Digital Painting Student Art Exhibit Opens

Creative Compass Magazine presents

PhotoShop Designer 2 Student Art Exhibit

by Susan Armstrong

Our World-Our View

Cre8tive Compass Art Gallery is pleased to announce that its January 2011 student art exhibition is now online on Creative Compass dot com. The theme for the  exhibition is “Our World-Our View”.

The PhotoShop Designer 2 Mixed Media Explorations e-course taught by Rebecca E. Parsons began in October and ended on December 31, 2010. There were more than 80 images submitted. Congratulations to the digital artists whose work is featured. The display will run until February 11, 2011.

Featured Artist: Kaylene Maalste

Artist Exhibitors:

Susan Armstrong

Joanne Calhoun

Priscilla Stultz

Sally Barker

Click on the painting above to visit the exhibit.

About Cre8tive Compass Online Art Gallery

Cre8tive Compass Art Gallery offers a series of monthly themed art exhibitions and holds  art competitions throughout the  year. The intention is to showcase the incredible talent of new and emerging mixed media artists. C8C Online Art Gallery also features the students of Rebecca E. Parsons various online art e-courses. All participating artists have their artwork exposed and promoted online through the gallery to thousands of guest visitors each month.


click above to DOwnload Textures Pack PDF

Free PhotoShop Texture Pack Cre8Tive Bistro

Grand Opening

Cre8Tive Bistro – PhotoShop Goodies

click above to Download Textures Pack PDF

Included in this pack are 5 textures in low-res JPEG format. They are 1000 pixels square. Peacock One is also available in high-res format for $2. These are for personal use only by Creative Commons.

Buy Now for $2

Every Tuesday there will be a new high-res Texture Pack available form Cre8Tive Bistro-PhotoShop Goodies for $2. There will also be 2 FREE low-res textures.

So check back every Tuesday!

Peacock Pack 1000 px square


Make Your Own Art History Pioneer Woman…

My philosophy has always been: when everyone is headed in one direction…turn and go the other way for that is where true genius, growth and creativity lies…go forth with wild abandon pioneer woman….make your own art history!!!

artwork inspired by suzi blu - prints available

After my early morning walk on the beach, I make a cup of jasmine tea and browse FaceBook and The Hive to see what’s up with my friends. Almost always I find some little nugget that inspires me. This was the nugget this morning that inspired the above digital painting and this post:

Dream Doer Suzi Blu’s post on FaceBook brought quite a response:
I’m so on the brink of something fabulous – like you’ve never seen before – and I ain’t waiting around for someone to say yeah youre good enough we will publish you. Im making my thing real and Im doing it myself. I don’t have the patience or the ability to get on my knees and beg for you to understand me. Take note sistah – you ain’t seen nothing yet.

These, my friends and fellow artistic journeyers, are the words of an artist who has found her voice.

Many around you want to point out ‘reality’ to you, especially if you are an artist or different. They say things like “Face the facts.” and “Look at what-is.”

However,  I would say to you:

If you are able to see only ‘what-is’ (what already exists)…then you will only be able to create more of ‘what-is’! You must be able to put your thoughts and energy beyond what-is in order to bring forth something different…something more… something that speaks to the world in a new way. And that is where true genius, growth and creativity lies…go forth with wild abandon pioneer artisan. Make your own art history!!!

You can find suzi blu here and here – i have written about suzi before here and here.

…if you like this post please leave a comment and share it with your friends…just click a button below!!! thank you for stopping…come back again ya here…

digital painting from original art & photos

If you would like to learn how to create digital paintings like the one above…I have several classes available. Click on PhotoShop Designer Mixed Media e-courses.

a halloween digitl painting

Your Computer is a Great Creative Tool

If you are not currently using the computer as an art tool, you are missing out on a world of creativity! I use it every day to create digital paintings with my original artwork, doodles and photographs. I can show you how to use it too…below is a recent digital painting for the season!!

a halloween digital painting

I found this post recently on Etsy Forums and thought you might enjoy Susan’s musings on the subject.

Old Dog Learns New Tricks–My 5 Best for Success on Etsy…What are yours?

SusanFaye from Etsy Forums

How old of a dog am I? Well, when I was a young pup, my family’s one telephone had a rotary dial, it had a party line shared with neighbors, and it was attached to the wall with a cord. If you wanted to make a copy of something you used a mimeograph machine. If you wanted to change the TV channel you had to get up and walk across the room and turn a dial to select one of 8 channels.

