Friday, July 30, 2010

Violin in the Making

I finally did another sketch :)  In keeping with my wife's suggestion that I use only pens (to build my confidence), here's my latest sketch.  I briefly read through the EDM list a week or so ago and one of the few that I could remember was EDM #17 - Draw a musical instrument.  While I do play guitar and have one sitting in the livingroom, I decided I wanted to draw something a bit more classical.  I found this wonderful image of a violin in the process of being built and had to give it a shot!

The original image has a nice glass lamp sitting on the table above the violin.  I initially decided that I wasn't going to include it on the sketch but when I was done, that top left corner seemed awfully empty.  I added the lamp, but now I'm wishing I didn't.  I'm actually pretty pleased with the rest of it, for it being a 15 min sketch with only pens.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Website - Creation

Of all the many things we've done and experienced since my wife decided to "go professional", this was by far the most frustrating and stressful.  Hopefully these tidbits will spare you some of that.

As I mentioned in my last blog, I knew nothing about web hosting or design.  The hosting part was fairly easy to figure out but the design took quite a bit more effort.  The hosting company that I went with,, provided a large variety of pre-made templates but after searching through them, I was left feeling that none of them really had what I was looking for.  So, I began doing some research into how to create your own website from scratch. 

All websites are build using HTML code, though I learned that the easiest method to creating a website would be to use a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) style of web designer which writes the code for you.  The most popular of these is Adobe Dreamweaver.  Unfortunately, the price for that program was such that I didn't look twice before searching for some free options.   The two programs that I ended up using were Kompozer and Seamonkey.  These two programs are very similar and I started with Kompozer due to the excellent guide provided by  If you know nothing at all about web design, I highly encourage you to follow this guide to get a good idea of what to expect.  The guide is very step-by-step and I followed it religiously.  Once I was a bit more comfortable with what I was doing, I began to insert our own information and formatting. 

A few things that will help you out a bit will be to get all of your text and images together before you really get started on your site.  Some of the things you'll want to do are:

- Create a folder to store all of your web files/images
- Create your Welcome Message if you are going to have one
- Create your Artists Statement
- Create your Biography
- Determine what images you are going to use on your site
- Modify your images to all be the same size, resolution (we use three image sizes on our site, 150 x 150 pixels for thumbnails, 500 x ??? pixels for mid-size images, and 750 x ??? for our full-size images.  All of these are set to 72 resolution, which is sufficient for most web applications yet is not a high enough quality that others can copy, scan or print your images from the web)
- Save and arrange images in your "web" folder.  We have our images divided by size and gallery.  For example, we have separate folders for not only our full-size and thumbnail images, but each of those folders have sub folders based on gallery (ie, flowers, abstract, portraits, etc).  This organizes things well and makes it easy to find images.
- Create your web banner or other images that you will use and place them in the web folder

As an artist's website, images were a huge part of the content.  We used Photoshop to edit all of our pictures.  The images of artwork were "saved for web" in JPEG format.  If you use the "save for web" option, it will compress the file giving a smaller file size.  There are only three image types typically used in web design, JPEG, GIF and PNG and each have their benefits and shortfalls.  JPEG's are great for detailed images with a great variety of color.  Though they end up with a larger file size (potential slowing down the load times of your website), they provide the greatest amount of color and detail.  GIF's are really great for simple and low color images such as buttons, arrows, etc.  They have a very small file size and you can do some cool things with them.  They can be strung together to create a mini slideshow/video and they can be made to have a transparent background so you can see the background images or text around the image itself, instead of having a block of color around the picture.  The downside is that they only use 256 colors so they aren't suited to detailed and colorful images.  PNG is something of a bridge between the two, designed to have a transparent background but also utilize a greater variety of colors.  Here is a website that discusses these types in greater detail.

When you create the files for your website, it is highly recommeded that you save them in the place that you plan to keep them.  Be organized from the start and don't move too much around as even one folder or file in the wrong place in the server can lead to all sorts of headaches.

Once you have the building blocks of your website created, and the layout in mind, you can really begin to create the site.  Both Kompozer and Seamonkey work in the same way with the same features, though I preferred Seamonkey.  If you've followed this guide on for Kompozer, then you shouldn't have too many questions about how to create a basic layout.  Unfortunately, I don't know much more than you can read there. 

