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birds_of_a_feather

BIRDS OF A FEATHER

NEW WORK IN PROGRESS AT THE SHEEP INCOGNITO STUDIO

Back in the Studio for a bit of painting – with a new one on the easel:

“Birds Of A Feather”.

Completed the initial sketch, not a bit of drying time, and then I’ll start adding the colors. This will be a new knitting painting for all my knitting, spinning, crocheting, weaving, sheep breeding, and Sheep Incognito friends. Of course, birding friends might like this one as well – though I’m not sure what breed these birds are…Kni-Twits?

 

Click the following link to follow along with the progress on the Sheep Incognito by Conni Togel Facebook page

 

 
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We are at the Richmond Raceway Complex this weekend for the 30th Craftsmen’s Classics Arts & Crafts Show.

Which of course is the perfect environment for some more work on the new Sheep Incognito painting
“Stock Car”.

This one is much more work than I bargained for – progress has been slow, and there are sections I’ve repainted about five or more times.
Which has to do with me not liking to work with acrylics, and the fact that details are not my specialty at all.

This has been a bit of a mind- altering project for me in a way: where is the finish line on a painting? Is a painting ever really finished, or is each session the beginning of a new artistic path?

Here is the current status of “Stock Car” – it is 16 inches x 16 inches, acrylics on canvas, and the unframed painting is priced at $795.

We will have giclee prints of it available , both on paper and on canvas.

Email me if you would like to offer Stock Car a living home – I have a waiting list in place, but it is still short enough to give you a good chance of owning the original painting.

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Just Finished and fresh off the easel:

Title: ” Ewe’s Maaah Sunshine”
Size: 18″x24″
Medium: oils on canvas

Price:$995
Email me to info@charisma-art.com to purchase…

Prints will be available beginning March 20th, 2014 on the SHEEP INCOGNITO WEBSITE

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Springtime Madness is about to start!

Next weekend we will be hitting the road again for a series of Spring shows – we are more than ready for some warmer temperatures, not having to scrape the windows on the car in the morning, and getting to have a cup of coffee outside in the sunshine.

Which makes it quite a nice thing, that the Spring Craftsmen’s Classic in Columbia is right around the corner. It is always one of our nicer shows to participate in – much like a good family reunion, complete with lots of laughs, a tad of drama, and our favorite stalkers, all in one venue: the SC Fairgrounds.

There will be a huge range of handmade, original, creative artwork and crafts there – some good ole favorites, and some new, cutting edge things.

I will be unleashing some new Sheep Incognito paintings and prints there as well – gotta enlarge the flock, because much like a real flock of sheep, they just keep multiplying.

New kids (or lambs) on the block:

Into The Hills – a rather large landscape in oils, complete with my famous poppies and blue trees.

Into The Hills - Oils on Canvas

Into The Hills – Oils on Canvas

 

Pompous Ass

Pompous Ass - acrylics on canvas

Pompous Ass – acrylics on canvas

 

There might be a few others hanging out for the first time as well – ya just never know, with sheep.

Of course, while we are in Columbia, we will also be checking out the local eateries – our favorite part of any of our tours. From what I remember, there is an incredible sandwich shop with lines out the door in town – and, a brewery that has quite a large range of craft beers to try.

Hotels in town? the Marriott downtown seemed to be a pretty nice place to stay – the price was better than some of the other midrange hotels, they were quite good about customer service (computers down? Free dinner, free drinks while they work on the problem). One downside: the noise level on Saturday night out on the street was a bit distracting after a long day at the show – but then again: maybe we should have joined the party instead.

So if you need something to inspire you next weekend, come visit us at the Sheep Incognito booth at the Craftsmen’s Classics in Columbia, SC – we’d love to introduce you to some new sheepish smiles! (And if we are really lucky, our favorite stalker will be there with his camera again – maybe we can all photobomb together :o)) )

 

 

 

 

 
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TIKI BAAAH Original Sheep Incognito Painting Has Been Found Again!

Update on the missing “Tiki Baaah” original painting:

We’ve located the missing painting! Someone had bought it at an auction, and contacted me to inquire about pricing and a bit of info on it. Through that buyer, I was able to contact the auction place, and find out what exactly had happened. Apparently, it was packaged in a separate box from the rest of the shipment with some other pieces, and the address label had gone missing.
The company specializes in tracking down ownership of lost packages for Fedex, etc. – they were very helpful in getting everything sorted out, paid for, and settled. I even got one of my other pieces back as well.

