A Floral Still Life Painting with an Old Vase

Still life painting is fun. There, I said it. Gathering the elements of the painting, setting it up, getting the light just right and then finally getting the paint out. It’s all fun. For this particular still life painting, I found something else to have fun with: Going to a thrift store and looking for an old flower vase…

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9 Small Adjustments for Better Oil Painting Results

9 Small Adjustments for Better Oil Painting Results - CashArtBlog

9 Small Adjustments for Better Oil Painting Results – CashArtBlog

Sometimes it just takes a small adjustment or two to improve your oil painting and not a complete overhaul. I am certainly not the only one who looks back on paintings from years past and says “If I had handled that part differently or this part over here another way, the entire painting would have been a lot better.”

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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Craig Shillam

A New Oil Painting of an Old Football

"The Rock" Craig Shillam oil/canvas, 12" x 16"

“The Rock” Craig Shillam oil/canvas, 12″ x 16″


What would be a good way to portray an old, weathered, beat-up football in an oil painting?  I don’t know about you, but I thought a straight forward, no-nonsense approach would be best. Before getting into the painting, let me tell you about the football…


A New Oil Painting of an Old Football


 The Football – I purchased this football around 1970 when I was about 10 years old with my own money through a mail order ad. The ball arrived in a white, beat-up, square box. This is the football my brother and I played with out in our yard for years. He went on to be an all-state high school  football player and received a four year football scholarship to the University of Montana. He got the trophies, I got the ball. This is the same ball that we used when my cousins, uncles and school friends all came over to our house. This would also be the first football my son and I threw around, however he is just not into the nostalgia of this ball, so we have newer ones. This football has been in my possession for so long and has so many of my friends and family members DNA on it, why not make it the star of an oil painting?



My Childhood Football complete with simulated Roman Gabriel Autograph- CashArtBlog

My Childhood Football complete with simulated Roman Gabriel Autograph- CashArtBlog



The Oil Painting – After “kicking” it around for a bit, it seemed to me that a painting of this old ball should be straight forward with no frills attached. An oil painting of just any old football is not something I would normally be interested in. A football has that shape that I just don’t find that interesting, unless I’m playing football. I felt showing the laces was critical, and the white stripes were important as well.

6 Notes about this Oil Painting

  1.  The football was set out on some sod and positioned over and over again to get a satisfactory “pose”.
  2. Showing grass and dirt in the painting was a must from the start. No still life oil painting of an old football sitting on the shelf for me.  The sod just seemed like a more fitting environment than a table like the one in the oil painting of My Grade School Lunchbox, another sports painting.
  3. While not the most dynamic composition an artist has ever conceived, the intent was to be bold and hit the viewer with the ball without any hesitation.
  4. There would be no “rooting” for a particular football team or university in the form of colors or logos. This oil painting is about the sport and kids playing ball in the back yard, not about the big business of football.
  5. The touch of red on the nose of the ball is intentional for color and to symbolize blood. Hey, it’s a tuff game, things happen.
  6. While there is lettering still on the ball, I did not think adding a lot of lettering or stitching into the painting added to the piece.

The Extra Point: I have done other sport themed paintings, such as “Still Life Painting with a Baseball Theme“, and I enjoy them, however from a business point of view, they do not seem to be as popular as a traditional landscape paintings. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because sports are seasonal, but landscapes are always in season. Just a guess.


Now that this oil painting of the ol’ football is done, I think it’s probably time to moisten that leather up a bit and retire it. Time to also start a new painting.


Thank You for reading CashArtBlog, I really appreciate it. You can receive free updates from this blog by leaving your email address in the box at the top right of this page. It’s easy, confidential, and doesn’t cost a penny. 



Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014-2015 Craig Shillam

Great Subject Matter for an Oil Painting – An Apple Orchard

The subject matter for an oil painting is everywhere, even in an apple orchard. When there are grand mountains, beautiful lakes and wide rivers all around me, why take time to paint an oil painting of an apple tree or orchard? Well, since you asked…

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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014-2015 Craig Shillam

Still Life Painting with Pansies


"Still Life with Pansies", Craig Shillam, 12" x 16", oil/canvas

Still Life with Pansies”, Craig Shillam, 12″ x 16″, oil/canvas


If you would have asked me three years ago if I would ever paint a still life painting with pansies as the subject matter, I would have told you that you have been inhaling way to many paint fumes. Thanks for not asking me back then. But the real catalyst for this particular still life painting was not flowers. The reason for this painting is none other than my mother. It was her birthday, and I had not made or painted anything for her in a long, long time. It was time to change that, and she likes pansies.

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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013-2015 Craig Shillam

Check Out This Video on Pricing Your Art

I watched this video about selling art entitled “Pricing Your Artwork to Sell” by Jason Horejs and Barney Davey and thought I would share it here. Mr. Horejs is the owner of Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mr. Davey is the publishers of ArtPrintIssues.com.



