Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday's agriculture website of interest: AGRICULTURE FACTS

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Today's website of agriculture focus to share is the agriculture facts site from NC State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This site shares with users some basic information about farming and agriculture in the United States. One of their facts is "Of each dollar spent on food, the farmer's share is approximately 23 cents."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cow Art and More artist featured in Florida design magazine

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Cow Art and More artist Robin Maria Pedrero is one of the featured artists this month in Florida International Magazine's Art and Design issue. The feature includes emerging and established artists. This magazine serves an upscale, educated and well-traveled consumer, showcasing only the highest quality editorial content and advertisers. You can see Robin's information on page 68 of the online version of the magazine.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A conversation with Amanda Raithel: Part 11

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What else do you do besides your art?

I work full time on a registered Angus farm called Herbster Angus Farms. My husband and I manage 200 momma cows. We also do a bit of team roping on the side when the cows are content.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday's website of interest to art enthusiasts: THE ART AND ANTIQUES DEALERS LEAGUE OF AMERICA

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Knowing that many of the readers of this blog enjoy antiques and heirloom art, today's website of interest is the Art and Antiques Dealers' League of America. The Art and Antique Dealers League of America, Inc. is the oldest and principal antiques and fine arts organization in America. This group assists buyers in finding, purchasing and appraising works of antique art.

As a nonprofit membership organization, it is devoted exclusively to the best interests of dealers and buyers of antiques and works of art, and to the encouragement of educational and cultural activities in the arts generally. Each dealer member must be well-established, with art objects of the highest quality. Each member subscribes to and strictly observes the league's code of ethics.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

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On this Thanksgiving Day, I wanted to specifically thank all the farmers who helped to provide the meal for myself and many millions of Americans on this day. Regardless of what specifically you are eating on this day, human hands were necessary to grow, produce and process your meal. Farmers come in many forms, small to large, animals to produce, organic to conventional, in all parts of the country. Thanks to all of you for what you do!

Along that line, I would also like to take a moment and thank Michelle Payn-Knoper (@mpaynknoper on twitter) for organizing agriculture folks on Tuesday nights for the #agchat and #foodchat conversations. She has provided a platform for people with varying agriculture backgrounds and interests to come together and converse and debate about agriculture topics. I urge all of you out there to vote for her as the Mashable twitter user of the year. She's up against several big name celebrities and needs our daily votes to help her win!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A conversation with Amanda Raithel: Part 10

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What advice to you have for aspiring artists?

  • Work hard and practice.
  • Find a niche market.
  • Don't give up when you are rejected; art is subjective, and a champion of your work may be just around the corner.
  • Try new techniques and talk to your peers in art whenever possible.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A conversation with Amanda Raithel: Part 9

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

I'd like to work on a bigger scale and do more horse pieces in the future.

Picture credit: "Is He Lookin' Dad?", pencil on paper

Click here to learn more about this cow art show steer drawing

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday's agriculture website of interest: FOOD SAFETY

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Since this is a week when many American families will be having a large holiday feast, I thought it might be worthwhile to share the Food Safety website. This site is a gateway to food safety information provided by government agencies. According to the Key Findings of the Food Safety Working Group,“The federal government will enhance to better communicate information to the public and include an improved individual alert system allowing consumers to receive food safety information, such as notification of recalls. Agencies will also use social media to expand public communications.”

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) serve important roles in ensuring food safety in the United States. All play an important part in contributing information to this site.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A conversation with Amanda Raithel: Part 8

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How do you decide what to paint/draw?

I like to choose subjects that make my viewer think, "Wow, I know exactly what she's talking about." Most of my work centers on universal feelings that are felt by cattle producers and performance horse people.

Picture credit: Amanda enjoys showing heifer 856 at the parent showmanship contest at the Atchison County Fair.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Photographer Meg Birnbaum to exhibit in China

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Cow Art and More photographer Meg Birnbaum is currently traveling to China where she will be exhibiting 22 photographs, by invitation, at an international photography festival held in Lishui. Birnbaum, along with approximately 30 American curators, gallery owners and photographers, all of whom will be exhibiting photographs, will travel to China for the exhibition. The Lishui Museum of Photography has requested print donations from all of the invited photographers.

Picture credit: "Waiting for Judging"

Click here to read more about Meg's latest photographic addition to Cow Art and More

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday's article of interest to art enthusiasts: HOW TO PACK ART FOR SHIPPING

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Since we're moving into the holiday gift giving season, I wanted to share with blog readers an article on How to Pack Artwork for Shipping. Properly packing artwork is essential for it to arrive at its destination unharmed. This article discusses how to package and ship framed and unframed art prints.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

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

Everyday. Some art ideas are great and when you put them on paper they stink. I still have unfinished work in my studio that has been "put aside" for greener pastures, so-to-speak.

Picture credit: Amanda and her family enjoying some time on their ranch in Nebraska

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A new drawing from Amanda Raithel

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Amanda has added a new drawing for her time as this month's featured artist.

Picture credit: "Mirror Me", pencil on paper

Click here to learn more about this rodeo art pencil drawing

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A conversation with Amanda Raithel: Part 6

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

Depending upon the size, 5 to 15 hours.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Introducing my other jewelry

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A few of the followers of Cow Art and More know that I do the cow jewelry on the site. I also do another line of more "mainstream" jewelry that I also sell locally and to boutiques and galleries across the southeast. This weekend, I am at my last art show of the year in downtown Gainesville, Florida. I am debuting new work at this show that is created with resins and sterling silver. I sell this jewelry on the KMS Designs website and will be posting more pictures this coming week.

