Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Maybe It'll Catch on Someday

Well, it's only a month until Christmas. Would you consider buying original art from a local artist?

It seems like I've tried to come up with a hundred different ideas for marketing my art in the last year. Not many have actually gone anywhere. But, when I think about them, all these ideas seem like they ought to catch on!

First there was the hand-painted shoes. A novel thing a year ago. Still pretty cool. Most people seem not to be willing to pay $40 for the art... a bargain, I think. A design can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours to complete. The Santa/Reindeer pair are still available.

Then, I tried a couple of t-shirts. Very pretty, but very labor-intensive. And again, who wants to pay $50 for a t-shirt. This one took me probably 4 hours to paint. If I charged my "hourly rate", it would cost $200.

Wedding portraits. Another great idea, right? I've done one, as you can see. A lovely bride commissioned this one as a bride's gift for her grandparents, who were paying for the wedding. It was painted from the grandparents' wedding photo which was damaged and yellowing. I heard they loved it!

Then, there's the portrait-in-20-minutes idea. This young lady invited me to her birthday party.  It was a fun, art-themed party. While the guests were busy making their own art, I painted 11 portraits in the space of 3 hours. It was really fun, and each kid got to take their portrait home. I thought, what kid wouldn't love that?

The most recent venture is into cookbooks. This is my favorite painting from "Bernie Bread, and other Knoll family recipes" -- a project my dad and I finished just last week. We are selling them, even though it was mostly intended as a ... for family and friends.

All those projects aside, what I really want to do is illustrate more children's books. I'd love to make a little money doing it. I've been working on several new ideas. I've made the most progress on a story called "Patient for Pumpkins." Its about a boy and his dad going to the farmer's market, finding what's in season, while waiting for the pumpkins to be ready. A couple of publishers have already rejected it. I'm considering self-publishing again. If I do it myself, it should be ready by spring. Just a few more illustrations to complete....

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's ready!

We're off to a weekend craft faire, where 25 copies are already ordered.

You can get yours on my Etsy site 

or by emailing me directly. It's $25 plus tax and shipping.

You can also start following our blog at

My dad, mostly, will be posting foodie thoughts, new recipes and other great information.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

For the last few weeks, I have been occupied with painting food. 
Several years ago, I decided I needed to make a family cookbook to preserve for eternity all those recipes which had been passed on from my grandma, and great grandma, as well as my parents. 

I asked my dad to help me. He has been the chef of the family for the last 20 years, since he retired. My mom was generally a good cook, but tended to stick with meatloaf and macaroni and cheese while we were growing up. (Both of those things are in our cookbook.) But my dad took it to new heights.

His heyday started with "Bernie Bread" -- a crusty white bread that we enjoyed at holiday meals and whenever the mood struck. When the Food Network came along, well, we have been constantly treated to new and amazing gourmet food.

So, I guess I should be grateful that he has finally made me finish our cookbook project. We may get it done in time for some holiday sales. But I would love to take more time with the illustrations than I have. The cover, shown above, was originally going to be the style of each divider page. Eight paintings in all. That's not going to happen. At least not this year. What I've been working on are spot illustrations for the pages, emphasizing the fresh ingredients featured in some of the recipes.

When its done, I will have copies for sale. If you've met my dad, or have had the privilege of partaking of one of his home cooked meals, you know the book will offer some excellent eating opportunities.

Now, back to work.