Joyful Christmas ~ Abundant New Year

May your holiday be bright, filled with abundance, the love of family and friends, and may you find inspirational joy in this creative season.

Gift Tags, Tree Ornaments, Wine Charms & Pendants
Season's Greetings from AngeeArt

Tiny Toys, Mini Trees, Whimsy Houses, and an Art Doll Santa
Merry Christmas from WonderWorks

Candy Jewelry, Beautiful Bonbons, Cake Toppers, and Edible Art

Happy Holidays from Visualicious

Enjoy! ~ angee


Creatively Thankful

*Millefiori Thimble by p.c.c.
.•~*♥*~•. HAPPY

I am so very thankful for the artists and artisans who have joined me on this blog journey. May the variety and array of creative gifts given to those who appear on this blog be a continuing inspiration and fill all our lives with more creative abundance, beautiful handcrafted wonders, and a class of friends and family that appreciate talent.

Wishing all those who follow an abundant Thanksgiving, and may everyone have a wonder filled day.

P.S. *Have a look at the sweet and tiny thimble and other Millefiori creations from Polymer Clay Creations on Etsy.


♥ Meet Potter Jessy Hausner


I'll begin by saying... I'm a big sucker for handmade pottery, and one day I might add "potter" to my ever growing list of titles. Until then, I'll continue to browse every craft fair booth purchasing interesting pieces, and search out the internet for the unusual.

I found Jessy Hausner's beauties in the Etsy forums quite by accident, if there are such things as accidental meetings! I prefer to think of them as divine encounters. Because, finding Jessy's lovely, pristine handmade pottery pieces, wooing me from her Etsy page, The Honey Pot Shop, became a divine appointment for an interview on this blog. You'll see what I mean! ~angee

Please tell us a bit about yourself and share a little about the pottery medium you work in.

My name is Jessy Hausner and I'm a 23 year old potter from New Jersey. I work with mid-fire stoneware clay and make functional and decorative pieces. I love all types of art but was drawn to pottery for its "error" factor. I find that pottery allows me to make a huge beautiful mess and turn it into something extraordinary. It allows me to express myself, constantly grow and expand, and to work with my hands, which are three things I feel I could never live without.

When did you discover your creative gift for pottery?

For a long time I thought that my love for pottery began my Junior year of high school, when I took a pottery class for an easy A. However, I recently found a children's pottery wheel that my parents had bought for me when I was little. It even had some clay caked onto the wheel head, making me realize that my relationship with clay went further back then I had imagined.

My conscious love for pottery began in high school. I remember getting on the wheel for the first time and was immediately hooked. Over time I received a potters wheel and a kiln as gifts from my parents who could see something in me that I don't think I'd yet realized in myself. Needless to say I never stopped and I guess as the cliche goes, the rest is history.

How long did it take to develop your uniquely personal style?

It took me a long time to develop my personal style. I remember for a while all I made were vases. Being self taught, I had a hard time expanding. For a long time I would learn a new skill and repeatedly make that item for a few months. On the other hand, the good part about working by myself and learning as I went was that I had no boundaries. Since I didn't know all the technical rules, I was free to explore and create from my heart. I'm still learning and growing. I think as an artist I'll never really stop doing that, but I think I've come to a point where I really know who I am and what I love to make.

Tell us a little about your personal creative pottery process and what inspires your work.

Mostly, my inspiration comes from simple everyday things. The pattern in a piece of lace, or some architectural detail off a building will inspire me to do a carving or design that mirrors it. Leaves and trees are also something I find I repeatedly incorporate into my work. I like the fact that each tree and leaf I come across will never be identical to any other. This is also how I view each piece of pottery I make.

I prefer to make simple forms on the wheel that become unique with an added carving or glaze combination. In glazing, I'm attracted to using glazes that reflect nature, but always have a pop of color. I like experimenting with my glazes, overlapping and combining them and being surprised when I open the lid of the kiln.

Please share a piece of advice you've uncovered on your artistic journey that will encourage those who want to pursue their creative talents.

