Thursday, April 23

Need Design Skills?

You can become a professional designer without attending a year college! Sure, it takes hard work + dedication to learn how to manage your time + learn by yourself. But once you get into the design groove, it will be so well worth your creative effort. Below are some useful sites that can help you get started as a graphic or web designer. Already skilled? Well use these resources to beef up your design skills + portfolio.

ONLINE TRAINING is an accredited online School of art + design that can help you reach your goals. I took the Graphic Design I class online through this site when I was first starting out as a graphic designer. The class was very helpful, and allowed me to add work to my portfolio. There is a talented teacher that can answer your questions, and you're able to network with other students + designers.

"17 Unusual + Creative Mailboxes"
"Top 75 Best Design Resources of 2008"
"The Best 80 Photoshop Text Effects on the Web"
"584 Ways to Design a Business Card?"
"I heart Flickr: my new source for joy + design inspiration"

"12 Invaluable Sites for Web Design and Design Inspiration"
A useful design blog featuring tips + freebies + jobs
"7 Ways to Build Trust on a Porfolio Site"
"Google Local Business Center for Designers"
Another great way to get inspired is to look at other artist's work. I like to browse the RedBubble and and even sites for paintings, digital art, and graphic pictures that inspire me to CREATE!

Saturday, April 18

Meet Artist Fernanda Cohen

FERNANDA COHEN, what an amazing artist!
see more of her work from

Monday, April 13


(The Eternal Muse, by Paul Louis Villani)

(Music Happens, by Paul Louis Villani)

"I have my own particular sorrows, loves, delights; and you have yours. But sorrow, gladness, yearning, hope, love, belong to all of us, in all times and in all places. Music is the only means whereby we feel these emotions in their universality."
~ H.A. Overstreet ~

SPECIAL THANKS to contributing writer, Jackie Trudel-Lane from Virginia Beach, for providing the photos and corresponding quote. Jackie has a great eye for finding interesting images that evoke our emotions, and inspire CREATIVITY!

April Artist of the Month - Ashieka Daniels

This week's featured artist is Ashieka Daniels, a young photographer who specializes in capturing candid shots. She is the creative juice and founder of ASHIEKA E PHOTOGRAPHY. This self taught photographer with an eye for detail uses free flowing techniques to ensure the most natural portraits. Ashieka enjoys the effect and beauty of working with natural light, and conducts most of her photo sessions outdoors. During a session with Ashieka E Photography you can expect fun, laughter, silliness and a bit of quiet time. Her work includes: Expecting Moms, Infants, Children, Teens, High School Seniors, Couples, Individuals, Families, and Preschools.

Visit the artist's website and blog to see more of her beautiful work. You can also schedule an appointment on her online calender, and get information about her latest photo shoots.


This is our favorite photograph so far from Ashieka E Photography. The contrast and minimal light give the photograph a mysterious, yet fiery feel that leads you to wonder 'What is this woman is thinking?' The two-toned color style and layout prove that Ashieka Daniels is able to look beyond the obvious, to create photographs that are intriguing works of ART.

Contacting the Artist:
Ashieka E Photography: Website
Ashieka E Photography: Children's Site
Ashieka E Photography: Blog

Wednesday, April 8

Quoted Aristotle

Favorite Aristotle Quotes
- Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.
- Education is the best provision for the journey to old age.
- Young people are in a condition like permanent intoxication, because youth is sweet and they are growing.
- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

About the Philosopher Aristotle
Aristotle was born in 384 BC at Stagirus, a Greek colony and seaport on the coast of Thrace. His father Nichomachus was court physician to King Amyntas of Macedonia. From this legacy began Aristotle's long association with the Macedonian Court, which considerably influenced his life.

Aristotle was the most notable product of the educational program devised by Plato, and he spent twenty years of his life studying at the Academy. He studied an amazing range of subjects, from logic, philosophy, and ethics to physics, biology, psychology, politics, and rhetoric. The initial book in Aristotle's collected logical works is The Categories, an analysis of the state and quality of his favorite topics.

Lessons Learned
In 2002, I studied Art Admin for one semester at the Art Institute of Chicago, we read Plato and Aristotle. At the time, I found it difficult to understand some of the teachings and observations. Today, I feel better suited to read works from Aristotle, and to actually grasp his point of view. I chose the quotes above because they speak to me in some way; like the last quote about an educated mind. In the past, I used to run off at the mouth and react when someone disagreed with me. Now more educated, older, and with kids of my own, I am able to be more accepting and patient of other people's opinions. I guess sometimes getting older IS better, especially when it comes with gaining knowledge about life.

Get more Aristotle quotes

What I'm Working On

The Website
This month, I am putting the finishing touches on our official website. The new site is complete with Artist Gallery, Services List, Price Sheets, Online Store, and more! To the left is a screen shot of the new website design. Hope you like it! I chose a design that was simple and artistic in order to highlight the artwork and services. I also applied this design to the look and feel of our Blog. Much of the time it takes to create a website is spent initially deciding on the right design to portray the message of your business. With this design, we are telling the world that Custom Canvas Art is a small business who gives great attention to detail and strives to provide quality service. What does your site design say about you?

New Work
I am also working on getting print #2 of "Prayer" stretched and framed for a client. She purchased the largest size canvas print of 44"x36" and it looks amazing! You can check back on the website and blog for her testimonial, and photos of where she hung the painting in her home.

New Design Clients
I have two new web design clients that I will start working on during the beginning of May after our own official website launch. The first client is a Chicago DJ wanting a new music site. The second client wants me to create a personal web page for her.

