Interview with Cynthia Maniglia from Sand Salt Moon

I’m talking with Cynthia Maniglia from Sand Salt Moon at Run over and visit her blog, Cynthia’s work is fantastic, she really captures the each subject. The piece above is called Fall Mums.

Did someone teach you to color as a child? Did you color in the lines?


Coloring in coloring books was a big thing for me and my generation when we were younger. I suppose it still is today with kids, and I know it’s become a big thing with adults as there are many adult coloring books on the market. I used to color with my girlfriends – we’d sit or lay on the carpeted floor and color all afternoon. If we went visiting, we brought our coloring books and crayons with us. We were all around kindergarten/first grade or so age, so at that time we were coloring in school with our classmates and art teachers or classroom teachers. I would say we learned from each other, although I did have a slight little advantage. My dad. He was an artist – so I grew up with paints and paper and art around me. My father was never educational about it at that age, simply encouraging. He brought home paper and paints for me to play with in my playroom. I colored in the lines, but I also liked to draw and color what I drew. I always enjoyed art. It was always a fun thing for me to do as a child.


How did you discover your artistic skills? What age were you?

In school, I noticed that I did well in art class (my teachers and grades affirmed that), and I enjoyed the projects I did in the Girl Scouts (we did lots of arts and crafts). In college, I pursued writing but wanted to drop out and go to art school, which I wished I had done instead of continuing with my degree in English Literature. My artistic skills really came to the fore when I discovered craft shows in my late 20’s/early 30’s. I used to make handmade brooches and they were a big hit in the 80’s with career women and their women friends; my crafty pins made great gifts and sold like hot cakes! My mom was my best critic – she’d tell me what was good and what wasn’t, and then my dad chirped in with his opinion. They were both brutally honest and at the same time encouraging. Eventually, I stopped selling the pins, which I was doing for extra money, when the craft show circuit started dwindling, and I moved onto selling handmade cards to retail shops. The cards sold for $7 wholesale and $15 at high-end retail shops in Los Angeles, California (on Rodeo Drive) and at Longwood Gardens Gift Shop in PA, to name a few prominent locations. I did that for a couple of years for fun. It was a hobby I ran as a business on the side of my day job/career. Those crafty endeavors were just a hobby, but they were certainly a good way to gauge and hone my artistic skills. I would say it was in my 30’s and 40’s that I found out my artistic ability was marketable and I could be successful with it, and when I was in my teens, it was just something I was “good at and had fun with” rather than a career path. I’m glad I pursued writing for my career, however, because I did well with that and was able to retire early. Now, I have art in my early retirement to pursue and have fun with, and I’m never bored.


What advice would you give an artist just starting out?

Decide if art is something you want to do for fun, as a hobby, or as a career. It can evolve and be all three, but if you want to make a career of it and be successful, there are definitely some disciplines and things you may want to focus on in order to give your path positive direction, rather than just being willy-nilly about it and “seeing where it goes.” There’s a lot to be said about developing your own style and having natural talent, but nothing replaces hard work and discipline as well as a good understanding of “basics” concerning mediums, drawing, and other learnable skills in the arts.


Your art is shown at, what lead you to the site?

Another blogger on WordPress, actually, had a Society 6 shop, and so I looked into it. I have a scanner and can upload high quality images of my art to Society6, which is easy to do. Then I promote my work via social media, and most importantly gift items from the site with my artwork on it to friends and family! I have a few things from the site that I bought for myself (a shower curtain, a bath mat, and a few of the zippered canvas bags).


Your favorite or favorites piece of art and why?

I’m going to have to say anything done by Monet and Van Gogh. I really enjoy looking at their brush work. If you mean my work … well, I’m too critical of it to think it’s a favorite – I always see what’s wrong with it!


Do you want to grow into other mediums like oil or etching?

I’m interested in finding more clarity in my painting. I scrumble a lot and am not as good of a line artist as I’d like to be. I want to have fewer strokes, be more definitive with my lines and choice of color, and rely less on mistakes. It’s that discipline thing I was talking about earlier that they teach you in art school that I lack. I’m not really interested in oils, but I would like to do more with pastels as I enjoy drawing.

Continue reading “Interview with Cynthia Maniglia from Sand Salt Moon”

Interview with Patricia Grace Blogger/Artist

I’m thrilled to talk Mosaics today with Patricia Grace from Grace to Survive, The Dove is my favorite, the details are amazing. Be sure and stop by Patricia’s blog for more great art and photographs.

