Friday, September 27, 2013

Artist who drinks colors and images from painting

Interview with artist Ruth Morgan by Miriam Schulman of @SchulmanArt

Today we get to meet artist Ruth Morgan who makes charming paper mache sculptures of pets and backyard creatures.

Morgan's Paper mache Raccoon Sculpture for sale on etsy
SchulmanArt: When did you first fall in love with art making?
Ruth Morgan: 
I have to say that as a child I was one of those little kids that had a notebook and wrote down things about birds and other creatures. As a child, I saw a Bluejay once. When my dad gave me a "Roger Tory Peterson's Field Guide to the Birds" for my birthday I was beside myself with happiness. We then moved from a city to a neighborhood that was full of trees and the songs of birds. I was in heaven. I began making paintings and drawings of birds as a child and continue to this day. Drawing and painting things was, for me, a great source of joy.

SchulmanArt: How long have you been a professional artist?
Morgan: I began selling on etsy in January of 2013. I had always tried to sell my work. I move to the San Francisco Bay area in 1976, believing it would help my career. I did sell work but not enough to make a living so I enrolled in technical school and learned how to do drafting. I painted when I came home from work. I married and had children in 1988 and that's when the ideas really started to roll in. I stayed home to take care of my kids and found a way to fit in my painting. I sold paintings at the Jessel Miller Gallery in Napa, CA. I had a show: "Narrative Paintings" at the "Sonoma's Own Quicksilver Mine Company" in 1989. Even so, the paintings I sold were not enough to make a living. I was in my mind trying to think of ways to do this, but with my family to raise and a home to take care of, I also was thinking I could produce the work and the rest would eventually reveal itself. When the kids were grown, I started making prints from my paintings to sell, and designing notecards from them. I started doing craft fairs. I started making paper mache airplanes with spinning propellers, and animals and ornaments and gradually improving my technique over time and through trial and error.

Get notices of her new art on Morgan's twitter feed!
SchulmanArt: Where did you study art?
Morgan: I went to Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan and earned a BFA in painting and printmaking.When I married with kids, I began to value and appreciate a sense of humor. This is when the funny cat paintings began, as well as general humor in my paintings. This is also when the paper mache figures appeared. I have always valued paintings and other objects that entertain me...that I can put on my wall and never be bored by. They tend to be tell a story.

SchulmanArt: What is your favorite art medium?
Morgan: I tend to alternate between mediums. I will work on several paintings and set them aside for a few days or a week, and work in another medium. When I go back I will see perspectives or colors that need to be changed or altered.  I can see it in a fresh and different way. Painting is my favorite medium because it is the most satisfying. I can drink from the colors and the images.
A working artist studio in the middle of the home
When I am away from the paintings, I will work on paper mache, and then go back to the paintings, and when I return to to the paper mache Just lately I have been asked to make sculptures of peoples pets, or a favorite wild animal, and I think that that will continue.

See what inspires Ruth Morgan on her pinterest page!

SchulmanArt: How do you stay focused?

Morgan: When I'm working I like to put on a video I've seen before and enjoy, so I can listen and not have to look at it. That keeps me focused when I'm working. Music that I like. Old Columbo tapes are great. I paint or do sculptures at my kitchen table. My husband sits and reads, and if he finds something he really likes, he reads to me. I'm usually able to get to my art by 3PM, then make dinner and after the dishes start on my art again. I fit my art in when I can.

SchulmanArt: What is your studio space like? 
Morgan: My studio is right in the middle of my house, in the middle of everything I paint or do sculptures at my kitchen table. My husband sits and reads, and if he finds something he really likes, he reads to me. My studio is right in the middle of my house, in the middle of everything.
Miriam Schulman of SchulmanArt :: Artist, blogger

Morgan loves gardening and nature and creating art from the world around her...what about your backyard inspires you?

