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Due to popular demand, the second edition of only 100 art prints of my Great Tailed Grackle has just been released at Etsy for a limited time.

Great Tailed Grackle art print by Shelly Bowen

Great Tailed Grackle art print by Shelly Bowen

The first edition of the Great Tailed Grackle was sold in November 2008. It is an original ink drawing I did of a texas bird printed on museum quality archival grade paper. See all bird drawings at my art shop.

No reproductions permitted. Rights remain with artist.

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Limited Edition Art Print of Billie Holiday Now Available to Public

Oil Painting of Billie Holiday by Shelly Bowen, available as print at Shellybees.com

Oil Painting of Billie Holiday by Shelly Bowen, available as print at Shellybees.com

The oil isn’t even yet dry — which made the professional photographer nervous — on my latest painting, this one a portrait of one of my favorite jazz singers, Billie Holiday. I listened to her throaty voice while I painted, and I think that really helped capture her essence. I think she’d like it, don’t you? (I threw a WATERMARK on the image of it above; it’s not there in the original art.)

Museum-quality prints on high quality art paper of the oil painting are now available at Shellybees.com — but only in limited quantities. I want to keep it special. Go here to reserve your art print of Ms. Holiday before they’re gone.

This print is part of an exclusive and secret project for ThursdayHappyHour.com.

I’d like to paint more jazz musicians — if you have a favorite and would like to make a request, do let me know!

Copyright (c) 2009 Shelly Bowen. All rights reserved.

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Print of jazz painting by Gary Allard

Print of jazz painting by Gary Allard

I’ve long admired this painting by Gary Allard of jazz musicians Miles Davis and John Coltrane. It’s got style, emotion, and vibe. And I’ve finally convinced him to give me permission to sell a limited quantity of archival prints at Shellybees.com.

Because this image is so powerful, I’m offering it at Shellybee’s as a LARGE print.

This print is part of an upcoming project for ThursdayHappyHour.com.

All images on this site copyright (c) Shelly Bowen. All rights reserved. Reproduction is NOT permitted.

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In response to my suggestion that you make a favorite person a T-shirt (and impress them with your creative genius) my friend wrote: “I got the most fantastic iron-on printer paper from Dharma Trading company. It’s super soft. I like it because I made the boys some t-shirts with basketballs and butterflies and rainbows and washed them a bunch so they look like old shirts – you can’t see the iron-on-ness of them at all. I also got some freezer paper and fabric ink but haven’t had a chance to break those out yet.”

This got me thinking — there are probably really cool art supply stores out there online that I don’t know about. What are yours? Add them to the comments below.

1. http://www.dharmatrading.com – Fiber Art Supplies and Blanks

2. www.dickblick.com – they have great sales; I shop here a lot

3. http://www.ecoartworks.com/ — anyone try this “ecoplanet” art store?

4.

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Party time -- what to bring?More than flowers, more than expensive bottles of wine, your sweetie/friends/parents want to know you’re thinking of them. Here are 5 ways to impress the heck out of them — while showing off your creativity, originality, and of course, generosity.

1. Next time you are invited for dinner or cocktails, bring the music. And make it indie. It takes just minutes to burn a CD of your favorite independent bands, and your host remember the gift long after the evening is over. And you’ll make the artist’s day. Believe me.

2. Inviting friends over for a get-together? Cover your walls with original art — or limited edition prints — to show off your great taste. Original pieces will spark conversations and show your support of independent artists. Find beautiful prints for under $50 at etsy.com:

  • Shellybee’s Art Studio (my shop) — limited edition prints of ink drawings that celebrate life and nature
  • Birdnerd — collages and linocuts prints of, what else?, birds; gorgeous
  • Karingrows — originals and prints of oceany women and birds; love it

3. Need a gift on a limited budget? Make something — or easier, buy something handmade for the most WOW factor. I’m biased — I love etsy for handmade. Bought my sister something there I can’t tell you about yet, because she hasn’t had her birthday yet. But I know she’ll love it. I’ve also shopped Shana Logic for some really cute indie stuff. You’ll make more than one person super happy.

4. For no reason at all, make your favorite person an art book. Or a calendar. Or a T-shirt. Just snap some creative digital photos of some favorite things or shapes or colors and go to:

  • Blurb.com or Lulu.com to make a book
  • Kodak Gallery or Cafe Press to make a calendar or T-shirt
  • Target and buy iron-on transfers to make your own T-shirts — I’ve made lots of onesies for friends’ baby showers with printable transfers (I know Target isn’t indie, but my friend works for corporate, and they really do do good things) and they just LOVe them

5. Send a letter. A well-though-out, just because I like you, snail mail letter — on stationary that you create yourself. Seriously, just draw something or patch some photos together. It’ll be so surprising and lovely — they will so love you. I use Overnight Prints.

Express yourself! Be unique! Be independent. And give it away.

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I’ve completed my Texas Trio of ink drawings — now showing at Shellybees.com — and shared them with two of my favorite artist friends. One said she loved the Great-Tailed Grackle drawing, and also the Papaya Passion from my Maui collection (of 2; the others flopped). She politely didn’t mention my Loving Longhorn.

Texas Duo of ink drawings by Shellybee\'s

And my Racing Armadillo hadn’t released yet. My other friend, who also happens to be my sister, and I were sipping bright-orange cocktails when I asked her about my Texas drawings. This was after her art opening at the Museum of the Living Artist in San Diego. Her family triptych was accepted. So you see why her opinion means more than just sisterly fluff.

“I love the bird,” she said, then glanced sideways.

“And the Longhorn?” I pressed, smiling, because I already knew, but I wanted her to say it.

“I hate it,” she admitted.

I waited.

She gushed: “It’s just so, I don’t know, it’s the composition, it’s elementary, I don’t like it.”

I laughed. What a fabulous strong reaction. I’d much rather love or hate than ambivalence.

So what do you think. Love it? Hate it? Is it the composition? The subject-matter? The color? Do tell!

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final ink drawing of grackle by Shelly BowenIn Austin, Texas, recently. Hot, friendly, beautiful. All the live music you can take in. And birds.

Stayed on Lady Bird Lake or “Town Lake” where I saw giant swans, hump-beaked geese, ducks, all sorts of tiny song birds, and the great-tailed grackle. The grackle looks like a skinning long-legged crow, and with a call that sounds much like the alarm of an infant, is considered a pest. But I found it’s defiance part of the scene.

So I put together this piece just for him. And for me too.

If you’re interested in the artist’s process, here’s a peak behind the scene …

Out hiking in the 98 degree June heat around the lake, I caught a mediocre photo of this guy, so cool and balanced:

photo of grackle \

He inspired me to sketch this — really from a combination of birds I saw throughout the city. Below you’ll see the pencil sketch and the inked version.

original sketch of grat-tailed grackle bird of texas

And finally, the new piece I totally didn’t intend on bringing home as a souvenir (see framed at top).

I really do like him. If you like him too he’ll be available soon as a limited edition in my art shop,
www.shellybees.com
.

original ink drawing of black bird \

All art copyright 2008 Shelly Bowen. No reproductions permitted.

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