Sunday, October 12, 2014

Go Take a Look at the Online Auction for the Attleboro Arts Museum

Here's the URL...

I've donated two of my paintings for the cause.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Taunton Art Association 2014 Fall Art Show

The final day of the Art Show was today. A lot of excellent entries. My 'Gulliver Street in the Fall' took 3rd place in the Acrylic category. I show it below. I always agree with most of the judging, but never agree with it all. The judges certainly were qualified. Three were used with some diversity in backgrounds and expertise, e.g. watercolor, photography in particular. I always wonder how they reach a consensus. Must be interesting. Anyway, my third place was my best entry. Other times I've won with a piece that I entered as a 'oh, well...this is different...maybe someone will like it.'

There is some good work and good artists that never seem to win (not talking about me) but place 2nd or 3rd. The excellence of art work is in the eye of the beholder and the whole process of judging is subjective. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Painting Season Has Begun

For many of you, there is no painting season. Which could mean one of two things. It doesn't have seasons, it's all year long...or...well, or not. For me, I look forward to the fall and winter to get back into painting. It's a great diversion in the colder weather. It's an inside sport. Outside is golf which, for me, diminishes as the weather gets colder.

Anyway, it's also the season for showing, i.e. art shows. These have become one way I can measure my development as an artist. Sales and/or awards mean at least someone other than myself has taken note of what I have done.

I have my own feelings about how much I improve from year to year. Each year I try to develop a little more expertise, trying something new, whether it's different subjects, techniques or whatever.

I can tell I am improving, although it's never fast enough. I use strictly acrylic paint, mostly since oils and the their cleanup are slightly more toxic, in my view. I tried watercolors long ago with little success. Acrylics have some advantages.They dry much quicker. But they also have disadvantages, one major one being the difficulty in blending colors or softening an effect. Just watch Bob Ross with his use of Liquid Clear to see what I mean.

This year one of my goals to to create realistic ocean waves, especially coming into a beach.

In the next few entries, I'll share some early work started this month.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How to Win a Juried Art Competition

Here's what I see when I go to a juried art show (competition).

I see three kinds of art pieces:

1. The kind of work that most show attendees will recognize as having some kind worth, albeit widely varying worth.
2. The kind of work that is really different. I may not appreciate it fully, but I take notice.
3. The kind of work that I look at and look at and look at...and finally say I really don't get it.

Now, what category do the winners fall into? Maybe you'd think #1 or maybe #2. Nope. It could be any of the above and very often is #3.

But almost all of them are larger than average in size and priced quite high. So that's what I have learned in my semi-successful five years of entering juried art shows. Enter big, but not ridiculouly big canvases and give your work a pricetag that would give the potential art buyer pause. It doesnt hurt to name the piece something a little odd, like 'Muse of Light, Reflection#5'.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Books Priced Back to $2.99

I didn't find much effect in sales, so I re-priced all of them back to $2.99.

Great News for those eBook Readers who use IPads and iPhones!

Yesterday Apple unveiled iOS 8, the new Apple operating system upgrade that will come out this fall.

This entry below was copied from an email I received from Smashwords, my ebook distributor. Great news for ebook readers who have iPhones, IPads. 

Buried in a slide during the live demo event referenced as "iOS 8 features we didn’t have time to talk about" was an ebook retailing bombshell:  iBooks will come pre-installed on iOS 8.

The iBooks app is Apple's ebook store.  Inside that app is over 250,000 books from Smashwords authors.

This is a game-changer for ebook retailing.

iBooks will come pre-loaded on every device with iOS 8.
Image modified from original sourced from

According to the latest public information, there are over 800 million devices (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad) running prior versions of Apple's iOS.

The new iOS will be available as a free upgrade to users of the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina display. 

Prior to iOS 8, readers who wanted to shop iBooks were forced to click to the Apple App store, search for the iBooks app, sign in with their email address and password, and then install it.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Reducing All Books to $1.99 from $2.99

I am reducing the prices of all my books to $1.99 from $2.99 indefinitely. I want to see how sales are affected by the reduction. It may take a while to see the effect since the changes will not take place immediately, but rather over the next two weeks.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

UnZombies Starting to Show Up at Online Vendors!

I've located UnZombies at Scribd and Barnes & Noble thus far. Just a matter of time before it's at most. Smashwords is taking care of this distribution quickly. I'll be doing Amazon over the weekend.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Premium Distribution Approved for UnZombies!

