Monday, May 31, 2010

Remembering those we lost

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On this Memorial Day, I would like to take a moment and encourage everyone to remember the reason and importance of this day: to pay honor to the men and woman who have died in military service to this country. Additional Memorial Day history can be found at the US Memorial Day website.

The site also reminds us that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Q & A with Beth Dunn: Part 11

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What else do you do besides your art?

I am married and we love to travel when time permits. I love nature, and traveling to the mountains, going to art festivals, networking (online and in person), and helping others who are just starting out in the art field and graphic design. I also spend most of my time learning new design techniques.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday's art themed website: CRAYOLA

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With school nearing an end for many children, what to do this summer may seem like a tough question. The Crayola website has links to projects, templates, and products to satisfy the art needs of children throughout the summer.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Q & A with Beth Dunn: Part 10

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What advice to you have for aspiring artists?

My advice is to finish what you start. If you decide art is your life, and you would like to pursue it as a career, to seek training in a particular area (cartooning, illustration, graphic design, etc) so you can not only excel in your field, but be able to train others and mostly inspire other aspiring artists.

Picture credit: "Cow" on a stainless steel travel mug

Click here to learn more about this piece of novelty cow art

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

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Cow Art and More loves bringing the best in agricultural art to the agriculture community. We also love working with our customers and enthusiasts as "farm folks" are some of the best people out there. When Cow Art and More was asked by a customer to create something special for the Michigan state Brown Swiss Grand Champion show award, we were happy to take on the challenge! After some thought by jewelry artist and gallery owner Kathy McComb Swift, a collaborative effort between glass artist Mary McIntyre and painter Gary Sauder was forged and came up with this beautiful result!

This stained glass box measures approximately 8 inches by 10 inches by 2 inches tall. The lid is hinged and opens all the way to reveal a mirrored inside. Customers may choose one of Gary Sauder's "ideal type breed" dairy cow prints to place into the lid. (Beef cattle images to be announced soon.) The boxes are made upon ordering and require up to two weeks for delivery. They are expertly packed in styrofoam and shipped via UPS ground.

It is our hope that this piece of art will grace a desk or coffee table of the worthy Grand Champion winner. We are happy that we can be a part of helping someone remember their special day.

While we look forward to making more of these as show awards, we also expect people will like to give them as wedding, birthday, anniversary and graduation gifts. Looking to have yours personalized a little more? Please contact Cow Art and More. We are always happy to help.

(And THANK YOU to our fans, friends, and customers for allowing us to serve all your COW ART needs.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Q & A with Beth Dunn: Part 9

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

I would like to create more traditional works to show at various art festivals and art-related outlets. I would also like to create my own accessory line, featuring my pop artwork, including my cow prints.

Photo credit: "Across the Acres" greeting card

Click here to learn more about this cow art greeting card

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday's agriculture website of interest: PROGRESSIVE AGRICULTURE FOUNDATION

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Today's website of agricultural interest is the Progressive Agriculture Foundation. Their mission is to make farm and ranch life safer and healthier for all children through education and training. At the heart of this effort is the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day program. Founded by The Progressive Farmer magazine in 1995, the program trains and provides the resources that local communities need to conduct one-day safety programs that are age-appropriate, hands-on, fun, and safe for children. While the basic program reaches children ages of 8 to 13, safety days may also be conducted for younger children or entire families. Progressive Agriculture Safety Days are conducted in the United States, Canada and the U.S. territories.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Q & A with Beth Dunn: Part 8

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

Most all of my works are the result of at least one goof-up. That is how I taught myself layering (digitally) because if I liked one aspect, but not the whole, I found out I could add a layer and manipulate until I found a balance I liked.

Photo credit: "Cow Apron"

Click here to learn more about this piece of cow merchandise

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday's website of art interest: THE SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM

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The Smithsonian American Art Museum, is today's art website of interest. It is the nation's first collection of American art, and is an unparalleled record of the American experience. The collection captures the aspirations, character and imagination of the American people throughout three centuries. The American Art Museum is the home to one of the largest and most inclusive collections of American art in the world. Its artworks reveal key aspects of America's rich artistic and cultural history from the colonial period to today. More than 7,000 artists are represented in the collection.

In addition to a robust exhibition program in Washington, D.C., the Museum maintains a highly regarded traveling exhibition program. It has circulated hundreds of exhibitions since the program was established in 1951. From 2000 to 2005, museum staff have organized 14 exhibitions of more than 1,000 major artworks from American Art's permanent collection that traveled to 105 venues across the United States. More than 2.5 million visitors saw these exhibitions. The Museum had three major exhibitions touring the U.S. in 2009. The museum staff also produces a series of podcasts, also available through iTunes, which feature voices of artists, curators, and students.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Q & A with Beth Dunn: Part 7

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

Traditional works can be created from a few minutes to a few hours. Digital works can take hours upon days of completion.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mixed media collage artist on display

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Mixed media collage artist Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson will be displaying her paper painting collages along with four other artists whose medium involves paper, at the Gateway Center for the Arts in DeBary, Florida. If you have not been to visit this brand new home of Gateway Art League, the Photo Group, Children’s Play House, Gateway Community Theater, and Gateway Orchestra, you are missing out!

