Topaz Labs Releases DeNoise v.4

One of my favorite software companies, Topaz Labs, has just released an upgrade to their DeNoise software, rasing version 3 to version 4. This is a free upgrade to version 3 owners and is a major upgrade. Check it out at here.  It’s not just that the “look” has changed, but the new layout makes it much easier to navigate and also incorporates a new “IntelliNoise” technology.

ArtWorks Featured

Robin Pedrero on vision and growth

How has your art evolved over time?

homagehomelessherow-copyDesire and necessity are the catalysts in the evolution of my art. I often tell the story of how my two year old painted white oil paint on a portrait I was working on which spurred my investment in the medium of pastel.  I tackled the medium through book instruction, and one class with Herman Marguiles to fall in love with the immediacy and vibrancy of pastels to then become a juried Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America. I have been a portrait artist for over 20 years .  I incorporate faces and figures into my work as well.  Nature has always been my refuge. I believe when we savor nature it creates a space in time to experience the presence of God.  Works from 2001 – 2008 depict landscapes with a focus on the sky. My style has gone from impressionistic to realistic to more contemporary and abstract. Necessity steps in again as I am shipping more and I sought a medium that would not require glass. My health concerns keep me from working in oil regularly; hence acrylic has become my most recent medium. I am discovering that I really enjoy how I can use translucency so effectively in acrylics. So stay tuned to see my newest works and how my work is evolving. and in progress

What is your vision for your art?

My art inspires and brings joy. I believe it makes a difference in people’s lives. I see my work in Museums, galleries, corporations, institutions and collected worldwide.

What do you see your work doing for those who buy it?

People use my artwork differently, most are attracted to it because it speaks to their core. They experience something sacred and personal between themselves and the work. It’s ok if it also matches your decor, let’s be honest here, our homes and offices reflect who we are and if it works in harmony whether matching or eclectic it still works! I teach people to see things in different ways yet communicate on a spiritual level using color, line, form and subject matter. A common response to my work is that people feel a sense of peace, contentment, powerful emotion or joy and I like that!

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ArtWorks Featured

Interview with Robin Pedrero-on marketing

Tell us about your marketing journey…how did you start?

I learned a few things from my mother who did PR for our theater group, when I danced and sang in musicals. Her example taught me to be fearless about just asking or sending something in to the press, radio or TV stations.

When did you discover that you needed to market?

When I moved to Florida in 1988 and began painting portraits for just $25, word of mouth spread the news. Now my portraits are $1200 – $5500, and  people who bought my early work are collecting new work from me. My next move took me away from the community who knew me as an artist. Now, I had to work at building a good reputation as an artist all over again in a new place. I started by landing a show, joined groups, and participated in central Florida art events. As you grow your business you expand your territory. The relationships that you build will carry your business around the world especially if you use social network media.

Do you have a marketing plan, strategy if so please summarize?

My strategy is perseverance and sharing. I never stop working. My goals inspire the marketing I pursue. Most marketing is event and project oriented, building my brand, which is my name, my art. I might be unusual for an artist because I find the business of art fun!

Do you use Social media online alone or do you combine it with off-line efforts?

My first thought is if it is free and I can do it myself I use it, both online and offline. I have paid for ads in magazines, art guides, newspapers and radio broadcasts, yet my own efforts to build and maintain contact with my collectors personally are the most fruitful.

What has been the reaction to your making your work available in non-traditional ways, like mugs, jewelry etc?

In gauging buyers both my art collectors and those who would not typically purchase 2D art are attracted and purchasing.

Has it been successful?

As a new endeavor, I had hoped for more sales, yet I haven’t focused on marketing the products extensively.  I would really like more venues to pick up the products. Would I recommend it? Yes of course! Low overhead, easy shipping and the items make great gifts for my collectors at the touch of my fingertips!

Have you seen it effect sales of originals or prints?

I have had people buy items then later buy originals. I see these items as another form of advertising as well. When products are used they are a conversation piece.

Where do most of your sales come from?