Creating a website can be a tough process, but a very rewarding one as well.  Once the site is actually created though, upkeep and maintenance is fairly minimal.  Though you may not be able to, try to get what you want on the first try.  I'll be completely redoing our website to make it look more "contemporary".  At least I have an idea of what I'm doing this time :)

I highly encourage you to check out other highly rated websites when creating yours.  Here is a great article that showcases the website of artist Latifah Shay and discusses what makes a good website.  In the end, it comes down to three things:
1. Make sure your website has a quick load time.  Many visitors won't stay if it takes longer than five seconds to load the page.  Do this by not including a bunch of "extra" stuff, such as music, videos, flash screens and by compressing your image files.
2. Make sure your site is visually appealing.  Remember, sometimes "less is more".
3. Make sure your site is easy to navigate.  No one will look around too much if its difficult to get from page to page.

I plan to write a page on website and search engine optimization at some point in the future (once I learn more about it myself).  However, one thing that really helps the ranking of your page is to have incoming links from other sites.  Here's your chance!  If you have your own website, please leave a comment with your web address and provide any additional web creation tips and resources that you've found especially useful.  Besides, we all need a bit of inspiration and ideas from other people every now and then :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Website - Hosting

When my wife and I decided that we'd try to "go professional" with her art (which, by the way, simply means spending a lot of money so you can show your art to more people :P), there were two things that I believed were necessities.  The art booth, which I spoke of a few posts ago, being one and a website being the other. 

I like to think of myself as being a thoroughly self-sufficient and capable person.  What this usually means is that I often find myself tackling a task which I have absolutely no knowledge of.  The website was one such task.  Fortunately for me, even know I knew nothing about creating websites, I am good at using them so I spent the better portion of a week doing some research. 

My first step was to find out how websites even make it to the web.  After a bit of searching, I discovered that website must be "hosted", in other words, some other company stores your site on their servers which is then accessible via the internet.  There are two ways that you can have a website hosted, either free or paid.  As it turns out, the free ones aren't all that great if you want a professional looking website due primarily to ads. 

Of course, before you decide on a hosting company, you've got to come up with a website name!  This reminded me a bit of naming my son actually.  We wanted something that was unique and memorable, but not wierd.  Something fairly short and easy to write and say, but not too simple (we went with Elijah btw).  Since my wife had already adopted a name for herself in her blog (which btw is, it was a fairly simple matter to decide that it would make a decent website name as well.  It may be important to note that a website name and a domain name are not necessarily the same thing.  For example, my wife's website name is Watercolored Hands - Fine Art by Yevgenia Watts.  We were fortunate in that we were able to get the same domain name as well - Unfortunately, this may not always be the case but it is easy to find out if your desired name is available, just type the one you want into the address bar of your browser.  You can also go to a domain name search which can tell you not only if is taken, but also, .net, .biz, etc. 

A few things to keep in mind when choosing names are: 

-Don't make it too long or obscure! You want people to be able to easily remember it.
-Don't use strange spellings.  As cool as it is, most people will try the normal spelling of something first (ie. fish vs phish)
- Avoid special characters.  They are often easy to forget.
- If you use plurals, articles or possesives, make sure you promote your site using the entire name (ie. vs ArtistsHusband)
- Try to get the .com version of your domain name.  Though the other extensions are no longer exclusive (a .org site doesn't have to be an organization anymore), most people will naturally try .com first.
- Here is a link to The Site Wizard which gives many more tips and explanations.

When it comes to paid hosting, there are a TON of options.  Eventually, I decided on the company due to their high reviews and relatively low cost - about $120 for the year in our case.  There are a number of things that you want to look for, the biggest ones that I can see are "up-time" and customer service availability.  Up-time is simply the amount of time that your site is available for viewing (once is created and uploaded that is).  Inmotion boasts an up-time of 99.9%, meaning that your website will be available 99.9% of the time.  Apparently, anything less than 99.8% is sub-par and you should look elsewhere.  Inmotion also offers 24/7/365 customer service which is a must.  Think of it this way: if your site goes down Friday evening for some reason, do you really want to miss out on an entire weekend's worth of sales because your hosting provider only has 5 day customer service?  There are a number of other features that are too innumerable to list but look at the options for a few of your top picks and see if anything is a must-have for you.

Now that you have you domain name hosted, its time to create!  I'll be talking about this stage in the website-building process in a future blog so keep an eye out :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Sketchbook!

