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world horses by E.C. Sullivan © 2016 E.C. Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.

So you had a thriving creative business going (I had both art and music) and this corona plague came along and the government shut you down. I don’t think any of us were prepared for that, as I don’t think any of us have lived through times like these.

I had several different sources of income – fine art sales, teaching art classes, commissions for public art (murals and sculpture) and I was actually making the most money playing music gigs. Suddenly all the music venues, art galleries, art shows, art classes, and yes, even the public art commissions I had won and was about to start, were closed down. March 7 was my last gig.

I was so angry I wanted to throw something. I just got angrier and angrier. Which, of course, didn’t do any good at all.

Right now the world needs art and music more than ever before. Anything you can do to make people smile. I started a YouTube channel and put my music online. On facebook, too. Made a website for music. And let me tell you, this was a big deal for me – I didn’t know how to do any of that before! I’m 71 years old and learning to create a youtube channel was quite a feat. (The Bess and Mike Show on Youtube.)

I’ve been painting – I’ve been posting new and old paintings all over the place online. I’m going to paint a mural on the fence at my house. I created an art gallery in my house that will open as soon as people are allowed to gather again.

I’ve taken several online classes. I was invited to perform on a famous YouTube channel – that was a hoot. We had an online tip jar which actually netted us about $500. Not as much as we would have made performing regular gigs, but imagine that – people liked our music so much that they gave us tips! I’m floored.

I have my little small town projects, too. I planted more in my garden so I can give some away. I have chickens so I gave away eggs. I have an incubator which has now been running full time for almost 9 weeks. I’m hatching out chicks, because now my neighbors want to keep chickens, too. I’ve given away chicks to two neighbors who are first time chicken keepers and I have a waiting list for the next two batches to hatch in the incubator.

The game now has got to be how can you help? How can you make people smile? How can you spread a little joy and bring some beauty to the world? This pandemic will be over one day and what will be your legacy? You can do something about it, and you can help others get through and you can bring joy to the world.

Wild Spirit Artworks

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3 Tips from Chuck Rosenthal Fine Artist

Being a good painter is not done because of accidents. You need to pass through lots of challenges, trials, practices, and failures. To help you in painting, here are Chuck Rosenthal Fine Artist three simple yet valuable tips that you must always remember as you go along your journey in painting.

Light Controls Everything

You must have been thinking of the best materials to use in painting and must have bought very expensive ones just to be sure to have a great outcome. However, the expensive items will turn out to be worthless if you cannot imagine how the lighting will be on your painting. You must understand that everything in the painting depends mostly on light. The absence and the presence of it control everything. Light provides glow to your painting. The objects will appear gloriously with the appropriate lightings. Using the best angle for lighting, the viewers will experience a very tremendous impact. This is the first thing noticed by viewers and this entices them to look closely and longer at the painting. Your work will not appear dramatic as it is, not until you will paint the right light within it.

Color Matters Greatly

Colors highly influence the overall impact of the painting. There are pieces wherein the color enhances the message to make it clearer. It can describe a scene that other aspects find hard to show. The color used in painting plays a major role. It can harmonize, it unifies a scene, it produces rhythm, it shows a clear visual path, and it creates emphasis. The colors can be greatly shown using the right kinds of brush as well and the appropriate strokes. The best way to understand the value of colors, and how to use them in a painting, is by studying and practicing what the different colors are and what will happen if colors are mixed up. You can learn different combinations of the color wheel and try new ideas for color combinations in your paintings.

Aim to Improve

There is no such thing as steady best painter. All painters grow with each new painting. If you can’t seem to get a particular effect that you want, practice till you get it. Keep learning – read books, watch videos on Youtube, look up definitions of words so that you understand – it’s a continuous process. When you achieve a painting that is the best one you have ever made up, try to surpass that quality. Aim higher. Compete with yourself.

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Viewpoint and Appreciation

Viewpoint and appreciation

Imagine two lifelong friends, Bill and bob. They grew up together, shared many adventures and were as close as two men could be as true buddies, like brothers.  They bought houses next to each other and their kids played together.

