Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Winterizing Cold Hardy Banana Trees: Step 2

So we got the leaves cut off and the stalks wrapped up in Bubble wrap,
Now get your chicken wire, make a ring around the base
again, Vinnie was a great helper.... (not really)
Start filling the base with your mulch, I'm using the leaves I collected from my neighbors, last year I used straw but I didn't buy any this year.
 Secure the ring of chicken wire together at the ends so its sturdy.
next, make another ring higher up, you want to go as tall as the stalks, secure the edges again.
Fill with your leaves or straw, in this case (above) I just ran out of leaves and chicken wire, so I'm temporarily covering the bubble wrapped stalks with my paper and plastic bags I had collected the leaves in until I get more supplies.
Same here...
I need to add more chicken wire to both to make it the correct height and add more leaves or straw, 
I will leave the bags on top of the stalks but will stuff them so the stalks are fully covered in the leaves or straw,
Off to the store to buy more supplies!
Stay tuned!
 Have questions?
Leave a comment below.

Advice from a full time artist: Work

“Follow your heart.” “Trust your gut.” “Find your voice.” “Stay true to your vision.”
You want to follow those but...
It’s not that there isn’t merit to these "quotes" of wisdom for artists, it’s just that, following your heart won’t help you pay the bills or buy food.

Take the job. 
If someone wants to hire you, take it, Do whatever it takes to be able to call yourself a working artist. 
Especially when your first starting out, you might not like it, but it's work, there's plenty of time later on in your career to to turn down jobs. Once your established. 
I've taken plenty of Commercial work and it has brought me a lot of new clients.

The unbearable truth...Art IS a commodity. Nobody "needs" a painting to hang on the wall. It's a "want" it's a "desire" people like "things" and "pictures" that make them feel happy, or emotions or merit, so of course they will buy art, but while your waiting for buyers, take the jobs offered to you.

Have questions?
Leave a comment below

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cold Hardy Bananas: It's time!

With the change of weather here in Seattle, from 50's to 40's to a drop in the low 30's coming, 
you never know whats going to happen in the weather.
I was going to do this Saturday but now it says its going to rain and today is somewhat nice.
So Lets get started with winterizing the Banana trees!

First you'll need:
Bubble Wrap
packaging tape

This is the small grove I'm starting with.. and the first steps of the process,
 Start by cutting off the leaves of each plant, DON'T cut the stock and DON'T throw away the leaves.
Next year the Banana leaves will start growing from the top, you want to keep the height of the tree, 
when you get all the leaves cut off, just make a clean cut across the top as seen in this picture below,
Vinnie our dog was helping me.
Next... make a bubble wrap "cap" for the top of the stalk, this prevents water getting down inside the stalk, make sure the bubbles of the bubble wrap are facing inward on the stalk, you still want a little air circulation
tape around the wrap so its tight. 
 I use two pcs of the wrap for the "cap"  and fold them over
.next start wrapping the stalk making sure the bubbles are on the inside...
go all the way to the base and start on the other stalks...
 Once I finish wrapping the stalking, wrap tape around the whole stalk to make sure the bubble wrap is secure.
Take the leaves you cut off and lay them, top side up, along the bases of the trees, I lay mine above the bubble wrap edge at the bottom and weave them through all the tree bases. 
This creates an extra layer of "mulch" that will keep the heat in and frost out, make sure the bases of the stalks/trees are fully covered, if they freeze they turn to mush and .....die....
Here's my next grove I finished today, the bigger trees, about 7-8ft tall.
Same process, cut off all the leaves and lay them at the bases.

Close up

 Stalks all wrapped and leaves are protecting the bases and the ground from cold.
In the next day or two I will be finishing them up. 
In the meantime gather your leaves/mulch/straw and your chicken wire, we are going to be making a ring around them and filling them up solid to the top!

Have questions?
Leave a comment below

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cold Hardy Banana Trees: it's almost time!

It's almost time to winterize my bananas!
I've been (and I'm sure your waiting for me too)
to winterize these Cold Hardy Banana Trees in my yard, I wait until first frost....
well... it's been extra nice here in Seattle, which has been great!
I've got everything prepped for it, just been waiting, and waiting...
 Its Nov 28th already and no frost, the Bananas have been growing and are still looking good so I left them as they are...
I checked the weather today and it looks like maybe this weekend, Sunday night, we'll get the frost, So I'm thinking Saturday I will chop the leaves off and bundle them up for winter.
I will be posting pictures, along with an easy tutorial on how to winterize them and what works for me. I'm sure going to miss them :(
Stay tuned!

Friday, November 25, 2016


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!
the best part is getting together and spending it with friends and family, 
gathering around the table, sharing stories and eating, oh all that home cooked food!
I hope to you you all at my
 Holiday open studio 
 Saturday Nov 26th from 3-8pm 
 Come have some drinks and keep the holiday cheer going!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Advice from a full time artist: #1 thing to have

It's very simple...

 Having a website is a sign of professionalism in the art business.) 

A WEBSITE not a Facebook page! 
I don't even have a Facebook page, therefor Facebook doesn't allow me to at your full page, it only lets me see a small portion. IT"S A WASTE OF TIME!
Do not use a third party site as your main web page that you direct everyone to, people don’t and won’t sign up to look at your posts, your goods,etc… 
Facebook is not and should NEVER be your “website” if you want to be treated as a professional, invest in a website (.com) (use your own domain name) So it will be "your art name" .COM there’s plenty of affordable options that are easy to make yourself.
All you have to do is search for Website hosts on the internet, do your research and decide which one is best for you.
and design mine, myself.
If your not sure on how to make one yourself, invest in some classes. In the long run it will help you and your business, you can take the expenses off on your taxes too.

