This little blog is on hold for right now. You can come and meet me at Shirley Twofeathers, if you'd like. One day, when I do actually start to SELL my art online, or when I begin to actively TAKE the steps necessary to begin to get it sold, I'll come back and document places, processes, and ideas that work for me. In the mean time, come and see me at Shirley Twofeathers, or visit Mandala Madness, or check out Green Dolphin Studio. And whatever you do, have a great day!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

New free online art gallery.

I found this post at Flickr:

Pedro C. says:

Hi, Just released a new online gallery, and we would love to have your art there. abstr.actioni.st/ We are looking for a few people that want to show their work. The site is integrated with paypal for all payments processing. And its absolutely free for those who choose to join now, but beware that paypal does charge a small commission (around 1eur for each transaction, check paypal for detailed information on this).The site is its initial version so we are looking for some people to join in, promote them selves and at the same time help us improve the site reporting problems, or making suggestions of things you would like to have on the site.So, feel free to browse around and you can signup for a free account at: abstr.actioni.st/account/signup

Between other things, you can also have your own domain name instead of abstr.actioni.st. Just drop me a line if you want to do so. You can report any problem or suggestion to the following email:pedro@abstr.actioni.st thanks for your time and hope to hear from you soon.

Pedro Costa.

ps. feel free to pass on this information to who ever you think may be interested. Posted at 4:33AM, 26 November 2007 PST ( permalink )

I signed up right away. If you sign up, leave a comment with a link to your page, and I'll go take a look at it. Blessings, and have a great day!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

True for you? It's true for me!

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The Fine Art of Self Sabotage

My sister and I are doing "The Work" every day. Today, we are "working" on this statement: I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me. We are both artists, and I found the dialogue about this subject really interesting, so I'm sharing it here. I hope she doesn't mind.

Grace: I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me. True. My art commissions come and I accept them with reluctance. Opportunities are everywhere for me and I skirt them, ditch them and avoid them. Even the work I do get is subtly sabotaged by certain thought processes about it - especially about its worth, value and monetary symbolism.

The last time I framed mementos for the Race for the Cure, I put a hex on them so I would never have to do them again. They were gorgeous and they haven't called me since! Some of the commissions I get that require me to use artistic licence are fraught with such a subtle fear of failure that I can't really be original, creative or even enjoy the work (because and especially because it isn't original or creative).

I feel like I don't maximize my artistic potential because I sabotage that potential from the get-go. I wonder how much more money and work would come to me if I took the jobs I do get with wonder, joy, enthusiasm, excitement and gratitude and speedy love...

Shirley: I have got to stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me because if I don't stop it, good things will stop coming to me. Why would the universe continually present me with opportunities if I am too stupid, too lazy, to inadequate, and/or too frightened to take advantage of it. How many times would YOU offer something to someone if EVERY SINGLE TIME they either turned it down flat out, or made a huge freaking mess out of it? My guess is that pretty soon, those opportunities would stop being offered at all.

As for opportunities as an artist, I make damn sure that those opportunities never even arise. Look at this blog for example. As you can see, other than a few half hearted stabs at selling stuff, I have done absolutely nothing all year long. And the year is almost over!

Would my art be selling like hotcakes if I put myself 100% on the line with it? Would my cafe press store, my etsy store, and my finer works page be well traveled and and well shopped if I put some of my energy into that direction? I don't know ... because I haven't done it. Those little online shops aren't successes and they aren't failures. They are dead in the water.

And I don't exercise my artistic potential, nor do I exercise my other potentials because I am too busy putting all my time and energy into projects and ideas that will NEVER turn into anything. And I am too busy putting all my energy and my drive into avoiding anything at all that might actually turn into a success. As a matter of fact... "Much Ado About Nothing" pretty much sums up how I spend the majority of my time.

If someone came to me tomorrow and said, "Shirley, I will give you $1000 if you will do a Middle of the Night art piece... you choose the content, you choose the subject... do it your way... and I will buy it." OMG, I would be paralyzed. I would lose my paper. I would lose my art supplies, suddenly I wouldn't have any time at all, nothing I put on that piece of paper would be good enough, I might not even be able to get out of bed in the morning. Would that picture ever get done? I don't even know. Maybe... Maybe not.