One day Bill found a pebble lying in the grass alongside the sidewalk as he and Bob surveyed their newly mowed lawns. He picked it up, felt its weight and its smoothness. He held it up to the light and noticed the way the light reflected off of the rounded surface on one side and how a rainbow of colors emerged when he held it in a certain position.

He smiled while holding the stone this way and that, getting different colors as he did so. Something within him relaxed as he absorbed the feeling he sensed gazing at the two inch particle of nature he held between his forefinger and thumb. He thought of how this rock was born, beginning with the fusion of particles through heat and pressure, perhaps thousands of years ago, and wondered why it gave him this mellow and happy sensation, just holding it and looking at it. The stone became more and more real as he rolled it around between his fingers and felt it grow warm in his palm.

“Hey Bob, check this out, man.” He handed the stone to Bob, who glanced at it and handed it back. He said, “It’s a rock, man, nice rock, smooth.”

Bill felt odd. There was a slight invalidation as his sense of values and worth of the stone stood trembling on the edge of “throw it away, it’s just a rock,” or “I see something I have never seen before, feel something new, and it is real.” Bill let out a breath he had been holding since he handed the stone to Bob. It breathed out any of the old Bill, who had always played the “agreement to not be different than others,” and he felt a natural sense of personal integrity and honor, to know that if it is true for me it is true, not what others say is true. This stone is beautiful, and if he can’t see it, it is his problem.”

At that moment Bill lifted his eyes to his environment and saw it all in a different light; it took on a new dimension of livingness he had never seen before. Bob couldn’t see this dimension. He was blind to it.  Bill felt an instant sadness for Bob. But Bill had a new life. He now had a new world to explore, and Bob couldn’t explore it with him, but Bill couldn’t stop grinning. He had perceived the new dimension of beauty, aesthetics and art. And now he wanted to see, to learn, to know more about this, whatever it is. He knew it had worth beyond any accounting, and he could share.

Bob said, “dude, what’s with you, why you grinnin’ like your face gonna break?”

“No worries, Bob, no worries man.”

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Chuck Rosenthal Six Techniques for Still Life Oil Painting

Chuck Rosenthal FIne Art copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved

If you want to create a good painting, you must be very careful with the details, especially if you plan to make still life oil painting. Here I will introduce to you the techniques on how to make your painting satisfying in the end.

1. Take time to examine your object.

You must lay put your object in the right place with the correct lighting. If needed, you can make a setup box with a side hole to enable little light to pass through. You can also take photographs of the object so you can examine it clearly to ensure you have just the right lighting effect that you wish. With Still Life painting, do not rush this process.

2. Use a pencil to begin.

A smart move to do before applying oil paint is to make a fairly detailed pencil drawing. This is where you can freely adjust the measurements of the object you want to paint. You can use rulers to measure distance and size. Just remember to remove the excess lines that are not needed in the final drawing since the graphite might contaminate the oil paint.

3. Diluted Oil Paint

To create a still life painting of objects, you must first fill in the backgrounds instead of making the object first using a diluted oil paint. This is because if you do otherwise, the object might seem to float. You can use a soft-haired brush to create a film background layer. You can also use the same oil paint for the objects.

4. Undiluted Paint

After the layer using diluted oil paint, you may now use undiluted oil paint using colors that are quite similar to the diluted oil paint you have used. This is used to remove unwanted brush strokes to create a smoother effect. You can add more details to this part then. You can use a palette knife and coarse brushes if you want to create a thick paint, where necessary. You must remember not to continue with this new layer without drying the previous layer.

5. Add the final layer.

You need to build up liquidity and transparency to the painting so you must add a lot of mediums into it. It will result to subtle gradients. You can use ½-alkyd medium in combination of ½ linseed oil.

6. Final Retouch

You can add retouching glossy varnish to finish your work of art. However, remember to wait after a week of drying your painting before applying this layer. Once you apply the glossy varnish, the next one need to be applied after 6 months or so. This enables the surface quality to regain its original look.

