Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Themed Artwork

storm damage

Late summer and fall is hurricane season for the Caribbean, Central America, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coast of North America.

Although hurricanes and other storms are unwelcome visitors, there is no denying their strength, beauty and mystique.For nautical artists, hurricanes and other ocean storms are often a source of inspiration.

Hurricane-related artwork often includes coastal scenes, storm preparation, boats struggling in rough seas, fishing villages, harbor scenes, coastal architecture, lighthouses, rain squalls, flooding, storm damage and other scenes.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

USA Nautical Festivals

Summer is peak time for nautical festivals in the USA. Along the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts, festivals celebrate fish and seafood, recreational fishing, power boating, kayaking, sailing, watersports, beaches, nautical art forms and other interests.

In most areas, seafood festivals are lined with artist's booths, craft vendors and other nautical art exhibits. Some artists will work in a single media or focus on a narrow niche, while others will offer a wide range of nautical gifts.

Visiting beach festivals is another excellent way to find nautical collectibles. Beach festivals usually have tents where vendors can set up booths to showcase their work.

Nautical festivals are usually tied to local traditions. In the Pacific Northwest, nautical shows might celebrate wild salmon or Dungeness crabs, while Mid Atlantic festivals often feature sailing art or boats of the Chesapeake Bay.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2011 Life on Lake Erie Photo Contest

The 2011 “Life on Lake Erie” photo contest is an opportunity for amateur photographers, age 18 and older, to reveal their passion for one of Ohio’s most valuable and dynamic natural features, Lake Erie. Photographs taken between July 9, 2010 and July 8, 2011 in and around the Lake Erie watershed can be submitted to the OLEC through July 14, 2011.

Submissions must be the original work of the photographer and can portray sustainable use, development or protection of Ohio’s Lake Erie coastal resources. They can incorporate shoreline landscapes, wildlife, plants or even people enjoying various coastal activities.

Digital photos must be minimum 300 dpi (600 dpi preferred) and in jpg or tif format, sized to 5 x 6. Up to five entries are allowed per household with all photos submitted on a CD. All submissions become the property of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission.

Winning photographs will be featured on the OLEC web site and will be part of the Commission’s traveling photo gallery. The inspiring art display will appear at prime Ohio shoreline locations throughout the year. The outstanding images may also be used to promote Lake Erie through environmental and educational programs and publications.

To enter and read complete rules visit

source: Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ohio Lake Erie Commission 2011 Photo Contest

Amateur photographers who want to capture images of Lake Erie life can enter the Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC) 2011 photo contest. Winning images will be displayed as part of a traveling exhibit and in an online photo gallery.

The 2011 “Life on Lake Erie” photo contest is open to amateur photographers, age 18 and older. Photographs taken between July 9, 2010 and July 8, 2011 in and around the Lake Erie watershed can be submitted to the OLEC through July 14, 2011.

Submissions must be the original work of the photographer and can portray sustainable use, development or protection of Ohio’s Lake Erie coastal resources. They can incorporate shoreline landscapes, wildlife, plants or even people enjoying various coastal activities.

Digital photos must be minimum 300 dpi (600 dpi preferred) and in jpg or tif format, sized to 5 x 6. Up to five entries are allowed per household with all photos submitted on a CD. All submissions become the property of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission.

To enter and read complete rules visit:

source: Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Red Salmon Logos - Artwork

By far the most colorful of the Pacific salmon species is the red (sockeye) salmon. During their ocean phase, adult red salmon exhibit bright silver coloration, with a dark tail. Unlike Chinook or cohos, ocean run red salmon lack black spots.

When these fish begin their spawning migration, they undergo remarkable changes. Their body coloration changes to velvety red, contrasted by their greenish heads and tails.

From late summer thru fall, red salmon return to rivers and streams of the Pacific Northwest. Adults returning from sea usually weigh from 4 to10 pounds. Because of their remarkable beauty, red salmon are often photographed or illustrated by outdoor artists.

Red salmon and other freshwater, saltwater and anadromous fish logos are available at fish_fishing_seafood. Most artwork is available in either pre-titled or untitled versions. Untitled artwork from this online store is fully customizable, allowing businesses, clubs or other organizations add captions of text to a design. In addition to entering text, buyers can resize, move or add to artwork during the customization process.

