Enter to win $25 Gift Certificate to LucySweetLucy + Visit with Mixed Media Artist Jodi Ohl

Hard to believe this is the last Thursday post of the year. I started Thursday Giveaway's on a whim, thinking it would be a great way to destash some of the stuff crowding my studio. It is exciting to see how it has evolved to include prizes from a variety of creative people. Past prizes have included prints, paintings, cards, jewelry, books, gift certificates, custom projects... and the list goes on and on...

I want to take a minute to once again thank all of the generous sponsors who donated prizes this year. Many of these sponsors have also shared photos of their fantastic creations as well as their thoughts on life and art. It has been a real pleasure getting to know more about each and every one of you. (
Enter applause here).

I also want to thank all the readers who stop & take the time to leave a comment. Most of the featured artists have told me just how much your words have meant to them. We get so busy with our lives, families, day jobs, online shops, marketing and then finally studio time. It doesn't always leave a lot of time (or energy) to seek out (much needed) feedback on the art. I have had many featured artists tell me that your comments gave them a much needed energy boost. So, c'mon people keep all that positive energy flowing

Today's Featured Artist and prize sponsor is the talented Jodi Ohl of LucySweetLucy on Etsy. Jodi is one of the first artists I met in the etsy forums. I was immediately impressed by her sweet temperament and fearless nature. She inspires me more than she knows. I love her art and the way she uses color to express emotion. But I really admire the fact that when she wants something she actively pursues it. Her art and tutorials have appeared in numerous magazines (she is in the current issue of Cloth Paper Scissors). She teaches both live & online workshops. And also has a booth at various art fairs. (I have always been more of a dreamer than a doer - I'd like to be more like Jodi if I ever grow up.)

Jodi, what would you like share about yourself and your art today?

J.O: I'm a self-taught mixed media artist, who resides in Aberdeen, NC. To say art heals, is an understatement for me. Not only does it constantly heal me, it has helped me to grow wings. While I manage a bank to put a roof over our heads, I create art to feed my soul.

J.O: Most of my work is whimsical in nature, bold, colorful, fun, and deeply textured there's also underlying journal writing and themes that connect my personal life with my dreams, desires, struggles and aspirations. I look for the positive in everything even on the days I'm down or not feeling as energetic as normal, I know that once I pick up a brush and lay down some color, the world will look brighter when I'm finished.

Where do you see your pursuit of art taking you next?

J.O: My ultimate dream would be to write a book about art (or a few books!), and work full time (without starving) as an artist. I really truly believe in 2010 or maybe 2011 at the latest, I'm going to do just that. I've been planning in my head a variety of creative goals that will get closer to my dream, but for now--the best I can do is just be productive and not give up. Dreams are great, but it's working toward achieving your dream that really brings a sense of satisfaction.

What else is on your itinerary for 2010?

J.O: Along with my creative goals this year, I also want to improve physical appearance, be more healthy, loose a little weight, and become more grounded emotionally. I have to admit, I do escape some of my anxiety and everyday stress by diving into my art which does work for the most part. But sitting and painting doesn't exactly count for exercise and getting fresh air every once in awhile which would also relieve some of my stress. (HAHA) I wish it did but my pants size say differently. Yes, 2010 will be a year of improvements on many different fronts. I am counting on a lot of forward movement and upward motion. Hope the same is true for all of you who desire similar things!

Jodi, thanks so much for stopping by! I know you have a crazy-busy schedule and am so happy that you found the time to share your thoughts today. Also, thank you for donating such a great prize for next Thursday's random drawing...

What's Jodi giving to 1 lucky winner?

A $25 gift certificate to her Etsy shop LucySweetLucy!

To enter giveaway just leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 1/7/2010. Please make sure your contact info is either in your comment or profile.

