Snorkel Beach at Punta Pescadero on East Cape, Baja, Mexico

Snorkel Beach at Punta Pescadero on East Cape, Baja, Mexico

We headed over to the East Cape of Baja, Mexico to explore the area around Los Barriles. We wanted to look for great camp spots on the beach. We love camping and swimming in the beautiful water on the east side of Baja. This trip we were lucky to discover Snorkel Beach.

We stopped in Los Barriles to get groceries and supplies and asked a couple people about where to camp. We were told about a place called Snorkel Beach that was north of Los Barriles near the Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise. It sounded great so we headed out to find it.

We followed the road (Los Barilles-Santa Teresa) north out of Los Barilles along the coast and took a turn off toward the beach at El Pescadero. We traveled along a dirt road (recommend 4 wheel drive) until we came to a beach that we decided must be Snorkel Beach as it was just south of the hotel called Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise.

We learned about this great Baja California Almanac Map below from a couple we met at Snorkel beach. They let us take a pic of it so we wouldn’t forget the name of it.

We highly recommend getting it. It is a very detailed almanac that shows roads that are off the beaten track that don’t show up on your regular map. It’s on our “to buy” list.

Camping baja

This is Snorkel Beach.

There weren’t many people there. We camped for two nights. There were a few people who arrived during the day but only one other car was camping like we were. Everyone who arrived during the day left by the evening.

Camping baja

You can see Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise up on the cliff north of where we camped.

Camping baja

Here’s our camp spot. We got the tarp out to create a little shade.

Camping punta pescadero

Greg rigged it up so we could get out of the sun.

camping punta pescadero

He also fixed us some killer margaritas.

camping baja

After swimming and snorkeling (the best area was around the rocks just below the hotel), naps were in order.

camping baja doggie

On the second night, after a bit of relaxation, we left the dogs to watch over the camp and we headed up the road toward the Hotel.

camping baja

It was a beautiful evening.

camping-baja-10

It was a nice walk!

Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise

Once at Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise, we found our way out to the patio and ordered an excellent pizza and margaritas for dinner. Yum! Looked like it would be a great hotel to spend the night at too. But we liked our camp spot so although we considered it, we didn’t stay at the hotel.

hotel punta pescadero paradise

Glad I remembered the bug spray but we really didn’t need it. There was a light breeze that kept the mosquitoes away.

Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise

The twinkly lights were muy romantico.

Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise

And the sunset was just gorgeous! It got better as the evening light faded. After dinner we walked back to our camp via the beach. It was a great end to a wonderful camping trip at Snorkel beach.

Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise

We left the next day and explored more of the area south of Los Barriles around La Ribera and then headed up to Santiago to find the waterfall. More on that in my next post.

One other tip….you don’t have to go back on the same road that you came in on. Go north on the dirt road past the Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise to

Happy travels.

Creative Joy by Jennifer Louden

Creative Joy by Jennifer Louden

I just signed up recently for Jennifer Louden’s Newsletter.  One get’s a free download of her Guide “How to Follow Through on Your Creative Desires” when you sign up. It sounded intriguing so I signed up.

She also has a free download on her website titled Creative Joy Journal + Playbook. She says about it, “Write in, draw in, and dribble crumbs on, paint on, and cry tears over! Download for free at http://jenniferlouden.com/workshops-retreats/ (near the bottom of the page).

There are some questions in it that she asks you to answer. So I did. I share my answers to them below.

Creative Joy by Jennifer Louden – The Questions:

When you hear the words creative joy, what springs to mind? First thoughts best thoughts, all are welcome, forget censoring.

Creative joy is letting go. Letting the creativity flow. No Blocks. Flow flow flow. Be a conduit. Happiness. Create from the heart. From the soul. Play!

What did your creative joy look like this week?

Painting. Walking. Taking a hike. Face to the rain. Smile.

What do you wish it had looked like?

More time in the studio. More time painting. More uninterrupted time.

What are 5 moments of creative joy from any time in your life – yesterday to 4 years old? Let whatever comes to you be enough.

Painting in my New York Manhattan studio.

Painting on a Peggy Zehring retreat in the San Juan islands.

Writing a poem that seemed to flow through me with no effort.

Making a giant mobile.

Writing the Moonhead mama story – The adventures of Milo Moon.

What gets in the way of your creative joy?

Too much busy-ness.

What else?

Not following through on my plans/ideas/goals.

What else?

“Shoulds” and my inner critic.

What feeds your creative joy?

Uninterrupted time. Color. Play. Nature. Light. Music. No stress. Dance. Meditation. Yoga. Healthy food. Letting go and not caring what others think. Fun. Laughter. Writing. Intuition.

If your creative joy had a voice, what would it say about what it loves, needs, and hates?

Loves:

Be here now. Light. Space. Art and Music.

Needs:

Color! Time to create. Creative tools to work with.

Hates:

Hates it when I don’t spend time in the studio creating.

****

And what if your creative joy had a voice? What would it say?

Painting on a sunlit morning.

Painting on a sunlit morning.

Painting on a sunlit morning.

The forest shines beyond my window.

Soaking up the light through the window, paint is selected.

Cadmium yellow, Phalo blue, a vivid red, Mars black, white.

