Friday, January 18, 2013

Everything In It's Time

All Is Calm - Acrylic on rock paper (Terraskin). Little baby Miniature Horse taking a nap. He is only about 25" at his withers when he stands. Still have more to do on this one before I'll call it done. I used it for this year's Christmas Cards. It is approximately 8" x 10".

I'm back!

I have to admit that I took a little break during and post Christmas time. I had put myself under pressure to get some pieces completed for Christmas. With most things...being under pressure, with a deadline can work. But, not with artwork, it seems. I had such an amazingly good Christmas with family and friends. One might think that it would somehow inspire an artist. So, I was a bit shocked at how it actually seemed to work against my productivity with my painting.

So, while surfing the net (what you do when you have artist's block), I came across some books on that caught my attention. I needed to spend some Christmas Gift money of course, and what could be better than a good book on being an artist!?

I picked up a great book (I don't say that very often) called; The War of Art, written by a fictional writer, Steven Pressfield. I say, fictional writer, because that is what he is most known for. I did however come across several good reviews of the book over the past year or so (not first time I had heard of it) and had always wanted to read it.
For just under $15.00, it is a very worthwhile investment of your Christmas gift money! It was just what I needed. Funny how that works eh?

I am not going to go into a great big detailed review of this book (you must read it yourself), but I will tell you it is about "thee" great battle that any creative is up against on a daily basis; the battle against "resistance"! I must admit that I rarely have this fact, I usually have the opposite problem; too much inspiration can overwhelm one too.

Resistance (aka block) is a multitude of stuff that keeps you from becoming who you were ultimately designed, by God, to do; to be. Its all the stuff that happens to you, the stuff your told as a kid, the stuff you think you know and the stuff that tells you that you can't.

Pressfield writes about his own experiences with this "beast" and refers to several other artists and/or writers that have discovered what he has.

And, you don't have to be an artist or writer or musician to get some benefit out of this book. It is for everyone. Its for anyone who wants to "start" something, from running to starting up a club for motorcycle enthusiasts. Seriously! We were all meant to be creative and we all can be creative.

What I learned, other than what's in the book, is that its okay to take some time to "rest" and gather yourself for the next task, the next battle. What Pressfield wrote, I already knew most of it. He just is able to say it in a variety of ways, from other angles, so it sounds new, but really isn't. It was just what I needed to hear and now its time to move on. WARNING - if you do read the book, he does use the odd nasty word, which is completely unnecessary in my opinion. If there is some criticism of the book, it seems as though he is trying to write a book that everyone will like. To me, he actually does the opposite of what he "preaches" and sells out by doing this. Just like any work of art, not everyone is going to like it and you can't create art trying to please the masses. I understand that he wanted to sell books...that is what he does to make money. But then again...that goes against what he speaks of in the book!? But if you put the nonsense aside, there is some really good, important stuff to learn and to remind one's self of in this little book.

I am currently working on two large pieces in Oil paint that are for my family members, and I will be posting my progress as we go. I did finish the one large mountain scene, and the Wild Rose painting.

Its a good thing my family understands just what effort and hours of work that is involved in creating these paintings. It really zaps the energy out of you. I am feeling refreshed and ready to finish these creations. I believe they have been patiently waiting for me to return and complete them. ; )

All in its time...all in its time...

Quote of the Day;

Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. 
Nido Qubein 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Wild Rose Painting

I am working on this painting of a bee on a wild rose flower. I took this photo last spring in my mother's garden.

This one is acrylic on rock paper and I am laying down layer after layer of color to build it up.
I have also added a couple layers of gloss medium to help give space for light to get in on the layers of paint.

 We'll know pretty soon if its going to work out or not. Its getting there!

The following photograph is the same painting, but I changed it to Black and White in order to see more clearly where I'm at with the important values. I'm close, but need to push back the background some more.

If your wondering where the bee's wings are, they are moving so fast you can't see them. I am debating on whether I should add them or not!? You just can't see them in the photograph I am painting from. This is a good example of when an artist must practice "artistic licence". Maybe I will add just a suggestion of them. I can do that last anyways.

Quote of the Day:

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. 
We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. 
Dale Carnegie 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Keep Your Art Photos Organized

Three Friends - Jacqueline Kinsey Photography available at

Yes, I know, it seems like a good thing to do. The problem is, that some of us artist-types are not very good at this part; staying organized.

I am probably the last person on earth who should be talking about such a topic (since losing most of my organizational abilities from one too many traumatic brain injuries), but then again...I am familiar with the frustrations.

How many times have you gone to find something in a hurry and can't find it (for the life of you) even though you just saw it the other day!

I am going to just talk a bit about organizing your photo references and photos that you have taken of your work (in order to post them online).

First, I am an artist who does most of her work from a reference photo and because many of my paintings are inspired by my photography, I have literally thousands of inspirational photos on my computer(s).