So all is well – if you are interested in the original “Tiki Baaah” painting, I can check with those buyers, how much they are asking or put you in contact with them.

I still do limited edition, hand-embellished giclée prints of “Tiki Baaah” – so if you would rather have one of those, just message me here through FB…it is NOT listed on the website yet…

Tiki Baaah

Tiki Baaah

 
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BACK TO WORK – WIP “Ewe’s My Sunshine

We made it through this year’s Springtime shows in Florida, just in time for a bit more seasonal weather than we’ve had so far this year. Florida was colder than I ever remember it being for the past ten shows there – so hopefully that will statistically give us warmer temperatures for next year’s shows there.

With the rain and the cooler temperatures, we did not get to do a lot of venturing that we had planned to be doing this year  – we spent quite a bit of time indoors, trying to dry out damp jackets and socks from the few times we did manage to go out.

We also spent quite a bit of time in mechanics shops – the mobile studio RV we travel in was having some severe digestion problems, causing it to stall out in the middle of traffic (always exciting to be the jackass at the front of the traffic jam in rush hour at a major intersection and be stuck there for 20 minutes or more.) We managed to oggle our way home with lots of stops on the way, so next week will no doubt bring more of that along with some major costs for repairs. But still – would not trade my job for the world. We meet quite a few “successful” people – stressed about their retirement funds they are trying to fill so they can do what we do when they are too old to enjoy it…I’ll take that pay cut and do things now instead.

My retirement fund is non-existent – might buy me a burger when I retire.
My investment fund – I think I remember having one, but don’t know if any of the companies are still alive. I prefer to invest in my kids instead.
My savings – hmmm…I think those went to the ex to buy my freedom from him.

My way of life – “disorderly”, “uncommon”, “unprecise”, “unplanned”, and “adventuresome” – yep. And what I was planning to do when my retirement fund was filled, my investment fund was doing well, my savings were enough to live on, and my kids were all grown.
I’ve decided life does not wait for you to accomplish things – you are meant to live, and roll with what comes your way. That is what I am doing. For better or for worse.

So in keeping with that, I’ve been spending some time in the studio again (liking the look of the word “Studio” much better than the word “Cubicle” for myself) – here is the status of the Work-In-Progress “Ewe’s My Sunshine”:

Ewe's My Sunshine

Ewe’s My Sunshine

 

The purple will be mostly covered by extra white wool, the sun will be more defined and a bit lighter. So far, I’m liking his face – makes me happy to see him sitting on my easel when I walk into the studio.

 

If you have not been to my facebook page yet – here is the link:
http://www.facebook.com/SheepIncognito

It is often easier for me to update the facebook page, than my blog here, because I can do that via my iphone. So your best bet is to go visit there as well for updates, specials etc.

Right now, we have the Sheep Incognito Spring Fling 2014 going on – search Twitter for #SISpringFling for special discounts on original paintings, out of print giclées, prints, etc.

If you are a yarn shop owner, contact me at conni.togel@gmail.com to inquire about our affiliate program.

 

 
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After spending most of my day working on the paperwork associated with running an art business, I have decided that I am not made of the stuff that it takes to be a “paper pusher”.

The two brain hemispheres that it requires to be both a creative artist, and a business owner/tax filer just do not work well together. I can keep my desk rid of piles of random bills, receipts, invoices, show applications, sales records, to-do lists, and idea sketches. I can answer emails in a timely manner, and I can get all bills paid, all taxes filed on time, and have everything neatly sorted into my filing cabinet. I can post daily on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram, Etsy, and my website.

I can also break out my pallette, sketch out a brilliant idea for a painting, lay out my colors, pick the right brushes, dance with the brushes in hand, turning a blank canvas into something that makes people happy, sad, or silly. I can evoke emotions adult people had long forgotten.Taking pictures along the way to share with my followers on Facebook. Gathering Ideas for a grownup children’s book. Coming up with new titles, new color combinations, new projects to work on. I love doing that.

What I seem to be NOT able to do, is to do both processes together, without compromising the quality of either part. My desk is usually a mayhem of various papers in varying stages of “dealt with”. Paintings – I usually have about ten standing around unfinished, abandoned, or not even started yet. Projects – I have a list as long as a diving board, with not enough time to even get started on one of them.

How do you keep it all rolling smoothly without dropping the ball on either one? It seems as soon as I devote time to one side, the other falls apart. I’m frightened of the day the IRS decides to audit me – how will anybody  be able to find anything or make sense of any of it?