These techniques will surely make your work of art amazing in the end. You just have to follow it carefully. When you get practice with the different techniques, you can expect to have great results. When you have it, you will grow more as an artist.

Chuck Rosenthal Fine Art

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Sail On Silver Girl

After my Mentor, Ralph E. Grimes, got me rolling with my art and learning about The Arts, he often mentioned my rapid progress.  Each week we would meet, listen to classical or jazz music, discuss the problems encountered and work out handlings.  After a while of doing this, Ralph bade farewell at the end of each meeting with “Sail on Silver Girl.”

Ralph’s method of mentoring was from the Old School of Validating the Rightness.  This method is the fastest route to helping creative and talented folks to succeed. I always felt as if that particular method of mentoring was pure magic as I went from sketches to professional paintings in a matter of months without once taking a painting lesson!

Bridge Over Troubled Waters by Paul Simon is about providing comfort for someone in need which is very applicable to this type of mentoring which is a Friend and Guide using the Validate the Rightness Method.

To me the “Sail on Silver Girl” verse of Bridge Over Troubled Waters had a very special meaning, especially the lines “All your dreams are on their way, See how they shine.

I’ve continued the tradition of mentoring artists with the “Validate the Rightness” method now for twenty years!  In all that time, I’ve never received a negative comment!  And, when my artists start taking off on their flight to success, I bade farewell at the end of each meeting with “Sail on Silver Girl” (or boy).

Here’s Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel from the concert in Central Park:

“Bridge Over Troubled Water”

When you’re weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all
I’m on your side
Oh when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you
I’ll take your part
Oh when darkness comes
And pain is all around

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on, silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
Oh if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind


You can find me at ILIA LIFE and Help-2-Succeed.


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What’s a Giclee Art Print?

The Giclee (jhee-clay) print is the highest quality print available today. The word Giclee is a French word meaning `to squirt. The process is a type of digital printmaking that CANNOT BE DUPLICATED by other printing techniques. Because there is no visible dot screen pattern the resulting image has all of the subtle tonalities of the original art.

The image is created by a digital printer’s tiny ink jets, guided by a computer, that spray millions of droplets of water-based ink directly onto fine archival canvas, known as the “substrate.” Gicleés are produced one at a time, and, depending on the size and intricacy of the image, can take two hours or more for each print. The combination of special inks and substrates are carefully selected which assures maximum print longevity and exquisite visual quality. Thus producing exceptional museum quality prints.

This is a digital printmaking technology with great advantages in beauty and durability. The printer can achieve a true reproduction of an original in any size up to 5 feet, printed on archival canvas or portrait linen. The digital files are worked using sophisticated graphics software to fine-tune the images. New inks used in Giclee printing have the longevity of watercolor paints. The museum quality Giclee has the same appearance as the original and when framed cannot be distinguished from the original.

Although prints can be made on paper, Giclees can also be printed on canvas or fine-quality portrait linen so that they may be framed as oil paintings, without glass.

Dozens of museums have mounted exhibitions or purchased Giclées for their permanent collections. These include The Metropolitan Museum (New York), the Guggenheim (New York), the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston), the Philadelphia Museum, the Butler Institute (Youngstown, OH), the Corcoran (DC), the National Gallery for Women in the Arts (DC), the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts (DC), the Walker Art Center, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, the New York Public Library Print Collection, the High Museum (Atlanta), the California Museum of Photography, the National Museum of Mexico and the San Jose Museum, among others.

The Giclee can be shipped unframed, both to hold down the shipping cost and to allow you to choose your own frame to fit your home or office decor.

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Notes on Copying

Of course, you do not want to copy other artists’ work. Besides violating copyrights, it’s just unethical.

But why not learn from copying? Many artists paint old masters paintings just to learn how to do it. And you do learn a lot. As long as you aren’t selling it, or passing it off as a real old master, you’re good.

But another way of learning from copying is to paint photographs. You take the photo, so it’s your copyright, and no problem. There are a number of ways to do this. You can paint or draw by just looking at the photo and putting it into paint and paper or canvas. You’ll learn a lot from doing that. But most new artists who try that just give up and say they don’t like their own painting.

