Home Renovations phase 1: the PATIO

So on a shoestring budget (no money spent at all) I redid our patio. It was pretty laborious and I braved armies of mosquitoes that I thought would never tire of their assaults, but it was totally worth it!
I pulled up all the pavers (ugh) and raked up the gravel and reset the pavers so that they’d be right next to each other instead of having gravel between them. I like the look better–it feels cleaner and more like an outdoor room–and I also like the way it shows off the little stone path that Evan made years ago with quickcrete, my grandma’s rocks, and broken tiles. I made two new thin flower beds to border it in, and even though I lost space by putting the pavers right next to one other, it still feels like it’s about the same size as it was, or even a little bigger. The other cool thing about putting the pavers closer together is that I think it will make for little to no weeding, which is always nice 🙂 I’m looking forward to fall fires, fabulous foods, and fun times around the pit!


Want to be an artist?

Here are just a few tips I would keep in mind when trying to sell work and become an artist.
I wrote this in a forum for another website for artists. These are just a few of many! I also believe this can apply to any form of art.

1. Think outside the box
When it comes to showing work, there are many people that can draw or paint the same picture you can. You have to stand out. Try displaying your work in a different way than anyone else. Use different materials in your work. Really try and put on a show with what you have!

2. Look at what other artist are producing.
These days many people know how to paint and draw, but many are still reluctant to think. Put depth in your paintings, say something! Use your skills to tell a story or express an emotion. People will react to your work.

3. Be as professional as you possibly can.
Try and get to the point that you are making exactly the kind of work that is in your mind. Become a master at your practice. People notice skill and talent, and want to buy art from extremely talented people. 

4. Listen to that inner voice.
I knew exactly when it was time for me to leave my job. I even got an exact date and signs as to when I was suppose to leave. Take time to be realistic and confident in what you are doing. Then listen and make the move when you hear that voice.

5. Never ever stop creating! No matter who tells you your work sucks. No matter how many galleries turn you down, never stop creating.
One thing I noticed when I was looking at one of my favorite paintings, Salvador Dali – Christ of St John of the Cross, I then noticed the date on it, 1951. Dali was born in 1904, he was 47 when he did that painting! It takes time to become a master, but if you give up, you will never get there.

Hope this builds your creative spirit and helps you to get past the hurdles that all of us artist face! Have a fun weekend.

TAP is offering art classes!

The Art Pocket is now offering
Affordable Art Classes.

-small class sizes of 2-5 students
-one hour lessons for $15 and deals for multiple students and hours.
-flexible hours to meet your scheduling needs
-classes available year-round through the summer

The Art Pocket is Evan Hildebrandt and Alison Shepard, a husband and wife team with more than 30 years of art-making experience between them. From teaching to working with interior designers, Evan and Alison are skilled in painting, drawing and printmaking, and are confident to take on any artistic task placed before them. Alison has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking. She currently teaches Drawing and Figure Drawing at the College of Mt. St. Joseph.
Evan and Alison have teaching experience with students of all ages, from pre-schoolers to retirees.

For more information and to view samples of our art, please visit us at
Give us a call at 513-921-7511 or email Evan at evhildy@hotmail.com
We Look forward to meeting and teaching you!


Thursday links.

Ok, so I gave you a good website last week that you can stay on for hours at a time. You thought there was only one!? THink again, Art renewal.org is a conprehensive website of some of the greatest master artist in history. This one might actually have even more stuff on it than the last one!
When you get on this site, first check out the artist named William Bouguereau. You wont be let down! Below is a sneak peak at his work. Enjoy!


I found a nice little video on the web about how to do oil paintings. Its almost as good as mine;) There are three in the series, so make sure you check them all out.
I love seeing how people work. Most are pretty similar, but all of us have different ideas that we can give to one another.

One other tip from me is this, if you want to be a better artist, seek out other artists to talk to. You wont only get great ideas, but you will meet some great people in the process!
Im going to try and give more of these tips in the future, so keep check back every week for more.

From this video you can click at the bottom to find the second and third.

book art

here are some images from an altered book i made a few years ago. i’ve been wanting to make them into paintings for a while, and am planning to start very soon! i’m excited!

altered books are a great way to free up your mind and are a ‘low pressure’ way to experiment with subject matter, texture and media.

with this piece, i did a lot of cutting and abrading of the surface. i taped several pages of the book together and then cut into them with an exacto knife. then i painted them, rubbed graphite, charcoal, pastell over them and made a wonderful mess! lots of fun!
i’m hoping that i’ll be able to mimmick these same effects when i turn it into a painting:)