Sunday, November 14, 2010

Masking on Damp Paper

I was just reminded that many of you don't know that you can apply Masking / Frisket to damp paper for softer edges. Some will work better than others - I like Pebeo. Other products may have a tendency to adhere to the paper while drying. I use this technique all of the time in my "Treasures from the shore" or "From the Sea" workshops in Point Reyes and Mendocino.

The trick is how wet the surface is when applying the masking or it can look like a blob. You can see an example in my book "Watercolor Essentials" from North Light or go to my fan page Birgit O'Connor Watercolors - photos pg. 2 Mendocino 2010 (look for the demos of rocks on the wall)

Some masking / frisket brands suggest NOT to use it on damp paper, that is why I like Pebeo - it works great!! I have never had any problems with it... I have had students use other brands without any problems but it is good to keep in mind that the brand may make a difference I use this technique on Arches paper so try a test first if using something else.

Where to find it: Cheap Joe's, Dick Blick, ASW, Jerry's Art-O-Rama and maybe some local art stores official name is Pebeo Drawing Gum :)

tip: - just like anything else how damp the surface is will really make a difference to your success :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Stanford is finaly looking at the overlap between Lyme and chronic illness

TOUCHED BY LYME: Stanford investigates Lyme, Part 1 of 2
The Stanford docs who've poured their careers and hearts into trying to crack the case of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are suddenly curious about the overlap between Lyme, viruses and symptoms of chronic illness. Dr. Montoya's team is testing the blood of a large sample of California patients for everything from Lyme to co-infections to viruses.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Monsters Inside Me: The Tick-Borne Parasite : Video : Animal Planet

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Babesiosis is carried by ticks. It can cause extremely high fevers and even death!

When I was horribly ill one doctor told me that I shouldn't watch programs like this or do research on babesia or Lyme because she said that it is better left up to the doctors. ...Right....funny thing non of those doctors diagnosed problem or knew what tests to ask for, only by doing my own research I was able to ask the right questions and know what I was looking for. ...(makes me so mad - it is better to be informed and not in fear)

The blessing from my own experiences is that I can help others... and am not shy to talk about it. It is a very strange thing, I don't know if most people people with Lyme are afraid of judgement (it seems that some are) and others go into denial. (That has ben shocking to me). The problem with denial is the longer you ignore it, the worse it gets and you start treating the symptoms and not the underlying problem.

That was what they were doing to me (treating the symptoms) but intuitively I knew that there was a bigger problem and in fact in the beginning I felt that there was some sort of virus moving through my body, in fact I even said to my family it feels like I have been sprinkle with some sort of Germ Warfare.

It didn't feel like a cold or a flu it was a little different and hard to put my finger on it and didn't know how to explain it to a doctor......but then even after having classic symptoms and a good record of events. The doctors didn't catch it, I requested my blood to be tested by a top Lyme lab but the blood went to the more convenient lab for them, resulting in three false negative tests...and it goes on from there. So believe me I am not blowing smoke I am warning you.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mendocino July 2010

Here are a few photos of Mendocino and a couple of one of the other workshops that were going on at the same time our watercolor workshop was.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Little Things Make a Big Difference in Marketing your Art

This is a great article from Xanadu Gallery

Have you ever stood in an art gallery and said to yourself: "My work
is better than the art in this gallery. Why are these artists selling in
galleries and I'm not?"

I have spent the last several years helping artists answer this
question. I have discovered it is the little things that can make all
the difference in an artist's career.

Before I share some of these little things that add up to make a big
difference, let me introduce myself. My name is Jason Horejs, I own
Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. I have owned the gallery for over
eight years, and have been in the gallery business for 17 years.

Can little things make a difference in your career? I invite you to
ponder the suggestions below, all ideas I will expand upon in my
upcoming workshop. These little ideas, put into practice with your
marketing plan will help you present your work more professionally. They
will help you get into galleries and sell more of your art.

Quality Check. I have known and worked with hundreds of artists over the
years. The most successful artists are devoted to high quality. They
have the ability to step back from their work and look at it through
their buyer's eyes. Art collectors are picky. They demand attention to
detail. Their homes are immaculate. You must create work that will fit
seamlessly into their homes.