Creativity is only limited by the limits you give it. If you love to create there should be nothing that can stop you. I myself am still in the process of learning this, but I've realized that for me there is no option to stop. If it's who you are, if it brings you joy, keep doing it.

Find Jessy Hausner's beautiful pottery in The Honey Pot Shop


Rustic yet feminine, I'm so glad I got to share Jessy's lovely pieces with everyone. I hope you liked them as much as I do! Thank you Jessy for contributing to Creative Class and letting us get to know you.


Billie Anderson's Functional Art

Take a great artist with years of practice who's loaded with creativity, give her a computer to play with, a pile of used bags, and what have you got? Pillows & Laptop Messenger bags, Military Map Bags & Swiss Army Fly Fishing Bags that she re-news using her own printed fabrics customized with her gorgeous original artwork & photomontage designs.

I just had to share these ingeniously unique, signature pieces of functional art by
Billie Anderson of FloorArt Etc. I love this stuff! ~ angee

Billie's Functional Art Pieces from Etsy

MEET Billie Anderson from Bigfork Montana...

I've been an artist, photographer, basket weaver, seamstress, candlemaker, and crafter for over 40 years. For the last 4 years I've focused on painting large painted canvas rugs, wall tapestries, and furniture.

My first Grandson was born in February 2010 and I moved temporarily for about a year to Colorado to be his Nanny. A job I just LOVE! While here, as there is not enough room to do large paintings, I have been honing my photographic skills as well as my sewing. I'm loving using my Photoshop to create photomontages and also having my art and photographic designs custom printed onto fabric where the possibilities are endless.

I have design ideas all around me and I tend to have a multitude of ideas going at the same time. I feel very fortunate to be a designer and artist along with being a Nanny to my adorable Grandson Nikolas. I love every minute of every day.

You can purchase Billie's pieces from her Etsy shop here:

Check out Billie's Portfolio Slideshow to see her past artworks

Thanks for sharing your gorgeous bags with us Billie. They're truly inspirational and awesomely unique. Here's to many sales and much success!


♥ Meet Sculptors Allen & Patty Eckman

You are about to meet a couple who have spent their lives enjoying each other's company not only through marriage, but as artists who work in the same medium with the same passion for sculpture, and... paper. That's right, I said paper. Oh, and, I'm not talking papier mache' here either! I guarantee that by the time you finish this interview, and study the excellent crystal clear images they have provided, you will come away totally awe inspired by a medium that on the outset seemed so simple.

Allen and Patty, each in their own right gifted fine artists, through talent, study and practice, have turned the art of working with paper into an intensely intricate new medium. I'm certain you'll enjoy getting to know them and their works! ~ angee

"Prairie Edge Hunt" Fourth in the series of 90" x 60" x 20" relief original
museum quality cast paper sculptures by Allen and Patty Eckman


The combined biographies of artists Allen and Patty Eckman

and their unique medium.

Photo of Patty and Allen taken at the Booth
Western Art Museum, Cartersville, GA
10-02-09 The Eckman's work is on permanent
display at the Booth.
Allen Eckman was born in South Gate, California in 1946. At age 5 to 15 his family, parents, 3 brothers and two sisters lived on a small farm in Pennsylvania. They returned to California and after graduating from 1000 Oaks High School in 1965, Allen enlisted in the Marine Corps. Four years later a Sgt. E-5 and decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War Allen studied art. His formal education was completed at Art Center College of Design in advertising art in 1974.
He is married to Patty Tenneboe Eckman, the two met studying art in college. Patty Tenneboe-Eckman was born in Brookings, South Dakota in 1950. She grew up in Rapid City and in 1965 her family, parents, 2 brothers and sister moved to the San Fernando Valley in Southern California. Her formal education was completed at Art Center College of Design in L.A. with a major in illustration, in 1974. After college the couple got married and operated a small advertising company in the LA area while raising three children.
12 years later Allen and Patty decided they had had enough of the stressful life of advertising artists in Southern California. In 1988 the couple set out on a whole new career path which opened up an exciting and different world for both of them, the fine art of cast paper sculpture. Allen had discovered the medium as an art director photographing a brochure and instantly recognized the purity, warmth, and most of all, the possibilities this medium had to offer.