In order to teach one of my grandsons some art lessons I got him a “light table.” The one I got cost about $10 and it is a very thin piece of plastic which plugs into a computer port and lights up. Then you put your photo or whatever you want to copy on that and a blank piece of paper on top and the light shines through and you can draw outlines and shading of your subject.

The grandson has been very enthusiastic with it – he’s done about 30 drawings of things he would never draw just off the top of his head. And the result is that now he knows how to draw them.

I just recently tried it out myself, and it’s so much fun, I can’t get enough. I’ve been drawing faces and buildings and although I paint these subjects without the “light table” I have learned a lot about the details that go into making a good drawing by using it.

Think it’s cheating? Well, old masters had their little shortcuts, too. Look up camera obscura (“Camera obscura, also referred to as pinhole image, is the natural optical phenomenon that occurs when an image of a scene at the other side of a screen is projected through a small hole in that screen as a reversed and inverted image on a surface opposite to the opening.” –Wikipedia.) It was used to make drawings for paintings back before cameras. Tools of the trade.

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Masterworks of light and shadow by Chuck Rosenthal

When you see the still life painting by Chuck Rosenthal titled “Fruit Harvest #5” at his website gallery, it seems as though you can feel the textures.  Of course, if you touch the painting, you will only feel paint, but the thick, rough gold and purple cloth with smooth, cool purple grapes resting on it, brings up the feelings in the mind.  The artist’s concept and execution of the painting is very real.

A Rosenthal still life is a masterwork of light and shadow, contrast of color and texture.  To fully get the idea, you have to see the paintings. His comments on his own still life work were, “My preference for still life is in the fact that I am in complete control of the placement of the elements and the light. I am influenced by very good painters when I seek to do anything. I picture the works that they have done and try to keep in mind those really fine works that I have seen when I’m working. I’m always looking for contrasts.”

He says he is continually looking for things that are “visually exciting.”  That could include people or landscapes and the way the light falls at a particular time in a particular kind of weather.

When asked what inspires him to paint, the artist said, “Contrasts; light and shade, contrasts of form (e.g. a broad, nondescript stretch of sky with strong geometric shapes silhouetted against it), counterpoint in the composition, subtleties of light, atmospheric effects on objects and in general, strong drawing, objects receding into shadow and then erupting into the light.”

In 1963 Chuck Rosenthal set out to become a commercial artist. He studied at the National Academy of Design in New York City. He wanted to learn how to draw in order to do illustrations, but three months of study caused the idea of commercial art to go out the window and he decided to pursue fine art. Part of this decision was due to his teacher and mentor, Morton Roberts, who was an excellent illustrator and fine artist himself.

Many awards came his way for his artwork while he was at the National Academy. A scholarship to the academy and the Dr. Weller student prize were at the top of the list. In 1968 he gained membership to America’s oldest and most venerated arts and letters club, the Salmagundi Club, through efforts of another of his teachers, Daniel Greene.

Since the year 2000, several awards at local art shows have come his way, including two first places and a third place. One of his paintings hangs at Clearwater City Hall. His pastel work of a local landmark, Clearwater Memorial Bridge was selected for an international juried competition.

Several of his paintings are on exhibit at the Park Place Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri.  You can see his present works on his website Chuck Rosenthal Fine Art.



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The Cur Dogs Snapping at your Heels

Some people thrive on criticism. The giving part, not the receiving part. Artists are a target for such characters, because artists are trying to communicate aesthetically and because they have put themselves in the spotlight, so to speak – they are easy targets. Don’t let the critics get you down.

Easier said than done. I know some very competent artists who will not put their work in front of the public for fear that someone will criticize it. The fear of invalidation is too much, so they invalidate themselves.

You know you are a creative person. You know your art, music, theater, whatever your field, is good. You know it can make a difference in someone else’s life, bring enjoyment, make people smile, make people feel better simply because you communicated through your art. Never invalidate yourself. And you will then be able to ignore/squash those who try to invalidate you. These people are merely cur dogs snapping at your heels. Don’t throw them a bone by feeling invalidated by their snapping.

