Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Copyright... Copy.... Right?
Recently you may have noticed that I'm not listing as often on eBay. I shut down my eBay store and haven't had an auction in weeks. If you are an artist, self representing or if you sell original art work period you probably have a good idea why I'm looking into other venues. The big bay is becoming (or simply is) a haven for thieves.
I belong to a terrific group called Worldwide Women Artists and frequently I check my email only to find yet another friend has been the victim of theft. Copyright violations are commonplace and eBay's policy of simply deleting the auction while allowing the more profitable thieves to continue selling, only allows the practice to flourish. While the true creator of the work must jump through hoops the thief is easily posting stolen pieces from new victims.
This weekend on WetCanvas someone asked a valid question about copying images from books or magazines or photos for their own learning experience. If the items are not ever to be sold or used as examples in your portfolio then go for it. Then the conversation began to receive comments from folks who feel that if an artist post's an image online it becomes fair game to be copied for profit... and from those who feel that a copied image isn't stolen because the copier makes their own brush strokes & uses their own paint... Neither of these are true. Permission from the original artist is always required. The problem is when beginners come and ask honest questions and receive bad information in response - perhaps from someone who received the same bad info when they started out. From there they are opening themselves up to legal recourse. It doesn't matter how much copying the artist feels is alright, what matters is the legal reality.
Now back to eBay. It has its cumbersome VeRO (Verified Rights Owner) program which is suppose to protect artists who are victims of theft... but when it comes right down to it an artist must rely on their friends to watch out for identifiable copyright violations and their lawyer to go after the thief. Often artists who haven't used eBay as a sales venue have been the victim of theft and fraud on the auction site. Anna Conti offers her own continuing experience and a warning to other artists in her article "eBay Art Fraud: Copyright Violations, Plagiarism, Forgery"
Protect yourself. Learn about copyright law here Consider online artists groups... Develop a circle of friends who can watch your back & return the favor when you can. Spread the word that though imitation may be flattery, selling copied artwork is a crime. - Joyce Brandon

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Current work in progress... Marigold based on a wonderful image in the wetcanvas image library (posted by Madelaine - an amazing photographer). I have to let the cowboy sit for a bit... getting too wrapped up in it. - Joyce Brandon

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Unless it kills you...
Driving home from the pharmacy today thinking about how common and forgettable sensation becomes (when is the last time you really noticed the feel of the steering wheel under your finger tips? or the weight of your shirt's cloth upon your back?) Which somehow led me to pondering man's knowledge of death. I've heard it said (or seen it read) that a fundamental difference between the human animal and "lesser" creatures is our knowledge of our own eventual demise... but I couldn't help thinking that though we may know we will all someday die, we still must go on living our lives, surviving or thriving... and we can not dwell too long on our knowledge of the end of our lives without the risk of being crippled with the fear of the possibilities or complete despair.
Which in turn lead me to think that perhaps I should stop thinking about it then. Not really - but it's as far as I'm gonna open that little window to my soul today!
And now for something completely different...
"You should keep on painting no matter how difficult it is... Unless it kills you, and then you know you have gone too far." - Alice Neel
Off to paint - Joyce Brandon

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Art 2 Art
I discovered a most interesting "group" today. The artists create small works (sculpture to painting to whatever) and leave them in a public place to brighten someone's day. The website can be found at and the eBay community group is here I think it's an extremely exciting idea, similar to BookCrossing
I'm in! - Joyce Brandon

Monday, May 22, 2006

Two days gone in a blink!
What a BUSY weekend. The garden was starting to get weedy and the tomatoes & corn were still needing planted so I spent a good portion of the weekend in the garden. We have a 50x50 plot which we've filled with onions, potatoes, green beans, peppers (sweet & hot) tomatoes and corn. (yes - I promise I'm going to till between the rows... the weeds have no idea what's coming!)
Saturday was a very nice day and that marked the completion of the sidewalls on the garage. Sunday started out windy then calmed for mid-day then the wind picked up again and the rain sputtered around for a couple of hours. BUT my husband, my brother, and a neighbor spent the day putting the roof on. We have a roof! (see that long wooden box in the doorway - that's the steel for the roof of our house... project #2 on the list)

