“No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist” Oscar Wilde

Meet Shannon Thek,  a painter that believes the language of Math connects us to the world.

Susan writes  “At an early age, my grandfather passed down the riddle of the Magic Square which eventually evolved into my understanding of everything physical. All that we love, the sound of song, the frequency of color, the radials of a rose, are all measured in Math. My intention is to express that Math’s code exists to be discovered, allowing us to reach new heights.”

Each is piece is so unique, in color and in the dimensions of the objects. You can see more of Shannon’s work at her website as well as the pieces we have on display here at the gallery.  We are so happy to have her displaying.

The Creative Artist Gallery

“Your Irish Eyes are Always Smiling”

An Old Irish Blessing  – Dedicated to my Mom 

May the road rise up to meet you 

May the wind always be at your back 

May the sun shine warm upon your face, 

And the rains fall soft upon your fields 

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand 

Growing up in NY we never missed the famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade, one of my Mom’s favorites. It was always fun hanging out in the city watching all the bands march down 5th avenue and then head home for corned beef and cabbage. No matter how old you get some things always stay with you, growing up in a very Irish Catholic household is certainly one of them.

My Mother was born and raised in a little town called Bay Bulls, Newfoundland Canada. It is such a quaint place just south of St. John’s, population just over 1100 people.  I had never been there before and the stories my Mom told us made the place magical to me. Unfortunately my very visit there would be to bring my Mother’s ashes home and place them with my Grandparents. It was a bittersweet trip for me but it gave me a better understanding of my Mom and why she loved this place so much. And the Cemetery overlooks the town and the view is breathtaking, I know she is happy to be home. We celebrated her life and her memory in the traditional Irish way, a few drinks, some laughs and stories shared.

Thank you Mom for always encouraging me to never give up and face every day with the sun shining on my face. This St. Patrick’s day is dedicated to you!



Coffee & Art, Giving back to the community!


I first met Thom Schultz and the staff of DCNoise last year when they were looking for sponsors for this event.  I was so impressed with their passion and enthusiasm, how could I say no. I asked Thom to tell me about how this all got started and this is what he shared.

“Tampa Bay Coffee & Art Festival (TBCAF) started in 2016 when a few of us from the DCNoise team were discussing our mutual love for coffee. At that point in time, many of us had started to dabble in the world of craft coffee and we were looking for a way to connect people to the growing coffee culture in the Tampa Bay area. Many of the team members are also into the fine and performing arts, and we are always looking for ways to bring awareness to the arts. TBCAF just seemed like the perfect way to bring all of our passions together”.

For those who don’t know, DCNoise is a benefit concert series that raises funding and awareness for organization around the community. They have been serving for the last five years working with organizations such as The Rachel Project, Suncoast Kid’s Place, Bay Area Foundation for the Arts, and more. They are the host organization for TBCAF and the community has had a huge response to this event. 

Now, let’s get more specific about the event. TBCAF is a multifaceted event featuring the best of Tampa Bay’s growing coffee and art communities. The goal of the event is to foster and encourage the cultural experience surrounding art and coffee. DCNoise is about bringing people together as a community and we hope to use TBCAF as just one facet of our effort to inspire individuals to give back to their community through whatever means they have. “Whether it’s coffee, art, music, or even just a helping hand, we all have something that we can use to empower and uplift those around us”

So when is all this happening Saturday April 8th, 11am – 9pm ( Follow on Facebook)

1310 John Moore Rd, Brandon, Florida 33511

This year, TBCAF will feature craft coffee roasters from around Tampa Bay and Florida. There will be tastings, samples, demonstrations, and more! TBCAF will also be hosting 25+ local artists displaying and selling their artwork. In addition, there will be food trucks, gourmet pastries, and desserts! This event is the perfect opportunity to discover the wonderful coffee culture and art community brewing in the Tampa Bay Area and all of Florida.

Come on out and support our local artists, Small businesses for a great cause!

Hope to see you there

The Creative Artist Gallery  


Presenting your Art to the Masses


When I first started off in Photography, it was hobby I had always wanted to pursue. Over time it became so much more, an escape from my real job, a passion and a love of capturing real beauty! So when I decided to make it more than just a hobby, presenting my art to people became my goal.

I started off the same way many people do, we did the weekend markets and occasional art show. Having a background in retail merchandising and marketing gave me an advantage as to my presentation.  Whether you are doing the markets or setting up shop on line, presentation is everything.

If you are doing the outdoor market here are a few tips to remember

  • Use neutral colors for your tent and tables, ie white/beige
  • Decorate for holidays – don’t overdue!
  • Do not try to display too much as once
  • If you have music keep it tranquil
  • Offer a raffle or giveaway – great way to collect emails
  • Use a IPad or Tablet to show a slideshow of your work
  • If you support charities, display that information
  • Brand your bags or packing material, have professional signs made www.vistaprint.com 
  • Take a lot of photos when you go to markets, ask questions
  • Take notes of what other vendors are doing right

Have further questions email us.  

