Vallejo’s Art Festivals

As mentioned, my friend/associate Robert Hoffman and I have been wandering around the San Francisco Bay Area seeking new venues, viewing art by local artists, checking out classes, etc.

Vallejo holds an art festival every second Friday year-round along its streets and in local galleries. Of course, everyone is invited to these free events.

Last Friday we started walking Georgia Street, viewing street art, talking with artists, and wandering in and out of galleries. One of the street artists, Kai Saito (right), is also a tattoo artist for a local parlor. Because of the detail it takes to be a tattoo artist in the first place, her work is exceptionally detailed and for sale at reasonable prices.

In addition to setting up our own outdoor exhibit on April 7th along with other street artists, we are going to apply for wall space at a specific gallery to begin exhibiting in Vallejo. (Please check back . . . additional detail and examples of art to be shown will be posted here, of course.)


  • The Hub Vallejo (wood-burning by Carla Nelson, right)
  • Artiszen Gallery
  • Townhouse
  • Indian Alley Antiques
  • Design by David
  • The W.O.R.K.S. Gallery
  • Procyon Gallery, Fine Art and Framing Studio
  • Vallejo Antiques
  • The McCune Collection
  • Georgia Galleria. The gallery is planning to rotate in other exhibits three times a year and is looking for minority artists to feature. The inaugural exhibition coincided with the Pista sa Nayon festival; it showcased a number of Filipino artists who aren’t well known in the United States.
  • Pieced on Earth
  • Modern Warrior Arts Academy (actually, martial arts, which, of course, is an art form).

Artizen Gallery, listed above, is currently focused on Black History Month with art depicting various times in America’s history.

Our upcoming art walks in Vallejo will cover Sacramento Street, Capital Street, and Marin Street (which equals Georgia Street in numbers of galleries).

Being a photographer, I can’t help myself when I see “art in the streets.” The duck decoy right was hanging on a fence along one of Vallejo’s side streets.


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Desperate Dreams

Rick Tegeler, Author.

Why did I title this presentation Desperate Dreams?

In the late summer of 2007, the Silverton Historical Society was making plans to amplify our outdoor mining museum with the addition of two replicated ore tramway towers. As President at the time, I wanted to make certain we had the construction details as exact and as authentic as possible. With this thought in mind, myself and a local builder, who ultimately would do the construction of the towers, ventured into the high alpine of our area in search of an old tower of a tram servicing the high mountain mines around Silverton, BC that we could examine first hand. While there were at least 20 tramways in our immediate vicinity to facilitate and expedite the movement of silver ore in the Silvery Slocan rush of 1892 – 1911, sadly little tangible evidence remains of these engineering marvels.

bannackThe prodigious amounts of snow and precipitation we experience here in the Kootenay mountains of south eastern British Columbia hastens the disintegration of any non-treated wood used in construction. Whilst we had working diagrams of the old towers in hand, the ‘hands on’ experience of a visit to an existing structure would have been extremely valuable in our construction plans. Unfortunately, we didn’t find any worthy towers in our search… a situation which lead me to my first visit to Nevada in May of 2008. The plan for construction of our ‘mini’ tramway was for summer of 2008, so I needed to see a ‘real live’ tower somewhere. Therefore, I was enthusiastic to visit sites in Nevada with existing historic trams, but also to possibly better understand what possessed men and women of those times to attempt to eke a difficult existence from inhospitable forests mountains and deserts. Nevada offered the best chance for this experience as the second of their two major silver rushes mirrored our own… 1900 – 1919 and I expected that I might find a tower or two still standing and in good shape given Nevada’s dry, arid climate.

Historians generally consider the year 1890 as the close of the American Frontier. By then most of the western United States had been settled, ranches and farms developed, communities established, and roads and railroads constructed. The mining boomtowns like Virginia City built on the lure of overnight riches were mostly but a memory. But then there was the rest of Nevada. The great mining booms at Tonopah…1900, Goldfield…1902 and Rhyolite…1904 were truly the last blossoming of the Old West. I found that central and north central Nevada remain close to that true American Frontier. It still exists there visibly in the relatively undisturbed condition of the physical environment and certainly in the attitudes, lifestyles and values of the area residents.