"Wife and Son of White Bull"

Allen has a great interest in the Native American Indian partly because his great-great grandmother was a Cherokee. "I really am interested in the Indian's material, physical and spiritual culture and that whole period of our nation's history I find fascinating. From the western expansion, through the Civil War and beyond is of great interest to me." Eckman has expanded his work through all these subjects. Patty has a great interest in wildlife, birds and flowers in particular. "Ever since I was a child I have had a great appreciation of wildlife. I can sit for hours and watch the birds come to my feeder. When I look at a flower I don't see just color, I see form. Wonderful shapes that the color tries to overpower." Patty also has interests in the Native American culture and since the year 2000 has been sculpting beautiful Indian women and children. On large complicated and detailed works the couple often work together and both sign the piece when completed.

"Indian Horse Roper"
The Eckmans now reside in Rapid City, South Dakota. Their home and studio is in the beautiful Black Hills. There, the couple finds inspiration everywhere. The wildlife, the history, the climate and the spirituality of their lives provide Patty and Allen with an enormous amount of creativity.

"Pronghorn Warrior in the Wind"
~The medium you work in, cast paper sculpture, is a very intriguing and little known medium. Tell us about the processes you use to make these intricately detailed pieces?

Allen: Cast paper sculpture has been around since the 1950's but should not be confused with papier-mache'. The two mediums are completely different. We first mix an acid free paper pulp in the studio hydro-pulper from two raw stocks, cotton and abica. Then the pulp is cast into molds which were made from original clay sculptures. The paper is then pressed under vacuum pressure or by hand in the mold where most of the water is extracted at the same time. The drying process is completed by evaporation while the paper is still in the mold. After the dry and hard casts are removed from the molds the exclusive process of chasing, cast additions, cast alterations, sculpting in paper and detailing begins. The paper that is made for detailing work is produced thick and thin, hard and soft according to the different specifications. It takes a great amount of time and experience to create each piece. Some works are so painstakingly detailed they can take many months to complete. The cast paper process is similar to the cast bronze method in many ways. Of course, the finished product is white, light weight and can have an enormous amount of detail because of it's properties and our inventiveness. "We have really enjoyed the development of our fine art techniques over the years and have created a process that is worth sharing. There are many artists and sculptors who we believe will enjoy this medium as much as we have."

"Eagle Hoop Dancer"
We are the inventors of this process and the Eckman Method® of Cast Paper Sculpture is a trade mark of ours alone. Since 1988 Patty and I have developed and perfected the medium of cast paper far beyond any other artists in the world. Our work is considered to be the premier of the industry by many critics. Since the paper is acid free the sculptures are all museum quality.
"Little Fancy Dancer"

~When did you discover your creative gift for sculpting paper this way?
Allen: We didn't know we had talent in this area until we first tried it in 1987.

"Taking the Bull with the Bow"

~Once you discovered your talent in this area, then how long did it take to develop your intricate and extremely detailed style?
Allen: We discovered most of what we know in the first 5 years. The secrets in this medium we are still unlocking is mostly in how the paper is made. A lot of artists think they can make paper and do what we do. We have not only made the paper formula over a period of years but have invented equipment to do that. We developed pulping equipment and methods, presses, drying methods, casting techniques, molding and many many more innovations that would be nearly impossible to figure out. It has been 23 years and we are still learning.

"Shawl Dancer"
~What inspires your sculpted pieces and where do your ideas come from?

Allen: We are inspired by history and I have more ideas than time.

"A Way of Life"
~What techniques and materials do you use to create these stunning sculptures?
Allen: We create most of the materials and techniques.  It is our paper and our techniques and we are the pioneers of our process.

"Saved From the Flood"
~Can you give us a helpful tip of something you use to fuel your creativity?
Allen: Stay challenged. Don't be afraid to do something different, unique. Never give up and don't get discouraged. Keep striving for excellence and above all try new techniques. Do what has never been done before in the medium to keep it evolving.
"Fancy Dancer of the Northern Plains"
 ~Do you have any special sculpture secrets you'd be willing to share with us?

