• Fine Art

    Doctors Without Borders Art Benefit

    I was recently selected to exhibit in this year’s 7th Annual Doctors Without Borders Art Benefit in Half Moon Bay. I’m told it was a difficult jurying process, so I’m very grateful to have been chosen. After being accepted, I went into the conceptual phase of choosing images, thinking about the show’s theme, “Connections”, and sketching out some ideas. Then I ordered canvas and the real work began. Painting is a journey. I begin with an idea of where I want to go, but sometimes the painting has a mind of its own and just takes off in its own direction. That’s what happened with this piece. Originally, it was meant…

  • Guides

    Celebrate Small

    When you’re small, there is so much to celebrate. When you’re small, you’re capable of handcrafted experiences, thoughtful details and careful outcomes. When you’re small, you can personally know every customer. You can afford to do the little things that matter, like calling a customer or spending an hour to understand how you can help them better. When you’re small, you can ensure every email, every video, every blog post and every status message is crafted with care. When you’re small, you can make sure everyone is on the same page. And if they’re not, you can find out why just by asking. When you’re small, you can change directions…

  • Guides

    Why aren’t you (really) good at graphic design?

    Ten years ago, you had a wide range of excuses for being a lousy visuals person. Starting with no talent, leading to no skill, and going from there. But now, in a world where it is expected that professionals will be able to make beautiful powerpoint slides, handsome business cards, clever bio photos and a decent website, it’s as important as driving. And easier to learn and do, and requiring less talent. No, most people will never be gifted designers or breakthrough designers. But there’s really no reason not to be really good. I put together a page with some blogs, books and sites you can check out. An hour a day…

  • Guides

    The essential question to ask before extending your brand

    Are we doing this because it’s better? Or because we can? As organizations grow, they gain an audience, revenue, cash flow and trust. They add staff and then, soon, they decide it’s time to offer something new. Smuckers decides perhaps it should use its shelf space to offer a peanut butter. A corporate coach wonders if he ought to add HR consulting services. A website decides to clone a product made by a smaller company that they can bring to a larger audience… If you extend your reach because you can, because you have market power, you will probably be doing your existing customers a small service (centralized support or…

  • Fine Art

    “The Art of Encaustic Painting” by Joanne Mattera

    Materra has written a wonderful book. She’s an accomplished encaustic painter herself, and her book on this ancient method of painting with pigmented beeswax is outstanding. Encaustic’s history, modern examples, quotes from artists, and–very important–the recipes and methods, are all covered in this slim volume. Highly recommended, if you are interested in exploring the medium. From Library Journal According to Roman historian Pliny the Elder, encaustic was used as early as the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E. It is made by melting beeswax with a small amount of resin and then adding pigment while the mixture is still molten. The artist works quickly out of the pot, for the wax…

  • Fine Art

    Motivated Mondays

    I go through a weekly cycle that goes something like this: Weekends contribute to my becoming inspired because I’m poring through books, websites, museums, galleries, maybe seeing some live music (or making it!), taking long walks, and photographing moments that catch my heart. At night, my dreams are filled with fantastic landscapes and projects. By Monday, I’m filled with motivation. I want to write about it, paint it, create it. And so I dive in and start exploring those ideas, seeing where they lead me. This Monday, it’s a new painting, 18″x18″, oil on canvas, of some dreamy callas. There’s also a conceptual piece that will begin sometime after Wednesday…

  • Great Quotes

    “If you don’t start, you can’t fail”

    It sounds ridiculous when you say it that way. But of course, it is ridiculous. It’s (quite possibly) the reason you’re stalling. On the other hand, there’s no doubt that, “If you don’t start, you will fail.” Not starting and failing lead to precisely the same outcome, with different names. ~ Seth Godin