Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good-bye 2013

While I won't be sorry to see 2013 go...I learned a great deal this past year...
I have always 'failed to plan'...and there are those that say...
'fail to plan' and you 'plan to fail'....
there actually is some credence to this little saying....
so I've taken some steps to make 2014 a better year for me...
at the very least, I should know more about what's going on and why.
Here are a couple of the more 'notable' things that happened in my 2013...
1.  My 'Gothic Beauty' interview
2.  Started my series of  'Notorious' characters
3.  I learned "the hard way" to stay on top of my Etsy Shop....hoping that will be improved in 2014.

A couple of things I have planned for 2014...
1. Another two panel 'Alice in Wonderland' themed painting.
2. My first two panel 'Wizard of Oz' themed painting.
3. Some new 'Notorious characters'
4. Keeping my Etsy Shop 'relevant' to Etsy search....and new pieces coming shortly after the New Year.

I will do a better job of blogging and posting on FB as well!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thinking ahead to next year

I've got all but one package packaged and shipped...I'll get the
last one out tomorrow or the next day.
It's been kind of an 'odd' year for me and my art business.
With the ongoing changes springing up on Etsy...it's been a challenge
just to try to keep up.  Keeping up with Etsy changes also takes a bit of a
toll on the time spent creating new pieces...so I need to start now and
think ahead to next year...
how to keep up with my creative work while trying to
keep up with Etsy changes.
Plenty to think about...for sure!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A handful of Christmas Ornaments

Every year I try to have something 'different' in my Shop(s)
especially for Christmas.
A few years ago I did this Snowman ornament, along with
some Santas, other Snowmen and a couple of Carolers.
I also offered them at local art and craft shows I
went to and sold out.
I had a handful of these pieces, unpainted, and decided
to finish them up and get them into one of my shops.

Since there's only 8 of them, I will probably list them
in my Rustic Goth Etsy Shop
at some point in the next couple of days.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

It's Been A While....and there will be some changes.

I've had kind of an 'up and down' summer...
now that Fall is here
I've made a couple of definite decisions.

On Friday...October 11th...I will be closing my ArtFire Shop.
It's been open for a year and I've made few sales
there...so it doesn't make sense for me to keep it open.
In the meantime...I have a Sale going on there through Thursday..October 10th...
one last 'hurrah' if you will.

I am almost done with a small Wizard of Oz painting and it will be my
last character painting of the year.
I hope to have it in my Etsy Shop by the week-end.

I've already started some dark abstract landscape paintings...
hopefully I will have, at least one, listed by the week-end as well.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I've put some new products on Zazzle

It's getting to be 'that time of year' to start putting together some new

I have put new items, periodically, into the shop there...
and I knew that they had changed their design fairly recently...
I sure hadn't realized just 'how' much they'd changed
how difficult it would be for me to try to find my way around.

It's not hard to add new items...
it's difficult to try to figure out where to place them now.

I imagine I'll have to spend some time everyday
until I figure it out...
in the meantime though...
I put about twenty new items in that shop
this past week.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I am closing my Shop...Not So Fast....

CMZ art ArtFire avatar ....in ArtFire!

I have decided to close my CMZart  ArtFire Shop...on September 10th!

After trying a couple different eCommerce builders....I have decided that I
neither have the time...or the patience...to try to find one that does what I want and need it to.
This close to what I hope is my 'busy' time of year...I have opted to leave ArtFire open, at least through the rest of this year.

Then I will re-evaluate how well (or not) ArtFire is doing and I'll make a decision
when I have more time to experiment....

...so for now...No New Web Store
and ArtFire will remain open through the end of the year!

It puts me about a month shy of one year...and I was originally going to give it one year ... but...
the site just is not paying for itself...so it's time to go ahead and close the doors.

My Rustic Goth Etsy Shop will remain open 
(until and unless they make changes to the site that ends up being more than I can bear)...
and for the time being...
my Fairytalez N Fantasiez Etsy Shop will also remain open.

I combined the two Etsy Shop to create the CMZart ArtFire Shop...
offering a 'one stop shop'...
but most everything that I did sell through ArtFire was a Rustic Goth item...

so I will give Fairytalez N Fantasiez
until next Spring
before I make any final decisions on that Shop.

There were a lot of 'bugs' during checkout in our ArtFire Shop as well as
too much 'downtime'
 (which also influenced my decision to close this shop)

I've decided to open my Own Rustic Goth online Shop .. 
on my website...

I plan to have that shop up...and fully operational
 by the first week of September!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The summer...

