1.29.2010

1.27.2010

Watercolor Wednesday....

I haven't painted this week,
so I want to share a couple of links with you to some other watercolor artists' sites that I like....
Enjoy!




Hope you're having a lovely week!

1.26.2010

Tuesday's Tip: My Watercolor Tools

People often ask me what supplies they need to start painting with watercolors. So I thought I'd give you a list of the supplies I use, and where you can purchase them.
*Supplies marked with an asterisk are basic essentials - you can add more as you go along.

Brushes
no. 3 pointed round
*no. 6 pointed round
no. 8 pointed round
*no. 10 pointed round
*no. 2 rigger
*no. 2 fan (this is an oil brush)
*1/2" wash
3/4" wash
1", 1.5", 2" Hake wash

I really like THIS brand of watercolor brushes.

*Watercolor Paints


Currently on my palette, I have the following paints from the following companies:

Grumbacher
Alizarin Crimson
Rose Madder
Thalo Crimson
Cadmium Red Light Hue
Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue
Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue
Yellow Ochre Hue
Raw Sienna
Burnt Sienna
Burnt Umber
Payne's Gray
Sap Green
Viridian
Thalo Blue
Ultramarine Blue

Opera
Transparent Yellow Oxide
Quinacridone Gold
Quinacridone Burnt Orange
Green Gold
Undersea Green
Cobalt Teal
Prussian Blue
Cobalt Violet Deep

Winsor & Newton
Quinacridone Magenta
Cobalt Blue Hue
Ultra Violet


*Paper
Arches 140# CP 100% Cotton Rag


*Palette
I've been using a John Pike Palette...




 but I'm in the process of transferring to a Cheap Joe's Piggy Back Palette
because it holds more colors and has deeper wells...

This is probably my favorite feature about watercolors - you can keep the paint out in your palette all the time, and you just have to squirt it with water to reactivate it! No drying out and becoming useless - love it.
Odds and Ends
Art Masking Fluid
*Salt - yep, ordinary salt (creates neat textures & "stars/snowflakes" on wet paint)
*A wide-bottom/wide-mouthed jar or dish for water
*Kitchen sponge - a NEW one
*Unscented/non-lotion tissue or toilet paper
Paper towels
Kitchen towel (place under mounting board for washes and things)
*Spray bottle with very fine mist for water - those sample-sized body spray bottles work well
*#2 Pencil
*Kneaded eraser (lightens pencil lines)
Sharpie (to outline sketches for easier tracing onto WC paper)
Heat gun or hair dryer
*Stylus, toothpicks, sharp plastic (for etching into the paper)
*Old credit or shopping card (for scraping off dried salt)
*Masking tape
*Mounting board - something flat and waterproof

You can find many of these products (unless otherwise linked) at:
I am an affiliate of Blick Art Materials.
However, I am recommending these products because I like them and use them myself.

1.25.2010

Misc. Monday - my new calendar

Happy Monday...

Today, I thought I'd show you the calendar I won on a blog giveaway a while back
 from the very talented Stephanie Levy. You can visit her blog HERE.



Stephanie is an American artist currently living in Munich, Germany. She does very colorful and beautiful collage / mixed media work, which is featured in the calendar I won. She also writes two other blogs -
 one features interviews of other artists, and the other her favorite recipes.
Be sure to stop by and check out her work and blogs!



As you can see, I've been getting good use out of the calendar!

(The magnets you see on the fridge with the calendar feature the work of artist Mary Engelbreit,
another favorite of mine.)

Thanks, Stephanie! I love it!

1.23.2010

Giveaway Winner, Plans for 2010, Men in Tights, and a Mass Exodus



And the winner is....



Congratulations, Katy! Just send me your mailing address and let me know which three cards you'd like (you can choose on my website shop - any image that has a card option), and I'll get them out to you next week!

Katy's comment was selected using a random number generator - much easier more scientific than my last method of printing out all the comments, cutting them into little strips, and selecting one out of a hat.  Katy has a lovely blog of her own - be sure to stop by and check it out!

Let me just say, I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your kind comments and goals for 2010! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and enter this giveaway! I appreciate all of the links and things that many of you did for me - you're very kind. And stay tuned... I will be doing more giveaways in the not-too-distant future!