A clear mind. Tapping into intention.

I become a conduit of energy, conjuring images, my brush moves across the canvas.

Pattern. Shapes. Texture. String dabbled in paint.

Pattern scraped and printed, brushed and stamped.

More color here…

more color there.

The art is magic.

Harnessing the sacred moment of creativity, the enchanted feeling of pure joy, the painting is unleashed with vivid color and a heartbeat of wonder.

Emotions released.

To heal, to learn, living the bliss of the creative moment.

I am blessed.

Art embraced and welcomed with all my heart.

Grateful and honored to make art, to live the creative life.

To spread the joy of color and emotion, of images and pattern, of feeling and beams of light.

Painting Inspired by Niki de Saint Phalle Art

Painting Inspired by Niki de Saint Phalle Art

A number of years ago I discovered the art of Niki de Saint Phalle, a French-Swiss painter and sculptor.

She created some colorful, full figured sculptures which I love! Here’s an example:

Niki de Saint Phalle [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Niki de Saint Phalle [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
I had created a few drawings in my sketchbooks over the years inspired by her work.

Then recently I did this painting and I’m pretty sure it was inspired by Niki’s art and my other painting titled She Wanted the Rainbow So She Put Up with the Rain.

Big Girl Wings
“Big Girl Wings,” 14″ x 14″, acrylic on wood panel,
$540, © Lindy Gaskill

Big Girl Wings is short for “She Wanted the Rainbow So She Put
on Her Big Girl Wings and Taught Herself to Fly!”

Then I created this print.

21604-Big-Girl-Wings-low© Lindy Gaskill, “She Wanted the Rainbow So She Put
on Her Big Girl Wings and Taught Herself to Fly!”

Archival paper prints in various sizes can be purchased
in my Etsy Shop
http://etsy.com/shop/artworkbylindy

Enjoy and don’t forget to spread your wings and fly!

~ Lindy

Bicycle and Raven painting

Bicycle and Raven painting

I just got my mt. bike tuned up and it’s been fun riding it! The gears weren’t shifting properly but now they are all good!

I love my bike and I love creating bicycle and raven paintings. I have quite a few of them now.

Here’s the latest one.

I titled it Yay! Joy Ride! because that is how I feel when I’m riding…I feel pretty joyful and happy! I think mt. biking was the first time I ever felt the word “glee”!

bicycle and raven painting
If you would like to purchase this painting, email me. It is $375.00, 12″ x 12″, acrylic on wood panel. It is wired and ready to hang.

close up of bike and raven painting

If you would like to purchase a print, go to my Etsy Shop.

Spirit Bear Painting

Spirit Bear Painting

I love it when the unexpected appears in my paintings.

This spirit bear showed up as I was painting and I love that he did!

There is much symbolism in this piece and it feels very special.

21603-spirit-bear-awakens-the-sun-web
© Lindy Gaskill, “Spirit Bear Awakens the Sun,” 12″ x 12″, acrylic on wood panel, SOLD

The sacred spirit bear is the keeper of dreams and memory. I like that the symbols float above him as if the dreams and memories are floating through time and space.

Spirit bear paintingI really like the night sky with the stars and moon too!

spirit bear sky

Learn more about the spirit bear here.

To purchase a print, go here>

Painting in the studio today

Painting in the studio today

It’s cloudy and rainy today. A good day to be working on my paintings.

I love painting in the studio! It’s not that cold out but I am bundled up so I can have the door open and the fresh forest air come inside.

Lindy Gaskill in Studio

This is what’s on my art table.

art-on-the-table

Belle likes keeping me company. 🙂 What a sweetie!

Studio-dog

I like using my old 2007 Jubelale six pack packaging to store some supplies.

Jubelale-2007-studio

My studio gnome “Oleg” watches over the happenings!

Studio gnome "Oleg"

I love the view of the forest out my window!

studio-June2016-2

Peace, Lindy

Save

Still the Birds Darryl Purpose CD

Still the Birds Darryl Purpose CD

I told you earlier about doing a commissioned painting for the singer songwriter Darryl Purpose. Now I’m excited to receive my very own copy of the “Still the Birds” Darryl Purpose CD.

My painting was used on the cover! It’s so fun to finally see the real thing and hold it in my hand. Wow, I’m so honored! I love Darryl’s music! I’m going to listen to it right after I post this.

The art direction, design and layout of the CD is by A Man Called Wrycraft (Michael Wrycraft).

Still the Birds Darryl Purpose CD

I like the way the artwork was made into the background of the pages for the insert. And the hand on the CD label looks pretty neat too. 🙂

Still the Birds Darryl Purpose CD

Thanks Darryl, it looks great! Darryl is a wonderful storyteller and I love his lyrics and sound!

Order your own copy at www.darrylpurpose.com.

 

Hiking around Bellingham WA

Hiking around Bellingham WA

One of my secrets to life is keeping a youthful attitude (dig those patterned leggings I’m wearing) and getting outdoors and enjoying the view! I love taking hikes! This is a recent one we did that is above Bellingham, WA. The way to this mountain top view is from the road just north of the North Fork Brewery on Highway 542. If you love hiking around Bellingham WA, you’ve got to go check out this view!

Bellingham hike view

Those are the San Juan islands way in the distance.