Want to learn more about Jodi & her colorful artwork?
Click on any of the images in this post to find out more about each piece

Go Online:
Store - LucySweetLucy.etsy.com
Blog - SweetRepeats.blogspot.com

Online Workshop - Fun With Faux Encaustic
You can also sign up for her new artsy newsletter

If you find yourself in North Carolina:

Swank Coffee Shop and Handmade Market in Southern Pines, NC
Circa Gallery in Asheboro, NC
Fayetteville Museum of Art, Fayetteville, NC
Fine Tracery in Pinehurst, NC

She will also be teaching a Jerry's Artarama Work Shop "in the village" in Raleigh NC on March 7th.

And if you stop back here on Saturday, Jodi is giving us a tour of her new studio space. Hope to see you then! Happy New Year, Everyone!

Winner of Diary 2010 is......

Who will claim the final Thursday Giveaway prize of 2009?

Thanks to all who commented over the past week! I've tossed you into Random.org & hit the spin cycle. The lucky winner of Fantayza's Diary 2010 is....

Congrats radar626 !
I'll contact you later today for your shipping info.

Next Question - Who will be the 1st winner of 2010?

Tomorrow 1 randomly selected winner gets 100 custom printed postcards from Uprinting.com. If you haven't entered yet, just leave a comment before 1 a.m. (EST) on 1/1/10 to be considered. It is that easy! However Uprinting does state that winner pays shipping - for more about this giveaway Click Here.

Be sure to pop back later today for the newest Thursday Giveaway Prize & the last artist feature of 2009.


Not Quite Wordless Wednesday


Watercolor, color pencil, pencil & ink on a 4" x 6" chunk of map. Inspired by Dec 16 Mix it up with Melange prompt of same name. (Click here to see what others were inspired to create.) & a fun frame I've had kicking around. Will be a wee bit more mixed media once I frame it.... I'll post the final piece Friday.

Special thanks to Art By Canace for posting this fantastic door photo for free use & to Valentine - FOV-stock on deviant for a great reaching photo to play off of!

By the way, the newest Melange prompt is Illuminating. If you are feeling inspired, play along! Just post your mixed media piece online & add a link in the Melange blog comments so everyone can check it out.

Totally off topic, last chance to enter the 2 drawings I'm hosting this week. Click links for details & just leave comment before 1 a.m. (EST) on the day of the random drawing to enter

On 12/31 one lucky winner gets a copy of Diary 2010. Each day features a different illustration by artists worldwide.

On 1/1/10 a prize of 100 custom printed postcards by Uprinting.com will be given to 1 winner

Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to stop back Thursday for contest results, a new prize announcement and a visit from one of my favorite Etsy artists. Hint Hint - you can also find her in the latest issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine.


Musical Monday - Sondre Lerche

Had a few tunes cross my mind & have to go with Sondre Lerche's Just Like Lazenby. I mentioned this song back in early November & still feels like my theme song for 2009.

If you want to catch an interview with this charming fellow from All Things Considered where he explains George Lazenby as muse, among other things - you can find it HERE (pop through & then click the listen now icon. The whole interview is good listen but the Lazenby bit is about 5 minutes in)

So what is your theme song for 2009? Make a post & click the button to leave a linky with Ms. Diane & friends. While you're there, check out what everyone else is listening to today.

By the way, Mixed Media Monday's prompt is cool this week. The challenge is to "use your least favorite color". Bit swamped this week but perhaps I can pull something together. If you have time to play along or just want to see what everyone else is up to, click through & visit the comment section.

Final note today - have you entered my 2 random drawings for this week? Click links below for details & to enter.

Copy of Artsy planner - Diary 2010 on 12/31

100 Custom Printed Postcards from Uprinting.com on 1/1/10

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you're off to a fantastic final week!


Some end of the year thoughts

Hey all. How are things with you?

Been busy with family & enjoying a break from many things (which accidentally included blogging, etsy & other online stuff).

No studio tour this weekend but will be back to normal next weekend....well, as normal as it gets around here!