Nevada is enthralling in a plethora of aspects. A few are:

  • It has a mean elevation of 5,500 feet. One usually thinks of the state in terms of desert, desert and more desert.
  • Its highest peak is 13,140 feet. Boundary Peak
  • 87% of the state is administered (public lands) by the Federal Government.
  • It is the most mountainous state in the union with at least 317 separate mountain ranges.
  • It had two main silver rushes: 1859-1878 and 1900-1919.
  • There were at least 575 mining camps with a population of 50 or more… many numbering in the thousands during those times… most are now abandoned and many are quite remote.

My original itinerary took me to several sites where there were existing tramways and I accomplished my goal of seeing a tram tower as it still stood. However, I came away that first year with the desire to re-visit some of these sites once again, in addition to the exploration of as many more of these old towns, camps and mines as I might find. The journey has now flowered into seven years of adventure in the central and north central part of the state… from the California border to the border with Utah. I did make two forays to the southern part of the state in order to explore some of the remote mines and camps clinging to the cliffs of the Funeral and Panamint mountains that border Death Valley. To date, I have visited over 180 sites which include many towns, camps and mines… and I still have a burning desire to continue this exploration.

As I travelled the vast, open expanses of this magnificent Nevada landscape (very seldom seeing another vehicle let alone another soul) I wondered why I was/am so driven to experience these historical places. Perhaps it is because my visits to these isolated communities lost in time reaffirms my commitment to the preservation of history. Certainly it has broadened my understanding of the basics in human nature. I learned that those chapters of the past represented by the remains of these communities and mines were a celebration of men and women who could solve problems without a computer. They thrived admirably without supplies and advice from a local WalMart or Home Depot. They were able, and necessarily had, to adapt to the whims of nature in order to persist and survive. Probably most of all studying these places and the changes from then until now gave me a moving perspective on my own life and philosophy.

Was there a defining moment? Many… beyond my own personal perspective and my philosophy about mining history. I found it quite Herculean that many of these towns, some populated by many thousands of hardy souls, were able to exist and thrive for years in such a harsh, high desert climate. An environment that required prodigious amounts of seemingly non-existent water to run the machinery to help wrest valuable ore from a reluctant earth. To observe today how these folks from a different era solved ostensibly complex engineering feats with extemporaneous solutions, often using little more than common sense and hand tools, was as refreshing as it was profound. Prime examples, and the reason I came south in the first place, are the still existing gravity tramways, some spanning hundreds of vertical feet and some miles long, still clinging to and spanning ridiculously arduous terrain. The miners search for a better life, often in the face of daunting hardship, scratching and clawing a living from the rock and forests, is as humbling as it is inspiring. They believed with great passion that which perhaps sometimes we may have forgotten, something infinitely more precious than gold and silver… and certainly more meaningful than mere Desperate Dreams… that they could write their own destiny!

I visited some of these sites up to three times for there is so much to see and explore. I tried to photograph and explore in the early morning or late afternoon in order to get the best, and richest “photographer‘s“ light. I think yet another reason I am driven to explore and be involved with our mining past exemplified by these sites and the people who created them, is to help provide a tangible and optical historical record that is both accurate and sensitive.

In the DVD, each segment (town, site or mine) usually begins with a black screen and ends with an image of the vastness of Nevada. The ore production figures are posted from the most active year of the town/camp or mine(s) and therefore would be substantially higher in today’s dollars.

I hope you enjoy the adventure!

Order Desperate Dreams

Light in the WaterLight in the Water.

Light in the Water.Rick Tegeler.Light in the Water has been in my mind, for many, many years. It is finally in tangible form.
The title offers a variety of interpretations… including portraying access to the incredible beauty of our underwater world that opens to a diver carrying a light or to a photographer using a strobe. Then there is the metaphysical thought that the “light” in the water can be a metaphor for “life.”


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Who Are You?

whiteEgretOrchid150The major project,, created in 1997, is a history of passengers, ships, captains, merchants and merchandise sailing into California during the mid-to-late 1800s. The site illustrates the importance of a global awareness; the health and wealth of nations was formed by individuals who migrated seeking refuge and opportunity.