Bellingham, WA hiking view

New Colorful Acrylic Painting

New Colorful Acrylic Painting

This colorful acrylic painting is titled “Fly Me Over the Moon So I May touch the Sun.” Or you can call it “Fly Me Over The Moon” for short. It is 14″ x 14″, acrylic on wood panel, $525.

I’m pretty sure this painting is about desiring more sunshine in my life. And following my inner “owl” wisdom. :)

It’s been quite a change living in Maple Falls, Washington where we get 67 inches of rain per year. The US average is 37. So, that’s a lot of rain and cloudy days!

We still want to spend most of our time in Mexico (hello sunshine!) and be in Washington during the summer but as we get our ducks in a row we’re spending more time in Washington this year. So I’ve been thinking about the sun and warm weather a lot when we have blustery rainy days which is quite often!

I like the way the lotus flower is sitting on top of the body of the tree like it has a blossom head. And the symbols in the top left of the painting looks like a wink from the Universe.

Wink from the Universe

Detail of “Fly Me Over The Moon.”

colorful acrylic owl painting

 If you would like to purchase this painting, send an email to Lindy@artbylindy.com or you can buy a gallery wrapped canvas print in my Etsy Shop.

Gnome Painting for Twitter Art Exhibit

Gnome Painting for Twitter Art Exhibit

Twitter Art Exhibit: NYC – 2016

OPEN TO ALL PROFESSIONAL & AMATEUR ARTISTS WORLDWIDE WORKING IN 2D MEDIUMS

WHAT
Twitter Art Exhibit: NYC (2016)
Benefiting Foster Pride’s “Handmade” Program

WHEN
Thursday, March 31, 2016, 6:30-8:30 PM
Show runs March 31st – April 21st, 2016

Website: http://twitterartexhibit.org/

I’m finding myself really attracted to gnomes lately. I think it’s because we’re surrounded by some pretty wet, mossy, green forest where we’re living in Maple Falls, Washington.

When I go on hikes through the woods, I think about trolls, gnomes and fairies because it’s just that kind of forest. You can’t help but think about magical beings living in the enchanted forest.

I’ve been a big fan of gnomes since I was in my teens and I have this really great gnome book that I got in about 1977.

Gnome book by Wil HuygenGnome book by Wil Huygen

It’s one of my favorite books from when I was young. It’s about the life of gnomes. It’s pretty cute!

So the art I created for the Twitter art exhibit is a Gnome.

I’ve titled it “Spreading Enormous Joy under the Moon.” It’s acrylic on thick, postcard size, fine art paper.

Gnome painting
© Lindy Gaskill, “Spreading Enormous Joy under the Moon,” acrylic on paper

Peace,

Lindy

Commissioned painting and Darryl Purpose’s new CD “Still the Birds”

Commissioned painting and Darryl Purpose’s new CD “Still the Birds”

This is a little story of a commissioned painting I did for Darryl Purpose but it’s also a story of meeting Darryl, his music and how it’s touched me.

When Darryl Purpose approached me to paint a commissioned painting to go on his upcoming new CD, I was thrilled! I immediately said yes!

Darryl Purpose Still the Birds
Darryl Purpose CD “Still the Birds”; Painting © Lindy Gaskill; CD design by Michael Wrycraft.

I’ve known Darryl from way back when I was living on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, Washington. That would be around 1996.

I first met Darryl when a friend of mine in New York City let me know that Darryl was playing a house concert on Queen Anne Hill. He encouraged me to go hear Darryl’s music live. The concert was within walking distance of my apartment. How could I say no?

So my best friend and I walked up to the concert.

When we got there, we didn’t know any one in the group of people congregating and we were wondering if it was actually okay that we were there. My friend had said, “Just tell Darryl, Steve sent you.” Sounded good to me.

The concert was in a lovely house that overlooked the city. There was a large picture window in the living room with a sweeping view of Seattle and the space needle against the sky. There were chairs set around for people to sit in. A lot of those were filled. We sat in the back.

When the concert began, Darryl stood in front of the big picture window with his guitar and played for the small crowd of music lovers.

We were mesmerized with Darryl’s music and his storytelling of black jack playing and being on the great Peace March. It was enchanting and the setting just right!

During a break in the concert, people were mingling, others getting something to drink. I headed for the restroom. When I came back to the group, I found my friend hugging Darryl with tears streaming down her face. She had been so touched by Darryl’s music and was telling him how much she loved it. It made me smile. His music brought her to tears! That’s how soulful and touching Darryl’s music is!

It’s a great memory of a beautiful evening of fabulous music and company!

I immediately bought Darryl’s CD, Right Side of Zero.

His music inspired me to paint this piece titled “Blue is for River.” It’s a painting of Darryl (when he used to wear a cowboy hat during his performances) whipping up the sky with his music.

My painting title is taken from Darryl’s song titled “Paint the Sky.” Darryl graciously let me use his Paint the Sky song in my art showcase video on Youtube.

Blue is for River
© Lindy Gaskill, “Blue is for River,” acrylic on paper.

Purchase an archival print of Blue is for River here.

Fast forward a few years and a few DP concerts later. I’ve seen Darryl play in Washington, New York City, and Oregon. I have all of his CDs! Can you tell I’m a fan yet?

