Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And the Winner of my First ThanksGiving Giveaway is:

Update  January 25, 2010: For her miniature portrait our winner Assemblagequeen decided on one of her favorite cats: 
8 year old Tang Yin.
 Tang Yin is a Flame Point Siamese. Wat a beautiful Cat!

The finished product was a 2.5 by 3.5 inch watercolor on 300lb watercolor paper. Colors will be different due to darkness and settings of individual computer screens.
Thanks to everyone who participated.


How we choose the winner:
Well I had to come up with an really awesome way to choose the winner. So here is how we did it.
1..Each entries name was written on a piece of paper.
2.Then each paper was folded into indentical squares.
3.Then after getting Nika's attention and telling her to pick a winner for us. She in very excited fashion  watched as I threw the papers on the floor where she hopped down and picked  the one at random, and after careful consideration, that she wanted. Of course I had a bit of a struggle getting it away from her to see the name. She is now batting that very paper all around the studio and hall. She is a cat that really likes to play with paper.

So the winner is:
Remember you have until March 25th 2010 to use your miniature pet portrait. Contact me through convo in etsy please.

Everyone have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving! Thanks for participating!

Monday, November 02, 2009

My Very First Giveaway! Details below

 My Very First
Game and Give Away!
And This is perfect timing too because Christmas is just around the corner. 

This is very exciting!
All you have to do to qualify is play the game.
You will automatically have your name entered in  a drawing.
The Winner of the drawing receives a

Miniature Pet Portrait Watercolor Quick Study
 of the Pet of your choice.

How to Qualify:
Step 1. Go to my facebook page: Linda L.Martin Affordable Animal Portraits and Art.  

Step 2. Read the Description for the 11in by 8.5in Etsy Prints for November  and find the 2 misspelled words in the text.
Step 3. When you have found the 2 misspelled words in the "Etsy Prints for Novermber" post then go to my etsy store:  Convo me the 2 words.
Step 4.Your name will automatically be entered into the drawing for a free 2.5 by 3.5 inch Quick Study Watercolor Pet Portrait.*

This Giveaway offer is good from
November 1 through November 21. 2009 Midnight Pacific 

**Drawing will be made on Wednesday November 25th
Rembember to read the directions carefully and follow them to the letter, or you will be disquallified from the Game.(You can try as manytimes as you like in order to qualify, but only one entry per person will be in the drawing.)

Winner will be announced on:,

Directly to the Winner through ETSY convo.
Discount Only applies to items and conditions listed above for this Game.
*The winner must use the Pet Portrait By February 25th, 2010 or the offer becomes null and void.
"This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to LindaLMartinArtist and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for this game  and for possible other promotions in the future and will not be shared  or sold to outside parties."

Any Question Can be directed to me via

Office will be closed for Thanksgiving from Wednesday Nov25th through Friday Nov28th

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Finding our Market in Etsy: Whether we want it or not Change is what We Have

Finding our Market in Etsy or anyplace else for that matter.

Whether we want it or not, Change is what We Have.

I know how much the market has changed just since February 2009. The truth is people are being very careful how they spend their money. They are buying not out of surplus, like they were two years ago, but out of what they actually need. Those who have taken the handmade pledge understand that not only are people looking for something unique but something that will fill a void.

My problem is: how can I possibly sell a $100+ miniature for $5. The choice is: do you devalue your original work? Sell prints? or just change mediums until you find a way to feed the shrinking demand. Or do you box up all of your ACEO's and put them away until the economy gets better?

This morning I read something on Twitter that hit home: "I find what the general population needs and then I make it."~Henry Ford

The key to our success is not going to be giving up on what we are good at, but it will be finding a better purpose and diversifying our lines of products so they actually meet a need. (I’m still searching that out myself.) One of the greatest things about Etsy is this whole idea of repurposing. Of course I’m always shocked when somebody comes on here and spends 2 minutes sewing a little material puff ball then attaching it to a bobby pin and makes 100 sales in two months( saw that last night on Etsy too)

That same seller might double her sales if she
1. is using old goods she is recycling for the product and
2. is selling for a cause (and I mean a popular cause).
3. And by promoting that in key words she wins the search engine roulette and might even make it to the first page.

So what are we doing this for?
To make a living? put our kids or our self through school? to meet a need of someone else? Because we are greedy capitalists? Surely not the last (especially if you saw my electric bill last month.) For most of us this isn’t a hobby. Its a desire to be self-sufficient and to create, then share that creation with someone else. This for us is a way of life.

Its so easy to know what our own needs are but one of the keys is going to be finding our market and meeting the needs those buyers have. Im not going to make suggestions as to how to change anyone's direction. I think we each need to search it out ourselves.

It might be that the answer is not in the format but in the subject of our art. If you paint flowers.. search flower in “All items” on Etsy and see what comes up. Or go in a different direction if the market is saturated with little tiny art work maybe someone should come up with an idea to sell display or decorating ideas for those tiny works of art. ( you ever try to find frames for a ATC/ACEO?)

I can give you two clues right up front. Whatever we do
Our items have to be well done and Our items have to be unique.