I’ve found that the more I work on the office/business side of things, the less creative I become. It seems to be a downward spiral…

If you are of the creative sort – how do you keep track of everything without losing the ambition to create?

 

 

 
 
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Hopefully your year has started off as good as ours has – the Sheep Incognito flock has been meandering around the art meadow already, even though much of it is still in Winter Mode. To avoid the cold and the Snowpocalypse that gripped the Southeast a few weeks ago, we took my flock of Sheep Incognito paintings and prints on a road trip to Sunshine State Florida. Except, it really did not live up to it’s name…

 

The first show of this year was the always lovely, and perfectly managed by Paragon Events Sarasota Fine Art Show. Right across the road from the Marina and Marina Jack’s in Sarasota, the show was comprised of some very nice, high-end artwork from about 100 artists. The visitor numbers from last year’s show there (which was the first year this event took place there) had almost doubled, it seems.  We received so many nice comments and smiles from everybody, that this most likely will remain in our top three list of places to spend January in Florida at.

Of course, because we needed a bit of a break from the cold, the weather decided to remind us why we brought some long sleeved shirt with us on the trip: it started raining. And the next morning, it rained some more. And then, it decided it needed a bit more rain…We spent quite a bit of time sitting in the mobile studio (our RV), rather than meandering, visiting the manatees, or checking up on the Mouse with the big round ears.

But we did get a chance to take a few walks along the beach, gathering inspiration for some nature themed jewelry, and just letting our right side of the brain do some playing. So even with the lower temperatures, the ideas for making new things happen, how to make people smile, and to make the world a little brighter with my art kept coming. A very comforting fact…

After a week of sitting in the tin can there, we felt energized enough to get back on the road, heading north-east to lovely Mount Dora, Florida to attend the Mount Dora Arts Festival. This was my fourth year there (maybe third instead? can’t remember…hello senile me…), and though attendance was down quite a bit on Saturday, it was still packed with people all weekend long. Sunday finally rewarded us with mid 70′s and 80′s for temperatures, and a large crowd of people. Not very many art pieces walked out of the area, but still, all in all, my top Florida show historically.

The nice part is getting to re-visit with artist friends – some only do 5 shows a year, so it’s almost a miracle to cross paths with them at all the shows we do…

The other nice part, is the people that stand out from the crowd – the ones that make a memory, that make us smile, that make the world a better place, if even just for a moment in time.
Once such person – whose name I do not know, and whose face I probably would not be able to call out of a line-up – was a gentleman who just casually walked up to my desk, handed me a handful of candy, and said: “Thank you for being here – your work made me smile. You deserve to have some candy…”.

Another such moment, was a lady walking out of my booth with a big smile on her face. She said “I needed that smile today – my friend is very sick, and will not be getting better. I REALLY needed that smile. And, this is the first time since my husband passed on one and a half years ago, that I’ve been out and on a trip by myself”.

Or the lady at the table next to us, after looking through one of my calendars, who started silently crying, because one of the images captured her and her son and their relationship perfectly – even though we had never met before.

Or the guy fixing our trailer, who generously let us park the trailer in his lot for free, and who gave me a big bear hug as we were leaving his shop. Just because, it’s a thing one does. Or should be doing more of.

The world is filled with these sparkling stars in my world – I do count each one of those people and events as blessings – they do not go unnoticed.

I may forget faces, I more often than not forget names, I regularly forget appointments, birthdays, events, papers, etc. – but I do not forget the people that make my world a better place.

 
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Celebrating Christmas usually is my favorite time of the year – the lights, buying presents for loved ones, the food, the times together playing games, watching movies, doing puzzles, and laughing…

This year, all that was toned wayyy down in our house – a sick mom is really no fun for anyone…I spent five days sick on the couch, with no energy to do much of anything. The kids were troopers, and very caring and condiserate – but I know they missed the hubbub and joyful atmosphere we usually have in the house…

So the question is: fake it to make them happy, or just go with what is, and see it in contrast to the happier christmasses we’ve celebrated before and will be celebrating again?

Never quite sure what the better approach is for that…the good part is, that I am slowly on the mend and gaining a bit of energy back. We are making the most of the few days during christmas break to do all the things we had planned for Christmas…

And who knows, I might even get some painting done this coming week – it’s been a long while since I’ve had a chance to work in my studio.

New Year’s Eve will be a marathon of Hobbitses, Dwarves, and Elves – can hardly wait…