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall Decorating Ideas for Outside

front porch decorating ideas for fall and autumn

outdoor fall decorating ideas | front porch decorating ideas for fall and autumn
Simple finds from a local farmer's market make the perfect outdoor fall decorations
I have a neighbor who decorates the front of her home for Halloween and Christmas in such enviable ways that I decided that this year I would decorate the outside of my house for fall. I have a gorgeous front porch that suits rustic decor perfectly.

Inspired by instagram

Since I recently swapped my trusty blackberry for an iphone just so I could use instagram (you can stalk me @schulmanArt) I had also got inspired by a beautiful front door in a pic posted by Better Homes and Garden. So with iphone in tow, I headed to my local garden center with an eye to reproduce the look.

Recreating the look

Many of the plants in the pic were regional so I had to improvise with what I found, I spotted a bale of hale to make an impromptu table that would show off the flowers and gourds. My husband is worried that the hay will attract field mice and he may be onto something because all the neighborhood cats have started hanging out on our front porch!

fall decor for the front door | front porch decorating ideas for fall and autumn
an inexpensive bunch of Indian corn to decorate the front door

A bunch of Indian Corn

Since I have a storm door in front of my front door, it isn't easy to hang a wreath but there was plenty of room to hang a bunch of Indian corn . I used the colors of the corn to choose the colors in the flowers.

All for less than you might think

My husband was also worried about how much I spent, but all this came to less than $50 including the fresh bouquet of sunflowers. And then I charged everything to my business account since I decided everything I used to decorate the front porch with would make excellent subjects to paint. All of my watercolor painting classes this fall are based on autumn themes like pumpkins and corn. { You can read more about my online watercolor painting ecourse here }

porch decorating ideas | front porch decorating ideas for fall and autumn
Fresh sunflowers for the front porch



Other Blog posts you might like:




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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Food and Street Art in Lisbon, Portugal

Explore Lisbon's Beautiful Food and Art
by Stefanie Hindmarch, guest blogger
all photos courtesy of Stefanie Hindmarch unless otherwise indicated
Planning a trip to Europe? Make sure Lisbon is on your itinerary! There are some delicious foods to try and some cool street art to check out in this Portuguese city.

Lisbon is pretty well known for its fantastic coffee shops. Walking around the city, you will often see several tiny shops on one city block. Be aware though: if ordering a coffee in one of these places, you will receive what you might recognize as espresso. If strong coffee is not your favorite, try adding a package of sugar, and you'll still be able to enjoy one of Lisbon's best drinks. 
While you're stopping for some coffee, try some of Portugal's well-known pastries. Usually the recipes for the tempting pastries you will see in a coffee shop window will originate from different cities all over Portugal. 

Get the recipe for Portuguese Chorizo Bread from
Chorizo Bread and Caldo Verde
Stopping for chorizo bread is a popular occurance for young people after a night out. Some of the places are open into the early hours of the morning, just to cater to this group of customers. Fresh out of the oven, this bread is warm with bits of chorizo sausage baked inside.
Caldo Verde, a traditional Portuguese cabbage soup, is considered a national dish, and it is not difficult to find a place that serves it.


Street Art
Street art is another one of Lisbon's attractions. All over the city you can see bright works of art painted on walls, streetcars, and garbage cans. Some of these paintings highlight a political issue, while others are just fun pieces that brighten up your day.

Street art made of tiles

Tiles cover this Lisbon street

Portugal is well-known for its beautiful tiles. In Lisbon, the sidewalks are almost all covered in white tiles that make the city even brighter. With its colorful buildings and pretty white tile, this city glows all year round. 
Stefanie Hindmarch is an intern at SchulmanArt and is currently studying Management at the University of St Andrews

Discover art on etsy inspired by Portugal!

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Autumnal Inspirations: New Online Watercolor Workshop!

how to paint with watercolors
Hello artsy friends!!!

A new season is starting at The Inspiration Place! You do not want to miss out on the fun!