The Creative Artist Gallery


“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others” Jonathan Swift

Adding a new perspective to your Photography

In photography it is really all about perspective, giving people a chance to see things in a new way. When I visit places, even if I have been there before I never get the same photo twice. I love shooting from different angles and getting that one detail many people may have missed.

I noticed when I first started is that a majority of my photos were all taken at eye level. Now that may not be a bad thing but it really left my shots looking a bit flat. For landscapes that may have been fine but I really wanted to give a new perspective to my photos. I started finding new angles to shoot, the “bugs eye” view, the more dramatic the better.

The above photos is just a few examples of that, my favorite is the one of Signal Hill Newfoundland. I walked down the incline and laid down on the rock to get that shot. It was windy as heck and yes I was a bit frightened but I got the shot I wanted. Plus it helped that my husband was with me, spotting me so I didn’t fall. Always be safe in any environment, having someone with you is good, and be careful with your equipment. Experiment and have fun, take the subject from different views and by all means use the light to your advantage. As you can see in the photo from Jacksonville, I focused on the light at the end of the walkway. Making it appear as if is further away than it was in reality.

There are so many ways to learn different techniques and tricks with photography, books, workshops, as well as online. One website that offers all sort of courses is Creative Live , I truly enjoy these as I can take them anywhere. It is the convenience of being able to watch them when I want and there are so many choices. It is free to sign up and create your account. They send you email updates about what is new and on sale. They have a great referral program plus great articles to read.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the photos I shared in this post.

Vanessa Martin

The Creative Artist Gallery 

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” Marcel Proust

Meet George and Jan Veazey, the owners of VeaZey Images© who are currently showing at our gallery.  As a photographer it is always exciting to talk to and get the stories behind the photographs. And George and Jan certainly have a lot of stories behind their work. I find myself a little jealous of all the neat places they have been, all of which is on our bucket list.

I chose the quote from Proust because as a photographer, it really encapsulates the passion behind what we do. We desire to share with the world a “new view”, something they may not have seen before.  It may be a place we have been to a million times but missed that one detail!

George says it all to well

“The philosophy of our company is to share nature’s beauty in the world through the use of digital photography.  Our objective on this site is to share this beauty it as seen and captured through the lens of our digital camera..

We believe that if each of us would just slow down just a little, and take time at look the beauty around them closer, one would find beauty every where they look – each and every day.”

You can see more of these stunning photos on Facebook  and on display at our gallery in Brandon FL.

The Creative Artist Gallery

“What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time” John Berger

Light and Time, using shutter speed and ISO combined.

Understanding how to use the light can be a bit tricky, so learning how to combine your ISO and Shutter speeds will make a huge difference.

Shutter speed is the time the shutter is open. This means it is the length of time a camera’s image sensor sees the scene. This is usually a small fraction of a second.

  • Know how shutter speed is measured. Shutter speeds are measured in fractions of seconds. These times range from 1/8000 to several seconds long. Speeds of 1/60 or faster are the most commonly used speeds.
    • Anything below 1/60 may result in camera shake, which causes blurring on the picture. You will need to use a tripod if you use slower speeds.
    • Typically only the denominator is marked on the camera. For example, “125” means 1/125 second.
  • Denominators larger than 60, like 1/125, 1/500, or 1/2000, are fast shutter speeds. Denominators below 60, like 1/30 and 1/15 are slow.
  • Shutter speeds that are full seconds long, like 1 or 2 seconds, are very slow shutter speeds.

Pick a speed that won’t blur when shooting still objects. The main thing you want to do when you take a picture is eliminate camera shake. Use a faster shutter speed to avoid camera shake blur. Try at least 1/60 for this type of photo. If you have steady hands, 1/30 may produce a good picture.

  • Setting the camera on something sturdy like a tripod eliminates camera shake, especially when you choose a slower shutter speed. (on windy days make sure to secure your tripod with sand bags or weights)

Choose a fast shutter speed if you want to freeze movement. Determining if what you want to photograph is still or in motion helps you choose a shutter speed. If you want to photograph something that is moving, you need a fast shutter speed.

  • Use 1/500 for general photography of everyday events, sports, and subjects.
  • Use 1/1000-1/4000 when shooting subjects that are extremely fast and up close. 1/1000-1/2000 works well when photographing birds. 1/1000 works well when taking photos of cars.

