Thursday, February 23, 2017

Art Workshop en plen air Sarasota, Florida - Anna Maria Florida Mar 2-3, 2017

Get in touch with your creative self again in this relaxed, visualization workshop. Immerse yourself in 2 cool days of creative abandonment !!! LOL - no kidding... REGISTRATION for March 2 and 3, 2017 - Outdoor Painting from Life (great holiday gift) Oil/Acrylic art workshop. - ALL LEVELS 2 day workshop only - Class size limited Sarasota and surrounding area Here's your chance to stay and take a workshop in the beautiful Sarasota and surrounding area, Florida Learn to use your body - mind connection. Find your own style using your filters Tap into your creativity. Each day has a demonstration and lecture focusing on creativity, bold composition . You will learn to make quick decisions and simplify for the most impact. We will discuss Color relationships, detail, form, color temperature and how to achieve atmosphere in your outdoor paintings. Participants should be able to start a second painting for the afternoon session so it is suggested to work no larger than 12x12 we will be working square. Supervised painting until 4:00 pm each day This workshop is focused on making you a faster and better painter, capturing the essence of the landscape Workshop is from 10:00 - 4:00 pm (ish) * 2 day Workshop Cost pp is $325.00 US PP available on website Workshop includes two full days of painting & instruction en plein air in gloriously beautiful Sarasota and surrounding areas of Anna Maria Island

Friday, December 9, 2016

Niagara Falls 10th annual "Day in an Artists's Studio"

Feb 5, 2017 - Looking for that unique Gift ? 10th annual "A Day in an Artist Studio" Niagara Falls is an experience to give or share with someone you love. Learn, Laugh, Relax and go home with a new way of looking at your world AND a finished oil painting !! That's a tall order, but I promise, all you need to do is register for this all inclusive mini holiday workshop and I'll show you how to change your thinking about what you believe you can do... #artworkshop #niagaraartworkshop #paintingworkshop

Saturday, November 5, 2016

J R Baldini Artist Australian Exhibit

Proceeds from all sales will be heading through the Marilyn Jetty Swim to Cancer Council SA to help Cancer Research.

All works are available for sale during our world wide online auction.

Follow what's happening on the Magpie Springs fb page

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Time sensitive book now for Grece 2016 !!

wanna join me & a group of really creative, fun people in Greece this October ? 
We'll be doing 1 nite in Athens, 7 days on an beautiful small island where Leonard Cohen has a house, explore historic sites, have fabulous GMO free food, learn how to photograph on a walking tour with Master Photographer C. Vandersluys and dance, laugh and relax... 
You will not find a better price than this ...(not for artists only)
UPDATE : GREECE is still holding - all details at
contact : E-mail:
Erja Lipponen tour director for application form

Friday, August 21, 2015

Do book tours sell books ?

We're become too involved in technology - we all know that. Those of us who tech isn't our first language still realize the personal connection is key. Why else would we be writing a book ? The article is great at connecting the points for 'connecting'... In the arts, the whole point is to connect with people - go where the people are !