This educational facility for the arts provides classrooms, studios, kiln room, exhibit space, lecture hall, auditorium with innovative performance and small theater ability, catering kitchen, gift shop, offices and lobby-reception area. Elizabeth will be at the exhibit's opening reception on June 20th.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Q & A with Beth Dunn: Part 6

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How did you get interested in creating art of farm animals?

Farm animals are not a part of my daily work, so it is a challenge to incorporate them into an art piece. I am always up for a challenge, and I like to manipulate digitally forms, shapes, colors and compositions of these animals. Pop art is a fun way to utilize this technique.

Picture credit: "Horse Grazing"

Click here to read more about this horse digital art

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday's agriculture website of interest: DAIRY MAX

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Today's agricultural website of interest to share with readers is Dairy MAX. Dairy MAX is a non-profit organization affiliated with the National Dairy Council and funded by the dairy farming families in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and southwest Kansas. The team of dedicated professionals is devoted to the promotion of dairy’s lifelong health benefits and enjoyment of nutrient-rich foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt as supported by the US dietary guidelines. Dairy MAX provides timely, research-based nutrition information to the media, health professionals, schools, educators, consumers and others committed to fostering a healthier society. For over 35 years, the organization has supported the demand for dairy foods via strategic partnerships and programs while proudly representing the dairy farming industry’s positive image.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Need a good dessert recipe?

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This is one of my favorite EASY dessert recipes. It works great for serving a large group of people and looks beautiful if you can assemble it in a large glass serving bowl. It has gotten rave reviews and it is so simple I almost feel guilty for letting people think I'm a gourmet cook. (notice I said almost)

Death by chocolate

1 boxed brownie mix (I prefer Ghirardelli)
2 packages of chocolate mousse mix
16 ounces of cool whip, thawed
4 to 6 Heath bars
1 thick chocolate bar (optional)

Make the brownies according to package directions. If you're a Kahlua fan, you can poke holes in the brownies after they come out of the oven and drizzle with the Kahlua. I have done it both ways and found it to fine either way. Once the brownies are cool, crumble into large pieces. Make the chocolate mousse according to the package directions. (You can do this while the brownies are cooking and keep the mousse in the refrigerator when finished.) Layer half the brownies, half the chocolate mouse mix, and half the cool whip. Crumble the Heath bars (use 4 to 6 based upon your toffee preferences). Sprinkle half of this on top. Repeat the layers. Shave chocolate on top of the mix as a pretty garnish, but this is optional. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

That's it! I would suggest making it no more than 8 hours before you need it. It lasts at least two more days in the refrigerator after making. This can serve 8 to 12 people easy and is best suited for a climate controlled environment (versus an outdoor picnic).

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday's website of interest to art enthusiasts: HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT PAINTING FOR YOUR LIVING ROOM

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The living room is generally the place people use the most. It makes a great area for family to congregate or to entertain guests when they visit. Choosing artwork to beautify the space can be an overwhelming decision. Today's article, "How to choose the right painting for your living room, " helps to simplify the points people need to consider when making such a decision.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Q & A with Beth Dunn: Part 5

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Where do you get your inspiration?

For my design work, my inspiration comes ultimately from shapes and color, and significant to client's requests. Traditionally, my inspiration, again, is sparked by emotion and/or events.
Picture credit: "Ram"

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Enjoy a free concert

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Join collage artist Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson and the rest of the Maitland Symphony Orchestra at their free concert, May 16, 7:30 PM. The performance entitled, "Constellations -- Far Away Places and Rising Stars", will take place at the First Presbyterian Church of Maitland. (For non Floridians, Maitland is a suburb of Orlando.) Elizabeth will be there playing the violin. More information can be found on the Performing Arts of Maitland website.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Q & A with Beth Dunn: Part 4

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Where did you learn your technique?

Traditional technique is a God-given talent, but solidified with years of schooling & training. Digitally my technique was self-taught and my skills excelled throughout college.

Picture credit: "Cow ver. 2"

Click here to learn about this digital cow art image

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday's agriculture website of interest: AGRICULTURAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS ASSOCIATION

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Monday's agricultural website of interest is the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA). The AAEA is a not-for-profit association serving the professional interests of members working in agricultural and broadly related fields of applied economics. Members of the AAEA are employed by academic or government institutions, as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of teaching, research, and extension/outreach activities. Their work addresses a broad range of topics such as the economics of agriculture, international and rural development, resources and the environment, food and consumer issues, and agribusiness.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

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To all the mothers and grandmothers out there, Happy Mother's Day! While it may be the only "official" day of recognition for you, mothers deserve thanks EVERYDAY for what they do.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Q & A with Beth Dunn: Part 3

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What is your technique?