You are going to love the new classes.
The new class Autumnal Inspirations will recharge your creative batteries with tons of new ideas for projects and loads of watercolor techniques to make all your creative dreams come true.
Sign up HERE

Take a sneak peak at this video where you can find out some of these great ideas.

Workshop includes:
* Advanced Watercolor tips, tricks and techniques
* Tons of Videos that are fully narrated
* reference images for the demo projects plus many more images with the same theme so you can practice your new skills
* Interactive private Forum
* Availability of Instructor for Q&A on week days

What is your favorite part about autumn? Trees? Foliage? Pumpkins?

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Inspiration is easy, Finding Time to create it all is the hard part!

Interview with artist Ashlie Weisel by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

art of Ashlie Weisel
Fall for Home art print by
SchulmanArt: Tell us about yourself!
Ashlie Weisel: I grew up in Crown Point, Indiana- about 40 miles outside of Chicago. I didn't see a mountain until I was 19 years old, and the closet thing to one growing up in the midwest is a snow mound. It wasn't until my husband and I were stationed in Germany when I was 22 when the real inspiration started to flow. I loved the houses, the yellow country sides in the Spring and the enchanting castles. Inspiration is easy, finding the time to create all of it is the hard part!

I have been selling on etsy for about a year now, on and off. Sometimes I will really rock it and load up my Etsy store with new creations, and other times I'm so busy teaching art classes that I forget about my Etsy store.

art studio of Ashlie Weisel
Insider's Look where art gets created in The Sunny Side Up Art Studio!
SchulmanArt: Where did you study art?
Ashlie Weisel: A lot of what I know is self taught. I took classes in college at the University of Southern Indiana in graphic design, illustration, welding and woodworking. I love to experiment with all sorts of mediums and finding my style within each one.
 Right now I love to illustrate my images and fill the color with photoshop and illustrator.
SchulmanArt: What kinds of art do you sell? 
AW: My best selling item when I go to art shows is my " Home" illustration print. It is a quote that I came up with and I feel a lot of people can connect with it, therefore making it a top seller
Currently I am working on self publishing my first children's book " Little bird, Big City"

SchulmanArt: How do you get inspired? 
AW: If I'm feeling stuck in a rut, I will usually take a hike up to the mountains in my backyard. That always seems to do the trick.

SchulmanArt: Describe a typical day for you.
AW:When I wake up, I drink the incredibly strong coffee my husband always makes, take my great dane for a walk, check emails, and then begin on the several creative projects I create for myself that day.

SchulmanArt: What is your studio space like? 
AW: At the moment my studio is very small and cramped because we are living in a one bedroom house this year while my husband is finishing up school. Most of the time I take my drawing book to a picnic table outside and draw there. I prefer to be out in the nature.

art of Ashlie Weisel
Connect with Ashlie on her facebook fan page!
SchulmanArt: How have your parents influenced you creatively ?
AW: My mom is an incredibly gifted artist who got me into art at a very young age. Seeing all the mediums she has been through over the years, and going from art show to art show when I was younger had inspired me to live the life as well.

SchulmanArt: What advice would you give beginning artists? 
AW: Looking back on all of the fails I've had with art, I don't think I would have done any of them differently because it was my mistakes that brought me to my style today.

Discover all the photos and paintings of art studios I found on etsy today!
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Monday, September 16, 2013

Decorating Tips for Hanging Artwork

Do you know the 3 most important rules for hanging art?

One of the most common questions I get from my collectors is how high to hang art and how far apart to hang groups of pictures. Here are the answers straight from the pros for the best tips for decorating with artwork.

hanging art decorating tip 


I always tell my clients to hang art at eye level-- this height may vary across cultures but in general you should aim to hang the center of the painting approximately 63" from the floor.

decorating tips for hanging art

2) How FAR apart should you hang a group of pictures?