Baldacci told me his philosophy on book tours was pretty basic, back in the ’90s: “If anybody called up and said, ‘Would you come?’ I said yes.”
But what about now? I pressed him. When you can reach zillions of readers lounging around tweeting from your living room sofa? What’s the value of crisscrossing the country in person? We were at a packed event for Baldacci at Politics and Prose here in Washington, D.C.; I was one of the considerably-more-than-three people who turned up last autumn to hear him discuss his novel, “The Escape.”
“I don’t have to be here on a Saturday night,” he replied, eyeing me sternly. “I’ve sold all the books I ever have to sell. But…it’s far better to go out on book tour than it is to sit and tweet. I lament the fact that publishers don’t send out novelists as much as they used to. It’s expensive, but it’s money well worth it.”
Days after our exchange, “The Escape” hit No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list, so let’s assume the guy is on to something. The book tour ain’t dead yet.
I had an ulterior motive in quizzing Baldacci. My second novel was about to be released, and I needed ammo to persuade my own publisher to send me on tour. The campaign worked. I’ve spent the last few months delivering book talks from Atlanta to Seattle to Damariscotta, Maine. Some of the travel has been on Simon & Schuster’s dime; some has been on mine. Has it been worth it? In short, do book tours sell books? Well, yes and no. Yes, I’ve sold books to people who wouldn’t otherwise have bought them. No, I almost certainly haven’t sold enough to recoup the plane and hotel bills.
Personally, I share the view that it’s preferable to meet readers in person than to tweet at them from your sofa. Writing a book is a rewarding but lonely affair. Every few years it’s good to have an excuse to change out of your pajamas, emerge blinking from your cave, and interact with actual human beings. So mark me firmly in the camp of those who hope the institution of the book tour persists. Whether it will depends on market forces larger than any of us writers, or our readers, can predict: whether the remaining publishing giants figure out how to turn a profit, whether indie bookstores find ways to prosper, when some tech whiz will get around to inventing a way for authors to sign people’s Kindles.
Meanwhile, traipsing around the country this summer, signing and shaking hands and chatting with readers at events large and small, I learned a few things. Tips, if you will, for what makes a good book tour.
We might as well enjoy the party while it lasts.
1. Don’t read aloud from your book.
It may be called a book reading, but people do not want to spend an evening listening to you stumble through prose they’re perfectly capable of reading for themselves. Instead, tell the story of how you found your agent. (Everyone secretly wants an agent.) Tell the funniest story you heard this week, book-related or no. If you absolutely must read, pick a provocative bit. I favor a seduction scene from late in “The Bullet.” My protagonist — sheathed in tight jeans, lips painted ruby red — is whispering to a man about car engines and guns. She leans against a pickup truck, talking fast, letting his eyes trace her curves. “Keep reading,” moaned a man in the back at my San Francisco reading. “Please don’t stop.” He bought three hardcover copies.
2. Give your event a killer title.
If you can work in the words “wine,” “coffee” or “doughnuts,” so much the better. A Texas friend hosts signings with fellow female writers under the banner, “Wine, Women and Mystery.” Count me in. Or, take KramerBooks in Dupont Circle, which recently invited customers to crime-fiction readings headlined “Noir at the Bar” and—more alluring still—“Dames at Dusk.” They could very well have titled this last event, “Seven Women Read Excerpts from Their Books.” Which one would you make time for?
3. Embrace your inner traveling salesperson.
Schlepping suitcases of books around in rental cars is not the most dignified aspect of the literary life. Get over it. Being an author today means writing books; it also means selling them. Publishing lore has it that “Valley of the Dolls” author Jacqueline Susann and her husband, Irving Mansfield, perfected the modern book tour back in the 1960s. “The invasion of Normandy was child’s play compared to the way Jackie and Irving orchestrated a media blitz,” sniffed a former publicist, in a Times piece that ran after the author’s death. “Nothing escaped them, nothing was an accident.” The couple even sweetened up the truckers who delivered Susann’s books with doughnuts.
4. Implore the vendor to stock twice as many books as you could possibly sell.
Because you just never know. The first time I spoke at the Atlanta History Center, they sold out of my book before I set foot on stage. Interns were sent scurrying to Barnes & Noble to procure more copies. It was sorely tempting to pronounce the evening “mission accomplished,” scrap the talk and escape with my brother for a celebratory cocktail. In hindsight, this might have been a good call, because it was at this same reading that my four-inch stiletto pierced through a seam in the stage, pitching me forward, nearly knocking me off the stage, and requiring a dramatic rescue by a family friend in the front row. (Thank you, Dan.)
5. Don’t wear stilettos.
6. Don’t say yes to every invitation.
Another writer once forwarded me this headline from the Onion: “Author Promoting Book Gives It Her All Whether It’s Just 3 People Or A Crowd Of 9 People.” I giggled. It’s a funny article, right up until the moment it becomes your life. For me that moment came in the city where I now live. I have friends here, dammit. I had promoted the hell out of the event on social media. Five people showed, one of whom I am married to. Why? Sometimes there is no why. But in my case, the signing in question was my fourth in D.C., and that might have been one too many. Fans and friends—even really good friends—get tired. So pick and choose wisely. And should it happen to you: Take a deep breath, deliver a storming book talk and then let your spouse steer you to the nearest bar for a double martini.
7. Say yes to every invitation.
The counter-argument comes from Jenny Milchman, who found time to write three mysteries while pulling off the self-proclaimed “World’s Longest Book Tour.” When Milchman published her first novel in 2013, she and her husband rented out their house, yanked their kids out of school to “car school” them for seven months and scheduled nearly 200 signings. “I’ve done plenty of events where there’s one person in the room,” she told me cheerfully, when I called to check how the latest leg is going. “But maybe that one person turns out to be the book reviewer for the Miami Herald.”
Here’s the bottom line: unless your last name is Grisham, you’ll have events where the only folks who show are your mother and your agent. You’ll have events where not one person buys a book. (There is a special circle in hell for people who turn up at readings with a library copy and ask you to sign their bookmark.)
And then, the very next night—some mysterious alchemy, stars in distant galaxies aligning—your book sells out before you step onto the stage.
I pondered all this the other day as I bought my ticket for Salman Rushdie. He’s in town next month to promote his new novel. The venue is on track to sell out, 800 tickets, a crowd packed to the rafters.
Do book tours sell books? I’ll ask him. Mary Louise Kelly

Friday, April 24, 2015

Guy Kawasaki’s 10 Social Media Tips for Authors - it ain't just about the book...

Guy Kawasaki’s 10 Social Media Tips for Authors By Guy Kawasaki Wrap your mind around this: One of the most important factors that traditional publishers use to decide whether to acquire a book is the marketing platform of its author. You’d think that the main reason for approaching a traditional publisher is to reap the benefits of the publisher’s marketing, and you wouldn’t have to bring your own.
Life is full of mysteries, and whether you’re working with a traditional publisher or you are an artisanal publisher (a.k.a., “self-publisher”), the potency of your marketing platform can determine your success.
There is no scenario under which thousands of social-media followers is not a good thing, so here are 10 social-media tips for authors of any kind.

