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Everyone who knows me well, is aware of my spirituality but lack of religion. Religion fascinates me and I really enjoy taking photographs of religious symbolism. I also delight in painting and creating all things spiritual sometimes combining visual imagery from various beliefs. In my studies over the years, I have found that all of the major religions have a dark side and each also has light and joy in their teachings. I was raised in a Christian home where abuse was the norm including much of it within the Church. I have seen the seedy side for sure. But Easter is meant to be a celebration that expresses life and renewal! It has both both Pagan and Christian roots. Whatever your leanings, it is a day to look around you and breath in the goodness of this earth. To be thankful for the life that you are living. Whether it is brunch with good friends, a walk on the beach or a family gathering with food and festivities…….It’s Spring! Happy Easter!
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For those of you following my map quest, I should say that I will not be creating all 50 states unless someone requests that I do so. Nothing personal to all of my Wyoming fans, but a rectangle really does not make for much excitement. 😉 So I’ve found myself attracted to the funky shaped states such as my own: Florida.
Known as the “Sunshine State” for obvious reasons, Florida is kind of shaped like a gun which I find somewhat fitting. Because every time I read a news report about some bizarre crime, the scene is always somewhere in Florida. Truly we have many interesting people here and the real crazies seem to be drawn to it. If a man is going to eat another man’s face while he sleeps, it will happen in Florida. If someone will be attacked with a dead squirrel….yup, it will be here.
All of the oddities aside, I love my state. I have lived here almost my entire life and I have no desire to move anywhere else. If you want entertainment we have Disney, Epcot, Universal Studios and Busch Gardens. But the real attraction are our beaches. They are absolutely stunning! Sarasota’s powder white sands and turquoise waves equals heaven to me. I love the lush tropical landscaping and the relaxed atmosphere of the smaller cities.
Some interesting Florida facts:
- Florida covers 58,560 square miles of area. 4,298 square miles are water.
- There are 30,000 lakes and over 1,300 golf courses.
- Florida has over 1,300 miles of coastline with 800 miles of beaches.
- Florida has a warm climate throughout the year with a rainy/stormy season in the summer.
- Florida’s capitol city, Tallahassee, was the only southern capitol east of the Mississippi River to remain in southern hands for the duration of the Civil War.
- Amelia Island is the only location in the U.S. to have been ruled under eight different national flags.
- The nation’s oldest city St. Augustine, was settled by Spanish explorers in 1565.
- The Florida Everglades are the only place in the world where alligators and crocodile co-exist.
- Santa Rosa County’s Blackwater River State Forest area offers over a million acres of protected wilderness with miles of hiking trails and canoeing routes and has been dubbed the “Canoe Capitol of Florida.”
- More than 3,000 Seminole Indians live on six reservations throughout the state of Florida: Big Cypress, Brighton, Fort Pierce, Hollywood, Immokalee and Tampa.
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When I first started creating my Stone Rock’d Art, Salvador Dali was one of my first subjects. His expressive eyes, unique features and quirky personality really worked well with my techniques. One of my favorite famous artists. I have been to see his paintings many times. So I was absolutely delighted when I sold a large print on Fine Art America to someone in Tampa, FL. It made sense as we have the Dali Museum close by in St. Pete.
Just as quickly as my excitement came…it went. The piece was returned and I was disappointed. It is extremely rare for my buyers to return artwork. A few days later I sold another Dali tribute in the LARGEST size and I was thrilled. This person was also in Tampa. All was redeemed.
I make it a habit to thank each of my print buyers on Fine Art America using the comments under each piece of art. It’s all anonymous. I do not know who buys my work typically. Only their city and state. And then I read this under my Dali recently:
“Sharon- We Really love this piece and we’re super excited that the artist lives here in Tampa! What a great surprise! I had no idea, and it makes it all the more special! We are Dali fans and own some of his original work- so thought this piece the perfect compliment! This Stone Rock’d Art style is simply Brilliant!!!!! Maybe we will be lucky enough to meet the artist sometime? With much adoration.”, K & R Feldman
I found out my return wasn’t a return after all. My buyer loved the piece very much. They just needed a larger size. 🙂
Things that make you smile…..
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Yes I did! I’ve got my first art show under my belt and it was a great success! It was a very small show, but I still sold 3 originals and 30 prints. Other artists around me who have done many shows said I did amazing….phenomenal and outstanding. I’ve got my eye on something for March or April and then next year a BIG show (you have to apply to the big shows up to a year in advance).