So when the time finally came to own a personal computer and dive into the fast-paced and mysterious world of cyberspace, I was terrified to say the least.

But this old dog has learned lots of new tricks. Here are five that have contributed to my success selling y art in online venues like Etsy, Cafepress, and Ebay:

1. Dive in. Early on I was tentative and fearful. What if I lost data or made an irreversible mistake, or worse–caused my computer to crash? My son was fearless, however. He explored, he clicked on anything that was clickable, and just learned things through old-fashioned trial and error or by asking one of his friends. I now do the same.

2. Become friends with your photo editing tool. Using the “dive in” approach mentioned in No. 1, make a copy of a photo then play with these basic gizmos: Crop, Lighten/Darken, Contrast, and Saturation. They will become your best friends forever, leading to irresistable images and innumerable sales.

3. Toot your own horn. I know your mom (and mine) said that bragging isn’t nice, but I’m not talking vuvuzela horn-tooting here. That would be like saying “look at me, look at me; aren’t I wonderful?” Instead, learn to toot with finesse, ie. “I LOVE what I do, and here is why I want to share it with you…” or “this is why I’m passionate about such-and-such, I hope you like it too” or “this is my favorite color, what do you think?”

4. Boldly embrace the Blogosphere. I’ll admit it: three years ago I did not have a clue what a weblog was or how it worked or where to find one. I now have a blog with hundreds of followers from around the world and it’s one of my best networking tools for promoting my Etsy shop:

Not up to writing one of your own? At least try to visit one new one a day. When you find one you really like, look at their blogroll (list of blogs they like) and chances are you will find dozens more kindred spirits. Leave comments, participate in their giveaways, exchange ideas, and you’ll be surprised how many new friends and potential customers you will meet. And it won’t cost you a dime.

5. Make a nodding acquaintance with HTML. Just the basics–there are lots of tutorials on the web for beginners. As you explore various marketing venues such as THE HIVE, blogs, Facebook, websites, etc. you will run across situations where you will be creating a note or a page with text and pictures. You may want to rearrange things, make the text green or bold, “doll it up” a bit. Sometimes their tool or “converter” just won’t do what you want. If you know a little html code, you can add a border or a type of text that their tool doesn’t provide or even better, add a link without it showing up as a 120 character url… I know it sounds scary, but it’s a trick worth having up your sleeve. I’ve learned the basics one baby step at a time.

So those are this old dog’s best new tricks–what are yours? If you are an Etsy member, you can see many more great tips in this forum thread!!!!

PhotoShop Designer 2–Mixed Media Explorations

I am starting a new PhotoShop e-course next Tuesday…there is pleany of time to join in the fun while learning new skills. In this project-based course, we will use your artwork, your photos, clip art, custom brushes, text and more to to find more ways to add interest and depth as we create new works of art. The possibilities are endless as we explore the powerful art filters and build on our knowledge of blending modes, layers, levels, opacity and brushes. We will also learn how to create and add a copyright mark to protect your images. You will be given the techniques, resources and inspiration for a lifetime of creative play with PhotoShop Elements. You will graduate with a portfolio of your own digital paintings.


Somerset Digital Studio Submission

I am way excited this morning. Yesterday I saw an issue of Somerset Digital Studio. I was smitten, but also was led to submit some of my artwork. My spirit was screaming at me that I should be in there…so this morning bright and early before I went to the beach, I submitted one of my pieces for consideration.

My work does not look like anything that is in there now…so I hope that they are wanting to push the edge of possibilities!!!

Here are a few of my recent digital paintings:

Check out my PhotoShop Mixed Media Explorations for Artists by clicking here…the class starts 10/19!!!

lifes a witch invite

Freebies & Giveaways During October

I am in a Halloween mood celebrating the 1 year anniversary of my radio show Artistically Speaking…so there will be Tricks and Treats all month. I am going to create some great fun art to give away. Please spread the word!!!

To kick off the Month o’ Tricks & Treats, I have a special Halloween party invitation called Life’s a Witch!! It is a PDF file…just print on cardstock, trim it out and mail. Just click on the image below to download. If that does not work there is a clickable link below the image that should work.

lifes a witch invite

Enjoy and come back often for you never know what will be hiding within a post!!! Please let me know how you like and use the invitation by commenting below. I love to know who stops by.

