Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday's website of interest to art enthusiasts: CREATING AN IN-HOME ART GALLERY

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Today's art related article of interest is actually entitled, "How to Create a Gallery of Vacation and Travel Memories." It is actually more focused on helping people to prepare and hang art work surrounding vacations, trips and the associated family memories. I think it's a good article and can practically apply to anyone trying to hang a group of two-dimensional pieces of art in a room.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A conversation with John Plishka: Part 11

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What else do you do besides your art?

My plate is pretty full! I'm a full time veterinarian in Antioch, Illinois. My wife and 2 children are the loves of my life and I try to spend as much time as I can with the kids now: especially while they're little. I love and play sports too, especially hockey, soccer and baseball. I play the drums and piano, and I dabble in banjo. Lastly, I enjoy fishing and the outdoors. At the end of the day is usually when I can get some art work done!

Picture credit: John Plishka enjoying some family time while petting a foal.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

John Plishka featured at art show

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Featured October artist John Plishka recently had two paintings juried into the North Shore Art League's "Inchworks" show. The show is at the North Shore Art League Gallery in Winnetka, Illinois.

*As an aside note, "juried" means the work was selected from a number of submissions. While the jurying process varies from venue to venue, it generally includes a group of people well versed and talented in their respective fields. These people select work for inclusion into a show based upon its quality and uniqueness.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A conversation with John Plishka: Part 10

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What advice do you have for aspiring painters?

I still consider myself at this point to be an aspiring painter. I want to improve my art in many facets still, and am a firm believer in that you can never know too much about a subject. But if I had any advice to give to people it would be to try to learn as much as you can about your chosen art direction and dive right in. Have a thick skin about your work as art is so subjective that a lot of people will not care for your work while others love it! Try to get yourself noticed as much as you can, and have the belief in yourself that your art is good and is worth creating! Lastly, try to get to know a lot of artists with similar interests- they will help you in your work and give encouragement which is so important when you are starting out!

Photo credit: John Plishka enjoying some horseback riding and family time

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday's agriculture website of interest: DAIRY GODDESS BLOG

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Monday's agricultural themed website of interest is the Dairy Goddess's blog, written by Barbara Martin, a third generation California Dairy farmer. She married a 3rd generation dairy farmer 26 years ago, and together, they have a dairy farm located in Central California. She is the very proud mother of 2 great college kids.

On a personal note, I believe Barbara does a great job putting a face on "where your milk comes from." It is obvious that Barbara has a passion for what she does and doesn't mind sharing it with her readers. My favorite updates are about Barbara's favorite heifer "Chica." Meet Chica and Barbara in their video.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A conversation with John Plishka: Part 9

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

I guess I would just like to get the opportunity to paint a lot more. Perhaps try different techniques. I'm interested in sculpting, so maybe one day I could try that. I would like to do more art shows and get myself out there more.

Picture credit: "Dappled Gray-zer", pastel on paper

Giclee prints and original pastel available, contact Cow Art and More for details

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday's website of interest to art enthusiasts

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A big whoops here! I forgot to post the article for Friday, October 23. Look for next Friday's article on October 30.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A conversation with John Plishka: Part 8

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

Sure I have goof ups like everyone else. For myself, If a painting isn't working after about an hour, I usually scrap the whole thing. Sometimes I come back to it, sometimes not. After that though, I'm pretty stubborn and won't give up on a painting after I've invested alot of time and work into it. I'll see it through to the end. There is a point in most of my paintings that I doubt whether it will work or not, but after I get past that point, I know the final result will have been worth the effort.

Picture credit: "Calming the Storm", pastel on paper

Giclee prints and original pastel drawing available, contact Cow Art and More

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

DVD collage process now available

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Cow Art and More mixed media artist Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson now has a DVD of her collage process available for purchase.

This DVD is a creative overview from start to finish of her paper painting process. Elizabeth also covers painting your own collage papers, sketching, underpainting and tips and tricks for collage application. This comprehensive video is 30 minutes, comes in a full sized jewel case and will play in a PC/MAC or TV DVD player. The DVD is $10 plus $3 for shipping to US address.

Click here to purchase the collage process DVD.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A conversation with John Plishka: Part 7

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How long does it take you to get an average piece of art?

Smaller pieces will take me about 2-4 hours, but larger pieces may take 10-15 hours. Considering I may only have 4-5 hours a week for my art means that a larger painting may take me 2-4 weeks to complete!

Picture credit: "Thunder", pastel on paper

Giclee prints available of the original drawing, contact Cow Art and More

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday's agriculture website of interest: BACKYARD CHICKENS

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I thought with all the interest as of late that people are showing in agriculture and growing their own food, today's agriculture website of interest is Backyard Chickens. The site has a lot of information and personal experiences of people having their own small flock of chickens at their home. A warning though, the website is loaded down with a lot of advertisements, so you will have to be patient with the pop up and banner ads. Overall though, it looks like a lot of interesting information for those looking to get to some farming roots. It includes articles from how to hatch and feed baby chicks, to how to build your own chicken coop. There is also a "chicken forum" to allow fellow chicken enthusiasts to chat and answer each others' questions.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A conversation with John Plishka: Part 6

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How do you decide what to paint and draw?

