Learn How To Use Magic Stamps And 5 Simple Steps For Creating Your Own Art Stamps

By Nicole Tinkham

magic-stamps

Have you ever seen those blue foam blocks near the stamps in your local art supply store and wonder what they were used for? These are known as Magic Stamps and they really are quite magical. We’ll explain what they are and how to use them so you can impress your friends (or just make some really cool art stamps). Read on for more info!

What are Magic Stamps?

Let us guess, your first question is most likely “what in the world are Magic Stamps and what makes them so magical?”  Magic Stamps are inexpensive ($0.99 each on our shelves right now) blue foam blocks. Don’t get them confused with the Magic Eraser though, although they kind of look similar in shape and size. These are way cooler though, for the artist anyway. Basically, a Magic Stamp allows you to leave an imprint in the foam block and use it as your own custom art stamp. Read on for how to do so in 5 simple steps. Oh and you’ll find something really cool in Step #5 🙂

 5 Simple Steps For Creating Your Own Art Stamps

1.    Choose a textured surface you’d like to create a stamp out of. It can be anything from rubber bands to buttons. Think outside the box and always keep an eye out for fun textures.

2.     Now you want to heat your Magic Stamp with a heat gun (crafting tool) or hair dryer. This will make your foam block moldable so you can leave an imprint in it.

3.    Once the foam block surface is heated, immediately press it into the textured surface you want to imprint. Hold the block down firmly for about 20 seconds.

4.    Congratulations, you have now created your very own custom art stamp! Roll on some water-based ink and stamp away!

5.    Now here’s the really cool part about Magic Stamps. You can’t make a mistake with them because you can simply reheat the foam block with your heat gun and the imprint will vanish before your eyes (hence the name Magic Stamp). The imprint will actually stay on the foam block until you reheat it too so if you like the stamp you can reuse it. To wash your stamp, just use some water and a little bit of soap.

Get excited because these Magic Stamps are so much fun to play with. They’re inexpensive and chances are, you already have the other tools (heat gun or hair dryer, paper, ink, textured surface) right at home so why not give these a try? Oh and if you want to see these in action or explained in more detail, just stop in to visit us and one of our art experts would be more than happy to help you out!

9 Ways YOU, The Artist Can Change The World

By Nicole Tinkham

change-the-world

Can we take a moment to show you some love? We feel that artists (like you) really don’t get the credit they deserve. You are absolutely incredible! Sometimes people who don’t fully understand the impact art makes on our lives, assume that being an artist isn’t a “real” job. This can get any artist down but our goal is to lift you back up and let you know how much of a difference you really do make. Your artwork isn’t just something pleasant to look at. Your artwork HEALS. It challenges and inspires us. It provides peace when everything else is in chaos. It’s truly incredible just how special your talents are! Read on for 9 ways that you, the artist can change the world.

1.    You inspire

You inspire more than just the artist. You inspire everyone to do something they’re passionate about. Others see you and your love for art. They see you having fun, enjoying what you do and they want to feel that way about something in their lives too. Your artwork can encourage them to take the leap and try something new.

2.    You make the world colorful

Literally! Can you imagine how dull the world would be without art? Even gorgeous buildings have a creative architect behind them. Art floods the streets in billboards, museums, graffiti, signs, fashion, and so much more. It’s something not everyone appreciates enough (being too busy in this hectic life) but if it weren’t there, we would all notice.

3.    You make people happy

It’s not just those crazy sand sculptures or chalk art events that make people happy. It’s anything that the viewer can relate to. It’s bright colors, something clever, something useful, something they just get. It doesn’t matter what type of art you do, you’ll always have the power to make others happy if you choose to.

4.    You heal

You may not have a doctor title but you’d be surprised by how much artwork can heal. We just mentioned that you make others smile. That alone has healing powers not to mention other emotions that artwork can bring up. When people are dealing with depression, your artwork can help them cope. Again, you are improving the lives of so many people.