On ETSY average usually does not sell well.

ETSY is probably never going to be the ultimate selling venue for everyone. However ETSY is an important tool in getting a well thought out program of salesmanship, craftsmanship and "needs met sales" in places to sustain us, enrich other people’s lives and in my case, I hope what I do blesses people too.

We should never put all our eggs in one basket, either with what we sell or where we sell. It’s too co-dependent and doesn’t give us enough options in case one or the other has slow sales for some reason.

Personally, I’m in a state of change. I’m even questioning my own ability to make good art, not because of the economy, but because of the stress it causes in not knowing what kind of income will be available in the next day, week, or month. Its distracting and crushes the creative spirit. Lets face it disaster is immediate but living after the disaster is moment by moment. We all feel it but we are doing our best to adjust to it.

I am inspired by what I see in the trends and the focus of young crafts people coming up. But I also realize that I must change my own perspective to adapt. What people wanted last year is so different. We will succeed if we figure it out. Search it out, Pray about it, read some good Etsy or online marketing books that show you how others adapted and succeeded. Don’t give up on what you do, repurpose it to meet a need no one else has even though of. But be frugal about your change. Don’t just throw everything you have behind a new idea.. Add to what you already have little by little. Sometimes its going to mean stopping what you are doing and taking a good look at what everyone else is up to that works.

Actually, I think we have to be patient and proactive and very flexible. We each have to make that choice though. Its easy to rush in head long and do the wrong thing that puts our self out of business. Its harder to be patient, but flexibility is the hardest because it makes us put aside our ego. The challenge is to have victory, not only over our situation, but over our preconceived notions as well.

Yes we can! We can make Etsy and our other combined business avenues work for us. But our philosophy might have to adapt to the times. Hang on Ladies this is going to be a wild ride!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Little Squirrel Came to Visit.. A teaching moment in my Backyard.

Well today was a lesson in life or death that I didn’t expect. And one with a very important lesson I never anticipated. This morning I was photographing the crochet hats I make. I thought I would try to sell some on etsy in My Wild Side store.

Part 1:

When I walked out the door on my deck I saw the old black and white cat sitting there. He is always out there someplace so I didn’t think too much of it. I noticed that all the bird baths were empty so I set my photo equipment down and went back into the house and came out to fill up the bird bath I keep on the porch.

Then I set to work photographing the first hat. When I was setting up the second hat something brushed past my leg. I looked down thinking it was the cat but nothing was there. I looked around and that cat was sitting in the bushes at the fence line. So I thought I dropped a hat. I looked down under the table and sitting there looking at me was a little baby squirrel.
I have seen them that small before. But I was concerned that he was a bit overly friendly and not fearful of me at all. He went over to the water. Then came over to me. Sometimes he would jump at me like he was playing with me. Then he would lay down on the deck and rest. We had a grand conversation. I wondered about his mother. This was her second litter this summer. She lived in the tree next to my deck. Sometimes she and her husband would leave me partially eaten walnuts on the deck rails.
I went into the house several times while he was there. I brought out a hand full of bird seed and put it there. He didn’t eat it. He just kept trying to get me to pick him up. I didn’t. He went over to the hose and would crawl in and out of it like he was playing. After a while finally he went over to the hose and started nursing it. That’s when I knew we were in trouble.

I told him to wait right there I would go get something for him to eat. I went in the house and since I haven’t a clue what baby squirrels eat, I thought maybe sugar water would be the safest until I could get him to a vet. When I came out of the house this time he had gone down off the deck and back to the tree. I put the plate down and slipped on my shoes. Instead of coming back to me he had given up on me as a food source and was considering his options. He could see the cat sitting there. He started over to the brush near the cat. The cat saw him. I shouted no . But the cat was being a cat. And by the time I got there it was too late. Bummer.
Part 2: The Lesson
So here is the lesson. In desperate times we search out help. We search out what we need to survive. Finally in the end we come to God. But the trouble is we get impatient. We want to take short cuts because we are afraid and desperate. We have no communication skills mostly because we haven’t been taught them.

I have a feeling that that little squirrel knew that I was a food source because probably in his mother’s squirrel way she had let him know. For two season’s now I had been providing food for that family including the little squirrel's spring sibling. Maybe she said “if you get hungry because we’ re gone too long go to the lady at the wood and flowers” or something like that .

Haven’t you heard your grandparents and sometimes your parents say it.. all nonchalant, like you aren’t going to use it really.. but just in case. They say “go to God”.
So they go to God when things get tough. They have never had a relationship with him. Never learned what he likes or dislikes; they just demand help, like little squirrels jumping at my legs “shouting feed me now “ in squirrel language.
I actually did everything I was capable of and in my power to help that little squirrel. However, the little squirrel being a wild thing had free choice. And because there were certain barriers to our communication such as him, not knowing how to communicate with me and me not being fluent in squrriel. He didnt know that I was not abandoning him. Had he understood that I was coming back and bringing him what he needed, he would have waited. He made the decision to not wait on me to bring him what he need. And then he went looking in the wrong place at the right time and came to the wrong end.
That’s what we do. Many of us have never been taught to wait on God. We have not been taught to understand him, we have not been taught to rest, we have not been taught to trust. And we have not been taught to hear his voice. We go in, demand what we want without having any sort of relationship or friendship with him and then we get impatient for him to act on our behalf. If he doesn’t move when we want him to, we just do it for him. And then we blame him because the desired outcome isn’t what we wanted. We always have really good excuses too. We go to God and get scared and don’t trust and then bam!
God ‘s word says they who wait upon the Lord shall rise up on wings, like eagles … rest in the Lord and wait for him to act, trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding… God even knows the little sparrow and what he needs, he knows the lilies of the field.. he dresses them.. and he has said we are more important and more loved than one of these.