80 % of my sales come from 20% of my collector base. I adore my collectors! It saddens me when I don’t get to know who bought a piece, yet as my sales increase in galleries sometimes that occurs. I do ask my galleries to share a handwritten thank you from me to my new collector.

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ArtWorks Featured

Profile: Robin Pedrero on Motivation, Inspiration and Influence

Tell us about your work?

My work is a visual journey, exploring what calls me, often those things which bring me joy or contemplation. My work is spiritual, color saturated with symbolic and natural elements.

What mediums have you worked in and which is your favorite?

take-the-yellow-road-etsy-copyI have worked in oil, soft pastel, oil pastel, watercolor, acrylic, gouche, pen and ink, charcoal, textile, collage, colored pencil, mixed media, photography and assemblage. My favorite is whatever I am working in at the moment to get the effect I desire – ok pastel, no, acrylic, see I can’t play favorites.

How did you get started?

My early memories include painting in kindergarten, as a child I recall many summers drawing on a huge chalk board under a tree. I was always crafting and creating. I began oil painting with master artists when I was 13 years old. I began selling art at 15 in a gift store.

Who has influenced/inspired your art work?

As my work evolves those artists who influence me change. I began as a teen artist drawn to Picasso, Dali, Van Gogh, Impressionists, Brackman followed by many years while a young mother adoring Renoir, and Cassatt then Bouguereau. My work circa 1990 reflects these interests seen here. Then Turner, Waterhouse ….. and the list grows with more contemporary artists and variations of style. I call my work a visual journey encompassing inspirations in my life; family, friends, travel, nature, meals, introspection, books, art, music and worship. Influences and inspiration are daily occurrences, experienced through all of the senses.

You have written about how music and rhythm influence your work…tell us a little more.

I am always intrigued at how all of the arts inspire and influence one another. Masterpieces encompass multiple art forms; performance, film, fine art, music, dances, etc. Interestingly rhythms in one art form like music can inspire rhythms or creativity in another form like fine art or dance. Rhythm usually brings music or dance to mind, yet it plays more than one part in the life of visual artists. Often I will listen to the same music or series of songs while working on a piece of art. Music sets a mood. We rely on all of our senses to create and music can be stimulating even intoxicating as we inhabit our own world of creation. I play particular music to accommodate looseness in my motions to carry through to the work or another style of music for more detailed concentration. The movements I make in creating can carry the rhythm of what I hear. Many titles to my works of art reference music.

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Featured Photography Photoshop Reviews Tutorials

Topaz Labs DeNoise: Another Winning Photoshop Plugin

UPDATE: Dr. Roach reviews the latest release of DeNoise here

A few weeks back I wrote about TopazLabs application TopazAdjust3, and I liked it so well that it obviously influenced me to take a look at its sister (brother?) application DeNoise.  Topaz Labs makes applications for both still and video imaging, and it is the digital still imaging area that have my interest because Photoshop from Adobe is the center of my workflow and I like things that plug-in to Photoshop.  I thought if noise control in its own plug-in could be any better than the noise suppression panel in TopazAdjust3, then it might be extremely useful.  So I decided to give it a try.  DeNoise is a bit more expensive than TopazAdjust3.  Where the latter is priced at US $49.95, DeNoise comes in at US $79.95.  All of TopazLabs software has a 30-day trial key which allows you to try it out thoroughly to see whether you like it or not.

So here is one I tried DeNoise with; it was shot with a 3.1 megapixel point-and-shoot camera in Morocco in the summer of 2000. Look at the color artifacts in the shadow under the palm leaves and in the shadow on the floor on the right.

Going to Filter > Topaz > DeNoise we get the panel below.

The default in the Main>Noise Suppression is 1.0 when it opens.  You can use the Reset button on the bottom right to force Noise Suppression to open at 0 if you choose.  We’ll take a look at all the adjustments possible before we make corrections.

The Advanced panel allows us to make adjustments in (1) Color Noise, (2) JPEG Fixer, (3) Smoothness, and (4) Add Grain.  It opened with a default of 0.05 in Color Noise.

