Monday, December 5, 2016

That elusive little sprite named Inspiration.

 

Inspiration isn't something you find.

One of the questions I am most frequently asked, by students, beginning career path artists and customers is, "Where do you find your inspiration?"
 
What I don't like about the idea of finding inspiration is that it implies that inspiration is something that exists outside of ourselves and that we sorta-hafta grab at it and pull it towards us.
 
I don't find inspiration, I allow it.  I don't chase it, it comes to me. The little things in life that happen, the brief but beautiful glimpse of something in the landscape, the out of nowhere idea in the shower, are all fodder for creative work of any kind, and even creative living.
 

Midnight Snack is a perfect example.

I woke up a couple of weeks ago to the sound of a ruckus going on in my kitchen.  A raccoon had gotten into the house and was looking for tidbits in the garbage can.  He got scared when he saw me and left the way he came in, through the screen porch. 
 
It was an irritating event (which by the way, my cat slept through) that required some clean up.  But it became a funny little story that I could tell through a painting.  And as an added bonus I got to paint that cute little cottage kitchen that I totally want.  I mean, who doesn't want that turquoise stove? Frig to match, please!
 
The painting that's on my easel now (not shown) started because I had a dream that had hummingbirds in it.  Who doesn't love hummingbirds? I have never painted them, voila! an idea is born.
 

Midnight Snack
16 x 20" acrylic on canvas
$495
©Maggie Ruley 2016
Purchase Here


I did a little slide show on Facebook of how this painting progressed. To view it,  Click Here and scroll down.
 
 

Where do all these ideas live while they wait to be painted? 

They patiently wait in my journal. I think every artist/creative/person should have one.  Not sure how to start?  Google it!  You'll find all kinds of info.  By the way, I use one of those old fashioned composition books, from the office supply store, nothing fancy for me. I just need a place to write and doodle. 

"But, suppose I don't have any of those ideas yet?"

While you are getting your journal up and running, keep showing up in your studio/dining room table/creative closet/wherever.  One of my favorite Picasso quotes is, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working."

Rework old paintings. Gesso over old paintings.  Do a variation of a painting you have already done, like Cezanne* and other famous artists.  Re-imagine it.

And if while you're working or re-working and idea comes to you, stop what you are doing and write it down!  Allow it, give it a place to live.
Action is the genesis of inspiration.
#nuffsaid


Strider
private collection


Big Love
(Strider re-imagined)
16 x 20" acrylic on canvas
$495
©2016
Purchase Here

*The Sainte-Victoire mountain near Cézanne's home in Aix-en-Provence was one of his favorite subjects and he is known to have painted it over 60 times. Cézanne was fascinated by the rugged architectural forms in the mountains of Provence and painted the same scene from many different angles.

Fun Stuff!

Enough of the think-y stuff, I can already see your eyes glazing over.
 
Here are 2 new pillows I designed and have added to the gallery.
 
Purchase Here


Purchase Here

Hugs to all, Maggie

P.S.  What super-cool techniques do you use to keep your inspiration warehouse full?  I'd love to know.
 
If you are an email subscriber to my blog and you are reading this from your inbox, 2 things.
First, you might want to CLICK HERE so you can see all the fun extras on the blog site.  You'll be glad you did and you can leave a comment.

 And Second, Thank you! Please forward it on to anyone else who might enjoy it. Thank you again.
 
 If you aren't (reading this in your inbox)and you'd like to get all the really cool things going on in my studio delivered (with love) to your inbox, CLICK HERE  and fill out that box thingy that says, "Never miss a post", in the upper right




Maggie Ruley is a studio artist living in Key West, Florida. 



Her colorful paintings and tropical pottery are collected world wide and can be found in many island homes. She has been featured in the Key West Citizen,

the New York Daily News , and other publications.

Her handmade ceramic flip flops have been sold in gift shops all along the east coast and in California and Hawaii.

