My Favorite Things 2017 Edition

Jack in the Cat Cave

You won’t find raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens on this list, though I’d argue that they are both delightful. Instead, here’s a peek at the things that made me happy over the past year (or longer).

I hope you’ll read and share your own favorite things in a comment.

Food

Bert’s Eggnog

On last year’s favorite things list, I saved the best for last. This year, I won’t make you wait.

This family recipe has made many a doubter into an eggnog convert. I’ve tried others that professed to be THE BEST, but they’ve never come close. I defy you to make a single batch of it.

Nopalito

Luck steered my husband and me into Nopalito restaurant in San Francisco last spring. WOW! If I could live a healthy life on their totopos alone, I’d do it.

But I don’t need to wait to return to San Francisco because their cookbook had recently been released and, ever since, my husband been earning the title Chef. We have had many delicious meals from the Nopalito cookbook.

Rosemary-Mezcal Paloma Cocktail

Some people live on Mai Tais on Maui, but we lived on Palomas. If we have to have them away from that island paradise (twist our arms), we add our spin – inspired by the delicious version at Vesta Dipping Grill in Denver. We make it with smoky Mezcal instead of tequila and add homemade rosemary syrup. Heaven.

Cleansing

In last year’s favorite things post, I mentioned The Plan: Eliminate the Surprising “Healthy” Foods That Are Making You Fat–and Lose Weight Fast (2014)by Lyn-Genet Recitas. This approach to eating the foods that are right for you is right for me. Whenever I feel off-track with regard to eating (often!), I jump on her 3-day cleanse and lose a few extra pounds while gaining energy.

Reads

Both of these books were gifts from my wise coaches.

The Book of Joy

You can’t go wrong when the two main characters are

Continue reading…

How Two Artists Self-Published and Are Promoting a Successful Book Together (Podcast)

As an author, I know it’s not easy to write a book. It’s hard enough to do it on your own, but what if you have a partner?

I was intrigued to learn how Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin came together to write their new book Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts, and Conversations.

It’s a gorgeous tome that has quickly become the go-to resource for anyone who wants to know anything about cold wax. (We were talking 2nd printing already!)

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Rebecca, in Wisconsin, and Jerry, in the Bay Area, collaborated long distance.
  • How they funded the book’s production.
  • How they divided the writing process.
  • How they are marketing (successfully!) Cold Wax Medium.

I also asked them to share advice for other artists who might be interested in writing a book.

Please enjoy this behind-the-scenes peek at how this book has become a hit.

LISTEN NOW…

Continue reading…

What Book Should I Write? (Curious Monday)

Self-Promotion Book for Artists

Not too long ago, I sat down to figure out what I was going to do with my book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio. The first edition was published in 2008 and the last e-book-only edition in 2015.

While most if it is still relevant, it could probably use an update.

How could I freshen it up and get it back into print? It has been a valuable resource to artists and students all over the world.

Then I got a big knot in my stomach. I realized that I don’t want to freshen it up.

I am not the same person who wrote this 10 years ago. It would be completely different if I wrote it now.

It doesn’t make sense to freshen up something I no longer feel connected to.

So … I’m exploring new book topics.

I realize that it could be a very bad idea indeed to ask this, but I’m doing it anyway.

What book should I write?

What book do you need that has yet to be written? Do you have an inkling?

What book would delight you to hold in your hands?

Continue reading…

What Are You Reading This Summer? (Curious Monday)

Book about Philip Johnson & Frank Lloyd Wright

When I heard about Architecture’s Odd Couple, the new bio about Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson, I couldn’t wait to read it.

I have a thang for architecture, and reading about the friendly rivalry between these two opposites was too appealing to pass up.

It’s my summer reading.

What’s on your list?

Continue reading…

Why You Should Read Eric Fischl's Memoir

Eric Fischl Painting

Eric Fischl was one of the first contemporary painters I remember embracing in the 1980s. I loved his memoir, Bad Boy: My Life On and Off The Canvas, and suggest that every serious artist should read it. Here’s a quick video review of the book.

Continue reading…

Summer Reading - Novels About Artists

Summer is for light reading by the pool or on the deck, but you can still enjoy lots of books while maintaining a tie to your art business. Here is a list of novels that have artists as their main character. My Favorites: The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova; Spending by Mary Gordon; and An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin.

Continue reading…

Best Gifts for Budding Artists

Art Biz Coach post on Facebook

Last week I posted this question on the Art Biz Coach Facebook page: A kid just graduated from high school and is headed to art school. What would you give him as a graduation gift besides fair warning? Some people were glib, but most of my fans too the question seriously.

Continue reading…

Quick! 4 Lists to Review in IRBITS

I'd Rather Be in the Studio Book

I think of IRBITS as a reference book, but some people read it cover to cover and never look at it again. I’d like for that to change. There is plenty of face-saving information between the covers that you shouldn’t miss. Here are four to review right away (all page numbers are from 2011 edition). 1. General Guidelines for Writing Your Artist Statement

Continue reading…

A Simple Approach to Writing Book Reviews for Your Blog or Newsletter

Guest blogger Cynthia Morris Here suggests ways to make your book reviews less onerous and more effective. Above all, she says try a recommendation rather than a critical review.

Continue reading…

Free Content for Your Blog or Newsletter: Write a Book Review

Guest blogger Cynthia Morris discusses how writing about books can help us both personally and professionally and provides four reasons to consider reviewing books for your blog or newsletter.

Continue reading…