I will always remember a road trip I took once with my late husband, Peter. I had introduced him to Darryl’s music when we lived in Portland, OR.

I think it was sometime in the summer of 2005. Peter was very thin from fighting colon cancer. He also had bought a new (used) car and wanted to take a road trip with it.

Peter’s brother, Larry, was visiting so we took that road trip. We had Darryl’s music in the CD player. Peter wanted to share Darryl’s music with Larry and there was one song Peter especially loved. It is titled, “The Island Song” from the Right Side of Zero CD.

I just remember cruising along with the sun roof open, a beautiful summer day, Larry stretched out in the back seat, Darryl’s music playing, Peter driving…we stopped to pick blackberries on the side of the road. All was well.

Sadly, Peter didn’t win the battle. He died from colon cancer that October.

Whenever I hear the Island Song, it brings me back to that day. I remember how Darryl’s music had lifted us up! How eager Peter was to share the music and the times we played Darryl’s music to make us feel good.

I’ve been sharing Darryl’s music since that first CD I bought in 1996. So you can see I felt honored to be asked to do a custom painting for the new CD.

So, I talked with Darryl about the commission.

What did he want it painted on…paper or wood? How big? What feeling did he want portrayed from it? Darryl sent me a few lyrics from some of the new songs on the CD. We exchanged thoughts about the painting and then I began.

It started out like this…

First layers of painting

and then turned into this…

first layers of painting

and then this…

still-the-birds-2b

and…

Still the birds early layers
The paintings early layers

and… so it went. Adding more layers and more layers.

Lindy painting Still the Birds
Lindy painting “Still the Birds.”

Then at some point I noticed the earring. It’s funny how one can paint and not really notice the elements until much later.

Buddha's earring

Where did that come from? The earring had to go.

So I took it out and turned it into Buddha’s ear. I almost thought that “Buddha’s Ear” might make a nice title. It had a lyrical quality to it. 🙂

Still the Birds painting
Still the Birds acrylic painting by Lindy Gaskill

But the words “Still the Birds” kept repeating in my head. I almost didn’t want to title it that because it was the title being considered for the new CD. Yet, it seemed to fit perfect, so that was what I titled it.

Still the birds painting
© Lindy Gaskill, “Still the Birds”, acrylic painting

There is a lot of symbolism in this painting. I don’t often like to talk about what a painting means to me as I like the viewer to make up their own story about my art. But I will tell you that the hand symbolizes the guitar player in Darryl and how a musician uses his hand to play an instrument. The raven looking up at the moon and the swallows flying above is about time and the passing of it.

You can read more about Darryl here and on his website.

If you’d like to purchase one of your own commissioned paintings, go here.

Peace,

Lindy

 

Two Ravens Sit and Reflect painting series

Two Ravens Sit and Reflect painting series

As February begins, I’m thinking about Valentine’s Day and this got me to thinking about couples…which got me to thinking about twos…which got me to thinking about my “Two Ravens Sit and Reflect” painting series.

I’ve been painting pairs of ravens for a long time. I like painting ravens in twos because “pairs” of animals can symbolize love, partnership, tenacity, fertility, renewal, and abundance. Pairs of an animal are very auspicious.

Below is my “Two Ravens Watched the Sunset” acrylic painting.

Two Ravens Watched the Sunset Painting
© Lindy Gaskill, “Two Ravens Watched the Sunset”

Here’s a cropped version of “Two Ravens Protecting the Moon.”

Two Ravens Protecting the Moon painting
© Lindy Gaskill, “Two Ravens Protecting the Moon”

I like these two looking at each other with the prayer flags and heart behind them. I painted them on a piece of recycled sky blue wood.

Two Ravens Painting

I love plays on words and the title, “Two Ravens Sit and Reflect” does that. If ravens could talk, there is the literal sense of two ravens sitting together and talking and reflecting about life. I love the idea of birds talking.

And then there is the mirror image of the two ravens reflecting back on each other.

It’s been a popular series and one I enjoy painting!

© Lindy Gaskill, "Two Ravens Sit and Reflect II"
© Lindy Gaskill, “Two Ravens Sit and Reflect II”

 

Two Ravens Sit and Reflect III
© Lindy Gaskill, Two Ravens Sit and Reflect III

 

Two Ravens Sit and Reflect on Live
© Lindy Gaskill, “Two Ravens Sit and Reflect on Live”

 

21119-ReflectontheWaves-8x8-web
© Lindy Gaskill, “Two Ravens Sit and Reflect on the Waves”

 

Two Ravens Reflect on Love
© Lindy Gaskill, “Two Ravens Sit and Reflect on Love”

 

Two Ravens Sit and Reflect on the Sun
© Lindy Gaskill, “Two Ravens Sit and Reflect on the Sun”

I think I would like to paint some pairs of other animals too. Feng Shui has a list of auspicious animals which includes Tortoise, tiger, phoenix, lions, elephants, fu dogs, deer, frogs, rats, rabbits, cows and horses to name a few. You can find the symbolism of these animals here.

Which animal would you like to see reflecting on each other in a painting?

