Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday's agriculture website - National Ag Day

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National Ag Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless other across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture. This year's event is March 15. The Ag Day website lists event ideas and agricultural resources to celebrate Ag Day in your own community.

The event was started by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA), an organization uniquely composed of leaders in the agriculture, food and fiber communities dedicated to increasing the public awareness of agriculture's vital role in our society. The Agriculture Council of America and the National Ag Day program was started in 1973. It is a non-profit organization the helps to support and provide education to all interested in Ag Day.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Jo Lynch - other interests

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What else do you do besides your art?

My husband and I have been avid travelers, and have always loved seeing new places, and new things. Luckily we both also love most sports and we've tried almost all of them. We taught Scuba diving in the 60's, learned to ski in our 40's, skied all over the world including Switzerland and Italy. We have done Geocaching, Racquetball, bowling, golf, curling, bocce, iceskating, hiking and RV travel. We did a summer in Alaska and have spent much time in our later years in the Western United States. Our country has so much to offer. I am also an avid reader and an avid computer person with an endless curiosity. I've been using the computer since 1980 when the first home computers really didn't do much and they didn't even have a hard drive. I consider myself blessed with my family, my life and my gift of art...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Repairing or Restoring a Picture Frame

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Today's art themed article is how to repair or restore a picture frame. The video shows how to use two different kinds of resin to first make a mold, then make a replacement part for the frame.

*Note: As someone who uses resin, a few notes to share with viewers that are not included with the video:

Use in a well ventilated area.
Use with gloves and safety goggles.
Use only disposable cups and stir sticks.
Mix carefully and do not incorporate bubbles into the mix, if possible.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jo Lynch - future plans

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

I don't know the answer to that. I do my art somewhat as the mood strikes me. I have no real wish to do any particular subject. I just like to paint and my moods do certainly dictate what I choose to do from day to day, and week to week. I think the answer to this is the future will show me what I'd like to do more of...

Picture credit: Jo Lynch (right foreground) painting on a dock in Martha's Vineyard.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cow Art and More included in Southern Living magazine

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Cow Art and More is excited to announce the inclusion of the artwork of Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson in the March 2011 issue of Southern Living magazine. Giclee prints of her mixed media collage, Lazy Afternoon, were included in the magazine's "rodeo chic in style" decorating section. "Lazy Afternoon" can be found on page 22.

Southern Living magazine was first published in 1966 and today has a circulation of 2.8 million copies. Regular topics in the magazine include food and recipes, home decorating, and the lifestyle of living in the South.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jo Lynch - painting advice

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What advice to you have for aspiring artists?

I once read in a drawing book that you have to draw every day, everything you see, and this will continue your skill and growth as an artist. I believe it is true, and I'm guilty of NOT doing enough of the daily drawing. I think this helps creativity along with skill. They meant draw EVERYTHING. The junk under your kitchen sink, whatever is on the table, what you see in front of you anywhere, anytime. Draw every day to get better. If you can't draw well, then your paintings will not be good. I also believe interacting with other artists is also very helpful to becoming a better artist, and one needs to learn to listen to criticism. Skip's critique's were brutal, but I feel I learned more from what he said than anywhere else. Later a group of us that had taken art with Skip formed our own group, meeting once a week to paint on location. We painted, then we critiqued our own art. I think this is a valuable tool for artists also... Be open to new ideas, be open to other artists and art forms.

Picture credit: "Horse of Many Colors", watercolor on paper

Click here to learn more about this horse painting

Monday, February 21, 2011

So you want to be a cow or horse veterinarian?

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This post was written by Jennifer Skogenis, a guest blogger for Pounding the Pavement and a writer on the subject of vocational schools for the Guide to Career Education.

So You Want to be an Agricultural Veterinarian?

Do you love All Creatures Great and Small? Is it your dream to heal adorable cows, all of whom have huge, cartoon-like brown eyes? Then you might be considering a career as an agricultural veterinarian. But before you start buying novelty-sized “Get Well Soon” cards, or order any cow-print stethoscopes, there are a few questions to ask yourself concerning your chosen profession.

Do You Love School?

Though a love of animals will get you far in the world of veterinary medicine, you still need to attend college—for about eight years. This is not counting internships and specialization training after graduation. Even after passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam, you still need to constantly educate yourself to stay current with the latest veterinary breakthroughs. If you want to work with animals, but not invest as much time into your degree, think about a career as a veterinarian technician. For information about vet tech employment opportunities, please visit Vet-Tech-Schools.

