Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Moos

#30 ©St.Hilaire Nelson

I bike several times a week training for the upcoming triathlon season. When I ride I bring my iPhone and I always ride the Seminole Wekiva trail which passes a wonderful pasture area that is home to several cows and horses. As most of you know, I am not a fan of horses.... but the cows are another story. Cows are my muse. Or should I say, my "moos"

Curious, ©Doug Nelson

My husband is the pro photographer, which means that even with his iPhone, he gets better shots than I do! This cow was very curious of Doug's phone the day we stopped our bikes and I put him to work photographing future collage reference for me.

#31 ©St.Hilaire Nelson

The last cow I collaged from these reference shots Mary Moo sold in Asheville, NC. I'm headed to Asheville again this June and so I have been thinking about creating another cow for the occasion.

Mary Moo, ©St.Hilaire Nelson, SOLD

I am a big fan of the farm fence in the foreground. This is a composition that has become a theme for me and I will probably utilize it in future work for the Asheville, NC show.

Stay tuned for another cow in the near future. BUT for now, I am still plugging away at the Noah's Ark Series. I have two sets of "twosies" to go. I'm also going to be the featured artist at the Grand Bohemian Gallery the first friday of April for St. Augustine, FL's Art Walk. That's Easter weekend, so I might have to put some baby ducks into the mix.

Curious 2, ©Doug Nelson

If you have any farm reference photos you'd like to give me permission to paint,
send me an email!

New Workshop - Asheville, NC

Grand Bohemian Gallery – June 1/2/3
Once again I'll be in Asheville, NC for a spring featured show and collage workshop.

Located just steps away from gates of the famous Biltmore Estate, this exquisite Asheville hotel holds authentic Old-World, rustic ambiance of a Tudor inspired boutique hotel, masterfully blended with all of the modern luxuries synonymous with a contemporary Kessler Collection hotel experience. Among other Asheville hotels, the Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville offers exceptional style combined with luxury accommodations and is central to many of Asheville’s enriching experiences.

The Grand Bohemian Gallery is located inside the amazing hunting lodge lobby pictured above. The workshop will feature lunch included in the price, catered from the Red Stag Grill Restaurant. The hotel is putting together some package options including spa treatments, yoga classes and a champagne artists reception on Saturday, June 2nd.

Stay tuned for more details, check out the gallery website 
or call: 828-398-5555
OR visit my Facebook Fan Page

Monday, February 27, 2012

Palms for Key West

Palms, Photography, ©Douglas Nelson, 2011

Key West Coconuts #2, 24x24, collage on wood panel, ©St.Hilaire Nelson 2012

 Many of you know that my husband Douglas Nelson is a professional photographer who I art direct for my own purposes while on vacation! Last year we attended a wedding in Jamaica and I got him to take reference photos for my upcoming Key West show at Stone Soup Gallery on White Street.

As you can see, I have taken artistic license with the images. I have added coconuts, cropped, deleted branches, and pushed the color. Once I establish a sketch and basic under-painting from the photo, I put it away and deviate in the collage phase. In the end, the collage will have a look of its own.

Not only is it great to have a photographer on your team, but one you can ask to photograph your art as well as your reference materials, I'm in heaven. My husband spends countless hours photographing my work for archiving and reproduction. He uses his professional digital equipment to give me fantastic quality images. He also takes my head shots for PR and editorial purposes.

If you don't have someone like Doug at your disposal, you can always create your artwork on a small scale and utilize your own desktop scanner with high resolution, you can contact a professional in your area and ask about having your work photographed, or you can find a service bureau near you with a large format flat bed scanner. Often times you can negotiate an arrangement for low cost on scans if you offer volume.

As a result of my photos, I can offer any of my artwork images to you as a beautiful giclée print on either gallery wrapped canvas or textured paper. I have a printer in Orlando who does an amazing quality job and ships directly to you flat boxed.

For more information about prints, contact me.

Palms, Photography, ©Douglas Nelson, 2011

Key West Palms 20x24, collage on wood panel, ©St.Hilaire Nelson 2012


Source: google.com via Elizabeth on Pinterest

After reading Alyson Stanfield's Blog today about Pinterest, as well as several recent articles on how it's just TAKEN OFF, I decided I needed to get on that train. So I spent some of this morning putting together boards of my favorite things; recipes, art, fashion, and books to name a few. Such fun searching for fun things to "pin."

The idea of Pinterest as a marketing tool is to show your audience who you are as a person. To give your art fans an insight into some of the other things you like such as funky glasses and high heeled eclectic shoes and fashions you know you'll never wear but would like to.

I also had been told by folks that they had found my art in Pinterest already. How cool is that? So I did a search of myself and low and behold, there was a lot of collages pinned in there!