These are a few samples of red (sockeye) salmon artwork:

Monday, April 4, 2011

2011 New Bedford Working Waterfront Festival Logo Contest

The Working Waterfront Festival in New Bedford Massachusetts has announced its annual design contest. Artists 16 years and older are invited to submit a creative design for the 2011 Festival. Designs will be used for the Festival t-shirt, poster and program guide.

Designs should convey festival’s emphasis on the commercial fishing industry, the working port and the 2011 theme. The winning entry will receive a $100 cash prize. Entries must be emailed by or postmarked no later than Monday, May 9th.The winning entry and designer will be announced at the June 9th AHA Night in Downtown New Bedford!

The theme of the 2011 event slated for September 24th and 25th, is Then and Now: Tradition and Innovation. Festival programming will explore cultural traditions in commercial fishing communities, pay tribute to industry innovators and consider how the industry has changed over time in terms of everything from technology to regulations.

Interested artists/designers are encouraged to visit the festival web site to learn more about the event and to download an application:

Thursday, March 31, 2011

2011 Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp Contest

Artist Jim Taylor’s painting entitled “Misty Autumn Sunrise” is the winner of the 2011-2012 Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest. The winning painting shows a pair of Canada Geese.

The entries were judged before a large crowd on March 26 at the 22nd Patuxent Wildlife Art Show, held at the National Wildlife Visitors Center in Laurel, Md.

Taylor has been a competing artist in Maryland’s Migratory Game Bird Stamp competition since the mid-1990s. This is the third time his entry was selected as the winning artwork. Taylor’s focus is on mid-Atlantic wildlife and includes exhibitions at the Havre de Grace Decoy Festival and Easton Waterfowl Festival.

The Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest is the fourth oldest in the country and is restricted to Maryland residents only. The event showcases the talents of Maryland’s wildlife art while raising funds for the conservation.

Migratory game bird hunters are required to purchase these $9 stamps and the proceeds are used to fund migratory game bird research and habitat enhancement on the state’s public lands. More than $6 million in stamp sales have been spent on migratory game projects since the beginning of the stamps in 1974.

source: MD DNR

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fish and Seafood Icons of North America

Nautical icons are a vital part of American and Canadian cultures. Popular nautical icons include several fish and shellfish are found along the coasts of North America.

The Atlantic blue crab is an icon of the Chesapeake Bay. This crab is harvested by local fishermen and served locally or shipped to far away markets.

New England states such as Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut are proud of their seafood industries and often feature the American lobster in nautical art.

In Oregon, the Dungeness crab is an icon of the state's seafood industry.

Nova Scotia's local economy is based upon fishing and other industrial production. The Atlantic cod has become an important icon of Nova Scotian culture.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Springtime Subjects for Nautical Art

For nautical artists, every season brings something new to inspire them. Springtime is a prime example as there are more aquatic activities than artists can possibly pursue.

Atlantic Coast beaches are always a good place for artists to find inspiration in the form of sea shells, wildlife and and other nautical subjects. After a winter of churned up ocean ocean waters, artists can visit beaches and seek out sea shells or other marine life that have been washed up.

Tide pools are another source of inspiration for artists. Clear springtime tidepools are home to an incredible array of marine life. For artists, creatures such as shorebirds, starfish, sea urchins, sand dollars, anenomes, shrimp, mussels, crabs, minnows and other inhabitants are all waiting to be photographed, painted or captured with other media.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2011 Colorado Junior Duck Stamp Program

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that Colorado students (K-12) are welcome to participate in the 2011 Junior Duck Stamp Program (JDS).

This free art and science program is designed to teach wetlands habitat and waterfowl conservation to America’s youth. JDS participants employ scientific and wildlife observation principles to learn about the subject matter, and then communicate that knowledge visually by creating an entry to the JDS art contest.

This non-traditional pairing of subjects brings new interest to both the sciences and arts to students throughout the state, while fostering a greater awareness of and conservation ethic toward our nation’s natural resources.

The JDS contest begins each fall and proceeds through spring as students submit their artwork to their state coordinator.  Students at the state level are then judged in four groups, according to grade level. Three first, second, and third place entries are selected for each group.

A “best of show” is then selected by the judges from the first-place winners. Each state’s best of show is submitted to the Duck Stamp Office in Washington D.C., and entered into the national contest.

The first-place design from the national contest is used to create the official Junior Duck Stamp for the following year. These stamps are sold by the U.S. Postal Service for $5 each. Proceeds from sales support environmental education, and provide awards and scholarships for the students, teachers, and schools that participate in the program.

All entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2011. The award ceremony to honor the state winners and participating schools will be held at the Arvada Center on May 14, 2011.

