I have moved!

Well, I moved my blog anyway…

Thank you SOOOOO much for all of you who follow my blog!  I really feel the love!

Please, run on over to my website and follow my blog there so you won’t miss any of my fabulous words of wisdom…

No, really.  I will miss you if you don’t!

See you soon!!

Artist Beware: A true cautionary tale.

Artist Sara Drescher Braswell in her studio

I would like to tell you a true cautionary tale. I had heard of similar stories on the internet and was a little surprized when one unfolded in front of me. I am not a victim, but I could have been, of an internet conman.

It all started with an email from some one interested in one of my paintings he had seen on my website. I have PayPal buttons next to all of my paintings and I have sold pieces this way, but he had special circumstances and needed to pay by check.

First, he says he is out of Tucson, AZ, but he is out of the country on business and will soon be moving to South Africa for work. He asks for more information on the painting and says he wants it. I repeat the part about Paypal but he wants his ‘shipper’ to take possession of the painting and then mail it to him in South Africa. He says he will send a bank check for the amount we had agreed upon plus the cost of shipping overseas for me to pass along to his shipper.

He even says that he assumes I am an honest person and will mail the painting along with the extra money. Of course, I assure him of my honesty and that I will let him know when I receive payment and when the painting is on its way.

I had to go out of town for an art festival and I tell him that I will let him know when I receive the check when I get back. Honestly, I thought there was a good chance I would never see a dime from him. A lot of people tell me they want to buy my work and never follow through.

Meanwhile, he blows up my email while I am gone telling me that the check was marked as delivered by the post office and that he has not heard from me. I tell him again I am out of town and I will let him know as soon as I am in possession of the check.

I get home from the show to find the Express Mail envelope with the check. However, the check feels wrong like it’s printed on ordinary copy paper and the signature and name on the check do not match up. Red flags have already gone up for me since he wants to send me money to someone else. The check is also $2000 over the price we had agreed upon. That seems like more than needed to mail an unframed watercolor to South Africa.

I had heard of a scam where people cash a check for a stranger, are asked to keep a small part of it, and send the rest onto to another person. Unfortunately for these victims, when the check bounces back and they have already sent the money, the bank holds the victim liable for the entire amount if the stranger cannot be found. It is easy to disappear on the internet.

So, the morning I got home, I went straight to my bank, Wells Fargo, to have them check it out. I have a great relationship with the people at my local branch. I explained my reservations and asked them to look into it for me. The check in question was even a Wells Fargo check. Well, my fears were not unfounded. The check had several things wrong with it. The manager on the floor asked me to forward him my correspondence with this person and kept the check to pass along to their fraud department. He advised me to not email this guy as well.

I was so relieved. Unfortunately, I was still getting emails from this criminal asking about the check. The final straw for me was when he said he was getting an attorney and was going to file criminal charges against me! I emailed the bank and forwarded this email to them. They advised me, that since he was now threatening me, to tell him that the bank destroyed the check. I did email him back that message and also told him that I did not appreciate being threatened. I really wanted to go off on him, but I restrained myself. I haven’t heard from him since.

I am currently gathering the emails, plus the envelope the check came in to pass along to the authorities if only to have a record of what is going on.

Please, if you are an artist, or anyone for that matter, be careful of this kind of scam. I never thought it would happen to me. This criminal was ready to play this out to the end. If you get a strange check, especially written way over the expected amount, have your bank check it out before depositing it!! That’s a lot money to me and I would have been responsible for it. This is a true story, please feel free to pass it along. I hope it will help others not be taken advantage of.

By the way, I still have the painting! Whew!

See my work on my website:artbysaradb.com

Gold leafing: How to Add ‘Bling’ to your Art

Cage painting by artist Sara Drescher Braswell

“Cage” mixed media- 18×18-sold
© Sara Drescher Braswell

Adding gold to works of art is an ancient tradition.  The Egyptians, Babylonians and Christians all used gold to embellish their work especially in religious art.  Today, artists can add gold leaf to art work easily and with little cost.

I use gold leaf frequently in my own art since I love halos.  I have been using this process for about 10 years and I will show you how it is done!

First, the supplies: you will need metal leaf glue or sizing, metal leaf of your choice (it is available in gold, silver and copper), an old brush for the glue and a soft paint brush.  You can get all of these supplies at your local art supply store, Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

Gold leaf supplies

Next, prepare your surface.  I use the gold leaf on paper.  I draw out where I want the gold leaf to go and then I am ready to start!  You can gold leaf on canvas before you paint and paint with oil or acrylic on top or you can leaf over your dried oil or acrylic paint.

Using an old paint brush, apply the glue evenly in a generous way without leaving puddles of glue.  The bottle will say “thin” but I have more success with a little thicker application.  The sizing, or glue, will dry clear and tacky to the touch in about 30 minutes or so. Make sure the glue is dried before applying the leafing!! 

Gluing gold leaf


Carefully place the sheets of leafing over the areas of glue.  I recommend turning off all fans since the leafing is thinner than tissue paper and extremely delicate.  Gently smooth the leafing over the areas of glue, making sure that it is firmly adhered.

