Monthly Archives: February 2012

New Howard Alan Events Facebook Giveaway!


Kevin Kichar is the artist of the week for our Facebook Giveaway!

Check out the giveaway here and enter to win this beautiful piece of art for your home!

Kevin Kichar designed our Las Olas Art Fair poster, this was based on a mural he designed for the city of Fort Lauderdale.  Posters and T-shirts of the Las Olas Art Fair design will be for sale at the Las Olas Art Fair this weekend at the booth outside the Cheesecake Factory on Las Olas.



Las Olas Part II Is This Weekend!


The much anticipated Las Olas II Art Fair is returning to Fort Lauderdale this weekend.  A fabulous mix of artists from around the country will set up their outdoor art galleries on the tree lined Las Olas Boulevard.  One of the many highlights of attending a Howard Alan Event is the opportunity to meet the artist who created the works of art on display.  During the week we will highlight some of the artists appearing at the upcoming show.  Allen Levy will be at Las Olas Art Fair this weekend.

“I love to work with the horizontal plain. Originally from the Midwest, I grew up where the land was very flat thus the source of my inspiration. To create “Distant Forest”, I applied multiple layers of paint to create depth and texture and continually mixed the various colors to develop a composition that is truly unique. Using an earth-tone color scheme, the result is a painting that is both dynamic and peaceful at the same time.” – Allen Levy

Primarily a self-taught artist, my working studio is located at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia.  I also am an artist member at The Torpedo Factory Art League in Alexandria, Virginia, and the Greater Reston Art Center in Reston, Virginia.  I live and paint in Woodbridge, Virginia, and have sold my work nationally.

Stop by the art fair this weekend and check out the works of Allen Levy and the other talented artists.



Attention Delray Beach Crafters,

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the City of Delray Beach has moved our parking for this show.

We will now be utilizing the Hands Lot (on the corner of Atlantic Blvd and NE 4th) next to the railroad tracks. There will be an attendant to guide you to the new parking area.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

We wish you great success this weekend at Delray Beach.


15thAnnual Downtown Delray Beach Craft Festival

February 25th & 26th, 2012

Saturday & Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM

Free Admission

Meet New York Times Bestselling Children’s Author Laura Duksta at the Delray Craft Festival


15thAnnual Downtown Delray Beach Craft Festival

February 25th & 26th, 2012

Saturday & Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM

Free Admission

What began as a prayer for a pregnant sister evolved into a place on the New York Times Bestsellers list with a lot of love and joy being spread in between.

Laura Duksta, originally from Boston and now living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida  is the author of I Love You More and You Are A Gift To The World, 2 uplifting books filled with love.

She says one of her greatest teachers has been the experience of losing her hair at 11 years old to the condition Alopecia Areata. She learned the important life lesson “Just Be Your Self”, and on her 30 birthday she said goodbye to her wigs she had worn since age 11 and proudly became “The Bald Chick”. Her first book I Love You More, illustrated by her friend Karen Keesler, was self published with money borrowed from her mother.  In 2008 I Love You More hit the New York Times bestsellers list for 3 weeks! It’s been picked up by publishers in South Korea, Israel and Italy as well as distributed in Canada, England and Australia.

Laura enjoys going to schools all over the United States and world sharing her lessons on love, more information can be found about her books and programs at and .
Laura’s second book You Are a Gift to the World was released in April 2011, the Facebook Page for the book describes it:

On one side a child asks, “What’s the best gift in the whole wide world?” The response is…You are! Your smiles, hugs, voice and family. flip the book over and the child asks, “What’s the biggest gift?” The answer…the world itself is a big gift, the flowers, plants and trees, the oceans, mountains and the sun that shines down upon us!

This book is the follow up to I Love You More…filling our children’s world up with love and appreciation for themselves, one another and the world we call home!

They partnered with based out of Aspen, CO and their goal is to plant trees so that we can…Keep Breathing, Keep Reading, Keep Shining!

Encourage children to love and take good care of of themselves, one another and the world we call home!

Stop by the Delray Beach Craft Festival this weekend to meet the author!


You Are A Gift To The World

Karen Keesler and Laura Duksta


11th Annual Downtown Venice Art Classic

March 3rd & 4th, 2012

Saturday & Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Free Admission

West Venice Avenue in Downtown Venice, FL

Marcus Thomas will be displaying his paintings at the Downtown Venice Art Classic.
He also has a design entered in the Christmas at Biltmore Wine Label Contest.  Go to the Biltmore website today to vote for his design, Biltmore Winter.  Voting ends February 29, 2012.
Vote for Thomas Marcus Biltmore Winter

Marcus Thomas is very busy these days, he is also working on a book about his life and work.

