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Back to School with Earth Paints

Back to School (or home)!

Are you ready for the school year?

Natural Earth Paint offers natural, high-quality supplies that are safe for both the classroom and the home. Whether you’re a parent, a university student, an arts educator, or a life-long learner, we’ve got you covered. We’re offering discounts on our most popular kits as well as ideas for educational opportunities – 8 blog posts on the History of Earth Paint, from Prehistoric times through today!

10% Off Natural Earth Paint Kits

Start the school year off right with 10% off our Complete Eco-Friendly Oil Paint Kit and our Natural Earth Paint Kit for students of all ages! Just use code BackToSchool at checkout. Code expires September 8th.

Shop Now

Natural Earth Paint Kit Tutorial

Using our Natural Earth Paint Kit is as easy as ABC, 123! Just add water, mix, and get painting. For a tutorial on how to paint and play with our kid-friendly paint set, click the button below to watch our video!

Watch Tutorial

The History of Natural Pigments

Natural earth pigments have colored human history for thousands of years, so they provide a window into the past for learners young and old. Our History Page provides resources to help students learn about the Prehistoric Era, Ancient Egypt, the Middle Ages, and more through the lens of natural pigments. It’s a great resource for teachers and parents alike!

History Page
Want to get creative with your favorite Natural Earth Paint pigments?

Check out the Recipes section of our website for innovative uses of our products for fine artists and families!

Have questions about our eco-friendly products?Visit our FAQ page or send us an email at [email protected]
Interested in purchasing from Natural Earth Paint? Visit our Website for more details on our high-quality, non-toxic, and eco-friendly products.

Coronavirus Relief Fund Cultural Support application now live!

Coronavirus Relief Fund Cultural Support

application now live!

Salem, Ore. – Applications are now live and open for Oregon’s Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Cultural Support program. Funds allocated to the Oregon Cultural Trust will be available to Oregon cultural organizations facing losses due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The $25.9 million in funding was made available through a $50 million relief package for Oregon culture recently approved by the Emergency Board of the Oregon Legislature.

The distribution plan for the CRF Cultural Support program was approved at the Aug. 6 Cultural Trust Board of Directors meeting. Applications are due by noon on Monday, Aug. 24, and approved funds must be distributed by Sept. 15.

“We are grateful to the members of our Board for authorizing us to move forward with the distribution plan as soon as possible,” said Brian Rogers, executive director of the Cultural Trust. “We have worked hard to develop a statewide, equitable distribution plan and look forward to supporting our cultural community in surviving this unprecedented crisis.”

All Oregon cultural nonprofits and community venues are welcome to apply. Eligible grant recipients include, but are not limited to, cultural institutions, county fairgrounds, cultural entities within federally recognized Indian Tribes based in Oregon, and festivals and community event organizations. Funds will be distributed through the Cultural Trust statewide network of County and Tribal Cultural Coalitions. Funding will be determined based on eligible request amounts, an award allocation formula that establishes a base amount of funds per county or tribe and the organization’s fiscal size. COVID-19 expenses previously reimbursed by other federal CARES Act programs are not eligible.

Complete guidelines are posted on the Cultural Trust website.

The intended use of the CRF Cultural Support funds is to provide financial assistance to cultural nonprofit organizations and community venues that have canceled or postponed public programming because of public health executive orders associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidelines for the funding are in accordance with theU.S. Department of the Treasury.

 

The federal CARES Act requires that CRF funding only be used to cover expenses that: are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency; were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act); and were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on Dec. 30, 2020.

The Cultural Trust is committed to serving Oregon’s culturally diverse and traditionally underserved communities.

Call to Action: Proposed Funding Cuts for Oregon Arts & Culture

We are reaching out today to urgently ask you to advocate for Oregon’s cultural sector.