Grace: I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me. Is that true? It feels true.

Shirley: Yes, I do think it's true that I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me. It does feel true. Desperately true.

Grace: Can I absolutely know I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me? No. I can't absolutely know anything.

Shirley: Can I absolutely know, beyond all doubt, that I should stop sabotaging every good things that come to me? Well... maybe not EVERY good thing. I don't have to be open and receptive to EVERY good thing. And actually, instead of sabotaging, I could simply say "No, not this time, thank you!" So, while I can say that yes, I should stop sabotaging the good that comes to me, I can also say that I do not have to take advantage of EVERY opportunity that comes my way. I do not have to play this elaborate, time consuming, energy depleting game of avoidance and sabotage - I could instead, be straightforward, and honest, and just say, "Thank you, I think I'll pass on this one. "

Grace: How do I react when I have the thought I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me? Put upon, overwhelmed, as if I should try to tackle and digest everything that comes my way. I feel uncertainty in my decisions, I feel awkward in my choices, I feel confused and muddled and disgusted with myself. My self talk is very harsh and scolding, and I despair of ever being successful.

Shirley: How do I react when I have that thought that I should stop sabotaging the good things that come to me? I feel pressured, and squeezed. Like I'm on trial for some terrible crime, and the long arm of the law is about to pound me into submission and defeat. I feel like I want to lock my door, unplug my phone, and hide under the bed. I feel like a failure, like a bug or a worm waiting to get squished. Interestingly, it feels sort of like a death sentence... or at the very least a really long prison term in a very bad place.

Grace: Who would I be without the thought I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me? Free to live and do what I do when the spirit comes my way. Free to enjoy what I'm doing when I do it. Trusting, safe, sure.

With the thought confused and muddled; without the thought free and sure. There is no stress free reason to hang on to the thought that I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me.

Shirley: Who would I be without the thought that I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes my way? I would feel so much more confidence. I would stand taller, have more self assurance. I can see myself walking out the door each new day feeling sure of myself and my place in the world, knowing I have value and worth.

With the thought I'm huddling under the bed, without it I'm heading out the door ready, willing, and able to tackle just about anything that comes my way.

Grace: The turn around: I should sabotage the good things that comes to me.
  1. Well, if something good comes to me and I sabotage it, then it is reality. I can't argue with what is, so if I sabotaged something, then obviously I should have.
  2. I may not know that the thing that I have labeled as "good" is really good. Maybe I should sabotage it for the well being of the planet or me or someone else or some other unknown.
  3. Maybe by experiencing the frustration of self-sabotage I can be more compassionate to people who suffer from the same affliction - maybe if I didn't have to experience the pain of it I would be insufferable and pious.
  4. Maybe the pain of self-sabotage brings me directly to this place where I want to know the truth and I am willing to go inside and inquire.

Another turn around? My thinking should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me. No kidding. Amen to that.

  • Four F's on a report card comes to me as the best possible thing and I sabotage it by thinking it is terrible.
  • A stray dog comes to me as the best possible addition to our family and I sabotage it by letting him linger under a tree for four days while I entertain thoughts like I don't want the hassle, the expense, the poop, the extra work...
  • The neighbors cut down a tree and I sabotage it by thinking that is the worst offense - for all I know the hastening of global warming could also hasten our collective enlightenment. We may never evolve without the end of the world looming over us! We may never fix our individual selves if we fail and fail and fail to fix our collective selves. We may be stuck in the material, outer reality if it doesn't start becoming scary and tragic. If we believe in an outer cause and it doesn't reward us with miserable failure, we could be stuck forever as missionaries and never turn into saints. We may need the destruction of our sacred religions to drive us into soul work.

I look forward to sabotaging the next good thing that comes my way. I will be very interested in inquiring about it. I may find another stressful thought behind there that wants to be met with love and understanding, like I might fail or I'm not good enough or I just don't want to do this but I feel like I have to... Who knows?

Shirley: My turn arounds are as follows...

  1. Sabotage is no longer necessary because I can just say "No, not right now, thank you very much."
  2. I do not have to say "yes" just because it's a good thing.
  3. When I find it impossible to just say "No", it is perfectly acceptable, logical even, to use the fine art of sabotage. I might even find something interesting and valuable under that bed.
  4. I am a master saboteur! Kudos to me!!