You can buy prints of Two Ravens Sit and Relect paintings in my Etsy Shop>

Flaxseed olive cracker recipe

Flaxseed olive cracker recipe

Need a little snack in the studio while you’re creating? How about a homemade flaxseed olive cracker right out of the oven?

Yumm!

Here’s my recipe which can be modified in all kinds of ways!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup ground pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup ground sunflower seeds
  • 1-1/2 cups gluten free flour (you can use regular flour or wheat flour too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon rice syrup
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (you could use olive oil or soy bean butter substitute)
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 cup dried dates, chopped (you can use raisins or figs to substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons (more or less) chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup soy or almond milk
  • 2-4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp basil or rosemary
  • any other spices you may want to experiment with
  • you can sprinkle a little more rosemary, salt and pepper over the top after you roll out the dough if you want

mixed flaxseed cracker dough

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flaxseed, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, flour, salt, rice syrup, chia seeds, and spices.
  3. Using a food processor, beat the coconut oil and flour mixture until big crumbs form.
  4. Fold in the dates, olives and milk.
  5. Add a little water if it’s too dry
  6. Refrigerate the mixture for 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. Divide the dough into 3 balls and roll each one out separately.
  8. On a piece of parchment paper, floured the surface lightly, roll the dough ball out to a 1/8-inch or less thickness. You can use your fingers to press pieces of dough in to fill the whole sheet.
  9. Cut into cracker squares with a knife.

rolled out flaxseed cracker dough

9. Place parchment-lined sheet with rolled dough onto a baking sheet

10. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden-brown

11. Crack the pieces apart and store in an air tight container

Enjoy!

 

Home – my word for 2016

Home – my word for 2016

One of my favorite books is Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D. It’s been one of those books for me where I can open a page and learn a new lesson about “Life.”

I decided that I would choose a random page from the book and my “word” for 2016 would come to me. Sure enough, it did.

I opened to page 285. I had highlighted a couple sentences from a previous read. One sentence was, ” Whatever revivifies balance is what is essential. That is home.”

Home. It struck me. My word for 2016 is Home.

As Dr. Estés writes, “It is right and proper that woman eke out, liberate, take, make, connive to get, assert their right to go home. Home is a sustained mood or sense that allows us to experience feelings not necessarily sustained in the mundane world: wonder, vision, peace, freedom from worry, freedom from demands, freedom from constant clacking. All these treasures from home are meant to be cached in the psyche for later use in the topside world.”

Home is not just the physical place that we go to find a comfy bed and be with family. It is the place of the psyche where we are at rest, where we feel at peace with the world.

As Dr. Estes says, “The vehicles through and by which women reach home are many: music, art, forest, ocean spume, sunrise, solitude. These take us home to a nutritive inner world that has ideas, order, and sustenance all of its own.”

I couldn’t agree more. All of those words, listed above, music, art, forest, ocean spume, sunrise, solitude bring me to home – to my center, they ground me to my home place and help me to feel alive, to feel one with the world, to feel in balance. And that is what I strive for – to be in balance and at peace with the world.

I also love the fact that we have just finished the 1st phase of our home remodel.  The last 6 months of 2015 was taken up with finding our new home in Maple Falls and remodeling it and now it is time to focus on not the physical place of home but the mental place of home.

I like that the word home can represent so many different things symbolically. And although I’ve included an image of an actual house with the word HOME in it at the top of this post, it is not the physical sense of a building that I want to focus on but the symbolic use of the word home as in coming home to the self.

I know that my art and painting brings me home. So I plan to do more things that bring me to “home” in 2016. I think a little soul work is a good thing to focus on. As Estes writes, “When you focus with soul-eyes, you will see home in many, many places.” I intend to find more of those places in 2016 and return to my sense of home.

If you like the little house artwork above, go to my Etsy Shop for a digital download of whimsical homes>.

What is your word for 2016?

 

30 reasons why we need art in our lives.

30 reasons why we need art in our lives.

Art touches the soul and deepens the spirit and here are 30 reasons why we need art in our lives.

1. Art helps us feel emotion.

2. Art makes us feel alive.

3. Art can adorn our bodies and make us feel beautiful, peaceful, independent, playful, a rebel (you choose the noun/adjective/verb).

4. Art can take us to another world like a dream can.

5. Art can make us forget our troubles.

“Art is not a thing, it is a way.”

~Elbert Hubbard

6. Art can adorn our living space and give sparkling areas for our eyes to look at.

7. Art can make us think.

8. Art helps us to heal.

9. Art helps us make change in the world.

10. Art can bring people together.

“Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”

~Steven Pressfield

11. Art can uplift the spirit.

12. Art can fill that empty space on the wall, on a shelf, on a door, in the garden…you name it.

13. Art offers forgiveness when we need it.

14. Art can bring peace.

15. Art can be a legacy.

16. Art can help us get in touch with our deeper/higher selves

17. Art can help us see the beauty around us or add beauty to our surroundings.

18. Art reminds us to slow down and be still.

19. Art can take us to our spiritual center.

20. Art can shift us in a new direction.

“The greatest respect an artist can pay to music is to give it life.”

~Pablo Casals

21. Create! Art can give us something to do.

22. Art can compel us to act.

23. Art exposes us to new ways of thinking/viewing the world.

24. Art entertains us.

25. Art can bring color into our lives.

I love art

26. Art can bring us back to our childhood.

27. Art speaks a universal language.

28. Art can be a teaching tool.

29. Art can connect people.

30. Art inspires!

Why do you think we need art?