Hope everyone is having a grand end to 2009! I'd like to share a couple of thought provoking blog posts today. Worth a peek if you have some time, just click on images or links. If you don't have much time, please at least visit the 1st, "It All Depends On The Viewpoint". A few minutes & very little effort will go a long way here...

Broken But Not Lost - Sweetrepeats.blogspot.com

MAZE - WizardofOtin.blogspot.com

Surprisingly Resilient - ManicMenagerie.blogspot.com

There are many many more intriguing End of the year, thought provoking, inspirational posts "out there" this week. What are some of your favorites??


By the way, I'm hosting 2 random drawings this week. On the 31st 1 lucky winner gets a copy of Fantayza's Diary 2010 & on Jan 1st, one person will win 100 custom printed postcards from Uprinting.com. Click highlighted links for details & to enter.


Enter To Win A Copy Of Diary 2010

Hello again! How are you today?
If you are looking for today's winner of the Jennifer Stano print click here

While putting the final touches to my Christmas wrapping, I realized that I have an extra copy of Fantayza's Diary 2010. So, luck you, that's the new Thursday Giveaway prize!

Some of you may remember I've already hosted a giveaway for 1 of these in November. If you didn't win that time around, why not try again?

To enter the random drawing which will be held on 12/31, simply leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) next Thursday. Please make sure your contact info is either in your profile or comment in case you win. This contest is open worldwide with free shipping.

So What Is Diary 2010?

This unique day-planner/diary is the brainchild of fashion designer/photographer Lucy Baribeau from Fantayza. She sent out a call to artists, seeking original work for each page of the Diary. Hundreds of artists worldwide responded. I heard of the project through Norwegian artist/blogger Ewian and had a lot of fun illustrating 3 different pages.

If you'd like to find out more about this fantastic project & read an interview with Lucy, visit this blogpost from November 10. You can also find out more about Lucy, her projects & original creations at these online locations: (By the way, she sells copies of Diary 2010 in her etsy shop)

Website - http://www.fantazya.ca
On Etsy - http://www.etsy.com/shop/fantazya
Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantazyafantazies/
Diary 2010 - http://www.fantazya.ca/diary2010.html
Blog - http://fantazya2.blogspot.com

I hope you enjoy visiting Lucy's world! But 1st remember to leave a comment here in order to enter next week's random drawing for 1 free copy of Diary 2010.

By the way, I am also hosting another random drawing sponsored by Uprinting.com. This time they are giving away 100 custom printed postcards to one lucky winner selected on 1/1/10. Visit Here For Contest Details

Final Note Today
Best Wishes to all for a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year!

We Have A Winner of Jennifer Stano Glicee Print

Feeling lucky?

Thanks to all who entered the random drawing for 8" x 10" print, Jennifer Stano's It All Starts With An Acorn. Your 90 names were entered into Random.org today. And the Lucky Winner is.....

Congrats Lady HighTower!

I will contact you today with instructions for collection your prize.

Many thanks to Jennifer for sponsoring this great giveaway! It was great fun! To see more of Jennifer's colorful art, visit to her Etsy shop, CoatOfPaint & her blog CoatOfPaintStudios.blogspot.com.

By the way, I am also hosting a giveaway for Uprinting.com - 100 custom printed postcards to the winner picked on 1/1/10. Click Here for Details

Also pop back in later today for details on a new random drawing with a timely prize.


(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Dec '04 + Poladroid

By The Way:

Last Chance to enter tomorrow's random drawing for the Jennifer Stano print It All Starts With An Acorn - Click Here For Details

I'm also hosting a random drawing on 1/1/10 for Uprinting.com - 1 lucky winner gets 100 custom printed postcards. Details Here


Enter To Win Custom Printed Postcards Of Your Design

Hey There! How's things?

I've got something for you today. Remember those great guys over at Uprinting.com?

