Mistakes in Choosing Email Addresses

Diane Burket

Choose an email address using your domain name…and never change it again!

If you’re using an email address with someone else’s domain name—you’re losing a great branding tool—and you’re advertising for other people. Comcast, Hotmail, Yahoo, Charter, AOL, Gmail, and other ISP’s are happy you’re giving them free advertising…but it’s not helping your business at all.

What am I talking about?

Here are 2 of my websites: http://www.dianeburket.com/ and http://www.armandcabrera.com/

I use diane@dianeburket.com and diane@armandcabrera.com for my primary email addresses. Although my Internet Service Provider (ISP) is Comcast….I don’t use the Comcast email they provide. (d_burket@comcast.net).

Why? Well, why would I advertise for Comcast? I already pay them for a service….I don’t need to advertise for them with every email I send! I’d rather advertise for myself.

Every email you send should have your own branding on it….not someone else’s branding. It’s your way to get your website address out there to everyone on the receiving end of your emails.

Most website hosts give you multiple email addresses FOR FREE! I use IXWebhosting.com. Inexpensive, (I pay only $3.95/month) great service…and 2,500 email addresses. Of course, I’ll never need that many. Take advantage of this benefit—you’re already paying for it.

I’m always surprised to see art gallery owners, actors, business owners, etc. using their ISP’s email addresses. gallery@comcast.net, actor@hotmail.com These same people spend countless dollars on advertising and press—but when it comes to their own email address, they advertise for someone else. Makes no sense.

Another benefit to consider in using your domain name email address…You don’t have to change your email address every time you move or switch to a different ISP. How often do you get a change of email address notice from family, friends and business associates? If they’ve got their own website, it’s unnecessary to change their email address every time they change ISP’s or jobs.

My partner and I moved across the United States a few years ago. We didn’t have to change our email address even though we changed locations and changed ISP’s. Our customers didn’t lose track of us and we didn’t have to bother them with a change of address notice. Simple.

So—-if you’ve got a website, brand with yourself and never change your email address again!

Diane Burket is an award-winning Voice Over Professional. She has been voicing scripts for over 20 years. She can be heard on National Commercials, Corporate Films, Training Videos, Telephone Prompts, Internet Sites and Multimedia recordings. In addition to her Voice Over, Diane also is the Agent for Armand Cabrera, a nationally-known oil painter represented by fine art galleries across the United States.




Book Review: Color and Light by James Gurney

Review by Armand Cabrera

James Gurney hits it out of the park again with his new art instruction book Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter. Following the success of his other art instruction book Imaginative Realism, which was released last year, Gurney’s new book Color and Light is filled with everything you will want to know about these two important subjects, written in a clear and concise style. This is not a step by step how to book per se but there are plenty of explanations describing the effects of color and light and how to use them in your paintings. The images accompanying the text are made up of James Gurneys own plein air paintings, figure studies and illustrations for his professional assignments. Over 300 color Illustrations and diagrams.



Beautifully printed and designed, Color and Light is sure to be considered the text on the subject for years to come. Gurney writes about this subject as a successful, professional artist. This is not someone who doesn’t make their living as a painter or some scientist who only observes but offers no practical application for his information. The paintings by Gurney are a feast for the eyes, his talent is showcased well here and you see the depth and breadth of his formidable abilities as an artist. He has included images of city scenes, portraits, landscapes, illustrations for National Geographic, magazine articles, science fiction and fantasy book covers and his own series of Dinotopia books. The sheer amount of work is amazing and you begin to understand that here is someone who loves the process of making art.


Many people know Gurney as one of the premier illustrators in the world and the author of the Dinotopia books, but for those who don’t follow his excellent blog gurneyjourney, they may be surprised to find he has always been an avid plein air painter as well. His landscapes are just as accomplished as any of his illustrations. Many of these small outdoor landscapes are showcased in this book and make up a third of the color illustrations. This is important because it is his work painted outdoors from life that infuse his real and imagined scenes with a sense of light.




Some books are considered classics in the field of art instruction; Harold Speed’s The Practice and Science of Drawing, John F Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting, Andrew Loomis’ Figure Drawing for all its Worth and Creative Illustration, Edgar Payne’s The Composition of Outdoor Painting, and Richard Schmid’s Alla Prima. Jim Gurney’s Color and Light is one of these books. There is no excuse for you not to buy this book, it is very reasonably priced and the wealth of information in it will help anyone interested in representational art. Whether you are a seasoned professional or Sunday hobbyist, this is the book for you.


You can order Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter from the Dinotopia website where James will sign copies if requested


The book is also available from all the usual book retailers like Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Borders

For more information on James Gurney visit his websites


Thoughts on Failure

Armand Cabrera

No person gets to be successful without learning to deal with all the little failures and setbacks that are part of the experience of any worthwhile endeavor.