It is so important to develop a system of storage and back up of those photo files. I say 'develop' because my system continues to evolve over time.

I will just explain a bit about my system;

First I created a file folder that I named "Incoming 2 B Edited". These are the raw photos downloaded direct from the camera. I have also got in the habit of going through and weeding out the bad photos (blurry, redundant) first. I don't use automatic downloading software anymore. Your camera usually comes with one of these. I find I can save some time by briefly scanning over "Extra Large" icons. (1) I can usually discard almost 1/3 of the photo prospects at this stage.

Now, ideally, would be the time to edit these photo files further, but, all too often I end up just getting them downloaded and they stay there for long periods of time. But I do try to keep up on my photo editing for two main reasons; 1- It piles up fast! One day of shooting can result in hundreds, sometimes even a thousand photos, 2- these large files take up a lot of space on my laptop. When I edit them, I usually make my reference photos into smaller files. I don't need them to be big because I won't be printing them out.(2)

I would like to mention here too that I also create two files within the "Incoming 2 B Edited" file; one is "Incoming Reference" and the other is "Incoming 2 Print", (because some of my shots might be good enough to make into available photographic prints).

Once I get around to editing the photos, then it starts to get complicated. I have a file for "Kinsey Art" and all photos for references, photos of completed paintings go into this file. I then have a file for "Most Recent Works" and I also have a file for "Blog-sized" works in progress that I usually use to post on my blog to show the progression of a piece I'm currently working on. When a piece of artwork sells, I try to remember to place it in my "Sold Archives" folder. From there, if I decide to make a limited number of artist prints of a piece, I place it in the folder "Prints 4 Sale".


Once edited, I then place reference photos into respective categorized folders such as; "Horses Moving, Horses Still, Landscape Architecture, Landscape, Seascape, Trees, Flowers, Wildlife etc etc".

I must stress to try to keep it simple. I find it so easy to get too many "folders" going and end up doubling up on categories! That's when it starts to get frustrating trying to find something. You think you know where it is, but then at some point discover that you accidentally created two similar file folders.

Ultimately, you have to figure out a system that works for you.

Young Gull - Graphite drawing on paper. Original available for sale. Contact me for price.

Backing up of the computer files. 

We all know we should be backing up the files on our computers. That's a given. But, to truly back up computer files, we should be keeping a copy off site in a safe (ie. the inlaw's or sister's home).

We keep some files in our email files such as GMail and Yahoo Mail because they have large storage spaces. And then there is "the cloud", which we have not utilized, but its the same idea as saving to your email storage area.

I try to keep several hard copies around on burned CD's, DVD's and thumb drives and we also have our back up drive that we just recently went through and cleaned up (which gave me the idea of this blog post). I believe the general rule of thumb is to have your files saved in at least 3 different places/formats.

Another topic to cover another day is the recording and keeping track of your artwork in a computer program such as Excel.

Quote of the Day:

"A mistake is simply another way of doing things". Katharine Graham


(1) If you use Windows, you will find a drop down tab at the top left corner of your "Pictures" window titled; Views. Click on the little black arrow and it will give you size options on displaying your photo files.

(2) I usually save my reference files between 300kb - 1.5MB, depending on what it is. If its something that has a lot of detail and I will want to look closely at that detail, then I save it in a larger format. If its a landscape/sunset for example, I would save it at a smaller format because I don't need the detail of the photograph.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Red Ribbons and Art

Refined by Fire - 18" x 18" x 1.5" Acrylic paint on stretched canvas.
Contact me for pricing

Latest news for West Wind Ranch Creations is that I can now say I am an award winning least I think that is what you might call me. The big art show of the season; Twas the Art Before Christmas was held over the last weekend starting November 9th - 11th at the CASO Train Station in St Thomas, Ontario. It is put on by my Art Guild (STEAG) every year and this is my second year showing. I have previously written about this show and how much I look forward to it. 

Unfortunately, this year I could not attend, but was allowed to participate. Since I could not participate in the required volunteering, I offered to bake some cookies for the "Tea Room" at the show. I did not feel this warranted my submitting the maximum number of pieces allowed (12), so I submitted only 6 paintings.

Some Photos from the art show;

So...back to the reason why I could not attend the show; I was scheduled for surgery on my knee for that Friday (Nov. 9th)! So, the surgery went well and I hobbled home on crutches (ever try to climb up into a 4 x 4 truck passenger side without a step-bar and with a right knee all bandaged up and very painful? - I challenge you to try it sometime - It was a bit of a comedy in the end).

So, for the next 2 days, while the art show was on, I layed around with my leg up, bored (in between when I slept) and moping around because I didn't get to even see this years show! I sent my manager/husband to the Train Station on Sunday afternoon, camera in hand, to take some photos of the show before they took it down at 5pm.

