up all of your art files. On top of that there are loads of mocked up art on products, actual art on product files, contracts... you know what I am talking about!

Before art licensing days, when I just had graphic design clients I started out with a pile of CDs, then DVDs, and finally an external hard drive (or two...). I would back up twice a month. It was always a pain to copy the new work onto the back up drive.

Within this last year I signed up to use Crash Plan. crashplan.com. Nope, I don't work for them or make any money mentioning them here.

Over time it will cost me more than buying an external hard drive. I signed up for the $4 a month plan, They also have $2 & $9 plans, business plans....

I did the FREE 30 day trial. It works great on my MAC. AND it backs up everyday, behind the scenes. You can set it up to not interfere with you while you are working on your computer etc. I have restored lots of stuff and all looks wonderful. The back up is off site and I still back up to my external drive every month, just in case.

SO, the other day I realized there is this thing called Time Machine on my MAC for backups. Anybody use it? Do you like it? I completely forgot about it.

Thanks doodlebugerz for your two cents worth. I really appreciate knowing how you handle backups.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Artist Spotlight - Sarah Hudock

I bumped into Sarah on Linkedin and we met up at Surtex in NYC last spring - I KNOW you will love her roosters! Find out more about Sarah below — Be sure to check out her website!
(click images to see them larger).

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I spent most of my early childhood either drawing and painting, with my nose in a book, or with animals. I lived a very solitary, inward life during those few years, but then as I grew up and left home, subsequently I lost my artistic way. The world has a way of redirecting us when we don’t know who we are, and for much of my adult life I painted very little. I took it for granted that “I can draw” but it took me decades to figure out how to put it together; to overcome life’s difficulties and to do what I believe I was meant to do. I consider myself extraordinarily fortunate now, to have the opportunity to live with that kind of artistic focus again, and to share it with other people.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
I have to say, animals. I suppose I could expand that to include all of nature, because that is true, but really at heart it’s my love for animals and my relationship with many of them. There is something about each of their souls that I am always trying to capture – and the look in the eye. They are such sentient beings who share the world with us and I like to call attention to them in ways that make people stop and look.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
 Mostly I work in watercolor, but have also been gravitating towards gouache and acrylic lately. My style has been changing now that I get to paint whenever I want, and I am getting better at it. It makes me want to try all sorts of new products that I see other artists using. At some point when I find time, I want to take some art classes to try out new mediums just for the fun of it, to open myself up even more. About a year ago I also learned to use some of the features in Photoshop, and that has revolutionized my options as well. I have startled myself with how much I enjoy creating effects digitally.

What are you working on now?
In July I got my first art license (thank you agent Carol White!) – a series of six Rooster Chef images is licensed to AD Lines Eurogroup and will be sold as art prints. It looks like Amia, Inc. is also interested in a series of my butterfly images to use for their glass products. I see a beginning here, and have spent this past year running to catch the art licensing bus, so to speak: I either work in Photoshop or I paint all day, almost every single day to build my portfolio, to practice, and to learn as much as I can. I just recently finished a new series of inspirational Rooster images with detailed patchwork tail feathers (above) that I really love and have high hopes for, as well as a series of Christmas roosters caroling for my greeting cards (and also art licensing.)

Anything else you want to tell everyone?
I stagnated for too many years, and now here I am with 50 years of artwork pent up inside of me! Watch out, world. It’s all an exciting mystery, this Life thing. Isn’t it?

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
I seem to work naturally in cycles. I focus intensely on a project for 2-3 weeks, going to bed at 2 AM every night, waking up at 7 to feed the animals and then diving back in to my artwork until 2 AM again. When I finish, I flop down and sleep for several days, clean the house, check to see I didn’t miss paying any bills, and regroup. Lots of ordinary chores fall by the wayside, but I’ve learned that life is short and you shouldn’t waste time doing dishes when there’s something important like painting chickens to be done!

What is your favorite food?
My favorite food. Hrmm. I guess I would have to say bacon and eggs.