Genia got me a sketchbook!  She told me before that she had one and after I discreetly mentioned in some public forum that I've never seen it, she promptly delivered :P

I have this great and grand idea of becoming an amazing artist.  Of course, I have a number of other great and grand ideas as well that may or may not ever happen.  But, I have taken the first few steps toward this artistic possibility, the first, marrying an artist.  She's quite supportive and she's really the one who's been recommending that I get a sketchbook and begin drawing.  "I haven't seen anything yet that tells me you can't be an artist", she says.  Guess that will have to do.

We went to the pool for the first time today with my son who is 11 months old.  We thought we'd have a pretty nice and solitary time of it but we were quickly overran by the elder's "water aerobics" class.  So, we migrated to the kiddie pool and tried to convince our son that its just like the bathtub, only bigger (he wasn't fooled).  After Genia spent some time soaking up some sun, we traded off on baby-duty and I explored the surroundings.

Our neighborhood is situated around a golf course and two lakes and is quite nice when you can get a view of something other than houses.  This was the case from the pool area, which inspired me to create my first sketch in my new, little sketchbook.  Genia insisted that I'd become a better artist quicker if I used only pens for sketching.  Something about building confidence and that pencils are like training wheels.  Surprisingly, I not only found it rather enjoyable, but I'm not too disappointed with the results either :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My First Sketch in 10 Years

I've mentioned a number of times in my other posts that I'm not a huge fan of most art and certainly not an artist. I've also hinted that my wife may be changing that a bit.

Back in high school, I used to draw a little bit, just a little mind you.  And I wasn't that great at it back then.  I haven't done anything that even resembles art in about 10 years.  A few weeks ago however, I acquired a spark of inspiration and HAD to draw something. Since I was at work (hey.. it was a slow day), I had to work with what I had.. in this case, a piece of computer paper, a .5mm mechanical pencil and a picture of my wife and I on the beach that sits on my desk.  The result - Bleh.

I'm a rather critical person in general (for better or worse) and I'm particularly critical of myself.  As I mentioned before, I can do most things satisfactorily, but i'm not super-great at anything.  That's my problem.  Even though I don't have a deep felt passion for creating art, I do enjoy creating in general and I think I'd enjoy art.. if I can get over the disappointment of failure.  "What is failure in art?", one might ask.  For me, not getting the result I was trying for.  I know that it takes time and practice to improve.  I'd never expect a masterpiece from another new artist, but I hold myself to that expectation, or desire at least.

Well, this isn't a masterpiece.  I'm not even sure its my wife for that matter :P  But, it was my first try at something new and even though I'm not pleased, neither am I done with art.  I may be an artist yet!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Art Show Necessities

I mentioned in a previous blog that I'm not really a huge fan of most art.  My wife and I have been married for over three years now and I think I can count the number of art events that I've attended with her on one hand (I know.. I'm a bad husband).  But, I'm a changed man.  No, I still don't care too much for the majority of the art, but mention a show and I'm in.  Why's that?  The booths.

I think my wife and I make a pretty good combo.  I don't think that she could do, or would do, the business side of art by herself and I certainly can't make the artwork, but together, we're on our way towards making this a real business (granted, a very slow-growing one).  So, whenever we do attend any kind of art event, or even just a street fair or swap meet, I've got my eyes open for new booth ideas.  How to display product, how to interact with customers, what might sell and why, and try to apply those ideas to our own set-up.  It was also through looking at other booths, both in person and online, that we found out what all we would need in order to create a professional looking booth of our own.

"One must have money to make money" - I always thought this old adage was more true than is convenient, but in this whole process, I've found that there is a loophole nowadays that goes something like this... "One must have CREDIT to make money"..  I'm not sure of the financial wisdom of our business creation process, after all, we've basically taken a 9.9% APR loan for most everything that we've purchased.  A smarter person with a more structured business plan might have simply applied for a small business loan but we used credit.  Either way, here's what you can expect to spend to get started with a set-up similar to ours.

Canopy - the first and most important (and expensive) part of the set-up.  Though you can buy a standard 10x10 pop-up shelter for quite cheap, the quality will be quite cheap as well.  For the random event and light use, it may be fine, but we opted to go all out and get the professional version for durability (and to remind ourselves that this is a business, not a hobby).  Our frame is the EZ-UP Eclipse II model which is $675 from EZ-UP Direct.  Since we bought our frame from a friend without the top, we went through California Palms for the top and sides.  Their prices are great, the fabric they use is thicker than most others and they offer their "four-seasons" top ($140) which has air vents in the fabric.  This helps a bit with the heat but primarily allows the wind a place to escape without picking up and tossing our canopy.