The third panel, Presets, gives us the options of settings for (1) SRAW Normal, (2) JEPG High Quality, (3) Large Grain Noise, and (4) Supersmooth. Choosing and Applying one of these presets will make adjustments in the Main and Advanced panels.

Finally, the About panel will allow us to reach (1) Tech Support, (2) On-Line Resources, (3) Check for an update, and (4) enter our registration Key if we have not already done so.

Now, we’ll go back to the original image and the noise in the shadow and brick areas.

In the following image the Noise Suppression was set at 2.88.  Remember, the default was 1.0.

A slight amount of curves was applied to lighten the shadow area.

Now, here’s the detail close-up so you can see the original grain in all its gruesome glory.

Here’s the example with the Noise Suppression at 2.88.

Now here is a completely different means of removing the Color Noise.

Pretend you ignored all the steps under the Main  panel and went directly to the Advanced Panel and chose to make your corrections through the Color Noise and Smoothness adjustments. You will get results similar to the ones below, which are not identical to the answer you received working with the Main panel and Smoothness.  But this simply shows that there are more than one way to reach an acceptable answer to the noise problem.

On the left side we can see an area corrected only by Color Noise and Smoothness sliders.  The original, grainy, image is the right side of the image.

Here we have the image totally corrected by using the Advanced panel and the Color Noise and Smoothness sliders.

I think we have another winner here. I’m going to use Topaz BeNoise to save many of the photographs I took with the 3.1 Megapixel  point-and-shoot camera while we were traveling in Morocco.

Check out DeNoise at where it is priced at US $79.95 as a download.  A CD with the program can be ordered at extra charge, but saving the download with a copy of the key which is emailed to you after purchase can be done in only a few minutes.  After all, the DMG file is only 5.2 megabytes and is a quick download even on dial-up.  DeNoise is another good additon to your toolkit and workflow.

ArtWorks Featured

Marketing Monday: Still doing the same old stuff?

Recently a couple of things boinked me on the head (not literally!!) that helped me remember that I needed to remind folks of. See, now is the time especially for those nomadic artists out there to suck it up, kick those old asshabits right were it hurts ’cause you need to focus on doing things different. Because you are coming out of hibernation to a completely different world than was there when you entered you winter sleepy time.

Do you need….?

So, what were those boinky things? They are related to the season…spring in particular, when all those tinybizes that virtually closed their doors when the air started getting cold wake up, suddenly realizing they need bizness. Now, for them getting bizness is pretty simple…sit down with a computer (if they have one) find some “cool” clip art and some fancyschmancy letters. In a flash they have themselves a “flyer” that tells the world  just how wonderful they are and best of all how cheap they are. In another flash they ‘re on their way to the local copy center to have 10 gazillion copies made in bright fluorescent yellows and greens, ’cause they want to make sure they “stand out”.

What I just described was the first group I ran into in the past few weeks. They were mostly lawn care people who ride around neighborhoods from thaw to freeze keeping our patch of green looking freshly grazed. The other part of this group, are mostly college kids seeking their summer fortunes by painting anything that stands still for thirty seconds. Representatives of both  showed up on my door step in recent weeks, some pushed the ringy button to get my attention, others just stuck their fluorescent “flyers” in my door jam. Those I opened my door for greeted me with “do you need any painting or (substitute tree trimming, lawn care as well) ” as if that is going to make me jump right out and say “where do I sign?”

Awesomeness for pennies

Another group with similar world view are the small local retailers who suddenly realized the rest of the world is coming out of hibernation. Their response is not to much different than the door knockers and flyer leavers, they step up a notch by hiring “sign painters” to plaster their windows with ginormous letters spelling out SALE or CLEARANCE, some may think “long term” and sign up to “present” their wonderfullness on every local or neighborhood movie house screen around.