Art should be hung approximately 2-2½" BETWEEN pictures to utilize wall space. What I like about hanging a group of pictures rather than a single statement piece is you can spread the pictures out wider to accommodate a wider sofa. You also want to leave about 9" from the tops of sofas and chairs so no one hits their head on your beautiful artwork. Check out my painting triptychs!


decorating tips 3) Can't I just hang a mirror over the sofa? 

Although there are places like the foyer where you want to have a mirror to check your appearance coming and going, using a mirror instead of art is a wasted opportunity.

There is no personality in a mirror. 

If you want your home to reflect you that hang a painting that you love over the sofa or above a mantel and save the vanity for the bathroom. Interior decorator Carey Maloney also points out that hanging mirrors between windows is a bad ideas as it distracts from the view.

triptych, contemporary wall art
Spread a series of paintings across a whole wall to accommodate a large sofa













 Do you love art and decorating?

Get your FREE Guide to Choosing House Paint Colors to transform your home in 2015

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Decorating Idea: License Plate Wall Art for your Home

Interview with License Plate artist David Bowman
by @schulmanArt, Miriam Schulman

Looking for art for your man cave? Discover the art of David Bowman and his drool worthy map art made of upcycled license plates. This artist creates unique and engaging pieces of art and maps out of recycled vintage license plates. His designs are mounted on stained boards and are terrific conversation starters and visual enhancements for your den, vacation home or business office.

License Plate Art by David Bowman of DesignTurnpike
SchulmanArt: Tell us about yourself and how you got the idea to create art out of license plates.
David Bowman: I have lived most of my life on the outskirts of Detroit, the Motor City. This has obviously contributed to my love of cars, history and industrial materials.

As a boy, I loved license plates. Six-hundred-mile-a-day trips were enlivened by keeping a list of the many diverse plates I saw on the road along the way. Family road trips to New Mexico, South Dakota, Florida, New Brunswick and many other destinations exposed me to the wealth of color, style and personality of each state's tag. A separate but genuine love for maps, geography and crafting grew to inspire the license plate art and maps I create today. I love to hunt out and find lost troves of plates and turn them into something people will enjoy for years to come.

Working from Michigan, the birthplace of the modern automobile, I continue to brainstorm and produce various new designs along with some of the classic license plate maps shown on my home page gallery.

Collect David's Art on his Website
SchulmanArt: What is your most popular item?
DB: My best selling pieces are my maps of the USA made out of vintage recycled license plates. State maps and other objects such as trucks cars, animals and road signs made out of plates as well round out my collection.

SchulmanArt: When do you find time to create your art?
DB:  I cut plates daily. I am often out in the studio at night putting the finishing touches on pieces, and beginning to assemble the wood board backing for the next set of pieces I have in the pipeline.

Watch David create his art on his blog!!
SchulmanArt: What advice would you give beginning artists?
DB: Be patient. It takes a huge amount of time and effort to get started in this business. Be true to what you want to create. Don't focus on what others are doing - make your art your own. People want originality, not just another product that blends in.
Connect with @DesignTurnpike on Facebook!


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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Art Therapy for mental health treatment

Art & Healing
by Emmy Hirsch, guest blogger

As Pablo Picasso once said, "Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life." Art can be an extremely effective tool in mental health treatment. Because art is such an expressive medium, it can be used to help people overcome stress, communicate, deal with past and current traumas, and explore different answers to a seemingly impossible problem. The American Art Therapy Association describes Art Therapy as "a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotion well being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight."