Next week on Monday, August 10th a special session has been called to rebalance the state’s budget due to the impacts of COVID-19. The session will include proposed General Fund cuts to the arts of over $300,000, and specific cuts to the Cultural Resource Economic Fund (CREF)/lottery funded capital projects over $300,000. These projects include several significant historic and present-day community treasures that have relied on state commitments and that enrich our state for the future.

We need our advocates and members to urge Oregon’s legislature to reject these proposed cuts before Monday, August 10th. Please TAKE ACTION today by emailing the Oregon legislature. The form on our website will send your message to the legislators within your district based on your address. 

Oregon’s arts, culture, heritage and humanities are critical to our recovery as people. We will need a strong and growing cultural sector that is understood as one of Oregon’s most important economic drivers of tourism and commerce.

Thank you for your attention and advocacy.

Dr. Nancy Golden
President, Board of Directors
Cultural Advocacy Coalition

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/DmPkZO7LVP5tLbmco2q2SQ

Lucky Valley Press July Newsletter


OUR MISSION: to help authors get their books into print and worldwide retail distribution; to provide inspired solutions for editing, design and layout; and to maintain the voice of the author and the integrity of the concept.


The Little Bach Book by David Gordon

160 pages, 6 x 9, softcover, 82 illustrations, maps, bibliography

Bach specialist David Gordon has created a richly illustrated and amusing collection of his favorite anecdotes, historical explanations, timelines, bits of pathos, gritty vignettes of everyday realities, and colorful stories about J.S. Bach and everyday life around him in early 18th-century Germany. There’s no other book like it. Learn More…

The Little Bach Book

The Soup Kit

The Soup Kit
by
Ginna BB Gordon
color photos by the author, 208 pages,
8.5 x 8.5, softcover

Everything a cook needs to know about soup: a little history, a lot of spice and herb combos borrowed from other cultures, notes about thickeners and other additions, the right vegetable cut for the right end result, when to add which ingredient, 55 recipes, and more. Learn more…

WHAT WE DO

All our services are available for print books and ebooks. We edit and proof manuscripts, design books from cover to cover, acquire ISBNs and deal with other book registration duties, process and edit photos and images and prepare the material for uploading to the distributor. Throughout the entire process we work closely with you by phone, email, snail mail and text to make sure your book has the look and feel you imagined.


Looking for John Steinbeck

Released in 2016

Deke Interrupted

Released in 2018

Humming in Spanish

Coming Sept. 2020!!

Ginna BB Gordon’s Lavandula Series

Set in Carmel Valley, California in the 1960s, The Lavandula Series is based on the fictional journals of Stefani Michel. It’s the life stories of Stevie and her two cousins. Learn More


Soul Companion: A Memoir

by Judy Hilyard

230 pages, 6 x 9, softcover, hardcover, ebook

After a 47-year career as an ICU nurse, Judy Hilyard took a completely different road and became an Anam Aira, a soul companion, for those who have died or are in the final stages of dying.

Soul Companion is the story of what Judy has learned as she cares for souls on both sides of the Veil. Learn More…

Soul Companion

AT LVP YOU ARE THE PUBLISHER

With digital print-on-demand publishing you have complete control over your book before and after it is released.

We provide all necessary design, account management and pre-press services and we partner with you every step of the way from the preliminary editing stages through the actual release of the book for international retail distribution.

OUR FEE is based on the length of your manuscript and the ultimate complexity of your book. After an examination of your manuscript and a discussion with you about your goals and ideas, we prepare a multi-page Project Evaluation with a detailed breakdown of services and costs and a project timeline. We also discuss the book size and retail price and explain how the book size, paper and price will affect your revenue.