So what’s the point? Well, these “biznesses” were doing what they were told, for all of modern history, to do…tell people how wonderful you are, tell them how lucky they would be to have such awsomeness for such a low,low price. That’s it…no more, just awesomeness  for pennies. See, these folks are going to continue waking up every spring only to repeat the same old ritual and same old wonderings as to why they can’t “get bizness”. What little bizness they did grab was mostly luck with a little help from low price but mostly..just luck.

But I’m not a door knocker…

Well, artists as a whole are not much different, they just don’t knock on neighborhood doors. Awakening from their winter sleep, artsy nomads frantically start sending out applications to juried shows with little knowledge of whether the show was/is worth schlepping their stuff for several hundred miles to sit in the heat for two to three days. And, like the door ringers sales are pretty much random, depending mostly on someone “stumbling on” their booth.

Gallery artists can be more like door knockers if they aren’t careful because they can easily fall into the oldest law of all…harvesting and converting leads by cold calling not to far from the Fuller Brush guy of the ’40s and ’50s. The end result today is so different than those old sales hay days because the gallery owners really aren’t interested in being converted.

So as you come out hibernation don’t repeat the old “laws of selling” , instead approach this season from a different point of view at whatever pace suits your style just don’t repeat the same old habits because you’ll get the same old results. Here are a few things to get you started:

Artsy Nomads

  • Greet folks entering your booth and start a conversation…about them
  • Start collecting e-mail addresses and start using the ones you have
  • Talk to your potential buyers to find out the problem motivating them then offer a solution even if it is not you.
  • Use twitter, facebook and your blog to alert folks that you are coming their way
  • Stop applying to any and every show, do some research to see if the niche you serve is likely to be there and show up.

Gallery Hangers

  • Stop “cold calling” start visiting and studying each gallery you are interested in.
  • Develop and start following a set of criteria for visiting a gallery based on your values, vision and likelihood of your niche audience showing up and buying. If your work is western art don’t expect a gallery in an avante-garde neighborhood to work.
  • Have conversations with gallery owners find out about them, who they serve, their values and their criteria for showing.
  • Find galleries likely to display and promote your art in ways that respect its’ value as well as yours.

That’s it in a nutshell, remember “nothing changes, if nothing changes”.

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  3. Marketing Monday: Off-line Tactics 2day we’re going take a break from twits & upd8s…




ArtWorks Featured Profiles

Featured Artist: Robin Pedrero




Artist Statement

I respond to what catches my eyes and heart using colors, shapes and lines. I desire to capture simple pleasures, wind in the trees, atmospheric reflections, people and places around the world. I personify nature through color and movement evoking moods of transition, strength, and serenity. I use my fingers of both hands to blend pastels and sculpt form through layering pigment; pastel being one of the purest pigments. As I work the images can be unexpected, some terrains flow on to the paper gathered from memories, symbolically formed to portray ubiquitous scenes while some works are tangible locations. When I see smaller images like faces, animals, and cities within works in progress sometimes I enhance them to share my perceptions. I have always been enticed by faces and try not to stare, but as an artist sometimes I am caught in the beauty of the moment. I explore characters, various time periods, and human relationships through portraiture. I delight to capture a likeness but more to create a piece of art that is emotive and will stand through time. Simply smudges of color. What do you see?





Robin Pedrero began fine art studies at the age of thirteen. She rode her bike where Foxwoods casino now sits near her hometown of Norwich, CT. Her early exhibitions began at The Mystic Art Association, the seaport town where she met Julia Roberts and cast during the filming of “Mystic Pizza”. Acknowledged for her luminous and captivating work Pedrero has since become an established award winning artist; published in magazines, newspapers, documentaries, and news broadcasts. Jeffrey Spalding now CEO and President for Glenbow Museum, Canada judged her work best of show with a “magical use of color” as Director of the Appleton Museum in Ocala Florida. The PSA after Pedrero’s signature is a privilege of elected signature members of the Pastel Society of America. Travel and family play a large role in her compositions; her art is a visual journey. Collected worldwide her works are in private and corporate collections.  She is represented by several galleries in America. Events and works in progress are posted on You Tube, blog, facebook and twitter. Pedrero works from her home studio in Longwood Florida, enjoying the company of her dog Max.