Odds are your ancestors travelled by sea or via extensive overland routes during the 1400s, 1500s, 1600s, etc. No matter where you live now, the chances are great that you are from elsewhere.

We recently had our DNA tested to determine just where we began. While we know about our Irish and German ancestors from the early 1800s-on, we had no information prior to 1830. Turns out It’s fascinating.

Here’s our map; much to our surprise, our heritage also includes Sweden, Norway, Denmark AND Italy and Greece. Family research/stories included Germany, Ireland, England, and France. But nothing about other countries.

Region Approximate Amount


Ireland 43%
Europe West 24%
Great Britain 10%
Italy/Greece 8%
Scandinavia 6%
Trace Regions: European Jewish (4%), Iberian Peninsula (3%), Europe East (1%) 8%

WEST ASIA: Middle East



Do you know how far back you go and from where? 23 pairs of chromosomes define you.

Ancestry DNA TestingAncestry DNA Testing.AncestryDNA: Genetic TestingAncestry DNA Testing.

This service combines advanced DNA science with the world’s largest online family history resource to predict your genetic ethnicity and help you find new family connections.

Find out what percent of your DNA comes from populations around the world, ranging from East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and more. Break European ancestry down into distinct regions such as the British Isles, Scandinavia, Italy and Ashkenazi Jewish. People with mixed ancestry, African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans also get a detailed breakdown.

Recently, scientists used the technology to confirm the identity of a skeleton buried beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England, as King Richard III, who died in battle in 1485. The scientists matched the bones to two living maternal-line relatives, according to the University of Leicester, which conducted the analysis along with radiocarbon dating and a skeletal exam.

Closer to home, not everyone is excited about the DNA technology, as some remain cautious about privacy or simply don’t see the need. But for others who are adopted or are trying to explain a gap in their family tree, the tests may provide a crucial breakthrough.

“I think a lot of people find it of use to them, personally, especially if they are searching for a form of identity they are able to uncover in this way,” said Noah Rosenberg, associate professor at Stanford University’s Department of Biology and expert in evolutionary biology and genetics.

“Many people have a missing relative or have a parent die young and are searching for some kind of connection,” he said. “We see a significant trend where African-Americans are searching for some understanding of the populations from which their ancestors originated from Africa.”

New tests have also turned DNA into a popular tool for determining ancestry. As DNA is passed down from one generation to the next, some parts remain almost unchanged, while other parts change greatly. This creates a link between generations and it can be of great help in reconstructing our family histories. While it can’t provide you with your entire family tree or tell you who your ancestors are, DNA testing can:

  • Determine if two people are related
  • Determine if two people descend from the same ancestor
  • Find out if you are related to others with the same surname
  • Prove or disprove your family tree research
  • Provide clues about your ethnic origin

Ancestry DNA TestingGenomes.DNA tests have been around for many years, but it is only recently that the cost of genetic testing has finally come down into the realm of possibility for the average individual interested in tracing their roots. It is now possible to map your global origins with the most complete coverage of your DNA through home DNA test kits which can be ordered through the mail or over the Internet.

They usually consist of a cheek swab or mouthwash to easily collect a sample of cells from the inside of your mouth. You send back the sample through the mail and within a month or two you receive the results – a series of numbers that represent key chemical “markers” within your DNA. These numbers can then be compared to results from other individuals to help you determine your ancestry.


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What Art Sells?