Are You Strong Enough?

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. Right? Well, if a horse is lying down in the mud, too sick to stand, then you can't actually lead that horse anywhere. As an agricultural veterinarian, it is your job to help those poor, yet gigantic, souls who cannot help themselves. This takes great strength, both emotional, and physical, and the ability to stay calm during life-threatening situations. Though hamsters and cows each have their own special and complicated physiology, you don't usually have to worry about a hamster kicking you in the head while you take his temperature.

Do You Love To Drive?

Sometimes people take their large animals to see a specialist, but more often the veterinarian comes to them. Since cows do not generally wait for you to have a cup of morning coffee before going into labor, or getting a hoof stuck in a barbed-wire fence, expect the phone to ring all hours of the night. And farm animals are usually, you guessed it, in very rural areas. So unless you already know each location like the back of you coffee mug, make sure you have a good map, or a reliable GPS, and some lively music for the hours you will spend on the road.

Are You a Good Boy Scout/Girl Scout (Always Prepared)?
Your vehicle is not only a means of travel: it must carry everything you will need to treat animals. Some examples are surgical equipment, medicine, x-ray machines, and stethoscopes (cow-print or otherwise). The conditions are not often sterile, and the lighting is generally bad. Think M*A*S*H* instead of ER. The cow or horse you treat might be covered in mud, or even lying in its own filth. From the miracle of birth to stitching up gashes, you need to feel confident that your office on wheels will carry you through any situation.

Do You Think All Animals Are Pets?

While it is easy to be swayed by a cow's big eyes and floppy ears into imagining him as some sort of overgrown dog, it is important to realize that these animals are not often pets. Not only is it your job to keep a single cow healthy, but there is the farmer's business to remember. For example, sanitation control between farms is crucial for preventing the spread of diseases among huge groups of livestock. So, even as you remember Ferdinand and Clarabelle, think of milk and hamburgers.

Do You Want to Run Your Own Business?

Most agricultural veterinarians work by themselves or with a small group of partners. Either way, you will basically be running your own business. So, while you should be calm and collected with those four-legged patients, you must be equally responsible regarding payments, expenses and advertising. Learn to be your own boss, and you will have more time to be a great veterinarian.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Jo Lynch - Do you have paintings you don't like?

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

All the time. I've torn up more art work than I own and will continue to do so. I also have loads of artwork that I'm not satisfied with but I keep thinking one day, I'll go back and work on this or that. I'm sure this is common with most artists.

Skip, the art teacher I mentioned before told us we have to paint 100 paintings to get one we like. I believe he is correct. It took a long time before I had one keeper. My husband named my first painting that I liked "48 and 1/2 cents" as that's what he said he would pay for it. We keep it still. :) A wonderful memory, my color breakthrough.

Picture credit: Jo Lynch painting plein air, Chesapeake Bay, Virginia

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Jo Lynch - How long does it take you to finish a painting?

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

I would say an average creation takes me approximately a week from start to satisfied completion. I tend to get close to finished, then let a painting rest.. After looking at it for a few days, I can see what I do and do not like, and usually I am able to correct or finish the artwork. Another helpful tool in knowing when a painting is finished is looking at it in the computer. For some reason, I can see things that are not right very quickly when looking at a WIP=work in progress in the computer. A very helpful tool.

Picture credit: Jo painting on location in Maryland

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday's art article - How to judge art

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When many people are asked about whether or not they like a piece of art, they can give you a "yes or no", but not necessarily the why. The article How to judge art breaks down some of the simple reasons why people may find a piece of art to their liking. The review lists five areas and discusses them in detail about how people evaluate art.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Jo Lynch - How did you get interested in painting cows?

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

Actually I've always loved the shapes of cows and horses... cows have many funny angles, strong shapes, sort of a linear feeling to me, and horses are smooth and streamlined in my eyes... I love to see a horse in motion. There is a flow to a horse in motion. When I started creating my Whimzicals, I thought a cow would be perfect with it's angular shapes, so a cow was one of my earliest whimzicals. If anyone wants to share photos of horses or cows with me, I'd be delighted as I do not have a lot of horse photos to work from. I have taken many cow photos in my art life... most of them from farms in Western Maryland or Virginia while traveling.

