My One Fantastic Workshop


The week before Thanksgiving I had the privilege of attending the 1FantasticWorkshop held in Nashville, Tennessee.  It was a four day workshop for artists that was focused on the business of making and selling art.

Each of the instructors were independent artists.  Some were digital, others specialized in graphite, acrylic, watercolor or oil paintings.  There were many demonstrations and new techniques that were shared with about 50 artists in attendance.  Some of the artists came from around the world.  I met artists from Sweden, England, Finland, and all across the United States.

scarrit bennit centerIt was held at the Skarritt-Bennett center on the North side of Nashville.  This center, I call my little piece of Hogwarts in the U.S.  A former religious university for women it has the look and feel of a medieval community.  The bell tower and dining hall add much  to this feeling of a magical setting.  The buildings have slate rooftops, and brick walls.  The windows of the dining hall each have heraldic images in stained glass.

I had to wear my Slytherin t-shirt at least on one of the days of the conference.  That’s just how I roll.  (Second row center. )

1fwlecturetimeIt was a wonderful time to meet new people as well as to connect with old friends I’ve met before at IlluxCon, or the Illustration Masters Class.

There were many discussions on running a project on Kickstarter, using Patreon, building your own artist community, self promotion, advertising on social media and many other topics.  Each Tuesday morning 11am Eastern time, the two hosts of the Workershop, Pete Morbacher and Sam Flegal discuss the business of art on their video podcast.

They report plans to host another workshop next November and it is well worth the cost of attendance.  It’s a magical setting and they help to teach you how to be wizards.

A special thank you to Tawny Fritz for the photos in this post.  She’s awesome!


500 Hands!


This summer I attended the Illustration Masters Class in Amhurst, MA.  It is a fantastic opportunity to paint alongside some of the best fantasy artists in the business.  During this week in June, one of the guest artists was circulating through our room and he commented on my sketchbook.  I have a very “sketchy” quality to my drawing.  Now, that’s not a bad thing but it is something that I would like to improve.  The fact is that I usually drawing things out in pencil.  I’m very tentative about my lines and as a result, I make numerous short lines as I am trying to find my drawing.20986864_1720546854908282_4014417068697845760_n

In order to work on this I developed a plan at the IMC.  I was going to work on my hands.  Hands can be difficult to draw.  They are expressive and add a lot to a painting as faces and hands are key elements to show emotion.  In part, my goal was to get better at drawing hands from a lot of different angles.

I also decided I would be working in Ink.  Most of the time, it was my brush ink pen.  I’ve also used my Pilot G-2 ink pens at times.  By drawing in ink, it forced me to think about my mark making process.  These pens had no erasures.  Some of my hands, were less than perfect.  When I made a mistake, I could sometimes correct it by using shadows, or putting in a dark background on the outside of the hand. Sometimes the hands just looked bad.

One of the things I learned while doing this was to imagine the line before I made the mark.  It became more common as I did this.  I could almost see a ghost image before I made my mark.  This forced me to develop a confidence in my drawing.  Doing a regular drawing in ink is a great experience and I recommend that you try it if you don’t do this sort of drawing.

Coming up with enough hand references was also fun.  I made my own board on Pinterest called “Hands”.  Photos of hands, drawings of hands.  Hands with jewelry, casts, and wearing armor.  Pinterest is often my source for reference materials.  I have a lot of boards, for costuming, food, and for art reference.  Over 8000 pins last time I checked.


This project is now done.  I’m going to start working on some illustration to prep for Inktober and some practice work for some watercolor work.  I hope you’ll still follow me along.

I’m Back!


Ha.  You didn’t even know I was gone.  I have made some changes to my website.  I am back with WordPress and if you keep checking out my website, it will direct you to my WordPress site.

There will be some more changes coming as I work on this site.  I’m just happy I figured out how to reconfigure my servers back to WordPress.

I will be setting up a page for my portfolio and also set up a sales page for my artwork.  You will also be getting some posts on my SCA activity as well as my artwork.  Hope you find this interesting.  This site should also be forwarding my blog posts onto my facebook page.



By George! I think I’ve done it.


I are truly hoping I’ve fixed my blog problem.  For over a month it’s been my intention to have my website upgraded and moved to a new program.  It’s been delayed too long.

First, my Spring allergies brought me down for about three weeks.  Sinus issues led to drainage into my throat and it was a lot of coughing and hacking for weeks.  Not a pretty sight to see.

Since then I’ve been working on this problem.  I’ve been trying to link my wordpress blog that I’ve used off and on (mostly off) to my new website.  There have been some serious linkage issues that I couldn’t figure out.  It appears that my most recent attempt may have actually worked.  At least it appears to work based on the Help tool and messages I’ve received.  I won’t know for sure until I send this post.  If it doesn’t work, I think I’ll have to make my posts on wordpress and then copy them to my website.  Currently, I have things set up so every blog post on WordPress will automatically repost on Facebook, Tumbler, and  Pinterest.