  • There are more than 132 million housing units in the U.S. Based on the average square footage and the average amount of wall space, a rough estimate is that that about six billion paintings, photographs and other decorative items are on display in homes.
  • Much of what we buy– the clothes we wear, the car we drive– is functional, but also reflects aspects of ourselves. Art is no different: It depicts things we like to see or feelings with which we sympathize or concepts that ring true. The art we buy is as much about who we are as it is about the artists who create it.
  • Sexes show stark differences in how they evaluate art (Michigan State University Marketing.)
    • Men seem to focus more on the artist’s background and authenticity. Men also evaluate how motivated and passionate the artist was/is.
    • Women pay more attention to the art, taking the artist’s authenticity into account, but a bigger factor was the artwork itself. “Women are more willing to go through a process of evaluating the artwork; men may say ‘This guy’s a great artist, so I’ll buy his art.’”
  • Estimates indicate that around 5% of the work featured in major permanent collections worldwide is by women. Example: The National Gallery in London contains more than 2,300 works; information in 2011 indicated that only 11 of the artists in that enormous collection are women.
  • There has never been a time when auction results for art made by women have equaled those of art made by men:
    • Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jimson Weed sold for $44.4 million at Sotheby’s in November 2014. But that is a rare sale.
    • Norman Rockwell’s Saying Grace went for $46 million.
    • Edward Hopper’s East Wind Over Weehawken went for $40.5 million.
  • The Art of Buying Art on a Budget.Collectors seek importance, eminence, and a dialogue with art history (a narrative not necessarily determined by either the artist or the consumer).
  • What do people buy?
    • Themes: animal portraits – your dog, cat, horse, exotic bird.
    • Jobs: dock workers, coal miners, studies by Norman Rockwell.
    • Locations: Popular home towns, i.e. San Francisco. Consistent bestsellers are images of exotic beach scenes in Tahiti.
    • Hobbies: Boaters (nautical scenes), hunters (duck and wildlife prints), fishing/streams


If you are using information to mimic other artists, this can rob you of your creativity and dignity.  What is your motivation to learn about what kind of art sells best? If it is just curiosity and a brief distraction, there probably is no harm.

What is your problem?

If your motivation is to know about what kind of art is selling best these days so you can make art just like it, this is not a smart idea for your art career. It quite likely means you may have acquired some practical art making skills, but are lacking in imagination, or don’t trust what you have.

If the art you currently produce is not selling well, you might find yourself using research to find bestselling art subjects. If that is the case, you may inadvertently overlook other reasons why your art is not selling.

As the Chinese proverb says,
“When business is bad, paint the counter.”

Asking the right questions.

“Have I done enough of the right kind of marketing to give my art exposure to my best prospects?” Is it that your art sucks, or that your marketing sucks?

If your marketing sucks, you cannot fix poor art sales by changing what kind of art you make. You will still have the same problem of not having enough eyeballs from your best prospects on your work.

It is a simple equation; the only way to sell your art is showing it to lots of the right people.

Determine your problem. Take action.

If your art is stacking up in your studio, you have a marketing problem, not necessarily an art subject matter problem.

Let’s assume your marketing is sufficient, and your work is not selling, consider:

  • Subject matter.   Color schemes.  Media.  Sizes. Originality.

When you have these things in harmony, you will have the greatest success.

Success: Bestselling Artists

Tell-The-Truth-Mark-TwainConsider what other successful artists are doing with each of the above categories. Bestselling artists usually make smart, informed decisions based on what is happening in the art business around them

If you are using research so you can make art just like what is selling best, i.e. copying others, it is likely you have put your creativity away, or don’t trust it, or that you do not have any.

By copying works, you are aiming for second best, or worst.

Copying another artist’s work, whether it is a painting, a photograph, or an image from a calendar or magazine is illegal copyright infringement. What you consider “borrowing,” is illegal use of another artists’ copyright.

This happens too often these days:  An artist will come up with a unique look or style and start enjoying conspicuous success with it. Soon, other artists take notice and start copying the style. Some copy so closely they are infringing on the copyrights of the original artist.

There is a fine line between what some call “creative borrowing” and illegally copying. If you are not sure of where you stand, or are unaware, it will not hold up as a defense in lawsuit against you.

If we all liked the same thing all the time, life would be boring.

The stark truth about what kind of art sells best.

If you must, use your research to decide to include colors that match contemporary decor trends, or pay homage to a trending subject matter, or offer prices, sizes and media that the public wants. That is using research wisely.

Using your research to find top selling art so you can slavishly copy it is a terrible thing. It is unhealthy for your career, probably dangerous for your reputation, ruinous for your self-esteem and hurtful for the artists you choose to copy.

No one can own a category, style, subject matter, or look.

Some subject matters are so popular that many artists enjoy considerable success with it. The late Marty Bell had extraordinary success with a line of romantic cottages (image right) based on earlier works by English artists. Then the late Thomas Kinkade borrowed the subject matter and took it to unparalleled print sales success.