5.    You make people think differently

Your artwork may portray your point of view and maybe the viewer is able to see that through your work. But maybe they see a different point of view and that’s ok too. No matter how it’s done, artwork that get’s people thinking differently is considered brilliant work in our books. It’s not always easy to do but it can be so powerful.

6.    You challenge others

As you get others to think differently, you’re also challenging them. The challenge could be finding a deep meaning in the artwork or relating it to each person’s individual life. Challenges are presented all around us. They allow us to learn and grow. If your artwork presents a challenge, it’s helping every single one of us.

7.    You share your story

The best way to connect and relate to someone else is to hear their story. You might not think your personal story is very exciting but you have no idea how much that story can change someone else’s life. When you open up to others and share personal things about yourself, others will realize they’re not alone. You’re proof to the viewers that they can make it through the tough times too. You are right there with them and when you can tell that story through your art, incredible things start to happen.

8.    You provide peace

Some artwork is peaceful and some aren’t but the really cool thing about being the artist is that you can decide what kind of emotions come through in your artwork. How incredible does it feel knowing that you can bring peace in someone’s life simply by creating? That just blows our minds every time we think about it!

9.    You give

When you produce your artwork, you’re not just giving to one person. You’re giving something of value to every single person who looks at it. People need what you have to offer! Stop hiding in the shadows and show your work off to the world. Not sharing it would only be selfish.

If you ever doubt yourself, which we all do at some point, grab this list of 9 ways you, the artist can change the world to remind yourself of the true power of your artwork. It’s so easy to forget these things and to forget why you’re an artist in the first place. You all have a huge heart and we believe that you create for others. You want to make a difference and you can do that through your art. You are capable of incredible things. Never give up on yourself.

4 Important Things To Consider When Choosing An Art Workshop

By Nicole Tinkham
art-workshop
If you’ve ever looked into taking an art workshop, you know how many different options are out there. So many in fact that if you’re not careful, your head may start spinning.  There are all sorts of types, experience levels, length of time, price, instructors, and more. And choosing the wrong workshop for you and your needs is just a waste of time. Read on for four important things to consider when choosing an art workshop. We’ll talk about your goals, where you’re skills are lacking, your level of commitment, and your level of experience to help you choose the perfect workshop.

1.    Your interests and goals

The first thing you must consider when choosing an art workshop is what you get excited over. What are you interested in learning more about? Does watercolor light your fire or are you more into mixed media? It may sound like a no brainer but many times we take up whatever workshops are available or what our friends are taking. Trust us when we say it’s worth waiting for your ideal workshop to open up if nothing is available at the moment. It’s always fun to attend workshops with your friends but just not worth it if it’s not something you’re interested in. It should also align with your art goals. Where do you want to be in the next 90 days or the next year? Always be moving forward!

2.    Where you need to improve

While it’s important to choose an art workshop in an area you enjoy, you shouldn’t get too comfortable in your comfort zone. Incredible things start to happen in life when you do things a little bit different. With that being said, think about areas in your art that you wish you were better in and find a workshop that will help you with it. This will be a challenge but it’ll help you improve as an artist and expand your skills.

3.    Your commitment level

Art workshops range in price, supplies needed, and time required. This means you must consider your commitment level to whatever area of art you’re looking into taking up. For example, if you only want to dabble in oil painting, taking a long three day workshop with several supplies required may not be the best option (unless of course you’re serious about taking it up). Same thing goes if you’re committed to calligraphy. You probably wouldn’t get as much out of a short intro workshop. Really think about your commitment level before signing up for a new art workshop so you get the most out of your time and money.

4.    Your experience

You’re most likely taking an art workshop to improve your skills and that’s excellent. Just keep in mind the workshops do vary on skill level. Certain classes are for beginners and others are designed for more experienced artists. Know where you’re at and look for this before signing up!

There are so many incredible art workshops available to you and it’s so important to understand what you personally need in your life at that moment. Consider your passions and those big goals you set for yourself, which skills you need to improve on, how much time and money you want to put into it and your experience level. Asking yourself these questions is sure to help you determine the best workshop for you.