If the video window is not showing, here is the link:  http://youtu.be/IONhi5I9Jvg


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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Craig Shillam

If You’re In A Rut, Start Drawing

Market Man - Sketchbook Drawing, pencil, 2013

Market Man – Sketchbook Drawing, Craig Shillam, pencil, 2013


Drawing can be the cure when the chaos of life comes knocking at your door. You know what I’m talking about. Those times when life happens to you while you’re busy making your own to do list. Good intentions can morph into lost causes if you’re not paying attention. I don’t know about you, but getting back to drawing for just my own personal pleasure and/or practice is good mojo for me…

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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Craig Shillam

Maximize Each Piece of Art You Create

Are you getting the most from that new piece of art you just created? After all, you’ve prepared, thought, created and completed something that is unique to you.  What now? A gallery, website, or what? Whatever it is, don’t just let that new piece of art sit there, make the most of it. When you are ready, let that piece of art go to work for you not only know, but into the future too.  Below are several ways that can help you maximize your art so it can be seen and sold…

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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Craig Shillam

9 Ways To Make Yourself More Interesting

9 Ways to Make Yourself More Interesting. CashArtBlog

9 Ways to Make Yourself More Interesting. CashArtBlog



Is being interesting natural or a skill that can be improved upon? Are you interesting to other people?  Do you find yourself being left out in the cold when it comes to conversations and general social situations? Would you like to have you and your art to get noticed and be a little more interesting to others while still being yourself?  If you want you, your work or your business to be noticed, if nothing else, be interesting

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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Craig Shillam

CashArtBlog Art Notes for May 2013

Straight from the CashArtBlog news desk…

  • Artist Mary Maxam announced on her website that her painting “Fair Day” has been accepted into the Oil Painter’s of America Salon show, which will be in June at the Crooked Tree Art Center in Potoskey, Michigan.  Click on this link to read more about Mary Maxam and see some of her work.   You can see the “Fair Day” painting and check out Mary’s website by going here.


  • Craig Shillam (that would be me) had two paintings accepted into the 44th Annual Associated Arts of Ocean Shores Juried Art Show. The juror was none other than artist Stan Miller. The two paintings are pictured below:


"Autumn Carnival" Craig Shillam, Oil/canvas, 12" x 16"

“Autumn Carnival” Craig Shillam, Oil/canvas, 12″ x 16″


"Roadside Royalty" Craig Shillam, oil/canvas, 16" x 20"

“Roadside Royalty” Craig Shillam, oil/canvas, 16″ x 20″

  • The oil painting  “A Sweet Smile” (shown below) was chosen for the top 15% in the March 2013 Fine Art Studio Online monthly on-line competition. 

"A Sweet Smile" Craig Shillam, oil/canvas, 20" x 16"

“A Sweet Smile” Craig Shillam, oil/canvas, 20″ x 16″

Show your Award Winning Work on CashArtBlog

Won any awards with your art lately? Want to share it with a new audience and expand your reach? Why don’t you consider sharing it on CashArtBlog? We aren’t the biggest, and we aren’t the prettiest, but hey, any award or recognition is worth a shout out, whether it’s the Prix de West or a local competition. Just send me the info (no student or state fair work please)  and a good jpg image and I will post it with a link back to your website, blog or gallery. I will also post it on twitter and Pinterest if you want me to.

There is a catch! You have to be a subscriber to this blog. It’s free, confidential and easy. Just type your email address in the box at the top right of this page, and that’s it.

You can email me at craig@craigshillam.com.

  • I am now on twitter. If you are too…let’s connect. catch  me on twitter here: Craig Shillam on twitter. I am kind of new at it so please cut me some slack until I get the hang of it!
  • I am also now on Pinterest. If you are as well, I have some outstanding art boards set up. There are so many remarkable paintings by great artists that I had never seen before. Connect with me and CashArtBlog on Pinterest here: Craig Shillam on Pinterest.

Thank You for Reading CashArtBlog

Thanks again for stopping by CashArtBlog and having a look, I really appreciate it. It’s like your art, you just hope somebody checks it out once in a while.

A couple of more interesting notes:

"Evening Star" copyright Stephen Lyman

“Evening Star” copyright Stephen Lyman

The Coeur d’Alene Galleries in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is having another Stephen Lyman exhibit to coincide with their grand reopening on May, 10th. I attended the last Lyman show at this gallery in their old location and you can read about the exhibit here. There will be originals and limited edition giclee’s featured at the show.


The stock market has had a great start to the new year, but hasn’t had a positive May since 2009. Just sayin’…




You can get free updates from CashArtBlog by leaving your email address in the box at the top right of this page. It’s easy, confidential, and yes, free.


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Craig Shillam