California artist George Sumner reportedly is the father of the still popular “over and under” marine wildlife-painting genre. However, Robert Lyn Nelson, Wyland and Christian Riese Lassen benefitted from employing ying the subject matter technique into their work. It takes a studied eye in many cases to identify which artist painted some images. Nevertheless, they all made millions working in the genre.

Through his unique marine life paintings, sculptures, and photography, Wyland has inspired a generation about the importance of marine life and environmental conservation.

Research:  What kind of art sells best?

You might be so smitten by the idea of painting cottages, whales or angels and dragons that you are compelled to make the subject the theme of your work.

If you choose this direction, use the influence of those before you who have taken the genre to a new level. Still, create your own distinctive masterpiece.

If you choose to use your research to understand what kind of art sells best to imitate it in a way that confuses art buyers, which I strongly urge you not to do, then I suggest you do not publish your real name on the piece. That way, you keep the knockoff entirely phony from start to finish.

If the above describes you, and you are selling work that looks almost identical to the original artist’s work, then I suggest you look into using your skills in other ways.  There may be a better way to manage your artistic talents and regain your dignity.

Art-related careers

Create and Run a Successful Art Gallery.If you are not yet ready to move into a full-time art career, I hope you find considering some of these art-related careers as possible leads towards an ideal situation for yourself:

    • Picture framer
    • Art gallery owner or employee
    • Art restorer conservationist
    • Corporate art buyer
    • Art handler
    • Graphic designer
    • Illustrator
    • Web designer
    • Video game designer
    • Animation and cartooning
    • Museum curator
    • Museum technician
    • Art educator (who understands copyright laws)
    • Art marketing consultant
    • Ad agency art director
    • Art agent / business manager
    • Art dealer
    • Art photographer (easier said than done)
    • Giclee printer
    • Art tour guide



  • Art Marketing News
  • (Forums)


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Copyright Ethics and Laws


Avoid copyright issues by taking your own photos or making your own sketches of your subjects.

Copyright Laws.Copyrights in a Global Economy.Copyright in A Global Information EconomyCopyright in a Global Information Economy. explores the full range of copyright law and its relationship to technological innovations and globalization. This casebook elucidates the fundamental disputes of copyright law with balanced perspective. The book features comprehensive coverage of domestic and international copyright law, a balanced treatment of controversial issues, as well as a wide selection of concisely edited cases, engaging and practical examples and discussions, and photographs that facilitate and stimulate discussion of cases.

Sources for the following include:

  • Harvard Law:;
  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Paris Text 1971) published by Cornell University Law School:;
  • Huffington Post:;
  • World Intellectual Property Organization:

There is a distinct difference between having your art and style influenced by another’s work and downright copying another’s work and selling it, without permission.


Serious problems with copying work, without permission, and passing it off as your own include:

  • Confusion: The public will see your art and confuse it with another person’s work.  This does not help either one of you.
  • Diminishes Your Respect As An Artist: People may claim that you are unable to create on your own, that you have to steal from someone else, which will not add to your success.
  • Stunts Your Artistic Growth: You will never grow as an artist if you outright reproduce someone’s art and style.  To grow, you must challenge yourself and cultivate your own look.
  • Illegal: If you are knocking off another’s work for financial gain, you are violating copyright laws.  You could be sued and/or get very bad publicity from it.
  • You’ll Get Shut Down: When you have accounts on, or similar sites, you’ll have your account shut down if they get complaints about you selling copied images.

Copyright protection exists from the moment a work is created in a fixed, tangible form of expression. The copyright immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author, or those deriving their rights through the author, can rightfully claim copyright. In the case of works made for hire, the employer—not the writer—is considered the author.

USING OTHER PEOPLE’S IMAGES: An ongoing problem, which has increased dramatically because of the Internet, is that artists use other people’s images without giving the artist any credit, or not changing the image enough to make it distinct from the original. Copyright infringement is quite serious.

Also, while not illegal, making work that looks like someone else’s is unethical. Sometimes this happens unknowingly. But, if you saw a great image in Artforum, and then remade it as your own, you are charging into unethical territory.

ONLINE POSTING: Artists that display their work online or allow their art to be published often include a copyright symbol (along with their name and the year the artwork was created) next to the reproduced image. This practice isn’t actually necessary—you still own the copyright, even without using the symbol—but at least this will remind people not to copy your work.