In the coming years, maybe even days, some of us are going face some very difficult things. We might be in a position that we don’t have resources for food, companionship, housing, family, medical care. If we do not learn how to trust God when we have these things, we will become prey for those who would devour and enslave us.

Those who do not learn to trust God will become like Esau selling his birthright for a bowl of porridge because he was too weary to make it himself. He made a deal for his own comfort and sold himself in to a life of hardship. For some it will be death.
God loves us and wants us to come to him. He wants us to know him, to have relationship with him, so that when he speaks we can understand. So we know his promises to provide and return and can rest in those promises while we wait. When the waiting time is over, we will know it and be obedient to act because we know his voice.

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8
" For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Linda L Martin©2009 All electronic and world rights reserved.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Alternative Venues for Artists and Crafts people: Antiques Malls.

Figuring out Pricing and Sizes
for Art in Antiques and Craft Malls.

Ive been an Artist vendor in Antiques malls since 1994. Before that I knew other artists who leased spaces at these malls, painted there on the weekends, and eventually went on to own their own galleries.

Antiques and Crafter malls present a great opportunity for people who want to go into business for themselves mostly because they can start out small see what will sell and have a show case space to market their work.

Most of these malls require a lease and take a percentage. Usually they handle all of the money and collect taxes. Sometimes they require attendance to annual or bi-annual dealer meetings and participation in one or more publicised events per year, usually around Christmas time. Once you have fulfilled your contract obligations you receive a monthly accounting off all you have sold and are responsible for your own promotion and inventory. It can be amazing for someone starting out or someone like me who just likes the freedom.

Sizes that sell well:Size and price.. When you first go in to the perspective mall, walk around and see what other people are selling that is similar to yours and try to keep your prices at or near theirs. Of course if they are selling original Art for $5 or $10 dollars then that would be a problem. Of course I am assuming that both you as the perspective seller and the person selling have credible talent that will develop a following that will have their needs met by your creations.

There are sizes that usually sell well at a reasonable price for you to make money in this venue.
These are standard sizes:
2.5 by 3.5 inches ( Art trading card size) frames to 4 by 6 with a matt
4 x 6 inches frames to 5 x7 inches with a matt
5x7 inches. Frames to 8 by 10 with a matt
8 by 10 inches or 9 by 12 inches frames to 11 by 14 with a matt

Other sizes are with canvas or board you can rarely get a good price for larger paintings in this type of venue because everyone is looking for something inexpensive and hopefully cheap.
These are standard sizes for larger works: ( in inches)
11 by 14
16 by 20
18 by 24
24 by 30
30 by 36
Please keep in mind these sizes are expensive to frame but you can find used frames generally in these sizes then paint to fit the frame. I would keep these sizes to canvas or board because matting and framing a watercolor under glass in these larger sizes is really expensive.
There are also gallery wrapped canvases you can buy now that don’t need framing. You simply paint around the edges. These are great for keeping it simple.

If you want to matt your work for easy framing. You can sometimes find inexpensive matts at Wal-Mart to fit standard size frames. You can also find matts sometimes at places like the Dollar Tree ( if you have those where you are) at 2 matts for a dollar . If Matting is too expensive and makes too much over head then you can use these alternatives. Try to always get acid free matts and coverings. These will prevent a world of problems in the long term and protect the value of the painting

Make matts from
1. poster board ( white , black or other neutral colors ( you cant always get acid free poster board)
2. Watercolor paper : this makes a nice heavy alternative matt and you can paint it using inexpensive acrylic paint that you find at Wal-Mart or a craft store. ( almost all watercolor paper sold today is acid free)
You should keep an inventory of unframed but matted and backed art to sell in sizes 5 by 7 and 8 by 10. Some People love to look through little boxes or bins to see what inside. Its like a treasure hunt for them

An easy way to protect them is to use acid free Page protectors. You can get a package of them from Wal-Mart or Staples for a reasonable sum of money . A page protector will cover an 8” by 10 “easily. You can use clear packing tape to tape it closed. Along with the matted work of art you can also slip a piece of cardboard the same size as the matted art to keep it from bending when people look at it. You can slip your business card in side and a price tag taped to the front or back with seller id and everything. There is also shrink film you can get from an art supply store for larger works. The idea is to keep the elements off the painting so it doesn’t discolor it or allow humidity or oil from hands from devaluing the work.