I want to share it all. I want to teach artists everything I know for each artist to reach his or her God given ability. We are developing "Project Lessons™" to do this. We have a registered trademark on file at the USPTO called Eckman Method® which include sculpture materials (casts, paper, and bonding agent) tools and instruction on DVD and print. We have 3 programs in development.
" Mother's Legacy"

1."Patty's Flowers" - is one that will take an artist from beginning level to intermediate to advanced and beyond to expert and master levels; as far as the God given ability of the artist will allow. This is a progressive program that artists can learn with our casts and our paper to do flowers, birds, animals figures and backgrounds. We will also teach mold making, framing and how to photograph and market their pieces.
2. "Eckman Method®" - is for advanced artists who want to jump in and do challenging pieces while they learn with the Eckman Method®. We provide "Starter Casts™" of figures and animals with DVD instructions and kits in "Project Lessons™" form with tools. Or, they can just buy a "Starter Cast™" and paper to create on their own after some prior instruction.
3."Your Molds and the Eckman Method®" - is for advanced artists who want to use their own molds for bronze, ceramic, resin, etc. and complete their pieces in museum quality cast paper sculpture with more detail. The artists will be instructed with a DVD watching me use one of my bronze molds to recreate the piece in paper with more detail. We show them how to cast in our pulp and use our paper and bonding agent.
These programs will all be on sale in our online store http://www.eckmanfineart.com/
"Little Bear Dancing II"

~Please give us a piece of advice you've uncovered on your artistic journey that would be an encouragement to those who want to pursue their creative talents or a career in art?
Allen: Don't believe what you hear people say if in your gut you believe different. In college my professors all said, "Don't pursue a career in fine art because you can't make a living." So we tried an advertising career for 12 years and ended up moving on to fine art. When I found cast paper I talked to people about how I wanted to do what I saw in "my minds eye" which is what we are doing now not just a single cast of cotton linters in a shallow mold. They said it couldn't be done. I thought different and within a year they were no longer the experts.

~Bragging rights:
What was the most impressive or important honor your talent has brought you?

We have won many awards, gold metals and blue ribbons and even best of show. We have had numerous articles written and our work published in books. We have our work in museums including the exclusive Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA and Ripley's Believe it or Not. Many celebrities and corporations collect our pieces. But above all the thing I value the most is a simple quote from an anonymous admirer written in an obscure gallery book many years ago which read, quote, "They said there is nothing new under the sun... they were wrong."


Thank you so very much Allen and Patty, for going the extra mile to include the gorgeous crystal clear photos of your pieces and taking the time to provide the interview questions filled with such fascinating information. I'm sure everyone enjoyed getting to know you.  I have now become an even greater fan of your awesome work.

Contact Patty and Allen Eckman
D.B.A. Eckman Fine Art, Inc.
222 Timberline Ct. - Rapid City, South Dakota 57702
605.343.4252 ~ Website: www.eckmanfineart.com
Email: allen@eckmanfineart.com ~ patty@eckmanfineart.com
"The Battling Bulls of the Rockies"


Repurposed Book Purses by Susan Temple

Here ya go! Aren't these little purses made from recycled books just marvelous? I find them so unique; lovely as well as useful, especially when you consider these purses keep fewer trees from being lost to a landfill. Let me introduce you to Susan Temple, owner of Smart Designing, a little shop on Etsy that's filled with these perfectly useful covers. (Find out more about each purse shown by clicking on them to see their shop listings) ~angee

1. Repurposed Illustrator Directory
miniVIEW of The Purse Maker

~ Susan, tell us a little about your creative self.

I am a Graphic Designer by profession for over 25 years. I design marketing materials for all sorts of clients including banks, hospitals, even a WNBA team, and I love my job. I always knew I would do something creative. When I was young I wanted to be the person who illustrated the sewing pattern catalogs! The ladies at the fabric shop would save the out dated catalogs for me and I would draw the pictures over and over. So began my love of fashion! I learned to sew when I was 13 and I made all my clothes for years. I made coats, suits, even a bathing suit once. I love to hand make! The satisfaction of saying I made that, the choosing of the materials, the creative process, it’s all therapy for me.