Tell us, what type of art workshop will you be taking next?

Selecting The Right Color: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know And More

color
By Nicole Tinkham

Ever find yourself staring at a blank canvas even though you have a complete composition already laid out in in your mind? The hard part is over; you have all the ideas but can’t seem to actually get started. Here’s why: you’re having a difficult time selecting your color palette. If you ever find yourself so unsure of which color to select that it prevents you from starting a painting altogether, you need to read this blog. We’ll dive into everything you ever wanted to know about selecting the right color and more. This will help you get started right away on your projects because you’ll already have it in your mind what colors you want to work with.

Color palette

The first thing you’ll want to do before starting a painting is determine your color palette. This is usually a main color with a few supporting colors that go along with it. When it comes to realistic paintings, you’ll want to choose colors that match your subject as closely as possible. Otherwise you’re totally open to selecting whichever colors you want. Having so many options is typically where the trouble lies though. Every color portrays a certain feel so let’s begin there. Think about how you want the viewer to feel and what message you want to get across then determine which color below aligns with that best.

Reds = Passion, Explosive
Blues = Bold, Clean, Intelligent
Greens = Simple, New
Purples = Elegant, Smooth
Yellows = Joy, Bliss
Pinks = Power, Glamorous
Orange = Energy, Creativity

Hue vs Tint vs Shade

When selecting colors, it’s also important to understand the difference between hue, tint, and shade. This will give you different variations of a color. Hue is the pure color without anything mixed in with it. Tint on the other hand, is a lighter version of the original color as it’s mixed with white. Shade is then the opposite. It’s darker than the original color and mixed with black.

The Color Wheel

A color wheel is an excellent tool for any artist whether you’re a total newbie or experienced. We always recommend having a color wheel on hand. This tool will lay out your color options and help you pair colors up to form your color palette. On your color wheel, you’ll find the following colors.

Primary Colors = Blue, Yellow and Red

Secondary Colors = Green, Orange, and Purple

Tertiary Colors = Amber, Chartreuse, Teal, Violet, Magenta, Vermilion

Color Schemes

Once you have that main color selected, it’s time to think about your supporting colors. This is where using your color wheel really becomes helpful. Use the following color schemes to help you determine your supporting colors. They are proven colors to work well together.

Monochromatic = These are colors within the same section of the color wheel. They will be the same color but in different tints and shades.

Analogous = These are colors that can be found on either side of your main chosen color on the color wheel, one on the right and one on the left.

Complimentary = These are two colors directly opposite one another on the color wheel.

This simple guide for choose the perfect colors can be used for more than just your painting project. It can be used to help you find a frame for your project, determining what color to paint the walls in your home, decorating, and just about anything else that involves color choices. Investing in a color wheel will be the key to success especially if you’re a beginner artist but it’s also a great way to think up fresh color combinations that you may not have thought of before. Save this guide and use it whenever you get stuck choosing the perfect color for your project. No longer will color choices hold you back!

8 Fun Ways To Celebrate Valentines Day (For Artists)

By Nicole Tinkham

valentines-day

We love celebrating all holidays because it’s an excuse to get creative and make gifts!! The big holidays may be over but we get just as excited over Valentine’s Day and we have some really clever ideas for you. If you aren’t too pumped up about it this year, you have got to read these 8 fun ways to celebrate the day of love. We wrote this list with the artist in mind so open up to the creative possibilities and choose to do something special this year.

1.    Handmade cards

Grab some fun paper, stamps, glitter, buttons, colorful pens, and your creative mind. Show some love to the ones you care about in a handmade card, one that won’t immediately get thrown out! These mean so much more than store bought cards. Put the time, effort and thought into it and make it really special for the recipient.

2.    Homemade sweet treats

Bring your creative skills into the kitchen and bake up some fun and yummy treats. Cookies and cakes are always fun to decorate. Package them up in festive containers and bags to make a nice gift for your friends. Or you can serve them on heart shaped plates and bowls for your dinner party (see below).