Visit Sarah's website:  http://sarahhudock.com     email: info@sarahhudock.com
Carol White of Artworks! Licensing: http://artworkslicensing.com

If you are interested in being spotlighted - email me: anntroe@cox.net
You might also like this post: (click) Artist Spotlight - Peggy Wilson

Thanks doodlebugerz for reading and posting your comments. MAKE MY DAY and follow this blog :-D

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Paint a Simple Pumpkin Mug

Visit your local paint your own pottery place

First I painted the inside white - you don't have to, but I wanted to be able to scrape off any blobs I didn't like easily. Let each step dry a bit to make things easier.

Next I painted the outside of the mug a light orange. Just one good coat - I wanted some of the brush strokes to show.

Then I mixed some of the darker orange in with the light orange paint and painted with a wide square brush vertical stripes on the mug - you can see the stripes bend a little with the pressure on the brush and that is OK :-D I just painted one coat of the mixed color of orange.

Now use a smaller brush - I like the square brushes for stripes. Use the darker orange paint to paint a stripe down the middle of the wider stripes you just painted.

Paint the handle black. 2 coats will work. black is a very strong color.

With a number 2 pencil, I lightly drew the face I want on the mug - Painted it black. 2 coats

I used an old tooth brush and splattered black paint on the inside and to make "blush" on my pumpkin face. Then I used a small round brush (you could use a 'writer bottle' too) and made the black drips that run from the rim of the mug down the inside a bit. There are a few blobs on the backside of the mug too.

Last thing I did was to use a round brush handle and dip the handle into the darker orange paint and made dots on the black handle of the mug :-)

Enjoy! - Make my day and follow my blog :-D Post a link or send me your Halloween pottery painting project. anntroe@cox.net

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Blogging - What I Have Discovered, (so far)

Confessions of a Right Brainer

I thought about blogging for a long time. I knew it is important to post on a regular basis - at least that is what folks who are experts on blogging say. I worried (still do a bit) about how will I come up with stuff to write about that may be helpful.

Blogging is great for marketing.  - Well, I am focusing mostly on other licensed artist. I would think manufactures etc. would be the ones to purchase my art... Of course I never know who is reading my posts unless they comment.

Reading/writing and spelling were my worst subjects in school - I thank god every day for spell check! :-D

So why did I start blogging? I wanted to have a record. A way to look back at what has happened to me in the last year(s) in the world of art licensing. Yep, I was focused on me :-) I find that when I am feeling like I am getting no where fast, It is great to look back and see what I did accomplish. Sometimes I let the bad things out way the good. Crazy that we do that. (Did you notice I lumped you in with me? :-) I also thought some of my graphic design stuff might be useful to other artists.

What I discovered is that I need art friends! This blog has connected me with so many more creative people in 6 1/2 months, than I have had since my college art days. (I am pert near 50 years old). I love it! The emails, comments and social media connections are fabulous. It is great to get other points of view.

(Sorry all you tough guys out there...) This is a great BIG, fuzzy, gushy THANK YOU for your support and input.

Make my day and follow this blog! - Thanks in advance for commenting :-D

Friday, October 4, 2013

Artist Spotlight - Peggy Wilson

I recently met Peggy through this blog. I checked out her work and I am amazed with her use of several mediums AND her range of work! Be sure to click Peggy's website link at the end of this post.

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
Mostly self taught, but come from a long line of artists, my Dad was my early teacher.
I have taken college classes in figure drawing and a couple watercolor classes, and recently have studied with a local retired art prof.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
Driving around in the beautiful countryside can inspire a landscape, or watching the antics of animals may inspire a cartoon drawing, but often my cartoons come directly out of my head and I usually don't have a clue what triggered them.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
 I do work in several mediums, for landscapes and still life oils and acrylics.
For my cartoon images, I usually sketch them old school on paper with pencil, then scan them and color them in either Adobe photoshop or Corel Paint. Occasionally I draw on a Wacom Tablet.

What are you working on now?
Right now I am doing commissioned Xmas card designs, one of a sock monkey rock climbing and another of snow shoe rabbits both cartoon and realistic.

Anything else you want to tell everyone?
 I love the variety of working in various styles and mediums, maybe that makes me hard to "Brand" but that's how I work best.
Are you an early riser?, or night owl?
I'm an occasional insomniac so I may be up at night, reading or sketching, and if that's the case I'm not up early, I guess. I have an irregular schedule, but since I work at home this works for me. Love waking up and brewing strong coffee to get my motor running.