Your medium doesn't matter - sculpture, jewelry, paintings,
photography or fiber art - the presentation must be flawless.

Think of each work you create as a masterpiece. Treat it as such.

One small thing to improve the quality of your work: Invite someone
you trust to evaluate the quality of your art. You should invite an
artist you admire, or a designer, or a gallery owner over to the studio
for coffee. Present 5-6 pieces. Ask the question "what are three things
I could do to improve the quality of my presentation."

An objective observer will see your art in a way you never could.
Repeat this process every 1-2 years and make a commitment to constantly
improve your quality.

Read a Book. Collectors and dealers love to talk history. As you begin
to show in galleries and interact with collectors at shows you will find
they love to talk about past masters. Your relationships with collectors
and dealers will deepen if you can converse fluently about art history.
I suggest you strive to understand the major art movements from the
impressionists through the present day. This understanding will also
enrich your work as you are inspired by the great artist's lives and

One little thing to work on: Visit your local book store or and order a biography of one of your favorite artists. Commit
to read 2 artist biographies per year. Don't limit your reading only to
artists you like. I wasn't a fan of Willem deKooning's work until I read
about his life. He is now one of my favorite artists.

Analyze your Competition. You don't have to reinvent the wheel when it
comes to marketing your work. With a little work, you will find hundreds
of artists whose work is comparable to yours. Learn from them. Do what
they do.

One little thing to work on: Every week, devote one hour to
researching your competition online. Type keywords describing your work
into a search engine and you will quickly encounter your competitors.
Develop a list of 10 artists you feel are closest to you in style,
genre, subject, and/or experience. Analyze them.


Where is the artist from?

What is his/her background?

What is his/her education?

What does the artist's resume look like? What about his/her bio and
artist's statement?

What galleries is he/she showing in?

How does he/she advertise his/her work?

How is his/her work priced?

How is he/she presenting his/her work?

The insight you will gain through this weekly exercise will prove
invaluable to you as you develop your marketing plans. By understanding
your competition you can better tailor your work to the market. You can
price your work competitively. You can better understand the types of
galleries you should approach.

Use an Inventory Number. As you begin to experience success, organizing
your inventory becomes critical. Using an inventory number is an easy
way to start to control your inventory. As you move artwork from the
studio to your galleries, and from gallery to gallery and inventory
number will make it easy to track your work. Titles can get mixed up,
but inventory numbers are almost infallible.

If you don't already have an inventory numbering system, start with
a high number (3000, for example). Nothing says "new artist" like a low
inventory number.

Send a Thank-you note. As you begin to work with collectors and
galleries, your goal is not to sell art. Your end-goal is to create
relationships. Relationships will lead to a lifetime of sales. You will
be amazed what one simple thing like a hand-written thank-you note can
do for your relationships. In this age of digital communication and
voicemail interaction, a hand-written thank you note stands out.

When a gallery sends you a commission check you should immediately
sit down and write a thank-you note. Keep the note simple:

Spend Some Time on Marketing. I am amazed at how many artists will spend
long days in the studio, weeks in workshops, but then wonder why their
work isn't selling. Often, these same artists are devoting very little
time to marketing. You should be spending 10% of your time marketing.
You will be amazed by how much you can accomplish in this small amount
of time, and this is one small thing that will make a huge difference in
your career.

My upcoming workshop will give you concrete, actionable guidance in
organizing the business side of your career. I will also give you an
understanding of the art business from the perspective of a gallery
owner with 17+ years experience in the business.

If I can give you one idea that helps you sell one work of art would
it be worth $59 and four hours of your time? I am going to give many
more ideas than just one. If you are ready to put your art career on
track and start selling your work, sign up now, before the class fills.

For workshop information contact

J. Jason Horejs
Xanadu Gallery
7039. E. Main St. #101
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Alpena Michigan 2010

From the shores of lake Huron in our workshop Alpena Michigan.

Indianapolis Indiana June 2010

What a wonderful group of students.