Art Therapy was formally discovered in the twentieth century when doctors noted that individuals suffering from mental illness often expressed themselves in drawings. This led many to explore the use of art as a healing strategy and since then, Art Therapy has integrated psycho-therapeutic techniques with the creative process to improve mental health. Art Therapy is used to treat a wide range of mental disorders and psychological distress, including cases involving children with learning disabilities, adults suffering from severe stress, individuals combating behavioral and social problems, patients recovering from brain injury, and people who have experienced traumatic events.
Look on Dr. Malchiodi's website for
more information about Art Therapy

An art therapist uses a variety of art methods including drawing, painting, sculpture, and collage. You may ask yourself how an Art Therapy session differs from the average art class. In Art Therapy sessions, individuals are pushed to focus on perceptions, feelings, and imagination. Cathy Malchiodi, a leading international expert and educator in the fields of art therapy and art in healthcare, explains that the emphasis is not on the art but on learning to develop and express the images that come from the mind and soul. The art is just a way to communicate these senses.

Visit the American Art TherapyAssociation's Website
Emmy Hirsch is an intern at SchulmanArt and will be an incoming freshman at Franklin and Marshall College.
Art Therapy is an effective treatment for people experiencing developmental, medical, educational, social, or psychological impairment. Though it helps people resolve conflicts, reduce stress, manage behavior, and achieve personal insight, Art Therapy also provides an opportunity to enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.

mentioned in this post: @ArtTherapyNet @arttherapynews

On this day of remembrance (9/11/13, art can help us find peace and be centered....
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Monday, September 9, 2013

What to bring to an art fair!

what to bring to an art fair or a craft show

coin purse with flowers, peacocks
My printed coin purses were the best seller this weekend! The little girls LOVE them! from ages 4 to 40. I used clear bins to display which kept my merchandise from being buried and caught the eyes of passerbys.
I just had a wonderful weekend selling my art and wares in Old Greenwich this weekend at their annual sidewalk art show and sale. The weather was fantastic and I loved meeting all the people. I was fascinated to see how all the little girls went crazy for my peacock coin purses and cute pencil cases. I nearly sold out of the coin purses and will have to restock very soon!

As usual, I forgot to bring some things to the art show. Since I have a few more coming up I figured that I would take the time to make a blog post about what to bring to art shows that will also help my fellow art and craft artists.

What to bring to your next craft/art show!

what to bring to an art fair or a craft show

Vendor Apron PDF Sewing Pattern - Craft Show - INSTANT DOWNLOAD - By BlissfulPatterns

For You

  • Name Tag
  • A notepad for ideas (there is lots of downtime which is great for spacing out and brainstorming)
  • Art Journal
  • Water, hand sanitizer, and food ( although I always hope to be too busy to eat!)
  • Chair
  • Hat, sweater - sun or shade

For your Display:

  • Canopy or booth if space permits.
  • Pretty Tablecloth-- I wasn't thrilled with mine this weekend-- why didn't I iron it?
  • Display Emergency Kit – Include safety pins, bungee cords, zip ties, scissors, twine, and tape. You might not need them, but your booth neighbor will be thankful you’re prepared!
  • Tape – heavy duty, duck, and scotch tape.
  • A Banner I don't have one yet, but this has got to be the last show I do without one. Nothing adds professionalism better than a clean eye catching banner. Also good to cover up said wrinkled tablecloth.
  • drapery hooks (use them for hanging my art to chicken wire fences)
  • folding card table
  • print rack
  • clear baskets for your wares-- much better than anything opaque-- I got mine this year from the container store
  • price tags (mark everything so your neighbor can help you make sales if you need to visit the ladies room)
  • sharpies, and more sharpies ( you can’t have enough!)
  • wet wipes to clean up after little girls have been touching your wares with their candy coated fingers
  • guest book?
  • business cards (you will use up so many of these) brochures, postcards of upcoming shows

Pretty Tissue paper from

For making sales

  • receipt book (I actually ran out of receipts in my book this weekend! good thing/bad thing)
  • ball point pen
  • Cash Apron or Fanny Pack 
  • Change – Don’t miss a sale because someone doesn’t have correct change. (always stock up on singles before you head out)
  • Packaging Materials brown bags from uline in different sizes and pretty tissue paper to wrap up purchases
  • calculator
  • Extra hardware and a screwdriver ( in case someone loves the painting, but hates the frame)
  • Credit Payment System — Setting up a card machine or a system that works with your smartphone may significantly increase your sales. -- I have an old fashioned swipe machine.