I haven't posted many blog posts this summer....
for one thing...
I'm desperate for a new laptop.
My old one needs to be 'laid to rest'....

so I'm saving up to get an inexpensive one...
and then I'll be able to do more
digital paintings
and more posts!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Own Web Store

I have decided to open my OWN Web Store.
Until I get the site figured out...I started with a free store....which is
very limited in the number of items.
But...I didn't want to pay for a store and then use the first month
trying to figure it all out.
So...I'm getting everything ready to go...working out any bugs...trying to understand
how the site works...etc
so that I can have a full Store up and operational
by fall.
 I currently have a couple of postcards discounted to half price
to see if I can generate a couple of sales
to test how the checkout will work.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Two Etsy Shops

At the end of last year I opened a second Etsy Shop

I wanted somewhere to offer my 'cute' art that didn't 
conjure up any thoughts of darkness.

The only problem with that is....I literally get very little traffic to that
particular shop.
I know I've had my Rustic Goth Etsy Shop since 2007 and was lucky enough
to build a following before Etsy decided relevancy was better than just 'browsing'...
when I don't even get a dozen views on an original
Alice in Wonderland
painting...in a week's time...
I won't be able to spend as much time working on pieces for that shop
as I do my Rustic Goth Shop.

I listed this Alice in Wonderland painting there...got 6 views in 8 days...now it's going
to get moved to Rustic Goth
and we'll see how it does there.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Reviving some old works

Both of the above images were digital paintings I did in my very early days
of  'painting with PhotoShop'.

"In the Field of Innocents" and "No Turning Back"

I am self taught in every style of art that I do...including PhotoShop.

The biggest problem I have is...that I tend to learn the 'hard way'.
Instead of viewing some tutorials that are probably out there on You Tube...I just taught myself
by trial and error.

Long story short...I had both these pieces listed and the image file 'safely' stored on my
computer until...horror of horrors...my computer went down and I couldn't
retrieve any of my image files.

I've since started backing everything up on zip drives...but I had to pull both of these prints.

Over time I became better at digital work so when I ran across these pieces recently...
I decided to clean them up...back them up...and get them listed for sale once again.

You can find them in my Etsy Shop for now.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Christmas in July SALE

I am having a "Christmas in July" Sale in my 
as well as in my

I plan to run the Sale in both Shops for 10 days...the
Sale will end on July 22nd.

It's my intention to get down to only two or three sales a year
and this is one of those planned Sales.  

I'm offering some pendants in my Etsy Shop and when those are gone
I don't think I'll do any new ones.  It takes so long to put them together...it's just
easier for me if I take those images to Zazzle and put them on pendants there.
It takes about as much time to put them there as it takes to do a listing on Etsy or ArtFire...
so when you consider the vast amount of time putting the pendants together...
trying to get decent photos...etc...
I'd be saving myself  TONS of time and Work...so think that's what I'll do.

In fact...I'm thinking...going forward I'm going to cut back to acrylic paintings 
(including the little ACEO paintings I do for eBay)
and digital original paintings and illustrations.
I'll continue to offer Scrabble Tile pendants...but that's it...and most of 
those will be offered on ArtFire.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A brief update...

This is a little ACEO painting inspired by
the Norman Rockwell painting...
"Boy and Girl Gazing at the Moon"

I plan to do more 'inspired' pieces featuring my
'sad ragdolls'.

I'm currently working on several new canvas paintings
for my Etsy Shop...
as well as my
ArtFire Shop.

Most of my newest 'experimental' pieces start as
ACEO paintings that I first put up for auction on eBay...
then I decide which of these I will 'expand'...
as I have with my 'Sad Ragdoll' pieces..
to become larger canvas paintings.

I have a few other things that I'm working on...
I'll post more about those in the near future.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hello summer!

Just a quick update....seems I'm keeping myself busier than usual so far this summer.
I've painted numerous ACEO paintings over the past couple of months....
to post for auction on eBay.
This is where I'm working on new ideas, experiments and the such...
so some sell and some don't...but it helps me know
where I need to go with my art at the moment.

I've also added quite a few pieces to my Fine Art America site
so that anyone who wants something more than a small paper print can get my art on canvas, acrylic or metal...
or as greeting cards.
I've got some new paintings on Etsy....with more to come soon!

And...for Rustic Goth news not found elsewhere...you can subscribe to my Rustic Goth newsletter.
I offer freebies, discounts and more through my newsletter...including information on upcoming Sales.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Gothic Beauty Magazine Interview

The interview I did with Gothic Beauty Magazine...
it covers pages 42-44.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

June Art 'Update'

I haven't done as much blogging as I would like to do...it's a bit difficult since my poor laptop is probably on it's last 'leg'.
So...I just wanted to give a brief June 'update'....
The 'Guardians of Everlast' digital painting is available on stretched canvas...ranging in sizes from...
6" x 8" to 18" x 24"
through my Fine Art America Site.
I've got everything from my Creeper Art to Steampunk Art available there as well.