I’ve sold things that I’ve made on occasion, but nothing I made was ever accessible enough to market. My father was always on me about selling my crafts but it’s really hard to make any money from crafting. You have to work super fast with materials that don’t cost a fortune to be able to meet a price point people can afford.

2. Great Expectations... Navy Blue Repurposed Purse - Outside and Inside

My book purses were the one thing that put me where I could make a modest profit and put out an affordable product. But the best thing about any craft is the enjoyment of doing it and I really enjoy making the purses. It marries all my skills as a graphic designer and crafter in one unique item. Plus my love for books! If there is one thing I am guilty of it is I WILL judge a book by its cover. As a graphic designer I just can’t help it!

~So, what inspired your making purses from book covers as an art form?

I was inspired to create my first book purse by my sister, who is an avid reader and aspiring writer. For her birthday her husband was going to give her a Kindle. My thought was-- what a perfect way of transporting a Kindle, in a purse made from a book cover! I had cut an article about how to make book purses out of a magazine awhile ago and then I had reason to teach myself. I gave her the purse as a gift and she loved it. Her reaction made me decide to make a few more, just for myself. But then an obsession was born!
3.Stephen King Repurposed Book Purse

~What are your favorite book purse making materials?

I hunt for books in used book stores, salvation army depots, yard and tag sales. I screech to a halt if I see a pile of books by a trash bin! The hunt of it is fun, and when you find a perfect and unique book, it’s a joy. When that happens I am almost jumping out of my skin to make it into a purse. I never, ever use new books because I respect the original intent of a book. It’s meant to be read and cherished. But after that, why should it sit on a shelf collecting dust? However, rare and first edition books are also a no-no in my book (pun intended). Those are special and should remain intact. There are some gorgeous old readers I found that would make incredible purses, but no way. They need to remain intact as a reminder of our heritage.

The second material would be the fabric, which is just as much fun to hunt down. I walk into the fabric store armed with a bag full of gutted books and begin to find the perfect fabric to compliment them. I can get absolutely giddy when I find a fabric that is perfect, like I won the lottery or something! Then I match a handle, button for closure and ribbon for attachments and we are off to the races.

~Let us in on your particular personal creative process.

My creative process is Zen like... I get into a groove and before I know it hours have passed and I hardly knew it. I set things up to flow for each purse, I only work on one at a time, start to finish. I’ve never left a purse half made either, once I begin the building of it I finish it. I have a little transistor radio that I put on NPR and just zone out. I am incredibly lucky that I have a ‘craft room’. I live with my husband and two dogs in small three bedroom colonial. One of those bedrooms is my ‘office/craft room’. I am also extremely lucky that my husband is a very talented cabinet maker. I had a craft cabinet that was about 28 years old and it was literally falling apart. This past winter he recreated (and improved on) a new cabinet for me. And come to think of it, having that new cabinet gave me the space and comfort to really explore my craft. I am very blessed.

4. To Dance-Valery Panov - Perfect "little black bag"

~ What advice have you uncovered on your own artistic journey?

I think the best thing I learned about this particular journey is to over come my fears. I worried that people wouldn’t like my purses, or they wouldn’t be good enough. I really had to move through that in order to set up my Etsy shop. My friends and family are incredibly supportive with their advice and compliments, which really helped. I would say this-- do what you love. If you love it, and that’s all you get out of it, then you are far ahead in the game. That’s my advice... Oh and always keep a bowl of ice water on your craft table when using a glue gun! Happy crafting.

Visit Susan Temple's Etsy shop and see all of her fun creations: http://www.smartdesigning.etsy.com

Thanks for sharing with us Susan. It was great fun to find out about your unique creations. Now, I'm off to finish my book so maybe I can have it made into a purse!


♥ Meet Cartoonist Winston Rowntree

If you're creative in any form you'll certainly find yourself somewhere on this humorously true, penned and colored path. Have a look-see at this fun web cartoon "The Creative Process" from the webcomic, Subnormality and then learn about its author-artist Winston Rowntree. ~ angee

A *MiniView of Cartoonist Winston Rowntree

Welcome to Creative-Class Winston, and thanks for sharing your talent. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and over the last few years I've been gradually trying to get to a place where I can make a living doing comics online. I'm not there yet, but my webcomic, Subnormality, has built a pretty great audience and I've got more than enough motivation to keep going and see how far I can take this.