They've generously offered to sponsor another giveaway. This time I'll be hosting a random drawing on January 1st 2010. 1 lucky winner will receive 100 custom printed postcards of their very own design. These 4" x 6" postcards will be printed in 4 colors, both sides on glossy 14pt cardstock.

Think of all the possibilities! You could make Thank You cards, Invitations, Announcements. The list goes on & on. For hosting this giveaway, Uprinting is kindly giving me 100 postcards as well. I'm going to print some copies of Red's Walk to give away with Etsy sales, to friends, etc.

Yep, I said I was doing this back in October/November but I missed the deadline, so I'm really grateful for another chance.

So, what would you do with 100 custom printed postcards?

Share your answer to this question in the comments before 1 a.m. (EST) on 1/1/10 to enter the random drawing. It is that easy. On the afternoon of the 1st, with help from random.org, one lucky winner will be selected. Seems like a great way to start the new year!

Please note, Uprinting.com states that winner will be responsible for shipping charge.


By the way, if you like random giveaways, I am hosting a totally separate one on 12/31 for a copy of artsy DIARY 2010. Features hundreds of illustrations by artists world wide. Ships free everywhere. Click Here for images & to enter


Studio Tour #16 - Jennifer Stano from Coat Of Paint Studio

Hello! Hello! How are you today?

Welcome back for another Weekend Studio Tour!

This week we are off to Minnesota for a visit with artist Jennifer Stano. Jennifer has kindly invited us to see where she creates her colorful paintings & mixed media pieces. She popped by here a couple of days ago to share her vibrant art and thoughts. If you missed Thursday's artist feature & would like to see more of her wonderful work, Click Here. Jennifer is also this week's sponsor of Thursday's Giveaways. Read more about this random drawing on last Thursdays post as well as at the end of this one.

Jennifer sells her art at CoatOfPaint.etsy.com. Also, if you find yourself in Northfield Minnesota, you can view her painting Pink Lotus at the Northfield Arts Guild through Jan. 2nd. Now, let me step aside so that Jennifer can show you around her creative space.

Pink Lotus by Jennifer Stano

JS: Welcome to my studio! Thanks to Stacey for letting me share my space with everyone today. Come on in!

JS: I’m a part-time artist with a full time, non-art job and I’m also an active equestrian with a high-maintenance show horse that I actively compete, so painting hours are precious to me. After I graduated from college with my art and art history major, I lost my great work space at school and found it very challenging to paint without a dedicated space. That was my motivation to reclaim this downstairs bedroom and transform it into a space conducive to creating art.

JS: Plain white walls have always been like nails on a chalk board to me, so color (and lots of it!) was necessary in my studio. Being a lower level room with limited natural light, I opted for the brightest, sunniest yellow I could find. Walking into my studio in the morning with sun streaming through the window, it seems like the yellow walls are vibrating with life and the studio is giving me a big hug. The studio itself actually gave me inspiration for the name of my Etsy store; Coat of Paint Studio refers to how one coat of paint changed this plain room into an art studio, just like a coat of oil or acrylic paint transforms a canvas into a work of art.

JS: My studio is a refuge from the craziness of life, but since I have very few hours to dedicate to my art, I try to keep it very organized. I have two tables, both with extremely functional tops – one masonite and one pressboard. File cabinets or sawhorses provide the support, making these the most economical tables you could possibly create. But what I really love is having furniture that I can splatter with paint!

JS: Since my studio is a small space, I’ve gotten creative with storage systems to keep everything as neat and tidy as possible. There are lots of baskets with tubes of paint, color swatches, brushes, ribbons, etc. I have some giant bins of fabric scraps that are left over from my interior design days and they are fabulous for incorporating into mixed media collages. Some days I just play around with cuttings from old Life magazines and fabric scraps to create fun retro pieces.

JS: The easel I work on is actually one my dad made for me as a small child. It has extendable legs so the easel could grow with me. I now have it on the highest setting possible and it still works perfectly! I certainly lucked out having parents who encouraged artistic expression from a young age.

