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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Technology Tuesday - What Is This?

Do You Know What This Is?

Not only did I not know what it was,

I didn't know I needed one.

Let me introduce you to the iPad stand.

I saw a similar item on Leslie Saeta's blog she uses in her chic
carriage house studio.

So I started trolling the internet looking for them.

There are some crazy prices out there,
but I found this very affordable one at  

 I've seen all sorts of stands in my quest.
Some up to $500 or more.
Are You Kidding ME???

This one lists for $25.62.

Now that's my kinds price.

Here's why I needed it.

It's so easy to take a photo of a painting and study it to find areas 
that need a "slight correction".

It's hard to see some problem areas if you're too close. You can stand back and get a good look and see what needs to be corrected.  I can see problem areas on a computer screen or an iPad easier than on the painting itself sometime.

I often have photographs on my iPad that I want to paint.
I don't want to keep going over to my iPad laying on my table to study the photo.

It stands next to my easel a little less than eye level.

This works real well this way.

An unintended benefit:

I can watch Netflix in bed with my iPad on the stand and not have to hold it.

Am I lazy or what?

Any way, if you're looking for one,
this gets my vote.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Longtime Friend

Longtime Friend

I have a longtime friend,
We've been friends since kindergarten.

We went all the way through school together.
In fact there were 26 of us who started kindergarten together
and graduated from high school together.

I don't know often that happens anymore.

But we grew up in Mason, Ohio
during the 50's and 60's and looking back,
it was the best place on the planet to grow up.


we've been friends forever and still see each other and talk often.

She's been very supportive of my art journey and makes the hour or so drive to every show I'm in.

She told me last year she wanted a painting of crow sitting on a pumpkin.

I didn't get it done last year,

I did get it done this year.

We've had children born on the same day, different years,
Our daughters got married on the same day different years,
Our kids all had the chicken pox at the same time,
me in Kentucky, she in Washington,
we both suffered through alzheimer's with our mothers.
We go shopping together on the same weekend each year.

We've been through a lot together in the last 56 years,
so today I give you this.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Technical Tuesday - Taking Photographs

Taking Photographs
 I do not claim to be a tech nerd, genius, or guru.
I am also not a professional photographer, or even a great photographer.
 But, I do know that photographing artwork
is often more difficult than producing the artwork.

So, having said that,
here's what I do and maybe it will help in some way.

The goal, should you choose to accept it, is to get a photo that looks as
 close to the original artwork as possible.
Sounds a lot like Mission Impossible.
Let's look at factors:
camera shake,
and the list can go on and on.
Today I took the time to document exactly how I do it.
Artist extraordinaire and super duper teacher
Dreama Tolle Perry 
introduced me to this affordable tool,
the Cowboy Studio Photo Table Top Tent.
click Here for a link from her blog and to purchase this cool tool.
The table top photo studio comes with the foldable box, two led lights
and a table top stand to hold your camera, (not shown) and 4 different color fabrics to serve as backdrops,
and it currently sells for under $45 + shipping.

I use my own tripod off the table, but I have used the table top
tripod included and it works just as well.

I believe a tripod of some sort is pretty critical to good pics.
The camera I used in this pic is my Canon 30D which I used when I was a reporter.
 But, I also use a Nikon Coolpix camera on the tripod.

Here's the Coolpix on the tripod.

This set up fixes several problems,
namely lighting and camera shake.

Now for editing.
I use picassa because it's free and easy and I don't really want to make
a lot of changes in the colors, unless they are horribly off.

In picassa I can straighten, crop, try an auto fix or work some adjustments myself.
I did a little experiment with my Canon 30 D.
I took 3 photos of the same painting at different ISO speeds.
They are speeds 1000, 1250 and 1600 left to right.
I know any speed lower than that will not give me the results I'm seeking.