I learned a lot going through this experience and that wisdom is priceless. Just like online sales, art does not sell itself. It is not enough to just set up your tent and hide to the side. Of all of the tents I could see and the two on either side of me, I was the one making sales and getting people into my space. And the phrase “getting people in” is similar to what I do online. I had to invite them. Smile. Engage them by talking and wave them in. Once inside they relaxed and looked around and many bought. I found just talking to folks…..including their kids…..laughing…..this is what made sales. I sold prints to two people who bought because their children liked my work. I engaged the kiddos too by addressing them and showing them work I thought they would like. Their parents seemed to love this and out came the credit cards when the wee ones had made their choices. That’s the sales person in me talking, but all of that was not the best part of the show.
I was touched by the friends who came out to support me. Some bought, but most just came to say hello and let me know that they wanted to be a part of my big day. My in-laws also made the drive up to help make the day special. One friend especially made me smile because I had not seen him in over 13 years. It felt really good to see the love and friendship.
So yes….I did it and I will do it again. 🙂
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I am going to be in an art show. This doesn’t sound like big news as most would expect that an artist would be in art shows. However, after 10 years as a professional artist this is my first show. My career has not followed a traditional path due to certain physical disabilities that I have faced over those 10 years. I’ve never made an issue out of them and I never wanted anyone to buy my artwork out of pity, so you will not see mention of any of it in my bio. Even most of my friends never knew of my greatest issues as I suffered in silence. Some learned of it as I had times where I could not avoid telling them because it was severe when I was with them. Most of the time, I just found ways to cope so no one would know. My two disabilities were severe gastrointestinal problems and vertigo, both of which kept me out of shows and a lot of other things in life. I learned a few years ago that I had Celiac disease and I started eating gluten free. It has taken awhile for my body to heal, but it has to a point where I am now confident to go out and spend a day with the public without worries of needing to go to the bathroom often or worse not being able to stand or walk. It is not easy for me to share these things publicly, but now that they are in my past, I am o.k. with it. I am just delighted to look toward the future with hope and joy! I will post an invitation a week before the show, but it is the 5th Annual Arts In The Park in Ybor City here in Tampa on December 14th from 9 – 4. It is a juried show and I am delighted to have been chosen! Stay tuned!
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Do any of you other artists ever collaborate? Work on photography together? Paintings? Music? I tend to be a loner when it comes to my work, but I have had some really great opportunities to work with some amazing artists from around the World on pieces of art that really challenged me but ultimately brought me great satisfaction.
The piece above is a joint effort between me and my husband William Patrick. We headed to the beach with his box of toys and I handled all of the choreography and staging while he snapped the shots. I also handled the post processing.
Down the Rabbit Hole was a very interesting project that I shared with a Canadian artist named Geraldine Gracia. What we did was each sent each other a package filled with all sorts of bits and pieces of things we collected. The rule was we had to use EVERYTHING in the package in a mixed media piece. We could add to it, but we could not subtract. It really got my imagination going and the end result was a surprise to me. I to this day continue to sell this piece regularly…so glad it speaks to so many.
Balancing Act was another collaboration piece. I have done these many times with other artist and it is always fun to see what we create!
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I’ve been looking through The Looking Glass again…..actually I’ve been playing around in it for quite some time now. I had 22 images to share with the World and got them all up yesterday. Whew! I am getting ready for the Holiday season and promotion and custom work will be the names of the game for the next 6 weeks. I will not have much time to create new paintings let alone list them! So enjoy these NEW pieces until the crazy time ends!
THE LOOKING GLASS SERIES:
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Go HOLIDAY SHOPPING EARLY!! VERY S.P.E.C.I.A.L. SALE!!! Save anywhere from 2.50 to 64.00 depending on what size print you buy. I am cutting my income in half…how many folks will do that? Will your dentist? Lawyer? Car salesperson? Heck no!! But I am just for the rest of October!! Use this code: SUBYTE to see how much you can SAVE!!
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When I take photographs, I like to either find a story or have the piece ask a question. Palm trees are everywhere in Florida and there is no great mystery to them. But this one was all alone and one of the tallest palms I have ever seen. High into the clouds….what is happening below? There could be lovers sitting and chatting. A dog could be asleep. A bike could be propped up against it’s trunk. It could be right on the ocean or in a parking lot. The vibrant blue sky reveals nothing. What story do you see?
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