One artist I know used to cut up the rejection letters she got from art shows, put them in a blender with some water and make lovely hand-made price tags for her art out of the resulting pulp. Then she sold her paintings at the next show. Whatever makes you feel better.

The best way to overcome the invalidation is to just go out and sell your paintings, music, whatever art you do, in spite of all. To alter an old saying, those who can, do and those who can’t, criticize. Know that the critics who invalidate cannot do what you do.

As I note, I am not referring here to people who pass up your artwork to buy from another artist. That’s their opinion, and they just liked something else better. They are usually kind, but sometimes they need something to match the drapes and yours did not match the drapes. But plenty of people will like what you do and pass up some other artist.

We are all critics to one degree or another – different folks like different things. Put your art out there, and the people who feel as you do will come. And you can bask in the joy of knowing that something you created is gracing the living room of a home you have never even seen.


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Lucie Bilodeau Fine Artist – Published Works

Lucie Bilodeau, ArtistLucie Bilodeau’s interest in art started at the age of 7. At 14, she became a student of Mission: Renaissance School in Montreal, Canada, to be taught the traditional fine art skills. There she took a series of 6 courses. Among these was an in-depth study of the masters: Rembrandt, Monet, Manet, Cezanne and Fantin Latour.

Ms. Bilodeau has distinguished herself by competing for 6 years in the “Cercle des Artistes Peintres du Quebec National visual art competitions”. By the age of 23, she had won 8 national awards. Also by that age, she won 2 International awards at the International Art Guild Competition in Florida. The International Art Guild was founded in Scotland.

"Exploring" by Lucie Bilodeau
Lucie Bilodeau painted “Exploring” (8 in by 14 in; oil on canvas) after being inspired by a 2-month-old black and silver–spotted Bengal kitten at a local cattery; she loved how curious and inquisitive the kitten appeared. As seen in the cover art, Ms. Bilodeau enjoys capturing the essence and beauty of wild and domestic animals.

In 1995 Ms. Bilodeau was one of the judges for the 11th Annual Judged Show of the Marathon Art Guild, in Florida. Four years later, she was one of the three judges for the Pigeon Key Foundation’s Fifth Annual Pigeon Key Art Festival, in Florida.

"New Generation" by Lucie Bilodeau
“New Generation”, oil on canvas, 24 inches x 32 inches, by Lucie Bilodeau. Completed in April 2012. Just licensed to The Canadian Group (TCG) for flat 2D puzzles.

Using publication services and ads, she got a contracts with Sagebrush Fine Art plus many other publishers and magazines.  Since 1990, many of Lucie Bilodeau’s works have been published as prints, fine art limited editions, greeting cards, puzzles, decorative tiles, counted cross-stitch designs, calendars, and many other products by different publishers and companies, including Sagebrush Fine Art, Pumpernickel Press, Evergreen Enterprises, Mega Brand America, Bits and Pieces, Sunsout and Pine Ridge Art.

"Tawny Eagle" by Lucie Bilodeau
“Tawny Eagle” is an oil on canvas, 24 inches x 11 inches. It was inspired from a picture Ms. Bilodeau took of a beautiful Tawny eagle during a safari in Tanzania, Africa.

The artist’s painting “Young Lion” was featured on the cover of the Wildlife Art magazine, March/April 2003 edition.  “Exploring” made the cover of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA), for the March 2016 publication.

Her painting “Carefree” was made into a 300 large pieces puzzle by Sunsout.  Her painting “In a Safe Place” was licensed to The Publishing House “Prof-Press”, Ltd for flat 2D puzzles.

Many of Ms. Bilodeau’s works can be found in corporations and private collections around the globe, including England, France, Russia, Germany, Japan, Australia, United States and Canada. She has been represented by fine art galleries since 1989.

You can view the art of Lucie Bilodeau at

Find out about Licensing her works.

Become a fan at Lucie Bilodeau, Artist Facebook page.