I have learned many things the hard way, most of my life. This comes from jumping into things too quickly. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
I have always had a stubborn determination to finish what I start. This drive to paint through any difficulty has helped me to get to this place in my career but not without the pile of bad canvases that usually don’t see the light of day. As I have aged I’ve tried to be more thoughtful at the beginning of the process without sacrificing passion. This is easier said than done sometimes. While emotions are good they can also cloud ones judgment.
Last week’s painting excursion was one such trip. I had been out the day before with some other artists at Great Falls National Park and had managed a good little painting. While we were on the way to our location I spotted a scene in the road that I wanted to paint. I decided to come back the next day and work on a large 24×30 canvas of it at the same time of morning.
Arriving early the next day to get set up, I knew it was going to be one of those days. Meeting my friend Jack, the weather looked iffy. Although the weather was supposed to be clear and in the seventies it was cool and overcast. I waited around for things to burn off but it never happened. Jack got in two paintings while I fumbled around.
I decided to go ahead and paint the scene anyway even though it didn’t have the charm of the day before. About two thirds into the canvas the sun came out and ruined any chance of finishing the painting. I wiped it down and we decided to head over to the falls to paint one more time.
The falls didn’t go any better for me. I was tired from the first attempt and my mind was still on the first painting. Not a good way to begin a large painting of a complex subject. I have painted the falls many times but not with such a large canvas. I wasn’t focused on what I wanted to do. I didn’t think about the composition and I spent too little time on the drawing and jumped into the painting too quickly. Instead of showing nature I can’t be beaten so easily after my first attempt; it whacked me over the head twice to remind me never bring a knife to a gun fight, and always bring your best effort.
I didn’t wipe the second painting mostly to have something to show for seven hours’ worth of effort. It seems I still have to do things the hard way every once in a while to remind myself nothing is a given, success has to be earned one canvas at a time.

Contemporary Realism and Modern Technology

Armand Cabrera

As an artist in the beginning of the 21st century one of the things available to me is ease of travel. I can paint anywhere in the country and to a larger extent the world because of relatively inexpensive travel.

I can drive to just about anywhere on the east coast in a day and in a couple of hours I can be anywhere in the country by jet. These facts separate my body of work from artists who were painting 50 or a 100 years before me. Many of these artists spent the majority of their lives in one place making only a handful of long distance trips away from their homes .

As a painter this allows me to build a career based on the quality of my work not just the subject matter where I live. Galleries, because they are mostly brick and mortar establishments have been slow to accept this fact of modern life. Many galleries only deal in regional subject matter and won’t even consider taking work based on scenes outside their geographic area.

I think this is to their detriment. My best selling galleries ask for my best work; they aren’t concerned with location as much as my other galleries and I think it is reflected in my sales for those galleries. What other galleries fail to realize is long distance travel is a fact of life for most people who can afford to buy paintings. If they take the time to use the technology available to them they can quickly build a following of collectors not based in their little region of the country and in fact the better galleries do this with blogs and newsletters and a strong internet and social network presence.

Artists have changed quicker than galleries and if galleries want to survive they must change too. Sitting in a gallery waiting for people to walk in and buy something is no longer a viable business model. This is reflected in the amount of galleries that have closed their doors in the last three years most of which failed to grasp the importance of information networks and social media.

Charles Muench Workshop

I want to announce a great opportunity for artists. Charles Muench is offering a workshop in June.

 I’ve known Charles for quite some time now and he has become one of the best painters around. I know that phrase gets thrown around  a lot these days but in Charles’ case it is backed up with a string of top awards from some of the most premiere events in the United States.

  Charles just recieived the Southwest Art Award of Excellance at the California Art Club’s 100 Gold Medal Show this year. In 2010, Charles won the Edgar Payne Award for Best Landscape at the California Art Club’s 99th Annual Juried Exhibition. He was unanimously elected a Signature Member of the California Art Club. Charles received the First Place Award at the 2008 Heritage Art Exhibition presented by Joan Irving Smith as well as the Collector’s Choice Award at the 2008 and 2005 Maynard Dixon Country Invitational. Charles was awarded the First Place Award and “Best Painting of the Cove” Award at the 2007 and 2005 Crystal Cove Alliance Invitational in Laguna Beach, CA. He also was honored with the Best of Show/Artist’s Choice Award at the 2006 Telluride Plein Air Show. Charles received the Gold Medal Award at the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Event in October 2002. Charles has had his work included in the Arts for the Parks Top 100 Exhibit. His work is accepted annually in the California Art Club’s Annual Gold Medal Exhibit and the Gilcrease Museum’s American Art in Miniature Exhibition
Don’t miss your chance to study with one of the best contemporary painters in the country. Here are the details
Five Day Workshop Painting the Eastern Sierra
Locations include the California Sierra alpine of Hope Valley to the high plains desert of Nevada- all within 30 miles!
Two states and a lot of scenery!
June 13 – June 17th
E-mail Charles Muench for deposit and reservation information.

There’s a lot of land between the eastern Sierra and the high plains of Nevada to paint! Come on out and catch the transient beauty of spring in this unique country. We’ll make the most of each day- demonstrations, painting, critique, and taking in the gestalt of a group of artists painting together. We meet each morning at a different location. Having lived in this area for over ten years, I know of a lot of sweet painting spots and late spring in the Sierra is a truly unique experience. We will paint the ranch lands of the Carson Valley. We will paint the vast landscape of the Pine Nut Mountain range looking across to the Sierra range. We will paint the architecture of the rural Sierra town of Markleeville (my personal mountain Wobegon!) I will also offer a special hiking trip, for those who want, to paint the spectacular spring run-off of Markleeville Falls- less than a mile but some up hill (and with the amount of snow, this will be a record year!) For those who don’t want to make the hike- no worries! I will do two demonstrations during this day! I have attached a class description as well as a materials list.
There are many good hotels in the Carson Valley. Here are a few. Budget hotels are also available.