Plans for 2010


Well, I asked all of you to share some of your goals for 2010, so I thought I'd share some of mine with you regarding this little blog...

One of my goals is to be more structured in every area of my life (if you've ever tried to run a home-based business, I'm sure you can relate to the importance and challenge of doing this). So, that includes this blog.

I'm thinking I'd like each day of the week to have a theme - so here's the working plan as of today:

  • Miscellaneous Monday- I need a day when I can do whatever I want on here. This is it. This could be anything from a book review to something I'm knitting to a cute picture of my dog. After all, it's Monday and we need to be dealt with gently.
  • Tuesday's Tip(s) or Top Ten (or Eleven or whatever) - I'll try to give you some type of helpful/useful information regarding something related to something I'm intersted in. This could be very random.
  • Watercolor Wednesday - I'll try to show you something I've painted recently. I might occasionally vary from watercolor and show you some other art-related project.
  • Thoughtful Thursday - This is the soapbox day. Dear reader, beware.
  • Just for Fun Friday - You'll need a laugh after I've blasted you on Thursday. So this will be something funny that happened to me or someone I know (with the names changed to protect the guilty), a funny video clip, a cartoon, etc. And if I have nothing funny for you, I'll make it Foto Photo Friday (sorry, I was going to try to be cutesy and misspell "photo" so that it started with an "F," but I just can't do it - I'm a spelling Nazi) and give you a picture to look at. How's that?
  • Weekends - we'll see what happens.
So that's the plan, which may be tweaked a little along the way if something else comes up...

You're probably still wondering, "What's this about men in tights??? Did I miss something?" So here we go....

My Review of Central Ballet Theatre of Greeneville's
January 22, 2010 Production of
EXODUS
The Story of Moses


(Incidentally, I did the cover art for the program... click here to read more about that.)

(I'm reviewing this ballet, not because I generally review ballets, but because I was somewhat involved in this one by doing the artwork for the programs and signs. This will not be a regular feature.)

Now, in order to exercise journalistic integrity and honesty, I need to let you know about a little bias of mine. I'm not big on ballet. It's not that I don't have respect for the time and dedication involved in putting one on. Nor do I fail to recognize the athletic ability of the dancers to spend 3 or so hours of running and leaping around on the stage on their tip toes, flinging their bodies into all kinds of unnatural positions, and doing it all with a baffling display of effortless gracefulness. (Trust me, I truly respect this, since I have all the gracefulness of a cantering ostrich. Which is why I paint for a living.) No, it's not that.... I have three issues with ballet in general:

  1. I usually have no idea what's going on. I saw the Nutcracker when I was about 8 and am still trying to figure it out. Something about a nutcracker doll coming to life and fighting with rats (whom everybody knows are the natural enemy of nutcracker dolls)....I got that part, but how does a sugarplum fairy fit into that scenario? What IS a sugarplum fairy??? Inevitably, during most ballets I feel like the kid who gets halfway through watching the final act of the Harvey play and stands up and yells in frustration, "WHERE'S THE RABBIT?" A Broadway show where they're singing and talking and telling you what's going on is more up my alley.


  2. Ballet can be very sensual, and many of the costumes can be very revealing. I believe we need to strive for modesty and purity in every area of our lives, even artistic expression (which is why I don't paint or draw nudes, although that is a common area of study for artists), and I have found some ballet productions (not all) in conflict with those goals.


  3. I don't want to see men in tights. Ever. The only possible exception would be if your name is Robin Hood and you've just been whooping up on some Normans and need to make a quick escape through a sophisticated network of strategically placed grapevines in Sherwood Forest, in which baggy clothing could pose a real danger by snagging on a branch and rendering you an easy target for the Sheriff's archers. But even then, I still don't want to see it. Ick. Nope, men should be manly. Tights are not manly. Especially if you're dancing in them.

*** Please note. These are my reservations about SOME ballet performances that I have seen. They do not apply to any ballets that I have seen involving anyone I know. My intention is to pay a higher compliment to this particular ballet by saying that I was impressed, and that's not an easy feat with me and ballet in general. I have no problem with your little girls being in ballet. Men in tights - that's a different story. Please don't send me hate mail.