As for that other turn around: My thinking should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me. Hmmm... I disagree. My thinking can do whatever my thinking wants to do. I can look at life however I want to look at life. I am not willing to put rules and shoulds and fetters an snares on my thinking. I am a free thinker. Therefore, it's OK for my thinking to sabotage whatever it wants to sabotage. I know that as brilliant as my thinking is, those acts of sabotage will lead to wisdom and compassion. Because wisdom and compassion are the places that my mind always wants to go. That the same thinking that sabotages my good might even lead to a really brilliant piece of art. Why wouldn't it? I'm an artist. And that same thinking might lead me straight into the hands of God - which is where I'm always headed anyway. No matter where I run, no matter where I try to hide. Which right now at this moment gives me an idea for a brilliant piece of art...

And, actually, I created a brilliant piece of art about this subject a couple of years ago. It's called "I Crucify Myself A Thousand Times."

Friday, November 30, 2007


Sabotage - what does that mean?

The word "sabotage" comes from the French word "sabot" and means "to trample with wooden shoes." A sabot is a clog with a leather top. At the beginning of agricultural mechanization French farm workers threw their "sabotes" into harvesting and processing machines (which were taking their jobs), thereby blocking the complicated mechanics of the mowing and threshing machines and rendering them useless. For the sake of their labor, they engaged in "sabotage".

Interesting.... I wonder if this means that self sabotage is actually a way to create "work" for ourselves. I mean, we wouldn't want things to be too easy, now would we? My sister and I recently did some "work" on this subject. You can read about it here.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Crucify Myself

I Crucify Myself a Thousand Times

I crucify myself
a thousand times every day
I keep thinking
I'll cut it out
but I don't
there is all this extra baggage
and unfinished business
and this nebulous thing about
"being nice"
even when
I'm trying to be pointed and honest
strings are attached
I forgive them and then
forget to forgive
this is my crown of thorns
my Crown Royal
and this is where
I stab myself
in the back
driving the point home
just literally pounding it in
is this really me
or do I still have my blinders
on shattering self images
counting down the years
time is running out
burning the candle
at both ends i'm trying to get a
handle on it
I want to be "good"
I want to get all my shit
into one small bag
I want that last piece
of the puzzle to slide
easily into place
and is that once in a blue moon
pie in the sky happily ever after
magical thinking
did i make my bed and now
i have to lie in it
feels deeply rooted
am I still a girl fragile
easily shattered
or just an old hag
with a bunch of screws loose
this is my slippery slope
the not so soft place
where I land
the quick sand I thrash around in
every day


Like it?
See the slide show at Green Dolphin Studio or visit a complete set of photos at Flickr.
This piece, by the way, has been sold.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Introducing Snap Shots from Snap.com

I just installed a nice little tool on this site called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, MySpace profiles, IMDb profiles and Amazon products, display inline videos, RSS, MP3s, photos, stock charts and more.

Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need, without your having to leave the site, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not.

Should you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

One Thousand Paintings

I found something really interesting today... A website called One Thousand Paintings. I stared at it in disbelief for a full 10 minutes while the full impact of the idea sank in.

It said: For sale: the numbers 1 through 1000.

One thousand numbers = one thousand paintings. All beautifully painted on canvas (approx. 12 x 12 x 1.5 inches). Each number is unique - the number and the demand define the price. An experiment of art & mathematics, on the web, the first of its kind.

There were satisfied customer comments like this one:

"This is such an amazing idea - I had been looking to purchase a piece of unique art online and this 100% fits the bill."
Teresa Critien, UK

And this one:

"Several weeks later, a battered yellow box arrived bearing a Zurich postmark. Inside, swathed in bubble wrap, was the gift. I must say, it was glorious."
Dan Pink, WIRED Magazine

And this blurb about sales:

Paintings have been sold to the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, China, Singapore, Mexico, Brasil, South Africa, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Kyrgyzstan, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Portugal, and Israel.

