Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hint of a Peony

I love doing digital paintings like this which look like watercolors. It is the layering of transparent colors which give it the effect of watercolor paints. It looks soft and dreamy. This would be lovely printed on chiffon. You would never know this started with a photo of a peony.

Hint of a Peony

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Astilbe Variation

My startup disk is full and I am in the position of having to delete photos. Weeding out is not a bad thing. In some cases I have multiple copies of each art work like in this case "Astilbe Variation." I save it in layers, merged and then with different borders. It is time to delete some of these extra copies.

Too often when I work I get a message saying, "Can't save, Startup disk full." Hopefully a big PURGE will help the situation. Of course, then I do more art pieces and it fills the disk again.

You are probably thinking, "Why doesn't she use an external hard drive?" Well, I do use one for backups, but I do not want to delete photos from my computer and have them exist only on the external hard drive. When I sit with my laptop, I want access to ALL my photos. I tend to keep too many photos thinking, "I can do something with that one." But when I take ten photos of the same thing, each from a slightly different angle, I should not keep each shot!

Here the Astilbe makes the background as well as the main subject. The angled lines frame the flower within the border.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Just Laugh

It has been a rough week with my husband in the hospital. He is home and doing better. Now having a chance to sit with my computer and art work is a real treat.

I love to make backgrounds for quotes like this. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Lily Pads and Circles

The graduates of the 2014 "Make Art Work" marketing workshops in Hartford, CT have decided to continue to meet on our own to share our goals, challenges and accomplishments. It is so nice to have a support group of fellow artists. We met today and each showed our work to the group and received feedback. Next meeting will be January.

We have all been busy. One member reported a number of sales, two members will be part of an Artist Open Studios event this November in Hartford. Our challenges continue to be marketing and finding time in our studios.

Carrie showed us some of her finished pieces and also some work in progress. One of her paintings reminded me of a digital painting of mine. Hers was more abstract using circles to suggest lily pads. Mine started with a photograph of lily pads and then I painted over the photo and changed and added colors.

 LILY PADS AND PURPLE by Nancy Olivia Hoffmann

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Red Scarf

I designed this to be 20x20. Wouldn't it make a nice silk scarf?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Last Rose of Summer

A flower does not have to be perfect to be interesting. This rose with the early morning sun's rays on its wet, icy petals has its own beauty.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Creating Abstracts

I enjoy creating abstracts with the combination of a photograph and digital painting. 
This is named "Solar System on the Edge."

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Please vote for my photo on CG Pro Prints

Please vote for my photo and enable me to win a gift certificate to have my art printed on canvas. Click on the link CGPro Prints Holiday Contest then click on "vote" and find my photograph of pumpkins titled "Halloween Glow."

Thanks for making the effort to vote and please ask your friends to do the same. This gift certificate would help me to print some of my art on canvas for my upcoming show in Windham, CT.

"Swirled Tiles" accepted into Light Space Time October Show

See my abstract, "Tiles Swirled" which was accepted in the Photography & Digital Category of the Light Space Time Abstract Art Competition for October. Out of 896 entries from all over the world, 225 were accepted. I am honored to be a part of the October show. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Memory Wire Bracelet

I am a self taught artist and jewelry maker. When I find something I want to try, I read a book about it or, these days, study it on the internet. I enjoy making jewelry and wanted to learn new techniques. My latest skill is using memory wire, both for necklaces and bracelets. It is always fun to experiment with something new. It doesn't hurt to have lots of beads to work with.

This bracelet on memory wire uses square flat pieces of jasper with ceramic beads. All in 
shades of purple.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Making Jewelry - New Beads

New beads equals new jewelry! Getting new materials to work with gets me all fired up. It's such fun to see what will go together. I have recently bought memory wire for making bracelets and am busy experimenting.  I am also making stretchy bracelets because they are so easy to put on.

A friend bought one I had custom made for her because her wrist is so small. It fit perfectly and she loved it. In In addition she bought two more bracelets for gifts. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Nancy Olivia Designs' post on Willimantic Arts and Eats

I am now a member of the Willimantic Arts and Eats on Facebook and this is a recent post by me. 

"I have been involved in crafts and art since I was in college in Boston studying interior design. I took a course in weaving, fell in love with it, bought a loom and started selling pillows and bags. For the last few years I have concentrated on jewelry making, photography and digital painting. One of my bracelets was pictured in "The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making" Edition 2 by Tammy Powley.
It has been a pleasure to be a part of the Lebanon Art Gallery this summer and to display in all three of their shows. I am a member of the Windham Garden Club and was pleased to present a program at their September meeting on "Photography in the Garden." November will bring a shared show with Joanne and Alex Sibicky at the Windham Hospital Gallery."