3.    Themed dinner with friends

Valentine decorations, creative invitations, sweet treats, fun games, great friends, and lots of love and fun times. We love themed dinners and parties with friends! There are so many different ways you can use your artistic skills and who doesn’t love getting together with friends over food?

4.    Crafty Party

Here’s another party idea. We mentioned how to host a crafty party in a previous blog post and any holiday is a great excuse to host one. Think up some different Valentine’s craft ideas and get creative with your artsy friends.

5.    Handmade jewelry

Jewelry is a great Valentine’s gift but it’s so often overdone. One way to put your own twist on it is to create your own jewelry. Even if you’ve never gotten into jewelry making, there are super simple patterns anyone can pick up (just Google it!). Once again, anything handmade has more meaning behind it than store bought 🙂

6.    Notes of appreciation

Remind someone how much they mean to you by writing a thoughtful note. Let them know how much you appreciate their friendship and all that they do for you. This note can go right into your handmade card or you can leave them little Post-it Note surprises. Remember, it’s your words that matter!

7.    Framed memories

We admit, after seeing the incredible projects our professional framer Mark creates, we’re just a little obsessed with framed gifts. There are so many different things you can do. Of course, a framed painting or photo make excellent gifts but think outside the box and consider these other framed ideas.

8.    Learn together

Quality time together is another great gift and we think the best way to do that is by taking a class together. You can learn something new, spend the day with friends, practice your art and improve your skills. If you don’t go together, the gift of a workshop is always a thoughtful idea too.

Forget the romantic dinner, aren’t these 8 fun ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day so much more fun? You get to spend time with your closest friends, create, give, and just enjoy yourself. You don’t have to do much but we do want you to have fun. That’s the most important part! Tell us, which one of these 8 ideas will you be trying this year?

74 Unique Things You Can Put In A Frame

By Nicole Tinkham

frame

With our new framing department and professional framer, Mark Gagnon, here at Keeton’s we got to thinking about all the creative things you could possibly have framed. There’s so much more that can be done than just the typical photo or piece of artwork (although Mark does an incredible job with these as well), so it’s time to think outside the box, look around your home and decide what your next brilliant framing project will be. Read on for 74 unique things you can put in a frame for everything from vintage fans to wine corks.

Note: You’ll see some photos of Mark’s favorite framing projects in the list below. If they have you feeling inspired, give us a call at 941-747-2995 and ask for Mark or email him at markg@keetonsonline.com.

1.    Photos
2.    Paintings
3.    Drawings
4.    Certificates
5.    Awards
6.    Sand (yes, actual sand!)
7.    Coins
8.    Clothing
9.    Maps (shown below: Italian Map Triple Matted)italymap

10.    Letters
11.    Recipes
12.    Newspaper articles
13.    Money
14.    Diploma
15.    Event tickets
16.    Jerseys
17.    Jewelry
18.    License plate
19.    Medals and badges
20.    Mirror
21.    Quilt
22.    Baby shoes
23.    Records (Shown below: Elvis LP with Sleeve and Crescent Mat Cut)
elvislp

24.    Antique nick knacks
25.    Guitar
26.    Leaves/flowers
27.    Stamps
28.    Photography (Shown below: Bird Photo with Fillet)
guestofhonor

29.    Keys
30.    Paper art
31.    Invitation
32.    Pages from a book
33.    Comic books
34.    Board games
35.    Bottle label (Shown below: Wine Cork w/ Bottle Label and wax seal)
mouton

36.    High end shopping bags
37.    Flags
38.    Old architectural sketches
39.    Vintage swimsuits
40.    Stuffed animals
41.    Mixed media (Shown below: Mixed Media into Metal Porthole Frame)
porthole