Sidewalls are not a necessity per se, but I believe that it really completes the booth and gives it that professional look.  They also block the sun, wind and rain, keeping your booth somewhat protected from the elements though they can increase the temperature inside the booth a bit.  We leave one of the back corners open a bit to facilitate air flow.  Our sidewalls ($280) were purchased from California Palms along with our top.  Though their sidewall prices seemed a bit higher than the competitions, I am quite satisfied with them.  They are flame-retardant.  Each panel zips to the neighboring panel, but there is also an additinal strip of fabric that velcros the two together, providing extra strength. 

Most fairs, shows and events require that you have a canopy and many require that it be white, so be cautious of buying one in a different color.  Many municipalities also require that it be fire retardant.  A typical booth space at an event is 10ft x 10ft so I recommend sticking to that standard size.

Tables & Chairs - We spent a surprising amount of time looking at various tables and sizes.  Do we go with two 8 ft tables and one 6 ft, four 6 ft, etc.  We wanted to have some freedom to mix and match so we could change our set-up as needed and neither of those options seemed great.  Also, most tables were 30 inches wide, much wider than I thought we needed.  Having one such table on each wall would mean that our "floor" space would be greatly reduced, making the booth feel smaller than it is without really giving more display room.  Eventually, we found some great folding tables ($30) at Target and Walmart.  They were 48" x 20", so they could be re-arranged however we wanted.  They were narrow enough that they didn't take up too much floor space.  They are light and fold down quite thin, yet are strong enough for what we are using them for.  We even found a matching smaller folding table for my wife to place her easel and art supplies on for the shows.  For table cloths, we went to the local fabric store and browsed their remnant and clearance racks.  We found a wonderful blue fabric that my wife then made the tablecloths with.  They look great and bring a bit of class to the set-up. 

Chairs were easier to chose of course.  We bought two folding chairs ($60) and a folding stool ($20).  My wife usually works on the stool at her little painting table while the chairs are used for myself and anyone who stops by for an "on-the-spot" painting.

Print Racks - We needed a way to display our prints so we began searching the popular art catalogs.  I was astounded by the costs of print racks!  To be such a simple piece of equipment, the cost was really high.  So, being the cheap (wait, I mean "money-concious") person that I am, I decided to just make my own.  I went to Lowes and purchased some 1" x 2" Redwood boards, some brass screws, brass chain, stuff to make the pivot point and stopped at Wal-Mart to buy some black canvas (should have gone with white).  A few cuts and screws later and the frame was made.  Genia was sick of sewing table cloths by that point, so I cut and made the canvas part myself and affixed it with brass screws.  Easy job (about $20 each).  We made that one large enough to hold our largest prints which are 24" x 30" matted. 

For the smaller prints, I decided that an elegant display solution would be to use tempered-glass display cases.  The glass panels are available for purchase individually so you can create whatever size you want.  Here is a website that lists the available sizes and prices.  Overall, they were cheap and easy and do a nice job and displaying everything up to 16" x 20" matted. ($15-$20 each).

Side-wall Display - Since we wanted to display framed originals and some of our larger prints on the walls of the booth, we had to come up with an easy way to "build a wall" to hang stuff on.  While I was browsing through the Calfornia Palms website, I came across some frame-rails ($50 each, must request rail only).  These are basically a "T"-rail that connects between two canopy legs.  My first thought was that this could be a great way to provide some stability to the canopy to help deal with the heavy winds we get here, so I bought three.  Then, I came across a product called grid panel ($11.50 each) which we could
affix to the canopy and the frame-rails to give us our "wall" to hang pictures on.  Grid panel, being steel wire, is quite heavy, so it was nice only having to buy 2' x 4' sections which sit on top of the frame-rail.  We purchased 12 panels total, four for each wall.  Lastly, we bought some grid-panel hooks that are great for hanging pictures from.

After a few uses, we found out that putting the grid-panels up and taking them down took longer than any other part of the booth set-up.  So, I decided to simplify things a bit by using zip-ties to connect each set of two panels together.  This meant only having to make six trips instead of twelve.  I also bought a roll of Velcro One-Wrap to make some velcro fasteners for the grid-panel.  I used two where the grid-panels connects to the top of the canopy, and three where it attaches to the frame-rails.  Now, I can take the grid-panel off and leave the fastening system attached.  Saves quite a bit of time and zip-ties. 