Copyright Laws.Copyright Laws.If you find out that someone HAS “infringed” on your copyright, and you can prove that the copyright symbol was next to the image of your artwork that they copied, you’ll have a very strong case against them if the issue ever goes to court—which is exactly why so many artists choose to put up that copyright notice.

Even after selling an original work of art to a collector, you still hold the copyright. The buyer cannot make prints or sell copies unless you’ve given them express permission in writing.

PINTEREST has a growing group of artists and professional photographers in an uproar due to possible copyright infringement issues. Before you pin, re-blog, or otherwise use material that is not yours, make sure you understand what you’re getting into and when in doubt, seek the advice of a competent copyright attorney. Initially, make sure you have the right to pin someone’s work.

Ruth Carter, attorney at Carter Law Firm, PLLC cautions against using Pinterest recklessly, saying “Assume you are committing copyright infringement until proven otherwise. Giving an attribution or a link back to the original source may not save you; be prepared to spend over $150,000 in damages every time you don’t verify that you have permission to use an image.”

Don’t rely on urban folk tales. Common issues that can get you into trouble:

  • All materials created since 1989, except those created by the U.S. federal government, are presumptively protected by copyright.
  • ‘Fair Use’ is one of the most misunderstood concepts in copyright law, probably because of the reference to reproducing a ‘small portion’ – often quoted as ‘ten percent’. However that small portion referred to is for review, criticism, illustration of a lesson, or quotation in a scholarly or technical work.
  • The US copyright office mentions parody, which some artworks are, but this is a specific instance – and you might have to prove it in court. If you copy part of an artwork for the purpose of a learning, that’s one thing, but as soon as you exhibit that work, its function has changed – exhibition is regarded as advertising – and you are now in breach of copyright.

I changed it ten percent. Does that make it okay? No. That’s another myth that originated from the ‘fair use’ guidelines, but as already established, most drawing does not come under ‘fair use’, and copying, even if you change it, breaches copyright.

Paintings Made from Photographs: A painting made from a photograph is known as a derivative work, but that doesn’t mean you can simply make a painting from any photo you find — you need to check the copyright of the photo.

The creator of the photograph, i.e. the photographer, usually holds the copyright to the photo and, unless they’ve expressly given permission for its use, making a painting based on a photo would infringe the photographer’s copyright.

As for the argument that it’s fine to make a painting from a photo provided it doesn’t say “do not duplicate” or because 10 different artists would produce 10 different paintings from the same photo, that’s a misconception that photos aren’t subject to the same stringent copyright rules as paintings. All too often artists, who would scream if someone copied their paintings, do not hesitate to make a painting of someone else’s photo, with no thought to creator’s rights.

  • The First Sale Doctrine: The physical ownership of an item such as a book, painting, manuscript or CD is not the same as owning the copyright to the work embodied in that item. However, it does not permit reproducing the material, publicly displaying or performing it, or engaging in any of the acts reserved for the copyright holder.
  • Duration of Copyright: The term of copyright protection depends upon the date of creation. A work created on or after January 1, 1978, is ordinarily protected by copyright from the moment of its creation until 70 years after the author’s death.
  • For works made for hire, anonymous works and pseudonymous works (unless the author’s identity is revealed in Copyright Office records), the duration of copyright is 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.
  • Public Domain: The public domain comprises all works that are either no longer protected by copyright or never were. It should not be confused with the mere fact that a work is publicly available (such as information in books or periodicals, or content on the Internet).
  • Essentially, all works first published in the United States before 1923 are considered to be in the public domain in the United States. The public domain also extends to works published between 1923 and 1963 on which copyright registrations were not renewed.
  • Penalties of Copyright Infringement: By reproducing, republishing or redistributing the work of a copyright holder without permission, you may be violating or infringing on his or her rights under the Copyright Act.

IF YOU ARE ASKED BY A CLIENT TO COPY SOMEONE’S WORK: It is an insult to say to an artist “Hey, I like your work, but will you copy this other guy’s art for me?”  It can also be illegal.  But some people aren’t aware of the ethics.  As an artist, it’s up to you to educate your clients. When someone asks you to copy another’s artwork by handing you another’s artwork, tell them no and then give a suggestion as to what you will paint instead, in your own style and of your own design.  Let them know that you don’t want to break any copyright laws.