How long have you been drawing to get to such a great style?

I've been drawing since I was a kid, and have wanted to be a comics professional my whole life (though I lost sight of that dream temporarily when I was in school). I've only been taking my art seriously for the last seven years or so, which is why I'm not that great of an artist for someone who's always loved to make comics, but I'm improving all the time and am pretty happy about how far I've come recently. Practice really is everything; one small step after another and eventually you have skills you never could have imagined yourself having (as well as a sense of pride and the confidence that comes with it).

Is this cartoon based on your personal creative process?

This particular comic is most certainly based on my personal creative process, though I seldom take the confidence shortcut and most often end up circling the overthinking cloverleaf endlessly. Mapping it out visually like that really was a big help though, and I'm feeling a lot better about my process recently. Acknowledging your weaknesses is essential to personal growth, and it's one thing I try to do in a lot of my work, not just this comic. There's definitely a lot of catharsis in what I do, though I do try to at least dress it up a little so it's interesting to an audience!

What inspires your cartoons/comix and where do your ideas come from?

Beyond the desire to address personal issues, I'm also hugely motivated to communicate various ideas to others, though in a relatively open-ended way as opposed to just ranting at the world. With some comics I want to convey a certain idea, with some I want to kind of take note of a personal issue, and with some I just want to tell a stupid joke or draw a particular thing and then create a little scene around it. In that context, ideas come from literally anywhere.

"If you keep your motivations relatively simple--a desire to say something about the world around you--then the possibilities are limitless for what you can do." W. Rowntree

My best ideas come not from when I'm deliberately thinking of a concept for a comic, they come from when I'm considering some issue or other that maybe I've read about or something. In the course of that pondering, something interesting emerges that I reflexively realize I can visualize in some way in a comic strip. The key is just to always have that reflex ready--to always be ready to seize on something interesting that might emerge over the course of your mental wanderings. Ideas are everywhere, and if you're always ready to catch them then you're good to go.

Hope you enjoyed getting to know a little about Cartoonist Winston Rowntree, and found your personal creative path while traveling through his Creative Process cartoon. Be forewarned... some of his cartoons contain adult material not suitable for young children.

Find more of Winston Rowntree's cartoons here:

*MiniViews are short artist/artisan interviews


Resin Techniques

Here's some great information from Chris at Flowers For Real Jewelry who uses real pressed flowers embedded in resin to make some lovely jewelry.

I hope others will find this information useful for crafting with resin.

Everyone has their favorite resin; mine is Rio Grande Colores Doming Resin. Also I use Envirotech Lite, although it hardens a lot faster and I don't like to be rushed. I thought I'd include a few recent notes I've made for myself.

1. If I don't have the patience today, I'm jumpy or grouchy or tired, I put it off. Pouring, stirring and babysitting the resin takes a lot of time and care. I allow a 2 hour period for a pour.

2. I use magnifying glasses right before I put a clear cover over my new pours. I find lots of little things I would have otherwise missed.

3. My favorite tools are makeup sponge applicators to soak up extra resin on the edges, and microbrushes for spreading resin from the center to the edges.

4. I can't use Elmer's glue or ModPodge with resin and most pressed flowers; it discolors the flowers.

5. I always use a cheap wooden turntable (from Walmart) covered with waxed paper; I ALWAYS check and adjust the level before I pour. Saves a heck of a lot of frustration.

6. Once I've checked everything with my magnifying glasses, I cover stuff with a clear cover (came on a cake) and I leave it alone until morning. If I go in and try to "fix" things I end up ruining 2 or 3 pieces.

7. I put a backing of clear packing tape on everything before I pour resin. Then I only have to clean the edges if the resin overflows the piece.

