I've been looking for a painting of blank, but I don't see one in your shop. Could you create one for me?
- Certainly! Please contact me and we can talk about what you have in mind.
I love your painting of blank but I would like it in a different size or color. Do you have another size/color available?
- If you don't see it on my website, I probably don't have it available, but I would be happy to create a custom piece just for you. Contact me and we can begin collaborating on your special painting.
Can I use your image on my website/in my logo/on stationery?
- I'm delighted to know that my art resonates with you! I can sell you a license to use my image in your project. The cost will depend on the type of project you have in mind. Contact me and I'll send you a quote. Using any artist's imagery without consent or payment is copyright infringement (don't do it. It's not nice and it's illegal).
Fine Art Prints
What is a fine art print?
- A fine art print is a quality reproduction of one of my original paintings. The paper and ink used are archival and will last a very long time. Prints last longer when framed beneath glass and hung out of direct sunlight. Using UV glass will also help your print last longer.
Where are your prints printed?
- I create my prints in my studio on a high quality printer (with archival inks) and fine art paper. The paper has the texture of watercolor paper.
Are your fine art prints available in different sizes?
- Most of my artwork is available as 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10 prints. Some of my original paintings (my single paintings of goldfish, for example) were created in smaller sizes and are therefore not available as 8x10 prints. Enlarging artwork beyond the original size can cause some distortion or loss of quality an I never compromise on quality.
Can you create a print of a certain flower or plant?
- If I've painted that certain plant or flower I'd be happy to create a print of the painting for you. Contact me and I'll get to work! If I haven't painted that plant/flower, I'd love to create a custom original painting for you but at this time I cannot create just a custom print.
Can you change the color of one of your fine art prints?
- Although it's possible to change the color of a print, the results aren't usually very natural looking and I wouldn't recommend it.
I love your painting of blank but I don't see a print of it. Can you create a print for me?
- Yes! Contact me with your request and I'd be happy to create a print for you.
Do you sell digital downloads of your images?
- I like to make sure that my fine art prints are of the highest possible quality, so I do not sell digital downloads of my images.
Framing and Hanging
Do you sell mats or frames for your paintings or prints?
- Matting and framing a painting is a very personal decision with so many different options. I don't have the expertise or the materials on hand to offer this service. I've sized my fine art prints to make it easy for you to frame them with standard sized frames which are available at many different stores. For trickier sized pieces, local frame shops and even big box craft supply stores will be able to help you frame your painting so that it will look beautiful when hung in your home. There are also online framing companies that will create custom, handmade frames for you. Art to Frames is one I've used. You choose your frame, mat and glass type and they'll send the frame to you. Framebridge is another company (which I haven't used, but have heard good things about) which will do the actual framing for you. Mail the artwork to them and they'll send it back to you framed. (I am not affiliated with either company). Want to chat more about fames and framing options? Contact me with your questions or concerns.
What type of frame or mat would you recommend for my painting or print?
- This all depends on your personal style and reflects your unique creativity! I like simple frames and mats best because they won't distract from my artwork, but if an ornate frame fits your decor, by all means go for it! Wood or black frames look lovely against white walls. White frames look great on colorful walls. Metallic frames look very modern. If your home is cozy and a bit rustic, a barnwood frame would be a great choice. For more ideas check out my Art Display Pinterest Board.
Can you help me choose an arrangement of your paintings or prints?
- I would love to help you choose a collection of paintings or prints for your home. Contact me with the details (the size of the wall, what room it's in and what sorts of imagery you're looking for) and we can get started!
Process, Tools and Learning to Paint
Did you go to art school?
- No. I studied creative writing during my undergraduate degree and I have a master's degree in library science. Eventually the yearning to create was too strong to ignore and I began to embrace crafting and slowly begin learning how to paint. You can read more about how I learned to paint in this blog post and also follow along with my journey on my blog (go to the archives or take a look at this selection of posts).
What brand of paint do you use?
- I prefer pan watercolor paints. I use Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolors, Sennelier and Yarka St. Petersberg brand paints. I wrote more about my favorite paints in this blog post.
What's your favorite watercolor paper?
- I love trying new art supplies and have used many brands and types of paper. I prefer using watercolor blocks that are glued down on all four sides (some blocks are glued on only two). This prevents buckling of the paper. Generally cold pressed watercolor paper has been my favorite, but lately I've also been embracing hot pressed which is much smoother. I buy the heaviest, highest quality paper. Arches is a great brand. I share my thoughts about paper in much more detail in this blog post.
What type of brushes do you use?
- Most of my brushes are from Dick Blick's Master series (they're guaranteed for life). I tend to prefer synthetic hair brushes to natural, although many artists prefer the opposite. I've also been enjoying using the Princeton Velvetouch brushes, a much cheaper alternative. I wrote about the brushes I use in this blog post.
Where did you get the palette that shows up in so many of your photos and in your classes?
- I borrowed (as in taken with no intention of returning) it from Matthias who bought it in a craft/art store when he was in art school something like 20 years ago! You can find similar plastic palettes in craft stores and from online retailers like Dick Blick and Amazon. Search for "20 well plastic palette". Mine measures about 10 inches by 13 inches.
Do you have any advice for someone who's just learning to paint?
- If you want to paint, paint. Painting is the only way to learn. Read all the books you can get your hands on, take classes online or in person, but in the end it all comes down to your putting in the time. I wrote more about that here on my blog.
Can you help me learn to paint?
- Yes! I teach classes online on Skillshare. You can get 2 free months of membership (and access to thousands of other classes on many topics) here. There's no strings attached. If Skillshare isn't for you, you can quit any time. If you're already subscribed to Skillshare, the link will take you to my classes which you can access as part of your premium membership.
What is your painting process?
- I prefer to work from live models, either flowers cut from my garden, a houseplant brought to my studio table or a bit of nature picked up on my walk. I observe and connect with my subject and often start by studying it in my sketchbook. Usually then I'll create a simple, light sketch on my watercolor paper. Next I'll spend some time studying the colors and mixing paint to match. Mixing paint is one of my favorite parts of the painting process! Finally I'll begin painting. It's a joy filled process. My Skillshare classes will take you through the entire process or you can read about it on my blog (here's a good example and here's another).
What scanner do you use?
- My current scanner is an Epson Perfection V370 Photo scanner.
What printer do you use for your fine art prints?
- I have finally moved on from Epson printers (my last two, hand-me-downs, gave me a lot of trouble) and am now using a Canon Pro-10. So far so good with it!
What paper do you use for your fine art prints?
- I love the texture of Epson Velvet Fine Art Paper and Espon's Cold Press Bright paper. For my art print calendars I use a smoother paper: Epson Ultra Premium Matte Presentation Paper.
The Giant Strawberry
Why is your site called My Giant Strawberry?
- My Giant Strawberry began with a blog. Before I ever started painting, when the dream to paint was merely a tiny unacknowledged wish, I started a blog as a creative outlet. My blog was a way to regain my creativity, but it was also a way to acknowledge and dedicate myself to my Big Dreams. When brainstorming names for my blog I remembered the story of me getting in trouble in kindergarten for telling tall tales about having a giant strawberry and a pet giraffe in my backyard. I admired my kindergarten self for her fearlessness and creativity and My Giant Strawberry was born. The name stuck and although My Giant Strawberry has evolved and changed over the years faith in imagination, creativity and joy has always been the driving force. You can read more about the story behind the name in this blog post.