Last week I was able to take a trip to one of my favorite places, Malibu. My intent was to take photographs that I could then paint as I did not have time to do some plein air. I decided to stop at the lagoon which is located close to the Malibu Pier, just past the Adamson House. It is a beautiful spot and is where the founding family of Malibu chose to build their home. It has been preserved as a wildlife sanctuary.
WHY THE LAGOON?
Malibu has so many beautiful spots that would make great paintings, why did I choose the lagoon? I chose the lagoon to bring a spotlight to global warming. We can all do our part and my part is to paint nature as a reminder to the public that the problem is not going away.
The lagoon itself has evidence of this environmental problem. There is a dock at the Adamson House that was built around the 1930’s along the lagoon edge of the property. One can tell that water use to come all of the way up to the dock, but now it has not seen water there in quite some time. The edge of the dock is dried land that cracks in the warm California sun. The home and property is now a state park.
WHERE IS THE PAINTING?
The painting is an original done in oil on a 9 x 12 linn panel board. You can purchase this original painting at Wendy B’s Studio .
I will have a new book available on Amazon soon! The official release date is October 28th and I have been busy preparing. The book will be a collection of my oil paintings of Southern California. It will first be released in ebook form and later in paperback. It will be the first book of my oil paintings and the second book of my artwork.
WHY A BOOK?
Every time an original piece sells I feel a terrible loss. I put so much time and effort into each one and letting them go is hard. I wanted a way to preserve my portfolio in one place. Each piece has many memories. There is a memory of the place I have painted and what non artists do not realize there is a memory of painting the piece itself. Painting is a very personal thing. As artists we put great care into our creations. So while the book is for sale for others to enjoy, publishing it is actually for me.
WHY PUBLISH ON AMAZON?
I decided to publish on Amazon for two reasons: 1) On Amazon I am able to publish in both ebook and paperback form. I wanted to publish on a platform that had an ebook option because so many people read using the Kindle app or other similar apps. I am a fan of ebooks as I do not have space to store lots of books, and it saves trees, and 2) Amazon is where most books are sold today.
AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER
The book is available for preorder for Kindle on Amazon here . I hope you will take a peek. Listen to the podcast here.
I grew up in a small fishing village in Washington state. In my small town at the time there was one stop light, party line telephones, and not a lot for a teenager to do. My family joined the local tennis club and I began to play regularly.
When I started high school it was announced that try outs for the tennis team were going to happen. I decided to try out but was unsure about making the team. I was encouraged by a friend to at least try. On the day of the first try out our coach had us perform grueling exercises. I was exhausted but kept going. The second day of practice fewer people showed up. I kept trying to make it through his workout routines which had so far not involved tennis at all. By the end of the first week only a handful of us were left. We were the team. Finally the following week we began to play tennis.
LIFE OF A TENNIS PLAYER
Once I made the team my life was spent at school or on a tennis court. I played after school and at the tennis club on the weekends. Summers were spent playing tournaments and trying to improve my game. During tennis season at high school I often had to skip my last class to leave for a match against another school. Most of my friends were tennis players as well and many of them went to other high schools.
TENNIS HEROES OF THE LATE 1970’S
Bjorn Borg was my tennis hero of the 1970’s. He seemed to win everything he played. At the time Jimmy Connors was his main rival. I went to see professional tennis matches in Seattle. It was for me like going to a rock concert.
I decided in honor of my tennis hero that I would paint a portrait of him. He will forever be the rock star of the tennis courts of the 1970’s. Listen to the podcast here .
Gamsol is an odorless mineral spirit used in oil painting much like turpentine. Traditionally turpentine was used in oil painting but posed problems due to the toxic odor. It is why I put off painting with oils for years. It seemed like such a hassle and strong odors bother me and make me nauseous. When I learned there was an odorless alternative I decided to give oil painting a try.
What exactly is Gamsol? Gamsol is used to thin oil paint and mediums and also to clean brushes and anything else the paint gets on. I use it to keep my brushes in while painting and I have used it to clean paint off of clothing, furniture and counter tops. It has not damaged anything so far and does an acceptable job of getting all of the paint off.
I use Gamsol indoors as well as when I am doing plain air paintings. The oil paints have more of an odor than the Gamsol. It can be used again after letting the paint to settle to the bottom of the container you have it in. My first bottle has lasted over 6 months and I have completed several paintings.
Where can you buy Gamsol? Gamsol may be purchased at art supply stores as well as online at Amazon.com
My final opinion is I would highly recommend using Gamsol in the place of turpentine if you are wanting something odorless and easy to use. It is the reason I started using oil paints which are now my favorite medium. Be sure to listen to the podcast.
As an artist most of my paintings reflect something about my life. I choose subjects from where I live and my surroundings or where travel as a souvenir of my journey. I am mostly a plain air painter meaning I paint what I see. It is not as easy as it sounds and I sometimes work from photos. I began by learning how to draw, self taught, just had a great desire to create.