So, having apprised you of my general sentiments regarding ballet and my three reservations regarding it, I have to say, this particular production trounced all of my objections, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. (I thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas production of God With Us that Trinity Arts Center put on at Milligan College a few weeks ago for all the same reasons, but unfortunately, none of my photos of that came out too well.)








God uses Moses to begin the first plague - the River turns to Blood.

1. The story was based on the story of Moses in Exodus, so I knew what was going on. That helped a lot. Not only did I know what was going on, but it was a very worthwhile message based on true historic events from the Bible, and you can never go wrong with that. The music selection was fantastic, beautiful, and also helped tell the story. So, objection one - overruled.

2. I did not feel uncomfortable at any point during this ballet. The costumes (which were very elaborate and well-done) were all modest, tasteful, and did not contain an over-abundance of spandex. The dancing was beautiful and graceful without being sensual or suggestive. And the message was clearly to bring glory to God, which I really appreciated.





3. And last, but certainly not least, not a man in tights was to be seen. They all wore baggy pants and looked and acted manly.



    Here's Moses whooping up on an Egyptian guard - which was actually quite an impressive fight scene- one that could give even Errol Flynn a run for his money. No tights needed.
    So all in all, it was an excellent production, and since there are two more shows (tonight at 7 and tomorrow at 2:30pm), there's still time for you to go check it out. Visit Central Ballet's website to learn more about it. You can get tickets at the door. I highly recommend that you go check it out if you're in the area!
    Some more highlights....
    Those Midianites know how to party....
    Moses and Zipporah tie the knot.
    A very cool portrayal of the Burning Bush.
    The Angel of Death Passes Over the Houses Covered With the Blood
     (This represents the Blood of Christ covering those who repent of their sin and place their trust in Him - we are passed over by God's judgment. Jesus is throughout the whole Bible if you just look for Him!)
    And the parting of the Red Sea was very cool too....
    I took a video of it, but I don't want to spoil it for you - it doesn't do it justice.
    Go see it in person!
    And I've got to say, it was pretty exciting for me to look back through the audience during the intermission and see a couple of hundred people holding a piece of my artwork!
    They even used it on their shirts!
    At any rate, I'd just like to tip my hat to all the members of Central Ballet and everyone else involved - excellent job!
    Here I am with my friend, the Angel of Death,
    but I have nothing to worry about, because I'm covered by the Blood....
    I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
    Thanks for bearing with me on this terribly long post! See you next week!

1.22.2010

Still Time To Enter! *Closed

I will be closing comments on the greeting card giveaway tonight at midnight EST, so you still have time to enter! I've been enjoying reading about your goals for 2010 and all of your kind comments - thanks so much for participating! Click HERE to enter - and remember, if you're going to use any of the extra entry methods, you MUST leave a separate comment for each one (it makes my life much easier)!

Tomorrow, I plan to announce the winner, show you a couple of exciting things related to THIS, and tell you about some big plans I have for this blog over the coming year... so be sure to stop by!

I hope to be back to more consistent blogging now. I've been spending the past couple of weeks cleaning out, sorting, going through my file drawers, and generally feeding my OCD tendencies and getting my life a little more organized.

... And then, something I had been dreading for a while now happened...my dinosaur died.


(In other words, my computer bit the dust.) Kaput. Goneski. The black screen of death. Shut itself down never to return. Fortunately, I had backed up all my files to my nifty passport thingy before that happened, so all was not lost. My sweet husband bought me a new computer, so the past few days have been devoted to reinstalling all my software and getting it all set up the way I like it... and I'm remembering how fantastic it is to have a computer that doesn't have a 10 second delay for everything and doesn't need rebooting every thirty minutes - yes! All that to say, now that I'm back in business, I plan to be doing a lot more blogging! So thanks for bearing with me and hanging in there....

So, I'll see you back tomorrow... in the meantime, check out the changes I've made to my sidebar. I've definitely had some OCD issues with it, but I think now I've just about got it arranged the way I want it.....for now, at least! Be sure to check out the links to Compassion and Samaritan's Purse where you can donate to help the relief work in Haiti. Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. By the way, I'd really appreciate it if you'd vote for my doggy in this contest and help me win money to donate towards an animal charity, a pet shopping spree, and a carpet shampooer (which is made necessary by my little bunny dog, Harvey - click on this link or in my sidebar to vote and to see how CUTE he is!) Thank you very much!