Framed work:
Variety is the ticket and something unique that people won’t find anywhere else is the best way to go. I'm a great one to try to find great frames in odd places.

Sometimes dollar stores like Dollar Tree has tons of small frames. You can find them as small as 1” by 2” and up to 9 by 12. Sometimes they even come with matts for a dollar.
You want to have a selection of frames that can hang on the wall, as well as table top frames. The more unique the better. Remember to scour yard sales and flea markets for frames too.

Tips on frames:

* check the front and make sure there are not chips nicks or scratches. Unless the frame is old barn wood or from an old boat plank they won’t buy it if it looks damaged. That goes for chips in frame glass as well. It won’t sell if its broken.

* it’s better to get wood frames when possible .. there are lots of frames that you pay good money for that fall apart or you can’t put a wire on the back of because they are either hard plastic or they are pressed sawdust. It’s hard to put a good hanger on the back of one of these as they tend to break the frame.

* The preferred method of hanging a painting is using wire. That means putting screw-eyes on either side of the back of the frame and stringing wire between them. When done correctly the painting will always hang level ( sometimes even if the room isn’t) Always put little stick-on acrylic tabs to protect the walls on frame back bottom corners when they are made of metal or are over 8 by 10 in size.

When you get some money ahead, I would take a class at the local craft frame store to get some tips on things that will improve the professionalism of your display. This training is a legitimate business expense. Sometimes the way a painting is framed will sell it when no one is buying from other people.

Display to sell:

One of the things I have noticed is that these venues have a lot of repeat business. Sometimes they are just killing time, sometimes they are very serious buyers, and sometimes they are on a mission. You want to target the serious buyers and the trinket hunters. When I was selling a good deal these are things I learned:

1. Redo your entire space every week to 10 days. Its an old antique dealers trick I learned from a church friend in the antique buiness. It makes it look like you have completely new inventory.

2. Change out a quarter of your store space once a month. If something hasn’t sold in 6 months bag it up and store it away or put them in a different venue. But take a good look at them first, if they are really nice and no one Is buying then maybe you aren’t drawing the right market. If you have a huge following on FB, don’t forget to get a fan page together and a blog. Promote those items online and make special events happen even if the Mall isn’t having any. Its not what you are doing, but what you are seen to be doing that draws attention to your work. Social networking is really important these days because people now seem to buy because of relationship not just because of the quality or popularity of the work. Good work will sell its self, but you have to get the people there to see it first.

Sometimes putting an item away for 18 months and bringing them back with a completely different mix of items will sell them. I have one painting that I sold one or two prints from and could never sell the painting. Its an awesome painting. That painting keeps increasing in value and everyone who sees it raves about it. That’s the painting I need to keep until the right buyer comes. Every once in a while I will exhibit it. But I’m quite happy to have it in my living room until that time. You cant afford to have a lot of inventory like that. Don’t keep trying to ride a dead horse. If it isn’t selling, even if it is the best work you have every done, try changing subject matter to something else. Keep in mind too that the puppies that sold last month may not sell this month because you might have saturated your market. Its important to keep generating new clients as well as keeping the ones you have.

3. Have a huge piece art that draws attention and might be outrageously priced. Maybe a banner or poster one month, then a painting a couple of months later. Keep the patrons guessing.. it’s the drawing card that gets their attention. What ever you use try to look at what your neighbor vendors have and use something so different than what they have that people will be attracted to your space first. You may not sell your show case focus art in this venue, but if people like it, they will buy your smaller art. The big one pays for itself through the sales of the little ones.

4. Make your booth an adventure in discovery. The longer you can keep people in your space the more likely they are to buy something. The more of an adventure they find there the more likely they are to return for the thing that impressed them the most. Before the economy started going bad.. I could sell to 1 in 10 people that saw my work for the first time. 1 in 50 were repeat buyers. 1 in 100 would buy consistently and over a period of about 18 months would spend $500 or more dollars. That is a larger than average rate for most retail. I found out later that one framing shop in town attributed about 5% of their overall business to framing my little paintings that people bought. Remember also that an adventure does not mean it’s cluttered and too busy. If people can’t see it they won’t buy it.

Remember that an Antiques or Crafter Mall is on the same level as A Regional Art Show. The difference is that you have people coming to see your work everyday rather than just for a festival or event of one or two days.

In pricing their are rules:
::A painting is only as valuable as the price people are willing to pay.
::You can lower your price, but you can’t raise it once you put it in a venue.

So before you get in too deep study to see what other people in the mall are pricing the same type of things you want to sell . So that means look around and see what other people are selling things for. For instance if you are seeing original watercolor that is 8" by 10", then look at the quality.

Don’t be tempted to under price your work simply because another dealer is putting low prices on theirs. Their reasoning might be that they can’t sell it after two years, so they mark it down. It might be reasonable to put a $85 price on a 8 by 10 watercolor study, and even more reasonable to put a $200 price on a watercolor that has a lot of detail in it. But it might not be reasonable to put a $1,000 on the same painting, unless say, the Prince of Wales painted it. It would be just as foolish to put only $20 on the same painting because that wouldn’t cover your expenses and over head, not to mention your time.

