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Sketch done, site stuff

Today was and is a bad pain day. The pain never really went down, especially the back pain. My last trip to the bathroom knocked out my back like it was a much longer hike.

But while I sat still I got onto the Sitesell site members area and did some number crunching on Oil Pastels. Combined with the success of my eHow article, the requests for more oil pastel articles and the fact that I'm planning a book on it that would be very helped by my doing a site on it, that's my first site's topic.

My eHow article turns up on the page of "how to use oil pastels" ranked second. One article? No wonder I'm getting good results on eHow. I have a few more that use oil pastels too.

The numbers are a little low, but not when I look at the way one serious painting could pay for renewing the site if I'm doing fine-art pricing. Or the way selling the book when I've already got a thriving website on the topic would be a lot easier. I've already joined the Oil Pastel Society. I've already got plans to become a Signature Member and put oil pastel paintings in galleries and the whole nine yards.

Writing about it when I do that for free all over the place for fun would be easier to keep up with than the admittedly lucrative topic of Bohemian Frugal Living.

This is just a matter of which of those two site concepts I do first. One looks like more slobbing-off (an art site) and one looks like more work for great return (frugal living will take more research than just my personal anecdotes).

The sites will cross connect well though. A lot of frugality tips on doing oil pastels will come up in the art site and once the other's up, crosslink to it. A section on "paying hobbies and potential job replacements" will naturally include art sites.

I realized "do the easy one first" is a way to get things done when I don't feel good, and writing about art cheers me up.

I also finished the pencil layout of the Blog Header. I broke the art into four tasks: Pencil Layout > Transfer Sketch & Refine > Test Ink & Color > Ink & Color. Final, fifth task is "Scan and put lettering in with Gimp."

And then it's done. I got one of those things done, and it was actually one of the tougher ones. Transfering this sketch is mechanical, refining will take a little work and a steady hand. Ink and color tests don't take a steady hand. Coloring does but it's fun. Scan and put lettering in is not that bad by itself.

So if I need breaks in between these tasks or I only manage one a day I will still get it done on time. Even more if I get two in on a day. I'll keep plugging at it till I'm done and other than that do whatever's in my reach. Today it happened to be mindlessly typing a word in on some software and clicking a few times and thinking about the results. So mind numbingly dull that it would've been miserably BORING on anything like a good day.

I redid my budget too and accounted for being able to give $27 to Kitten to make me a warm wool vest out of special 3% acrylic wool that can be machine washed, for our Camp Gaia trip over Yule. I also redid my art supply orders, shrank them so that I'd have a bit more left over for other things like that vest and joining the pastel society and so on, took out the big thing and finally made a decision on the Sahara Chair.

The Sahara Pack Stool and its numerous cousins (many of which don't have backs) have fascinated me since I was a little kid. Literally. I was envious of an army green backless one that I saw used by some NRA members to carry ammunition and sundries and always wanted that because it combined a bag to carry stuff and something to sit down on when my back hurt.

2004 I saw this one on sale and passed it up because I knew I wasn't actually going out to draw plein air or for anything that didn't have chairs where I was going. I could carry a chair with arms around if I was just going in the yard, or not bother. Often I didn't bother and sprung my back staying on my feet too much.

Lisa did a good sketch map of Camp Gaia last night and that bumped the "maybe, but I'll never use it because I don't really go out ever" camping and arting chair to the top of the priority list when I saw how far the cabins (including the disabled one) were from the outhouses and the main building. Gods, I wish I already had a power chair. It'd be no problem.

But this will let me stop and rest on the way if the outhouse is too far from where I am when I'm too tired.

There's another one with wheels but its carrybag behind the chair is hard to get at while sitting down -- and so huge I would overpack with half the art supplies I own. Then wind up with the same setup that wrecked my back doing street art -- too much weight in a wheeled thing that I push. Also the smaller Sahara Chair can go where wheels cannot if the ground is bumpy off by the trees.

The trees and woods are very close to every building. No matter where I am, I can find something cool to draw within two minutes of where I'm at. This is going to be great. I'm looking forward to Camp Gaia so much and going to enjoy the whole thing so much!

And if there isn't any seating at the bonfire, wow, that carrybag will be some and I won't have to ask someone to drag over a bench or chair from the main building or dining hall for me.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
Proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
New Topical Blog: www.robs-art-supply-reviews.blogspot.com for all the cool art stuff that isn't oil pastels!


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 22nd, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
Hi Robert!

I'm sad to hear you're not feeling well! Back pain can be such a beast to deal with. And kidney stones.

I'm glad for your creativity & enthusiasm! It's uplifting when 'one' is feeling low. Thanks for your reply in my Inbox last week. I truly enjoy your correspondence!