Here I am at an Art Festival in downtown Willimantic. My photo of the lily is named "Serenity."

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Photo Cards at Willimantic Food Co-op

I am grateful for another order for my photo cards (Nancy Olivia Designs)  from the Willimantic Food Co-op. Once a week I volunteer as a working member at the Co-op on Valley Street in Willimantic, CT. Rita, who is in charge of ordering the cards, has really boosted sales by emphasizing cards created by local artists, a strategy much appreciated by the artists. Locally created art sold in the community - nothing better. Check it out! All cards are reasonably priced between $3 and $4.

Printing photos for Nancy Olivia Designs cards.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Nancy Olivia Designs' Jewelry Featured in Book

I am now published! No, I didn't write a book but my jewelry is pictured Tammy Powley's 2nd Edition of The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making. I am very pleased and proud! When Ms. Powley told me she wanted to use the photo of my bracelet, it was summer of 2013. I impatiently waited a year for the book to be written and published! The day it finally arrived you can bet I was very excited!

This is how Amazon describes the book.
"This is a comprehensive reference book on all aspects of jewelry making. This book provides a reference for all methods, including bead stringing, wire work, metal fabrication, metal clay, polymer clay, fiber, and resin. Includes step-by-step instructions for all the basics."

Available on Amazon through Nancy Olivia Designs' Link in the right hand bar. Please use this link and help support a starving artist.

In case you can't read the small print . . . . . 

 "Clay Swirls"
" Hand-made polymer clay swirl beads in red and turquoise colors are combined with more polymer clay beads in solid red and accented with metal beads and silver bead caps. No clasp is necessary since the stringing technique uses elastic jewelry thread. "

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New Show @ Lebanon Art Gallery

The August show at the Lebanon Art Gallery (927 Trumbull Hwy, Lebanon CT) will open with a reception Friday, August 1, 5-7 pm. The new art is in the gallery and will be hung tomorrow. Join us for the party Friday with food, wine, music and great art!

This photo is one I used on my photo cards which will be for sale at the gallery.

There will be a variety of art  - oil paintings, jewelry, painting on glass or on wood, metal sculptures, wooden bowls, photography and more.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Posters - Nancy Olivia Designs Photos with Quotes

I love finding quotes to go on my photos. What do you think? Would this make a nice poster?
Creating this felt very rewarding because I believe the quote.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Technology for Buying Art -

Don't you just love technology!? My work is on for sale on Fine Art America and they have a new website - There I can download a pdf sales sheet for each one of my art works. It even has one of those little squares you can scan with your smart phone and then buy online. I'm trying to think how I can print these and use them as a sales tool. Any ideas? has a new iPad app that lets you see each art work on your own wall using the iPad camera. Neat! Now I need an iPad!!

Here is my page on  Check it out and buy something!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Still working on "The Big Cleanout"

When I moved into this house in August 2010, I promised my family to get rid of everything which would not fit into the house. I wrote a post about it - A Rash Promise. Now it is 2014 and I am still trying to fulfill this promise. It is not easy! After several yard sales, a load to the antique auction, many trips to the Salvation Army box and give-aways to family, can you believe there is still a "get rid of pile?"

At least I am past this kind of chaos. This is the way all my craft and art supplies were when we moved in.

I recently added my bathroom scale to the pile. No, I did not stop weighing and hoping to loose weight, but Mr. B had a scale and now we share. My son-in-law and I wanted to switch from plastic food storage containers to glass ones. When we bought the glass I got rid of lots of the plastic. The pile I put away just-in-case is now going out. I am serious about this clean out!

The fact that I have become so interested in exhibiting my photography and digital paintings and started Nancy Olivia Designs has created a storage problem. By reusing frames I try to keep the additional stuff under control.

The hard truth is that it is difficult to sell things which I do not want to give away. It is not easy to sell antiques or used items. I find it is easier to create a pile of it all than to deal with it. The Quest goes on!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Working with Lines & Color

Here is something different.

"Order or Chaos"

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Clocks and Peonies on Pink and Teal

I love to save pictures of leaves, flowers, clouds, etc. and turn them into backgrounds for digital paintings. Here is a close up section of a picture of coleus leaves in which I played with the colors. 

Then this became a background for a creation of clocks (from the clock on Main St. Willimantic, CT) and peonies from a friend's yard. Thanks Carol!
So what do you think? Is my process clear as mud?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Butterfly and Flowers

 When I moved here four years ago there were no gardens and no flowers in the yard. Friends have been so nice to share plants. The Garden Club of Windham, CT plant sale has also helped and of course all the wonderful nurseries in the area. Now my front yard is abloom!  Lots of birds and butterflies are enjoying the flowers as much as I am.