Joseph Meister

Aunt in the Amazon
La Tia en la selva Amazónica

A True Adventure Coloring Book
by Diane Wallace

Illustrations by the author, 80 pages, 8.5 x 11, softcover

This coloring book story in Spanish and English takes you on an expedition down the Amazon by canoe. It’s the perfect book for bilingual families with kids of all ages. The engaging and true story will inspire curiosity about the world, interest in other cultures and a desire to travel without fear. Learn More…


Scherzo’s Magical Musical Adventure

by Nancy E. Bennett

This is a story about a little dog, Scherzo, with a great desire to sing. If a child is musical and loves animals, this humorous book will educate and inspire while providing an intuitive understanding of musical terminology. This is the perfect book for little ones and grown-ups to share. Learn More…

Scherzo

54 pages, 11 x 8.5, softcover,
with 23 oil paintings by the author.


Penitentiary Tales

Penitentiary Tales: A Love Story

by EA Luetkemeyer

404 pages, 6 x 9, softcover
Illustrations by the author

In the 1980s, Dean Davis, a 30-something, educated, straight white male from affluent Sausalito, California, is sent to an Illinois prison filled with inmates from the mean streets of Chicago. What challenges does he meet? How does the experience affect his social and political consciousness? Learn More…


LVP

GINNA has been reading two or three books at a time ever since she can remember. Her love of books led her to a life as writer, editor and publisher, while her love of cooking led to a parallel career as chef and cookbook author.

At Lucky Valley Press, Ginna is project manager and art director. With her artist’s eye she creates the look and personality of each book, cover to cover.

An experienced editor, she has worked closely with more than 30 authors to help them develop and refine their work.

Ginna’s first book, A Simple Celebration, the Nutritional Program for the Chopra Center for Well Being, was published in 1997 by Harmony Books, a Division of Random House.

Since then Ginna has published nine more titles including cookbooks (First You Grow the Pumpkin and The Soup Kit), memoirs about cooking (The Honey Baby Darlin’ Series), and novels (The Lavandula Series, the story of three girls growing up in the 1960s in Carmel Valley, California.)

DAVID is a life-long professional musician, writer, lecturer and historian.

At Lucky Valley Press, he is the layout and typography designer and manager of tech and pre-press. He likes to design with type and has typeset the interiors of nearly all the books we’ve produced during the past decade.

He and Ginna collaborate on the concept and design of book covers.

In 2015 David published Carmel Impresarios, a 400-page cultural biography of the two extraordinary women who helped establish Carmel, California as a major hub for the arts. It is the definitive history of the growth of music and theater in Carmel’s early years.

His second book, The Little Bach Book, describes daily life in the era of J.S. Bach. To date, it has sold more than 1,500 copies worldwide.

Learn more about David’s musical career at www.spiritsound.com.

Follow this link for a list of books by Ginna and David.


Collage of book covers


Since 2012 Lucky Valley Press has designed
and produced 65 books for 34 independent authors.
Visit www.luckyvalleypress.com to learn more.