In order to stay in business you need to make a profit. Any profit you make should go to investing back into the business until it stands on its own. Out of that profit you pay yourself, make improvements, buy new equipment, replace things.

Another thing to keep in mind is that an original painting should always be worth 5 to 10 times the price of a reproduction or print of that same or similar item. So when you are pricing things price them in relationship with both other items you are selling in your space and make them competitive with those around you.

Be sure you know the difference between a serious art seller and someone who hasn’t a clue. In this business you are going to be bringing people in from the outside so they need to see you are serious.

An amateur and high school students sells a 16” by 20” painting on canvas for under $50. An artist who knows the value of their work, someone just starting out, would sell the same painting for $400 to $600. An established artist with regional recognition would sell it for $800 to $3,000. A person with national recognition might sell the same painting for $5,000 and up, A person with world wide recognition would sell it for $10,000 and up. Remember though, the higher the price the fewer buyers there are that can afford to buy it.

It might be right to think at $10,000 you only have to sell 4 or 5 paintings a year but the thruth is you sill have to eat , pay the rent and buy art supplies while you are waiting to make the sale.

There are several layers of pricing I use:

Quick STUDY PRICING: these are simple paintings done quickly like loose watercolors usually in smaller sizes
My quick studies fall into this category. Its also the highest selling group.
You may want to start a little lower in price than mine are at first to build up your business.
I price watercolors like this: ( add 10% for acrylic and 20% for oils, for drawings I drop 1/5 of the price)
2.5" by 3.5" at $12.50 to $25.00 ( depending on the details)
4” by 6” is $20.00
5” by 7” is $30
8 by 10 is $45( I don’t usually paint quick studies in this size)

STANDARD SQUARE INCH PRICING: Work priced by the square inch and are usually actual paintings or drawings that have all the elements of a master work of art.. including a background, foreground interaction of subject with its surroundings, such as shadows, highlights, reflections etc, and sometimes even direct interaction with the viewer. If additional elements and subjects are added to the same painting then 30% of the base price is added for each element added.

Matting and framing are not added to the cost of the painting and would usually be the responsibility of the buyer if the work were a commission. I use this rule of thumb for framing. The cost of the frame should not be more than 1/5 the total cost of the painting.
SQUARE INCH Pricing ( frame and no matt..) just the painting .
This is a real painting.. meaning not a study, it has a background, a fore ground and 1 subject that interacts with either the viewer or its surroundings , shadows, reflections, highlights etc etc:
Drawings: $1 a square inch (graphite or ink or watercolors on lighter weight paper)
Watercolors or colored drawings: $1.50 a square inch ( must be on heavy paper to last)
Acrylic or Gauche paintings: $2.00 per square inch ( on heavy paper 300lb or more)
Acrylic or Gauche paintings: $3.00 per square inch ( on canvas or board)
Oil on gessoed paper: $3.00 per square inch
Oil Paintings: depending on the skill and experience of the artist $3.50 to $5.00 per square inch( canvas or board)
Miniature pricing is the exact opposite of standard pricing. The smaller and the more detail the more price it commands. And the pricing includes the frame as it is also considered part of the work of art. A true Miniature may not be framed larger than 5” by 5”
Example: 2.5” by 3.5” priced at $25.00; 2.25” by 3.25” will be priced at $50; 2.00 by 3.00 will be $75. For every quarter of an inch you go down add $25.00 then add the cost of framing.

Just so you know established Miniature artists get about $100 to $300 for a 2.5 by 3.5 original watercolor or oil painting so you can imagine what the price would be if it was 1” by ½ “ plus the framing
I hope this information helps some of you just starting out. Please feel free to post questions or email me at

All rights to this or anypart of this blog are strickly reserved by the artist. Please do not use without permission.LindaLMartin,Artist Copyright©2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Updates on Teens Opposing Poverty Painting

I have been having so much fun planning out and painting "The Orchard". I must admit it is going a little slower than I expected, but I am hopeful to have it finished by September 1.

Two of the newest elements that turned out really very good is the middle pony licking his lips and the brilliant orange tabby sitting up in the shade tree.
You can see the entire progression of the painting from layout to current by going to "The Orchard"
Several people have inquired as to how they can comission a painting for their church or ogranization. Simply email me at Write " comission a painting" in the subject line.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Real Miniature Pet Art by Linda L.Martin

I've actually been working in the Miniature Art format on and off for about 7 years. I started in 2002 painting landscapes in small format of about 4" by 3" before ACEO ( 2.5 x3.5 inches) or Art Trading Card(ATC) sizes became so popular. The smallest I have ever painted and sold is about 1/4" by 1/2 inch. They were little watercolor horses. The smallest oil paintings were about 1" by 2 " landscapes.

These are two from a series of goldfish and canaries I did in the winter of 2007. The largest was 8 by 10 inches. The smallest gold fish was about 1/4Th the size of these. They are matted with painted watercolor paper up to a ATC size so they will fit into a regulation sized sports card PH balanced PVC sleeve.