Between cooking & gardening & playing heroscape with my son and defeating a villan on Super Mario Sunshine (for my son of course!) I did manage to squeeze in some painting. I lightened up the horse and kept working on the grass in the foreground. I have an inexpensive (read cheap) feathered brush that I tried briefly as a substitute for the tiny, individual brush strokes... But met with disappointment... So I'm back to slow and steady.
Please excuse my scattered and possibly typo strewn post... I was up at 4:20am to wake the kids and drive my husband to work so he could pick up his company van. The exhaustion is worth the savings on gas! - Joyce Brandon

Saturday, May 20, 2006

This is only a test
I'm trying out a tagged post for a fellow WWAO member. I did lots of weeding in my garden today. Gardening is so fun. But not as much fun as painting! We did find a little toad hiding between the rows, though. - Joyce Brandon

Friday, May 19, 2006

This Evening

Here's a little progress on my painting. Enjoy! I'm off to finish cooking supper and watch X-men 2. - Joyce Brandon

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Kodak Z740

Ummm... Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

This image was taken this morning. I was seated 2-3 feet from the painting on my easel. I zoomed in and I was using the "flower" close-up option (recommended for high light close-ups). I used no flash, as I had the painting lit from above and from the left front with 2 true spectrum lights. I had to make a very minor color balance adjustment - which probably would not have been necessary if I were using natural light.

So my point is... I am EXTREMELY pleased with this camera so far. I took some photos of my husband and children yesterday and they turned out so clear and true - I couldn't believe they weren't scans from my 35mm! I hope to try a few "macro" type close-ups this afternoon.

So now you can clearly see my progress on the cowboy! Yea! - Joyce Brandon

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

GOOD Morning
After waking up to rain & clouds for the last three or four days we are finally seeing some sunshine! I'm going to go ahead and get the Kodak z740. My birthday is just over 3 months away - but the inability to get a good photo of my work is driving me to distraction. PLUS It will be very nice to take my own reference photos and immediately see if they are useful.
Note to my 35mm - I still love you baby!
On a less selfish note... There was an email sent to the Worldwide Women Artists list asking about the validity of an unexpected request from an unknown gallery for a solo exhibition. Teresa Turner, co-creator of WWAO along with Laura Iverson, sent a link for artists wondering about suspicious galleries, offers, etc...
This is a "watchdog" site and their stated purpose is "Warning artists against fraudulent offers, false claims and scams."
-Joyce Brandon

Monday, May 15, 2006

WIP Cowboy

OK - here's where my painting stands as of this afternoon. It's 12x16 acrylic on canvas. This image is poor... and as I said - the painting is in that adolescent gawky stage. It only gets better from here... that's what I tell myself, anyway! - Joyce Brandon

Here we are...

This is a sketch for the painting I'm currently working on. Right now the painting is in it's "ugly" stage... I have to keep reminding myself of that because right now when I look at it I feel a little sick... okay - a LOT.
Later today I may photograph the painting for a WIP... maybe. - Joyce Brandon
My Latest Crazymaker
well.. right at this moment my crazymaker is BLOGGER! It's not letting me upload my sketch. I'm going to log out and try again. - Joyce Brandon

Saturday, May 13, 2006


I'm really giving this tagging thing too much thought...
So I'm just going to tag some folks who's blogs I've enjoyed recently...

Since a whole day has gone by I'm also going to adjust my tag questions... 3 is the magic number!