More ideas to try:

  • Slips of paper for people to register for a drawing ( a gift certificate or something free). By getting their name and email, I let them know I will add them to my newsletter on Mailchimp. I also have a bucket for them to put the info in. Descriptions of my classes that I will be teaching. Signage to let people know to register, etc.


Get your FREE printable checklist! The Ultimate Art Fair Packing List!

    >>Click Here to Download the Checklist
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    Wednesday, September 4, 2013

    Three Music Videos for Art Lovers

    The best creative music videos
    by Stefanie Hindmarch, guest blogger

    This whimsical artwork of Lana Del Ray is by
    Check out these creative and captivating music videos that have a lot of art in them!

    Feels Like We Only Go Backwards by Tame Impala
    This psychadelic music video was created solely using plasticine art collage. The bright colors and visually interesting composition make this video hard to stop watching!

    Crazy by Gnarls Barkley
    Inspired by the Rorschach test, a psychological test based on interpretations of inkblots, this animated video has won several awards for its direction and editing.

    Strawberry Swing by Coldplay
    This is a charming stop motion video by the alternative rock band Coldplay. The chalk-drawn backdrops of each shot are very artistically executed.

    Stefanie Hindmarch is an intern at SchulmanArt and is currently studying Management at the University of St Andrews.

    What is your favorite music video?

    Mentioned in this post: @tameimpala @gnarlsbarkley @coldplay
    Read More »

    Tuesday, September 3, 2013

    How to Use Pinterest to Market Your Art Business

    Virtual Pinboards to Sell Your Art
    by Stefanie Hindmarch, guest blogger

    how to use pinterest
    Craftori Sells a guide on etsy for $7
    Pinterest has become incredibly popular in the last year or so as a way of spreading and organizing ideas. Though Pinterest can be fun, it can also bring serious attention to your art. Use these tips to take your business a step further!

    Boards you should make:

    Pinterest offers a platform with a clean layout that is visually appealing and easy to organize, making it a perfect place to showcase your portfolio. If you are selling a piece, put the price! Pinterest automatically puts a banner over the photos that include a price in the description, making it obvious that you are selling your work. 

    Keep track of visuals to inspire your art, as well as works by inspirational artists. This keeps you organized, and makes it easier for potential customers to relate to you.

    how to use pinterest
    Get organized with theme boards!
    (from SchulmanArt's Pinterest)
    Show how pieces of a similar theme look together and make it easier for people who are looking for a specific theme to find your art. Using powerful keywords in your board names can also improve Search Engine Optimization, and lead more people to your work.

    decorating ideas on pinterest
    (from SchulmanArt's Pinterest)
    Decorating ideas
    Give customers examples of how your pieces would look in different settings. Selling art that would look good with cabin-themed decor? Modern decor? Show customers how to style your pieces and they will be more inclined to buy.

    Show that your work is satisfying customers by making a 'feedback' board. When you get feedback from purchases, either post the text or request photo of your work hanging in a past customer's home. Potential buyers will be happy to see that you and your work are reliable and trustworthy.

    Other tips:
    • Pin on a regular basis! People want to see that you are active online, and should be reminded once in a while that your art is out there. 

    • Watermark high resolution images or post low resolution ones, because at the moment Pinterest's terms and conditions state that they can reuse your images. In addition, you don't want others having access to high quality files of your pieces, as you will lose customers if people are just downloading your prints instead of buying them.

    Stefanie Hindmarch is an intern at SchulmanArt and is currently studying Management at the University of St Andrews.
    Check out SchulmanArt's Pinterest boards!

    There are a lot of resources on etsy from how-to use pinterest to icon and graphic design help to unify your brand.
    Read More »