Saturday, May 30, 2009

A conversation with Lynn Bishop: Part 11

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What advice do you have for aspiring painters?

Learn to draw. Learning facility with drawing materials is the fundamental skill in painting, regardless of whether you want to do realistic or impressionistic or abstract painting - take a look at Picasso's magnificent early drawings. By learning to manipulate the fundamentals of form - line, edges, and values - in gray scale, without having to deal with color, makes the whole process of learning to draw not easy, but a bit easier.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday's website of interest to art enthusiasts: BEMBO'S ZOO

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I have to admit, today's website is a bit of a "time-waster", but I was intrigued with the art and animal connection someone could make using a computer. Check out Bembo's Zoo, to see how computer animation can make animal art with just the alphabet.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A conversation with Lynn Bishop: Part 10

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What would you like to do more of in the future?

More animal drawings, paintings, and photographs. And poetry, another "natural" form of expression for me, but one I've never developed.

Picture credit: "New Zealand Hill Climber"

Click here to learn more about this cow photograph

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A conversation with Lynn Bishop: Part 9

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Do you ever have goof ups or work you don’t like?

Oh, yes! I'm impatient by nature, so I tend to tackle a painting without doing a detailed underdrawing or underpainting. Often a fast simple sketch on the canvas is sufficient, but sometimes I get part of the way through a painting and find I need to change the composition or make other corrections. Fortunately oil paint is a rather forgiving medium so it's generally possible to scrape off mistakes, but it would be much better to start with an accurate foundation so as not to waste time and effort. And, yes, sometimes I've abandoned a painting entirely because I can't make it work.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday's agriculture website of interest: I LOVE FARMERS

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Today's featured agricultural themed website is I Love Farmers, a website started by a group of young students trying to educate their peers on agriculture and its importance to society, culture and well-being. They are focusing on explaining to people where their food comes from and why they should care. There are links to other fact-based agriculture sites plus the opportunity to purchase "I Love Farmers" apparel.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A conversation with Lynn Bishop: Part 8

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What else do you do besides painting?

Recently I decided to take photography more seriously as an art form in itself rather than just as an aide memoire for places I've visited or as reference material for my paintings. I love taking photographs of birds, especially the larger wetlands birds such as egrets and herons, but am looking forward to photographing many different subjects. Another exciting canvas is our garden, which my husband I have been rescuing from years of neglect by previous owners. After 8 years of organic attention, it's finally providing more pleasure than exhaustion, although there's still plenty of work yet to do, but it's worth it to be able to eat fresh tomatoes and apples and enjoy cut flowers out of our own garden.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A conversation with Lynn Bishop: Part 7

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How long does it take you to get an average painting?

I've completed a 3' x 4' painting in 4 days while some 16" x 20" paintings have taken a month or more, so there is no "average" time. The length of time it takes depends a lot on the complexity of the subject, how well I'm focusing on the process, what else is going on in my life, and, sometimes, a lot of luck in having fallen in love with a subject that just has all the right elements in it that make a good painting.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday's website of interest to art enthusiasts: ABOUT.COM'S HINTS ON DECORATING WITH ART

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I get questions from time to time about how someone should go about selecting art and deciding if it is the right fit for their room. I found some easy-to-follow articles on on using art for decorating. This page covers topics from how to arrange artwork, how to hang artwork, and how to solve decorating challenges with artwork. I found it to be a great beginning level explanation of art and how it can be used to tastefully decorate a space.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A conversation with Lynn Bishop: Part 6

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How do you decide what to paint?

The subject seems to choose me...that is, something about the subject strikes a chord in my heart and I simply have to express what I feel through painting.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A conversation with Lynn Bishop: Part 5

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Where did you learn your technique?

Well, I'm not so sure I have a consistent technique. It seems I never approach two paintings in a row in exactly the same way. I've learned a lot by taking classes and workshops in university and art school settings and by studying books about art. The single most important influence, however, was a six-week stint with Charles Cecil at his academy in Florence, Italy, where he teaches classical techniques of drawing and painting. He taught me the sight-size method of working - positioning the drawing surface such that the image observed is the same size as the drawn image - and that helped me solve some major problems I'd had with my drawing. All that aside, it's the innumerable hours at the easel that have taught me the most.

Picture credit: "We Three Sheep", oil on canvas

Click here to go to Cow Art and More to learn more about this sheep painting

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday's agriculture website of interest: NATIONAL AGRICULTURE LIBRARY

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Today's website of interest for agriculture is The National Agricultural Library. This library is one of four national libraries of the United States, with locations in Beltsville, Maryland and Washington, D.C. It houses one of the world's largest and most accessible agricultural information collections and serves as the nexus for a national network of state land-grant and U.S. Department of Agriculture field libraries. The National Agriculture Library's mission is to advance access to global information for agriculture.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cow Art and More May newsletter

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Check out the May edition of the Cow Art and More newsletter. In addition to finding out about new work, there is also a link to a Steak Diane recipe and advice on choosing the right size painting for a room.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday's website of interest to art enthusiasts

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Today's website of interest to art collectors is AskART: the Artists' Bluebook. Many people are familiar with finding car values with a "blue book". This website provides the same service for two and three dimensional art pieces. AskART is dedicated to the creation and maintenance of the world’s most comprehensive centralized database of artists. In this capacity the company does not buy, sell, auction, or inventory artworks, or act as representative for any artists.