This is the preliminary sketch of my pot stirring witch!!

If this is your first visit…Look around a while…There is a world of great information for artists here. Sunday is an Inspirational photo or essay.  Every Monday I do a Monday Marketing Minute post, Thursday is The BE Vitamins for Artists posts and Friday I celebrate a Dream Doer…an artist who is living their dream of Doing What They Love. I also have 2 radio shows for artists online…Artistically Speaking Talk Show for all artists and FAMM Live for fiber and mixed media artists.  There are players to the right where you can listen to some past shows if you have time.

My 2 summer e-courses come to a closed yesterday…the diplomas are mailed, graduate buttons (see below) have been created and e-mailed to post on students blogs and websites, my final thoughts have been written and delivered…it is a bittersweet moment for me…i look forward to my new fall workshops as they are fantabulous and full of great techniques for artists!!!




I am offering the following Do What You Love e-courses:

PhotoShop Designer 2 Mixed Media Explorations a project based class to teach you how to use Blending Modes, Artistic Filters and the Selection Tool

Creative Submersion for Artists wanting to discover their unique visual voice…and then learn to use it

The Business of BEing and Artist – If you long to leave your full-time job, this class is for you. If you need to earn some money with your art, this class is for you. If you want to open an online shop, this class is for you.

Blog for Arts Sake!!!– Delve into the hows and why of blogging. If you want to start a blog, this is for you. If you want to be a better blogger, this is for you.

plus more to come:

Addicted to Pixels – an intro to PhotoShop for Artists e-course where we delve into PS elements to unearth it;s power to create mixed media art.

Zen Doodling – my take on the art of zentangles…I have been doing what I call henna art for ever…come see what’s different with these.


New WordPress 3.0…Coaching Available

I love what I do and I trust that it shows…Watch the video to see what’s new with WordPress 3.0…more at the end of this post…

WordPresss Experts

In the past few years, I have guided many artisans and indie entrepreneurs through the installation, set-up and customization of their WordPress websites and blogs with my WP & Blogging Training & Coaching Programs. I take great interest in every site and treat it as I would my own. We develop a mission, a look and feel and more importantly a place to proudly display your artwork.
We offer a variety of technical support and services for the artisan blogger – from 1st timer to experienced, from casual blogger to pro blogger. We can help you set up your site, teach you how to use WordPress and/or a custom theme, design a look and feel for your blog, teach you to use PhotoShop for blogging, plus we can arrange for you to Fire Your WebMaster and take control of your website with the powerful WordPress Content Management System (CMS). If you don’t see what you need, just contact Rebecca with a request.

WordPress Self-Hosted Blog vs. Free WordPress Blog

I am a BIG fan of WordPress and have been using it for years and, when i discovered all that can be done with it, i became so passionate that i began teaching it and coaching others in it’s many uses … so let me see if I can explain it to you…

WordPress is the most preferred blogging platform today. Whether you want to start a new blog or transfer the older one, bloggers are choosing WordPress as their blogging platform because of its many features.

WordPress has 2 divisions which confuse many people…One arm is which is a FREE blogging platform hosted on WP’s servers (your blog would be named with lots of structure and rules on selling things from your blog (Blogger is another free one) …the second arm is (self-hosted stand alone) which is the software you load on your own domain (your blog would be

Self-hosted stand alone WordPress…it is a fully customizable FREE software and there are many themes, plugins, widgets, etc. to make it completely your own… Almost every blog you see on someone’s domain is powered by WordPress software…it is so popular that web most hosting sites offer it as a quick install option… (under 5 minutes with one click)

The reason I think it is so popular are the Plug-ins…mini-programs that allow you to do many things with your blog. You can add galleries, slideshows,  sitemap, bookmarks, SEO options, polls, video playlist and many more functions with the click of a button. There are nearly 6,000 plug-ins available for WordPress which are free to download and use on your website and blog.

Even better… It is way more than a blogging platform as it has a powerful CMS (Content Management System) which allows you to design and run an entire website, not just a blog….that means you are in control of your website, no more playing the ‘web master in charge game’ and waiting forever for them to add a photo or change a you can fire your webmaster once you learn the ins and outs of WordPress!

and it is fairly easy to learn, especially if you have been blogging for a while…if you want extra help, I offer WordPress Coaching and Training.