 Her studio-gallery is located in the Historic Seaport area of Old Town Key West.
Maggie Ruley~Island Inspirations
933b Fleming St.
Key West Florida 33042

Find more things to love on my website: www.maggieruley.com

Connect with me on FACEBOOK



Sunday, September 25, 2016

Words to Live By

She Listens
Original Sold
giclee reproductions available HERE
©Maggie
quote from The Awakening by Kate Chopin
 
 
I'm taking a short break and visiting family in North Carolina, but while I'm away my students are finishing their paintings for our group show Words to Live By that is coming in early October.
 
Remember I said I wanted to create a mini movement of inspirational themed art work?  Sure you do!
 
Well, it happened and I was really pleased to see my students stay focused on the theme for 5 weeks. That's a long time for the creative attention span.  I'm really excited to see what comes in for the show.
group show work in progress
 
The invitations have been printed and  I've given the artists a little challenge, telling them to get them out to their friends and potential customers. And as a bonus I sent them a little art marketing information I've gained over the years. 
 
 
 
Marketing seems confusing when you first start out. But it doesn't have to be.
 
I'll share the few simple, but effective techniques I gave them, with you next week.   (For you creatives out there who would like a very simple start to marketing)


 



I invite you to mark your calendar and join us at the reception if you can.

#smileyfacehere
 
 
 Anyway, while my students are working away, I'm enjoying the first hint of fall.

The September Special is going on Here

Don't forget about this really cool workshop


If you are an email subscriber to my blog and you are reading this from your inbox, 2 things.
First, you might want to CLICK HERE so you can see all the fun extras on the blog site.  You'll be glad you did and you can leave a comment.
 And Second, Thank you! Please forward it on to anyone else who might enjoy it. Thank you again.
 
 If you aren't (reading this in your inbox)and you'd like to get all the really cool things going on in my studio delivered (with love) to your inbox, CLICK HERE  and fill out that box thingy that says, "Never miss a post", in the upper right




Maggie Ruley is a studio artist living in Key West, Florida. 


Her colorful paintings and tropical pottery are collected world wide and can be found in many island homes. She has been featured in the Key West Citizen,
the New York Daily News , and other publications.

Her handmade ceramic flip flops have been sold in gift shops all along the east coast and in California and Hawaii.

 Her studio-gallery is located in the Historic Seaport area of Old Town Key West.
Maggie Ruley~Island Inspirations
933b Fleming St.
Key West Florida 33042

Find more things to love on my website: www.maggieruley.com

Connect with me on FACEBOOK

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Have you found your spirit animal?


Have you found your inner spirit animal?

 
I've got a really fun and super different workshop planned for Saturday, October 22, 2016. 10am - 4pm.

Discover, Connect to, and Paint Your

Spirit Animal

Spirit owl
©Maggie Ruley 2016


Saturday, October 22, 2016
Spirit Blue Heron
©Maggie Ruley 2016
10am - 4pm
with

Dr Renee Lanier and Maggie Ruley: your guides through this amazing day
Where?
Maggie’s Studio,
Island Inspirations, 933b Fleming St, Key West FL, 33040
Workshop fee $125
As a bonus to my friends, register before October 11, 2016
For the special price of $95 #earlybirdspecial

 Painting materials provided.
Class size is limited to 12; your payment holds your space!
*Cancellation policy at end.

Sign up here.  

Why this is going to be so cool.

You've probably heard that everyone has an inner connection with a particular spirit animal. (Sometimes referred to as your Totem)

But did you know that most likely you have more than one?
And that when you learn how to connect to your spirit animal(s) you gain influential insights into your subconscious mind and guidance in your life?
If you did, great!
If you didn't, great too!

Whatever your answer, I invite you to spend a wonderful day discovering and connecting to your own powerful spirit animals.  Renee Lanier, PhD will guide you through a morning of exercises and meditations designed to give you the power to discover the spirit animals that are within you.  They are there, waiting patiently, to help you in your everyday life. 