Picture credit: resin and sterling silver pendant hung on rubber neoprene cord

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday's website of interest to art enthusiasts: HOW TO BUY ART ONLINE

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Today's art related article to share is How to Buy Art Online. Making an art purchase is tough, but buying it online can make it even tougher for those who are traditional about wanting to see art before making a purchase. This article details a few of the items people can consider before making an art purchase over the internet.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A conversation with Amanda Raithel: Part 5

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Where did you learn your technique?

Like I spoke of earlier, I had a great teacher in High School. He taught me the fundamentals of drawing. Upon entering college at the University of Missouri, I honed my skills by practice.

Picture credit: "One Man's Opinion", pencil drawing

Click here to learn more about this Angus steer drawing

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Art exhibits for Valerie D'Ortona

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If you happen to be traveling through north central Florida between now and the end of the year, look for Cow Art and More artist Valerie D'Ortona in the following locations:
  • Gainesville Community Playhouse
Exhibition: November - December 2009
4039 NW 16th Blvd., Gainesville, FL

  • Gallery of Hair Design
Exhibition: November - December 2009
5109 NW 39th Ave., Gainesville, 52-373-0199

Picture credit: Valerie also has tote bags with her famous "May the MOO be with You!" design out just in time for the holidays.

Click here to go to Cow Art and More to purchase this item

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A conversation with Amanda Raithel: Part 4

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Where do you get your inspiration?

I'm inspired the environment around me. I am completely surrounded by cattle and horses. They are what I know and what I love, they inspire me everyday.

Picture credit: Amanda (white hat) enjoys some time practicing her calf roping skills while riding on a Quarterhorse.

Monday, November 9, 2009


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Monday's agriculture themed website to share is for the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE). The event goes on every fall in November and is currently running through November 20. Louisville, Kentucky, is the home for the NAILE, which is the world's largest all-breed, purebred livestock exposition. Ten different species of livestock compete in the exposition, and the purebred beef and sheep events are the largest in the world. It is also the site of the National Jersey show. Accompanying the event, the North American Quarter Horse Show is among the top five shows in the nation and the North American Championship Rodeo features the invitational finals for the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A conversation with Amanda Raithel: Part 3

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What is your technique?

I use prismacolor colored pencils and graphite to created multi-layered pieces. The element of value, which is the difference between light and dark or shading, is what makes my artwork interesting. I use many, many shades of light and dark to make my drawings come alive.

Picture credit: "The Color of Money"

Go to Cow Art and More to learn more about this original cattle pencil drawing

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday's website of interest to art enthusiasts: HOW TO CHOOSE ART FOR A BEDROOM

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Today's art themed article to share is "How to Choose Art for a Bedroom." The article details how the bedroom is generally not "on display" like other rooms in a home and deserves special attention.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A conversation with Amanda Raithel: Part 2

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How did you get started?

As with most artists, I had a great teacher. In secondary school, I learned I had the necessary eye and determination to make good artwork.

Picture credit: "Brothers", pencil drawing

Click here to go to Cow Art and More to learn more about this beef cattle drawing

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cow Art and More to support dairy youth

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Cow Art and More is partnering with the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) to fundraise for jersey youth. Jewelry artist Kathy McComb Swift has created a charm replica of the traditional Jersey jug, honoring the heritage of the Jersey breed. Cow Art and More will donate 15 percent of the selling price to AJCA to help support future Jersey milk producers through youth scholarships.

“I realize now what impact adult supporters had when I was also a youth involved with cattle. They gave their precious time and monetary support to provide the opportunity for me to grow as a leader in the dairy industry,” states Swift. “I am in a position now to help the next generation and am excited to be able to do so with my artistic abilities."

The charm is available for purchase in the jewelry section of the Cow Art and More catalog or by calling the toll free customer care number, 888-613-6019. Charms will also be available for purchase at the All American Jersey show and sale in Louisville, Kentucky, November 8 and 9.

Picture credit: sterling silver Jersey jug milk can charm

Click here to go to Cow Art and More to learn more about this piece of cow jewelry

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A conversation with Amanda Raithel: Part 1

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Why do you draw?

In a nutshell, I draw because it presents a challenge to me. A new drawing is a chance for me to showcase the skills I have developed and uncover new ones that are emerging. Furthermore, I love to hear the emotional response that my drawings merit from my viewing public.

Picture credit: "Bred, Owned and Shown", original pencil drawing

Go to Cow Art and More to find out more about this drawing including an artist commentary

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday's agriculture website of interest: THE CENTER FOR FOOD INTEGRITY

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Today's agricultural website to share is The Center for Food Integrity.

The Center for Food Integrity was established in 2007 to increase consumer trust and confidence in the contemporary U.S. food system. The primary mission of the organization is to promote dialogue, model best practices, address issues that are important to consumers, and serve as a resource for accurate, balanced information about the U.S. food system.

The center is a non-profit entity and does not lobby or advocate individual food companies or brands. The group's member organizations represent each segment of the food chain, including farmers and ranchers, processors, and companies that deliver food products under local, regional and global brand names, and government.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November featured artist

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Registered Angus farmer and fine arts graduate Amanda Raithel is the featured artist this month on Cow Art and More. Amanda farms with her husband and daughter on their Nebraska ranch. Amanda's artwork centers around the show cattle business she and her husband have dedicated their lives to. See the complete line of Amanda's work on the Cow Art and More specials page.

Amanda's art has free shipping for the entire month.
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