A few of my latest ACEO paintings.  These are either currently selling or have
just sold on eBay.
Mike and Jaime Best of  BestArtStudios
(my daughter and son-in-law)
are also offering some of their art on the same eBay site.

This Surreal Art Digital painting 'Head in the Clouds'
is available in my Rustic Goth Etsy Shop
and it's the first digital painting I've done since the beginning of the year.

Just to let everyone know...I will be having a
'Christmas in July' SALE coming up
on July 12th...
I will post more details as that date draws closer.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Getting back to ACEO Originals

 Since the end of March I have done a lot more painting.
Mostly ACEO paintings.
Deciding to give eBay a new 'try'....I've found that the
ACEO paintings...going for pennies on the dollar...
at least generate some 'interest' in my art...
for now...
I've been doing ACEOs.

Not really sure what is going on with my regular sites...Etsy, Artfire...etc....
but business is really DOWN...
and it makes it difficult to continue trying to make
a living with my art.

But...what the eBay listings ARE doing for me...
I am painting MORE...
including these little 8x10 Stretched Canvas paintings
that I now have in my Etsy Shop.

Friday, March 22, 2013

People just aren't finding me anymore.

 My top search term today on Etsy is...
Rustic Goth Etsy.

What that tells me is...
people aren't able to find me anymore, just by browsing art,
like they used to be able to.
Not sure what to do about that...
Etsy Search Ads are a waste of money...
it doesn't help to renew anymore...
I am promoting everywhere I know...that doesn't cost a bunch of money...
and I viewed my Twitter results...just over 1% of my Etsy visitors in the last year
came from Twitter...
over 50% from Facebook.
12% from Pinterest 
(and I don't think I've even been there all year)

11% from this Blog

and the rest from places like:

I suppose I need to promote a bit more on some of the other Social sites...
as soon as I have some 'free time'.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Week-End Shop SALES and eBay

My house is very small...probably the smallest house I've ever lived in.
It has a living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, laundry room
and two bedrooms.
No basement to speak of...at least not one that I would dare to go into.

I work sometimes in my chair in the living room...but most of the time
in the dining room.

I have one closet between two bedrooms...and share with my son who lives
in the second bedroom.

Most of the time...the size of my house is 'sufficient'....
and we manage okay.

But...trying to find enough room to store some 40+ paintings
in a house this size is a real challenge.

So.....I'm having a week-end painting SALE in my Etsy Shop...
a store wide SALE in my ArtFire Shop...
some very low starting bids on some small
framed paintings

Hopefully this will help me move enough of the
current paintings that are looking for good homes...
to be able to paint some new pieces...
fingers crossed:)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Need to do LOTS of Computer Work

I recently checked some links I have on
my RusticGoth.com website...
and discovered Many links were directed to items 'no longer' available.
Not good....

I linked all of the print pics on my website to Etsy listings....
problem is...
a number of the items have expired and I decided not to relist.

So....I decided the CMZ Art ArtFire Shop would become my
One Stop Art Shop.

I don't have to pay listing fees and the items do not expire unless I close up shop.
So....I am gradually moving all of the items from...

to one shop on ArtFire.

This alone is going to take SOME Time....then I'll need to redesign my website and update
all the links there....
needless to say...I do have some work cut out for me!!

In the meantime...I'm still working on two different commissions...so I'm managing
to keep myself quite busy...
hopefully I'll be able to keep it all going until everything is all up and operational

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


 I've got plans to do a number of  "Poe inspired"
paintings in the coming weeks.
I've already done some small 4" x 4" Poe paintings like
"The Gold Bug" shown here.
I had some frames that I've held on to for some time
and decided to do pieces that would fit the frames and offer 
the little paintings framed and ready to hand.

I also have pieces based on...
still available in my Rustic Goth Etsy Shop.

To add to pieces like...
which is a digital painting...
I am working on some Acrylic Canvas paintings based on Fairytales by
The Brothers Grimm
Hans Christian Andersen.
I have completed a Grimm inspired piece,
shown here...
and I'm almost done with Andersen's
"Little Mermaid".

Saturday, February 16, 2013

This Blog....

I'm sure you've probably already noticed that I
changed my blog banner...
and put it back to it's original name.

I have blogs for both of my 'styles'

and each blog is more narrow in scope
to the shops lined
with the different 'brands'.

"This blog" will be my usual
nonsensical ramblings with updates to both brands.

I will start first by only posting once a week
on Another Painting Blog...
and we'll see how that goes.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Magazine Interview...

