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Big plans for 2022! Timid Turtle Creative News January 2022

Welcome to the new year! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season, filled with good food, family connections (either in person or <sigh> on FaceTime) and rejuvenation. We sure did, and we’re coming into January filled with big plans for the new year! Read on for just a sampling of what we have up our sleeves….

Here's what we're covering this month:

  • What a year! A look back at some of our favourite parts

  • Our workshops are making a comeback in 2022!

  • A quick tip from Diana to help you with painting

  • 15 tips for taking better photos of your art with a smartphone

  • You might enjoy: 10 Acrylic Painting Tips for Beginners

  • Our favourite thing this month: Tablet stand


What a year! A look back at some of our favourite parts!

A lot of people are looking back at 2021 as a pretty terrible year — and in some ways it was. But we had a lot of good moments in 2021 and in the spirit of the Instagram “best nine” trend we’d like to share a few of them with you.

  • Top left: The year kicked off with a bang, with both Diana and Paul notching sales. One interesting one was a photo sale to the Western Rivers Conservancy, a US-based non-profit organization that buys land along rivers and streams. Paul’s photo was used for their River of the Month feature, which was available both as a page on their website and as a pdf download.

  • Top middle: One of the most fun things Diana did this year was creating a lot of pet portraits! Dogs, cats, rabbits, a horse, a donkey…the list goes on. Many of the pet portraits were gifts, which we think is a great idea. If you’re interested in commissioning a pet portrait — either for yourself or as a gift — let’s talk!

  • Top right: Our biggest project of the year was building a small “bunkie” at Timid Turtle Pond. It was definitely a creation of a different kind for us and took lots of hours of sweat, effort and (from time to time) cursing. But now its finished and we look forward to many years of making art at our bunkie on the shores of our pond. Maybe one day you can visit us there!

  • Middle left: Although travel was discouraged for most of the year, we still got in a few trips. One memorable trip took us to Campbell River on Vancouver Island to visit family. While we there we took a moment to shoot some photos in front of the pink wall at the city’s Tidemark Theatre. We felt like the people posing for Instagram photos in front of the Paul Smith pink wall in West Hollywood…but a lot closer to home!

  • Middle middle: Art shows were another scarce commodity for much of the year but Diana still managed to get into a few and made some good contacts and sales. The art show in the photo above was in mid-August at the District Wine Village in Oliver, a beautiful location for an art show but also a location that got into the high 30s Celsius late in the day and nearly gave Diana heat stroke. Hey, art shows aren’t all glamour!

  • Middle right: Speaking of travel, we were lucky enough to go on a road trip to the Kootenays for three weeks in the early autumn. While we were there we took in a lot of artistic inspiration, particularly in Kootenay National Park, one of our favourite places in B.C. In the photo above we’re standing in front of the Stanley Glacier, a place that requires a little hiking to get to but is well worth the effort.

  • Bottom left: In 2021 we launched our new Make Art With Diana channel on YouTube. We had fun making a number of videos and have even attracted a few subscribers. We’re looking forward to making even more videos in 2022, so jump over and subscribe today so you don’t miss any of the fun. Subscribing is free, so there’s no reason not to!

  • Bottom middle: Late in the year Diana discovered another of her talents: teaching art one-on-one. It turned out to be a fun and rewarding way to deepen her appreciation for art. Diana will be doing more teaching in 2022, including one-on-one sessions and workshops…so let us know if you’re interested!

  • Bottom right: Paul was grateful late in the year to sell five framed prints of his bird photos to a client in the Lower Mainland. It was a fun project and it was great to see just how nice the photos look when they’re printed on art paper rather than just displayed on a phone screen on Instagram. We’re hoping to do more of these projects, so be in touch if you’re interested.

We realize these images and events only scratch the surface of what was, all in all, a good year for us. We’re looking forward to connecting with as many of you as possible in the coming year and to making brand new connections with many others!


Our workshops are making a comeback in 2022!

If you only got to know us recently, you may not know we used to offer art workshops. Alas, like many other good things our workshops came to screeching halt in early 2020. Fast-forward two years and we’re ready to get back into the workshop game! Subject to public health orders, we’ll be offering a number of art workshops this year.