Apply gold leaf   Apply gold leaf   Apply gold leaf  Gold leaf applied


When you have covered all of the glue area, using the soft paint brush, gently brush away the excess leafing.  You may need to press the extra fragments into areas that didn’t adhere properly.

brush away gold leaf   gold leaf brushed away   Adding silver leaf

Clean up: I brush all of the pieces too small to use for another project onto the floor and vacuum them up!

  • You can use spray seal on metal leafing and also varnish over it.  The only time I had any issues with varnishing over a leafing was the one time I used copper leafing.  For some reason the varnish changed the color and it looked slightly tarnished.  Fortunately for me, that didn’t hurt the project, but I haven’t used it again.  I have had no problems with gold or silver leafing.
  • On paper surfaces, you may not get a crisp edge with your leafing.  I sometimes touch up with a gold leaf pen or just learn to love the irregular beauty.  If you are a perfectionist, this project may drive you a little crazy.
  • Please let me know if you have any questions or clarifications.

I hope you will try metal leafing on something in the future!  It is fun and you will get a spectacular result!

I am putting the finishing touches on this piece, and I will show you the full painting in another post!

See more of my art and examples of gold and silver leaf on my website: artbysaradb.com

My Art Studio/Work Spaces Over the Years

Feet of Peace painting by artist Sara Drescher Braswell

“Feet of Peace” from the “Armor of God” series-acrylic 24×18-available
©Sara Drescher Braswell

I am currently moving my studio space in the house.  I have discovered that another bedroom has much better light if a little less floor space.  Natural lighting is extremely important to me, so I am biting the bullet, so to speak, and moving… Ugh.  I have a lot of art stuff.  It’s going to be worth it, right?

The current focus on my studio has made me nostalgic for the “art spaces of old” in my life.  I have been a professional artist for over 10 years now, studied art in college and had a hunger to draw and create as a child.  Maybe you can relate or find my walk down memory lane interesting!

  • As a child, I was fortunate enough to have my own room which was truly my sanctuary.  The lighting was great in there since I had a huge bay window.  I had a coloring page of Garfield in artist regalia that I carefully colored and labelled: “Sara’s Studio” taped to my desktop.  At the time I thought the alliteration was clever and it designated my space well enough.  I didn’t enjoy drawing in the family room or kitchen.  I needed the security and concentration my room provided.
  • In college, I painted in the studio areas in the art department for the first couple of years.  I felt like I did my best work at home, in my own room, on holiday breaks, though.  Later years in college, I had a wonderful roommate who got engaged and was never there, so I was able to paint to my heart’s content whenever I wanted at home!  My first studio apartment also worked well, but I couldn’t really escape the oil paint odors.
  • After graduation, I moved back to my home town after deciding to pursue my art full time.  The cost of living was low and I had a lot of connections in town to get me started.  I was able to rent a two bedroom apartment for myself!  The second bedroom was really an office space since it had to closet, but it was mine!  I have worked from home ever since to save on overhead expenses.  I have been able to have two bedroom apartments except for one time I had to live in a one bedroom.  Looking back, I should have just moved my bed in to the living room and made the bedroom my studio.  I couldn’t really step away from my art and that might have helped.
  • Now, my husband and I have our first home!  I love it.  I can paint the walls whatever color I choose and I can also add storage space with shelving!  I didn’t want to invest in shelving systems for apartments since I knew eventually we would have a house.  It is also nice to have clients come to a proper house rather than trying to find my in an apartment complex!

I know I am very blessed to have a space to work in my home.  Where do you get creative?

See more of my work on my website:  www.artbysaradb.com

Works in Progress-March

Painting in progress by artists Sara Drescher Braswell

Work in progress-watercolor 24×36
©Sara Drescher Braswell

I currently have four paintings in progress.  I usually work on two watercolors at a time since I have to wait for sections of a painting to dry completely before continuing on to the next section.  I have four going right now because I need pieces to bring to the coop where I paint and work, so I like to have at least one or two small paintings set aside to work on there exclusively.  The Ft. Worth art festival and the local Celebration of the Arts festival are also just a few weeks away and I like to have new work at each show.

Needless to say, I am very busy right now.  I thought I would share a few pics from the paintings I am working on.  I like seeing the process of a painting and I hope you will too!  Please let me know if you have any questions.  I would love to answer them!

Painting in progress by artists Sara Drescher Braswell     Painting in progress by artists Sara Drescher Braswell

Work in Progress by © Sara Drescher Braswell
I will be making a progression video when this painting is finished to show the painting in sequence.

See more of my art: artbysaradb.com

Interviewed by “Specs and Wings” blog!

Molly Swanson is adorable and talented!  She is getting well known for her art and especially her custom painted TOMs.  She was kind enough to interview me for her blog.  I would love it if you would check it out and follow her,too!

Specs and Wings Blog

Tropical painting by artist Sara Drescher Braswell

“Tropical” watercolor 24×18- private collection

© Sara Drescher Braswell

To see more from my “Wine and Chocolate” series, visit my website: www.artbysaradb.com