Peace,

Lindy

Archival Print – Bike and Raven Art Giveaway

Archival Print – Bike and Raven Art Giveaway

I’m selling fine art prints on paper again so I’m celebrating by doing a Print Giveaway with my Bike and Raven Art.

My new paper prints will be less expensive than in the past. Although they won’t have my personal signature on the back, they will be just as vibrant and colorful on archival Epson paper like the previous ones I was selling.

The print below is titled “Peace Out.” The image size is 8″ x 8″ and printed on an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet. It comes in a clear cello bag inside a stiff cardboard mailer so as not to bend. Print paper is archival, acid-free and 100% cotton.

Raven and bike art

Here’s how to enter to win this print (open to U.S. and Canadian residents only):

Do one (or all) of the following:

1. Let’s inspire each other, tell me your favorite way to be creative and post it as a separate comment (1 entry).

2. For new followers, follow this blog, and tell me you did so as a separate comment (1 entry).

3. Tweet about this giveaway, and tell me you did so as a separate comment (1 entry).

4. If you haven’t already, Follow me, ArtbyLindy on Twitter, and tell me you did so as a separate comment (1 entry).

5. For new Fans, “like” me on Facebook, and tell me you did so as a separate comment (1 entry).

4. Blog about this giveaway, and tell me you did so as a separate comment (1 entry).

5. Heart my ArtworkbyLindy Etsy shop, and tell me you did so as a separate comment (1 entry).

6. Sign up to receive my Art e-Newsletter and tell me you did so as a separate comment (2 entries).

7. Make a purchase from my ArtworkbyLindy Etsy shop and tell me you did so as a separate comment (5 entries).

And if you just can’t wait to have this print, you can purchase it from my Etsy Shop >.

I’ll pick the winner in a random drawing on December 15th. Let me know your email in the comments so I can get a hold of you if you won. I’ll also post the winner on this blog.

Thanks for participating and supporting living, working artists…like me!

Good luck and wishing you
Happy Holidays!

~ Lindy

DIY Aluminum Star Christmas Ornaments

DIY Aluminum Star Christmas Ornaments

If you have a few aluminum pie pans left over after Thanksgiving for recycling, here is a simple DIY aluminum star Christmas ornament to make with them.

What you’ll need:
scissors
a couple of empty aluminum pie tins
thick needle
embroidery thread (red or green)
a small phillips screwdriver
hammer (optional)

First, cut off the bottom of the pan from the sides. This will leave you with a flat, circle of aluminum. Using a pencil, draw a star on it. Cut the star out with scissors.

Take the phillips screwdriver and either using your hand or the hammer. Tap a hole around the sides of the star like below.

stars-6

Turn the star over and tap a second row of holes around it on that side.

stars-5

Turn it back over and tap any other design you would like on the star.

stars-4

I tried to make a holly pattern on the above star and daisies on the lower star.

Homemade Star Christmas Ornament

Thread the needle with green or red embroidery thread.  Thread the needle through the top hole of the star, make a loop for hanging on the Christmas tree and knot and tie a little bow. Trim the thread ends and there you are!

stars-3

Hang the stars around the house, on a hanging light like I did or on your Christmas tree.

stars-1

It’s a fun way to recycle your used aluminum pie tins.

Stars-2

Have you made any homemade Christmas ornaments yet?

Have fun creating!

What every college art student really needs to know.

What every college art student really needs to know.

I graduated from college back in 1981. That is 34 years ago! Yikes, time flies. I loved my time in college taking fine art classes. Yet looking back on it now, I know there was a lot missing from my art education.

One of the things missing was a class or two (or three) on art marketing and business. I did take a class on advertising but that did not even give me the basics on art marketing.

I have a fine art degree specializing in graphic design but no where was there a class on art marketing or how I was supposed to sell my art or skills. How is an artist supposed to make a living without knowing how to market their art?

I’ve had a dual career in making fine art and doing graphic design/production art for most of my art career. I’ve pretty much had to figure out the business side of making art myself with self-education and taking seminars and classes and doing lots of reading. This article will concentrate on the fine art side of making art.

I think every college art student needs to know how to create a business plan and how and where to sell their art.

Here are some basics to think about that every art student needs to consider.

First, start with naming the top 5 things that you make and would like to sell and where to sell them.

For example, it might be original paintings, prints, clay figures, earrings, wall calendars that you sell online, or in a brick and mortar shop or gallery or all of the above!

Of those 5 products, which one do you like doing the best and want to spend most of your time making and selling? For me, it is painting. Which one is second? For me, it is fine art prints. So I mainly make original paintings for sale and when they are finished, I scan them and create an electronic file that can be used to sell my art as prints.

Artists I know, including myself, need to have multiple income streams so you might want to consider the different things you can make to sell.

Then you need to consider, how much money do you want to make per year from your art?

For example, if it is approx. $40,000 a year. That would be $3,333 per month or $833 per week.

Now how many pieces of art do you need to sell per week to make $833?

