Art Biz Coach…Alyson Stanfield

Picture_9Alyson is based in the Denver area and I’ve worked with her off and on for several years via phone and email. She is a great art business coach: Her blog: and Newsletters are a constant help and resource for me and thousands of other artists.
I finally had the pleasure of meeting her in person over the weekend at the Art Marketing Workshop she held in Lake Forest for the Deer Path Art League. I helped with sales of her new book : "I’d Rather Be In The Studio" (hot off the presses last week) and her other educational art marketing cd’s. Irbits_15w_100ppi_2
It was great to see her in action, she is a wonderful presenter. I then had the added bonus of having  her visit my home & studio and take me to dinner on Sunday…she even got to meet Izzy &  crazy Alice. Thanks Alyson!Gallery_framed

Brutus….inspired new portrait design!


I’ve been working with a wonderful new customer on this handsome sweetie’s sketch all week…he lives in Alabama and his name is Brutus. He is a rescue and has brought much joy to his new home and canine playmates. His owner told me that he loves pig ears and I thought hmmm..those aren’t going to look so great in a painting, so I thought of the cute little pig with words and pulled this design idea through for his other favorite things. I love it, this is part of the fun of doing commissions it makes me think ‘outside the box’, well I guess I tend to think ‘in the box’ with my style…but you know what I mean!

I hope to meet Brutus in person next year if I get back into the wonderful Kentuck Art Fair again.



#10 is my Nemesis…

I get lots of emails from other artists looking for tips and help. I have collected a great referral list of sites and other inspring artists to check out among them is Keri Smith…she posted the list above on her Wish Jar Journal and I had to laugh when I read it because I happen to be having a miserable artist’s week: Numbers 1,3,5,9,10…especially 10. I’m not supposed to feel this way in January, this should be free and easy catch up time but instead I feel like I’m never going to get caught up.

On a positive note here are some very helpful resources to check out: 

Etsy…Mounted Prints are on their way!

Picture_12We are preparing to add our inventory of mounted ‘ready-to-hang’ prints on for immediate purchase. I’ve only listed this  dalmation…more to come later this week, check back.

Most of the year it’s hard to list things with the turnover of sales from all the shows but here we are in the dead of winter with the temp dipping below zero here in Chicago…the time is perfect! Snuggle up to your mac or pc next to a toasty fire (or in my case, space heater under my desk!) and go shopping on the coolest indie art site out there. Picture_18

A note on the cold: I LOVE weather and the seasons and the extremes of temperature (okay not so much the hot extremes) obviously it’s easy for me to feel this way working from home…but those are the days/nights you remember: the record cold, blizzards and thunderstorms; as a kid whenever a thunderstorm was rolling in, my whole family would run out in the back yard to dance around in the whirling wind and welcome it..I still do! But of course the extremes are getting very scary with global warming. I really don’t want to see anymore record anything, and my biggest fear as a kid (besides snakes) was a tornado. But in spite of this I have the crazy fascination of a storm chaser and a small collection of tornado paintings. All right, I’m way off subject, time for bed!

A River Runs Through It


On Saturday I delivered my painting, A River Runs Through It, to Prairie Shore Properties on Central Street in Wilmette for display in their lobby. This opportunity came by way of the Wilmette Arts Guild, which I recently joined. Good to get some work up to the North Shore, I’ll also be participating in a group show at the Wilmette Public Library in the spring.

After that I headed back into the city to an art opening for my friend Heather Gentile-Collins at a beautiful new venue called Flourish Studios. It’s retail, therapy, art gallery & more. Heather painted a beautiful mural in the kid’s playroom and her  wonderful paintings and prints are on display through the end of February.


And as long as I’m posting…my dear friend Erica Huntzinger…(who has this great new website!) had a very exciting opening at the Chicago Cultural Center in a group show called People of the Mud 2 – great turnout…and some wonderful artists..all clay. Also included, another friend of mine, Jason Messinger’s cool tiles.


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Digital Sketch

Blessed with Press…

SmsuntimesWhat a nice way to start off the New Year: Free Press! I received a phone call on December 27th from Sun-Times reporter
Celeste Busk, asking to interview me for a story about artists
transforming their home work spaces. I thought, "hmmm…ironic? but no, I would like to transform a workspace but OUTside my home. She must have gotten my name because someone told her about my previous renovated studio space in Bucktown". (yes, in fact Maria Mariottini, my old neighbor and long time maven of the Bucktown Arts Fest). When I explained that we had not made any big changes for my workspace here on Washtenaw and that I was starting to research store fronts and spaces outside my home she said she’d need to check with her editor. She called back and said we’ll still do the story and shape it to  your situation because we like and want to use the studio photos from your website. (Thank you Laura Nugent, who gave me the idea to take some working photos and post on site). She has great ones on flickr, check them out. So she based the article on past, current and potential future studio…I still have a lot of investigating to do, among locations, the old Cooper Lamp Factory on Diversey (less than a block away) is being converted into a green business building called the Green Exchange, that could be really cool. Big windows, loft space, close to home, parking for clients and eco friendly, there may be some retail too. I’m on the fence, I dream about working (above ground!) in a large sunny space but also would really like the retail storefront for public exposure. Is it possible to have both, have it close to home, affordable and dog friendly?! That’s my order to the universe. So the photo is from the article, Potential that Pops, which appeared in the Real Estate section of the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday, January 4th. There are also photos online and this edited down version of the article.

Petey…Alice’s 2nd cousin once removed?


I subscribe to the Chicago Canine Rescue Newsletter, today’s jarring statistic: Only 16% of owned dogs are adopted from animal shelters! I just can’t get my mind around that number, it makes me very sad.

This adorable guy, Petey, is available for fostering. He looks so much like Alice did at that age, breaks my heart. Izzy, our senior who we think turns 14 sometime this year (98 in dog years) has about all she can take with Alice careening around the house. The vet we adopted her from estimated her age at 9-12 months in November of 1995. So in the mean time, I’ll just try to spread the word about all these sweet pups looking for homes. This is Alice the night she was brought to our home for fostering, she was about 3 months old…you can’t get cuties like this from breeders. Picture_17_3

New Year: New Adventure!

Inspiration finally hit, I designed my New Years Cards today. I was in a funk, so I questioned and drew my way out of it. I almost abandoned the whole thing altogether, now it’s time to write notes to all those great people who helped me out in 2007.. including you: Thanks for taking the time to read my’s hard for me to do and I still feel shy and a bit strange about sharing in this format, but maybe I’ll get brave and surprise you with some thrilling entries in 2008!