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Follow Your Dream

Our dreams are many-fold; it has been difficult to focus and meander down one (oh, maybe two) paths.

Fruit Eating Flying Fish

Fruit Eating Flying Fish

Dianne has wandered back into Benicia’s Tannery with web work (for Once Upon A Canvas in Benicia and will be exhibiting a selection of drawings and cards at their shop in The Tannery.

She has also added paintings and photographs to her own art site at World Images.

World Images has been exceptionally interesting since coming across Artist Websites.

At that site, one can upload original art and viewers can choose to turn that art into canvas or acrylic framed prints, greeting cards, phone cases, throw pillows, duvet covers or tote bags.

There is no right or wrong. Just enjoy the process.

The artist-owners of Once Upon a Canvas believe that there is no “right” or “wrong” with your art. Do what you love, take tactile pleasure in all mediums, and enjoy the result.


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The Largest Project!

The Maritime Heritage Project.We started working on The Maritime Heritage Project about 18 years ago. It has been designed, redesigned, added to, changed, etc., throughout those years. Now, because of responsive Web design, it is again being updated.

San-Francisco-Bay-Russian-1200x362This time, however, it is going through a full redesign due to cell phone use and for search engine convenience. The lists of ship passengers, which is perhaps the most valuable portion of the site, has been split into Ship Passengers along with copies of the pages on sea captains, VIPS (very important passengers), and quirky news stories of the day.

It is but one of the sites we manage that we’re scrambling to bring to its new electronic life on the World Wide Web (or, more accurately, your cell phone).

Of course, such updates are fun (when they’re not frustrating), because we seek new images, such as the map of the San Francisco Bay Area above — what’s new or fun about that, you may ask. It’s from the 1800s and it’s in Russian.

Folks along California’s West Coast constantly argue about who was here first. Our searches while building The Maritime Heritage Project site indicate that it may well have been Russians, Chinese, Japanese, and various Pacific Islanders. Islanders are sea people; they traveled thousands of miles in their craft.


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Responsive & Intuitive Design

Changing Web Design
Sites designed and coded some years ago now necessitate rebuilding — or at least refreshing — to deal with hand-held devices, particularly cellphones as that is how the world is being viewed. Some “designerly” sites, albeit initially expensive to develop, are outdated and will NOT display on a cell phone. If your audience is between ages 8 and, oh, 50, cross-platform designs are mandatory. In addition to a redesign, many considerations remain:


  • Indexing: You have less than 3 seconds to grab your visitors. Indexing on the bottom of the page (“below the fold” in newspaper jargon) is inadvisable. This can’t be seen on a mobile device, which is how many younger executives view the Web, and, generally people will not scroll down to the bottom of a page in any case.
  • Graphics must be top notch and compliment the layout and site. If they are poor quality, viewers will assume that you and/or your Web designer does not know what they are doing.

Updating Your Knowledge Base:

More on the F-Shaped Pattern (F Means FAST)

According to Jakob Nielson, who recorded how 232 users view thousands of Web pages with their Web Content
Eyetracking visualization heat-reading software, users often read Web pages in an F-shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes followed by a vertical stripe.  In a few seconds, your visitors eyes move at amazing speeds across your website’s words in a pattern that’s very different from what you learned in school.

Basically, they found that the reading pattern resembles an “F”:

  • Users first read in a horizontal movement, usually across the upper part of the content area. This initial element forms the F’s top bar.
  • Next, users move down the page a bit and then read across in a second horizontal movement that typically covers a shorter area than the previous movement. This additional element forms the F’s lower bar.
  • Finally, users scan the content’s left side in a vertical movement. Sometimes this is a fairly slow and systematic scan that appears as a solid stripe on an eyetracking heatmap. Other times users move faster, creating a spottier heatmap. This last element forms the F’s stem.
    Obviously, users’ scan patterns are not always comprised of exactly three parts. Sometimes users will read across a third part of the content, making the pattern look more like an E than an F. Other times they’ll only read across once, making the pattern look like an inverted L (with the crossbar at the top).
Heatmaps from user eyetracking studies of three websites.