Celebrations Gallery
Pomfret, CT

Galeria Tonantzin
San Juan Bautista, CA

Juxtapose Gallery, New Jersey

Wolfe Gallery
DeLand FL

Selected and most recent exhibits

  • “Celebrating Citrus” Comma Gallery, Orlando, FL 2009
  • “The Art of Chrome and Leather VI” , Museum of Florida Art, Deland FL 2009
  • “The Canvas Project” Art House Gallery Atlanta, GA 2008
  • The Florida Artist Registry Member Exhibit, Gallery at Avalon Island, Orlando, FL 2008
  • “Beyond Geppetto: Revisited!” The Gallery at Avalon Island, Orlando, FL 2008
  • “LOVE WORKS” City Arts Factory, Orlando, FL 2008  see You Tube 2008pedrerorm2-copy
  • “pARTicipation”, Maitland Center for the Arts, Maitland, FL 2008
  • Robin Maria Pedrero & Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson, Seminole Community College, Sanford, FL 2008
  • Katharine Butler Gallery, Sarasota  FL 2008
  • “Colorscapes,” Steinway Piano Gallery, Altamonte Springs, FL  2008
  • COWS At COMMA: Celebrating the Artistry of the Bovine, Comma Gallery, Orlando FL 2008
  • Bay Two at Mills Park, Orlando, FL 2008
  • Beyond Gepetto, First Thursdday, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL 2008
  • Pedrero, Ela Steel and Vicki Jones, Dandelion Communitea Gallery, Orlando, FL 2008
  • The Gallery at Avalon Island Duo Exhibition “Chalk,” Paper, Scissors 2007mysterious-without-explanation-web1-copyGallery on First 211 E First St.  Sanford, Florida (Named one of 20 essential galleries in the nation by “Go” magazine AirTran) 2005 – 2007
  • The Maitland Art Center “pARTicipation” 2007
  • The ORLANDO OPERA GUILD Designers Showhouse 2006
  • Historic Sanford Trust Holiday Tour of Homes 2006
  • Lake Mary Heathrow Festival of the Arts 2006 poster artist and second place award
  • Golden Rule Gala 2005
  • Lake Mary Heathrow Festival of the Arts 2005 second place award
  • Orlando Museum of Art Artist of the Month for August 2004
  • 2004 grant from United Arts of Florida to enhance her painting series
  • 2004 Best of Show for “House of Pears” in the traveling WCAFL exhibit “A Common Bond”
  • 2004 Robb and Stuckys

Corporate Collections


  • Consumer Connections, Apopka, FL
  • Galleries/Exhibitions
  • Appleton Museum of Art,  Ocala, FL
  • The Gallery at Avalon Island, Orlando FL
  • Celebrations Gallery, Pomfret, CT
  • City Arts Factory, Orlando FL
  • The Maitland Art Center, Maitland, FL
  • COMMA gallery, Orlando, FL
  • Galeria Tonantzin, San Juan Bautista, CA
  • Bay Two at Mills Park, Orlando, FL
  • Beth’s Friends, Sanford FL
  • Alice Jenkins Gallery, Winter Park  FL
  • Saks Galleries, Cherry Creek Gallery Denver Colorado
  • Robb and Stuckys Altamonte Florida
  • Mystic Art Association Connecticut
  • Helen Jones Gallery, Sacramento, CA
  • Brick City Center for the Arts Ocala Florida
  • Thomas Center Gallery, Gainesville.
  • Osceola Center for the Arts Florida
  • Steinway Galleries, Altamonte, Florida
  • Art House, Casselberry Florida
  • Dandelion Communitea Cafe Gallery, Orlando Florida
  • Leslie Boyd Gallery Winter Park Florida
  • Cafe Tu Tu Tangos, I Drive Orlando Florida
  • Little Art Studio, Kissimmee Florida
  • Dicken’s Read, Mount Dora Florida
  • All That Art, Ocala, Florida
  • Orange County Library Apopka Florida
  • Casselberry City Hall Florida
  • Orlando Visual Artists League Florida
  • Winter Park Public Library
  • Central Florida Community College
  • Ocala Art and Frame
  • The Paddock Gallery Ocala Florida
  • Ocala Public Library Florida
  • Blue Heron Gallery Ocala Florida
  • Open Windows Studio Gallery, Florida
  • Catalyst Gallery Sanford, Florida
  • Gallery on First Sanford, Florida
  • Platform Florida #6 Tigers Stadium Lakeland, Florida


