2018 Holiday Card

Creating this year’s Holiday Card was very memorable indeed. The month of October brought many changes, not the least of which, Bobbie received a total new left knee on October 30. Her recovery has been miraculous. By Dec 1st her pain is now less than the pain she had before the surgery, and every day our pain is less and less.

On my breaks from home care that first week, I took the opportunity to walk into Busse Woods. Nature heals any weary soul, and this year, the golden leaves and amethyst trunks and branches were instructing me in how beautifully harmonizing complementary colors can be.

So this years palette for our Holiday cards is Quinophthalone Yellow, Transparent Orange, Burnt Sienna, and Amethyst Genuine, (all Danial Smith Watercolors by the way).

While the first wash was setting up to dry, a pinch of salt was added to create the small spirit-like anomalies in the mixtures of colors as the first wash drys.

Sample of 2018 Holiday Cards

Sample of 2018 Holiday Cards

We chose for this years passage a verse out of the song “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” by Edmund Sears in 1849

“O ye, beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
O rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing!”

Sample of 2018 Holiday Cards

Sample of 2018 Holiday Cards

We hope you enjoy this year’s cards and my you and your families have a blessed Christmas and a wonder-filled creative New Year!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Steve and Bobbie

November 2016 Issue

The Art of Business and the Business of Art

This newsletter is an effort to bring value and offer new innovative ways creativity adds value to your business and life. After working 35 years in the marketing, creative, leadership and innovation business, I can assure you, I have a few best practices and lessons learned that I will safely share with you. I will also include personal updates on new paintings, events and opportunities to grow your own creative skills and marketing ability.

The summer had been a busy time. September was especially challenging in that I committed to produce a painting a day for the entire 30 days. This challenge paid off in a big way, not just in sales, but mainly in experience. What was learned during these 30 days will now be carried forward adding to every future project. I highly recommend a 30 day challenge in any area you want to see improvement and serious growth.
Click here to see my September results:
October 10th brought two families together on the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. Emilie Puttrich, our oldest daughter, and Jonathan Hertel shared wedding vows on a beautiful sunny afternoon. Proud moment for this dad. I couldn't be happier for these two. Marking, one down, two to go. In December and March, John and Amanda, our two other children, are also getting married. Phew!

On Teaching: I'm enjoying leading watercolor workshops and will do so more formally in January / February at the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Art.  If you're looking for a fun and enjoyable way to improve your creative skills, stay tuned for a sign up link.

“Great art picks up where nature ends.”
~ Marc Chagall

"Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I shall attack."
~ Ferdinand Foch

"Be grateful for everything and entitled to nothing."
~ Jack Clark Fmr Head Coach of U.S. Rugby

Building Brand.png

The Power of Creativity
A strong painting speaks volumes, more than any photo can communicate. As the designer and artist in all of us, we owe it to our clients to connect beyond just the visual, we must aim to connect the heart. 
In my 3.5 decades working in the creativity business, I've seen first hand how creativity is used to build common ground for better understanding of complex designs and challenging projects. By using attributes of beauty, uniqueness and story, deep connections can be made, compelling the heart to connect even deeper. Never underestimate the value creativity brings to your projects. Never miss an opportunity to improve your project's story with creativity.

A few weeks ago I attended a paid marketing focus group. The client, a major shipping company I'll just call FX, did a good job of collecting a diverse set of individuals. Among my fellow panelists were three other creative types, all by chance sitting on one side of the table, and four others I'll call less aware folks, on the other side of the table. The moderator had her hands full instilling curiosity and awareness from this lesser engaged group. The creatives, on the other side of the table, offered freely our feelings and deep concerns about what was right and what was wrong with FX's marketing message. The creatives fed off each other's energy and engagement. We knew the value we could add and made great suggestions and recommendations to improve FX's marketing message. I did walk away with a few best practices.
Best practices
1. The one attribute creatives bring is a curiosity to know why. Businesses full of curious creative minds are far better equipped to thrive, not to just survive.
2. If you're paying for creatives already, engage them and use them. The value they bring is priceless.
3. If you don't have one, get a creative or two on your team and ask for their viewpoints and perspective. That diversity and inclusion is like kerosene on smoldering embers.
4. Awareness and reflection are two more attributes most creatives possess. Foster and grow these skills in yourself and your team and solutions will show up.

Most artists see the difficulty in each scene. Few artists see the scene filled with opportunity for connection.
Be counted among the few.
Finish well!

Title: Rocky Mountain Courage
Medium Oil, Size 12"x16"
Rocky Mountain National Park is filled with little corners where light plays the lead character. It’s where, in this sanctuary, Story reveals her true beauty. I was intrigued by the courage of these young trees choosing to take root away from the safety of the shadows, and yet thriving in the open elements, where sunshine is strong and the inclusion of its neighbors, the boulders, offers support for strong growth. Life always finds a way.
Status: Currently Available

Thanks for reading.

Steve Puttrich

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Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

I love and thrive in and with competition. I know this about myself and I use any and all competition as much as possible. Mostly I compete with my yesterday, and to make today even better. 

For those starting a 30 day challenge, below are a few lessons learned I gleamed from last month's challenge.

Things I wished I knew before starting the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.

1. Commit: Make up your mind and commit to yourself and others you will finish. Tell your family and friend to help hold you accountable. Facebook friends helped here immensely.
2. Resources: Have your supplies, plus extra, ready to go. A. more panels in different sizes all ready to go. B. Secure more paint than you think you'll need. C. Printed out photos you've always wanted to paint. D. Sets of good, clean brushes.
3. Start small and get ready to grow daily.
4. Have fun: Enjoy the moments and share as much as is comfortable for you.
5. Give yourself every opportunity to succeed. Turn off the TV. Limit social media, turn off the devises. Clean your supplies at the end of the day so that you're ready to go in the morning.
6. Schedule: Get ahead of schedule. When you paint, paint with passion. Paint, paint and paint some more. Have 4-5 paintings going at various stages. Paint 2-3 per day. Some may not work, most will.
7. Don't stop when you're tired. Stop when you're done. Work hard, even when no one is watching.
8. Give yourself rewards at the end of the day, week and month. It doesn't have to cost anything, for me, a quiet moment reading a good book does it.
9. Expect exponential growth in skills and confidence to risk more challenging work.

This 30 day challenge worked well. I think this is something I'll do a few times a year.