The areas where users looked the most are colored red; the yellow areas indicate fewer views, followed by the least-viewed blue areas. Gray areas didn’t attract any fixations.

Heat-maps illustrate how users read three different types of Web pages:

  • an article in the “about us” section of a corporate website (far left)
  • a product page on an e-commerce site (center)
  • a search engine results page (SERP; far right).
    If you squint and focus on the red (most-viewed) areas, all three heatmaps show the expected F pattern. Of course, there are some differences.

The F viewing pattern is a general shape.
On the e-commerce page (middle example), the second crossbar of the F is lower than usual because of the intervening product image. Users also allocated significant time to a box in the upper right where the price and “add to cart” button are found.

On the SERP (right example), the second crossbar of the F is longer than the top crossbar, mainly because the second headline is longer than the first.

  • Users won’t read your text in a word-by-word manner.
  • The first two paragraphs must state the most important information. This is consistent with classic newspaper style — an inverted triangle is generally used to describe this.
  • Start subheads, paragraphs, and bullet points with information-carrying words that users will notice when scanning down the left side of your content.


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Read for Success

Train Your Brain For Success
Read Smarter, Remember More, and Break Your Own Records

Roger Seip

Train your mind to achieve new levels of success!

Professionals and entrepreneurs do a great job of keeping up appearances. But if they’re honest with themselves, they’re short on living the life they really want. Train Your Brain For Success provides the perspective to analyze how you got where you are and, more importantly, learn the skills to get where you truly desire to be. Train Your Brain for Success.

Train Your Brain For Success explains specific ways of thinking and acting that will get anyone where they want to go, fast.

Learn to condition your mind to move towards success automatically, by discovering greater memory power and fundamental techniques for boosting reading speed and comprehension.

Get a proven strategy for succeeding and becoming a record-breaking performer.

  • Learn to live in the moment
  • Become brilliant with the basics
  • Aggressively take care of your mind

Train your mind for new levels of success by boosting memory power, reading speed and comprehension.


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Build Your Audience

If you are in business, you need a Web presence. Web sites are actually somewhat difficult to build and manage; however, blogs are relatively easy after the initial learning curve. You might find it worthwhile to hire a professional (or trade services) to have it set up, but most people can take it from there and add new content every week or two to increase your Internet visibility.

Overview of Setting up a WordPress Blog

WordPress gets the public vote for being easiest to use and currently it is the most popular

Fortunately, you will not need new software, which is necessary to build a Websites. Blogs are a perfect example of “cloud computing,” which simply means using the internet to access software running on someone else’s hardware. vs is free. However, you end up with a clumsy url, i.e. If future employees (or your family/friends) forget the wordpress portion of the name, they will not find you. requires that you have your own url and hosted web site. At, for $10-$14 per year you can register your name (or if your own name is gone, a clear and memorable name). is the best name as most people automatically type in .com; however if .com is gone for you, consider the newest .co.

Hosting at runs around $5 per month . . . Initially you will not need add-ons, so don’t worry about them. BIG TIP: No “dots,” “dashes,” or “underscores” in your chosen name. Absolutely no one remembers them.

Setting Up WordPress

Instructions follow, and I’m on the other end of eMail, but it might be easier for you to go to one of the following:

Online textual Instructions: or

How-to Video:

Or: If you do use GoDaddy:

  1. Go to Hosting Control Center
  2. Setup your account: GoDaddy is in Arizona, always there, and can help with this if you get confused (which is easy to do initially): 480 505 8877.
  3. Click on “Manage Account” to the right of your new account
  4. Click Your Applications on top.
  5. Click on Blogs on the Left.
  6. Click on WordPress.
  7. Click the INSTALL NOW orange button.
  8. You will have to unzip this file: If you do not have Unzip software, there is a free 30-day trial from WinZip: Download that and then unzip the file.

Your Blog

There is a lot of information to wade through.

Once that is done, go to where you will find WordPress for Beginners. Again, it looks overwhelming, but you won’t need to read all of it, you don’t need to know any of the complicated coding, etc.

Mainly you will need to go to: for an overview of setting up your site. This page has everything you will need starting with a free Theme which you will download from: Then to: for information on writing posts and to write your first post.



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