3 Places you'd love to visit
3 people you haven't seen in years... but wish you could
3 things you'd like to accomplish in the next 3 years
3 people you will tag
1.... Nora Sallows
2... Becky - the Absent Minded Housewife (LOVE her blog)
3... *S* (I know her real name & she liked my Icelandic painting)
I'm a Loser Baby....
Yah... Sorry Lisa - That ticket was a BIG loser. Out of 5 picks I had 1 number. ONE! When it comes to the lottery I'd only win if the prize were a stoning. -joyce brandon

Friday, May 12, 2006

Red VW Bug Complete

This is the ACEO I completed today for a friend of my mother. Hope she likes it! -Joyce Brandon

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Lisa (Asil-Art) Tagged me... Its my first time!
5 items in my fridge
1- Peach yogurt
2- Salami
3- Diet Pepsi
4- Shredded Mozzarella
5- LOTS and LOTS of eggs
5 Items in my closet
1- Sewing Machine
2- Quilt
3- Cammo sheet thing (hunter husband)
4- Yoga Mat
5- WAY too many paint stained tees
5 Items in my Purse
1- Chap stick
2- Tissues
3- Dick Blick discount card
4- spare glasses
5- lotto ticket (oops - better check that!)
5 Items in My Car
1- booster seat
2- hair brush
3- cat litter
4- funnel
5- child's life jacket
5 People I tag
I just don't know ... I ... This is too much pressure! I need time to think.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Happy Early Mother's Day
Happy Mom's day to all you loving ladies out there! I am pleased to say I received my mother's day gift a little early - a nice Winsor & Newton Easel from DickBlick (my VERY favorite store!) I can't wait to use it.
Now I have a question - especially for those of you who photograph your art. My mother offered to get me a digital camera for my birthday to make it easier to photograph my paintings. I've been reviewing some threads on Wetcanvas about digital cameras and am pretty sold on the Nikon Coolpix - the L3 is 5 megapixels w/ 3x optical zoom. It's about $200. But while I was getting groceries I stopped at the photo department of the evil W and saw a Kodak EasyShare z740 - which is also 5megapixels, but with 10x optical zoom. It was on sale for about $250. So for those in the know...
Does the quality of the coolpix override the greater zoom of the Kodak? Or should I choose the Kodak? I haven't heard much from artists about Kodak, while I've heard some positive comments about Nikon... HELP! Advice is much appreciated.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

No Way!
OK - so I'm a geek. I started out to write this big long explaination of how I discovered that one of the guys I went to high school with is an actor/writer/artist. But it all boils down to my brother bringing a movie over for my children to watch.
The next day I got one of those annoying but occasionally unignorable emails from So I went and updated my profile... yes I'm still alive, married, 2 kids, painting, me... BlahBlahBlah. But for some reason I was thinking about a friend who said she'd seen Peter Bedgood do a stand up act a few years ago in T town. Now this guy was always very funny and unusual (one memory of Peter involves occasionally hearing someone waltzing down the school halls whistling the theme to Andy Griffith) and I could easily see the transition to comic. Anyhow... I decided to google him.
Imagine my surprise when I find that in '99 he was in an indy film, Chillicothe, that received recognition at Sundance. More recently Peter was involved with Blue Yonder Films in the creation of Hoodwinked!(doDOdodo...doDOdodo)
I didn't know Peter terribly well, but he left a lasting impression as a guy who would always be himself. I am thrilled that he's finding success on his own path & happy to learn that he resisted the pressure to conform. (rules for behavior, dress, proper thought, etc... were a big 35 page orientation booklet sort of thing at BAHS)
YEAH Bedgoodsky!!!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

ACEOs In Progress

The image above shows 2 ACEOs with two slightly different variations on the VW theme. Not too clear, but they give you an idea (however faint) of how I tend to begin a painting. First I sketch and sketch in my nice simple spiral sketch book. Finally, once I've come to a version of the subject that I feel good about, I place a sheet of printer paper over the sketch and create a rubbing. I then place the rubbing over the intended surface, in this case a 2.5x3.5" piece of 140# watercolor paper, and trace the image thus transfering the sketch to it's final home.

Now to paint! - Joyce Brandon