I have so many paintings right now that I have to number them to keep track of them all. I just got the partially finished inventory back from my assistant this week. So far we have documented 1600 plus paintings not including what has been sold over the last three years.
Anyway a group of us artists on Facebook were discussing mini painting a few weeks ago and I just found these today so I thought I would share them with everyone. Yes, they are available at $20 a piece. I think they will be rematted before I list them .. perhaps on etsy.
About the Paintings.
Goldfish #3106 Price: $20.00 US
by Linda L. Martin
22-12/16" by 1-1/4"

Canary #3085 Price $20.00 US
by Linda L. Martin
1-3/4" by 1-1/2"
For more information email me at or

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Going To Cape Hatteras and OBX this Summer?

I just had to share this with you! My childhood memories of OBX and some great merchandise from one of my favorite paintings of Hatteras Light.

One of my fondest memories of child hood was camping at the beach. One year, in the 1960’s we traveled all the way down to Cape Hatteras. I will never forget running on the beach at twilight with our dogs. My sister’s dog Toquin loved to run. He would run so far that we couldn’t see him anymore. I was afraid he wouldn’t come back. But dad said “watch he will come back”. That silly dog would return every time. He had a blast. He loved to run! I remember campfires and sing-a-longs, Staying up late when it was cool and sleeping when it was really hot. We were really crowded together on the weekends and stayed so long that we actually had tent neighbors we got to know quite well.

When a friend from down near the Outer Banks approached me about painting a series of Light houses in 2004, I was thrilled to do it.
Let Your Light Shine! These are wonderful designs based on a series of Hatteras Light that I painted in 2004 from photographs my friend had taken. I hope you enjoy these and share them with your friends.
And, hey, if you forgot to bring a souvenir back from your OBX visit,for your favorite aunt; Well consider ordering through my store hosted by cafepress. You can get there by clicking this link:
See the rest of my art at:
Dont forget to check out the Gift Shop!
Thanks for Stopping by!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

LLMartin House Cat Annie Products

Need some Gift Ideas?? Fill an Annie Toe Bag for under $100.00

Look at this wonderful house cat Annie.

I painted this watercolor in 2007 as a gift for a friend. Now Annie is the quintasential house cat that any house cat lover can relate too.

Annie has her own full line of products. Annie is ready to adorn your dresser with this wonderful little gift box, your arm with her Annie tote bag, your head with this wonderful annie cap in three colors to choose from and of corse a wonderful tee shirt that you can wear proudly. My favorite is the Annie Journal where you can write down your own cat stories or just your special private thoughts.

There are 36 products in the LLMartin's House Cat Annie store. You can mix them and match them for a wonderful birthday surprize or just a great gift grabbag for your special cat loving friend.

Shown Here:
Annie Totebag: $16.86
Annie Keepsake box $19.49
Annie Woman's Tee Shirt $19.49
Annie's Journal $12.29
Annie Round Ornament:$7.79

You can see all the LLMartin Designs on her website Just check out the Gift Shop link on the first page.
Follow me in Facebook: Linda L.Martin
or on Twitter: LindaLMartin

Need a pet portrait? Write me at

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cafe Press and Merchandizing

I feel like I have been planted in front of this computer for days. It amazes me how many designs can come from one painting. And I am sure that within the limits of the programs available to me to manipulate the images I might not have found them all yet.

I must say it has been lots of fun. I have 11 of them up. That is to say it is recommended that we have 50 pages of 50 products with our designs. So that is basically 50 design themes. What a challenge. However I have plenty to work with, as my assistant

Today after about 4 days of wonderful soaking ran I choose to work on one of my Blue Ponies. This one is called Runnin’ Blue. Runnin’ Blue was originally exhibited on line as a sand pony in the Crazy Horse Collection. There are actually two of these sand ponies. But Runnin’ Blue is my favorite, so of course I picked him to use as the basis of the designs first.

The more I thought about Runnin' Blue the more I thought about the ponies I had been around in my twenties. These are hard working ponies, who spent hours patiently teaching young children how to respect horses and care for them while having fun. Then on their day off instead of complacent slow plodding animals they stand for a moment before the gate. The take off once that halter is removed. Its their version of the weekend. They Stretch, roll, race, eat and anything they want to do, they do it. Freedom! That moment when every pony was out there just doing what ponies do and enjoying it. As we all know a little freedom never hurt anyone.

Check out the new Runnin' Blue designs at :
Or checkout the entire collection so far at and click the gift shop link.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Update on "THE ORCHARD" Painting for Teens Opposing Poverty

This is a close up of the apple truck. I have to say I thought it turned out really cool. You can see more details of the progress of "The Orchard" the painting for Teens Opposing Poverty at "The Orchard" on my website.
Also dont forget to check out Teens Opposing Poverty at

We are what we seems like truth but sometimes it isnt.

This is what a twitter I follow posted this morning: "As intercessors, He has called us Not to wonder about the future, but to create the future." Francis Frangipane

As an artist I create my interpretation of the world around me; as a prophetic artist I create the world as I see it with my heart and sometimes what it could be. I was inspired once to write fiction. In fiction, I took what I knew about the world and wrote it the way I wanted it to turn out. The problem is always cause and effect. You want the world to be beautiful, and kind, and nurturing. But most of the time we speak things that are the opposite. And we take those murmurings and turn them into a reality that we call truth.