MVP Pet Photo Contest sponsored by BISSELL, maker of pet vacuum cleaners.

1.17.2010

Help for Haiti

You may have noticed that I have added some links on my sidebar where you can donate to help the relief efforts in Haiti. Please keep the people down there and the relief workers going to help them in your prayers - so much loss and devastation. My heart has been very heavy for everyone down there this week.

I may not be able to blog much for the next little while... I am having major computer issues, and half the time my mouse and/or keyboard just decides to quit working (this is the third time I've attempted to write this post - it started out much longer! Oh well...). I will try to check in often to see your comments and keep up with orders and e-mails, and I will still announce the giveaway winner on Friday, but I may not be doing much posting in the near future. I hope you will keep checking back though - I do have a few little things I want to show you soon - if I can swipe my husband's laptop for a while, I may be able to load some pictures that way! And incidentally, if anyone has a new Mac lying around going to waste, I'd be happy to take it off your hands. :o)

Don't forget - you've still got until Friday to enter my giveaway! All you have to do is leave a comment, and you can win 3 of my greeting cards! Click here to enter!

1.12.2010

Another Giveaway

Just a quick linky, because I really want to win the giveaway that The Nesting Place is doing!
Head over to her site to enter to win one of these fantastic, customizable signs from Danielson & Dayspring!




These were the two ideas I came up with,
but it would be hard to choose - there are so many options!
Have fun playing with it!


And speaking of giveaways, don't forget to enter mine for your chance to win 3 of my greeting cards!

1.10.2010

New Year, New Giveaway! *Closed

In view of the fact that we're all in that post-Christmas, boring, mid-winter slump, I have decided to host another giveaway!

You Can Win
3 Framable Greeting Cards of Your Choice!
(a $15 value!)


These are just some of your options!

Here's how you can enter (and earn additional entries!):


  • COMMENT- leave a comment with your name, contact info, and one of your goals for 2010. (Be sure to leave an e-mail address or some type of contact info in case you win - or you may never know!) This is the only thing you HAVE to do to enter.

Each of the things below will earn you ONE EXTRA ENTRY (unless otherwise noted), but you MUST leave an additional comment here letting me know that you've done one of the below (or I will have no idea you've done it!). You are welcome to do as many as you like -just leave separate comments for each thing you do (it gets way too complicated for me to figure out otherwise!)

  • TWITTER


    • Become a follower of @bethstonestudio (don't worry, I'm a pretty quiet bird - on Twitter, at least).


    • Tweet about this giveaway to your followers (with a link, of course).


  • FACEBOOK


  • ETSY


    • Visit my Etsy Shop & leave a comment here telling me your favorite item.


    • Add my Etsy Shop to your favorite sellers.


    • Place an order through my shop before 1.22.10 - FIVE EXTRA ENTRIES!


  • MY WEBSITE


    • Visit my website shop, and leave a comment here telling me which item is your favorite.


    • Place an order through my shop before 1.22.10 - FIVE EXTRA ENTRIES!


  • BLOG


    • Do a blog post about this giveaway, and leave a comment here with your link.


    • Become a follower of this blog on Google Friend Connect (see sidebar).


    • Add my blog link or button to your sidebar links (I have handy button codes available on my sidebar- check them out! Just post them into an html code widget).

So, lots of ways to learn lots of entries! Make sure to leave comments here for each entry method you choose to do.

The winner will be randomly slected on January 22, 2010,
so you've got slightly less than two weeks to get all of your entries in!
Good luck on your quest!

1.08.2010

Simplify...

Every time I try to....


...my life, things always seems to end up like this for a few days....

(This picture is for those of you who think I could give Adrian Monk a run for his money...)

In the end, I wound up with a new, old little cabinet for my studio - it used to be a medicine cabinet in my bathroom with a mirror on front - now it's a cabinet for all my little art supplies with a bulletin board on the front. And now all of my little ink bottles and adhesives and other unattractive things are nicely hidden out of view, but still close at hand.



While I was at it, I redid my inspiration board for January,
and said goodbye to the last of the Christmas stuff.



I also decided to revamp my blog a little bit - have you noticed the changes?

Now it's time to...