Determine the shutter speed based on light. Light affects the exposure of your picture. The source of light determines what kind of shutter speed you will choose. If you allow too much light, your photo will be overexposed. If you let in too little light, it will be underexposed. ( not the shutter speeds in the above photos)

  • Faster shutter speeds work well with a lot of light.
  • Slower shutter speeds are used with less light so that light can enter the camera and illuminate the photo. In situations where you have very low light, you may want to use multiple second shutter speeds.[15]For this, you will need a tripod or something else to stabilize the camera.
  • Slow shutter speeds can be used at night. This will give you light trails, like from cars or fireworks. Try 2-30 seconds if you want to attain this effect.
  • For getting an action shot in a dark area, increase the ISO sensitivity and choose a slow shutter speed. Use an external flash, and combined with the slow shutter speed (like 1/250), you can freeze the motion.

 ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. The same principles apply as in film photography – the lower the number the less sensitive your camera is to light and the finer the grain.When choosing the ISO setting I generally ask myself the following four questions:

  1. Light– Is the subject well lit?
  2. Grain– Do I want a grainy shot or one without noise?
  3. Tripod– Am I using a tripod?
  4. Moving Subject – Is my subject moving or stationary?

If there is plenty of light, I want little grain, I’m using a tripod and my subject is stationary I will generally use a pretty low ISO rating.

ISO is an important aspect of digital photography to have an understanding of if you want to gain more control of your digital camera. Experiment with different settings and how they impact your images. Please feel free to email me with questions.

The Creative Artist Gallery


“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow” Anthony J. D’Angelo

They say you are never to old to learn something new! I was in my late 30’s when I decided it was time to go back to school, I found that I loved it more and got a lot more from it. It was extremely difficult balancing a full time job and my studies but I would not have changed a thing, and doing some of it online really helped out. Online learning seems to  be more and more popular with people taking on so many different roles than they did before. I have to say that is why I enjoy Creative Live so much.

Being a photographer I am always wanting to learn new things or brush up on things that I have not done in a while and this platform is so super easy to use. They offer such a wide range of classes, they is really something for everyone. Some of them are free which is nice and they are always adding new ones. Others are available for a reasonable rate, as well as articles that are very helpful. It is absolutely FREE to sign up and once you create an account they will send you emails of specials and new classes being offered. Plus if you refer a friend you will both save money on your next class. It is really a total win for both.

So if you are looking for a way to learn something new or you want to brush up on skills you currently have you will find something here to help.

Happy Learning and Get Creative today 

The Creative Artist Gallery

Marketing, getting people to notice you!

When you are just starting out, regardless of what is you do marketing can seem like a huge task. And I can say that the photo above is exactly how you may feel. You are are alone out there and really not sure where to go or which direction to take. We have all been there and unfortunately there is no magic answer other then to be consistent, Get people to notice you!

When I worked in retail and every time we opened a new store everyone thought well “why market, people know what you do, and what you do”. That may be true however it wasn’t the “name” on the door we were marketing but the people inside. I was the manager and it was my job to put a face out there that people could come to, someone that they could trust. Same with my staff, I had to make sure they made people feel welcome. So you see as an artist it is so important that people get to know “you”. Sure your art may be stunning but if you are not our there meeting people or posting on social media you can become lost or irrelevant.

When people buy art they are buying your story, who you are, what you stand for or a cause you are passionate about. You have to put a face with your art, people love to hear a story behind the art. Why you painted a certain picture? What inspired you to create a new piece of sculpture? Why you give to a charity? Those are the things you need to be sharing with people.

When I take artists into our gallery I try to encourage them to really be active in sharing and engaging with people especially on social media. 

Here is an article I found on Small Biz Trends

25 Free and Low Cost Ways to Market Yourself

As an artist you each have a unique story and why you are passionate about art. Share that with people, tell that story, introduce people to the artist not just the art.

The Creative Artist Gallery

Do you really have to be the “starving”, “broke” Artist?

Being an artist is truly an expensive endeavor, all those supplies you just have to have can pile up quickly. I can’t even begin to tell you how much money I have spent on camera equipment, but I have learned some money saving ideas over the years. So I thought I would pass on some of those things.

  • Always keep a good inventory of all your equipment/supplies
  • Never just throw away anything – sell it or trade it out. There are so many social media groups for things just like this. If not start one!
  • Research all big purchases before you commit
  • Join Ebates.com  if you shop on line this is a must have! FREE to sign up
  • Rent equipment instead of buying outright – perfect way to try out something new before you spend the money on it.
  • Sell your used equipment – KEH online buys used camera equipment 
  • Sign up as a VIP or Preferred customers, almost all retailers have this.
  • Look for money savings APP’s to download onto your phone, Retale, Groupon, RetailMeNot….are just a few.

I hope some of these help.

The Creative Artist Gallery