Other Stuff - We decided that fine art greeting cards might be a good product to sell, so we purchased a 48 slot card rack ($49) from  Its nice and light, assembles and disassembles very quick and does a nice job at displaying our cards.

We bought our picture frames (appx $250) from Aaron Bros, using their 40% off-coupon.  Unfortuately, those coupons are only good for one item, per person, per day so we spent about three days going to all of the Aaron Bros in town to get the amount of frames that we needed (did I mention that I'm money-concious?).  We still aren't sure we like the ones we bought however.  They look pretty good, but the frames have a tendancy to scratch easily.  Regardless of what you get, I recommend cutting some cardboard "spacers" to go in between frames when they are packed for storage or transport. 

If you don't have a bag for your canopy, I highly recommend one.  Our canopy bag ($50) is one of the rolling type, which I also highly recommend, especially if you followed my example and bought an expensive, professional canopy.  It turns out that "expensive" is synonymous with "heavy" as our canopy weights in at over 75lbs.  Wheels make transporting it much easier and it also protects the top from damage.

We purchased a canopy awning ($88) along with our the other items we got from California Palms.  While it is not an essential item, we felt that it would entice more people to visit, or at least loiter in front of our booth by providing a bit of shade on those warm days.  It does seem to work for that purpose and it also provides some extra sun protection for the artwork, especially since the print rack and card rack sit out from under the main canopy.  With concerns of wind damage, I made some braces for the awning that should help to hold up to most of what we get up here.

Oh!  Almost forgot the sand bags... If you will be showing in an area that occasionally gets even moderate wind, you'll definately want to invest in some good sand/weight bags for your canopy.  There are a number of different styles out there.  We opted to go, yet again, with California Palms.  Their weight bags ($50 for 4) are made of heavy duty canvas with velcro on the sides to hold it to the canopy legs.  What I like about them is that they already have the straps attached to fasten them to the top of the canopy frame.  This means that you don't have to worry about bringing extra straps along and with these being nylon, they wont stretch and allow the canopy to move like bungie cords do.

Two more things that are helpful, though not essential, are some big storage boxes ($20 each) that we bought from Lowes and a hand truck ($100) we bought from Costco.  The storage boxes provide an easy way to keep all of our prints, cases, accessories, etc together in one place, and makes for only two trips to the van instead of half a dozen, and the hand truck is great for those events where you can't drive up to your space to unload.

One last thing... The van.  We have Subaru Outback that we used once to transport all of our stuff with.  Granted, we had our son with us, but even without him, we would have had to strap stuff to the roof.  As such, we've invested in a 1997 Chevy Astro Van.  They are pretty reasonable to find used, have a great amount of cargo space (we leave the middle bench seat in and still have enough room) and drive pretty much like a car.  We considered getting a full-size van, but my wife wouldn't have felt comfortable driving and parking something that large. 

Art shows, fairs, swap-meets, exhibitions seem to be a part of life when it comes to starting out as a professional artist.  While it can be boring and tedious, not to mention discouraging at times, you can improve your chances by having a professional looking booth set-up. 

So, there it is,  all (or most) of what you'll need to create a decent looking booth set-up. 

Total Cost (minus the van) - appx $2,000

Monday, July 12, 2010

No Cheeseburgers in Paradise!

Did I mention that my wife is from Ukraine? I'm sure they have cheeseburgers there (actually.. do they?), and perhaps they may have a location that some would call paradise, but I really doubt they have cheeseburgers in paradise. Why is this important? Because Jimmy Buffet does have cheeseburgers in paradise.

For those of you who are like my wife and don't know, Jimmy Buffet is a popular musician, among other things, with one song in particular titled "Cheeseburger in Paradise". He also has a line of restaurants with the same name.

My wife regularly participates in a wonderful event called Virtual Paintout. Basically, a location is given and artists must go to Google Map's street-view, wander around and find something to paint. The painting is then submitted along with the street-view image. A really great idea I think. The last location was Hawaii and my wife found a little burger joint on the coast in Lahaia. Now, can there be any other name for such a painting than Cheeseburger in Paradise? She placed the painting for sale on her website and her Etsy shop but within a few days, received an email stating that she was in violation of copyright laws.