I work from photographs mostly, so I try to take my camera almost everywhere. I try to find one or two photos from an experience, scene, or subject, that inspire me. I can often in my mind see the painting before it is on the paper. Often the beauty or power of my subjects is what ultimately drives me to start a painting.

Picture credit: "Night Vision", pastel on paper

Giclee prints of the original pastel drawing available; contact Cow Art and More

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday's website of interest to art enthusiasts: FRAMING WORKS OF ART

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Framing a work of art is an important part of enjoying and displaying it for a long time. I get questions from customers on how to properly do so with their purchase. I recently came across a very straightforward article on Framing, Matting and Mounting Fine Art Prints, Drawings and original art works. The article gives a very complete and thorough explanation of the many points that should be considered when framing a piece of two-dimensional art.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A conversation with John Plishka: Part 5

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Where did you learn your technique?

Since I haven't had much formal art training, I've learned mostly from reading, trial and error, and following some of my favorite artists. Over the last few years, I've taken some pastel classes which have helped immensely in elevating my art. However there is still so much to learn- I wish I had access to more class time!

Picture credit: "The Pumpkin Gleaners", pastel on paper

Giclee prints available of the original pastel drawing, contact Cow Art and More for details

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A conversation with John Plishka: Part 4

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Where do you get your inspiration?

I have limited time to work, so I try to take a lot of photos when I'm out, and try to work on my paintings later. My inspiration mostly comes from trying to see subjects which should be ordinary, in an extraordinary way. So, I try to find beauty in subjects that are often overlooked. Hence a lot of my paintings are of simple everyday things or situations.

Picture credit: "Take the time...", pastel on paper

Giclee prints of the original pastel drawing available, please contact Cow Art and More

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday's agriculture website of interest: AMERICAN SHEEP INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

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Today's agriculture website of interest is for the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI). ASI is the national organization representing the interests of more than 82,000 sheep producers located throughout the United States. ASI is a federation of 45 state sheep associations as well as individual members. All ASI officers, board of director members and council and committee members serve as volunteers. The origin of the association dates back to 1865.

From the domestic and international promotion of wool and pelts to its work on legislative, science and technology, animal health and resource management issues, ASI is a producer-powered federation of state organizations dedicated to the common goal of promoting the profitability and well-being of the U.S. sheep industry. The goals of the organization include developing an industry vision, advocating public policy to protect, promote and support the economical viability of the sheep industry, creating strong national and international markets for wool, advancing and coordinating the science and technology of sheep production, and promoting communication and cooperation between all segments of the industry, related business and government agencies.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday's website of interest to art enthusiasts: RESTORING ART WORK

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I realize "oops" happen from time to time and people may need to fix and/or restore a piece of painted art. I have included a link to How to Restore Works on Canvas. This article covers some basic fixes one may try, but cautions against any intense repairs which should be left to a professional.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A conversation with John Plishka: Part 3

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What is your technique?

Now I work mostly in pastels. In the past I also painted in oils and acrylics. Pastels allow me to work quickly, and for me they are easier to correct mistakes than other media. In my paintings I use a lot of pastel pencils. This allows me to get the fine detail I need when depicting hair, feathers, etc.

Picture credit: "Pack of Lie-ers", pastel on paper

Giclee prints of the original drawing available; Please contact Cow Art and More

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A conversation with John Plishka: Part 2

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How did you get started?

As long as I can remember I was always drawing . I had a chance at an art scholarship out of high school but opted for an academic scholarship instead. From that point on, I rarely drew until I got my career underway. I've only been serious about my art for about the last 3-4 years. Now I try to take classes when I can and paint as much as my free time allows.

Photo credit: "The Angry Barn Swallow Chick", pastel on paper

Giclee prints available; please contact Cow Art and More

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday's agriculture website of interest: A HISTORY OF AMERICAN AGRICULTURE

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Published by the Economic Research Service in 2000, today's agriculture themed website of interest is the History of American Agriculture. This website details agriculture both by time, split up by decades, and by category, such as by transportation and economic cycles. The timeline also includes pictures relative to the topic.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A conversation with John Plishka: Part 1

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Why do you paint and draw?

It's hard to describe but it's a really strong internal drive to express my ideas about what I find beautiful or interesting.It's also a great way to escape from the realities of the world-I can totally immerse myself in the painting and probably like most artists, once you're painting, all time seems to stand still.

Picture Credit: "Watching You", oil on canvas

Click here to read more about this cow art oil painting

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday's website of interest to art enthusiasts: STARTING AN ART COLLECTION

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Friday's article of interest for art enthusiasts is tips for starting an art collection. Collecting fine art is an inspiring and stimulating hobby for everyone, not just for the rich or famous. There are many forms of art to choose from, as the definition to what art actually is differs from person to person. It doesn't matter what form it takes, the choice is yours in what is attractive and how much your spending limit will be.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October's featured artist is veterinarian John Plishka

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Dr. John Plishka is the featured artist for October on Cow Art and More. Dr. Plishka's art has been featured on the cover of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. He enjoys both painting and drawing with pastels portraits of the animals he sees on a regular basis, whether they are patients or not.

Enjoy his question and answer session all month on the Cow Art and More blog. John's art will have free shipping for the entire month. See the complete collection of John's art on the Cow Art and More specials page.

Picture credit: Dr. John Plishka enjoys a moment with a couple of Holstein heifers.
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