There are other things to consider too such as your costs. How much are you spending on art supplies? How much time do you spend and how many miles do you drive to get the supplies? How much are you paying yourself per hour to make your art and get your supplies? Here is a link to a free craft pricing formula calculator so you can figure some of this out.

There are also shipping costs and supplies and time involved to package and mail your artwork. Sometimes you can hire someone else to do that for you. There are also drop ship companies that can make prints of your artwork and send it to the customer but they will charge you to do that.

So all these costs need to be taken into consideration. Don’t forget 15.3% of what you make goes to pay your self-employment tax too.

Here is a document to help you keep track of your monthly expenses for when you do your taxes.

This is simple math but never was this taught in my college classes! It’s hard to believe that figuring these things out was not part of the curriculum.

Then there are also marketing costs. Where will you advertise your art? Will you use blog ads, have an etsy shop and use their advertising, use Facebook ads, send out postcards, use Craigslist or social media?

For social media, you could use the below outlets to get the word out about your art. Many of these are free to use.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr

Make sure you know how to use these social networks effectively otherwise you are wasting your time. I recommend reading a couple of good blog posts about how to use them. Read some articles like this and this to figure out what to do.

Your marketing plan is just a small piece of a larger business plan.

A good business plan is essential.

So if you are seriously thinking of making a living with your art, look for some help with a business plan. I say read this and this or try the right-brained-business plan by Jennifer Lee.

You’ll need to establish an advertising budget and figure out who your ideal client is. This is a great post by Lisa Jacobs on Identifying your ideal client.

I also can not recommend Marketing Creativity by Lisa Jacobs enough. She is constantly giving out free information that is useful for selling your art. Click here to visit Lisa Jacobs.

If you didn’t get a good art marketing class in college, there is still hope. There are lots and lots of art marketing classes online. Just do a search on Art Marketing for Artists and you will find classes to take. I also recommend Leonie Dawson’s 2016 Shining Year Workbook and biz planner or Lisa Jacobs Your Best Year 2016 Biz Planner for planning with your business goals.

I know this is a simple run down of things to consider but don’t NOT do it. I think it is essential if you want to make art not as a hobby but as a real business.

And if you want to get inspired by making art from your soul, try Flora Bowley’s art e-course.

If you have any other recommendations, put them in the comments below.

Best of luck to you with your creativity and business goals!

 

 

 

 

 

Goals for Artists

Goals for Artists

When I started creating my art. Nobody told me about business goals or how to actually start becoming an artist full-time. I had to figure it out myself by trial and error and searching online for articles to read. I also at one time hired an art biz coach who set me up with some of the basics.

I’ve found that for me having different income streams works really well. I not only sell my originals but I also sell prints, do art licensing and commissioned paintings. I do some graphic design work and work online part-time as an image specialist for a company.

Here is a big tip. Focus on what you want and limit your time on the computer! Spend more time in the studio making art and fine tuning an “art style” that is all your own.

And educating yourself about marketing and business practices really helps!

To be successful, it comes down to knowing what you want and figuring out how you will achieve it.

Here are some Goals for Artists to help get you started thinking about what you can achieve.

Goals for Artists

• Develop your brand and increase brand awareness

• Decide how much money you want to make, then figure out how many paintings or prints of each size you need to sell per month

• Start a blog with an editorial schedule (I haven’t done this myself but it’s on my list!)
Here is an example,
– Monday you post about your studio time
– Tuesday’s might be about a poem or saying that you like
– Wed. you post about your passion
– Thursday is sharing your process
– Friday you post about a goal you have

• Add new sizes of prints to your shop

• Start painting a new series

• Start painting larger or smaller paintings than what you have been doing

• Open an Etsy Shop and sell originals or prints of your work (learn about marketing an Etsy Shop)

• Launch a new product

• Write an e-book and sell it on your blog to generate cash flow

• Start an income generating project such as licensing

• Start an email list

• Encourage customers to join your email list by offering a freebie. Set a goal such as 25 customers a month

• Create a freebie on your website such as a free desktop wallpaper download, A list of resources, or a manifesto

• Create a marketing budget

• Develop a sales sheet of what paintings you have available that you can hand out to gallery owners and potential buyers

• Sell your art on greeting cards for another income stream

• Create a promo postcard to mail to your email list.

• Track progress on your website using Google Analytics

• Find out who your competition is and research where they are advertising. Which blogs or websites are they on?

• Figure out places to advertise your art whether online, in magazines or other places.

• Implement press releases into your marketing plan

• Expand your geographic reach by getting into more galleries or shows

• Develop a good accounting system to manage your money

• Develop a good system for recording your art pieces size, title, price, when sold, where it’s being shown, etc.

• Clean up your art studio

• Plan an open studio event

• Add an organization system to your studio with new shelves or furniture

• Convert a portion of your studio into retail gallery space

Now that you have a list of things you can do, you need to make a plan to accomplish them. Pick a few goals to work on at a time. Get out the calendar and start putting down on a timeline what you can do for achieving what you want.

Here are some of my fav websites and articles to find more information.