For more details on how Colorado students, teachers, and schools in your area can participate in this fun educational program, contact Colorado State Coordinator Seth Beres at (303) 289-0867 or visit:

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Friday, February 4, 2011

By the Sweat of Our Brow - Cape Verde Oral History at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

The Ocean Explorium and the Arnold M. Dubin Labor Education Center of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth welcome Sylvia Ann Soares for a special event on Tuesday, February 8.  Doors open at 6 pm for light refreshments and mingling in the Ocean Explorium before the presentation begins at 7 pm.

Ms. Soares will share highlights from By the Sweat of Our Brow created from an oral history project, with photo slides selected from the project presentation.  Many of the men interviewed for By the Sweat of Our Brow are first-generation Cape Verdean-Americans, and their stories offer a rich collage of life experiences.

The Ocean Explorium is located at 174 Union Street in New Bedford and is handicap accessible through the rear entrance. Call 508.994.5400 for after-hours access.

source: Working Waterfront Festival

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What is Tag Marketing?

Imagine, a slide show of an aritist's paintings being instantly delivered to a potential collector’s smart phone.  By using "marketing tags" artists can make that vision and more a reality.

"What’s a marketing tag you ask?"  Simply put, it’s a barcode that can be placed on anything printable. The market tag is scanned with a smart phone and instantly delivers a message. Artists can offer audiences a slide show, video, virtual tour, or lecture excerpt just by using a tag. 

With over 2 billion marketing tags already in existence, millions of people have already downloaded the free Microsoft Tag reader and are using it. With over 49.1 million smart phones in use today in the US more than 50% of US homes own one or more smart phone and are using this technology to browse, shop and gather information.

Consumers are realizing that when they hold their smart phone over the tag, the digital information or video content appears in the smart phone window. No typing a URL or texting, waiting for a response – in an instant your message appears – driving it deeper into the hands of your potential buyer at the moment it makes the most sense.

Mobile is important for a number of reasons:

It has an immediacy that consumers expect.

It provides a portal from the real world to digital content.

To be successful the mobile activity has to follow some best practices:

The activity must be engaging.

The content must be relevant.

There must be a call to action.

Tags are already being used by museums, galleries and your peers.

Best practices for tagging include:
1)    Putting one on the label of your painting or sculpture which can then be scanned as a thank you card or slide show of additional available work.

2)    Using them to capture information about potential collectors - they have the option to opt in to your database.

3)    As a teaser on an invitation to create buzz about an upcoming exhibition.

Mobile Marketing

Is mobile marketing a trend or just "fly by trendy"? From my research, I think that this is the next “thing”. Think back to when the internet was introduced and you may have wondered “do I really need to have a website? Does a digital footprint even matter?” We all know how important that move was to business. Now you have an opportunity to attach your digital presence to your print materials.

This is still new enough to garner word of mouth excitement yet it is also established enough for anyone to piggyback off of the successful adoption of the technology. Over 100 million magazines since August 2010 have carried Tags in their advertisements and editorial.

As ambassadors of the arts, it is important that we continue to nurture and engage our society in the appreciation of fine art. I am a believer that tag technology is a tool that will invigorate and sustain the cultural community.

About the Author
Carolyn "Charlie" Bogusz provides consulting services for artists and other small businesses. Learn more about tag marketing by visiting her blog at

11th Annual Snow Goose Festival

The 11th Annual Snow Goose Festival in Chico, January 28 – 31, 2010, will again celebrate the spectacular winter waterfowl migration in the North Sacramento Valley. Millions of geese, ducks, swans and other birds arrive here from as far away as the Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, and Siberia, making the Sacramento Valley the most important wintering area along the great Pacific Flyway.

The Festival tells the story in live action with over 50 field trips and workshops that range out into six counties. The field trips spread out from the Chico Masonic Family Center in Chico into the rice fields, wildlife refuges and river walks where mild winter weather, abundant food and lots of water draw the avian arrivals.

Highlights of the Festival include a Friday night Wildlife Art Exhibit and Uptown/Downtown Reception with free trolley ride between the two hosting galleries. The “Gathering of Wings Banquet” on Saturday night will feature keynote speaker Stephen Shunk – well-know birder and woodpecker specialist, talking on “Birding Through the Veil of Winter.” All Festival events are affordably priced and for out-of-towners, local hotels are offering special rates.

For more detailed information, a schedule or to make reservations call 530 345-1865 or visit the Festival’s website at