Picture credit: "Southwest Cow and Calf", watercolor on paper

Click here to learn more about this beef cattle painting

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Art, agriculture and agvocacy

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It's not very often that I get to visit an art exhibit about agriculture. When the Florida Museum of Natural History had their opening day activities for the exhibit, Florida Cowboys: Keepers of the Last Frontier, I jumped at the chance to go. I love art. I love agriculture. I never thought about combining the two of them into an agvocacy moment, which is what the exhibit so joyfully achieved. It seems that the public is truly interested in what we might consider "an average day's work". In addition to the photography exhibit detailing Florida's beef cattle industry, there were groups from the University of Florida extension service, multiple beef breed organizations, and the gator collegiate cattle women. Each of the these groups, along with Florida Cattlemen's Association, educated museum attendees about the Florida cattle and ranch industries. What follows are my photographs from the event.

For articles published in the local newspaper, the Gainesville Sun, follow these links:

Museum offers a glimpse of the cowboy life

Cowboys mosey on up to museum

There was a heifer and bull calf there for visitors to see up close. Everyone was fascinated with everything about cow behavior. (I'm thinking the calves were thinking the same thing about the people.)

A cowboy was there with his horse, a descendant of the horses brought from Spain when settlers first came to Florida hundreds of years ago. He rode the horse a bit to show a few of the skills necessary for both to be effective at working cattle.

The cattlemen's association also had a few camps set up outside to let visitors know what it was like to work on a ranch before modern conveniences were available.

As museum goers were able to see, the accommodations were rustic to say the least.

Once inside the museum, other farmer based groups were there to answer questions and share the importance of agriculture to everyone's daily life. The Alachua County cattlemen's group provided literature and had a posterboard of cattle facts.

My boys and I stopped to enjoy some time with the Gator Collegiate Cattle Women at the University of Florida. They had "little people" oriented materials and games.

One of the games they participated in was learning about ALL the products that come from cattle.

Of course, we went to see the art as well. These are just a few of the pictures from the exhibit.

This Florida "cracker" cow greets people as they enter the exhibit.

Who knew picking up newborn calves was art?

In addition to the photography, there were exhibits with other husbandry items to help explain the process in the photos. In front of this picture, there are examples of products used on the day that picture was taken. There were antibiotics, dewormers, fly sprays, dehorners along with a rope and saddle.

Visitors can also take the opportunity to watch any of several movies running. They show the history of Florida cattle ranches and what it's like to work on one.

At the end of the day, even I was amazed that the art of agriculture could serve as an agvocacy moment. Perhaps this could be a lesson to all of us on finding another way to connect with consumers.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jo Lynch - How do you decide what to paint?

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How do you decide what to paint?

I am blessed in that I can paint whatever I choose, and I decide simply by what appeals to me, or how I feel on a certain day. I have no commitment to anyone but myself, so I am rich in the fact that I can paint what I desire. I usually do not feel interested in painting the same subject more than once or twice a year. If I paint a sea turtle, then I no longer have that desire for a while, but look for something entirely different. I currently live in Florida and have been interested in our sea life and wild life here as it was new to me. Sea Turtles, Manatees, Pelicans, Dolphins and other Florida wildlife have interested me these last years along with dogs, cats, birds, and can you say most living creatures... :) I also love large flower shapes, buildings and even landscapes. I don't seem to do much with the buildings and landscapes anymore, but if I could paint 24/7, then I'm sure they'd be a part of my choices.

Photo credit: Jo painting on the streets of France

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday's agriculture website: The Fields Project

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Today's website of agricultural interest incorporates art as well. The Fields Project tries to bring the two communities together. It is located in Illinois, nestled amid state forests and parks, historical sites, sandstone outcroppings, prairie vegetation and wild life. This wide and varied habitat provides endless subject matter for artistic expression.

The objective of The Fields Project is to focus public attention on art, agriculture, and natural resources while creating new relationships between artists, farmers, environmentalists, and educators. For artists, the center has a nine-day program that includes lodging on a working farm. During this time, the artists are encouraged to create their art within their medium, or create art directly to the land itself. Visiting artists can also display and sell their work.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Jo Lynch - Where did you learn your painting technique?

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Where did you learn your technique?

I would say Skip Lawrence was the basis of my looser technique. Before I met him, I tended to paint in a tighter dryer style. He and subsequent artists opened me up to the freedom that things don't have to be the color you see, and trees don't have to have every leaf on them to look like a tree. I took painting workshops and also learned similar ideas from other wonderful artists. Each had input that was very valuable to me. One must be open to new ideas

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday's art article - How to paint abstracts

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Ever wanted to try painting? Ever wanted to try painting in an abstract style? This brief article on explains How to Paint Abstract Paintings from a Photo. The tutorial starts with a picture of flowers and shows readers several techniques on how to create an abstract painting from the photographic image.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Artist Jo Lynch - Where do you get your inspiration?