What is so cool is if you have an existing blog on a free site, you can import all your posts, images and comments directly into your new WordPress blog (on your own website) with the click of a button…

from wordpress: is free blogging software. With, you can install themes and plugins, run advertisements, edit the database and even modify the PHP source code. is the home of this software. Anyone can download the software for free but it must be installed on a web server before it will work. Web servers are generally not free. Hosting your own WordPress software can be fun and rewarding; it also places full responsibility on the blogger. If you mismanage your web server, you can lose your entire blog.

For no charge, provides community support forums, documentation, and free themes and the great plugins.

You Have Unlimited Potential & Control

Once you will have self-hosted WordPress website/blog, you have unlimited control of your website. You can install your blog on a separate folder rather than root directory and keep the root directory for your main website. You can install as many WordPress blogs as you want on a single domain by creating different sub-domains. I have two (a magazine and this blog) on so far.

My Best Advice

I usually recommend new bloggers to go with a free blogging platform like for the initial 30 to 60 days and then transfer that to self-hosted platform. By doing this you can decide whether you are serious about your blogging effort, if you like doing it, have enough to say and enough time to do it…if not, you can change your mind with no harm and no investment of $$$ on web hosting or domain registration.  However, if you decide you like it and you are sure that you will keep doing it for the long term, you can create a unique domain with self-hosted platform, transfer your files easily and, the best part…you have learned how to use the basic software of WordPress.

New WordPress 3.0 Features

So I am excited about the super features and possibilities that lie within this new version of WordPress. I will be teaching with this new version starting this week…are you ready to fire your webmaster?

Some of the highlights of WordPress 3.0:

  • a super loaded new default theme called Twenty Ten
  • the ability to easily customize your site with custom backgrounds and headers
  • improved nav menus and post types, etc.
  • better security for admin functions
  • multi-site functionality which makes it possible to run one blog or ten million from the same installation

and much much more…

If you would like help creating your website or your blog, WordPress Installation, customized headers or backgrounds for your website, FaceBook or Twitter, Search Engine Optimization review of your current website, Competitive Web Site Review, Social Media Marketing Training, Business Strategy Coaching and much more…sec our WordPress Training Programs, our Other Tarining/Coaching Programs or contact Rebecca today!


Got Website? You Publisher

If you have a web presence… you are a publisher!

What does your website say about you?

The look and feel of your website or blog has immediate visual impact on a surfer. To convert that surfer to a reader or client takes more than the look…it takes compelling content delivered on a regular basis. If you understand this, you will have a major advantage over most of your competition. And NOW is the time to leap ahead of other artists who don’t grasp the potential.

Gone are the days of if you build it, they will come…when you put up a website with a few pictures of your work and expected people to find you, like what they see and commission you. Today’s web buyers are much more sophisticated and know what a good website looks like. You have only 6 seconds to capture their interest enough to stay. Then your first paragraph better have something they want to know or they are gone…off to find some artist who is more savvy at marketing their work.

So just what are they looking for?

Fresh and engaging content…and a steady stream of it.


Search engines are drawn to fresh, never before written content. The more often you update, the better…and the higher your search engine ranking will be. This is why Blogs are quickly becoming the favorite marketing tool of many savvy artists…they are easy to update, easy to master and nearly free (except for your time).

Artists must engage potential clients to make connections and build relationships. And relationships make sales! Collectors want to know YOU, the artist and what makes you create…they eat this stuff up. You need to capture the heart and imagination of the buyer and create desire for your work.

To do this you must let your uniqueness and personality shine through your words and your images. When you intrigue them as they watch your journey, they come to know you and begin to trust you are who you say you are. That trust results in sales, commissions, referrals, links and long term relationships.

Build a Blog today

Don’t know how?

We can Help!

Blog Coaching Programs

We love what we do. And it shows! We offer a variety of services for the blogger – from 1st timer to experienced, from casual blogger to pro blogger. We can help you set up your site, teach you how to use WordPress and/or a theme, design a look and feel for your blog, teach you to use PhotoShop for blogging, plus we can arrange for you to Fire Your WebMaster and take control of your website with the powerful WordPress Content Management System (CMS). If you don’t see what you need below, just contact me with a request.