Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday's art themed article of interest: ART AS AN INVESTMENT

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With the financial uncertainties in our economy at the moment, people are looking to alternative investments to place their money. The recently published article, Guide to Buying Art as an Investment, breaks down seven considerations you need to thoroughly investigate before buying art as an investment vehicle.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A conversation with Meg Birnbaum: Part 12

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What else do you do besides your art?

I'm a freelance graphic designer and the work comes in waves so there are long periods where I think about photography but can't act on it. I walk my dog, Ruby, in dog parks, by ponds and in the woods. She's not a big fan of the camera but tolerates me bringing it along. Promotion for my photography takes a good deal of time and I never have enough.

Photo credit: Meg learning first hand about language barriers on a visit to rural China while in the country for her photography exhibit

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A meet and greet with artist Robin Maria Pedrero

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The Steinway Piano Gallery of Altamonte Springs, Florida (a suburb of Orlando) is featuring Cow Art and More artist Robin Maria Pedrero in the show "Continuum" for the month of May. In "Continuum," Robin presents works of art that infuse color and design to illustrate the timelessness of nature and love. Using opaque and transparent painted layers and selective ink drawn contours she shows how thoughts triggered by senses can take us on a visual journey connecting present perceptions, past experiences and future musings. A “Meet the Artist” wine/cheese/jazz reception will be May, 13, 2010 6 to 8 pm. Admission is free.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A conversation with Meg Birnbaum: Part 11

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What advice to you have for aspiring artists?

Try to not over-think things... just keep shooting and often the thing that you should be doing becomes obvious to you. Don't worry too much about the quality of your camera right off the bat. Work on seeing first and craftsmanship later. It is really hard, but try to tune out any negativity from other people in your life and keep moving forward with doing what you enjoy.

Photo credit: Meg's recent exhibit at the Tanto Tempo Gallery in Japan

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday's agriculture website of interest: LOCAL HARVEST

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For those interested in visiting local food outlets, today's agricultural website of interest, Local Harvest, lists farmers' markets across the country. Local Harvest promotes organic and local food. It maintains a directory of farms, farmers markets, and other local food sources. The site also encourages people to establish direct contact with farms in their local area.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Interview with photographer Kent Weakley

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Cow Art and More photographer Kent Weakley recently did an interview with the horse website The Equinest. Kent discusses his techniques, favorite places to photograph, and what he plans to do more of in the future. Enjoy the interview plus some of Kent's horse photography not seen on Cow Art and More.

Photo credit: "Marchidor Eye"

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A conversation with Meg Birnbaum: Part 10

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

I'd love to find a project that would allow me to spend more time around animals. I'd love to explore antique photo processes. I'd like to continue to work with people who enjoy being photographed.

Photo credit: "Say Cheese"

Click here to learn more about this goat photograph

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday's art themed article of interest: LEARN HOW TO PAINT YOUR FIRST EVER PAINTING

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So all this looking at art has you inspired to try your own hand at painting? So what's stopping you! Today's art themed article of interest in Learn to Paint Your First Ever Painting. This article covers everything from selecting the paints, canvas and subject to covering technique and how to fix your mistakes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A conversation with Meg Birnbaum: Part 9

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

Yes! Sometimes I have to throw out a roll or two of film. When I've been playing around with a more conceptual type of photography I can often see the image in my head before I shoot it or I try to sketch it first to see if it will work, but sometimes it just doesn't. It really is hard to give up on an idea and admit that it just isn't working.

Photo credit: "Shorn"

Click here to learn more about this sheep photograph

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Learn collage making from Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

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Learn collage making and enjoy a relaxing weekend all at the same time! Cow Art and More mixed media artist Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson will be teaching her "paper painting" technique at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina, May 22 and 23, 2010. While you're there, you can also enjoy the reception for Elizabeth's work that is featured all month at the hotel's art gallery. Call the Grand Bohemian Hotel at 828-398-5555 to reserve your space.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A conversation with Meg Birnbaum: Part 8

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

There usually is one image per roll of film that is worth considering as a 'keeper' but that's a hard question to answer. Sometimes things work and sometimes not so much.

Photo credit: Meg's recent photography exhibit in China

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday's agriculture website of interest: RAW MILK FACTS

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With all the debate going on recently about "real food" and "natural food", there is a lot of information out there for consumers to sift through. I recently found the Real Raw Milk Facts website and found it to be a balanced resource about consuming raw milk and raw milk products.

In 2009, two public health sessions sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the International Association for Food Protection were held to discuss emerging issues surrounding the increasing popularity of raw, unpasteurized, and unprocessed milk. The Real Raw Milk Facts website was inspired by discussions following the presentations. Many participants felt that there was a need for a website that addresses the complex issues surrounding raw milk science and policy. The website is also meant to serve as a clearinghouse for evidence-based information on raw milk benefits and risks including scientific studies, reports and presentations.