Edaw is still working on an album cover art design for one of our MySpace friends. They asked for a superhero representation of themselves. Visit our MySpace Gallery page in the upcoming weeks to see this album cover.

Museum Exploration
In this new portion of the site, we will take a look at a new Museum or Gallery every week and highlight the exhibition artworks and key facts of the museum. This week, we take a look at the Seattle Art Museum, and the 'Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery' show. With more than 275 objects, the exhibition spans the period from the first European settlements to explorations of the far west and culminates in the World's Colombian Exposition in 1893. The exhibition runs from February 26–May 25, 2009 at the SAM Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries. More to come on the blog this week!

Tuesday, April 7

March Artist of the Month - Sharon Hodgson

This week we introduce you to our MySpace friend and 'Artist of the Week' Sharon Hodgson, a talented contemporary Canadian artist in Halifax, Nova Scotia who specializes in LIVE painting. Sharon says "I paint motion and the emotions that have colored my perceptions of motion."

Sharon Hodgson likes to use a lot of vivid color, creating abstractions of movement through heavy repetition of multi-colored lines. Sharon also likes to incorporating recognizable abstractions of movement into each piece. She can be found in Halifax and other cities, painting live at events, and painting quickly! If you have two or three hours, Sharon can produce a painting in that time. Usually Sharon will just show up and paint and people spontaneously buy.

(Emotive Letter Writer, acrylic on canvas)

(Beautiful You, 9"x12", acrylic on stretched canvas, 2006)

From our interaction with Sharon on MySpace as a friend, she has been inspirational and very helpful. I asked her a question about live painting and how she is able to get them done so quickly and here was her response:

"I see it not as a time to make precise copies of reality, but to tell a story of an event, capture the vibe of an evening, with use of different colors and sometimes hints of movement. Stylistic ways to render this or that form, evolve over time with practice.

You learn to trust yourself to paint live as you do it more. I would start off at home timing myself to produce a work within a time limit. When I could comfortably produce paintings within a few hours. I thought there's no reason I can't produce these where people are. Then people would know that I create, take an interest in the work. and identify me as an artist. That's so difficult to achieve if you hide in your studio and don't allow for random interaction with the public.

Since artists cannot get into traditional brick and mortar galleries as easily, we must boldly venture out and paint where ever we go, to remind people that creativity can happen anywhere, not just in while-walled galleries. People can interact with artists. Artists can interact with public.

People can talk about art and what it makes them feel. All these things delight me and a part of going out and creating where others can observe." - Sharon Hodgson

Find Sharon on MySpace
Visit the Artist's Website

Monday, April 6

World Art - Africa is a great site for authentic traditional, modern and contemporary African Art. The gallery carries hand-crafted Authentic African Art, African Masks, African Paintings, African Musical Instruments, African crafts, Tribal art and much more.

All items featured on are hand made. was created to share the magnificent art and crafts of Africa for joy, and for the benefit of artists and craftsmen and their families in Africa. They source artwork directly from Africa from countries like Cote d’ivoire, Cameroon, central African republic, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. According to the site, each purchase made from the store is making a difference in the lives of our artisans and craftsmen, and is helping them sustain themselves economically.

(by Daniel Akortia)

("Baule Door" One of a Kind, 36.5"x24.0", From Ivory Coast)

Quoted Madame Curie

"Life is not easy for any of us, but what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained." --Madame Marie Curie

Marie SkÅ‚odowska Curie (Nov 7, 1867 – Jul 4, 1934) was a physicist and chemist of Polish upbringing and French citizenship. She was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity, the first person honored with two Nobel Prizes, and the first female professor at the University of Paris. Her achievements include the creation of a theory of radioactivity (a term coined by her), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two new elements, polonium and radium. It was also under her personal direction that the world's first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms (cancers), using radioactive isotopes.

Madame Curie is a role model, and woman with great talents who tried as hard as she could, to be the BEST that she could be. Even in times of adversity, we must try as hard as we can and never give up on our dreams!

Source: has a full biography and information on all the Nobel prize winners, including Madam Curie.

Friday, April 3

World Art - Morocco

Award Winning Moroccan Ceramics Designer, Myriam Mourabit is the winner of the 2008 best designer trophy awarded at the Riad Art Expo in Marrakech, Morocco.

'Moroccan Rooftops' by Artist John Weeks, from Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, purchased with the aid of a grant from the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council of New Zealand, 1970

Quoted Picasso

"Action is the foundational key to all success."
"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
"Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth."
"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
"Bad artists copy. Good artists steal."
--Pablo Picasso

Wednesday, April 1

World Art - Brazil

"A Colheita do Bambu Amarelo
From the Brazilian art collection of Medallia Art

country of origin: Brazil
19.5x39.5 inches (50x100cm)
acrylic on canvas

Salt + Pepper Get New Look

Designer Daily has an awesome selection of the best salt and pepper designs! These two were my favorite, what's yours?

6 Virtual Galleries for Artists

"6 Virtual Galleries for Artists"
posted on March 31st, 2009 | by Natasha Wescoat

Below are the top 6 sites that have become well established and recognized for their professionalism, style, and opportunities for exposure and networking. These are potential competition for Custom Canvas Art, as we add more member artists, but I wanted to list them anyway! Better to share information that will help other artists than to just think of self serving interests.

Illustration Mundo
Artist Rising

To read the full blog post from Mashable "6 Virtual Galleries for Artists" March 31st, 2009 | by Natasha Wescoat