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Artsyfartsy Biz Inspiration: Featured Artists



A few weeks ago we launched our Artsyfartsy Biz Award program and recognized five artists who have actively developed their art into a business. They have each followed their own intuition and instincts to make sure their art gets out into the world in a sustainable way…a way that allows them to be paid for doing what they love and provides value to their buyers. Their journeys have not been linear, or without slips, they have been moving steadily onward learning and growing as they went.

One, if not the,  biggest challenges for artists today is understanding the need to overcome their fear of “selling out”or worse for us geezers the shame instilled by the grand kids. I talked recently about this in an article emphasizing the importance of letting go of old limiting beliefs in order to follow the paths to success now opening up.

One of the key behavior traits of successful people is that they find models and they surround themselves with folks who live, believe and behave the way they would like to. That is why I not only started the award program but also why I am launching the Featured Artist program. Each artist is chosen because they represent the future of art and they do so in a way that allows them to inspire other artists who are trying to find their way in today’s market place. They don’t necessarily represent easy, pretty or neat…they do represent a dedication to their work, their hearts and their vision. They willingly meet the “messiness” of life accepting it for it is demonstrating that living a flat lined life is not an option.

Featured artists will be profiled, their work will be displayed in the image box above the right side bars of this blog, and they will be interviewed with the transcript posted as well. The entire interview will be posted over the course of a couple of weeks instead of all at once to make easier to read.  In addition, I’ll be using these artists periodically as resources for tele-classes, pod casts, and on-line panel discussions.

The current featured artists will come from the Artsyfartsy Biz winners while I add more to the pool. If you would like to nominate someone please feel free to do so by way of the form below or leaving the appropriate info in the comments section, also below.



ArtWorks Featured

Worried about losing your creative mojo?

Are you afraid to commit to really incorporate business skills and tools because you might lose your creative mojo? Do you have trouble adding up 2+2 to get 4?  Have you shied away from thinking about business because it hurts your brain? Do you think in images and can never quite get things going in a strait line like figuring out what and where you want to go with your business? Are you resigned to being a starving artist?

You are not alone…creatives through out history have struggled with such questions, even more so since the time Descartes when linear left brain thinking became the accepted lens for viewing the world. The industrial revolution and the past century intensified the primacy of linear thought even more by holding science, math and other “hard” skills up as the standard for determining intelligence and cultural acceptability.

The result has been a heavy reliance on linear vision  produced generations of unimaginative people at the expense of those who were less linear. Consequently, little attention has been paid to discovering a more holistic integrated way of seeing and learning. In many ways this neural split has been a major factor of the general devaluation of creativity and art in particular. Leaving us, has with few exceptions,  left brain focused people who have difficulty “seeing” the world and right brain folks  who have problems adding.

Such are the issues that Lisa Sonora Bean takes on in her blog The Creative Entrepreneur and her book The Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Visual Guidebook for Making Business Ideas Real. Lisa’s book and research serve as an example of how whole brain thinking can produce a sum greater than its parts.Her MBA focus was on finding ways to teach both creatives and linear types to fully develop their brain functions and in the process she turned the business development process on its head by giving us a way to approach the left brain world of business using the visual tools we are familiar with. But she didn’t stop there, she acknowledged the importance of spiritual development as the first step in building a business especially one based on creative processes so the first part of her book is devoted to to helping us uncover our hidden gifts.

mandala2 Worried about losing your creative mojo?