The first two we’re offering are:

  • January 29, 2022 — Start Painting and Make Magic! Presented with the Penticton and District Community Arts Council, this workshop is suitable for beginning to intermediate painters. As a participant, you will create a beautiful, colourful image with an inspirational message in one afternoon. You’ll learn special techniques to create magical patterns and shapes, making your painting memorable and unique. All supplies will be provided — just bring your enthusiasm and willingness to participate! To register, please visit the PDCAC’s website.

  • February 26-27, 2022 — Show Off Your Treasures in an Abstract Painting! Do you like to pick up treasures when you walk, hike or go on vacation? Pebbles, shells, pieces of bark or leaves? Are those treasures just taking up space in a drawer somewhere? Let’s do something beautiful with them! In this weekend workshop, you will learn how to incorporate your treasures into a piece of abstract art you can enjoy in your home or at work. You’ll learn the entire process of laying down paint, adding your treasures, playing with colours and using a variety of mediums to create textures and bring out the natural beauty in your treasures. To register and for more information, visit our website.

Both workshops will be held at the Leir House Cultural Centre at 220 Manor Park Avenue in Penticton. We’d love to see you there — be sure to check our website and social media posts for information on the workshops we’ll be offering later this year!


A quick tip for getting every last drop from your paint tubes

If you use paint tubes, you probably know the frustration of not being able to get all of the paint out. Just like toothpaste tubes, there’s always that little bit left! To help out, we put together a quick video (less than a minute!) that shows you the solution — a handy tool Diana can’t work without!

Check it out here on our Make Art With Diana YouTube channel. And let us know if you’ve ever tried this solution…or if you have other solutions we can share.


15 tips for taking better photos of your art with a smartphone

Photographing artwork can be highly technical — you need the right equipment, software and experience to take photos you can use to make prints, greeting cards or other merchandise. But if you’re an artist who is interested in photographing your artwork for display on social media or your website a smartphone may be all you need. Smartphone cameras have come a long way in the last few years; under the right conditions they can produce results that rival more expensive digital cameras.

So what are those “right conditions?” To help you get there we’ve pulled together 15 valuable tips that will help you take better photos of your art with your smartphone.

Ready to give it a try? Read the full article here on our blog. And when you’re finished, take a moment to download this tip sheet, which summarizes all 15 tips in a convenient format you can refer to anytime you want!


You might enjoy: 10 Acrylic Painting Tips for Beginners

It’s the beginning of a new year, so why not go back to the basics? In this short, eight-minute video, Canadian artist Syndia offers 10 quick tips to make acrylic painting easier. She says her tips are for beginners, but some will likely apply to more advanced painters as well (some were new to us!). For instance, have you ever thought of painting on a layer of Saran Wrap when you’re unsure about how to develop part of your painting?

Besides Saran Wrap, Syndia offers some good ideas for keeping your brushes clean, extending the drying time of acrylic paint, cleaning your palette effectively, magically erasing paint from your canvas and more.

You’ll find the video here, on YouTube. Let us know what you think!


Our favourite thing this month: Tablet stand

When you want to paint with a reference photo you have a couple of choices: print the photo on paper or look at it on your phone or iPad. The first option works well but doesn’t allow you to zoom in on areas, convert to black and white or perform other desirable manipulations. The second option also works well, but your arm can get pretty tired holding up a device for that long.

The solution? A tablet stand with an articulating arm that you can clamp to your easel or table!

We like this one, which is available on Amazon. It’s solid, made of metal and has strong springs that can hold a load of more than three pounds. The clamp for the iPad has a ball head that allows you to adjust your viewing angle for comfort and convenience. And the clamp is very secure, ensuring your expensive device won’t fall to the floor.

All in all, it's well worth acquiring one of these for your studio — you won’t regret it!


Thank you for reading our newsletter! Get in touch if you have questions or want to chat.

If you know anyone who would enjoy or benefit from the content in this newsletter please forward it to them. And be sure to visit us in our homes online:

Diana and Paul Timid Turtle Creative

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