What does this mean? First off, it meant that once we found out, we very quickly changed the name of the of the painting. It also was a great introduction to the world of copyright laws, which we need to do much more research into. I'm not sure what the repercussions of such a violation would be should legal action have been taken, and I'd rather not find out, but we have learned a valuable lesson: Do some research before naming and publishing your artwork!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My First Art Lesson

I'm not an artist. I'm not even someone who really enjoys looking at art. I only go to art museums when my wife makes me, and even then, I'm usually ready to leave long before she is. I don't oogle over such-and-such's fabulous play with colors and shapes. I can't seem to find the art in what most call "modern art". I guess I'm just an uncultured heathen. But I am the artist's husband.

Strangely, on this so-far small journey into the world of professional art, I've become slightly excited about the prospect of creating my own artwork. I have always appreciated a fine hand at any task, be it bowling or ballet, singing or sumo. I appreciate talent, at least what I believe to be talent. Unfortunately, however, I've never had it myself. I'm one of those people that can do anything, and do it moderately well, but I've never been "great" at anything. I'm also one who doesn't like to be anything less than "great".. or at least fairly close to it.

One of the ideas that we've decided on to continue to promote my wife as a professional artist, and hopefully cement her name in the annuls of time, is for her to begin teaching. About a month ago I asked her to give me a lesson. It was a disaster. Basically, we clashed. As only a stubborn Ukrainian woman and a hard-headed American man can clash. Apparently, art instruction is very different in Ukraine. The teacher sits you down with your paper and brushes and water, then directs your attention to the subject, whatever that may be, and says, "Paint". Well.. that doesn't work with me for a number of reasons, the first being that I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PAINT! Of course, this little fact didn't seem to matter to my dear wife, but I thought it was a bit of an obstacle that I would need some help to overcome.

Did I mention that I'm not an artist? If asked directly and pointed in the right direction, I can pick out watercolor paper, watercolor paints (there are only two kinds, right?) and may even have a 50/50 shot at picking out a watercolor brush. Thats about the extent of it though. I don't know how to hold the brush, what to do with the paper, how much water the brush needs, how much paint it needs, or even how I'm supposed to get the paint. I don't know how to mix paint, spread paint, blend paint, apply paint, nothing.

Me being the logical and step-by-step person that I am, coupled with the fact that I have viewed painting as a science (much as I view everything), I was hoping for some instructions, a step-by-step guide, at the very least, to know the proper way to hold a brush (which I still don't know, btw). But what I got was, "Paint".

We didn't talk about art instruction for a few weeks after that...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Husband's First Blog

So, who am I?

My name is Terry, a happily married man and father of one child, my 11 month old son, Elijah. I am a full-time motorcycle instructor for the military and recently finished a 5 year contract with the USMC as an Arabic Linguist. I am a lover of adventure, nature, language, travel, music and learning. I am called kind and intelligent by most, resourceful and ambitious by some, and an artist by none. But I am the artist's husband.

My wife is Yevgenia Watts. A wonderful watercolorists with passion for her work and the talent to get her noticed, she nevertheless is not a great businesswoman. She's actually not even one to socialize much, without my prodding, that is.

She immigrated to the United States in 2003 with her family after having spent most of her life in Ukraine. She developed an interest in art at a young age and has cultivated that interest for the majority of her life. Once in the States however, she decided to forgo an education in art for something more "useful". After receiving her degree in architecture from UC Berkeley, and promptly realizing that the industry was nigh impossible to enter into, she slowly began to return to her artistic roots. During her pregnancy, with little to no work, and full days to ponder herself and her future, and spurred by the purchase of one of her paintings from a coworker of mine, she began to consider a future as an artist.

Now, when do I come in? A little over a month ago...

Early in the year, we began discussing the possibility of turning her art into a profitable venture.. and that was about it. No ideas, no plans, no nothing really. Just a tiny hope of a better, boss-free future.

A little over a month ago we attended the Carlsbad Street Fair in Carlsbad, CA. While there, I poked and prodded and in truth, tried to force my wife to talk to the other artists who were displaying their works. Of course, she resisted me like a boulder, as she typically does whenever I try to force her to do anything. So, after eventually deciding that she wasn't going to follow my suggestion to get more information, she surprised me by initiating conversation with the next artist we found, a fellow watercolorist. It was from these wonderful people, Mary and Eric Helmreich, that we finally found the inspiration and guidance we needed try and begin to promote her as an artist.

This blog will share some of those experiences, my own potential path to artistic expression, and life as an artist's husband.