42.    Buttons
43.    Fabric
44.    Toys
45.    Antique silverware
46.    Rocks and stones
47.    Shells
48.    Post cards (Shown below: Pop Art Post Cards)
jerryjimmiemarilyn
49.    Paint brushes
50.    Ballet shoes
51.    Kid’s artwork
52.    Antique sewing supplies
53.    Wooden design (Shown below: Heart Shaped Wood With Photo and Hand Drawn vines and words)
taylormade
54.    Pocket watch
55.    Bottle of wine
56.    Scrabble pieces
57.    Dry erase board/chalkboard
58.    Illustration art (Show below: Intricate illustration art)
purplerobes

59.    Collage
60.    Origami art
61.    Cards
62.    Holiday ornaments
63.    Feathers
64.    Wine corks (Shown below: Four Corks and a Wax Seal)
4corks

65.    Vintage fan (Shown below: Italian Fan In Shadow Box)
italianfan

66.    Coffee beans
67.    Antique tools
68.    Sheet music
69.    Bouquet
70.    Graduation cap
71.    Bottle caps
72.    Tree branches
73.    Lace
74.    T shirt (Shown below: Bradenton Blues Fest T Shirt)
bluesfest

So now that you have 74 new ideas on the different unique things you’re able to have framed, what will you choose?? And don’t worry if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. Mark in our custom framing department can walk you through the whole process. Just give us a call at 941-747-2995 and ask for Mark, email him at markg@keetonsonline.com, or stop in to see him!

4 Really Bizaar Ways To Boost Creativity That You Never Thought Of

By Nicole Tinkham

Have you ever been totally stuck on a project to the point that you cannot think of a single creative idea whatsoever? We have all been there and as a creative thinker, we’re sure you’ve already tried all the tricks in the book when it comes to getting out of that creative rut. If you haven’t, you need to take a look at this blog. The things mentioned there do help get your creativity back but if you want 4 incredibly simple and quite bizaar little tricks, read on! These will totally shock you. (Thanks to success.com for the ideas)

1.    Exercise

A good 30 minute sweat session not only does wonders for your health but it also increases your creativity. It’s also great therapy for getting your mind off everyday stresses.

Take it from me: I exercise every single morning, do some reading, then I get in work mode. I can get focused, I have more energy, and the creative ideas start to flow.

If you don’t think you’re the exercise type, find something that you really enjoy doing, even if it’s just a short walk around the block.

2.    Squeeze a stress relief ball

You can typically find stress relief balls in an office setting and you would normally think to use one in a tense and stressful situation. But clenching your hand can also produce some creative thoughts as well. Here’s the weird part. It has to be your left hand. This will trigger a certain area of your brain that gets you thinking creatively.

Try it! You don’t need to have an actual ball to do this. Next time you need a boost of creativity, just clench your left fist. Honestly, we have yet to try this one but we’re hoping it really works!

3.    Listen to music

Of course everyone’s different but we hear from many artists who prefer listening to music as they create versus total silence. This isn’t just a coincidence. Some background noise actually causes slight distraction which is ideal for the creative mind. Think about it; do you ever have trouble focusing when it’s too quiet? Of course you don’t want too much distraction either. They say the perfect level of noise is the same range as a busy city street.

Our suggestion: Take your sketchbook out into the real world. Visit a coffee shop and get some creative ideas on paper. You’ll get that background noise needed to boost creativity and simply changing your environment will also help you with artist’s block.

4.    Raise your eyebrows

This may sound crazy but raising your eyebrows is said to increase your creativity. We thought this one over because is just seemed strange to us but if you think about it, it makes total sense. Your facial expressions have the power to change your mood! Have you ever been a little down but put a smile on anyway and ended up being happier for the rest of the day? If you haven’t, you really need to try that trick. Anyway, raising your eyebrows widens your vision and opens your mind to creative ideas (so they say) and furrowing your eyebrows does the exact opposite.

We haven’t tried this one yet either but would love to hear if it works for you. While you’re at it, wear a smile on your face too 🙂

Next time you just cannot think of a single creative idea, don’t stress. These four bizaar tricks could very well help you boost your creativity. Yeah, they’re a little odd but they’re so simple that it’s worth a try! Tell us, have you tried any of these or do you have some of your own tricks to share? Just leave a comment below!