I began to wonder how much they were being sold for and found this intriguing pricing policy:

Price calculator:
Price = 1000 - number.
Initial discount: 90%.
Current discount: 20%.
The discount will decrease by an absolute 10% for every 100 paintings sold.
Min. price: $40.

How many have been sold?

Well, there are only 240 numbers left! I didn't calculate how much money this guy must have brought in. But DAMN! That's a lot of sales!

So what makes these paintings so cool? What makes them so interesting? Why are people buying them?

I have no idea. This is what they look like. Yep. Just a plain blue number on a white canvas. I don't get it. Would you buy one? Are you even tempted?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

100 Pic Challenge

Today I stumbled onto something really cool at Chaoticat. It's the 100 pic challenge. The point of the challenge is to test and improve your skill as an artist or photographer. The idea being to create 100 pictures, and after 100 pics who wouldn't be a better artist or photographer?

If I can get other people to do it with me, we might create a web page together for our individual contributions to the challenge. If it looks like I'm in this alone, I'll be posting my pics here. If you see this, and want to join in, that would be great! Challenges are easier to complete when you've got friends and companions along for the ride.

So, check out the rules at Chaoticat or deviant art, and let's get started!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Art Face Off

So, I got inspired by the Question of the Day - it was a question about what would my life would be like if I did something scary every day. I thought about it for a while, and pretty soon I found myself at a little website I heard about called ArtFaceOff. The next thing you know I had registered for a free account, and uploaded a number of pictures.

Here's the link to my page: Shirley Gibson at ArtFaceOff. Go check it out. If you like what you see, vote for me. If you decide to put your own artwork up, leave a comment with a link, and I'll go see your portfolio.

Monday, July 30, 2007


After a long long absence. I am finally back and working on selling my art online. Today I stumbled onto a really interesting website/art project called 50x50. It is an ongoing online work of art made of 50 pixel square images from artists around the world. I submitted this image, called "Ring of Power", and so we'll see what happens.

-update 9/5 -

I have heard absolutely nothing from him at all. No acknowledgement that he got my image, not a yes or a no. So I'd say this one is a no go for sure!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Blogging the Art

I have read in a number of different places, that blogging is a good way to promote what you do. And so, not being one to do anything in moderation, I created a number of blogs. I use Blogger as my blogging platform because it's free, it's easy, and there are a lot of simple ways to tweak the templates to make them unique. If I had the time to make a gagillion blogs, I might try also the wordpress and typepad free blogging services.

For the mandala art, I created Mandala Madness. - blog about mandalas. I wanted something that would attract mandala lovers. It has poetry, quotes, visiting mandalas, interesting tidbits of information about mandalas of all kinds, and of course - my mandalas. It does take some time to put the daily posts together, but I think it's shaping up nicely.

I also joined Zaadz. It's a social networking site for people interested in spiritual concepts, and changing the world, and seemed like a really good place to make friends and share the mandalas and the abstract art. I've got a page for a photo album, and also a blog. The Middle of the Night Art is a little dark for that site, and I'm thinking that maybe it might be better suited for My Space, or Deviant Art.

The other blogs that I have created do not directly "promote" my art, but do offer links to Green Dolphin Studio, the Cafe Press store, and to the other sites that do. Here's a list of the blogs I am currently keeping up with:

And here are the ones I have fallen dreadfully behind on:

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Middle of the Night Art prints for sale

And then I had to make a decision about my "Middle of the Night Art" series. My plan is to eventually get it published as a book. I have an idea of creating an art book using the original art, cool leather bindings, doing it all by hand, and then auctioning it on eBay and making a gazillion dollars. Stay tuned to see how that works out. LOL.

For now, I have decided to sell prints of the Middle of the Night art. Just prints. Nothing spectacular, nothing limited edition. I may change my mind later, and there is still time to do that since I haven't yet put them up anywhere. At any rate, here are the Middle of the Night Art pictures that I pulled out to print and sell.

Driving my car off the road into nowhere.This picture is an all time favorite, and really defines my approach to life.


Melting PotI just love this one. For me, the little witchdoctor represents the "master of the universe", and the idea for this picture came from a Rumi poem about being cooked in a pot. I'll upload a copy of the poem here in a few days, and put a link to it here, so you can read it and see what I'm talking about.