Oregon Legislature approves emergency relief funding for arts and culture

Oregon Legislature approves relief funding for arts and culture

Oregon Legislature approves emergency relief funding

for arts and culture

$25.9 million allocated to Cultural Trust for statewide relief

Salem, Ore. – The Emergency Board of the Oregon Legislature approved a $50 million relief package for Oregon culture Tuesday that includes $25,984,872 to Business Oregon for statewide distribution to cultural organizations by the Oregon Cultural Trust. The funding was made available through the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to address the devastating impact the COVID-19 health crisis is having on Oregon’s arts and cultural community.
“We are extremely grateful to lawmakers for recognizing that preserving our culture is essential as we navigate through this unprecedented crisis,” said Chuck Sams, chair of the Cultural Trust Board. “Our collective culture is the glue that binds us together as Oregonians, especially during challenging times. Arts and culture cross all boundaries and inspire us to celebrate our diversity and resilience as a people.”
The Cultural Trust is working with the Oregon Arts Commission to develop statewide, equitable funding distribution to be administered through the Cultural Trust’s County and Tribal Coalitions, said Brian Rogers, executive director of the Cultural Trust and the Arts Commission. The statewide distribution plan is expected to be reviewed by the Cultural Trust Board of Directors at its July 23 meeting. Coronavirus Relief Funds are mandated to be distributed by Sept. 15, 2020.
The remainder of the relief funding package for culture was allocated directly to several statewide cultural organizations and to for-profit and nonprofit performing venues.
Since the crisis began, nonprofit cultural organizations across the state have cancelled thousands of performances, events and activities – including key fundraising events – and most have closed their doors to the public. The loss of projected earned income, lifeblood for most cultural organizations, has resulted in significant layoffs and furloughs. Many organizations are at risk of bankruptcy and permanent closure.
A recent survey of 330 Oregon cultural nonprofits by the Cultural Trust revealed that participants projected a collective loss of $40 million and average losses of $121,281 by June 30. The majority of respondents (54 percent) have annual revenues of less than $250,000 and operate outside of the Portland Metro area.
“Our distribution of the relief funds will ensure that cultural organizations in every county, serving every geographic region of our state, will benefit,” said Rogers. “At times like these we depend on our arts, history, heritage and humanities to help us persevere. These funds will go a long way in ensuring our cultural community survives this crisis.”
­­­­_________________

About the Oregon Cultural Trust

Created in 2001 by the Oregon Legislature, the Oregon Cultural Trust is a testament to how much Oregonians value culture. No other state provides a 100 percent tax credit to inspire cultural giving. As uniquely Oregonian as public beaches and the bottle bill, the Oregon Cultural Trust was designed as an ongoing funding engine for arts and culture across the state. Oregonians fund the Cultural Trust. We, in turn, fund the artists, potters, poets, acrobats and dreamers who define our famous quality of life.
In 2019 Oregonians gave $4.5 million to the Cultural Trust. Sixty percent of that went straight back to the field. The remaining 40 percent helped grow our permanent fund. Our three grant programs fund our five Statewide Partners, 45 County and Tribal Coalitions and 1,450+ qualified cultural nonprofits through competitive Cultural Development Grants.
More information at culturaltrust.org.

Converting Art into a Digital File

This post is presented courtesy Giclée Yoshimatsu at Giclée Yoshimatsu.

The Science of Digitizing Art

The two main processes for converting your 2D art into a digital file are photographing and scanning. In reality, they’re just two sides of the same coin. A scanner is simply a large, slow, bulky camera. In the old days (5 years ago,) dedicated, special purpose scanners costing $10,000 or more were the norm. They were old and outdated even then but shops kept using them because they had so much invested. The best known of these systems was Better Light. Their claim to fame was a scanning back (digital camera) that didn’t require or use a Bayer Filter meaning each pixel represented an uninterpolated color. The trade-off was that each scan took much longer to complete and it had to be attached to a computer to check framing and focus. Bottom line, it was a tedious, expensive and labor intensive process to digitize each piece of art.

Today, digital camera technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. Yet, many cameras still use Bayer filters, producing interpolated (less accurate) colors and AA (anti-aliasing) filters that induce slight blurriness to suppress moire.

pixel shift

The Pentax K-1 used in our studio incorporates Pixel Shift Technology to improve the color fidelity and sharpness of images. First, it has no AA filter so there’s no induced softness. If an AA filter is needed, it can be switched on electronically. This might be desirable for art on canvas with a distinct weave pattern and a light paint load that results in moire.

Secondly, for improved color fidelity, Pixel Shift Technology shifts the sensor below the Bayer Filter so that each photosite (light sensor) captures four pure color samples per image. The illustration above shows the sensor (gray base ) covered by a Bayer Filter. In a conventional camera, each photosite captures the light passed through one filter lens, Red, Green or Blue. These samples are then interpolated (fancy term for “mixed”) with surrounding photosites to create a single pixel.