It seemed this butterfly was posing for me!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Meet the Artists Reception in Lebanon CT

Great turnout at the Meet the Artists reception at the Lebanon Art Gallery in Lebanon CT! There is an incredible variety of art from digital paintings to wood turnings. This co-operative art gallery is run by a talented group of artists from Lebanon CT and the surrounding area. Gallery is open Friday, Saturday, Sunday from noon -  6 pm. All the art is for sale.

While you are there, check out a museum and the historic Lebanon town green which is a mile long. There is a paved path which circles the green.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pressing ahead with Art

There are opportunities for artists if you look carefully. I have been fortunate to land in a place that has a lot going on. Willimantic, CT is establishing an "Arts and Eats" district. Stores and restaurants are being asked to make their windows and establishments available for artists to display their artwork. I have come to an agreement with a new restaurant on Main Street, Jamacian-Me-Crazy, to use one of the windows in their building. To this end I have ordered some small photos on canvas, all in bright colors.

This peony will be in a bright red frame.

The show at the Lebanon Art Gallery has been hung and is being "tweaked." It is impressive how quickly this co-operative gallery was organized. First day open is July 5, 2014 and Opening Reception is July 11. Hours are Friday, Saturday, Sunday noon-6,

Monday, June 23, 2014

Technology, more than I can handle . . . .

     I once titled a blog post, "Pulled through a knothole backwards." That is the way I felt after color calibrating my monitors using the Spyder 4 Elite. Don't you love directions that say, "Insert disk and follow instructions to install." It is never that simple! There were questions I didn't know how to answer - Is your monitor Wide Gamut or Normal Gamut? WHAT?? How do I know and how do I find out? I pestered my poor son-in-law to death. He was so patient but he was busy with his own project in the garage involving noisy tools.
     So I slogged through, started over a couple of times, and I Think I have calibrated my two monitors. Yes, Think I have. I suppose the test is to order something printed and see how it turns out. It is a gamble and I prefer a sure thing when I am spending money. I have been promising myself to print some of my art on canvas so I will be prepared for a future show. Now is the time.
      Thanks to my friend, Karen E., for giving me her "spare" Spyder! 

Photo courtesy of Amazon

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Exciting Event - Lebanon Art Gallery in Lebanon, CT

A wonderful opportunity for artists in northeastern Connecticut is the opening of an artists' co-operative art gallery in Lebanon, Connecticut in the lovely barn pictured above. I am delighted to be a part of this and will help to hang the first show which will include some of my work. It opens to the public on Saturday, July 5, 2014. Below is our press release. Please share the news with your friends and come to see our Art Show!

Twenty-two local artists and artisans will open the new Lebanon Art Gallery located at 927 Trumbull Hwy (Rt. 87), Lebanon, CT 06249. The gallery will be open from Noon to 6:00 Friday through Sunday beginning Saturday, July 5, 2014 since Friday is the holiday. A “Meet The Artists” reception will be from 5-7:00 PM on July 11nd.  The show will end on July 27 with the second show open between August 8 and Sept. 1.

Lebanon Art Gallery is a local association devoted to promoting artists and craftspeople.  Its mission is to be a seasonal gallery space dedicated to showing and selling the work of local and Lebanon based artists and artisans. The gallery will be open from May through October and serve community members of all ages, as a gathering place for classes, workshops and enjoyment of the arts.

Our vision is that artists, craftspeople, writers and musicians will volunteer time and expertise to make the gallery a success. The barn space, garden and Tea House available for the Gallery is being generously offered by Sandra Samolis, a long-time Lebanon resident and artist.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Digital Painting

This started out as a close up of the inside of a flower and went through many changes. I love the touch of blue contrasting with the warm colors.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Art Gallery in Lebanon, CT

Exciting things are happening in our area of Connecticut. At our Artists' Networking Lunch at the Main Street Cafe in Willimantic, CT, two women who are opening a seasonal art gallery in Lebaonon, CT told us about their plans. Today was the organizational meeting to create an artists' co-operative to run the gallery this summer. A publicity committee was established and the first show is set to open July 2. Lebanon is beautiful and a visit to the historic town will be a treat to everyone. Check out the Facebook page for Lebanon Art Gallery.

With a July show on the horizon, I will need to produce some new work. 
Here is one named "Glow"

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Make Art Work, Hartford, Connecticut

Make Art Work is a comprehensive professional practice program for visual artists in CT. The program, which will run through June of 2014, is designed to support artists who are in pursuit of a professional career as an artist. The Hartford cohort met for a potluck supper and discussion session. We each were given ten minutes to present two areas we would like help with and get feedback. So nice to learn other artists are struggling with the same problems. A recurring theme was how to use Social Media and time management.