The four paths

The generally accepted way of starting to build any business is to have some idea as to where you want that business to go. Lisa has taken some of the current some of the current thinking in conscious business theories and added her own visual tools. Using the mandala, an archetypal symbol of unity and wholeness, as a model she combines left and right brain functions. Using graphics and multimedia graphic tools she shows us    the “sweet spot of unity” formed by the intersection of four paths:

Heart & meaning
This path helps us discover to follow our heart and creative dreams giving us a framework to examine if we are seeing “what we enjoy” at the expense other points of view.

Gifts & flow
We have been trained to suffer, that value is always determined by the amount of “hard work” and “sweat” involved in achieving what we set out to do. This pair shows us how suffering has no relationship to achievement and that “coming easy” is a true metric of being in the flow with our gifts.

Value & profitability
Shows us that creating a costumer centric business that creates and delivers value is crucial opening the door for getting paid for that value.

Skills & tools
Helps us see and use the business tools appropriate to our business and vital to our achieving success in the first two paths.

These four paths represent the ever spiraling journey of clarity we all seek when we are in creative flow with ourselves and our work. The “sweet spot” is simply the starting point which when refined starts us on a greater journey of healing and discovery. To help us along the way Lori includes “prompts” or questions throughout each part level of the spiral.

Beginning brain integration 

One of the overriding causes of artists failure in business is letting the fear of losing their creativity to left brain business mastery. Lisa debunks this argument with skill and her grasp of graphic tools, quite simply she  leads us through what she calls the “four Modes of Functioning” or more precisely “how we get things done. Becoming aware of the  functions of sensing, thinking, feeling and acting we can become aware of the presence of the constructive and destructive elements of each through graphically expressing their effect on us.

Joining the two sides
The tools Lisa set us up with are now ready and available for us to tackle the seemingly and frequently avoided challenge of strategic planning, branding, marketing and communicating our value. Once again she coaxes us to look at these left brain tasks using our right brain tools.

Magical results
The real value of this book is its magically imaginative way of giving users a way to move into whole brain living and eventually a more integrated view of the world.

Interestingly enough I can’t imagine a similar book written from the left brain view that could be even a smidgen as effective or close to providing as much fun!


Don’t just buy it …use it!!! And better yet buy the book and attend one of her workshops, it will be time and money well spent…you deserve it!!

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First Official Artsyfartsy Bizes

Our first batch of artsyfartsy bizes who have definitly earned the title of ArtsyFartsy Biz.

robin2 First Official Artsyfartsy bizes

dekonig2 First Official Artsyfartsy bizes

deadpan2 First Official Artsyfartsy bizes

janecampbell2 First Official Artsyfartsy bizes

steiner First Official Artsyfartsy bizes

Please take a badge,  and display it proudly because you are the models for today and future’s art businesses…you deserve it.

To learn what it takes to become an artsyfartsy biz go here What’s an artsytartsy biz?

artsyfartsy bizaward21 First Official Artsyfartsy bizes artsyfartsy bizgrn First Official Artsyfartsy bizes

artsyfartsy bizpurp grn First Official Artsyfartsy bizes

artsyfartsy bizpink First Official Artsyfartsy bizes

artsyfartsy bizred First Official Artsyfartsy bizes

tafbutton bluetxt16 First Official Artsyfartsy bizes

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ArtWorks Featured

Marketing Monday: you know you’re already doing it, Right?


mm logo w sign shadow Marketing Monday: you know youre already doing it, Right?Ya…that thing that starts with an “M” that makes you cring, vomit and curl up in a ball in the corner. And, we have ranted and raved abut this quite a lot so let’s see how you can leverage  what you are doing.