At 26, Marcus Thomas survived a skiing accident which left him paralyzed from the neck down. Six months into his recovery, learning to live as a quadriplegic, he took up a paintbrush and started to create art. Now, 25 years after the accident, he continues to learn how to live – as an artist.

 Marcus C. Thomas
Celebrating ” 25 ” Year

 Book Release

 Flight of the Mind
A Painter’s Journey through Paralysis

Release Date:  July 2012



Standard and discuss Pinterest! Have you checked out our Pinterest Boards?






I’m Hooked! 10 Reasons Why Artists Love Pinterest

When I received an invite to Pinterest last week, I was a bit reluctant about joining. How could I possibly manage another social media site? Was this attractive network going to be a time-suck? But, within five minutes of joining I was already hooked, or should I say – pinned!In case you do not know, Pinterest is the two-year old social bookmarking site that allows you to collect, upload and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. These collections are neatly and cleverly stored in virtual pinboards.  People use pinboards to plan  weddings, gain artistic inspiration, collect quotes and decorating ideas, or their favorite recipes. Pinterest also lets you to browse pinboards created by other talented people.Getting started on Pinterest is quick and easy. Once you’ve set up your account, it is simple to drive traffic back to your product. I am just a newbie at pinning, but I already see the huge marketing and branding possibilities for Pinterest users.pinterest_sketchbook_journaling

I asked my artist friend and avid Pinterest user, Cheryl Greenfield to share her thoughts about Pinterest.

“Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration and sources, a place to interact with friends and associates, a place to research trends, and a place to market. It’s a place to get yourself ‘out there’ in order to promote your brand as a writer, artist, photographer, designer, architect, sculptor, musician, or any other arena.” ~Cheryl Greenfield, Chez Blanche Designs

Here’s 10 Reasons Why Artists Love Pinterest: 1. Pinterest is growing at a phenomenal rate. According to CNET News, in the week that ended December 17, the site received nearly 11 million visits – almost 40 times the number of visits it received during a single week six months earlier, according to Experian Hitwise, which measures and analyzes consumer behavior on the Web. According to ‘the big hitter on Twitter’, @askaaronlee  says, “Pinterest is one of the top 10 most visited social networking sites. It has more traffic compared to tumblr and Google+.”

  2. Pinterest is a visual feast for the eyes! Pinterest is filled with beautiful imagery and inspiration. Be warned, it is a great escape and you can easily get lost in its alluring pages. Set an egg timer to snap you out of your pinning stupor!

Here are a few of my pinboards…


 3. No more scrap-filing. Most all artists and creative people that I know have file cabinets and folders that are filled to the brim with magazine clippings, photocopies, images, color chips and other inspirational scrap material for future projects. With Pinterest, you can say bye-bye this labor intensive work. Now you can easily pin your ideas into virtual pinboards. Stop wasting ink and paper – you might even save a tree!

 4Share your art. Pinterest is a great way to share your online portfolio. Get your art in front of a targeted audience of designers, fellow artists, galleries and prospective customers. You can upload images directly, or you can pin your portfolio directly from your blog. This way the images will link back to their original source. However be tasteful about it, “Avoid Self Promotion Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.”


 5. Share and link to your website or blog. When uploading your art portfolio from your computer, and not an online site, be sure to add your blog URL in the description for another branding opportunity. Not only can you upload images from your blog, but also blog posts and Youtube videos. Consider holding or a contest or giveaway.
 6. Bookmark favorite websites. While surfing the web, now you can easily bookmark your favorite blogs or blog posts onto a pinboard for easy reference.
7. Sell your art or product. Do you have an Etsy store you would like to promote, or do you want to sell your art products from your blog? Pinterest allows you to add a price to a pin, type the $ or £ symbol followed by the number amount in the description. When you are finished, click Pin It.
Below is an example of how #PowerArtistRobin Pedrero lists her fine art prints.
 8. Cross pollinate your pinboards. Share your pinboards across your social networks with Pinterest. Tweet, Like, embed and email your pins to find new friends and followers!
 9. Social media etiquette still applies.  Pinterest is designed to curate and share the things you love, and encourages you to repin your friends’ and credit your sources. Like with Twitter, avoid using Pinterest purely as a self-promotional tool.
10. Invite your friends. Once a member, you can build your community by inviting your friends to join you on Pinterest.