Coming Home - SOLD
So, when he arrived back home with my box full of heart sank just, ever-so-little, as I saw that all the paintings appeared to be back...but alas; one little painting was missing! My husband said he looked around for it but couldn't find it so they checked the sales list and sure enough..."Coming Home" had sold! I was pretty happy with that. Its nice to sell a painting now and then.

Then I caught a glimpse of ribbon I think. My husband than smiled and announced that "you are now an award winning artist"! My mouth dropped open, my eyes bugged out and I said, "really? - Noooo"!

Yup, and not only did "Refined by Fire" win Judge's choice, it also was runner up for Patron's choice!

This caught me off guard, but it kinda made up for missing the show (my manager/husband's blurry photos didn't do it justice).

I am feeling truly blessed and now onto more important things like getting rid of these crutches! Physio starts tomorrow, so it won't be long and I'll be able to get up the stairs to my studio and finish some of these paintings I have been showing as "Works in Progress" (WIP's).

I have been busy drawing; Saturday I managed to draw a couple sketches in my sketch book which I will photograph and post next time.

Quote of the Day:

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.

Booker T. Washington 

Monday, November 5, 2012

This Artist's Heritage

My Great Grandmother - Elsie Martin training her two white horses for the Circus.

Raising and training animals is in my blood.

If anyone wonders where one gets an obsession for horses from....try this; a Great Great Grandmother who was in the Buffalo Bills Wild West Show, a Great Grandmother who was one of the first female Thoroughbred Race Horse trainers, trained trick horses for the circus, (trained all her dogs to do tricks too), Grandmother who raised, trained and showed draft horses, quarter horses and Saddlebreds and an Uncle and Aunt who raised, trained, showed quarter horses and still compete in Cattle Cutting in Western Canada.

Any further questions?

That is why I say, "horses are in my blood". I have always been an animal "lover" since I can remember.

At the age of 10, neighbors would show up at our doorstep wondering if I would like to nurse a bird back to health or we would end up with a litter of puppies dropped off nearby (which we would have to take to an animal shelter to find homes for them) and I always had some sort of pet. From budgies to bunnies, dogs, even a cat once or twice (even though I am allergic) and my weirdest pet was a couple Piranhas that got so big I got scared of them and sold them for $20 each! They do have big sharp teeth!

My family thought I should become a vet for sure...but, then I ended up in art school in Vancouver, BC. But that was not going to pay the bills, so I heard the RCMP were hiring "females", so I applied and became a Reserve Peace Officer first (for 7 years), then a full fledged Constable for the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) for another 13 years. I was also a prison guard for a time and  did security for the  Woodwards Store for a short time (it was too boring for me).

Several things have remained constant throughout my life are; my faith in God, my love of all God's creatures (great and small), love of drawing and painting (basically any form of creating), and my compassion for those in need. I have always had such a giving nature about myself. No questions asked, I have a passion to serve for God. Working for the RCMP allowed me to be there for people in their greatest time of need, which gave me the opportunity to be "the hands of Jesus" on many occasions.

Now that I am retired from the RCMP, I still have this passion for people in need and my goal is to use my art to help people find peace and to find that relationship they need with their Creator. I will always have a passion for all God's creatures and love to paint and draw them; exploring their shape, form, colors and spirit within...

So for now, I will continue to work to that end.

To see our Ranch Website go to West Wind Ranch

Quote of the Day:

A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere.

Joyce Meyer

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Layers of Color

A time to rest.

A Time to Rest - Acrylic on Terraskin WIP

Here is one I am working on. I snapped this photo while at a local rodeo of a horse waiting his turn along the ringside fence. I wonder if he like watching the rodeo as much as being in it? I started with a sketch in pencil, then started layering really thin washes of acrylic color. I have not used any gloss medium...yet, but starting to contemplate that. I actually started this one while on a road trip a couple weeks ago. It is quite the challenge to do such an elaborate sketch while moving down the road! It takes some getting used to and a few odd lines here and there, but not impossible. Hope to have this one completed soon, but working on a very large woodlands oil painting right now ( a Christmas present ) which is taking up my creative energy.

Quote of the Day:

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. 

Thomas Edison

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Little Painting

Today's post is just an update of paintings I am currently working on (I call them WIP).

Dressage in Grey - is actually a colorful little painting at 5" x 3" approx size. 

I am trying a new material combo. I am gluing Terraskin onto wood panels. I really like Terraskin as a painting surface, especially for liquid acrylic paint. Terraskin is a product made of stone and resin that creates a 'plastic-like' paper product. It is environmentally safe (no trees are used in its manufacturing). It is cost effective too. I have used oil paint on it too, but I think I still have to experiment a bit with it. It would probably suit more of a higher fluidity textured paint, so since I use water soluble oil paints, I will try adding more water and/or the drying medium with the paint (I find water soluble oil paints to be quite stiff).

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