JS: To keep my thoughts organized, I have a wall of inspiration over my desk where I strung a rope between two nails. Various images I find are clipped to this rope with clothespins for an ever-rotating string of images. A floating shelf is improvised with an extra piece of molding set on two nails. Here I can set out my various small pieces in progress when I need to see them off the easel. Lastly, I hang all my palettes on this wall as well. It’s a little unorthodox, but I have several palates and limited storage space. What interests me is how something purely functional or mundane can take on the characteristics of a piece of art when is presented differently. Putting my palates on the wall makes these tools of art into art themselves. Plus they’re so darned colorful!!

JS: Well, that about wraps it up. Thanks for taking to stop by Coat of Paint studio! Ciao!

A Woman's Place by Jennifer Stano

Jennifer, thanks for sharing your sunny space & art with us today! And many thanks to those who decided to join me on your tour. It is the great comments left by readers that make posting these tours worthwhile. Mind you, I love peeking behind the scenes - but it is just so much fun having you guys come along for the ride!

Want to see more of Jennifer's terrific art & studio? Visit her blog, Coatofpaint.blogspot.com. Last August she posted additional photos of her space along with recommended links to studios that she enjoys viewing - that post is HERE.

Want to hang a piece of Jennifer's art on your wall? For Free?

It All Starts With An Acorn by Jennfer Stano

1 lucky winner will receive an 8" x 10" glicee print of her acrylic painting, It All Starts With An Acorn. TO ENTER the random drawing for this sunlit print, simply leave a comment on my blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 12/24. Later that day 1 winner will be selected. Print ships free to addresses in USA & Canada.

So go on, leave a comment & then go check out Jennifer's other links. Thanks again for stopping by!


IF - Undone

watercolors, watercolor pencil & marker on 36" sq. canvas

Sorry for the crummy image quality. 1 of these days I need to get a decent photo of this piece. The background is bright white canvas which pops the colors in real life. Unfortunately it is too rainy to shoot outside today & my lighting is a bit blech. Sorry about that.

"Undone" is the prompt for Illustration Friday. Click the link to see the variety of submissions . If you're feeling inspired, be sure to add a link to your own interpretation.

On a different note, yesterday I posted a new giveaway prize & artist feature. Both are from Jennifer Stano of CoatOfPaint.etsy.com. Click here for Jennifer's thoughts & art, as well a photo of the prize. 1 lucky winner takes home an 8" x 10" print of her painting It All Starts With An Acorn. To enter the drawing, just leave a comment on my blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 12/24. Prize ships free to winner in USA or Canada.

And if you're in the virtual neighborhood tomorrow, pop back here for a photo tour of the Coat Of Paint studio.


Enter to win a free glicee print from featured artist Jennifer Stano

Welcome back to another Thursday Giveaway & Artist Feature!

Today we're visiting with painter & mixed media artist, Jennifer Stano.

Jennifer creates energetic pieces in a variety of mediums. Sometimes paints, sometimes collage yet always bursting with bold colors and gestures. You can view her vibrant artwork in her online shop CoatofPaint.etsy.com as well as on her blog, coatofpaintstudio.blogspot.com. Some of the pieces featured here are available in her Etsy shop. Click on the images for details.

Pink Lotus by Jennifer Stano

Also, If you're in Northfield Minnesota, you can view her painting Pink Lotus at the Northfield Arts Guild through Jan. 2nd.

Jennifer is also the newest Thursday Giveaway sponsor. More about that at the bottom of this post. In the meantime, I'm going to step aside & let her tell you a bit about her life and art.

