Monday, April 11, 2011 Greeting Cards~Product Review

I was saddened to discover Imagekind no longer offers greeting cards so I decided to try . I received my first order today and am pleased to report the quality is excellent. All pertinent information regarding the paper quality, dimensions of the cards, etc. is readily available on the site however I'd like to add my own list of pros and cons:

  • Quality of the images on the cards is excellent, colors true to life.
  • Each card comes with a standard white envelope or you can chose from an alternative assortment at extra cost.
  • Images are easily uploaded to the site, extra large files are not required.
  • Moo offers an image editing and preview feature so the customer has more control over any cropping that may occur.
  • Regular cost is very reasonable. is currently running a 25% off sale on all printed products which unfortunately ends today.
  • Moo requires a minimum order of 25 cards but the customer can include more than one image in the 25 cards.
  • Moo allows the customer to remove their logo from the back of the cards and replace it with their own or any text or image they chose.
  • Customer service is great. I emailed Moo twice with questions and they got back to me in a very timely manner.
  • The cards are an odd size, smaller than a standard 5" x 7" greeting card and slightly larger than a notecard. I like to present my cards in an acetate sleeve and was unable to find a sleeve that would fit these cards correctly. I had to order 5" x 7" sleeves from another source and will have to make some adjustments with tape.
  • When creating your cards using multiple images per batch of 25 it's not possible to edit the back of each card so including separate titles for each image is not possible.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Julie's Morels~Complete

I just completed this and I'm pretty happy with the outcome. I stayed with my original palette and continued to play until I was satisfied. It's fairly easy to adjust color on gesso as the surface isn't terribly absorbent so lifting is easy. I'll probably wind up float mounting this in a black frame.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Julie's Morels~WIP 1

Two things came together to inspire this piece..morel hunting season(soon to arrive here in northern Michigan) and an idea I recently hatched to embed leaves and grass in gesso to create texture. I love working on gesso with watercolor and I love lots of texture.

Julie Christianson is a fabulous local photographer and I've known her for many years. She had posted an image on Facebook of a morel she snapped, probably last hunting season. Since I can no longer traipse through the woods to hunt them myself I asked her if I could use some of her images as references and she generously obliged. For my visitors that have never heard of a morel mushroom I found this on Wiki:

I'm working on matboard, the size is small...roughly 5" x 7". I applied a light coat of Liquitex acrylic gesso to the board and used a palette knife to create some background texture. Then I coated dry leaves in gesso and applied them to the board while it was still wet. Today I added a second coat of gesso thinned with a little water and let that dry. Afterward I penciled in my mushrooms and protected them with masking fluid. My palette so far consists of DS Undersea green, DV raw umber, DS Quin gold deep and a little Prussian blue.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Peacock Orchids~Complete


Finally(!)I'm calling this one done. I did manage to get a better photo of it today but I'm still not entirely happy with the shot. I seem to have problems photographing larger paintings. Not sure why either. Maybe 8 mega pixels isn't enough to capture small details at a greater distance or I need to experiment with the settings. Subtle shading on the white petals was also lost. I'll try to get some closeups to post after my camera batteries recharge.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Spring Crocus

The first signs of life in the garden after a looong Michigan winter are the early Spring crocuses. Of course I'm always inspired to rush out and photograph them. Usually they tend to form clusters but today I was struck by one crocus that stood alone. I could see another just breaking ground at it's base but that one lone crocus was already standing straight and proud, petals open wide to the sun. I half expected to hear it shouting "Ta DA!".

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Peacock Orchids~WIP 3

The actual painting isn't as blue as it appears here but I could not adjust the color accurately in my photo editor. The next bright overcast day we have I'll try to get a better image to post.

I started this painting back in October of last year. It's the one and only full sheet painting I've attempted. I had set it aside for reasons I can't recall at the moment and it's time to complete it. I detest leaving things unfinished and thought it would haunt me but it didn't. Now I know why...all those tiddly little leaves in the foreground. Patience is not one of my virtues however once I started working on them it became a Zhen exercise of sorts and not as laborious as expected.

I'm working primarily in DV fluid acrylics. The green is a mixture of Hookers green and Indigo. Once I'm satisfied with the foliage I'll apply a watercolor wash of DS Vivid green over the entire area to blend it with the background. The little spiky flowers still need attention and I'm sure I'll be tweaking other areas before calling it complete.