I don’t know how I feel
"letting the cat out of the bag"
this early on...
and I don't usually make announcements
on something that isn’t already available...or about to be… 
but, I feel good about this one

I just completed an interview with one of the Senior Writers
and will be featured in Issue 40 of Gothic Beauty Magazine.

Gothic Beauty is a quarterly magazine and 
Issue 40 is their Summer 2013 issue.

It will be available at such places as…
Barnes & Noble, Hastings, F.Y.E., 
Suncoast, Chapters (Canada), 
Walden Books, 
Book World, Sheltam Books 
and Copperfield’s Books.

The interview and pictures of my art will cover at least two pages…
needless to say…
I’m very excited 
about this wonderful opportunity and will definitely 
have to get
a few copies!!
I’ll post an update as soon as the magazine is in the stands!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February Giveaway for my Rustic Goth Blog Followers

I am sending these four valentines as digital files
via WeTransfer...
to any of my followers
who send me their
email address
so I have someplace to send them.

These are high resolution images that you can
download and print or send to whoever you
want to send a Valentine to.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tree Art Large Prints Moving...

When Etsy made the changes they did in October
it became a waste of time and money to renew

The way things are set up there...you pay the listing fee
and the item is listed for four months.

Before the changes I had scheduled renews, on my oldest items, daily.

Since the changes...I don't renew anything...except in cases
where the number of items has sold out and I want to offer more.

Anyway....NOW my items are gradually beginning to 'expire'
and I have to decide whether or not to renew them...and, in many cases,
I've decided to just let them go.

I LOVE the Large Fantasy Forest Tree and Dragonfly Art prints so much...
they are so Beautiful as a large print...
I've decided to make my
the New Home for my Large Tree Art Prints...
except for my 'Everlast' prints.
I'm varying the sizes slightly...as they began as Limited Edition prints
and are now 'Open Edition' Large Prints.
And the price is lower there...as well.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rustic Goth Blog

A New Year...A New Blog!

But, I'm not giving up this one....for me, it's almost like a 'diary'
of the last five years of my life.

The biggest reason for the New Blog...
over on WordPress
is that I want to limit the posts to
Rustic Goth related information Only.
Since I didn't start this blog exclusive to Rustic Goth...
I tended to post all kinds of information here.

The thing I especially like about WordPress is
and I can include a single post into more than one category.

There are things I do like about Blogger that aren't available,
as far as I can tell,
on WordPress.
I can't figure out how to put in the little 'adverts' I have in the
sidebar of this blog.

Most of the information I am posting on my new
Rustic Goth Blog
are exclusive Rustic Goth posts.
I'm also having giveaways...for new followers who leave comments
on a periodic basic.

My first giveaway was a printable 2013 Alice in Wonderland calendar.

I'll be doing another giveaway the beginning of February...
if you are only interested in Rustic Goth 'news'
head on over to my Wordpress Rustic Goth Blog
and follow me....
I 'think' you'll get an update of some kind
each time I post.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A blog for every shop...

Well...not really....
I Do have a new Blog
for Rustic Goth.

It's still in the very early stages...I think only one or two posts...
I wanted more a a 'Business' Blog...so I opted
to do a Rustic Goth Blog on Wordpress...
with most of the updates going there.

Since I've had a couple of non-art related blogs there...
that I rarely update anymore...(just no extra time)...
I'm thinking of doing a blog for
my other Etsy Shop
and one for
my ArtFire Shop
on Wordpress as well.

I've just spent several days redesigning my Rustic Goth website
which still isn't finished...trying to make it a bit more
'mobile device friendly'
though I'm not sure I succeeded in that.

Then...we'll see if I have the time and the energy to

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Excited About the New Year

Though I opened a couple of new shops...
on Artfire
And...FairytalezNFantasieZ on Etsy

I also still have to manage my

and my 
Having so many shops at once is a real challenge...and sometimes...
one or more shops gets a bit neglected.
But...I learned a valuable lesson in 2012,
not to put all of one's eggs in one basket...
if it drops...well...you might not eat.

So...my challenge in the first quarter of 2013...is to try to give my three primary shops...

equal time, especially since these are all paid sites...I really need to be 'on top' of each
one of them.

My CMZart Zibbet shop is going to get 're-vamped' and will become my site
for inspirational and motivational quotes and sayings prints.

My Rustic Goth Zibbet shop...well, it is going to become the home of
my Etsy retired prints.

I'm a little 'OCD' about the number of items I keep in each shop...and to prevent my shops
from getting too unwieldy...I periodically retire some of my older prints.

Anyway....I am excited about this new year...and I'm also in the process of putting together
brand new blogs, for each of my shops....
I'll tell you more in my next post.