1. Start yesterday
You must make progress along two fronts at the same time: writing your book and building your marketing platform. You cannot wait until you’re done writing, because a platform takes nine months to a year to build. Ideally, you started building your platform before you even began to write your book.

2. Segment the services
There are five social-media services to choose from. You need not use them all, but each serves a different purpose. I call this the five Ps of social media: Facebook is for people — people who you went to high school or college with and your family. Twitter is for perceptions — perceptions such as “I feel an earthquake and I’m in Chile.” Google+ is for passions — passions such as photography that you cannot share with your Facebook people. Pinterest is for pinning — pinning pictures with little interaction. LinkedIn is for pimping — as in making business connections or finding a job. You can use each of these to build a platform, but your relationships on them are apt to differ.

3. Make a great profile
Your profile page is an ad. Its purpose is to convince people to circle, follow, subscribe, or like you. It should communicate that you are a likeable, trustworthy, and competent person. Two details: First, ensure that your profile has a high-quality picture of your face (and only your face, not your spouse, dog, kids, and car). Second, use the text areas to simply and humbly describe who you are and tell your personal story. For example, Peggy Fitzpatrick has a great Google+ profile. (See image above.)

4. Curate, don’t create
It’s hard enough to write a book, much less create content for social-media sites at the same time. So give yourself a break and focus on curating the content of others while you are writing. Link to articles, pictures, and videos that are relevant to your genre in order to establish your expertise. Power tip: Go to, a site I co-founded, to find content on more than 1,000 topics. For example, the followers of a science-fiction writer would find “How to Deflect Killer Asteroids With Spray Paint“ interesting (found via

5. Act like NPR
NPR provides great content 365 days a year. A few days a year it runs pledge drives. No one I know likes the pledge drives, but we tolerate them — and some of us even give money. Why? Because NPR has earned the right to promote its pledge drives by providing such great content. This is a good model for authors too: Provide such great content that you can promote your book when it’s done. If you do this very well, people may want to reciprocate for the value you’ve added to their lives by buying your book. So just imagine you are the producer of “Fresh Air” or “All Things Considered” and look for interesting content. 6. Restrain yourself NPR provides another excellent example for book marketing: It doesn’t run pledge drives very often. Less than 10 percent of your social-media posts should promote your book or other commercial endeavors. It’s OK to pour it on when your book launches, but back off on the promotion after the first four weeks and do educational things like free webinars and Hangouts on Air. You need to make a transition from salesman to teacher.

7. Candy-fy
Social-media sites are busy places, so people don’t notice all-text posts or posts with small pictures. Every post should include a picture that’s at least 400 to 500 pixels wide or an embedded video from YouTube or Vimeo. Eye candy counts in the constant contest for attention — if you’re old enough to remember, it’s like the difference between a Yellow Pages ad and a Yellow Pages listing. Check my posts on Google+ to see what I mean.

8. Respond
Social media is a conversation, not a one-way broadcast. Every time you share a post, respond to the comments that it generates. (If it generates no comments, you’re doing something wrong.) A big mistake that most authors make is that they think they are delivering a sermon when a conversation is what’s appropriate.

9. Stay positive or stay silent
Even if the topic is an issue that perturbs the core of your soul such as gun control, women’s rights, or ObamaCare, don’t show anger. On a practical level, if you only want to sell books to people who agree with your sensibilities, you should prepare for a life of poverty. If people attack you, ignore them. If they attack you twice, block them from seeing your posts. And don’t look back.

10. Repeat
Social-media “experts” disagree with me on this, but I’m telling you it works: Repeat your posts. I repeat my tweets four times every eight hours — you don’t get 1,240,000 Twitter followers by not taking risks. This is pushing the edge, but the assumption that everyone who is interested in your posts will see it the first time is na├»ve. CNN doesn’t run a story once and hope that everyone has seen it or recorded it to see later. At least try sharing a post when your audience is awake, then 12 hours later, and see what happens.
One last tip: Do, don’t plan. Social-media experts will tell you that the first step is to develop a plan that includes highfalutin elements such as goals, strategies, and tactics. Let me simplify the process of building a platform. The goal is to get 5,000 followers by the time your book comes out. End. Of. Discussion. There is little “right” and “wrong” in social media — even what I say here!
There is only what works for you and what doesn’t, so jump in and get going. You’ll figure it out along the way.

Guy Kawasaki has 3,821,000 million Google+ followers, 286,000 Facebook subscribers, and 1,240,000 Twitter followers. He is the co-author of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book, which explains self-publishing, and has written eleven other books, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Enchantment. Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University, an MBA from UCLA, and an honorary doctorate from Babson College.