...and start painting again!
Hope you've been having a lovely week!

1.06.2010

Big News Number Two and a *Humility Block...

... and so my other announcement is this...



My original hymn collage, This Is My Father's World, will be one of the art pieces available in the silent auction at Mountain State Health Alliance's Spirit Gala: An Evening in Paris on January 30th at the Millennium Center in Johnson City, TN. This black-tie event is a benefit for the new Niswonger Children's Hospital at the Johnson City Medical Center. So, if you've got lots of money and want to benefit a worthy cause (and have a chance at winning this piece!), be sure to order your tickets today!

If you can't make it to the event (or don't win the original in the auction!) , I have prints of this collage (as well as others) available on my website! Click here to shop!

* Incidentally, whenever I am in danger of getting my head inflated, I have something like the following incident occur...

by Beth Stone

The setting: last farmer's market in which I participated  last year
The weather: miserably cold
The crowd: painfully small
Paying customers: DOA
Grand total in sales: ZIPPO

Net loss:
$5 - booth fee
$.75 - two peanut butter cookies for consolement purposes
3 extra hours of sleep on a cold Saturday
30 minutes of treadmill time due to aforementioned peanut butter cookies
1 big chunk of pride
____________________
= *sigh*

So, I am standing by my booth, stamping my feet to keep warm, waiting for customers who never came... wondering why exactly the farmer's market decided to extend WAY past the growing season when no one is thinking about shopping for local produce or art or anything else... and the following conversation happens:

Me: Hi! How are you today?

Elderly Lady - the Only Promising-looking Customer of the Day (hereafter, ELOPCD): Oh, fine, how are you? (flipping through my prints - always a good sign...)

Me: If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them for you. These are all prints of my original artwork and photography.

ELOPCD: (Pulling out a print - YES!) How much is this?

Me: That size is $25. (haha! My first sale of the day - cha-ching!)

ELOPCD: (Inspecting it over.... things are looking promising.) What size frame would this fit in? (All right, she's frame shopping already! This is a done deal!)

Me: You'll need an 11"x14" frame for that.

ELOPCD: (Pointing to the area inside the mat) What size is this part?

Me: That's 8"x10."

ELOPCD: (Pointing to the mat) What's this part called?

Me: That's called the matting.

ELOPCD: I have a picture of my son that I cut too small - I need some of this matting so that it will fit in the frame. I guess I could take this out... (Pointing to my print! OUCH!) Could I do that?

Me: (Errk. POP. Phhhhbbbbbbbbt... - that's somebody sticking a pin in my red birthday balloon, it popping, and all the air leaking out) Well....you could buy a mat by itself much cheaper at WalMart or Michael's or somewhere like that... then you wouldn't have to pay for the print you wouldn't be using...

ELOPCD: (Stuffing the print back in my rack) Oh, okay... thank you. (Walks off)

Me: * Sigh*


God has a sense of humor, doesn't He? Oddly enough, this was the same day this incident happened, so all in all, I think the two peanut butter cookies were well-justified.

Reading Goals for 2010


OK, well, this blog is primarily about art... however, it's also about "the meanderings of my mind" as I work on art projects, and often, that involves thinking about the books I'm reading (or listening to - thanks, itunes!).
Jessica, over at Life As Mom, is hosting a linky about all the books you hope to read this year...You're supposed to pick 12 books you plan to read during 2010, list them, and link to your list on her blog... so here's my list (although I have more than 12 - I have big plans for this year!).

1. The Bible - I usually read it through once a year, but this year, I'm going to attempt to double up each day and read it twice. So far, I'm on schedule... hopefully I can keep up the discipline. I'm using this chronological reading plan, which I did last year, and really enjoyed it. This is the Bible I read.



2. The Complete Works of Charles Dickens (Everything I've not yet read), which includes:


(I'm well on my way through Bleak House already - a Christmas gift from Josh!)










(I've read A Christmas Carol, but I plan to read the other two)
















(I'm rather dreading this one, because Dickens died while writing it and, consequently, left it unfinished - the nerve! - but nevertheless, I am determined to read everything he wrote, so it can't be helped.)
There are a number of shorter works by Dickens that I plan to read as well, but you get the idea. If you see some glaring oversights in this list, it's because I've already read them...