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Where do you get your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. Everyday things that one sees, patterns in nature, rain drops on a leaf, shadows, and my love of animals. I also love color and love to see how colors come together in a piece... this often gets me into trouble also, as I've destroyed many paintings by making some poor color decisions. Living in Florida has brought inspiration also.

Picture credit: Jo painting in the Smoky Mountains

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cow Art and More to create jewelry charm for charity

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Cow Art and More is excited to announce gallery owner and jewelry artist Kathy McComb Swift will be creating a new jewelry charm to make its debut at the 2011 National Holstein Convention in Richmond, Virginia. A portion of the sale of this charm will benefit the National Holstein Wives Scholarship Organization (NHWSO). The NHWSO provides scholarships for deserving youth who are pursuing college and graduate level education in agriculture. While the charm design has been decided, the finished piece will not be unveiled to the public until closer to the event.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Watercolor artist Jo Lynch - What is your technique?

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What is your technique?

I consider my technique loose, which means I prefer not to paint everything I see, but to give a loose interpretation of reality. I also love design, shapes, and the emotion one gets from looking at something. I think that inherently I have a feel for design, rhythm and balance. I love making shapes, thus the "Whimzicals (tm) were born. I didn't begin the "whimzical style" until 2006. I was playing around with a frog painting, and painted the first "whimzical"... It pleased me, and the "whimzicals took off from there.

Picture credit: "The Placid Cow", watercolor on paper

Click here to learn more about this cow watercolor painting

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday's agricultural website: American Humane Certified

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Today's agricultural website to share with readers is for The Humane Touch. I didn't know much about the group until I had the chance to interact with them on twitter last week in our weekly #agchat conversation. (The group can be found @humanetouch.) The Humane Touch was formed in 1877, with a mission to raise the awareness and importance of ensuring the welfare of both children and animals, becoming the first national organization in America to champion the cause. Today, they offer the American Humane certification program, a science-based farm animal welfare program built around a comprehensive set of standards and audits. A part of the program is encouraging consumers to learn more about the animal welfare measures taken by farmers in raising, handling and selling food.

What I was most satisfied to learn about the organization is that it does not take a "one size fits all approach". Each farm is individually assessed and scored based upon their resources and management. They also make a point to continually evaluate producers as to give consumers confidence that a passing evaluation was not a single point event.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Painter Jo Lynch - How did you get started?

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How did you get started?

I could always draw from a young age, but I had no real interest in sticking with it. I remember drawing trees while looking out of elementary school windows, when I was bored in class.. I didn't actually do much with painting until I was much older... I was in my very late 40's and early 50's. I decided to try a watercolor class in an old school. A teacher named Skip (William) Lawrence taught watercolor there once a week for 3 hours. He would demo and we would then paint. Then he would critique. We would die for a good critique. They were rare. :) I must have grown into myself as from that point on, I loved to paint. Prior to that time, I was simply not interested enough to stick to a painting or drawing more than once in a great while.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday's art website: Art Project, powered by Google

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How would you like to view museums from around the world, explore artworks at very detailed levels, and create your own gallery of masterpieces? Welcome to the Art Project by Google, a compilation of over a dozen of the worlds' greatest museums and their art. Users can "tour" the museums just as if they were there in person. Viewers can also zoom in on a painting to get more information, or can view videos about the piece on You Tube. This website is truly interactive! It is more than just a place to see art, it is a place to experience art.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jo Lynch - Why do you paint?

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Why do you paint?

I paint because it gives me pleasure. I love watching the flow of colors mingling, and it is particularly satisfying if one ends up with a painting that is pleasing to oneself. Many paintings are not of complete satisfaction, so it is very rewarding to be happy with a painting when it is finished.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Featured artist for February, painter Jo Lynch

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Cow Art and More is excited to announce this month's featured artist is watercolor painter, Jo Lynch. Jo enjoys painting animals in her "whimzical" style, which involves using very colorful brush strokes to represent her subjects. Jo is also an animal lover, and supports her local animal shelter by donating art to their auction fundraisers. She is currently working on a commission to decorate the neonatal unit of the Tampa General Hospital. Jo discusses her painting styles and techniques in a series of "question and answer" sessions the entire month on the Cow Art and More blog. See Jo's complete painting portfolio in our specials section.

Enjoy free shipping on all of Jo's art for February.
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