Pivoting!

While not generally a fan of trendy buzzwords, I do like the term “pivoting” and I’m doing it! Sometimes it just feels like random spinning, but hey, I’m trying. I’m working on new ways to share content and generate income, and my News section will become a combo of blog posts & news, or it will be, once I migrate the pertinent posts from my off-site blog. I want to consolidate as much as I can here on my web platform instead of on the Facebook art page, Flickr, Blogger, etc. I’m moving my videos from YouTube to Rumble and embedding the video links on pages of this site. The art posts I’ve been sharing on Facebook, and Flickr photos, will be available in a self-hosted album here as well.

For the income portion of the pivot, I’ve jumped on a subscriber site for sharing content at various paid levels. You may have noticed I’ve also added at “tip jar” widget – that little cup o’ coffee symbol in the lower right corner, courtesy of Buy Me a Coffee.

I really do enjoy sharing my art process, but I have to be honest and admit that I can’t continue to share all of it for free, especially with quite a loss of momentum due to the COVID restrictions that affected so many of us, in all professions, last year. I do see better things ahead for this year, but that’s not going to happen overnight. Already, I know that many art shows are on-line instead of in-person, or greatly scaled back. Open Studios Tours and workshops are “iffy”. Fortunately, the local gallery where I’m a member is open again with regular hours, and has been for a few months.

While pivoting, I’ve also realized that though it’s mostly fun, Facebook is quite the “black hole of time”, with minimal tangible ROI, and I really should focus my attention elsewhere. I’ll stay on to help manage a couple of groups and pages, but that’s it. Part of that realization leads me back to sending out a semi-regular newsletter.

My in-person scratchboard workshops will return later this year, once I see how things shake out, probably in August or September. Those will be held at my home studio. On-line, Zoom-type things are in limbo, as internet in our rural location isn’t great. But I can (and plan to) record videos that I’ll upload to Rumble and the subscriber site, and I’m open to suggestions for specific techniques students want to see on video.

This is a multi-layered process, and it’s going to take some time to make the complete switch, but I’ve started and will keep chipping away at it. Of course, I also need to continue creating art and working on commissions, but being a self-employed artist requires me to wear a marketing hat as well. Art is a business!

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Video – Cottontail Rabbit – Pen & Ink Drawing on an Ostrich Egg

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When You Want Different Water

This post explains how I went about setting up a water background for a scratchboard drawing – a background that was different than what was in the reference photo.

Border Collie scratchboard in progress

I’ve been working on this scratchboard drawing for a couple of years. It’s been a demo piece, but now I’m in “finish mode” for submission to an art show. I took the reference at a dog play day where there was a pond, and all along I’ve debated whether to include the water or not. I decided today that I should include the water. But not THAT water… The ground and water in the photo doesn’t appeal to me.

My reference photo

Here’s where the artistic license and “fun with Photoshop” part of the process kicks in.

I’ve put water in two other drawings and was happy with the result, so I want the same effect here. I used the water reference from one of those drawings.

This is a portion of a previous scratchboard drawing with water. Part of the water has been colored after I scratched it.
The reference photo used for the water in the previous drawing.
Previous photo rotated, converted to greyscale, with the contrast pushed to create strong values.
A quick mask on the dog, existing background deleted. The water from the previous photo, scaled larger to fit behind the dog on the right side. “Right side water” copied and flipped to fit into the left side. You can still see a seam between the two sections above the ear on the right side.
Water layers merged and some editing done to remove that seam and make the top edge a little darker.
Here’s the drawing as of now. I haven’t added the transfer lines for the water yet.

And just for fun, here are a couple of IG videos of the scratching process on the Border Collie drawing.

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Ampersand Artist Ambassador

I’m honored to announce that I’m now an “Ampersand Artist Ambassador”!

Ampersand’s Artist Ambassadors are a select group of artists and instructors who represent Ampersand Art Supply through our knowledge and use of Ampersand’s materials. We have an interest and passion in sharing these materials and our techniques with our students and the public.

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Ampersand has supported the International Society of Scratchboard Artists from Day 1, and we are very appreciative!

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ACT Interview with Ann

LouCinda Laughlin interviewed me for Auburn Community Television‘s Meet the Artist series. I discussed scratchboard and my methods, shared examples of my work, and demonstrated my technique on an in-progress commission. Watch the video on YouTube.


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Videos – Bella, Manchester Terrier – Scratchboard

Video 1

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Video 2

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“Chromed Grace” Accepted in AWA Exhibition

I’m thrilled to announce that “Chromed Grace”, my scratchboard drawing of a chrome greyhound hood ornament, has been accepted in the American Women Artists‘ annual juried Exhibition. I joined AWA at the end of last year, so this is my first time submitting work to one of their shows. Competition was tough with 1503 entries from 540 artists. 110 works were accepted (only 1 per artist). Click here for the list of accepted artists.


Due to logistics issues in light of the COVID-19 situation, the 2020 Exhibition, “Making Their Mark”, will be held online, opening May 27th. The Exhibition runs through August 23rd. Works in the virtual show will be available for sale.

Here are a few of in-progress images of this drawing:

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Meerkat – Pen & Ink Drawing on Ostrich Egg

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“Strokes of Genius 10” Now Available

My scratchboard drawing, “Safety”, appears full-page in the just-released Strokes of Genius 10: Inspiring Subjects book published by North Light Books. I learned that this work had been selected for inclusion in September of last year; it takes quite some time for the books to be edited and produced. A sidebar article about Strokes 10 appeared in the Auburn Journal earlier this month. Another of my scratchboard drawings, “Tell Me More About Sheep…”, has appeared in Strokes of Genius 7 and Art Journey Animals (another North Light publication).

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Featured in “Step by Step” Article in {E-VOLVED} Magazine

In October 2016, I meet Christina Diaz, the editor of {E-VOLVED} Magazine, at the City of Trees Art & Ink Expo. She asked me to submit a scratchboard drawing as a step by step and I already had all the components from when I initially created the drawing of K9 Ronin. It’s pretty amazing where one’s art can end up, and it always helps to be prepared and open to ideas! I would never have imagined that one of my scratchboards would end up in a tattoo industry magazine, but there it is.

Click on any image for a larger version.

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