My pick is almost always the 1600 speed.
They don't look very different at 1st glance
and that's a good thing.
But, upon closer examination the 1600 shows the highlights
better, and to me that's when the painting starts to pop,
when you put in the highlights, so I definitely want them to show.
Now on the difference of my cameras.
My Canon is a super camera, but it has some dust or something I can't get to inside on the mirror.  I can't fix it and it will take an outlay of cash to get it repaired.
On photos that are busy or have a dark background you can't see it.
But if you scroll back up to the photo of the setup
 using the Nikon Coolpix as the model, you can see it really badly.

The Nikon doesn't have it and its pics are clear and crisp.

 Nikon Camera 

Canon with dust showing.
Looking closely, you can see the photographs are comparable,
meaning an expensive camera is not necessary.

The Nikon was under $200.  

So, anyway, that's how I do it and it works for me,
most of the time.
I'll show you how I photograph larger paintings on another Tuesday.

Thanks for stopping by today and making it all the way through.




Wednesday, October 16, 2013



So, we all need refreshment from time to time.

I got mine at South Carolina for the last 11 days.

I didn't work everyday I was there,
but I'm sure you will be seeing more and more of it as I unwind.

Click HERE to see these on my website.

Maybe you need some refreshment too.

They are all unframed 6" x 6" acrylic on a panel.

$50 + $6 shipping each

Monday, October 14, 2013

Finding His Way

Finding His Way

I took some great pics at one of the places Jim checked out to go fishing.
They had some fabulous marshes and I'm sure you're going to be seeing more from that photo shoot.

I don't know how these fishermen figure their way in or out of these marshes.

But they do everyday, 
wind their way in and out of these marshes
out to the intercoastal waterway and then to the ocean.

Finding His Way

unframed 6" x 6" acrylic on a panel

$50 + $6 Shipping.

Friday, October 11, 2013



Everyone's seen them.

A beautiful beach, sand dunes, sea oats and beach umbrellas.

I love the look of beach umbrellas as they scatter up and down the shore.

This umbrella is off by itself, enjoying the sun,
giving shade to people almost as if it's standing guard.


unframed 6" x 6" acrylic on a panel

$50 + $6 shipping

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Let's Go For a Walk

Going For A Walk

Walking on the beach 
listening to the ocean as it washes up on the shore,
is just one of the most calming sounds.

People actually buy cd recordings of the ocean to help them sleep.

This painting is from a photo I took while in Myrtle Beach.

Can you hear the ocean as you walk this pathway.

   New Pathways
unframed 6" x 6" acrylic on a panel

$50 + $6 shipping  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Playing Catch Up

I'm Trying to Play Catch Up!

I've been without a blog for several weeks,
and I have so missed it even though I'm currently on vacation.

I couldn't post on my blog the last week of Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 
days challenge, and I really missed it.
It's still not acting 100% better,
but for right now I can post,
so post I will.

First I'm going to show you the last week of the challenge
just so I can prove I did do it.
I did post through my website and on my daily paintworks,
but I wanted the record on here.

Day 23 Of the Purple

 Day 24 Water Lilies

 Day 25 Buds

Day 26 Single

Day 27 Contemplation

 Day 28 Stargazer

 Day 29 Gone Swimming

Day 30 Let The Sunshine In

So now you've seen them all,

And just for one last look back

Not all of them are on here,
because the template only has this many or many many more
so I left off the ones I did while I was at Jerry Yarnell's studio
because while I did paint them every day
they were just studies.

All of these are available on my website

Thanks for checking it out and bearing with me during my absence.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


I Could Be A Beach Bum

I've been at the beach for a week
and I could really start to like this life.

This is a little garden just off the pool and before the beach.

So what's not to love here.

But this is off my balcony.

Oh, is this a view!

My blog has been down for several weeks,
so in a minute I'm going to hit the publish button and see what happens.

Hopefully, no more bX error messages.
My iPad is also fried,
but it is under warranty, 
so when I get back home it will be replaced.

Oh the technology troubles of a 21st century artist.

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About Me

My photo
Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows and flowers. I work almost daily. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at and there is also a tab across the top of my blog for available paintings and one for small paintings with buy now buttons. You can also purchase through my Etsy shop using the name of Fine Nature Art. . Thank you so much for stopping by.