It's fun to look and see what your friends like, the colors and fashion and art they enjoy. I had a great time trying to remember my favorite recipes and books I had read. My favorite artists came to mind quick, but the titles of pieces I own, I might have to go back and flip them over to look!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Magic Murals

Fall Trees / ©St. Hilaire Nelson

Announcing a NEW and HUGE product with my art on it.... Magic Murals! These murals are made of a removable and repositionable self-adhesive vinyl called QuikStik™. They are best applied to non-textured, smooth, painted drywall and sheetrock, smooth wood, or smooth wallpaper.

I have an entire portfolio of available artwork on their website. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Facing Your Fears

A gift from friend and fellow artist Kimberly Kelly Santini

As an artist, my biggest fear has always been putting my art out there to be judged. In high school when I was preparing my portfolio for college applications, I worried, will they like it? will it be good enough? what if I don't get accepted anywhere?

My art teacher helped me put my entire portfolio together, she gave me assignments that she felt would be appropriate, she helped me choose my 12 best pieces, and she photographed all my work for me on slide film and taught me how to use black electrical tape to mask off the background. (old school!) Her support and confidence in me helped me face the fear of having my artwork judged by the Universities I applied to.

Those of you who follow this blog or know a bit about me know that another passion I have in life is fitness. I have been competing in triathlons for several years now but have avoided any race that featured an ocean swim. Why? I am afraid of sharks! Yes, ever since I was 12 and saw JAWS on TV the night before a deep sea fishing trip with my father, I have had this fear. Who didn't? JAWS kept us out of the water for years, at least it did me.

As a teenager growing up in Massachusetts I had the opportunity to sit on the beach in Martha's Vineyard where they filmed the movie. You notice I said "sit?" No swimming for me! Just seeing the town and the inlet where the shark wreaked havoc was enough to keep me on land.

Critiques by my peers and professors in college helped prepare me for the world of juried art shows as an emerging artist. I have to admit, I took a lot of time off from my fine art between my graduation from college and the beginning of my career. I raised two children 16 months apart and I took time support myself with a career in advertising/graphic design (my actual major in college). SO when it came time to be judged for my fine art again, those old fears came right back.

Spending time in the studio with the shark

The last three years all the triathlons I have competed in have included lake swims here in Florida. I have swam in murky black waters tainted from the tannins of oak trees, clear warm waters in Clermont, and the lake in the middle of the Walt Disney World compound. The Amelia Man Olympic race appealed to me when I was looking to step up my distance, but the ocean still had sharks.

I think that every artist fears having their work held up to be judged. Entering juried shows can be nerve wracking, especially when you receive rejection letters one after another. We have all been there! I used to take a class with a woman who submitted to First Thursdays at the Orlando Museum of Art a few times and was turned down. She got discouraged and said "maybe I'm just not good enough." Not good enough? No way! I told her to just keep submitting, not to let her fear of continued rejection deter her in her goal. I told her how I had been rejected from that show consistently for about a year, every month, before they ever accepted me. And then, they asked me to be artists of the month in the museum shop gallery. Don't let your fears stop you from consistently reaching for your goal. My Dad was fond of this advice, which he gave me on a regular basis as a kid "If at first you don't succeed, try try again." He was an insurance salesman, he NEVER let his fear of rejection keep him from knocking on the next door.

Guess what? Barbara eventually got her work accepted to the show as well. And boy was I proud of her.

A super friend and fellow artists Kimberly Kelly Santini sent me the shark toy. She was cleaning out her basement and found this old tub toy from her kids and it made her laugh as she thought of me and my fears that I had confided in her. I had shared with her that I finally decided that 2012 would be my year to overcome the fear of the ocean swim. I officially have signed myself up for St. Anthony's Olympic Triathlon. I have decided to face my fears in fitness as I have faced them in my art career and in my life. The only way to grow is to push the boundaries of your comfort zone. I want to grow, I want to grow! (just please not in my feet, they are big enough already....)

Push yourself, push your boundaries, take the plunge and conquer that fear. Start with small local juried shows in your home town. Maybe your art museum or local art center. Then work you way up to bigger shows once you've been accepted to a few locally. You see I said accepted, have faith, you will get there!

Once you have a little more confidence under your belt and a larger body of work, you can start casting your net wider to national juried shows. A wonderful resource for this is TheArtList.com. Here you can find call for entries from all over the country, surely an opportunity will present itself here that is a good fit for you.

Guess what? once you spend some time overcoming your fear you'll gain a level of confidence that will propel you to the next level! I have been spending time with the shark toy lately as a reminder that I too can do it.