Can the problem of bovine illiteracy be solved with prescription eye glasses?An excellent question, and as you can see, it is an important one as well. I too, often stand cow-like and dense, unable to read the signs.


Life in a nut shell. This pretty much sums up my views on life on earth as a human woman, and it also looks like a fairly accurate portrayal of my house.


These are wax pastels and colored pencil on acid free black cardstock. The originals measure 8" x 8". So, here they are. Now all I need to do is figure out where to put them so people can buy them.

Mandala Art for sale

The mandala art is all digital, so there are no issues in terms of packaging and shipping. I am planning to sell them as 16" by 16" limited edition fine art giclee prints on canvas. Here they are:

This seemed an appropriate choice, since abundance is what I am wanting to achieve here. And also because this is the first mandala that I made.


NamasteI like the message, (Namaste means peace) almost as much as I like the image. Not only that, it really pops out on a web page, so I thought it would be a good choice for that reason as well.


Samadhi This one is so beautiful. I love the blue in it so much. It reminds me of water and stained glass together. Wouldn't it be cool to have a small reflecting pool with this image under the water? Maybe even with a few little orange koi swimming through it? Yummy!


MeditationI shared with a small demo print of this image with a coworker and she likes to keep it at her desk, it really pops out at you when you walk by. My sister, who is an incredibly gifted artist, made me a beautiful piece with an image similar to this, only she used colored glass and did a mosaic.

Abstract Art for sale

My selection of the four abstract art pieces was based on how much I love them, how easy they would be to scan (for prints), and also for how easy they would be to pack and ship. This is what I came up with. If you want to see them bigger, click on an image and it will enlarge:

Blue Fish
This is pigmented india ink on 100% rag premium paper. I love the colors in it, and when ever I look at it, I just want to go there. It's small, only 8" x 10".


HalloweenThis one is one of my all time favorites. It's mixed media on watercolor paper. Another small painting, this one is only 9" x 12". The wonderfully creepy interesting textures and colors give it so much depth and flavor, don't you think?


Owl MoonI always see new things when I look at this painting. It's like a shamanic dream. Today it looks to me like there is someone sitting under the moon, hidden in the shadows. Cool huh? This one is a 9"x12" mixed media on watercolor paper.


Cosmic IrisThis is the largest one. I had to scan it four times and then merge the scans, but it was worth the effort. This one is ink and acrylic on rice paper, and is 9" x 13". It has a wonderful translucent quality.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Deciding what to sell

I got some great feedback on my question over at Question of the Day, and it helped me to make up my mind which paintings to put out there first. I found it impossible to pick two of each one, and I have lots of favorites, so I chucked the idea of starting with six paintings, and decided to start with twelve - four of each. And because the styles are so different, I thought it might be a good idea to "market" them separately.

The abstract pieces chosen are: Blue Fish, Halloween, Owl Moon, and Cosmic Iris. You can take a look at them here.

The mandala art that I picked: Namaste, Abundance, Samadhi, and Meditation. You can take a look at those pictures here.

And from the Middle of the Night Art series, I chose: Driving my car off the road into no where, Melting Pot, Can the problem of bovine illiteracy be solved with prescription eye glasses, and Life in a nutshell. Take a look at them here.

So, there they are. The top twelve, armed and dangerous, ready to voyage into the cyberspace of "Art Online". The next thing to figure out is where to send them.

Thursday, March 1, 2007


Ok, so I want to sell my art online. And this is my year. So I'm going to do it. Hmmm, what should I do first?

I guess first I need to have art to sell. Lets just take a look around the house... Well, let me see... there is art on the walls, art leaning up against the walls, art in the closet, art in front of the closet, art in the other closet, art in the computer, art on the computer, even some art under the computer. There is art on the dining room table, art on the art room table.. There's even art in the dresser drawers. There is so much art around here, I almost don't have room for me!

There is so much art, I don't even know where to start. I guess that's going to be step two. Figuring out what paintings to start with. So... should I start working at selling paintings in alphabetical order? Favorites first? Start with one series? Put forth a variety of styles and colors? Do a weekly pick 6? Run around the house blindfolded and just grab something?

I think I'll just bop on over to the "Question of the Day" and see if I can get any valuable insights or answers.

Slide Show