8. I keep a straw handy to gently blow any bubbles on the surface of the resin once its poured.

Find many more of these beautiful treasures made with real pressed flowers embedded in resin at ... www.etsy.com/shop/FlowersForRealJewelr

Thanks to Chris for sharing her great techniques. I'm sure they will be very helpful to those just starting out using resin. If you enjoyed this post, let Chris know by leaving a comment.


♥ Meet Artist Robert Foster

I found Robert Foster's art talent on Etsy.com looking for items to complete a collection. I included him in the following Etsy Treasury. What a fun fit when you find his sweet piece "Eensy Weensy" in the context of this dark, contemplative treasury collection. See it here.

Consequently, I had to learn more about him, so I asked for an interview and he agreed. While researching for this interview I had a great time filtering through many of his pieces. He has a recognizable style, and a large body of work in a variety of moods. After you read the interview and get to know him a little, make sure to visit and browse his website found at the end. You'll enjoy meeting him as much as I did. ~ angee

Meet Artist Robert "Lew" Foster
Sierra Foothills, California

After looking through the majority of your work, I am amazed. Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed and share a little about yourself with our readers. Please tell us how you began your interest, or should I say, career in art.

I studied fine art application and commercial illustration at the Academy of Art in San Francisco for four years and for the next 25 years have made a rewarding living selling my paintings and prints in galleries and showings around the country. I have won numerous awards and ribbons during that time and have shown my work in many exhibitions. I still have a one man showing that occurs in the fall here in the Sierra Foothills.

Purchase this print in Robert Foster's Etsy Shop ~ www.lewfoster.etsy.com

It's encouraging for beginning artists to learn they can earn a living from their artwork. "Eensy Weensy" from your Etsy shop, is the piece that drew me to look closer at your work. It's a very captivating painting. Do you only paint, or are there other mediums you work in as well?

My mediums are many. I work with oil on both canvas and masonite board, some acrylic, charcoal pencil and pen and ink. I work alot in gouache opaque watercolor and in gouache watercolor with digital enhancements. Also, on occasion, adding photographic elements to some of my work. Finally I have a few pure digital art pieces that I'm quite proud of.

We all know the saying "A picture's worth a thousand words." Your work speaks volumes! There is such a comforting, dreamy style to all of your pieces. Developing your own artistic style is something that takes much practice. Did you work toward a certain style or find it had developed over the years as you continued to practice?

I have always found that my main goal in creating art is to provide a mood that bonds with the viewer. I love the romantic side of life and a bit of the humorous as well. Many things came into play in the creative process to attain mood in my work. I found that light and shadow were essential and could be used in a very dramatic way. I tried to keep my work on the realistic side of the spectrum and let the actual scene play out for what it is.

As I matured in my art, I learned new techniques that allowed me to enhance and illustrate the meaning of mood. I find that I am doing very much what I began doing, except that I've learned new and more efficient ways to present it.

If you would, do share a tip or piece of advice you have uncovered on your artistic journey that would be an encouragement or help to those who want to pursue their creative talents.

I believe you must first be honest enough to say whether you are totally going to paint for yourself or for others. If the joy of art can be found in personal satisfaction you will have no problems, other than the rendering of your work.

We all have an inner directors soul and it whispers to us to create this and to do it a certain way. The problem comes in when the whispered idea is difficult to retrieve, because we can't render it the way we felt it. If you are pleased with your work, there will always be others who feel the same way, even if they may be small in numbers.

If you want to paint for others and to do it for monetary gain you will need to discover what a large percentage of them want in art. It's always nice when you can negotiate a middle ground between your inner desire to create and what the public might want to purchase.

Finally... I would say you do have bragging rights. So, what was the most impressive or important honor your art career has brought you.

I have won a few awards and have had my work shown in nice galleries, but by far the most impressive thing my love for art has brought to me is a source of income that has supported my family for many years. In the beginning, I had strong doubts it could be done. To be able to do what you want and need to do in this life and then to be paid for it is a marvelous gift.

Thank you again for sharing a little of your talent with us. Here's wishing you abundant creative inspiration, and continued success.

You are very welcome and thank you. I appreciate you and your kind interest in my work.
Find more expressions of Robert Foster's art talent here:
Robert Foster Art.turnpiece.net <> Lew Foster.etsy.com