FOTI: A List of 100 Suggestions on How to Live and Work as an Artist

FOTI is a new tag on my blog. It stands for Found On The Internet: things I’ve found interesting and thought you might as well.

Irwin Greenberg circulated this primer to his students at the High School of Art & Design and the Art Students League of New York. He died, age 87, in 2009.

Like a lot of realist painters, I started teaching as a way to stabilize my income. I was amazed to discover that it would be one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. Somehow, everything I have learned in my life found a place in the studio classroom…

1. Paint every day.

12. Don’t allow yourself to be crushed by failure. Rembrandt had failures. Success grows from failure.


Read the full article here.


Pleasantly Awkward: A Review of Mark Victor Young’s “Awkward Stages”

Here’s Mark’s latest book featuring cover art by yours truly. Love the man, the cover, the book. AND this glowing review!

Reading Other People

It has been a long while since I have reviewed a set of short stories. I am immensely happy that I chose to break my unintentional short story drought with Mark Victor Young’s incessantly charming “Awkward Stages .”

Young’s decision to depict Da Vinci’s Vetruvian Man on the cover is a gutsy one. It evokes a heralding of classic art, but also subliminally asks the reader to question what makes up the composition of the ideal human form. Therefore, when the reader gets to the first short story entitled “Crotch Dogs,” the overarching themes of the goal of perfection and emotional superiority are already lurking.

Awkward Stages

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Ever Wonder About… Graphite?

If you’re an art supply nerd like me you’re probably curious about the the story behind your favorite products. Was there a Derwent? How did acrylic paint come about? Why are some erasers awesome while others rip my paper?

Well, if you’ve ever wondered about the beloved pencil, a basic necessity in every artist’s tool box, here is a behind the scenes peek at graphite that you may find as interesting as I did!

Follow Your Heart When Making Art: Chagall’s Paris Opera Ceiling

My husband and I visited Paris for the first time during an October eons ago where it proceeded to pour rain for the entire week. Undaunted, we worked our way through a hefty ‘must see’ list which included Chagall’s painted ceiling at the famous Paris Opera House. We arrived, soaked and chilled, propelled by memories of Phantom of the Opera we’d seen years before.

Opera House foyer

Unable to afford the premium tickets that would take us to the performance hall to see the famous work of art, we shadowed an English tour to learn what we could about the monument. As the tour entered a side door we followed, unnoticed, with no idea of where we were headed. This is the sight that greeted us:


Imagine our surprise. We were speechless in the midst of one of the most breathtaking works of art I’d ever seen, Chagall’s famous Paris Opera ceiling. Its beauty brought tears to my eyes.

“When Matisse dies,” Picasso said, “Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is.” To see this painting one can’t help but understand what Picasso meant. The colors are so vibrant they seem to glow. You might have no trouble convincing yourself that what you see is really a HD cinematic trick, but you’d be wrong. As my heart filled with joy my head was busy trying to puzzle it out. How could Chagall have taken something so ordinary like paint (440lbs worth) and turned it into something so extraordinary?  Yet I imagine a master like Chagall didn’t waste much time over thinking the artistic process. He understood that our head inhibits creativity. I’m endeavoring to make this quote by Chagall my mantra.

FB chagall quote

As we strive to reframe our fear of the blank page and let go of perfectionism, who better than Chagall to encourage us to follow our heart when making art?

Magazine Inspiration for Artists: Flow Magazine

Do you know Flow magazine? Flow hails from the Netherlands and has a really positive, happy vibe. Flow’s manifesto: “Flow is all about positive psychology, mindfulness, creativity and the beauty of imperfection. We love illustrations and in each issue there is a gift made of our much-loved paper.” In fact, for an additional sensory experience Flow actually contains several different kinds of paper in each issue. For those of use who still love turning real pages, this magazine is a delight to touch.


Yes, I admit it. I splurged and bought myself their latest issue. At $22 it’s the equivalent of purchasing a book. But their tagline, “A Magazine For Paper Lovers” called to me. I’m a paper lover. Ergo… Must. Have. Now, my dirty little secret is that I loooooooove to cut up magazines. Believe you me, there are so many wonderful things to snip! But to do so would be to mar Flow’s beauty and I’m not sure I’m ready to do that yet. I am seriously considering ordering some back issues. I ask you, could you resist these covers??

Flow 4 flow 20111_Flowcover_01.indd0111_Flowcover_01.indd0111_Flowcover_01.indd0111_Flowcover_01.indd

As you can guess from the gorgeous covers, Flow is filled with beautiful illustrations in a variety of styles that inspire as much as the articles illuminate. If the artist in you is ever in need of some inspiration or, if you just feel like curling up on the sofa with a hot tea and a good read, I encourage you to look for Flow at your local bookstore. It’s worth every penny! Do you have any favourite magazines that inspire the artist in you? I’d love to learn about them… please leave me a comment below!

Flow Magazine


Good Company

There is some wonderful global representation in the Guest Design Team that Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft® has selected this season, including designers from Korea, Russia, and India. What a wonderfully diverse selection of creativity! I’ve compiled their blogs here in a handy list so you, too, can be inspired by their amazing work and look forward to all the art and craft projects coming your way!


By Cataleya

Altered Upcycling

Neon Diary

Outside the Lines

Stampin’ Mindy’s Creative Clutter


Mixed Media Art in Italia

Sense Designer MIYAKE

Born to Mix the Media

DeeDee Catron

Crafty Little Pigtails

and Me!






Gelli Plate Address Labels

Recently, I needed to share my contact information with a number of people. The idea of writing it out 30+ times made me cringe. After deciding to print my information out on labels, I racked my brain about how to include some creativity. Here’s what I came up with: label sheets = sheets = pulling prints = GELLI PLATE! Here’s a pictorial…

P1040654P1040670P1040669P1040660P1040658P1040657P1040672P1040674When folks saw these they loved them and were dictating colour preferences. Three colours and a medium sized gelli plate made for a really easy process to jazz up boring address labels into something spectacular!



Hippogriff Placemat

I’ve been off the grid for a while. Initially, I had high hopes of doing lots of posts while I was away, but sadly things don’t always go as planned. That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped creating. On the contrary, there are many projects I’ll be sharing with you in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, the back of a diner placemat became a canvas for a doodle that turned into, well, this. My daughter declared it a hippogriff, as you’ll see from her hand lettering. I always have an art pen (or three) in my bag for those moments when waiting (in this case for breakfast special #2) seems to take forever. P1040634