Miss Penny's Arty Stuff is a blog for artists. I aim to promote the many genres of the arts and share stories of interest and relevancy with an artistic community.

The photo above is of the Belabula River, Carcoar NSW where my family comes from.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Idea of Wallum

Recent paintings by Margaret Ellen Turner

Opening 6pm, Friday, September 3 at Noosa Regional Gallery

Guest Speaker: Dr Lisa Chandler

ideas that go beyond sentiment and nostalgia....

Here is an excerpt from the exhibition invitation:

The artist’s notion of wallum presents us with views of a dark yet luminous forest, scarred by natural forces, with its scraped surfaces suggesting layers of deep time. The interwoven trunks and glowing interiors create rhythmic patterns and a landscape pulsing with a warm life force. The strong illusion of depth draws us deep within the forest’s inner core, yet at the same time the bold lines of foreground trunks suggest a barrier that bars our entry into the heart of the wallum, guarding its inner secrets.

Dr Lisa Chandler.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Extraordinary Talent from Sunshine Coast

I wanted to let you know how Jane Magao got on at the Sunshine Coast Vocal Eisteddfod as I've said before I think she is a talent to be watched.

Well, here is the score sheet:
Set Piece 14 years - 3rd singing 'Castle on a Cloud'
Sacred Gospel 14-15 years - 2nd singing  'Agnus Dei'
Australian composer 14 -15 years 3rd - singing  'A Roving'
Jane won the Music Teacher's association of QLD Bursary for achieving the highest combined points for the sections above.
Contemporary 14-15 years 'Last Day on Earth' (she sang this piece with such passion, even though she didn’t appear in the prize winners on this occasion).
Vocal Duet 13 years and over - 1st singing 'The Ashgrove'
Musical Theatre 14 years - 2nd singing 'I Feel Pretty' from West Side Story
Junior Vocal Championship 14 years and Under - 1st singing 'I Attempt From Loves Sickness To Fly' & 'En Pri'ere'. Jane also won this Championship last year!
Jane was presented with The Lurline Smerdon Memorial Prize.   

There were two other singers that I felt were notable and I would like to mention, they were Genevieve O'Brien and Lucy Clough. Both girls drew my attention and I think are absolutely delightful talents. I wish all girls the best in their future ventures.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

This calls for a cup of Tea!

I think I need a nice cup of tea, a good sit down, a big deep breath and to start all over again!

I've been working really hard lately and I feel I've lost my blogging way.

It's just that the students at ballet have had their exams, so that's been hectic. I've also had lectures to give at TAFE, and they require considerable preparation. I've also been very busy preparing for a big dance eisteddfod that I'm about to adjudicate.

I've also been attending the Sunshine Coast Vocal Eisteddfod to watch Jane Magao perform and she has been doing very well. She even won the Championship for her age group. Well done Janey!

I promise to return to my former blogging regularity dear reader. Just as soon as I've had a cup of tea or two or three and maybe a little nanna nap!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Readers - It's your turn!

I think it’s time to hand this blog over to you for comment.

What is it that you would most like to see on “Miss Penny’s Arty Stuff” in the future?

Do you like the features that are business and marketing oriented?

Are you strictly into craft?

Do you love the dance clips and stories?

What about the Sunshine Coast Art scene events, are they your thing?

Is recycling and sustainable living the reason you drop by?

Please give me some feedback. It’s easy to comment and very safe. If you are a follower just sign in at the top of the blog and you can then comment under your user name, but if you prefer you can comment anonymously. For all others, it’s easy to comment under anonymous (in the drop down box) and then you can put your name in at the end of your text if you wish, it’s up to you.

Thank you.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Development Opportunity for Artists

I spent today at an acrylic painting workshop with Don Milner.

Many thanks to Lyn Donald who organised this great opportunity for our Post Graduate painting group.

Wow, this was a wonderfully educationally day and it has also returned my faith in acrylics, which had waned momentarily - I was off on an 'all oils' tangent!

Here are some photos of a lovely day spent with fabulous people and a particularly adorable puppy dog, named Belle.

The gorgeous girl in the middle is my friend Karen Magao, working away on her piece.

I highly recommend Don for workshops, he is fun, delightful, a great teacher, inspiring and an awesome painter.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Words of Inspiration

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." -- Calvin Coolidge

How inspiring is this quote?

I believe that only the most persistent of us continue with art. Many talented people give up, because it is so hard. Will you still be there in many years to come?

Monday, August 9, 2010

The horrible plastic bag!

Although this is an American clip it's relevant for any of us living anywhere on the globe. I have a real issue with plastic bags. I feel really guilty about the continued output of these things on the earth and there is still not enough happening to slow the relentless production.

Have a look at my March archives to see the dress I made out of plastic bags some time ago as a statement in recycling. It was crocheted from strips of plastic bags. I found the material so toxic to work with I had to use a mask while I crocheted the plastic strips up into the frock. It does give off a gas!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Queen of 'Works in Progress'

Here is my rug for 2010, no it isn't finished, but I've had the best of intentions, that has to count for something.