  • You know when you run into that old college friend and it feels like you see each other everyday? You both start asking each other all that “whatcha been up to?” stuff and before you know it your old friendship is not so old anymore. Then, a few weeks later, you get a call from that same friend saying she went on your web site and “just loved your work so much” she wants to bring a bunch of her friends over to your studio. So you set up a date and in they come and out they go with lots of your stuff. That was marketing
  • You know when you’re kinda bored at that art fair you can’t figure out why you signed up for and you slither to the back of your booth pretending that you are not there? That’s not marketing
  • You know when you were standing by your work at your last opening and that person standing by your fiber hanging says ” I just love this, I never thought of hanging something like this on my walls” and you turn to her and just say “thank you” and then ask her about her house, the color of her walls, and what she has hanging where. Then after she answers you ask about what she does, where she lives, what she likes in the way of colors, textures etc. Then as the server strolls by you grab a glass of wine for her and lead her over to the sofa sitting in the sunlight of the gallery window where you continue finding out more abut her. That was marketing.
  • Remember when that hippy dippy granola friend insisted that you needed to support your local small business by frequenting the corner coffee shop? And remember, the first few times you went in and the the barista seemed to care less that you were there offering up your hard earned cash? And remember when you and a friend visited that same place and couldn’t find a comfortable place to sit and chat because the sofa and chairs looked like they were picked up from somebody’s curb and everybody in the shop was impatiently hovering around waiting for somebody to decide to leave? That coffee shop was not marketing
  • Remember the last time you were in your favorite fabric shop and you overheard a customer mumbling about what to do and how to do it and sounding very confused? And remember, how you leaned over and just asked what it was she was needing to do? To which she she said she had a hard time figuring out what colors and fabrics worked well together. And remember how you took an extra 30 minutes to talk with her and help her and you didn’t even work at the place and afterwards you gave her your card and told to feel free to call. That was marketing.
  • Remember, when you were at that stiflingly hot art fair and anticipated the heat by throwing in several battery powered fans and a couple of larger ones that ran off solar cells you stuck on your canopy? And, remember how people remarked about how thoughtful it was of you to think of cooling your booth and how because they were comfortable the stayed longer and bought more?  That was marketing
  • Finally, remember that evening at your friends dinner party and you noticed the two guys off to the side of the room, one was talking a lot and was trying to give his business card to the other guy who was obviously trying to be polite and get out of there? And you recognized the guy who wasn’t giving out cards as someone you see once in a while at the gym, so you stroll on over and introduce yourself recalling your common link and you notice the guy with the cards slowly moving away as  you and your gym buddy talk about workouts. Do you remember how he asked you what you do and you just turned it around and asked him more about his workouts, his goals etc. And listened to how he was struggling with certain issues and was amazed to find out that you were a personal trainer after he asked you the same questions. That was marketing.

So you see, marketing isn’t all about brochures, boring chamber meeting, bazillion dollar TV commercials or even sneaky manipulation to “make” someone buy your stuff. It may be for those big box corporate weenies but for us small biz folks it is really about relationships. Not just any old relationship, either, it is about relationships with the right folks the folks who get you and who you get. And it is about conversations you have with them and they have with others and those others have with yet more others.

Marketing is not about “making ” anybody do anything, it is just about letting your true self show through and letting the rest take care of itself. Now that’s not to say that it can’t be proactive because as you saw above it can be only to be real it has to be your kind of proactive. It is about ….well showing up!

 Marketing Monday: you know youre already doing it, Right?
tafbutton bluetxt16 Marketing Monday: you know youre already doing it, Right?

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Featured Photography Photoshop

Photoshop Plugin: Topaz Adjust

I don’t know how many hours I have put in writing actions to allow me to produce some of the currently popular photoshop effects; really more than I want to admit.  By the time I’ve worked my way through reading tutorials, performing the action(s), refining the effect(s), redoing the action(s) and getting client feedback, I have quite a bit of time committed to some projects.  Not that I don’t think some of the techniques aren’t pretty cool and I admire the developers of the concepts; some are dynamic visual improvements that will be around for quite a while and a few will be temporary trends or fads and soon be ignored.
But as a photographer I have often wished that Photoshop had a particular plug- in that would simplify some of the things I want to do.  Photoshop has a number of built-in filters and plug-ins but it also has the ability to add third-party plug-ins either under the filter menu or sometimes under the automate menu. You can spend as much money for Photoshop plug-ins as for Photoshop itself.