Those who follow my little blog may notice that I’ve been somewhat absent from posting anything. That is because I’ve been hard at work trying to hit a painting deadline. The Artists Network holds an annual competition and at the last minute I decided to enter it. They have a section for beginners and since I am a beginner I decided to enter that competition. Besides the main competition has some amazing artists submit work and my work does not even come close to that. I entered the Animal/Wildlife bracket.
I started painting again a few weeks ago after a six week break from shoulder surgery. I cannot lift my hand without alot of effort so for now I am restricted to painting small canvases. So I decided to do a grid painting of an anemone with a solitary clownfish in it. My friend Gus is known for his stunning grid paintings and I must say that that inspired me to do one of my own for this competition. I had alot of fun painting this, feel I learned alot and noticed improvement from my previous work. Keep and eye out for more grid paintngs!
Check out the full piece along with details of each panel in my gallery.
- Setting up a Facebook business page to display my art. #
- Making some good progress on letting people print my fish wall stickers. May be able to launch next week. Stay tuned! #
- Doing a little early morning painting. #
- Getting ready to enjoy the beautiful weather in the park. #
- yay! made my first zazzle sale of this bickering clownfish coffee mug: http://tinyurl.com/cacsdw #
Since original artwork is expensive, I wanted to create some ways for people to purchase my artwork at a much more affordable price. My wall stickers, which is still being set up, is one way. The other way is through an online store called Zazzle. Zazzle allows anyone to upload their own artwork or photographs and place them on everything from coffee mugs to t-shirts to shoes. I set up my store this last week and called it Ocean Paintings by John Stires. Now people can purchase everything fish: fish cards, fish postcards, fish stamps, fish t-shirts, and fish posters!
Take a look around the store and leave a comment with what you think.
|Fish Posters and Canvas Prints||Fish Cards||Fish Postcards|
|Fish T-Shirts||Fish Cups and Mugs||Fish Stamps|
- Uploading orchid show pics to my blog. Very reef-esque #
- Setting up a Zazzle store. More fish art and designs for everyone! #
- my new pink spotted goby is making my tank dusty. #
- Just posted some more new products to zazzle: http://www.zazzle.com/johnstires. This place is cool! #
- Woke up to a bunch of new Ocean Paintings followers! Thanks for following! #
- Just saved 200 sq ft of rain forest with Tropicana: http://tinyurl.com/ct8hon #
- Found a good Zazzle plugin for my blog! Now I can have a store: http://tinyurl.com/co9h5a #
- welcomes uniquecorals, some really awesome corals here: http://twitter.com/uniquecorals #
- @aquariatweet great timing. was just looking for tips on fragging. thanks! in reply to aquariatweet #
- FWD: If you ra pet luvr and havent heard of HR 669, earn about it NOW: http://tiny.cc/L1S0q, http://tiny.cc/TZWBO #
- Watching my website traffic climb is satisfying. It’s like a game! #
- Check out my new zazzle store for fish posters, greeting cards, t-shirts and more! http://tinyurl.com/cvjbpb #
- Cool one of my products just got added to Zazzle’s Best for the day: http://tinyurl.com/d2qshn #
- oh wow didn’t know Zazzle’s best got my art on the homepage for the day! http://www.zazzle.com #
I visited the NY Botanical Gardens this last weekend to catch the orchid show. I must say, this was quite a treat; the orchids (and botanical garden in general) were beautiful. It was a rainy day, but that didn’t put a damper on things, instead it created a nice setting for photos! I’m not a professional photographer, but I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.
While taking photos I realized how similar plants (especially cactii) are to corals. It is a common mistake for people not familiar with corals to think they look like plants, but those of us who have taken care of them for years, pretty much dismiss this idea because we think, “obviously one is a plant and the other is an animal”. Looking at it from an artist’s perspective I thought it would be cool to juxtapose plant life with ocean life. I think it would prove for some intriguing artwork. I’ll add it to my long queue of things to paint.
Enjoy some of these pics from the orchid show! And for those artists who need some flower or plant reference, feel free to use these images for studies or what have you. The orchid show images are all up for free use, commercial or whatever. If you want to give me credit for something that is great. Or just link to my blog.
Just a short note to let all my blog readers know that I just joined twitter.
What is twitter?
“Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”
Twitter is the up-and-coming tool that is all the craze with the Internet kids. Actually it has been around for quite a while and just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It’s a good way to get quick updates from all your friends and family. The Ocean Paintings Twitter is mainly a marketing tool to help spread the word about my reef fish artwork and fish wall stickers, so if you want to follow me to get updates on my artwork, my decals and my aquarium, then stop by twitter and follow me!
If you don’t want to join twitter but still want updates, you can do that too! Just come by this blog every once in a while and read the side bar of my site that says “Twitter Updates”. You can also join my email mailing list and get a weekly digest of them to your email along with my other blog posts.
A few months ago I came across a wonderful ocean artist named Marcelo Tatsuyoshi Kato. He does stunning paper sculptures of fish in the sea. His work has an amazing texture and simple beauty that instantly draws me in.
Every once in a while I spend some time scouring the internet to see what artists are doing in the world of under the sea paintings, and mostly I come across fish artwork that does not appeal to me. Marcelo’s work fascinates me. First of all, his composition is whimsical and playful. Marcelo does not like to copy the living world so through his work he creates his own, called Marcelost World. The second thing I like is that he uses paper as a medium, an ironic choice for a subject that soaks and quickly destroys paper. Finally I love the movement he creates with his work.
I have added some new fish to my sticker gallery. This round I created some Triggerfish and Wrasses. Both types of fish are very popular amongst saltwater aquarium enthusiasts, however few of them (especially triggers) are beneficial to reef aquariums. I personally have never had Triggerfish or Wrasses in an aquarium, but I do appreciate their exquisite beauty.
Triggerfish have a very comical, unique look. They are diamond/oval shaped fish with a unique dorsal fin. Most apparent are their large teeth which are use for crushing stony corals and rocks. One of the most popular triggers is the clown trigger.
Wrasses are some of the most eye-catching fish in the sea. They come in a wide variety of shapes and colors and exhibit interesting behaviors like burying themselves in the sand. The leopard wrasse shown here is one of my personal favorites.
Keep an eye out for more fun fish decals by subscribing to my email list. Also I plan to have a link to the store up soon.
It has been almost 6 weeks since my surgery and I am able to paint again! This weekend I spent a couple of hours painting a new four panel clownfish and anemone grid painting. The image shows the pencil drawing of one of the panels that I haven’t started to paint yet. I had to position the canvas on a counter and paint with my arm around stomach height, but hey I’ll take anything now. I won’t be able to lift my arm over my head for a little while longer.
I have had alot of time to think about some new projects so I am excited to get back into painting again. Keep an eye out for my upcoming clownfish work.
To make things easier you can subscribe to the blog and receive an email everytime I make a post.
I got a print of my wall decals a while back and put them up in my bathroom to see how they look. I was very pleased with the quality of the decals. They are made of a cloth material and seem like they will be sturdy and would not tear easily. I was able to peel them off the backing easily and stick them to the wall. It was also easy to rearrange them to get the look I wanted and they held their stickiness. They have been in my bathroom for a couple weeks now and are still holding fast to the wall (even in a moist environment).
So now between my aquarium, my paintings and decals in my bathroom visitors may begin to wonder about my obsession with reef fishes.