ACEO of the Week – 05/20/17

May 20, 2017
Landscape #11

Landscape #11
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on Bristol Board
©2011 Dawn Blair
SOLD

 

Often, I’m very glad when I see ACEO’s go off to someone’s home. It cleans out my space and gives me the urge to paint new ones. This is one I wish I had kept. I still kick myself for not keeping this one. Maybe that means I’ll get inspired to paint a larger piece. We shall see, won’t we?

Trust me on this: if you ever see a piece of art you want, buy it before someone else does. You might regret not having that piece later. There are a couple works by other artists I wish I had. One piece I’m thinking of now was a beautiful gesha painting. The artist, a girl much younger than me, passed away suddenly a couple weeks ago. Very sad. I think about all the art she had within her that is now lost to the world. And, I’m certain the gesha painting is far beyond my grasp now as I’m sure that if she still had it at the time of her death, there is no way that her family is parting with it now. Understandably.

And, if you have art (whatever that is: painting, writing, poetry, cooking, sewing, creating a loving home, taking care of your family, whatever – everyone has something that is an “art” for them) in you, don’t let it remain there. Get it out.

If you don’t think you can, check out last week’s blog for a reminder. Time is the commodity you are given in your life, but you have no idea how much has been doled out to you. Use it wisely. Imagine the possibilities. Then act. How you spend your time and what you give back to those around you is your rent for living. Make sure you give value for having lived.


ACEO of the Week – 05/13/17

May 13, 2017
Tree House 0906 #3

Tree House #3
3.5″ x 2.5″
colored pencil on paper
©2006 Dawn Blair
Not for Sale

I thought I’d have a major throwback this week. I’m always saying how much someone can progress if they just decide to do something and then do it.

It really is that easy, whether you want to gain a new skill or change your life.

Two step method:

  1. Decide — nothing happens until you absolutely make up your mind to do something.
  2. Act — you must take action on that decision. Even if you don’t know the whole path, start. Do what you can where you are at with what you have.

Google exists to give us answers. When you hit the question of what to do next because you’ve hit your limit, search. Searching is still taking action, but don’t stay in search mode for too long. Get just the answer you need and move on. Don’t expect to have all the answers at once. Some times you have to swim around in the waters to see how it feels. It stretches your comfort zone slowly, gently.

Equally important, but is something that develops naturally over time, is when you decide that you DON’T want to do something.

So, why does this ACEO merit being the ACEO of the week? Because it shows you and me how far I have come as an artist. I mean, look at that waterfall! Atrocious! I have learned so much about that, and about painting water since then. I didn’t just have the knowledge; I learned and I practiced. I now get regular comments about the water features in my newer paintings. But none of it would have happened if I hadn’t first decided that I wanted to learn to draw. Yes, my request was that simple. I wanted to know how to draw. Then I acted by taking a class. Then I decided I wanted to learn to paint water better. I read books, I took another class where water was a primary feature of the painting we were doing, and I practiced.

Look back at this blog to see where I was just 4 years later.

Or a painting from around that same time.

While it’s hard to not be jealous of someone as you admire and where they are at, just know that the only thing that separates you from them is that they had made the decision to act much sooner than you and then put the time in. You could be there too. They might even be willing to show you the tricks so speed your own journey along. Don’t let another moment get away.


ACEO of the Week – 05/06/17

May 6, 2017
Evening Tree #9

Evening Tree #9
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on Bristol Board
©2011 Dawn Blair
SOLD

Looking up and dreaming about everything that’s out there among the stars.

I’d really hate for this to be the only planet with life on it in our whole universe.

Is it any wonder that I write about other worlds?


ACEO of the Week – 04/29/17

April 29, 2017
Doorway 2014-43

Doorway 2014-43
2.5″ x 3.5″
acrylic on Bristol Board
©2014 Dawn Blair
SOLD

Whatever you do in life, spread hope. You might just be the candle that lights the way for someone.


Progress – 04/24/17

April 24, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 3,345 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  659 words

Writing month to date total: 16,741 words

Writing year to date total: 93,830 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent just under 8 hours on recording and editing  audio. I am close to having The Doorway Prince completed — it’s all recorded and I’m down to editing it with only a few tracks left. I hope to have it out on Audible and other platforms in May.

Week’s happenings:  I certainly didn’t get as many words written as I’d hoped I would. However, I got lots of other things done. I redid the covers for the first three books in the Sacred Knight series (again. Last week I showed off the redone cover for the first book, only to do it again during the week). Only the ebooks are done — I haven’t gotten to the print books yet, but I will. I caught up on my bookkeeping because I wanted to review my financial statements when I had my quarterly goal meeting over the weekend. I finished the draft of Onesong (which I had originally started during November 2015 while participating in NaNoWriMo), as well as finished another short story. And, I also had my quarterly meeting as I said above.

