Iris in pencil and markers


Here is a card I made recently, using markers enhanced with some colored pencil.  I like to do the deep dark colors with markers, and generally use Prismacolor.  Layering colored pencil, chalk pencil, or oil pastel on top adds dimensionality.  If you really need something to be white, however, make sure you reserve that space in the beginning!  I sketched out my lighter areas in pencil then erased once the yellow was in.

Site Redesign, and a new painting!


This painting was done in watercolor, with some of the details picked out in various kinds of colored pencil.  I wasn’t completely successful in capturing the image, but at least I think I caught the light to the extent that I wanted to.

This is also the first new blog entry in the new, improved  I had to get away from my old host, but this turned out to be a good thing.  My new host has great speed, easier access to everything, better email, and most importantly, costs roughly 20% of what my old host charged me.  A better deal for me, and also for you!

Low-Cost Marketing Methods

You’ve written a book.  You’ve made art and are ready to sell it.  You produced a CD and want people to listen to it.  Now you want people to actually see your product!

You search for marketing.  It’s seems that it’s either expensive, ineffective, or both.  What to do?

Luckily, with some effort and creativity, there are plenty of things you can do to market your work!

Here are some ideas.

It doesn’t cost much to have bookmarks made.  Distribute them at bookstores and libraries.

If you wrote a book, buy a few copies and donate it to your library.  With a bookplate in it featuring your website or blog, that is!

Next time you see a deal where an online print shop is ordering 100 free print for a dollar, or whatever, take them up on it.  Make a little ad for your book/music/art/whatever.  Then leave them in unexpected places.  Bulletin boards, art shops, bookstores, you name it.

Whenever you leave printed matter around, try to put it in places where people are going to be bored.  Doctor’s offices, vet clinics, upscale hair salons, whatever.  Go where people have money, and always get permission.  Make any fliers pretty and eye catching.

Post on forums – topical posts about things others are interested.  Have real conversations.  Include a link to your website in your signature.  If people like you, they will check you out.

Go old school and make paper fliers for physical bulletin boards.

Know your audience.  Do your marketing where they are going to be.  Try to sell to your potential customers, not other authors/musicians/web designers/artists.

Remember: you don’t need fancy software to do any of this.  GIMP is free, so is LibreOffice, and they both work great!


Here, by the way, is an example of one of the fliers I made and printed out using one of those “100 prints for a dollar” promotions.


Time for a little graphic design



I really enjoy it when a publishing house offers me a free sample to try their product.  I use it as a chance to practice my graphic design skills, improve them, and usually outwit their silly interface.  This time I was offered a 20 page photo book, hardcover, for only the price of shipping.  These things are great and they make awesome mini portfolios.  By the way, if you want one, contact me, usually I can find a free affiliate offer for new customers.  Those are great too!

This time I put black and white pieces in alongside color pieces.  They were a mix of acrylic, watercolor, chalk, and pen and ink.  I tried to have one black and white and one color image on each two page spread, so things looked balanced.  I also delighted in deleting all their gimmicky bits and bobs and photo embellishments.

When designing, keep it simple!  The world will thank you.  Doubt me?  Think of Geocities and Angelfire sites from the 90s.  Oh, the flickering animated GIFs… the mixed, multicolored, mismatched fonts… make it stop…

Monsoon: Poem



This is a poem that came out of the Tucson Monsoons one steamy July night.


A brilliant branch
cracks down,
plasma booming.
It roars, reaches,
and crashes again.

Pregnant clouds play catch
with balls of rolling thunder.
Rooster tails of water spray.
and water fills the air
till it can hold no more.

The blood-warm mist
and steam wraps my skin.
I drink the wine
of the new mown lawn,
taste the rich
mesquite-green wind.