pinterest social media

  1. Pinterest is FUN
    The great thing about Pinterest is that it is actually FUN to explore and check out other pins. This site is literally filled with artists and others from all walks of life. Browsing the thousands of pinboards can be a very rewarding and inspiring experience for artists. It is certainly a great place to find inspiration for artworks and projects. Pinterest is basically the best the web has to offer. If suffering from creative block, I don’t think you will be for long by spending some time here.
  2. The photos at Pinterest are large and optimally displayed
    Images of art are large and displayed in a very attractive way, surrounded by a neutral light gray color. The focus is the photograph, and not image and text as in Facebook and Google+.
  3. pinterest artistsArt Collections
    Pinterestallows artists to create full collections of artworks. A short message may be included at the bottom, along with a website link.To add a pin on the site, click the Add+ button. This brings up a box which includes options for creating a new board, uploading a photo from your computer, or inserting a web address or photo link.
  4. Fill in the pin description
    Include a brief summary. A url may be included here, and also within individual post descriptions. Try to do it discreetly, as Pinterest frowns on shameless self-promotion.graham matthews artIf you pin your own websites and profiles, a link is included back. When others share your pin, the link is included as well. This is actually a very effective link building strategy to help your art site achieve higher ranking.
  5. Variety
    A pinboardcan be created based on virtually anything. They may be a collection of artworks, recipes, interesting websites, design ideas, bookmarks, etc. Basically, whatever one may think of can be collected and shared. If inspiration is needed, Pinterest is certainly the place to find it!I am planning on a few pinboard collections, and you may use the same ideas if you want:Facebook pages – artists that I am inspired by on Facebook
    Google+ posts – a collection of my favorite postings there
    Web designing sites – some of my main sources for learning html, css, and general webpage design
    Favourite Youtube videos – Tutorials for video slideshows, art studio tours, and more
    Photoshop tutorials – I am always interested to learning new ways of utilizing Photoshop for web designing and optimizing images of artworks.
    Artist Spotlite Websites – A collection of the websites of artists featured at Artpromotivate!
  6. Sharing Pins
    The pins can be easily shared by liking and repinning.
    The liked images appear under the likes section in the Pinterest profile. Repinsare added to a collection, and can be continually repinned, with the source link always remaining intact.Suggest a pinto another member by including @ in front of their name. Other users can be mentioned in comments or descriptions. They will also be notified when doing so.Others may contribute to a board. Find the edit button on a pin-board, and select “Me + Contributors”. Then enter the name of any of your followed members, so that they can add their own contributions to the pinboard.
  7. Pin and Follow Buttons
    These can be added to any website, and are included on the Goodies page. A “Pin it” bookmarklet is available for Google Chrome, for instant pinning directly from a web browser.
  8. Artworks can be priced!
    The $ or £ symbols can be placed right before the artwork price. This allows for artists to sell their art directly from Pinterest.

Check out the 21 Must Follow Pinterest Users by Mashable

22nd Annual Downtown Stuart Art Festival, Artist Jim Matheson


Our next Howard Alan Event is the  22nd Annual Downtown Stuart Art Festival.

Historic Downtown Stuart is the proud recipient of the title “Most Beautiful City” from America In Bloom and called a “small Intracoastal gem on the Treasure Coast” by Coastal Living Magazine.  A quick look around and you will see a downtown filled with a great mix of shopping, arts, the historic Lyric Theater, Stuart Heritage Museum and many dining options.

Coastal Living Magazine

Local Stuart Artist Jim Matheson

creates his art through a Japanese art from called GYOTAKU.  A technique that began in the 1850’s by fisherman as a way to record the size and other information about their catch.  The process evolved into an art form.

An Overview of the GYOTAKU process.

Step one the artist cleans the fish and applies paint or ink to the fish making sure it is positioned to highlight the body in the best way.

Step two the artist lays Japanese rice paper over the painted fish and rubs it to imprint the fish.  The paper is carefully removed and left to dry.  Step three the artist will paint the eyes on the fish to complete their replica.  The artists can then clean the fish, freeze it to un-thaw and paint again another day.

Jim Matheson is an avid fisherman and studied the art of Gyotaku in Sarasota with 2 local artists there.   Jim says that he loves to reproduce the fish he catches on his own fishing trips and admires the beauty in their form and color.  The majority of Jim’s paintings are of native Florida fish.

You can meet Jim and discuss GYOTAKU further this weekend at the Stuart Art Festival on Osceola Street in Stuart.  Stop by and check them out!