We met at the home of woodcarver Steve Balkun and his wife, installation artist, Anita Gangi Balkun. It was a treat to see the studios of these artists. Their son, Steve Balkun, is a certified lutheir and creates custom guitars. His studio is also there in the house. Young Steve and his brother, Nick have a band called the Balkun Brothers. What a talented family. In addition, Steve (the elder) is a published author.

Make Art Work is now planning their next session which starts in the fall. An explanation of the workshops is here.

No post is complete without a sample of my latest work.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Nancy Olivia Designs Photo Cards for Sale

My photo cards are selling quickly at the Willimantic Food Co-op.  I delivered my fourth order of cards to them since the middle of February. After the long, cold winter, I think everyone craved color and spring flowers. My cards are on colored card stock that compliment the flower photos.

Drop into the Willimantic Food Co-op and check out their selection of tasty foods that are good for you. Many of their products are from local sources. You may find me there as a "working member" volunteer.

A butterfly fly on Joe Pye Weed.

Tulips grown from bulbs purchased by me at the Garden Club of Windham's Fall Bulb sale. These have been an eye-stopper in my front yard.

Just this week I delivered cards to the expanded retail store at Logee's Greenhouse, 141 North Street, Killingly, CT. These cards feature Logee's flowers and the photos were taken in their greenhouses and shop. Gwen Glass-Carbone, the retail supervisor, took me on a tour where I had fun snapping sixty pictures of show-stopping-blooms!

Do go to Logee's and see the wonderful selection of exotic plants! My fellow Garden Club of Windham CT members are big fans of Logee's.

A pitcher plant in the greenhouse.

 Logee's has the largest selection of begonias that I have ever seen in one place!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Nancy Olivia Designs photos in Joshua Trust Exhibit

I was honored to have some of my work in a exhibit of photographs taken of Joshua Trust properties. The event was a wine and craft beer tasting fund raiser to benefit Joshua Trust, a land trust in Northeast Connecticut.

A closeup of the stonework of the Gurleyville Grist Mill in Storrs, Connecticut. 
Photo by Nancy Hoffmann.

The fund raiser was held at Church Farm in Ashford, Connecticut, May 18, 2014.

The art show was in this barn. As well as photographs by Marcia Kilpatrick a trustee of the group and me (Nancy Hoffmann), there were  watercolors by Charles McCaughtry, visible in the open barn door.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tulip Petals

When you take a photo, look at it as more than just the entire picture. Consider zooming in on a portion of it. That is what I did here.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tulip and Bud

I'm having such fun photographing my tulips. While the yellow and red are pretty, it is the orange ones which impress me. The fact that they are not solid, but have subtle lines and colors ranging from pink to purple as well as orange makes them very interesting to photograph.

I like to take the photos with the golden setting sun hitting the flowers. Even when the direct sun's rays are gone, there is still good light to use.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tulip Glow

This photo was taken in my yard with the setting sun highlighting the tulip.

These tulip bulbs were sold as a fund raiser for by the Windham Garden Club to benefit  Willimantic public gardens. The garden club member plant and maintain twelve public gardens in Willimantic, including The Garden on the Bridge.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Waiting for Spring

This sums up spring exactly. Waiting for Action or, Plant me First.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dinosaur Bird, a Flight of Fantasy

I'm exploring new ideas with my digital painting technique. This Dinosaur Bird was a happy accident. When I realized it looked like a fantasy creature, I added the eye.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

An Alpaca in the Neighborhood

This alpaca lives in my neighborhood. I took a number of pictures of the large group of alpacas. When I reviewed the pictures, this guy was looking right at me in every photo!


PURCHASE THIS PRINT from Fine Art America!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Nancy Olivia Designs art for sale on Fine Art America

Check out my site on Fine Art America! Prints are available in a variety of sizes and styles, from canvas to metal.  More of my work will be added frequently. I hope you find something you like!

My art starts with one or more of my photographs, then I add digital painting. Some works are created entirely by digital painting, starting from a blank "canvas" meaning screen.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dreaming of Spring - Digital Painting of Sunflower and Butterfly

I love the colors in this digital painting. It is soft yet vibrant. I put two photos together on a background and then painted it in PhotoShop Elements.

PURCHASE THIS PRINT from Fine Art America.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Red, Purple, Blue - Bright Colors

This time of year I crave bright colors. These colors cheer me up! This started out as three layers of photographs but you would never guess that from the results.