The content for this site was developed and reviewed by scientists and health educators in universities, government, industry, and trade organizations. Comments were also solicited from raw milk consumers.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Watch painter Linda Blondheim in action

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Cow Art and More acrylic and oil painter Linda Blondheim will painting at two "paint-outs" in Florida between now and May 1. The first live painting event is the Evinston Paint Out in Evinston, Florida. The best Florida landscape painters are invited to come and paint. They then sell the artwork as "fresh and wet" paintings in the wetroom gallery located in the Wood & Swink Old Store and Post Office. Proceeds of the art sales benefit the store and its restoration. Linda is this year's poster artist (seen in the poster at left). The Evinston paint out is April 17 to 24, 2010.

Just as Linda finishes up the Evinston paint out, she travels south to Winter Park, Florida (a suburb of Orlando). The Winter Park paint out runs from April 24 to May 1, 2010. Dur­ing this spe­cial event, 26 of Florida’s finest plein air artists will roam across our fair city cap­tur­ing many of your favorite land­scapes and land­marks with oils, water­col­ors and pastels.

Plein Air is a French term mean­ing “in the open air”. This term is used to describe art works painted out­doors with the sub­ject directly in view rather than in a stu­dio. Plein air artists cap­ture the spirit and essence of a land­scape or sub­ject by incor­po­rat­ing nat­ural light, color and move­ment into their works.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A conversation with Meg Birnbaum: Part 7

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How did you get interested in photographing cattle and other farm animals?

I love any excuse to be around any kind of animal. When I started going to summer fairs I was very attracted to the relationships that I witnessed between the cows and the 4H members. I became a confirmed vegetarian after that summer of being around the farm animals. I found cows to be so gentle, trusting and soulful.

Picture credit: "Cowgirl"

Click here to learn more about this cow photograph

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday's art themed article of interest: LOW BUDGET DECORATING

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With the spring cleaning does the urge to redecorate enter your mind? In addition to purchasing new art for a space, there are some low cost ways, budget friendly ways to freshen up a room. Today's art themed article is Low Budget Decorating, High Style Looks by Kahi Lee of the Home and Garden Television show, Design on a Dime. She details a few simple tricks "do-it-yourself-ers" can do to give any room in your home a fresh, new look.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A conversation with Meg Birnbaum: Part 6

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How do you decide what to photograph?

Often by accident or sometimes it finds me. I shoot a lot and then see what 'develops'. The way that my series on summer fairs started was totally a wonderful accident. A friend of mine and I went to a fair on a labor day weekend in Burlington, Vermont. I hadn't been to a fair since I was a kid but the tastes, smells and sounds brought happy memories rushing back. I only took a few shots but two of the back to back negatives turned out to be two of my best shots ever and they were very exciting to me. I did some research to see how other people had handled photographing the same material and I felt that I could say something unique and different by combining the timelessness of black and white film with the toy camera. Plus it gave me a great excuse to be around animals and eat french fries. The hard part was in having to wait 11 months until the fair season started again in New England.

One of my current projects came about after reading about a woman in a short item in a local newspaper. I couldn't stop thinking about her so I found out her email and wrote to see if she might be interested in being photographed. Luckily she said yes and that led me to other like-minded subjects.

Photo credit: Meg Birnbaum discusses her photography in a slide show talk to visitors to the Tanto Tempo Gallery in Japan.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cow Art and More painter on magazine cover

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Cow Art and More watercolor artist Victoria Whorley has her painting, "Heads or Tails" on the cover of the April 15, 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The magazine is the official bimonthly publication for the 78,000 veterinary members of the American Veterinary Medical Association and contains current events, case studies, and research articles. The editorial staff of the magazine selects a different original artwork to grace almost every cover of the magazine. Victoria's unique painting of these Holstein cows caught the eyes of the editors, and they found it worthy of a magazine cover. Cow Art and More is proud to represent Victoria and her watercolor paintings of both beef and dairy cattle.

Photo credit: "Heads or Tails"

Click here to learn more about this cattle painting

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A conversation with Meg Birnbaum: Part 5

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Where do you get your inspiration?

At the risk of sounding kind of flip.... there is inspiration everywhere... reading books, seeing movies, looking at other photographers work and the energy you can get from being around students.

Photo credit: The reception for Meg Birnbaum's photography at her recent exhibition at the Tanto Tempo Gallery in Japan.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday's agriculture website of interest: CONTAINER GARDENING

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Spring is here and there's much to do and enjoy outdoors. Farming and gardening is something that has been a part of my entire life. Even though I have limited time and space to have a large garden, I still enjoy growing my own herbs and vegetables when and where I can. Today's agriculture article of interest is Container Vegetable Gardening. It is a brief article detailing how to grow vegetables in pots and plants and which ones are best suited for that situation. (I planted my pepper, tomato plant and herbs this past weekend.) Happy gardening!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A conversation with Meg Birnbaum: Part 4

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Where did you learn your technique?

Mostly from looking at the work of other photographers. I learned the basics from trial and error in the darkroom when I was young. I really didn't have any formal education in photography other than a basic darkroom refresher course 9 years ago.