Unfortunately, in electronics, noise is a fact of life. Think of noise as bits of contaminants on your palette. This noise alters the final color and creates problems in recreating light, dark, shadows, highlights and colors. To defeat this problem, Pixel Shift Technology takes a red image (1 above) then shifts the sensor down (2 above) to capture a green image with a green lens over each photosite. Then it shifts the sensor to the right (3 above) for a blue image and finally up (4 above) to capture a second green. In the end, it has four frames of  pure red, green, blue and green color data. There are two green frames because human vision is optimized for green, probably to distinguish predators that might be lurking in green fields or forests. These four frames are then combined to create a much more pure color rendition of the original color.

As you might image, moving a sensor by the width of one photosite (~4.88 μm) is an incredible feat of engineering precision. To do so 4 times in less than a second is beyond incredible.

But you’re asking WIIFM (what’s in it for me.) Bottom line, it’s less expensive to convert your art into a digital file because the colors are cleaner and purer from the get-go which means less photo editing time. The final image is also sharper and has better shadow and light details which give it depth. It also means less time to set up the capture because the camera is small and easy to position, manage and focus. It’s a win-win-win for your budget, your clients’ pocketbook and my sanity.

The post Converting Art into a Digital File appeared first on Giclée Yoshimatsu.

Important Updates on CARES Act Programs

Important Updates on CARES Act Programs

  • The deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loan through a bank or online financial institution was officially extended from June 30 to August 8, 2020. Last week, Congress unanimously voted to extend the deadline and President Trump finally signed it into law over the weekend. Please note that this is only a deadline extension and not the opportunity to apply for a second PPP. There is still more than $125 billion available for first-time PPP borrowers who are self-employed, gig artists, contractors, or a corporation or nonprofit with W2 employees. Just remember that you cannot collect pandemic unemployment if you’re also paying yourself with a PPP forgivable loan during the same covered period.

 

  • The extra $600 of weekly federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is still currently set to expire on July 31, 2020. For those of you who are self-employed, gig artists, or Form 1099 independent contractors and are currently collecting PUA, you may want to consider applying for a PPP loan on August 1st, which will allow you to then stagger rather than overlap federal economic relief assistance during this pandemic.

 

  • Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund currently have an Action Alert that will enable you to send a quick email to your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators, urging them to approve both an extension of PUA benefits beyond 7/31/20, and allow a second round of PPP forgivable loans for existing borrowers. These two programs are particularly needed to those working in the arts, entertainment, tourism, and hospitality industries. Send your emails to Congress through our Arts Action Center.

 

  • On July 1st, the National Endowment for the Arts announced the names of the 855 national, state, and local nonprofit and governmental arts organizations, who were awarded $45 million in CARES Act emergency arts funding. This is in addition to the supplemental $30 million that was quickly passed through to every state and regional arts agency in April for purposes of re-granting locally within their geographic areas.

 

  • If you haven’t done so yet, please remember to complete your 2019 federal income tax return by July 15th, or at least request a filing extension to October 15th. The CARES Act had extended this year’s filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, but this extension does not necessarily apply to the filing deadline of your state income tax return.

 

Updates on CARES Act Programs Resources to Assist You:

  1. Office Hours with Nina (Free Q&A forum about the CARES Act on M, W, F @ 11am EDT)
  2. Book Nina for Your Own Webinar (Free service to share tips on CARES Act and legislation)
  3. CARES Act Table Updated 6/24/2020
  4. PPP Loan Forgiveness Application
  5. ArtsU on-demand videotaped training webinars on the CARES Act
  6. Americans for the Arts Coronavirus Resource and Response Center

Printer Profiles: Key to Accurate Colors

This post is presented courtesy Giclée Yoshimatsu at Giclée Yoshimatsu.

Monitors can display ~16.7 million colors (~1 billion for wide gamut displays) but inkjet printers use 6 to 10 discrete colors and print dots so close to each other that the human eye sees them as a continuous tone. Due to inherent limitations, inkjet printers can’t reproduce all 16.7 million colors of a monitor.

ProPhoto vs IJP

Wireframe is ProPhoto RGB color space, gray solid is typical inkjet printer color gamut.