THE STORY BEHIND THE PAINTING
The painting of A & B Hardware is an independent store in Malibu, California. What I love about Malibu is that there are a lot of old businesses there and it is still very rural. I have spent a lot of time there painting and photographing the area. It is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. There are chain stores there, but it is not over run with them.
The hardware store is located on highway 1 towards the entrance to Malibu. I noticed it the first time I went there as I like capturing nostalgia and it is apparent that this business has been there a while.
This is the largest oil painting I have done to date. It is 18 x 24 inches and is available for purchase at Wendybsstudio990264 on Etsy. Listen to the podcast here
A few weeks ago I was out running errands and decided to stop and get some lunch. There was a diner nearby called Maxcy’s Grill. I was delighted by the old diner feel that you don’t really come across too often anymore. After ordering at the counter I sat at a booth and waited for my order. While I was sitting waiting for my meal to come I noticed the delightful color combination of the yellow walls and the condiments on the table. I thought it might make a wonderful still life and photographed my table. The meal came and I have to say it lived up to my expectations.
I am an artist by trade and this painting was one of the most fun paintings I have done in a while. The bright color combinations were really fun to work with. The painting took several days and took several more to dry. I love paintings that come from my daily life. They have so much meaning and are hard to part with. Most of my art reflects my day to day life.
The Maxcy’s Grill still life is available for purchase at Wendybsstudio90264 on Etsy. If you happen to be in the California desert be sure to stop in at one of their locations.
What exactly is Human Trafficking? It has a broader definition than most people realize and it once happened to me. I survived my ordeal, but the aftermath lingers on. I am writing this to bring attention to the issue and to let people know what to do if they recognize it.
According to Homeland Security human trafficking is, “…the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.” Traffickers can target immigrants or members of any community here in the United “States. They lure people with false promises of high paying jobs, manipulation or violence. They are not paid and traffickers use the fear of homelessness to get them to do what they want. Many victims do not come forward because they fear their traffickers, have language barriers or fear law enforcement.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
Some key signs from the Department of Homeland Security’s website are:
Does the person appear fearful, timid or submissive?
Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
Does the person have freedom of movement or are there unreasonableble security measures?
Has the person has a sudden or dramatic change of behavior?
WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU RECOGNIZE HUMAN TRAFFICKING
A couple of months ago I finally took the plunge and invested in cryptocurrency. What a ride it has been. I am a believer in multiple streams of income, especially being an artist with an indefinite monthly income. I have been successful investing on the stock market and wanted to add crypto currency as another avenue of stretching my earnings.
The first task was to figure out where to purchase the cryptocurrency. I chose the platform Coinbase. I invested a small amount of money in a few of the better known crypto to see what it would do and to learn abut the platform before investing too much. I was able to ad around $30 to my portfolio by watching short videos on Coiinbsse that teach what crypto is all about.
Since my first investments I have learned a lot about both crypto and Coinbase. I found Coinbase easy to use and understand. Buying and selling is easy and after selling my funds sho9wed up n my bank account immediately. My earnings are a different story. The crypto market is highly volatile and one has to understand the risk going n. I find the new currency exciting but continue to invest cautiously. Are you ready to take the plunge?
I was feeling a little down in the dumps today and racked my brain for something fun to do that wasn’t too difficult. I knew I had a box of lemon pound cake sitting in my cupboard and decided to make cupcakes. Now I am an artist by trade and cooking and baking to me are an art form. I take pride in making everything from scratch, but not today.
The cupcakes came from a box mix and the frosting from a can. I did however make the lemon zest on top from fresh lemons. Here in the desert it is around 114 degrees and I did not feel like spending all day in a hot kitchen. The results were good snd they did indeed brighten my day. I love asking because I can give my finished goods away. This may lead to more cupcakes made from scratch!
After you write down and identify your goals, you now need to reach those goals. Whether you are part of a large corporation or self employed and everything in between, the process is the same. Getting everyone on the same page.
CREATING A MISSION STAEMENT
Creating a mission statement not only sets the purpose of your company for its employees, but it also is helpful to your customers in letting them know what you do and why. The mission statement should be a sentence of short paragraph that is a summary of your business. A good place to see examples of mission statements is to visit the web page of a non profit. There is usually a page dedicated to their mission and their mission statement is usually at the top of their website.
Any successful; business will have both long term and short term goals, What is the direction the business is going for the long term, or what is the ultimate vision. In order to reach the ultimate vision, smaller attainable goals need to be set to bring the business towards its vision. These goals can change daily, weekly or monthly and should be revisited and updated often. None of this will be accomplished if every employee does not know why they do what they do or what they are working towards and why, The goals need to be communicated and communicated often, Unifying the company or business through its goals will br key to making them happen.
When goals are reached let people know! Give kudos where they are deserved. Let your customes or clients know your wins as well, Keep the momentum going! Positive reinforcement goes a long way.
It is not only important to set goals, bit those goals need to be communicated to everyone to create teamwork in reach8ing the ultimate vision, Set those goals snd let people know!