You can find my website at

It is still in production as I’m working on this.  I only have my ABOUT ME section and my blog section up.  I’ve been holding off on any blog updates until I’ve fixed this problem.  I still need to work on my GALLERY page and my SIGN UP page for my mailing list.  Then I will be upgrading my site to include a commerce site so I can start to sell my art online.  I plan to sell both original art as well as printed reproductions.  I’ll be making announcements along the way.

My next projects to be completed this weekend are to plant my summer garden and get my first newsletter out for this weekend.  I’m excited to share my upcoming summer activities with you all.

That’s it for now.  Let’s see if this appears on my website automatically.


This is only a test.


Over  the past few weeks my plans and goals went to the wayside.  I came down with a bad sLostintranslation_KirkTaskila72dpiummer cold brought on by my spring allergies.  So instead of working on these goals, I’ve been spending a lot of time, coughing up the morning mucus.  I know, not pretty.

One of my goals was to get a new website up.  After starting my trial period on Squarespace, I got sick.  So I wasted that two weeks without working on it.  However, I’ve been back at it.  I have my about page ready and tonight I’m testing out my blog links.  My blog has been in WordPress for a few years now.  I think I have the links set up to forward to my website.  This post is a test to see if it forwards both text and image to my website.

The website is at  It’s live but not finished.  After setting up this blog, I need to set up my gallery of images to promote myself.  After that, I want to set up my store so I can start marketing my art.  Each step a move forward.

Website Updates


It’s my goal to have a new website by the time you see this post.  My plans are to update my site with Squarespace.  I’ve had an old site at but it has not been what I wanted.

The things I want to see different about my site is that the landing page needs to be a page that will be an art gallery.  There will need to be a seperate page for ordering prints of my art and a page that will take you directly to a store where you can buy online.  My current site doesn’t have the store feature.  This needs to be part of my site.  Squarespace has this built in feature.  Several friends have recommended this site so I hope that this will be in place in the next few days.

I’ve never been well versed in website building. My graphic design training didn’t cover web design, thankfully more and more of these web building sites are user friendly.  My current site has not been very good with being user friendly.  I’m scheduling this post for this Thursday.  I should have a couple of evenings this week to work on this.  Please bear with me as this site is under construction. 🙂

Depression and Getting Motivated


There is a lot of depression in my life.  I’ve been dealing with my own depression for a long time.  It was at its worst when I was a teenager.  Now, it’s not too bad.  The biggest issues for me is that I deal with a lot of depression at work and talking with people in my personal life.

I recently had a friend unexpectedly die.  Another friend has lost his partner of 32 years.  Both create different reactions, depending on the personal relationships you have with the person.  Losing a loved one is a specific type of depression, called grief.

When depression starts to affect me, I often feel unmotivated.  Over the past year, I have kept a bullet journal to address the tasks I want to accomplish when I get out of my full time job.  It may be household chores, or art related, or social activities I want to get accomplished.  When the depression hits I often am unmotivated.  I can check my bullet journal and find I’ve not made a list or notation in it for a week or more.  It’s not a good sign and I need to make changes in my life.

Being a social worker, I hear a lot of bad things each day.  It’s not easy, but I try to use my art as a means to “save my soul” as I call it.  A few years ago, my depression was getting bad, and I was getting burnt out.  I needed to find something I wanted to do just for me.  I chose art.  I’ve always loved art and wanted to get better at it.  I started to work on it again, I have been taking a lot of classes on Art since that time, and it’s been something that I can do just for my own satisfaction.

Working on depression must be a personal thing.  Nobody really knows your pains, frustrations and trials but you.  If you want to change your life, you need to find a solution that works for you.  Working on art and keeping a bullet journal have been good tools for me and if you are dealing with depression, I urge you to get out and try to find your own solution.

Out with old and Updating the New


It’s been awhile since I’ve written a post here. Over the past few months, I’ve been having more and more frustrating problems with my home computer. Malware and viruses that I can’t seem to remove. I’ve been debating if I wanted to reformat the system or just buy a new computer. In the end, I’ve chosen to buy a new system.
My new machine has a 17.3″ screen, one Terrabyte on the hard drive, and 8 Gigabytes of RAM. It is a thing of beauty. I’ve been spending the past few weeks uploading the software I want to use on the computer. I have a working Photoshop copy as well as my Desktop publishing software again.
So far I am very happy with this new machine. Windows 10 is slow but it is very functional and I like all the things it does. For a machine of this size it was the cheapest I’ve ever paid for a laptop. You should be able to see more activity from me when I’m home. The problems I was having was deterring me from even wanting to fight with my computer. It made all digital art a problem. You should be seeing more in the future.