JS: I’m a part-time painter, full-time artist at heart and life-long equestrian. As an art and art history major in college, I never actually gave much thought to becoming a professional artist. It wasn’t until this past year when I discovered Etsy and the wonderful online community that I began to realize the possibility of pursing my passion as a vocation. I was just amazed to discover this supportive, encouraging group of people who were just like me. Many were working in full-time jobs while creating art on the side, and they documented their struggles, passions and inspirations online. Whereas I’m still years away from realizing my dream of becoming a full-time artist, I’ve found so much encouragement and inspiration from this wonderful, creative online community.

Green Bird by Jennifer Stano

JS: In terms of my artistic inspiration, I’m constantly moved by the beauty of the natural world and horses in particular. My earliest art was drawings of horse based on photos I cut from magazines. In college, I returned to this subject matter for my senior art show, which was a series of oil paintings I did from sketches of the horses in my barn.

by Jennifer Stano

JS: I was also very influenced by the time I spent in Italy during college. I was lucky enough to live in Florence and study art in a traditional atelier where we did life drawings from models who posed for 2 week sessions. This time gave me a great respect for the history and tradition on which much of our current techniques are based.

by Jennifer Stano

JS: Currently, I’m doing a series of oil paintings that are very inspired by the abstract impressionist movement. There is no predetermined subject matter, and the process is very direct and physical. I tend to work fast in the preliminary phase and I seek to capture that energy on the canvas without a lot of premeditation so it’s more of an unconscious process of putting a mark down and responding to that mark in an organic way. The painting itself determines what it will become and I just have to make sure I don’t get in the way.

Enchantment by Jennifer Stano

JS: Though I’m primarily an oil painter, at the moment my Etsy shop is heavily weighted towards my watercolor work because I find the scale conducive to online sales and print production.

A Storm Is Gathering by Jennifer Stano

JS: I’ve also started doing some photography and I hope to have a series of fine art photography note card released soon. There are always so many ideas and not enough hours in the day!

Purple Coneflower Cutout by Jennifer Stano

Keep those ideas coming, Jennifer! Your dynamic pieces have a lively organic feel to them. And thanks so much for stopping by today so share your art & thoughts!

So, Readers, would you like to own 1 of of Jennifer's colorful creation? Well here's your chance. She has generously donated an 8 x 10 glicee print of her acrylic painting It All Starts With An Acorn for next Thursday's random drawing.

It All Starts With An Acorn by Jennifer Stano

It is easy to enter! Just leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 12/24. That's it. The winner will be announced later that day. Please make sure your contact info is either in your profile or your comment in case you are the lucky winner. This prize ships free to USA & Canada addresses only.

Thanks to everyone who stops in & enters. It is your enthusiasm that keeps these contests & artist features going. If you're in the bloggy neighborhood next weekend please pop by - Jennifer is kindly giving us a tour of her art studio. Won't it be fun to see where she works her magic?

Also if you have any interest in sponsoring a Thursday Giveaway, sharing your art & thoughts with ArtSnark readers or showing off your creative space, please let me know (my email is in my profile). I'm searching for a variety of visual artists to feature in 2010.

We Have A Winner!

Thanks to all who left a comment this past week & entered the random drawing for a $10 gift certificate (+ free shipping) to GardenDelightsArts on Etsy. With help from Random.org, a winner has been chosen:

The winner is LANKY!

WooHoo! Congrats, Lanky! I will be in touch to tell you how to claim your prize. Have fun shopping in artist Heidi Rand's Etsy shop.

Tune in this afternoon for a new giveaway prize & artist feature. We'll be visiting with another Etsy seller, this time a painter who works in acrylics, watercolor, oils & mixed media. Hope to see you later!


(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Polaroid Transfer, watercolor & colored pencil.
Angel found in The Pantheon, Rome.

Couple of quick notes:

The new Mix It Up With Melange Challenge is "Secrets". Click through to submit your take or see what others have come up with.

Last chance to enter random drawing for a $10 Gift Certificate to GardenDelightsArts on Etsy. Leave a comment here before 1 a.m. (EST) on 12/17 to enter. Click Here for details.