Art at Shrine of the Pines

Spring is here! In Michigan we’ve waited all winter for the sunshine. It’s time to share my new art creations at Shrine of the Pines in Baldwin, Michigan.

I’ve added some painted coasters to the mix. Each are made of or sealed with resin.

Brown trout themed coasters by Patti Arnold.
Tree of life coasters by Patti Arnold.

I’m also sending along more painted birch jewelry. Be sure to stop by The Shrine of the Pines in Baldwin. It’s a beautiful place with amazing artistry in wood. My art and the work of local artists will be at the Shrine of the Pines gift shop.

An example of my painted birch and resin jewelry.

Enjoy the Michigan sunshine this year!

March Watercolor Videos

This month I began to paint some illustrations for a children’s book I’m writing. The book is going to be a short story anthology. The characters are based on animals I watched at my new window bird feeder all winter. At first, my new friends included woodpeckers of all varieties, sweet little chickadees, and the occasional cardinal.

After a couple of weeks, I made a new friend, a cute little charcoal-colored squirrel. He began to expect “his share” of the bird feed every week. He was determined and clever in his approach. He tried to use the screen as a launchpad to catch onto the bird feeder, but he kept missing it. I would watch him slide down my window, wondering if he’d ever reach the feeder. This became a daily thing. First, I heard knocks on the window from the woodpeckers as they ate the birdseed, followed by the antics of the acrobatic squirrel.

Sometimes, he would pause on the screen and look at me in frustration. He didn’t seem to care when I pressed my finger against the windowpane where he was on the other side. It’s amazing how he clung to the screen on the outside of the window looking at me. I haven’t named my new little friend yet, but one of the main characters in my book is a squirrel called Nimblefoot. He has the same determined personality.

The squirrel and his friends inspired me to write a new children’s book. Check out a short 30-second preview of the book on my YouTube channel.

Also new to my YouTube channel is my most recent painting video. You can see all three parts at once here. In addition to watching it (and other art videos) on my channel, you can see segments of the video on my TikTok. In the video, you’ll see much of my technique for watercolor. The paints I’m using are Windsor Newton. They’re great for the children’s book illustrations I’m creating. 

This watercolor was meant as an exercise to get inspired. With many things going on in the world, I realize that it’s important to take a deep breath and just make some art. Painting is great for relaxation.

I was satisfied with the result, and I may find a place for it in a book project. 

Winter Art and Writing

I’ve started new projects while trying to complete what I’ve been working on for over a year. My upcoming fantasy fiction novel, Draekkon’s Fire is still in the editing phases. The cover design is still ongoing. This book is looking more and more like an epic fantasy, but I’m nearing the goals I’ve set for myself.

With over 100,000 words, this is my longest novel. I’ve considered dividing it into more than one volume, but I want it to be a stand alone book.  Creating the story as a Vella through Amazon KDP is a consideration. Before deciding on this option, the cover is in need of finishing. This is easier said than done. I’m not using stock photography, making the cover design quite a task. The cover design began as an illustration I made that evolved into digital art. It features four of the main characters from the story.

36 minute night sky painting from a new tutorial on YouTube. Scroll down to see the video on the page.

In the meantime, I have midway through a new illustrated children’s book or series inspired by the animals that live in my own yard. It’s been years since I released a children’s book, so I felt this was the perfect time. I’ve been working on the illustrations myself, with an introduction to the book posted on YouTube as a short. With a cute little squirrel pressing his nose to my window pane, how can I not write a story?

With all this going on, I’m also working on an animation project to be revealed later! I’ve continued releasing art tutorials on my YouTube channel and on Tiktok.
I’ve been working in watercolor. I find it to be an amazing medium that’s very portable and perfect for children’s books. I often use it as the first layer in my work, adding mediums such as color pencils, pastel and even alcohol marker. In the tutorial below, I’ve demonstrated a 36 minute painting I made of the night sky – all compressed into to ten minutes of video.

 

New Watercolor and Pastel Art Bill’s World

Fishing art by Patricia Arnold

My new landscape painting Bill’s World is complete. The setting is a small lake (called Goose Lake) in Lake City, MI.

This park was often our family camping destination. Our old canvas tent, Grandma fishing, boat rides and lazy days spent swimming with my cousins are among my dearest childhood memories.

This painting has my father Bill fishing at sunset as he often does. Love you, Dad.

Fishing art by Patricia Arnold

Wooburned Winter Wolf on Maple Log Slice

When winter arrives, it seems like it is the perfect season for pyrography. I have a massive amount of wood slices to burn, and I find myself really enjoying myself. Here is a video of my most recent project, a winter wolf on a maple log slice and a set of celestial pine wood coasters.