Love Birds in progress, note shark in top right

I promised Kim I'd tuck the shark into the leg of my tri suit when I do some open water swimming closer to April. But for now, he's keeping me company in the studio.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

NEW Flashbags Available

Love Birds is now available for you to carry on your shoulder

For those of you who just can't get enough of the collage peacocks, 
THIS is the bag for you!

As always, many thanks to the women at Flashbags™in Burlington, VT
for supporting a fellow New England Girl!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Silly Class

More from Carla Sonheim's online class this week. The Silly Face she provided the left hand eye as a photo and the left side of the nose as line art you had to draw the rest. I had fun with this one as it reminded me of stealing the crayons from the kids and taking over the table at Macaroni Grill! 
the Art of Silliness Worksheet 5.2

My favorite part of the bikes was the banana seat and the tassels hanging off the handle bars. I was thinking back to childhood bikes rather than the road and time trial bikes I ride these days...

the Art of Silliness Worksheet 5.3

The idea behind the bikes was one continuous line, looping and circling to create the bike. The key was not to lift the pen!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Silly Class

Day one worksheet / February 8 / 

A friend and fellow artist Kimberly Kelly Santini  asked me to take an online class with her, which I never NEVER do. So I said "why not?" Life is about new experiences, and since she dangled it out there, I took the bait.

Carla Sonheim's The Art of Silliness "5" started yesterday, but you can join in at any time and registration is still open. This class involves 21 days of 21 worksheets to be completed in about 10 minutes each. Upon completion you can upload your work to Flickr and view other artists take on the same worksheet.

Each day for three weeks you receive a url link to the PDF worksheet which you download, print and complete! It's super easy and fun.

I figured I'd share my worksheets with you along the way. Quick lessons like this are always beneficial for artists who need to loosen up and try something outside their comfort zone. What do you mean I cannot collage my worksheet???

For more information and registration Click Here!
To See the Flickr Gallery Click Here!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Collage Workshop in Greensboro, NC

Queen Anne style Ecker House in nearby High Point, NC

I have been asked to come to NC and teach teachers! Yes, I'm giving a collage workshop for art educators at the Greensboro Elementary School. However, this class is open to the public! If you ARE an art educator, certificate for CEU credits will be issued upon completion.

The fee is $200 per person for the two days, 
March 3 and 4th 10am- 5pm 
lunch included! 

Greensboro Children's Museum

The Children's Museum offers fun for all ages in this super artsy, colorful building

Why not make a weekend of it? High Point is apparently the Furniture Capitol of the World, so you can even purchase a dresser along the way!

World's largest chest of drawers in High Point, NC

For More information about this 
March 3/4 North Carolina Workshop:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Houston, TX Workshop

My Houston, TX collage workshop now has an ETSY link where you can register and learn more

AND you can follow along on Facebook at the Houston Art Workshop:

All of this wonderful organization is thanks to the workshop Coordinator, Lisa Morales! If you have questions for her directly, you can email her:

I'm looking forward to a great turnout and a wonderful time in Houston! Lisa is putting together a great weekend, with catered lunch included!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cherie's Progress

Cherie (right) and Me sitting on the front porch of her family's cottage on Martha's Vineyard, 1982

Tomorrow is Ground Hog Day. It is also Cherie's 44th Birthday. That means that she and I have been friends for 37 years. Ever since middle school I have called her Hoggatha, on her birthday.

For all of you who have followed along with Cherie's progress on this blog, who have made and sent her art and cards and notes when she was in ICU and at Shepherd Center for Spinal Cord Rehab... I'd love for you to reach out to her once again and send her a birthday email. Yes, that's right, I said email!! Thanks to Dragon software, Cherie now can read and reply to email and Facebook via speech recognition. Email is best because Facebook requires some mouse clicking, which she can't quite do... yet.

Can you take a minute to send her a Happy Birthday email?

Cherie (right) and I taking a break from touring, Spain, 1985

For those of you who might be new to Cherie's story, the quick synopsis is that she was in a car accident on September 30, 2010 in which she broke her neck and became a quadriplegic. I have been asking artists and folks with big hearts to send her well wishes ever since her accident. www.CherieStannard.com

Cherie has been touched beyond words by the generosity of strangers from far and wide. She has been touched by all the artists who contributed to my fund raising book for her, Art With Heart

Cherie (left) and I on that very same cottage front porch the summer after we graduated high school together, 1987

We have been through thick and thin together, We HAVE BEEN thick and thin together. Do you see us both getting BIGGER and BIGGER in these photos? Well, Cherie was always small, but me...

Cherie (left) and I on that very same cottage front porch, Memorial Day 1988

It has meant a lot to Cherie to have such an influx of kind words from friends of this blog. It has meant a lot to me too. I hope if you have a minute you might send some birthday wishes to Hoggatha. Tell her I sent you. :)