During her career as a transpersonal psychologist, Dr Renee has helped a multitude of people connect with spirit in order to live joyful and fulfilling lives.  She will lead you through the process of connection gently and with understanding.

In the afternoon we’ll breakout the paints. We’ll further explore the characteristics of your particular animal spirit using creativity and color.

Here's where I'll help you as you create a painting that will give you a greater connection to your morning discoveries.

For those of you who have already have a personal alliance with a spirit animal, you know the importance it plays in your life.  Give yourself a day to reconnect and see if any new ones are influencing you now.


So you may be thinking: What is a spirit animal and why does it matter to me?

Your spirit animal is a guide to help you connect to your subconscious and understand different parts of your life that need to be explored.

Your spirit animal will help you:

* Understand parts of your life you may want to develop.
* Guide you through times of strong emotion.
* open your heart to the idea of transformation.
* Help you choose your path in life.
* Gain new insights on your current relationships.

* Feel comforted through support and guidance.

Connecting with your spirit animal will allow you to form a powerful ally within yourself and help you feel a renewed energy for engaging in your life.


 
Discover, Connect to, and Paint Your Spirit Animal
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Spirit Raven
©Maggie Ruley 2016
10am - 4pm
with Dr Renee Lanier and Maggie Ruley
as your guides through this amazing day.

Location,
Island Inspirations, 933b Fleming St, Key West FL, 33040
Workshop fee $125
As a bonus to my friends, register before October 11, 2016
For the special price of $95 #earlybirdspecial

Painting materials provided
Class size is limited to 12; your payment reserves your space! 
Sign up here

*Cancellation policy.
We’d hate it if something happened and you couldn't join us, but sometimes stuff happens so……
Cancel before October 13, full refund
Cancel between October 13-19, refund your payment minus $10
No refunds after October 19, but you may pass your seat on to someone else if we know ahead of time.

I look forward to seeing you in this or any of my classes and workshops,


The Super Secret September Special is still going on!!!!!

If you lost the link, here it is.  Take a look and see if the painting you love is still available.

Big hugs!

Maggie

P.S.  Thanks to everyone who took the quiz and let me know their art buying style.
 


Spirit Rabbit
© Maggie Ruley 2016
 


Maggie Ruley is a studio artist living in Key West, Florida. 

Her colorful paintings and tropical pottery are collected world wide and can be found in many island homes. She has been featured in the Key West Citizen,
the New York Daily News , and other publications.

Her handmade ceramic flip flops have been sold in gift shops all along the east coast and in California and Hawaii.

 Her studio-gallery is located in the Historic Seaport area of Old Town Key West.
Maggie Ruley~Island Inspirations
933b Fleming St.
Key West Florida 33042

Find more things to love on my website: www.maggieruley.com

Connect with me on FACEBOOK
 

 

 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Take the quiz, what kind of art Is best for you?

Original Art vs. Giclee Reproductions

Which is better?

 I was at the Rick Worth opening at Salt Gallery last weekend when a friend asked me how you can tell the difference between a giclee reproduction* and an original.  I answered her question**, but I could tell that what she was REALLY asking was....."is it okay to buy a giclee?  If she bought one would her friends know it wasn't an original?"   She is not the first person to ask that question, implied or explicit, and she won't be the last. And it's a really good question to consider.

And another question that goes along with the question, "is it okay?" is "which is better?"

Answer: Depends, (done with a shrug of the shoulders and a raised eyebrow)
It depends on how you see yourself in relationship to your art.

Take the quiz below.

 When it comes to buying art:

A.  I very carefully choose my art, sometimes going to 10 galleries and not buying anything.

B.  I buy art to decorate my house.

C.  I'm eclectic my art is eclectic.

answers below


Dinghy Duo
original sold, size 20 x 24"
available as a giclee reproduction
see it here
©Maggie Ruley 2015


If you answered A, you probably will be happier with original paintings or art pieces. All the hard work and searching you do will become part of the story you tell about how you found this particular piece. Fine art or not-so-fine art, each one will have a special place in your collection.