It is really amazing to be able to create these projects on my own supply of wood, thanks to the hard work of family members cutting it for me from the branches and logs of storm damaged trees. The summer brought some storm damage, but I’ll be able to make some real gems with reclaimed wood.

New! Maple Leaf Hardwood Woodburned by Hand Set of 4 Coasters

Woodburned coasters maple sugar maple hardwood coasters bark resin sealed

 

Available in my Etsy Shop!

A group of our woodburned maple wood coasters decorated by Patti Arnold. Wide slice of maple is the sample of the type of material used.

View on YouTube

This set of maple hardwood coasters feature a pyrography maple leaf 2 design on each one. Each coaster is signed on the reverse side by the artist, Patti Arnold. Each coaster is completely handmade from genuine maple hardwood that was sliced, dried, sanded, decorated and sealed with resin. Each coaster has a matte look. The bark has been sealed with resin, to minimalize chipping.

The wood is sourced from our yard, from a beautiful sugar maple tree that was damaged from a storm. This gorgeous tree produced maple syrup during the spring of 2021, and is still intact. The wood comes from one section of the tree that broke off during the storm. In the background of the photos, you can see a slice of hardwood to show a large sample of the source wood. Each wood slice was sourced by family members from reclaimed wood. sliced by my brother and father, a Vietnam veteran. There are a limited number of these coasters, so get a set while they last.

NOTE: You will receive a single set of 4 coasters, arranged in similar widths. Some of the coasters are thicker than the others, and the photos show the differences in the height of the stacks. Some sets will be thinner or thicker than others. Coasters of a similar thickness were arranged together. Each decorated piece will vary in terms of woodburned detail and woodgrain, no two are exactly alike. You will receive your stack of 4 coasters wrapped in hemp. Included in your stack of coasters is a hand stamped gift tag of a maple leaf. The stamp was carved and printed by the artist onto the tag with red, archival ink. This set of coasters will make a 100% handmade gift created from beautiful Michigan maple hardwood.

Message me with any questions you have!

Woodburned coasters maple sugar maple hardwood coasters bark resin sealed
A group of our woodburned maple wood coasters decorated by Patti Arnold.

Woodburned coasters maple sugar maple hardwood coasters bark resin sealed
Reverse side with signature of the artist, Patti Arnold.

Images the property of Patti Arnold, ©2021.

New Watercolor Videos

I’ve been working on a series of tutorials demonstrating my painting, woodburning and drawing techniques. They include watercolor, pyrography and drawing demonstrations and just about any medium I am working with. I hope you enjoy my videos as much as I like making them!

To see all of them, visit my YouTube channel or follow me on TikTok. Some of the clips are shorts while others are 20 minutes in length.

New Watercolor Paintings

My latest watercolor painting of my daughter Jessica holding her cat is one of my most recent videos.

The next video shares some of my watercolor painting techniques.

The following video is a demonstration of how I was able to use Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground to correct some of my errors in my portrait of Jessica. This is a small painting!

This next video demonstrates how I was able to incorporate watercolor paintings in my work. I used Prismacolor Watercolor pencils for this artwork.

 

To see all of them, visit my YouTube channel or follow me on TikTok. Don’t forget to like and subscribe!

Making an NFT

When it came to creating an NFT (non-fungible tokens), I wasn’t sure how or if I would make the plunge. Even with a tech background, I found the process of creating an NFT intimidating. The hype around NFTs in the art world is tremendous, and my art newsfeed is filled daily with stories of artists of all ages finding success in the blockchain. The potential of new marketplaces made think it was time to mint an NFT of my own. After my first attempt didn’t work, I decided I had a lot to learn about the process.

After a few months of procrastination, I finally added my contributions to the expanding pool of NFTs just to see what happens. I’m happy to report that it went better the second time around with Mintable.

For those unfamiliar with NFTs, here’s a very basic description from Wikipedia:

NFTA non-fungible token is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger, called a blockchain, that certifies a digital asset to be unique and therefore not interchangeable. NFTs can be used to represent items such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files.

Here are some other terms you’ll run into when creating an NFT:

Gas – Gas refers to the computational efforts required to execute specific operations on the Ethereum network. A fee, paid in ether (ETH, +1.39%), is required to successfully conduct a transaction on Ethereum (coindesk.com)

Mint – Minting is the process of validating information, creating a new block, and recording that information into the blockchain.  (phemex.com)

I have a collection of illustrations I’ve made that seemed to be a good fit for my experiment: a series of black and white illustrations featuring dogs I drew and scanned at high resolution.

My first attempt to create an NFT on Rarible didn’t go as planned. I followed instructions to set up a Metamask wallet in my browser, added Ethereum (for the fees I expected to pay to complete the process) and connected it. Things were going good until I went to mint the NFT. I ran into higher gas fees than anticipated, on top of the one-time $13 transaction fee I had to pay. Once I paid the transaction fee, I didn’t have enough Ethereum for the gas fees due to fluctuating market values. Since it was an experiment, I decided to reject the transaction and postpone making an NFT on Rarible until I could plan things better.