Photo credit: "Waiting for Judging"

Click here to learn more about this cow photograph

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday's art themed article of interest: JEWELRY APPRAISALS

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*For those new to the Cow Art and More blog, every Friday, veterinarian, jewelry artist, and gallery owner Kathy Swift shares an art themed website with readers.*

With spring cleaning on everyone's mind, cleaning out a jewelry box might fall somewhere on your list. Did you know that many homeowner's insurance policies will not cover the full value of your jewelry if it's lost or stolen? Today's article, Appraising Fine Jewelry, covers the basic details of what you should have appraised, who you should get to do it, and what you can expect it to cost.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A conversation with Meg Birnbaum: Part 3

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What is your technique?

I'm currently in love with using "toy" cameras. There is a real cult following for them now. Not a disposable camera but one that is a reusable 120 film camera. The most readily available one is called a Holga. They are very basic with little control options and tend to create a soft-focused and timeless/retro appearance. Whenever possible I like printing in the darkroom on matte fiber paper and then I tone the prints sepia.

Photo credit: "Chicklet"

Click here to learn more about this chicken photograph

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Need a brunch recipe?

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I was working on a brunch menu recently and came across this recipe. It is one of my favorites and I thought blog readers might enjoy it as well. The recipe comes from a friend of mine in veterinary school. This breakfast casserole is wonderful to feed a crowd and since you make it the night before, it's the perfect "force me to be organized" breakfast dish.

Breakfast Casserole

1 1/2 boxes of Pepperidge Farm croutons or 8 slices of bread, cubed (I use the croutons)
3 cups of milk, divided
4 eggs
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of broccoli soup
2 to 3 cups of cheddar cheese (more or less to your liking)
1 pound of ground sausage
Package of ritz or saltine crackers
2 tablespoons of butter, melted

Spread bread/croutons in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Mix 2 1/2 cups of the milk, eggs, and mustard. Pour over the croutons. Brown the sausage. Sprinkle the meat over the crouton mixture. Top with the cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, mix the remaining 1/2 cup of milk with the soup. Pour over the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Crush a sleeve of crackers. Mix the crackers with the melted butter. Sprinkle over the casserole for the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A conversation with Meg Birnbaum: Part 2

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Why do you do photography?

I have been in love with visual stories since my sisters and I would fight over who got to read Life and Look magazine first when they arrived in the mail on Tuesdays. I spent many years as a magazine art director and loved finding photographic solutions for editorial content so I see the potential for narrative everywhere. But the simple answer to the question is that photography has connected me to a wonderful community of people and taken me to places I would never have imagined I could go. I simply think about making images all the time.

Photo credit: "Cheek 2 Cheek"

Click here to learn more about this sheep photograph

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday's agriculture website of interest: #AGCHAT FOUNDATION

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*For those new to the Cow Art and More blog, every Monday, veterinarian, jewelry artist, and gallery owner Kathy Swift shares an agricultural themed website with readers.*

I am excited to share today's agriculture related website with everyone, the Agchat Foundation. This foundation was formed to help farmers and ranchers use social media to tell their stories to the 98.5 percent of the population not engaged in the production of food, feed, fuel and fiber. I am proud to say that I have been a part of the weekly #agchat discussion group on twitter that discusses issues facing agriculture on a wide range of topics since its inception one year ago. I have made many friends as a result and feel empowered to help agriculture at more than just my local level.

I am also proud to say that I was asked and accepted a position to be on the Agchat Foundation board of directors. I am looking forward to helping farmers get their story in front of consumers. I invite everyone to view the Agchat Foundation website and join us in the conversation on twitter, Tuesday evenings, from 8 to 10 PM ET. (Follow @agchat to learn the details of the topics and how to join in.)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Happy Easter

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Cow Art and More wishes everyone a happy Easter with loved ones today. Thank you for making us a part of your family as well.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A conversation with Meg Birnbaum: Part 1

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How did you get started?

My older sister set up a darkroom in the attic of our house when we were in our early teens and I joined in and quickly became addicted.

Picture credit: "Brown Swiss"

Click here to learn more about this cattle photograph

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday's art themed article of interest: DONATING ARTWORK

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With tax time upon us, charitable donations are one way that people can help others and receive tax relief at the same time. Donate art, save taxes is an article that details what people should know before and after donating a piece of art to a charity or charity auction. It details the rules for donating art and instructions on how to determine its value.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April's featured artist: Meg Birnbaum

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Cow Art and More is excited to showcase photographer Meg Birnbaum for April. Meg enjoys capturing the American pastoral as a way to catalog rural American history. Meg recently returned from Japan, where some of the images from her "Corn Dogs and Blue Ribbons" collection were featured. Enjoy the question and answer sessions all month with Meg on this blog as she details her thoughts and processes. Her photography will be featured in the Cow Art and More specials section. Purchase any of her photography this month and receive free shipping.
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