I tend to be the Queen of 'Works in Progress', I'm wildly ambitious, dreaming that I will get through the myriad of artistic activities I set myself, projects lined up here and there and of course, it would take a team of thousands to accomplish. But, not to be disheartened on I go, sure that I can have the output of a small factory. Every now and again reality bursts my bubble when some mortal asks a question such as, "haven't you finished that rug yet, Penny?" and I have to answer "well, no".

The fact is I only get the small time I'm at soccer and the little bit after dinner to do the crocheting and a rug is such a big project.

How are you going with your winter knitting and crochet projects? Are you getting things done? Are you realistic or are you like me and live in an artistic bubble of ambition? I'd love to hear from you about how you manage your creative drive.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Understanding The Consumer

Before you can even begin to prepare your sales message or workout a sales strategy and media planning, it helps to spend some time considering the consumer who may ultimately become the buyer of your product.

This isn’t easy because even buyers themselves find it difficult to articulate what motivates them to chose the way they do. Sometimes, we do not even want to admit what drives us to purchase certain items because, put simply, it isn’t always a rational choice.

For example, shopping can be a pleasant experience, well some types of shopping (not food shopping - not for me anyway - yuk). It’s more than just purchasing goods that we need. If that were the case, then we would only have one pair of joggers and one other pair of sensible shoes, and that would be just terrible.

Brands have an identity and a personality, they are much more than just a name on an item. They provide us with something else that feeds into an emotional need, a connection develops.

So, people are attracted to characteristics about certain brand’s personalities, intangible traits that the consumer may or may not be aware of. This has been proven by studies. When asked why people prefer a certain product over others, often the answer will be a rational answer like taste or smell but then in a blind study they cannot differentiate their (so called) preferred product from the rest. This proves that their preference was more likely to have been motivated by emotional responses rather than rational.

Examples of these emotional responses could be:

* the brand’s personality has connected with them through advertising
* the person relates to the brand’s image and wants to be associated with it
* the brand has a great reputation which they respond to
* the brand is building a positive relationship with the marketplace through philanthropy
* the brand is standing out from the crowd i.e. cutting edge
* they see the brand regularly which builds trust

By now you may be wondering why I’m talking about all this stuff to you when you are an artist, well do you think you could utilise some of this information to help to build the brand that is YOU? Do you think you could work on the Social Media sites to help to build a following and help your followers get to know you better? Do you think they would then feel more comfortable in dealing with you and potentially buying from you? Could you generate curiosity or interest in your work?

Basically this information is the same in a large or small environment...... People are people wherever they are.

Good luck! I will help you with your sales message too and coordinating your marketing materials. Hang in.... it’s coming.

Thank you Anne for this great photo from Chang Rai in Thailand, sporting yet another Miss Penny bag!! Woot woo!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A cure for Miss Penny Please?

Hello Friends,

It's just as well that blogs are written because all I can do at the moment is text and type. I'm mute, totally and utterly mute. I have a serious dose of laryngitis. I have a tendency to laryngitis. I do not know why, but it seems to be one of my weak areas, perhaps from all my years of teaching, I do not know. I taught ballet today, in a strange and somewhat comical manner, with a gesture here and a movement there. My students seemed to understand what I was on about, luckily.

Some years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed teaching some hearing impaired students to dance and at that time I actually learnt a little bit of signing, I wish I had continued with it. I've often thought of doing a course in Auslan signing, but as yet I haven't got around to it, but it is on my to-do-list. It would come in handy now.

Have you ever had laryngitis? Do you have any remedies?

Do you like my photo? I wonder how the liver pills worked? I bet they tasted bad!

I took this photo in Carcoar, NSW. It's the town where both my parents were born.

Monday, August 2, 2010


So hello again, do you remember me?

That’s the question isn’t it when we are out there marketing our work, trying and hoping that someone will remember our advertisement, our Facebook post, our last Twitter tweet, but amongst the myriad of messages what are the chances?

Well, what are a few things we can do to improve those odds?

Today will be the first of a series of articles addressing marketing art work. Initially my discussion will begin with building a brand, and the place to begin is with yourself. What can you do to set up a point-of-difference between you and the hundreds of others out there?

My last post’s headline read “You don’t remember me, do you?” and this was very poignant when we begin thinking about this subject. How do you interact with your audience, your peers, your clients? How would you introduce yourself at a networking event? Are you very active already in your local community? Are you altruistic? Are you writing a blog, do you have a web presence, a social media presence?

How would you hope to be remembered?

OK, so you may have answered yes, I’m out there working on these things, I’m interesting and engaging and I’m already well known. Fantastic, you are on your way, but its also very important to not be overtly sales oriented when networking. Instead be utterly devoted to your product (as most artists are) walk the talk - this is the easy bit - just be who you are, be positive and up beat. Have photos at hand and business cards with a URL address to your blog or website.

There is nothing more off-putting to potential buyers than someone who is only interested in interacting when there is a sale to be made. I know I see through this at a thousand paces!

Always try to be warm and friendly and offer more than a quick sale turn around. Connecting at a human level will never be out of vogue. Simply caring has always worked for me, it’s brought me long-term friendships, love and laughter as well as long term clients.

In the next article, I’ll talk more about coordinating your sales message.