ArtsyShark  Put together a great list of pros and cons:

Pros and Cons of third-party providers:

What are some of the main reasons that artists use third-party providers to sell their work? 
  • These existing websites are known, and already have traffic. They market and promote their sites, and have gained the trust of shoppers, which means less work for you.
  • It can be very easy to simply upload images of your art or handmade work and create a store using their template. Sometimes, a shop can be created literally within minutes.
  • Third-party providers typically offer a shopping cart solution. That means you don’t have to worry about getting merchant services, or complying with the laws and regulations that govern them, as this is already handled.
  • Third-party sites can be inexpensive or even free, depending on how they earn their income. This can provide the easiest way for you as an artist to acquire an online presence, and learn if it could be productive.
  • If the provider offers print on demand, this can expand your offering immensely. They will offer new formats to sell your art, with no investment on your part. And if you want to sell reproductions or products that feature your images yourself, you can order from the print on demand provider and take this stock to retail fairs or events to sell at a markup.
What are some of the drawbacks of third-party providers?
  • You don’t have control. If the provider decides you have broken their rules, they can shut you down. The site belongs to them, and you may have no recourse.
  • You don’t have a way to gather email addresses of interested prospects and customers. Your email list is one of the most valuable assets that your small business has. If your art sales are made on someone else’s site, then they gain the benefit of gathering the email list – which will not be shared with you.
  • Quite often, you have limited ability to brand your shop on a third-party website. Since you must work within their template or parameters, you have to live with their choice in presenting your work.
  • Third-party sites often have links to other shops or artwork on the same page as yours. That means customers that you attracted can easily click away to shop on someone else’s page.
  • You don’t have the choice of functionality on the third-party site. If you are looking for a feature they don’t offer, you are out of luck.

Have questions? 
Leave a comment below

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Shop Small Business Saturday Sale! Nov 26th

I'm having a studio sale for the Shop Small Saturday Nov 26th from 3-8pm
 25-50% off select items!
This is your chance to pick up Holiday Gifts or something for yourself while it's on sale,
Raffle, freebies, drinks, snacks, goodie bags!
It will be a great time so you don't want to miss it! 

I hope to see you there!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Elysian Brewery Art Show Nov-Dec

I have a solo show at the 

Elysian Brewery Capital Hill
1221 E Pike St

The show will hang until the end of Dec 2016

 Go have a drink and try some of their yummy food!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Advice from a full time artist: Before you quit your day job

Before you quit your day job to become a full time artist, I suggest investing in some small business and money management classes, being a full time artist is hard work and never a steady paycheck, make sure you have “all your ducks in a row” before diving in head first.

 Definitely take the dive, but be prepared for rough water and empty skies,

 you always have to remember it’s not all about creating artwork, you must know how to market your art, book shows, talk about yourself and your creations in front of many strangers and often.
When you fall you get back up, when you get declined you move forward, keep your head above water and keep swimming, for every one artist who “makes it” hundreds don’t.
Have questions?
Leave a comment below

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Shopping on Instagram

I'm really excited about this! 
 Instagram is testing a new shopping feature exclusively for a select group of brands on the platform.
The overall idea of the feature is to permit brands to tag their products (up to 5 different products) in their Instagram posts. These shoppable posts are identifiable thanks to a “Tap to view products” sign in the bottom left-hand corner of the image.
Read more at the Iconsquare Blog
I cant wait for them to roll it out to everyone!
What do you think about it? Do you shop on Instagram?

Leave a comment below

Monday, November 14, 2016

Creative Slump?

I've been in a small curative slump lately, the weather changing, the cold, darkness of fall, slow sales.... it starts happening about mid Oct and runs thru mid November every year for me. I don't want to get out of bed, I just want to hibernate until Spring... nor do I feel like creating anything...
Then the Holiday shopping and Festivals start then I'm busy again!
 This year I'm trying hard to break that cycle, I'm embracing the early darkness as a time to cozy up, relax and recharge and I bought an electric blanket to keep warm! Sales are still slow but that cycle with break on it's own. I'm making myself go out to the studio to paint, or clean or sit, anything as long as I'm in the studio....
This week I've made three new paintings...

They were fun to make and got me out of my slump,  if you feel your in s creative slump, funk or whatever you want to call it, make your self go to your studio, at least sit there, clean up messes, just being in your creative space with help your mind and body to get out of that funk!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Urban Soule Unique and Handmade Holiday Gifts

Looking for some unique Holiday gifts or just some cool new Home Decor?
I made up a Small Gift Guide of some of the handmade products I offer.

These are just a few examples for ideas
You can come by my studio (by appointment) or visit to purchase without leaving your home!
I ship worldwide!
Custom pet portraits are always a favorite, all you need is a favorite picture or two of  your pet, sizes start out at 8x10 for $110 and go up from there, It's a nice personal gift and gift wrapping is free!
Send me an email info(@) to get your order in time for the Holiday season!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Modernist House

I just came across this wonderful write up on 
a Mid Century Modernist House here in Seattle that the client has a few of my artworks of their cats.
See the full house tour and read the interview here:

Crystal and Gavin make wonderful pet beds, cat and dog houses, food dishes and other great pet related housewares that fit in with your modern decor, its all handmade by them here in Seattle!
check them out here:

Its great to see my art in other peoples homes! 
I work with you personally to make a painting or other art to fit into your home, you get to choose pattern, color and the images you want. 
Match your couch or not, I can help you decide..
send me an email info(@) or visit to see examples and current artwork.

Do you own an Urban Soule piece of art? 
If so, send me a picture of it featured in home and I'll post it here!