Wow, that didn't take long. That is, Premium Distribution approval. Now, Smashwords, my distributor for my books, will be shipping the book to all its channels. They include Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, Page Foundry, Library Direct, Flipkart, Oyster, Scribd, Baker & Taylor Blio and Baker-Taylor Axis360. I will handle the distribution to Amazon. It may take a week or two to show up in these markets.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Brief Excerpt from the Book

This is a passage where Roberta Wiederganger meets Morton Revenant for the second time, only under more stressful circumstances.

Ro had earned a reputation in her close circle of friends who trained together as an unforgiving fighter. She was one who could take a tremendous beating, while demonstrating an indefatigable ability to rise again and again, eventually and most often overcoming a vastly superior opponent. It was her  over-the-top determination coupled with an unworldly insensitivity to pain. She once missed four days of work, using the excuse of an unreported car accident. Those who witnessed her underground fight saw Mama Oso (the 'Bear'), a female Mexican behemoth of a fighting machine standing over six feet two and weighing almost two hundred seventy pounds, spend over an hour pummeling the smaller female Police detective from El Paso. The undefeated Mexican fighter broke several of Ro's ribs, her jaw, and an ankle bone, while giving her two black eyes and innumerable bruises.  For 75 minutes, a largely Mexican crowd, having bet exclusively on her victory despite 40-1 odds, watched the most lop-sided fight they had seen in years. They had come to watch a terrible beating and were getting their money's worth.

The fight was almost stopped early when Ro became blinded by the amount blood on her face and in her eyes and another when she almost lost consciousness in a submission hold. However, the fight took a dramatic turn after an hour and fifteen minutes. Mama Oso decided that Ro was beaten down enough and it was her time to end the war.  She sensed that Ro was now vulnerable, sore, tired, and bruised enough to be unable to sustain her final, overwhelming attack. The two stood some fifteen feet apart. Ro slumped, sensing the attack. Rope-a-dope style, a la Muhammed Ali, she tried her best to look defeated and defensive. Oso bought the ruse and came at her furiously. Ro dropped to her knees, further promoting her stance as a defeated opponent, but waited patiently.  The huge Mexican got to a point about three feet away and reached down to grab Ro by an arm. Ro was much faster and agile than her slew-footed adversary, jumping to her side and striking Oso one time left hand to her throat with a followup right upward palm into her nasal cavity. The big Mexican fell like a bag of rocks, attempting to breath for about 15 seconds, then passed out. She died within a couple minutes. The spectators, first energized by the  expected ending of Oso's knockout punch, fell silent as Ro stood over her, raising her bloodied arms in victory. After the shock of the sudden reversal in Oso's fortune, the crowd cheered loudly for their new heroine. Ro never fought underground again, but her reputation never diminished. It grew, although no one really knew who she was. She fought under a thick veil of anonymity. Sometimes someone who attended the underground battle in Juarez thought he recognized her as the Yanqui beetch who defeated Mama Oso, but she never admitted anything to anyone. Knowing she had won was sufficient for her.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

UnZombies is Published in Smashwords!

A zombie apocalypse novel of 58,000+ words. UnZombies. Using the dead to fight the dangerous living and the dead. That's what they do. The secret of them is developed by an eccentric, perverse, wealthy genius.

Brief Book Description below the final cover selection...

On an archaeological dig in Alaska, a professor was bitten by a prehistoric man dead for 10,000 years. The death and reanimation of an astronaut forced the escape of others from the 'safety' of the International Space Station. News of a developing apocalyptic pandemic circulated worldwide. The ocean rescue of an infected astronaut put the worlds' two largest naval forces on a collision course toward war. Two fighter pilots, an astronaut and her police detective sister and flee zombie danger on an aircraft carrier to the American Southwest in order to survive.

Ultimately, they decide to seek refuge with the estranged, innovative, perverse and wealthy brother of one of the fighter pilots. Longtime serious family relationship issues remained unresolved before the brother offered protection from a rogue military force and the reanimated local human population.  How? UnZombies. Dead, but not dangerous.

The book has to be approved for Premium Distribution before it is sent off from my Distributor, Smashwords, to the many other retail distribution outlets, e.g. Apple, Sony, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

First Edit Complete on Zombie Book...Entries in Art Exhibition Make the Cut

Well, I'm well into the second edit of my newest Zombie novel. Each time through is another chance to fix any typos, spelling errors, continuity issues, storyline changes, etc. I'll probably finish it off with the third I have to decide whether the ending is to my liking. The thing is, an apocalypse theme usually doesn't go well, but I have to give the reader something hope....or do I?

My two entries in the Nature-themed exhibit made it through the selection process. That's good news. I'm guessing by the numbers I saw online that not many were not allowed in. Members (of which I am) were allowed at least one of their entries would be selected.

I'm looking at entering a couple of other juried exhibits in the spring and summer. More on that later.