Indianapolis Indiana June 2010

Indianapolis Indiana June 2010

We all had such a fun time, great weather, thunder storm and tonado warnings and wonderful people

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New DVD Reviews

New Wave, Water & Clouds DVD Reviews are coming in

Here are only a few reviews that some of you have sent back to me. I am so glad that you are enjoying this new program.

Hi Birgit,
I've only watched 5 minutes of your DVD and have learned not to work so hard on those clouds. I'm in is awesome, cannot wait to be able to watch and paint through out the rest. Thank you, you are the best teacher/demonstrator. You have found your calling!!
hugs, Penny WI

I viewed the rest of the DVD and it is just as great as the first 5 minutes. I photographed Point Bonita and it seems to me that a vertical scape of land pieces jutting out and water splashing up against land with little lighthouse at bottom would be challenging for me, BUT with these new skills from DVD I might be able to pull it off. THAT would make me a very happy camper.
You're the best! Penny, WI

Hi Birgit,

I have been thoroughly enjoying your new DVD, it was a great follow up to the workshop a couple of weeks ago and will help me retain much of what I learned. I was also able to pick up on a few subtle things that I missed in the workshop. I really like the way you have set it up so that you can navigate to one demonstration at a time through the table of contents, and I think you did a great job of zooming in and out to demonstrate the techniques. It was also really helpful that you showed the application of specific techniques in more than one painting. Given that there are 8 demonstrations and it is 85 minutes, I think you could charge more than what you are selling it for on your website.
Thanks again- I always love your workshops, Mariska CA

Dear Birgit:
Your video was great. You are such a good teacher.
Thank you Barbara

Purchase DVD

How to find some of my previous Articles

You can now purchase or download my older articles
Many of you have asked how you can get my current articles or older publications, online demonstrations, digital downloads, free downloadable charts etc. I have just updated updated the information on my website

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Atmospheric Landscapes / Waves & Water workshop

Getting ready for my Atmospheric Landscapes / Waves & Water workshop this weekend, it looks like were going to have great weather for it. What a wonderful location to paint in the middle of the Park in the Point Reyes National Seashore. We will be painting and staying within walking distance of Limantour Beach - See you there

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mendocino Spring Flower workshop
In Mendocino CA.

I challenged the ladies with Daffodils, Calla's and Tulips they all did a great job and learned allot very fast. We all had a wonderful time.

Friday, March 12, 2010

"Watercolor in Motion" is now available in Hebrew

I am happy to announce that my book "Watercolor in Motion" is now available in Hebrew, if you know someone that would like a copy here is a link to the publisher in Israel. It is strange and wonderful to see the book this way.

Waves & Water DVD coming soon

Coming soon: If all goes right, I might have the editing done this afternoon, then off the the replicators next week - this DVD program is about 1 1/2 hours, rather long but it is PACKED with so much information, multiple demonstrations and EASY painting exercises that you can follow along. No doubt you will feel successful, I do hope you enjoy it. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Covering large areas quickly

Hi Birgit:
I was attempting to paint as you do, following along with your video, but my own flower, etc.
The question is that I had a large area in the background on the upper left top. By the time I painted around the detailed areas of the flower and then attempted to pull the paint to the edges, I was not getting the flow that I wanted and needed. I painted that area 4 different times trying to get the look. Any suggestions?
Sharon D. CA

Hi Sharon
It might be hard to make a suggestion with out seeing what you are doing exactly, I usually work pretty dry along the edges with a small brush then increase the size of the brush as the area gets larger then pull the color out with water or diluted color.
Hope that helps
Best wishes

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

April 2010 issue of "Watercolor Artist Magazine"

In the April 2010 issue of "Watercolor Artist Magazine" there is an article on pg 60 "Workshop 101" by Jessica Canterbury, I was asked my opinion on workshops, what to bring, how to act, what to expect etc. one photo is from my Lewiston workshop. I wish everyone could have been in it, but it was a nice surprise to see some of you again, I hope that you like it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 workshops

I have just posted my new 2010 Workshop Schedule on my website and will probably add a few more as time goes on.