If you answered B,  the next question is how often do you re-decorate?  Are you shabby chic this year, but planning to switch to mid-century modern next?  And even planning the redo after that?
If you're a frequent re-decorator then maybe giclee reproductions are for you.  You can use them to turn this year's version of your house into a home you love..........and not feel too bad if you pass them on to others when you decide to redo. 
If you plan for your décor to last for awhile, buy a mix of what works for you.  Whether its original or not, if it fits in and makes you happy, grab it.

If you answered C, you probably don't care about the answer to the question.  You never even asked it in the first place.  You buy something because you like it, period - end of story.

Okay, these, of course, are my answers to the question.  They are only opinions.  You should always listen to your own opinions, and do what feels right. stuff my lawyer would make me say if I had a lawyer.

Both original paintings and giclee reproductions have a place in the art world.  It's just a matter of what works for you.

**I answered my friend's "how do you tell?" question like this. Look at the sides of the painting. A giclee often has the image mirrored on the sides and if you look closely you'll notice a very slight shift in pattern or image.  Not easy to do if the giclee has a frame.
Next get up really close to the painting and look for brushwork and raised paint areas.  A giclee won't have them unless the artist has enhanced it with touches of paint. 

Visit my collection of giclee reproductions here  I work with a small boutique printing company. I'll be happy to add brushwork and details to your giclee, send me an email with your request. 

*What exactly is a giclee?  Read more.


The Super Secret September Special is still going on.

If you lost the link, here it is.  Take a look and see if the painting you love is still available.

Everyone have a great week.
super big hugs,
Maggie

P.S.  Let me know if you are A, B, or C, I'm curious.

P.P.S. I'm a C


Read about Rick Worth




Maggie Ruley is a studio artist living in Key West, Florida. 

Her colorful paintings and tropical pottery are collected world wide and can be found in many island homes. She has been featured in the Key West Citizen,
the New York Daily News , and other publications.

Her handmade ceramic flip flops have been sold in gift shops all along the east coast and in California and Hawaii.

 Her studio-gallery is located in the Historic Seaport area of Old Town Key West.
Maggie Ruley~Island Inspirations
933b Fleming St.
Key West Florida 33042

Find more things to love on my website: www.maggieruley.com

Connect with me on FACEBOOK


Aloha Moon
an oldie but a goodie
giclee available by email
original sold, size 30" by 40"
©Maggie Ruley


Friday, September 2, 2016

By Invitation Only, and yes, you're invited

By invitation only!

THE SUPER SECRET SEPTEMBER SPECIAL

September is customer appreciation month in Key West.  Every September all kinds of local businesses reward their customers with fabulous deals, bonuses and specials.

It's a superb idea and I've totally glommed onto it.

So I am proudly announcing (drumroll please)..........

rum-ta-de-dum-tum-dum!
THE SUPER SECRET SEPTEMBER SPECIAL
For my extraordinarily special friends.

It's my way of saying "Thank you" to those of you who read my blog and choose to stay connected with me.

Here's the deal.  The only way you can get to the special is through this link.
 Super Secret September Special

Other people who land on my website or blog, either through Google or by chance, won't be able to access it.  Just you.

It's by invitation only and you, dear cherished friend, are invited.

Here's the link again

Hugs, and have a great Labor Day Weekend,
Maggie

P.S.  See you on the other side of the link.


If you are an email subscriber to my blog and you are reading this from your inbox, 2 things.

First, you might want to CLICK HERE so you can see all the fun extras on the blog site.  You'll be glad you did and you can leave a comment.

 

And Second, Thank you! Please forward it on to anyone else who might enjoy it.
 
 If you aren't (reading this in your inbox)and you'd like to get all the really cool things going on in my studio delivered (with love) to your inbox, CLICK HERE  and fill out that box thingy that says, "Never miss a post", in the upper right corner.
 