Digitally, my technique is layering. I use a lot of color and texture in my digital work. Traditionally, my technique is inspired by emotion and the type of medium I have chosen for that particular piece--mostly free-form.

Photo credit: "Cow Coffee Mug"

Click here to learn more about this cow ceramic mug

Friday, May 7, 2010

Blunders men make when buying mother's day jewelry

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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 and art related article or website with readers.*

I know Mother's Day is a very popular time for men to be buying the mothers in their life a special piece of jewelry. These are a few of my observations about the biggest mistakes men make when buying jewelry for a gift.

1. Not knowing the details
. I have actually had men buy earrings for a gift and not know if the woman had pierced ears. Wow! Major gamble! Find out as much information about your lady as possible. A good start is to find out a ring size, bracelet size, preferred length of necklaces, color preferences, metal preferences and any allergies.

2. Getting her something she doesn't have. This is only a good thing if you have heard her say that she wants a ".....". For example, if she doesn't own any bracelets, there may be a good reason why. Maybe she has a job where it gets in the way or she would have to take it off frequently. Take a quick inventory of her jewelry and get an idea of what she prefers or take notes the next time you are window shopping together.

3. Not considering the "what ifs". Is your jewelry purchase sizable? Can you return or exchange it if she doesn't like it? What if she likes the pendant but wants a different chain? Understand the exchange and return policy on the jewelry BEFORE you purchase it.

4. Buying something that doesn't go with her body type. Believe it or not, how a piece of jewelry is shaped or formed impacts how it looks on a person. For example, round earrings do not look good on a woman with a round face. A small pendant on a short chain isn't particularly flattering to a curvaceous woman with a large bustline. When you're buying the piece, get the person helping you to give suggestions or even the model the jewelry if necessary to help with the decision making process.

5. Buying something that doesn't go with her style. Buy her something she will wear! If she doesn't go to a lot of fancy occasions, she may not get a lot of wear from a big, fancy cocktail ring. Inexpensive earrings may be a better fit for daily wear. If she does a lot of work with her hands, a ring may not hold up to her rough schedule, but a necklace might fit the bill.

I am always happy to help shoppers with their gift purchases! There is also a group of articles on the Cow Art and More art resources page that art collectors, enthusiasts and jewelry collectors may also find helpful.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Q & A with Beth Dunn: Part 2

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How did you get started?

My love for art started once I could hold a crayon in my hands! I love color, and am a visual person, therefore I respond more visually than any other way. I realized I could use artwork not only (later in life) as a career, but ultimately as a way to express who I am as a person, using color and composition.

Photo credit: "Horse Drinking", digitally enhanced photograph

Click here to learn more about this piece of horse art

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pastel artist accepted into competition

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Cow Art and More artist, John Plishka, has been accepted into the national juried exhibition, "Art of the Horse" for 2010. The competition is sponsored by the New Jersey Equine Arts Association. This exhibit will be at the Somerset Arts Association in Bedminster, New Jersey. John's selected pieces are shown here:

Picture credit: "The Gentle Tutor"

Picture credit: "Valor in the Charge"

Please contact Cow Art and More if interested in purchasing either of these two horse drawings

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Q & A with Beth Dunn: Part 1

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Why do you do photography and digital art?

I love designing and creating artwork that has impact, evokes thought & emotion, and portrays my personality. For graphic design, I am a perfectionist. I meet every detail requested by the client. For my traditional artwork, I express emotion not only in the composition, but by the type of medium I am using for that particular piece. For instance, I can express intense emotion using ink and paint, rather than composing a piece digitally. Digital artwork is a more precise and delicate work. With using paints & inks, pencils and charcoals, I can whip up something in minutes rather than spending days on a piece by digital means.

Picture credit: "Cow", digitally enhanced composition

Click here to learn more about this piece of cow art

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday's agriculture website of interest: AGRICULTURE IN THE CLASSROOM

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*For those new to the Cow Art and More blog, every Monday, gallery owner, veterinarian and jewelry artist Kathy Swift shares a website or agricultural article of interest.*

Today's agricultural site to share is from the United States Department of Agriculture's, "Agriculture in the Classroom" program. The particular part of the site I find interesting is "Ag in the classroom lesson plans". For those looking for ways to communicate about agriculture to school aged children, it is a great resource of ideas on how to present a variety of topics to them. It lists hundreds of educational resources designed to help educators locate high quality classroom materials and information to increase agricultural literacy among their Pre-K through 12th grade students.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May's featured artist: Beth Dunn

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Cow Art and More is excited to announce this month's featured artist is digital artist Beth Dunn. Beth takes pictures of her subjects then uses her computer to graphically manipulate the images to create a "new perspective" on a familiar subject. Beth also enjoys a career as a graphic design artist assisting with logo designs and magazine layouts.

All of Beth's work is featured in the Cow Art and More specials section for May. Purchase any of her work this month and receive free shipping.
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