Many years ago I was covering the Preakness Stakes. I personally was there for one reason: to report a history making race. From start to finish I wrote one of my best racing stories. It just so happened that there was a huge power outage that day. The press booth, crowded with international reporters, was an oven. The elevators were not working. The only way out was down 5 stories of stairs, with no emergency lights. Tempers were flaring everywhere except the infield. (They had generators and ice and tents for the VIPs)

I made my way perilously down the stairs with out a flashlight and back to the barns. I ended up watching the race on a monitor with the guys from ESPN. Now how cool was that!And I took down first person quotes as the trainers and owners brought their horses back to their stalls after the race. It was a record breaking day with crowds. I never would have made it back to the barns had I not been there when the race finished. Grant it it, wasn't the best of days; however, I choose not to mummer. I chose to do and say all that was necessary to make it a good experience and a good story.

As it turned out, I was the only writer there that day that wrote a positive story about the experience. It was a memorable day. I probably wouldn't choose to go through again, but It was still a positive experience even with the hardships.

I think we complain and mummer too much sometimes. While we are looking at how bad things are, we forget that we still have control over making things better than they seem. We can only do that by our attitude and by what we say. As an intercessor I should indeed be speaking Life and hope and peace and encouragement and nurturing into every event and every thing that is around me. Especially in these days of confusion and uncertainty. I choose to create rather than kill, I choose to make life rather, than kill dreams. I choose to give hope, rather than bring despaired. I choose to keep my eyes on God, rather than on circumstances I can do nothing about.

In 1998 our family took its last vacation together. My father had been to the doctor and there was a lot of worry because we didn't know yet what kind of cancer he had. My dad wanted to show the youngest girls his childhood home and the girls wanted to visit Chincoteague. Talk about storms.. The entire time we were at the shore a huge Hurricane was baring down on the east coast of Virginia. After a few days at Chincoteague we were heading down across the bay bridge toward Virginia Beach to see Dad's sister. We stopped at one of the rest stops in the middle of the bay. The tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. And it was made worse by the fact that surrounding us was boiling ocean and driving rain and the gusts were 40mph an hour.

Dad asked one of the bridge keepers " so does the water ever get high enough to flood the tunnels." I think dad was hoping the man would say no. But the guy said yes. The water of the bay was about 15 feet from the bottom of the bridge and yes the water goes up over the bridge and right down into the tunnels because of the storm surge. He said but don't worry if the wind gusts get up to 50 mph they will close the bridge. The next question dad asked scared him and he rushed us all right out to the car. It seems that if you are at the rest stop in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay during 50mph winds or higher they make you stay at the rest stop until the storm passes. Dad wasn't relishing the idea of having his whole family washed out to sea because we were stranded at the rest stop or drowned in a tunnel.

The storm chased us all the way to Virginia Beach and the next day to York Town were we were very close to being washed into the York River at one point. As we headed to Williamsburg our whole family was in misery. We were snapping at each other, the tension was terrible. My sister was driving and we wanted to go on the Williamsburg Parkway but we kept turning down wrong roads.
Finally out of a clear blue sky my dad said something totally inane, really sarcastic and extremely funny. It was vintage dad. I don't even remember what he said. Just that the shock of hearing my dad be my dad stopped everyone cold. Where there was pandemonium and noise you could almost hear a pin drop. Suddenly and simultaneously the entire family burst into laughter.

For the first time that whole trip, because my dad was the leader, he set the tone, he was strong, he was powerful he was dad and he wasn't going to let a hurricane, cancer, or being lost in traffic mess up his good time, or ours.

I remember saying. " Gee, Dad I wish you had said that about 4 days ago." And from that moment on we got along, we laughed, we joked. Before we drove home we took the little ones to the Mall in Williamsburg. And we toured Williamsburg Pottery. What could have been the most horrid family vacation ever, turned into one of the best.

Here is a truth we can all hold on to: in the mist of the storm, life threatening troubles, stresses of the unthinkable, one person, speaking life into a situation, can change everything.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Little practice Time: Apple Trees

I spent a little time the last few days working on my apple trees. The result was a few little blooming apple trees with small farm animals. I have currently posted a couple of them on eBay for sale. The first is are two palamino ponies standing infront of the apple tree. The second is two little pigs in front of an apple tree. Enjoy them.!! They can be purchased on eBay.