 
 
 
 





Maggie Ruley is a studio artist living in Key West, Florida. 
 
Her colorful paintings and tropical pottery are collected world wide and can be found in many island homes. She has been featured in the Key West Citizen,
the New York Daily News , and other publications.
 
Her handmade ceramic flip flops have been sold in gift shops all along the east coast and in California and Hawaii.
 
 Her studio-gallery is located in the Historic Seaport area of Old Town Key West.
Maggie Ruley~Island Inspirations
933b Fleming St.
Key West Florida 33042
 
Find more things to love on my website: www.maggieruley.com
 
Connect with me on FACEBOOK
 



Sunday, August 28, 2016

5 Mistakes you could be making when you buy art.

5 Mistakes you could be making when you buy art.

And how you can avoid them.


During my 30 years in Key West, I have had the good fortune to be part of some wonderful co-operative* art galleries. And now I have an amazing studio/gallery space of my own. #supercool
Repeatedly helping people choose art for their island home, or choosing a piece as a memory to take home, has been tons of fun and given me some very clear insights on the art buying process.

It can be great fun for the buyer and the seller.  It's really wonderful to know you're helping people add something of meaning to their lives.
However, (yes, there's often an "however")sometimes there's stress that could be avoided.

And, sadly, this stress is being created because the art lovers thought they were doing the right thing. 
For example, they wanted to be kind or polite or un-pushy.
 
Did I recognize these mistakes as they were being made? Not at first! It took time, and me seeing them over and over again.  But now when I see one, I do my very best to step in and politely make suggestions.


Here are the mistakes and the very easy ways to avoid them. Please note, I think these apply to buying art in a gallery, or directly from the artist. 

1. Not buying a piece because you don't like the frame. That's like not buying a house because you don't like the wall color. Not every frame is going to fit your style.
Solution: Ask to see the piece without the frame. That way, what you don't like about the piece won't interfere with how you envision the piece in your home.
But Maggie, you say, can I ask to buy the piece without the frame? Of course, but don't expect much of/or any price reduction. Most artists buy their frames in bulk and wholesale and don't add the cost of framing into the price.

2. You are afraid to tell the artist or sales person that you REALLY dislike the piece they are showing you. 
Solution: Understand that communication is key to getting exactly what you want. Knowing what you like as well as what you don't like helps the artist or salesperson assist you in the selection process.    And couples, you can ask for a moment to confer privately.

3. This next mistake is one that couples, who are choosing together, often make. You aren't honest with the other person about what you like or don't like. 
Solution: Don't be afraid to say "I like this one better than that one." This will save one of you the time it takes to bring the piece back and explain to the sales person, "I didn't know he/she didn't like it until we got it home!" 

4. The wife/partner/whatever (but it's usually the wife) doesn't want to make a purchase without the husband/partner/whatever.  So she spends time looking and then has to start the process over again when she returns with the husband. Who most of the time, says, "I don't care. If you like it, get it."
Solution: Realize, that if you have just said, "Honey, I'm going out to look for a new painting for the dinning room", and your husband/partner/whatever isn't getting up and reaching for the car keys to come with you, then that person is glad someone else is making that decision.
Note to husband/partner/whatever: Saying, "I don't care, just prolongs the ordeal".  It's better to say, "Honey, you know I trust your judgment".

5. Not asking the artist if you can "test drive" the art. Take piece(s) home to see how they work in your home.
Solution: If you know you are going to purchase something, but not sure what, ask if you can take the pieces on trial.  Obviously, this works better if you are buying from a local artist.
I tell customers I will bring as many pieces as they want to their home and help them choose or leave them for a few days. Or, I let them take the pieces and decide on their own.

Buying art should be joyful and rewarding. I hopes this helps and thank you so much for adding art to your home and your life.
 
*A co-op gallery has multiple artist/owners and in most cases the artists take turns "minding the store" and being involved in the sales process. 
 