The graph (left) compares ProPhoto RGB color space (wireframe) to a typical printer gamut (gray). ProPhoto is the largest common space used in digital photography and actually encompasses a bit more than the human eye can see. The gray shape inside depicts the gamut of a typical IJP. As you can see, the printer can’t reproduce huge swaths of color visible to the human eye.

Display vs ijp

Display color space (wireframe) versus IJP space

This next graph compares ~16.7 million colors of a monitor (wireframe) to the colors available on an IJP (gray). Although the number of colors appears roughly equal, there are large sections that don’t intersect. The black outline at the bottom shows IJP color boundary while the color outline shows the edges of the monitor color space. Notice how the spaces are mismatched.

When the computer tells the IJP to print a blue color outside the monitor space but inside the IJP space, all is well because the print will more closely match the original. The colors just weren’t visible on the monitor but the final print will be correct. However, when the IJP is sent commands to print dark blue to magenta tints outside the black IJP outline, the final print will not match what was seen on the monitor because the IJP can’t reproduce those colors. So, what to do?

This is where printer profiles come to the rescue. Profiles “map” colors so the printer knows when a color is outside it’s gamut (range) and what to do with it. “What to do” is determined by “rendering intent.” For fine art purposes, “perceptual” and “relative” are generally the most useful intents.

relative colorimetric

Relative Colorimetric rendering intent compress all out-of-gamut colors to the closest in-gamut point.

Relative Colorimetric “clips” the colors so all colors outside the gamut are mapped to the closest color in gamut. This preserves all the in-gamut colors relative to other colors but compresses all out-of-gamut colors. The result is loss of details in shadows, an issue for photographs but, usually, not so much in paintings.

 

perceptualPerceptual rendering intent maps all colors so that, while individual colors may have shifted slightly, the overall visual effect is retained. This works well for most photographs as shadow details are preserved while slight color shifts aren’t usually noticeable. It can work well for paintings as long as the artist understands colors may have shifted in order to preserve shadow details.

The closest analogy to illustrate the concept of printer profiles is crayons. If an artist uses a box of 128 crayons and then asks her printer to replicate the painting using a box of 24 crayons, some colors will have to be mixed using two or more crayons to approximate the original color. That, in a nutshell, is what printer profiles do.

 

The post Printer Profiles: Key to Accurate Colors appeared first on Giclée Yoshimatsu.

2021 NEA Budget Increase Proposed

Americans for the Arts
            
July 7, 2020

Earlier today, the U.S House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee strongly rejected President Trump’s fourth consecutive annual budget request to eliminate both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by instead appropriating $170 million in funding for each for fiscal year FY 2021! This represents an increase for both agencies of $7.75 million each over the current FY 2020 funding level of $162.25 million and it is the same amount that we recommended to Congress.

Americans for the Arts and Arts Action Fund President and CEO Robert Lynch and ArtsVote 2020 Chair and Arts Action Fund Board Member Ben Folds testify before the U.S. House Interior Subcommittee on February 6, 2020.

As you will recall, Americans for the Arts and Arts Action Fund president and CEO Robert Lynch and our ArtsVote 2020 Chairman and musician Ben Folds testified in support of the $170 million budget request on February 6, 2020. (Watch Ben’s testimony here.)

Additionally, we are very pleased to share that the House bill includes specific language requested by Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund to enable the NEA to waive financial matching grant requirements and to allow grantees to use the federal funds for general operating support as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  These new funds would not limit eligibility to only recent NEA grantees and would apply to FY 2021 grants as well as any outstanding FY 2020 and 2019 grant funds.

Stay tuned. This bill will proceed next to the full U.S. House Appropriations Committee, then the House floor before moving to the Senate chamber for consideration over the coming weeks and months.

Arts advocacy makes a difference. Thank you for everything you do to enrich people’s lives through the arts. If possible, please also consider contributing to the Arts Action Fund PAC.

Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

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