If that weren’t enough, my oldest son, Adrian, who has recently taken up biking and loves to ride long distances decided to make a quick stop from 24 miles per hour to zero in a split second. This was his first bike wreck. His foot slipped off the pedal and went into the wheel. Thank goodness he didn’t have a car behind him. Unfortunately, he peeled up a hearty section of each palm, gave himself major road rash down one side of his body and pedal marks up the other leg, and went from needing a tune-up on his bike to needing a major overhaul. All I have to say is thank goodness I had 8 years of veterinary science in 4-H as a kid! I brought him home and got him all patched up. The repairs to the bike will come later after his hands heal, which will probably take longer than he wishes it would. Not something either one of us had planned and certainly broke the stream in the writing I was doing. I’m glad he wasn’t hurt more seriously because it could have been so much worse. Fortunately, he’s already talking about his next bike rides, so I’m glad to see he wants to continue. I’d hate for this to have scared him off. All a mother can do is hope that he doesn’t take any more tumbles like this. I’m sure he will though. Goodness knows I had my share of bike accidents (never at that speed though).

The day after that accident, we drove to Pocatello where we picked up my other son and we took a family trip to Idaho Falls to visit the museum where they are currently having an exhibit on Rome. I took lots of pictures and came out of there with a bunch of ideas. I will share some pictures on this site soon. We took a walk around the river loop (we had been planning on biking around that, but obviously that was no longer an option — next time!). We visited the library in Idaho Falls where they were having a book sale. Two very dangerous words. My boys told me to take all the time I wanted — they soon regretted that! I did walk out of there having spent less than $5 in books and a couple of them weren’t even for me, so I think I did well. We also spent an afternoon at the zoo. A lot of walking around in two days and my legs were sore before we started. We had a great hotel room — it had a kitchenette with dishes and a dishwasher. I felt so spoiled, but the clerk gave us a complimentary upgrade on the room so we could have a roll away bed — two queen beds were perfect when my boys were little but just don’t work now that my boys are now both over 6 feet tall. It was great to have the extra room. It allowed me to spread out my notes for my meeting while my boys played their board and card games — video games weren’t an option considering the condition of Adrian’s hands. We sat around and watched an episode of Doctor Who, which we haven’t been watching in a while, and old, original episodes of Star Trek. Yeah, it was a good weekend.

Overall, last week was a very productive week. I have a lot of things I’d like to do in the next quarter. Certainly more stories to write. Even more to be sharing with the world.


ACEO of the Week – 04/22/17

April 22, 2017
AbstractTree #4

Abstract Tree #4
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on Bristol Board
©2011 Dawn Blair
SOLD

Sometimes things get a little confusing in life and we might need to take an abstract view to see the bigger picture. Just like the branches of a tree can obscure the sight of the sky if you are standing beneath a tree. Maybe I’m feeling a little melancholy right now. I sometimes just wish people would stop to remember that we all have to live on one tiny bubble in a much larger and very dangerous universe. We’re all we have of each other.


Progress – 04/17/17

April 17, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 6,362 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  572 words

Writing month to date total: 12,737 words

Writing year to date total: 89,826 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 8 hours on recording and editing  audio.

Week’s happenings:  I got the 4th book in the Sacred Knight series finished! Prince of the Ruined Land is off to a first reader. I finished drafting (I think — it’s a strange story) a story about a crazy novihomidrak. That makes two characters that haven’t gone through a dragon birthing very well. I sense a theme. I did also finish drafting another story about a new kind of dragon and I’m halfway through another story that is a companion story to that one. It felt like this was a week of finishing things up.  I also keep having this idea to rebrand the Sacred Knight series. I was trying to work on cover ideas for Prince of the Ruined Land and then I had a fight with myself (thank you to my children for listening once again while I ranted to them just so I could have a sounding board) about whether to go with photos and rebrand or if I should just paint the covers as I have been. I finally decided I would attempt a rebrand with the ebooks. I’ve already posted the cover to Amazon, so we’ll see what happens. I’ll fix the other distributors later, but I wanted to see if it would have any impact on Amazon now.

Here’s a look at the cover:

The Three Books cover new 041617 72 dpi

I’d love to know what you think about the new cover. If you want to see what the previous cover looked like, you can see it here. I’m not sure this is a final, but I thought it might be a starting place. It’s the cover for To Birth a Destiny which I’m very excited about. That’s the one that made me decide to try a rebrand. In the meanwhile, I’m learning I can do a lot of things with Photoshop. On the other hand, it doesn’t drive me to improve my traditional art skills any. What a conundrum. But, we shall see what happens and maybe I’ll have my answer.

Until next week!