3.
(I have to say, I'm looking forward to the content of this book, but I appreciate the wit of the title as much as anything... classic.)

4.

(This title may be very well applied to this reading goal list... but hey, that's what goals are about, no?)

5.

(If the shoe fits...)

6.


7.


8.


9.


10.


11.


12.

(Yes, I'm serious... I have bought it, and it's sitting on my shelf, waiting...)

13.


14.


I'm sure this list will be tweaked over time (and very possibly shortened as those pesky things like laundry and meals and work and sleep get in the way)... but I do want to read all of these books (and many others) sometime in the not-too-distant future...

So, what are your reading goals for the year? I'd love to hear - and maybe discover some more gems to add to my list! Happy reading...

1.05.2010

Drumroll please....

...and the big news is.....
...dum dum duuuuummmm.......
...
I'm on a billboard!
Well, my artwork is, at least...



(Those white spots are SNOWFLAKES!)
As you can see, this billboard is advertising our local ballet company's upcoming production.
You can learn more about Central Ballet and tickets for Exodus here.
The image has been altered somewhat from the original in order to fit the format of the billboard.
This is the original...


As I was driving home from taking the pictures of the billboard,
I saw a poster (looking much more like the original) hanging in a local shop window.
I would have stopped to take a picture of it, but the roads are icy, and it is cotton-pickin' cold here today!
Here's the poster on its own...





I have another exciting announcement to share with you...
but you'll have to wait until tomorrow!

Hope you're having a lovely day!

1.02.2010

Happy New Year...

We had a busy Christmas and New Year's, spending the holidays with family and friends. I have barely been in my studio! Hoping to mend that very soon...

I did want to share some photos from our recent trip to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY (near Cincinnati). If you haven't made a trip there yet, I highly recommend it - they do a great job presenting the scientific evidence for Biblical Creationism and showing that belief in the Biblical account of Creation is foundational to the Gospel of Christ. You get to walk through the pages of God’s Word and encounter creation, corruption, catastrophe, Christ, the cross, and consummation - a fascinating and educational trip. It was also quite inspiring to explore God's handiwork and design in His Creation - He is the original Artist!

They have some great dinosaur displays... kids love them!

For Christmas, they had a special Live Nativity outside the Museum,
as well as thousands of Christmas lights throughout the grounds.

Josh and I went to a special program called "Snakes Alive"
- very interesting, informative, fun, and a little creepy!
(Yes, that's me with that 80lb. python around my neck! Ack!)


You will learn about the fossil record, the Flood, Noah's Ark, dinosaurs, where different people groups and languages came from, Creation week, the history of the Bible, the universe in their state-of-the-art planetarium, the list goes on and on... and meet some interesting critters in the petting zoo!



This is Skippy, the wallaby (like a miniature kangaroo!).
If I'd had a pouch on my stomach, I might have tried to smuggle him home with me --so cute and sweet!
Anyway, you should definitely try to visit sometime - it's well worth the trip!

And so here we are, in 2010... it's hard to believe it's here already. 2009 was a tough year in many ways... I'm not usually much of a resolution-for-new-year's person, but this year, I'm resolved to make some changes...
  • To be more Christ-like in the way I treat my family, friends, and strangers, and to avoid unnecessary drama...
  • To be more disciplined and productive in my work and develop better business strategies for marketing and selling it (always a challenge for the artsy type... that's why we're the artsy type)...
  • To have a renewed sense of urgency in sharing the Gospel, and do so in as many creative ways as I can...
  • To cultivate an attitude of thankfulness and contentment, no matter what my circumstances...
  • To be a better steward of my resources - time, energy, money...
  • To read the Bible through at least twice (I'm doing the chronological plan)...
  • To read everything Charles Dickens ever wrote that I've not yet read... (yes, I realize this is random and not really that important...but it's a goal nonetheless...)
  • To blog more consistently...
  • To eat healthier and exercise more and all that jazz...
You get the idea... So, what are some of your resolutions? I'd love to hear... and maybe we can keep each other accountable!
Happy 2010 - I hope you have a blessed year...


Very soon I'm going to have some exciting news to share about a couple of my pieces...
but I've got to take a few little field trips first... Pictures and news coming soon! Stay tuned!