Etsy Round Table for Artists

etsytips_screenshots_wpAt the invitation of Margaret Matheson, owner of Phoenix Art Supplies and Framing, at 1810 S. Easton Road in Doylestown, I’ll be leading an Etsy Round Table talk for artists on Wednesday, March 14, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. The meeting is right in the store at Phoenix, and is free. I’ve been selling my illustrated greeting cards on Etsy  – at my shop AchillesPortfolio –  for about 8 months now; so far I’ve found Etsy a good low cost platform for art selling.

I’ll start the meeting off by explaining basic steps in starting an Etsy shop for selling artwork, so if you are thinking about opening a shop, you can get a foundation in what’s involved. Then we’ll open up discussion for everyone to share tips on what has worked for them and ask questions. I’m hoping that the artists in attendance will share experiences and ideas, and we’ll all leave knowing more about drawing in viewers and buyers for our shops.

Margaret has really made Phoenix a great resource for artists and illustrators, not only in physical art supplies but also in community and learning experiences. She has always been a great friend to our group the Bucks County Illustrators Society!  There is parking at Phoenix just behind the store, and if you’ve never been there before, it is located next to Quarry Road, which is a tiny street just north of the intersection of Edison-Furlong Road and Rte. 611 (Easton Rd.). Their phone number is 215-345-0980 . And if you need any supplies while you’re there, the register will be open.




Announcing ‘Fantasy Tales,’ a Bucks County Illustrators Society Showcase

bcisfantasytalespromophotoI’m thrilled to be part of a unique publication of The Bucks County Illustrators Society – a showcase of the talent of the Society’s members, a full color book with text and illustrations entitled Fantasy Tales.  As a co-founder of BCiS, I am especially pleased to see the work of so many of my friends in the arts highlighted together.

The book includes art by me as well as James Bennett, Deb Hoeffner, Gil Cohen, Dot Bunn, Joe DeVito, Ponder Goembel, Rich Harrington,Monika Hinterwaldner, Becca Klein, Glenn Zimmer, Marie Thresher,Joe Kulka,  Rebecca Rhodin, Pam HamiltonSandy Bender, Kim Kurki, Seth Robinson and Kathryn Maxwell. Each illustrator chose a story or excerpt from a story that has elements of fairy tale, supernatural or fantastical events, and created an illustration to accompany the story.

In conjunction with this publication, we are mounting a show of Fantasy Tales artwork by our members, with many of the pieces in the book displayed as original art in the exhibit. The exhibit will be at the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts gallery, running from June 24 to July 20, at 305 Horsham Road, Horsham, PA. The public is invited to the opening reception on June 24 from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm, to meet the artists and enjoy light refreshments. Copies of the book Fantasy Tales: A Bucks County Illustrators Society Showcase will be available for purchase at the opening.

The artwork in Fantasy Tales encompasses a wide range of illustration styles among BCiS illustrators, and varies from traditional media to digital to combinations of both. The stories chosen span classic Fairy Tales like Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella to a Native American Folk Tale to the epic King Kong saga. Each illustrator’s biography is also included in the book.


I invite all my friends, and any fans of illustration or fantasy art to come to our opening or visit the gallery during June and July. In Fantasy Tales the Bucks County Illustrators Society also thanks three institutions with whom we have special friendships: the Philadelphia Sketch Club, whose history of supporting artists and mounting exciting exhibits stretches back to 1860; Phoenix Art Supplies and Framing, a vital resource in Bucks County helping artists find the best supplies; and the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, founded by artist Kathy Davis, which regularly hosts changing gallery shows and art, craft and music classes for adults and children.

Regarding parking for the opening reception, the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, where our exhibit will be held, is in a beautifully renovated stone farmhouse on the northwest corner of Dresher and Horsham Roads, in a shopping plaza called ‘The Elements,’ which has ample parking.

Patriotic Hamster, complete illustration

I only gave a teaser of this illustration last week because the original was to be exhibited – without my signature, as is every piece of art – at Phoenix Art Supplies and Framing’s 40Art Show Friday night.  The idea of the 40art exhibit, which I applaud, is to display all the art without giving away the artists’ names – to encourage people to buy art that they truly enjoy, instead of just looking for a ‘name’ artist.



I’ve had notecards printed with the little fella on them – I think I’ll name him Ben – now available on my Store page

Small Art that Sells


I spoke to a friend in the know about the 40Art Exhibit, held this past weekend here in Doylestown. This exhibit features all original art by local artists & illustrators, where each piece can be no larger than 5″ x 7″ in size, and is left unsigned – and each piece sells for $40.  It draws quite a crowd, especially the opening night, because there are any number of great deals to be had – some very accomplished artists put in pieces, and some art by unknowns shows delightful talent.

My friend indicated that, in general, the items that sold most were paintings on canvas and paintings and illustrations on board. Photos, works on (unbacked) paper, and abstract art, not so much. That’s not to say none of those types sold, but in general that was the trend this year.

My friend suggested that artists for future shows, who wish to make more sales, consider the physical presentation of their art submissions, in addition to their artistic quality.  If you submit photos, mounting them on sturdy board makes them look like they are worth the $40 a customer would pay; likewise with drawings, prints or watercolors – an image on thin paper that is slightly warped from the humidity does not attract a second look from most attendees.  She also pointed out that Phoenix has in stock those very useful clear acetate sleeves that you can slip your originals into for display (very inexpensive, too), and the sleeves come in multiple sizes.  These protect your art as well as making them look more professional.

And for gallery goers and buyers, I have to add this recommendation: take a good look at the display near the register in Phoenix’s store – they have an absolutely wonderful arrangement of former submissions to 40Art, all gorgeously matted and framed.  You cannot believe what the artful addition of the right framing can add to the bargain you purchased at 40Art, and the folks at Phoenix are masters at matching the a great frame to your treasure.