What is your favorite food?
 So many, its hard to narrow it down, my Mom was Danish and made the best breads, and crepes....so crepes with fresh peaches as filling.
Visit Peggy's website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/peggy-wilson.html
Contact: peggywilsonartist@yahoo.com

If you are interested in being spotlighted - email me: anntroe@cox.net
You might also like this post: (click) Glass Artists and Painter Anne Nye

Thanks so much for reading and posting your comments. MAKE my week and follow this blog :-D

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pottery Painting - VW Bug Bank

I post pottery that my daughter and I have painted for fun :-) We go to our local "paint your own pottery" place where they fired the painted piece.

This is a VW Bug Bank. Banks make great gifts and you could personalize it with the person's name. Fun Fact: It easily holds $50 in change!

Thanks so much for reading my blog. Make my day and follow this blog!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Creating Art for Licensing - Make it Easier on Yourself

The Skinny if you don't want to read more: Paint and scan the art in steps. Nuff said :-)

These are acrylic paint on cotton canvas panel. I only used one palette knife. The small square ones are 6" x 6" panel and the larger one with the two gold pears is 9"x 12" panel. These are part of an 'apples and pears' collection I am working on.

I paint small - so I can scan them it at a HIGH resolution. Normally If I were painting these to sell in a gallery or some place similar, I would block in the darks and work up to the light colors. I would have painted the background first over the stems and then paint the stems on top of the background, cuz that is easy.

BUT, for art licensing you are probably going to want just the pear/apple alone with no background. It is much easier to remove a white background in photoshop, THEN go back and paint in a background.

One more thought: If a manufacturer wants a different background - this may make that easier to accomplish. Especially if what I have shown them has the pear/apple on a separate layer already in photoshop (or illustrator).

I would LOVE! it if you would share how you handle art for licensing. If you don't want that to be public - shoot me an email anntroe@cox.net. Thanks so much for reading and sharing :-D

You might also like:
Palette Knife Pumpkins      Painting: Breaking the Rules      Changing Medium and Style

Make my day and follow this blog :-D - links in the right-hand column of each page.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

New Flip Book with Hyperlinks

Thrilled to be part of the Check Advantage Family!

This post has 2 parts.

Part 1. DOING the Happy Dance! Check Advantage licensed several of my images / designs! WOOP!

(To purchase Checks, Covers and Labels click an image in the flip book or click here: https://www.checkadvantage.com/ann-troe)

Part 2. You've been asking about how do I create hyperlinks in a flip book. I will give you the gist of how I did it using InDesign CS6 - note: if you use Microsoft Word - Go to Flipsnack's FAQ (http://www.flipsnack.com/faq/) for the work around - The PDF you generate from Word doesn't have web compatible colors and won't work.

Set up your pages in InDesign. Click on an image or text frame you want to ad a hyperlink to.
Go to the file menu at the top - under "Window" scroll down to "Interactive", choose "Hyperlinks".
Put in the URL you want it to link to. That's it! Here is a link to Adobe.com if you need a little more help or a visual http://help.adobe.com/en_US/indesign/cs/using

NOTE: The yellow square with FREE Shipping on each page is an interactive button that I set up in InDesign - they do not work in the flip book. If you know or figure out how to make that work - let me know! It may just be that it isn't compatible with Flipsnack. http://www.flipsnack.com/

WHY do I bother to set up a flip book when I could just link to a PDF file? I get more viewers, better SEO - and it's fun :-D Since June 30 2013, when I posted my flip book portfolio it has had 1,094  Unique viewers. That number is a combination of my website, blog & flipsnack page. 690 views are from the flipsnack page! With a paid flipbook - they submit it to search engines, pin it, etc.

You might also like this post about my Flip book Portfolio http://annietroe.blogspot.com/2013/07/flipbook-portfolio.html

THANKS for reading & commenting!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

THANK YOU to a collector in Anchorage, AK!

Just a short post to send a shout out to a collector in Anchorage, Alaska. I really appreciate you purchasing a print of my Violet Poppies watercolor painting. Doing the happy dance!
Click here to purchase wrapped canvas, framed prints, metal prints, greeting cards and iPhone cases. http://pixels.com/profiles/ann-troe.htmlhttp://pixels.com/profiles/ann-troe.html
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