The website provides digital images, biographical documentation, book references, auction data, and the opportunity to engage in open forum dialogue about artists. In 2007 AskART expanded to include auction data, images where available on artists worldwide. The content features painters, sculptors, and illustrators ranging from our early artists to modern urban expressionists.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A conversation with Lynn Bishop: Part 4

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Where do you get your inspiration?

Life! Something I see - usually animals or people - grabs me emotionally and creates the urge to capture and express that emotion in a painting.

Picture credit: "Oshosh", charcoal on paper

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Just added, an ART RESOURCES page on Cow Art and More

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In order to help customers get the most from their art purchase, an Art Resources section has been added to Cow Art and More. This section includes directions on caring for art purchases, cleaning art and decorating advice. We also welcome thoughts and ideas from others on what you would like to see!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A conversation with Lynn Bishop: Part 3

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What is your technique?

My paintings are realistic/representational, done in oil paints, often mixed with Winsor & Newton Liquin, which dries overnight, facilitating reworking. I have a poor visual memory, I love detail, and I love to portray an "instant in time" so my paintings are based on photos I've taken. For most of my career I used a non-electric slide viewer to look at slides of the subject as I painted, but I've now entered the digital age and view images on a laptop computer set up near my canvas. Although I rely on photographs as the basis of my paintings, I freely move subjects around and combine images from multiple photographs. In one large triptych of horses, I combined images from more than 2 dozen slides.

Picture credit: "Team Plus One", oil on canvas Click here to learn more about this horse oil painting

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday's agriculture website of interest: BEEF, IT'S WHAT'S FOR DINNER

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In celebration of "May is Beef Month," I chose to link to the Beef, It's What's For Dinner website today. This site is funded with money from cattle producers nationwide to provide the public with information about beef and the cattle industry. The site explains how to shop for beef, including information on the different cuts available. The site also includes recipes on preparing beef, even for those on a special diet.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cow Art And More Expands Its Watercolor Collection

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Cow Art and More is excited to announce its inclusion of watercolor paintings by artist Victoria Whorley. Victoria lives in central Virginia and enjoys capturing her surroundings as paintings. She has been painting for over a decade and has exhibited her art in juried shows from West Virginia to North Carolina. She especially enjoys painting animals as "the innocence and mischief showing in their eyes is such a joy to paint." Victoria's art will be featured in the new products section of Cow Art and More for the next month.

Picture credit: "Heads or Tails", watercolor on paper

Click here to go to Cow Art and More to learn more about this cow watercolor painting

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A conversation with Lynn Bishop: Part 2

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How did you get started?

I drew a lot as a kid and my mother, who I suspect wanted to be an artist, encouraged and supported me as best she could, even somehow finding the money for some art lessons when I was in high school in the late 1950's. Unfortunately the teacher wanted to teach abstract painting and I wanted to learn realistic painting, so that experience was somewhat disappointing. Later, when I was an art major in a small college, someone told me I couldn't be "a real artist" and focus on equine art. So I showed them...I quit art and became a veterinarian instead! But the art muse wouldn't leave me alone so nearly two decades later I turned back to art.

Photo credit: "One Horsepower"

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday's website of interest to art enthusiasts: COW PARADE

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For me, it can't get any better than this: cows and art! Today's website of interest for art enthusiasts is Cow Parade. This art exhibition consists of fiberglass cows that are individually decorated by artists, architects, designers and other celebrities. The cows have gone on exhibit in major cities around the world.

Cow parade has been one of most widely viewed art exhibition worldwide by an estimated 100 million people. The exhibits have also managed to raise 20 million dollars for charity. To borrow these words directly from their website, "The cow is a universally beloved animal. The cow represents different things to different people around the world-she's sacred, she's historical, she connects us to our past-but the common feeling is one of affection. There is something magical about the cow that transcends throughout the world. She simply makes everyone smile." The website has a slide show of the all the cows that have been on parade and answers to their most frequently asked questions.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A conversation with Lynn Bishop: Part 1

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Why do you paint?

Each of us has some form of creative energy that longs for expression. My emotional responses to life are varied, but when it comes to outwardly expressing my response to something I've experienced, creating a realistic image, through painting or photography, seems most natural.

Picture credit: "Greys", oil on canvas

Click here to learn more about this horse painting

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday's agriculture website of interest: CATTLE NETWORK

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Monday's website of interest for agriculture folks is Cattle Network. This site discusses the latest in beef industry news and also has educational links. The part of this site I found useful was a listing on the right of the most popular current event news stories as they related to beef cattle production. There are also links to their op-ed pieces.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lynn Bishop featured artist for the month of May

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Painter and photographer Lynn Bishop is our featured artist for the month of May on Cow Art and More. Lynn received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of California and originally pursued a career in veterinary pathology. She found the call to pursue art was too great and began painting full time in 1985. Currently, Lynn lives in Colorado and enjoys capturing the realism of animals in many forms. Lynn discusses her art in detail the entire month on the Cow Art and More blog. All of her artwork will have free shipping for the entire month.

Picture credit: "Curious Creatures, Cows!"

Click here to lean more about this cow oil painting

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday's art website of interest: THE KEY WEST ART CENTER AND GALLERY

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Since I am in Key West, Florida, on business today, I thought it would only be fitting to write about the art scene here. Today's website is for The Key West Art Center and Gallery. The center is a non-profit organization devoted to the encouragement of local artists by furnishing them with a central market place for their work. The art center and gallery is currently housed in a historic quaint wooden building in the midst of the city’s old town waterfront area. The membership has monthly meetings where not only do they discuss the business of the gallery, but they also provide demonstrations of their art to the public.
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