Licensing – http://mariabrophy.com/

Marketing an Etsy Shop – Shop Fundamentals by Lisa Jacobs

Sell your art on greeting cards – Greeting Card Universe

Eureka Guides for marketing and selling online – Eureka Etsy Shop

Acrylic paints – Utrecht art supplies

Marketing info for artists – Red Dot Blog

Clear, protective sleeves for prints – Clearbags.com

 

 

Colorful Tree Art – Watch the Sun, Follow the Stars

Colorful Tree Art – Watch the Sun, Follow the Stars

Sometimes I visualize a story behind my painting and write a few words to illustrate it as if my image were in a storybook.

This is what came to me for this painting titled “Watch the Sun, Follow the Stars.”

“If you look up during the day you can watch the sun. It moves over the forest and fields. At night, branches cover overhead like a blanket of thorny thicket. I make my way through the forest by following the stars as they peek through the branches. I look over yonder and see shooting stars fall like fireworks in the sky. I know life is a miracle and the forest holds magic.

There was one tree that was my favorite. It was an elder Tree. As ancient as the sky is wide.

It wore the tapestry of it’s knowledge, etched in patterns and colors to match the rainbow….”

21507-Watch-the-Sun,-Follow-the-Stars-low© Lindy Gaskill, “Watch the Sun, Follow the Stars,” 12″ x 12″, acrylic on paper

Prints are available in my Etsy Shop

Mermaid Painting “She Carried the Light”

Mermaid Painting “She Carried the Light”

I will admit it. I’m a weanie when it comes to swimming in big waves at the ocean so I don’t go in very deep when I see waves crashing. Since I’m not a mermaid, I decided at least I could paint one.

Mermaid painting “She Carried the Light”, acrylic on paper, 9″ x 9″

So here she is carrying the light through the depths of the deep blue sea.

There are prints for sale in my Etsy Shop.

Gecko Painting titled “Mi Amigo”

Gecko Painting titled “Mi Amigo”

I was outside painting and getting a lot of layers down but it wasn’t turning into anything in particular. Then a little gecko came by and sat next to my painting as if to say “Paint me.” And so I did.

little gecko friend

He was like a little messenger. First I took his photo so I wouldn’t forget what he looked like. Then it was fun to paint him.

I’ve titled the piece “Mi Amigo”, acrylic on paper, 17″ x 21″, unframed.

Gecko painting

There are prints available in my Etsy Shop.

100 Things My Heart Loves

100 Things My Heart Loves

This is sort of a take off on 100 Things About Me. This time I did 100 Things My Heart Loves. It’s a good way to feel grateful for the things you love. Here are some of mine:

100 Things My Heart Loves

1. Ancient Tapestries
2. Petroglyphs
3. Lavender Oil
4. A sliver of moon
5. Spending time in my art studio painting
6. Sand Dollars
7. The smell of a puppy
8. Daisy Chains
9. Vivid Color
10. Skipping stones on the water
11. Hiking a trail
12. Outdoor showers
13. Spiral shapes
14. Border Collies
15. Hanging Art Mobiles
16. Smell of cookies baking
17. Fresh, clean sheets
18. Foot Massages
19. Geodesic Domes
20. Watching ocean waves crash
21. Watching a sunset
22. Licking an ice cream cone
23. Warm wool mittens
24. Lighting incense
25. Bangles and dangly earrings
26. Boots from Australia
27. Frothy, hot mocha
28. Game of Billiards
29. Beatrix Potter Drawings
30. Ravens
31. Watching a sloth move
32. Laughing until tears run down my face
33. Solar lanterns
34. Picking black berries
35. Camp fires
36. Watching horses play
37. Tall palm trees
38. Laying on a rock in the sun
39. Bubble baths
40. Peanut butter chocolate fudge milkshake
41. Twilight
42. Handmade sandals
43. Hanging out with family / friends
44. Peace Signs
45. The golden hour with long shadows
46. Smell of fresh cut grass
47. Delta blues music
48. Double rainbows
49. Maps
50. Handwritten letter
51. Finger painting
52. Lazing around in the Sea of Cortez
53. A down pour of rain
54. Scented candles
55. Walking a labyrinth
56. Watching an inspiring movie
57. Listening to Christmas carols
58. Kayaking a flat lake
59. Star gazing
60. Remembering a dream
61. Good ole rock ‘n roll
62. Yoga outside in the a.m.
63. Travel to new areas
64. Visiting an art gallery
65. Mountain bike riding
66. Painted toe nails
67. Mosaic stepping stones
68. Reading The Power of Flow
68. Writing a poem
69. Trying new foods
70. Eating organic
71. Growing our own food
72. Van Morrison music
73. Camping on the beach
74. Green Smoothies
75. Reading my horoscope
76. Birthday week celebrations
77. Hosting visitors
78. White puffy clouds and blue, blue sky
79. Flying a kite
80. Hot springs
81. Reading Rumi
82. Taking the dogs for a walk
83. A nap in the afternoon
84. Teepee
85. Dream catcher
86. Learning, remembering and using a new spanish word
87. DIY Projects
88. My gratitude journal
89. Fresh cut flower bouquet
90. Intricate Henna Tattoos
91. Finding a four leaf clover
92. Irish accents
93. Cold beer with a slice of lime and pinch of salt
94. Dark chocolate
95. Playing Frisbee
96. Walking through the forest
97. A wink from a stranger
98. Old pickup trucks
99. Planting seeds
100. Wind mills