Even though I wasn’t able to mint my NFT on Rarible, it wasn’t a total failure. I had learned something about NFTs. When it came to calculating the costs, I admit I found the process too complex and too expensive.

When I learned about gasless transactions on Mintable, I decided to give minting an NFT another try. Using gasless transactions, I was able to create NFTs in a manner that was surprisingly easy. The Metamask app (or another cryptocurrency wallet) is required to sign within the browser for the creation of the NFT, but no fees are required. It was helpful that I had I created my Metamask cryptocurrency wallet during my first NFT creation attempt on Rarible.

I started the process by selecting Mint an Item on the Mintable main page. For the first NFTs I made, I selected Advanced. Then I chose Gasless, selected Art in the form, filled in a title, subtitle and description and uploaded images. I selected Advanced instead of Easy (because I didn’t know at the time that Easy mode was also gasless). For the fourth NFT I made, I chose Easy mode, and was relieved to learn that it was also the gasless transaction I was looking for.

I decided on a smaller image for the preview and included locked content for the buyer that includes a high resolution scan of the illustration. I avoided the transfer copyright button for obvious reasons, because it seems to represent the creator transferring their copyright with the sale of the NFT.

You can see my results and artwork for sale here. I decided to offer my Dogs of the World pen and ink illustrations for sale, and these pups seemed like the perfect fit. I could make many of these!

In terms of price, I usually don’t know what to charge for my work in the real world, so that was a challenge. When it came to estimating the value of my NFTs, I hadn’t a clue. After browsing the marketplace for similar stuff, I eventually decided to choose a price of about $200 USD in Ethereum (at the time of this writing about .061). Mintable’s built in currency converter was helpful. I just switched on the option to figure out the conversion from USD to Ethereum.

Do I still have a lot to learn? Absolutely, but the technology behind it is exciting. I think it’s amazing that I now have art that exists in the blockchain. The first mistake I made was a typo in one of my titles. Initial information I found stated I couldn’t change the Token ID, contract address, name, title, image or additional metadata on NFTs, so I was worried I would have to live with the mistake. However, I was able to edit titles and descriptions on my NFTs for sale. By visiting my Profile (under My Account in the upper right hand corner), I was able to click on Listing (in the left side navigation) and fix the misspelling. I was unable to edit the price or add additional locked content from the edit page.

In terms of cost and ease of use, Mintable’s gasless transactions have won me over when it comes to creating NFTs. As an artist, I don’t have a large amount of funds for something that may not be viable. I’m interested in creating a Mintable store to put my NFTs in, but at today’s gas fee of $1k, that may have to wait! It’s unclear the benefits of taking such a step beyond potentially more views. As it stands, I have a profile with my NFTs for sale on Mintable. Without a store setup, my NFTs are in the Mintable Gasless store.

One feature I liked was that after each NFT was created, I was able to create a widget by clicking a button in the congratulations pop-up that appears after successful minting. The link appears in the lower right hand corner). It was easy to get the snippet of code to place a widget on my website with my NFTs for sale (scroll down to see my new widget).

If any of my fellow artists have thoughts on NFTs, whether you’ve made one or not, I would enjoy hearing from you!

Art Explosion Grayling Michigan

I just received some amazing news! My mixed media portrait of my daughter Lisa, A New Day has been accepted in the 3rd Annual Great Northern Art Explosion in Grayling, Michigan. A New Day will be one of the artworks on display at AuSable Artisan Village.

I finished this portrait over a week ago after a trip to Lake Huron. Lisa looking at the horizon inspired me to preserve the moment in art. I used watercolor, color pencil and pastels. I hope to create additional portraits with landscape settings. If you get a chance, come see my work, view it online and don’t forget to vote! For more information, visit artexplosion.org.

A New Day Mixed Media Artwork by Patti Arnold

Illustrations for the New Year

I’ve been working on new illustrations for various design challenges such as those on Minted. Feel free to visit my profile there to see what I’ve been working on! I have my work on a variety of websites such as Vida, Society6, Displate, Cardgnome and more. Here is a complete list of where my art is being sold on my website.

What has always surprised me about my work when compared to other artists is that I do not stay in a subject or medium for too long. I wish my projects were streamlined, themed and organized, but they are not! As anyone can see by my blog (and my middle school sketchbook), my work is varied. I understand the need to organize these different types of work, so that will remain my New Years Resolution for 2020 and probably 2021, 2022 and beyond!

These recent marker illustrations I will probably use for product designs or perhaps a design challenge.