I completed my second wedding shoot on Friday. The lighting was a challenge to say the lease. Both brides chose outdoor sunset ceremonies and ran late against the sunset. By the time Friday's Bride walked her aisle, it was completely dark. Photoshop may not help this one. Ahh well ...

I'm up for searching for some good photography classes and a new camera!

I Hope you're feeling better soon! I enjoy your EHow articles! They're wonderful!

Nov. 22nd, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you. Sorry to hear about the late sunset shots. I guess the only thing that'd help that would be lights, then at least you could see the people when they pose. I can't imagine what else would help -- but then I'm not a photographer and you probably know all the tricks.

You might check out the photography forum on WetCanvas.com if you've never been there. I was good at pastels, good enough to make a living on portraits in the 1990s. When I started taking classes in the Pastels Forum in something I thought I already knew all the ins and outs, I felt like a raw beginner.

I'm growing constantly from their classes -- and they're free! They're often taught by authors of North Light books. I'm so over my head in photography that I couldn't say whether the photography forum also has expert help and instruction, but it stands to reason since every other medium or area I've poked into has super experts -- your several thousand dollars a painting type of painters -- giving classes and critique and free advice.

It's wonderful. I was so happy to go back to being a student and my art is growing in leaps and bounds.
Nov. 22nd, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the lights didn't help. The soft box and the extra lights kinda made everything spotty. My daughter tried using her soft box lighting also and it just couldn't fill the space. Last weeks wedding had twinkle lights and was in a botanical garden. They came out nicely. This week was an outdoor patio with barely no lights against white stucco. It was a definite challenge. My daughter had the better camera though, and she's got some nice outdoor shots.

Well we all the insides shots came out beautifully though! I'm pretty certain this bride will be happy. She understood from the outset that lighting could be tough. Thankfully, the site manager couldn't have agreed more.

Hope you feel better soon!
Nov. 22nd, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
Oh that's a relief! If they do have some good pictures and knew the outside ones might not come out, just relax and do your best. You manage this business so well.

Purrr thanks. It's now almost five and I still haven't gotten started on anything -- except I got the still life pictures taken before the fruit went bad. This is a biggie.
Nov. 22nd, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading my eHow articles. I love hearing back from readers. I'm going to be doing many more of them now and opening up a website of my own as well -- made serious progress on the Website Work yesterday.
Nov. 22nd, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
mixed day, eh?
I've had a very mixed week (see my journal entry) myself. I'm sorry to hear you are feeling rough - but you sure accomplished a LOT for someone with back pain!

Back pain is a thing all to itself - if your back hurts it seems like everything hurts, breathing even hurts. Ugh. Hate it. Hope you are much better now - and wish I could just mail you one of our healing hot springs. They do wonders for the back pain.

You're really getting into and good at the website work. I always think you should go with your passions - do those oil pastel things first. The other will wait.
Nov. 22nd, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
Re: mixed day, eh?
You are so right, except it depends on where. Lower back hasn't hurt my breathing. But oh does it make a problem when I can't even find a way to sit that I can concentrate let alone say, walk to the bathroom or get my coffee. I had to drop back to asking my family to bring me food rather than just scrounging when there's leftovers. That's bad.

My back is the canary in the coal mine. When my back goes out and I still have to do things, it's not long before my bad hip goes. Then my right knee and the tendon damage from the Three Appointment Day. Then it goes to bed rest, for weeks or months, and I get insane for a while being unable to do anything.

I got at the website stuff and in a way a pain day was the best for it because I could not think. It was not writing. It was not creative. It was crunching numbers and then checking them. It checked out very high for "A niche I could OWN for having that type of site.

The only real competition aside from competing sites that will pay me good affiliate income is the Oil Pastel Society that I just joined. I want to do five really knockout paintings and apply for Professional status, then run the five newest best ones past the jury for Signature Member status and double my dues.

That's halfway to selling a North Light Book and putting my name into the Oil Pastel Society publications and site too right alongside it, so that my modest little link on my About Me there routes right to the other site that came up on Google. Plus all the art supply companies. That's what most of the other sites are.

Those or artists doing them. I was shocked at how high my eHow article ranked.

Then my basic drawing articles, embedded in it, gets all these hits by medium and gets recommended too. Plus I do articles on it for other sites that do "we'll add your website to the page with your article" and get people following up -- and finding the bookmarkable "Oh yeah, that's right, that's that artist who can do great art with those things that were only $1 a box at the dimestore."

Oil Pastels have always been that -- and for learning on, the dollar a box type is just fine.

That means a homeless person could get amused reading it in the library, take a couple of dollars and at least get started with something they can find at Rite Aid. Especially if I send some of my promo copies to homeless shelters as donations too.

I need more time. I am so crunched for time right now that I resent every hour my symptoms steal. It's so frustrating.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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