Rembermber these Little paingings are standard ACEO 2.5 by 3.5 inches and they are Highly collectible minatures.
These were practice for The Orchard painting I am currently working on.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Update On The Orchard

Check out the latest work on The Orchard. I am still working on the background. This is the painting that will be going to Teens Opposing Poverty when its finished. Click here To find out more about Teens Opposing Poverty and how you can help this wonderful cause.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Orchard: A Painting for Teens Opposing Poverty

The Orchard is a unique modern day interpretation of the story of Jesus and the Children in Luke 18:16 "But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." The painting is set is an apple orchard, very similar to those found in the Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, especially around Warren, Fredrick and Clark Counties who are famous for their apple orchards. Currently a work in progress, The Orchard is a 24" by 30" painted with acrylic polymer on canvas by artist Linda L. Martin. This painting is destined for Teens Opposing Poverty. (more info to come on this very worthy organization) The artist is known primarily for her horse and companion animal portraits and her paintings of Virginia Country Life.
Photo by Mary Tayne
stage 1: The background is nearly complete

Follow the development of the painting here, with updates on ,
Linda L.Martin Affordable Animal Portraits and Art on Facebook and follow LindaLMartin on Twitter. Pass the word along to all your friends!!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Question of the Week:What does your favorite color say about you?

I belong to a group in Facebook called: Christian Blog and Podcast. Each week the blog owner, JoJo poses a question for discussion about communication.

This week is telling something about each other by the color we choose to represent our selves i.e. our favorite color.

I had to think about it a while, because as an artist I dont just deal with simple color, I deal with color pallets. I do have some that I favor over others. Winter earth tones for examble are usually a mixture of colors we could consider neutral. lots of ochers, siennias and umbers, cobalts, pthao's ultramarine with a variety of whites. When it snows things perk up a bit. And we move to a lot of violets, blues and whites. Occasionally after a snow storm there is a sunset so brilliant in pinks, oranges and golds that you cant imagine any chemist making that color combination. Another way to perk up the drab monotonous tones is such a wonder to me at times. God colors the birds to give a bright spot in the darkness: Gold finches , Cardnials, Purple finches and a variety of Woodpeckers with spots of yellow or red.

So having said all of this I truely think it hard for me to choose simply one color. But as near as I can tell it would be Fuchisa. Fuchisa is that color half way between Red, and a mixture of White and Purple.. that is both warm and cool. It is too dark for pink, too pink for red, too red for purple and too cold with its touch of blue to be warm. When I think of it in terms of color theory it is a accent color. Like little red birds dancing about a winter picture. It compliments greens in the summer and spring by dotting it randomly about a painting you can create the illusion of birds and life thorughout a predominatly green landscape painting. You can use it as dots on the inner part of animimal eyes or people eyes to give them an illusion of life.

Also since it is a mixture of all colors it is the sum of its part. Red the blood of Jesus Shed for our sins, Blue life giving water that washes away our sins, and the word that transforms our minds into his, mixed together they make purple wich is wisdom and royalty, handed down through spiritual knowledge of who Jesus is and why he loves us and how it should help us view the world. White is a mixture of all colors, the relationship between us and each other and God himself. It is the White that tempers the red and the touch of blue to make the color seem more gentle, yet inviting and brighter.

I think what my favorite color says about me is that I am a complicated mixture of all of my parts. One person sees me and thinks I am one way, usually because that they see something familure to them, and another person will see me another way and think something different for exactly the same reason. Fuchsia is fun, bold, vibrant,it irritates the senses of some, is taken for grant-it by many, it is often rejected because it seems to over power or seems out of place. Many times its importance is over looked entirely until its gone. Then no one really knows what is missing unless it is added later by someone who understands its signifigance and places it appropraitly.

I do not think that I would paint a whole painting in Fuchsia but with out a little touch of it here and there the vibrance and sparkle of a work of art would be missing. Like an artistic dej vu. You know everything looks right but until its applied there is no life.

A Fuchsia person is ofter avoided, overlooked, seen to be intimidating and wanting control but really they just want to give love and be loved. When you realize your possition in Christ, believing him, loveing him and understanding that all these things are strengths for your assignment; then you are willing to wait on him and yield to his ways, his voice. When you learn to rest and not to move until he tells you to he will use this bold beauty to minister to the needs of others, to be his voice on so many levels and bask in the love he created you in. It can be and is a very very amazing journey.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

LLMartin Affordable Pet Portraits and Animal Art On Facebook

Affordable Animal Portraits are now on Facebook.

You can now search me on Facebook. Just look for Linda L. Martin. I also have a page on Facebook. If you love pets especially cats and dogs please become a fan of my page: Linda L.Martin Affordable Animal Portraits and Art
Also dont forget to check out the Retrospective of Horse paintings and other features of my website :

My current special is:

a 5" by 7" watercolor single animal pet portrait for $29.95 (plus $3.50 for S&H )

For other great deals check out my auctions on Ebay. Just search LLMartin on ebay and current auctions as well as My online ebay Store will come up.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Winter Move

A note to all my friends, customers, and patrons,
After much thought I have decided to take a break from exhibiting my work at The Shoppes of Culpeper. After January 31st we will have moved all of my Art out. The reason is purely an economical move to take a rest from the rigors of managing a space so far from home and also to look for a new gallery space closer to home. I do hope to return to The Shoppes in a few months and will announce it here. In the mean time If you are reading this and want to see my work It will be there At the Shoppes of Culpeper until January 29th, 2009. Most items offered are are reduced in price up to %30. including 9 x 10 prints and blank note cards. Thank you so much for your patronage and support.