Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Man (and Woman) Does Not Live by Art Alone

Hi All,

Here is a favorite recipe of mine and I think it is particularly great for summer with home made ice cream. I love microwave recipes because you can have something with a home cooked taste fast and easy!! This is really good hot fudge and so simple because you have everything on hand and can make it at a moments notice.

I have used this recipe for years but now it is on the Internet submitted by several different people, so I can't really give anyone credit. Enjoy.

Easy Microwave Hot Fudge Sauce

serves 4-6 (or one)

1/2 C sugar
3 T cocoa
1 1/2 T cornstarch
1 dash salt
1/2 C water about room temperature
2 T butter
1 t vanilla

1. Mix dry ingredients (I use a 2-cup glass Pyrex measuring cup).
2. Stir in room temperature water.
3. Microwave on high for 90 seconds, stirring a few times.
4. Blend in butter and microwave 15 seconds more, then stir.
5. Continue to cook alternate with stirring until it reaches desired consistency. (Gets thicker as you cook it longer.)
6. Stir in vanilla and serve warm over ice cream (or be creative, chocolate is good over anything!)

My helpful hints:
I make it pretty thick by cooking a little longer (don't over cook it) and then put in a splash of milk to make a really nice milk chocolate flavor.
You can refrigerate right in the glass container and then microwave again when you use it.

I wish you peace, love and good ice cream days.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Our Fantastic Students!

One of our "new kids," Levi working on
a colored pencil piece while Samantha
learns to mix colors in acrylic.

Jean working on an acrylic landscape.

Diane who has been with us for many years,
working on a colored pencil piece with Jane
in the background, also working in colored

Bob and Chuck (our token males) and
Diane in the background, with Jane in the
foreground, all working in colored pencil.

Hi All,
Thought you'd like to see what some of our students look like. This is the Wednesday class. All of our classes now are Open Studio, people can work in any media on their own projects at their own pace, with our guidance.
Carlynne and I are both, mixed media artists and between the two of us we have worked with or are still working with almost all media. We like having our students work on many different projects. It's fun for us and inspirational for them. They see something that someone else is doing and they want to try it themselves. Our students work in graphite, watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil, sometimes oil and pastels, and even gourds!! Yes, we have one student using acrylic texture mediums on gourds, look for more photos in upcoming posts.
We are thinking about starting some online lessons and critiques to reach more students. During my childhood and young adult years, I lived in a remote part of Michigan and the internet, had it been available then, would have been my lifeline to the art world. Instead I had to depend on what few books were available to me and draw and paint on my own, making the same mistakes over and over. It wasn't until I got to college that I had instructors to help me over my bad habits and mistakes.
Let us know what you think!
Peace, love and creativity to all,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Gold Skies

Avocado Grove
Ah, it's Thursday and that means studio day! I love Thursdays. I'm getting ready to start on some more of the these little landscapes. I thought I'd add some different pieces to the Etsy shop. I have a number of texture pieces on there so landscapes are in order. This particular one is from a photo I took in my cousin's grove in south Florida. It was a beautiful summer day as we walked between rows of lush green trees. The late afternoon heat of the day inspired me to use gold leaf for the sky and I love the effect. There's also some gold under the tree where the light is peaking through and warming the fallen leaves.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New work and new beginnings

Passage 72
I just put a couple of new pieces on Etsy so take a peak when you have a chance. I added a few extra things to this one....painted silk, glass, tumbled quartz and metallic thread. Anything is fair game anymore, I wonder hmmmmm....can that be glued to a canvas?
Happy Sunday, happy painting and Happy Birthday to Kelli. Tomorrow is Kelli's birthday so CHEERS and may there be many more.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Esty Again!

Hi All,

When I waxed enthusiastically about Etsy yesterday, I didn't mean to imply that my first two sales on Etsy was the first time I had ever sold artwork. On the contrary, my first sale was a portrait commission for the Kellogg Foundation in 1984, over 20 years ago. I remember it well as it was a difficult assignment for various reasons, not the least of which was that the person who's portrait I was doing was deceased and I had no good reference photos. Most of my artist colleagues can identify with this. That started my love/hate relationship with commissions which has now turned to just hate.

What thrilled me about Etsy was several things:

1. It was easy!!! (Especially for me, due to the fact that Carlynne is our geek.)

2. We have only been on Etsy for about 2 weeks and have had 6 sales!

3. My stuff had only been up for a little more than 2 days and I sold 2 pieces!

4. Everything I read on the Etsy help info says that you must be patient waiting for your first sale, it takes time.

5. I had never sold anything online before!

So, why were we so special? Was it just good luck or really good work or something else? Well, of course I like to think that it was just really good work. And maybe it was. I also think that the prices were right for the economy. We have two price points right now in our Etsy store, $25 and $200. In good economic times, $200 is a great price for original art on canvas. In this current economy, it is the $25 pieces that are selling.

Our plan is to post good quality, original artwork at affordable prices. We want our work to be obtainable by people of modest means. Does that mean we will not sell larger, more expensive pieces? Are you out of your mind? But I believe that we will always have smaller more affordable ones even after the economy improves. And we do enjoy making the smaller pieces.

Above I have shown one of our 5X5 pieces on canvas board which sells for $25. It is displayed on a miniature easel (not included in price.)

So, visit our shop at hershbergerhuff.etsy.com when you can and be sure to let us know what you think.

Have a peaceful, loving and creative day.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Hey all,

Last Saturday morning I awoke to the news that two of my 5 pieces on Etsy had sold after being listed only 2 1/2 days!! I was over the moon.

As artists we hear compliments all the time, "Oh that's beautiful," or "I just love that." And even sometimes a few of these, " Well you can decorate my house anytime," and "I would be happy to store that for you." (I have said some of these things myself.) But there is something really special about the feeling you get when you sell something. Sure it helps pay the bills and for an artist that is really important. But I am talking about how it feels.

OK, here's my confession: the two pieces were only $25 each, but it felt like a thousand each. I call it validation when someone plunks down their hard earned money to buy your artwork. It is the highest of all compliments and I will never be jaded enough to not be thrilled each and every time it happens. So, my thanks to Elisabeth, you made my day.

One of pieces that sold is pictured above. It is a 5X5 inch piece from the Beach series with acrylic texture sand medium, super heavy gesso and mica flakes.
Wishing you peace, love and creativity.