Words to Live By

I've got a special series of classes going on now.  My students are creating artwork with inspirational themes or messages.  And the fun part is, that when the class is over we are going to have a group show of the work.  Let's put those good vibrations out into the world ASAP.
 
Listen to your heart
acrylic on canvas, 16" x 20"
$495.00
©Maggie Ruley 2016

detail


If you are an email subscriber to my blog and you are reading this from your inbox, 2 things.


First, you might want to CLICK HERE so you can see all the fun extras on the blog site.  You'll be glad you did and you can leave a comment.

 
And Second, Thank you! Please forward it on to anyone else who might enjoy it.
 
 If you aren't (reading this in your inbox)and you'd like to get all the really cool things going on in my studio delivered (with love) to your inbox, CLICK HERE  and fill out that box thingy that says, "Never miss a post", in the upper right corner.
 
 
 
 
 





Maggie Ruley is a studio artist living in Key West, Florida. 
 
Her colorful paintings and tropical pottery are collected world wide and can be found in many island homes. She has been featured in the Key West Citizen,
the New York Daily News , and other publications.
 
Her handmade ceramic flip flops have been sold in gift shops all along the east coast and in California and Hawaii.
 
 Her studio-gallery is located in the Historic Seaport area of Old Town Key West.
Maggie Ruley~Island Inspirations
933b Fleming St.
Key West Florida 33042
 
Find more things to love on my website: www.maggieruley.com
 
Connect with me on FACEBOOK

 


.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

......And a Star to Steer Her By

The Power of Poetry


The world seems to be a little Helter Skelter  lately, just over the top meanness and crazy. Regrets if this bums you out, bums me out too.  So? What to do? What to do?  For me personally, it was to add some poetry* to my painting. The world needs more poetry, really.  This painting took the edge off that icky feeling for me.  I kept thinking about how the lines of poetry in the piece could represent the wind that moves the ships forward.

Because this was such an uplifting experience, I decided that my next painting classes** are going to focus on adding inspirational messages or symbols to the paintings. 

So, I'm going to tell my students to dust off their Jonathan Livingston Seagull, rummage through Pinterest for the perfect Rumi quote, or re-read their journals for snippets of things they've written that have helped them through their angst  filled moments.

I want to create a mini-movement of inspirational art.  I'm even considering a show of the work at the end of weeks we work on this.  But don't tell my students yet, just in case I can't make it work. 


Ships and Stars
24 x 24"
original acrylic
©Maggie Ruley 2016
*Sea Fever, I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick, and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking

John Masefield

P.S.  I get my daily dose of poetry through The Writer's Almanac

** painting classes will resume the end of August, not sure the date because there's a week I might have jury duty.

Featured Giclee

Another way to add some smiles to your world is to look a Flamingo in the eye.  Everyone smiles when they do. It's a scientific fact.

Flamingo Feathers
Click here to purchase. It's easy peasy!




If you are an email subscriber to my blog and you are reading this from your inbox, 2 things.

First, you might want to CLICK HERE so you can see all the fun extras on the blog site.  You'll be glad you did and you can leave a comment.
 
And Second, Thank you! Please forward it on to anyone else who might enjoy it. Thank you again.
 
 If you aren't (reading this in your inbox)and you'd like to get all the really cool things going on in my studio delivered (with love) to your inbox, CLICK HERE  and fill out that box thingy that says, "Never miss a post", in the upper right corner.
 
 
 
 
 





Maggie Ruley is a studio artist living in Key West, Florida. 
 
Her colorful paintings and tropical pottery are collected world wide and can be found in many island homes. She has been featured in the Key West Citizen,
the New York Daily News , and other publications.
 
Her handmade ceramic flip flops have been sold in gift shops all along the east coast and in California and Hawaii.
 
 Her studio-gallery is located in the Historic Seaport area of Old Town Key West.
Maggie Ruley~Island Inspirations
933b Fleming St.
Key West Florida 33042
 
Find more things to love on my website: www.maggieruley.com
 
Connect with me on FACEBOOK
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