Can you share more information about yourself and the process leading to art.

Were you creative as a child? Staying in the lines while coloring or getting A’s in art class? 

I did receive A’s in Art! It was the one place to unfold. In grade school a sculpture made from strips of thinly planed wood hung on our living room wall.

In high-school it felt like my ‘safe’ place and I was there as much as possible. Jewelry making was especially memorable, filing the silver for a ring and figuring out the design.

In college many courses were enjoyed but my favorite was once again sculpture.

What was the catalyst for you to start working with mosaics? 

The catalyst was taking a ceramics course in the city. After the course I loved having my hands in wet clay so a kiln and potter’s wheel was purchased. But making glaze properly is difficult. The glaze on my bowls dripped onto the kiln shelves and stuck. Being someone who hates waste, and remembering during summer camp as a child how much fun is was making trivets from tile, I decided to try a mosaic.

After breaking all the bowls on the garage floor the fun began and I never stopped. Birds, flowers, dogs, cats, butterflies, whatever I could imagine I made. After the broken bowls ran out, I made my own tile rolling the clay out with an over-sized rolling pin. Since the tiles lay flat, the glaze stayed where it was supposed to.

I’ve love the stepping-stones you’ve made, what other items do you make with mosaics?

The outdoor tiles, stones and rocks are the very latest projects. Before that the items were decorative, either framed or free-form to be hung on a wall.

You have a nice work area, is this your corner to unwind?

The studio, also doubling as a bedroom when the grand-kids stay, is definitely my corner to unwind. In there I lose myself and time passes quickly with great satisfaction. All worries float away. Suppressed feelings sometimes rise with the release of tears falling onto my work which adds to the freedom experienced.

It is my place where there are no mistakes, no one telling me what to do and no expectations from others especially from myself. What is created comes from a place not often heard from deep within.

What other hobbies do you have or learning? 

I love growing flowers and photographing them, and taking photos in general, especially close-ups. An entire world exists that cannot be seen until you enter that small world. Many delightful surprises show up on the computer that my eyes did not pick up through the camera.

Other hobbies include cooking, crocheting, making greeting cards with my photos, and flower arranging.

What advice would you share for someone just starting to learn the art?

Mine came from a childhood memory then morphed into a more adult version. I’d say take something you loved doing and do it again, or delve into something new you never tried but secretly wanted to. And remember, there is no wrong way, there is your way. It is your true expression which is always right…and feels so good.

The grouting process


Thank you Patricia for sharing insight on your art. It was a pleasure talking with you.


Interview With Photographer/ Blogger Cindy Knoke

Cindy Knoke has traveled the world, to the most unusual off the beaten path places you can imagine. Her photography is a window to the world. I ask Cindy a few questions to learn her photography background and how she plans for the monumental trips.

At what age did you pick up your first camera? Did the world look different thru the lens?

My first camera was a silly Swinger Polaroid camera which I got at around age 6. It had a jingle associated with it which I loved and remember verbatim today, “Meet the Swinger. Polaroid Swinger. Only 19 dollars and 95! Swing it up. It says Yes! Take the shot. Rip it off.” This was the essence of my photographic knowledge!! Laughing……. Here’s the jingle starring Ali McGraw:

I had family members growing up who were talented photographers but I never even thought to be one of them and never had any cameras. In adulthood, my husband, Jim, was our photographer and had good cameras. I used to buy those throw away cheap plastic cameras at drugstores for trips since I liked taking different photos than he did.

When we retired, we started dedicated chunks of travel time. Jim looked at my photos from the cheap camera, compared them to his, said, that I had something “special,” and gave me his camera a Canon, and showed me the basics on how to work it. That was my introduction to photography and it has been a serious joy in my life ever since. Jim is the person who encouraged and guided me to it for which I remain very grateful. He still encourages me to this day. I am not a trained photographer by any means, definitely self-taught and a hobbyist, not a professional.

What type of camera and software do you use now? 

I use two cameras a Sony HX400 and a Sony RX10 V. I use the 400 the most due to its variable zoom up 1200mm equivalent. I also have a Sony underwater camera which I hopefully will have a chance to use during our upcoming trip to the Cook Islands.

What software package do you use for editing?

I use Sony Play Memories Home and Windows Photos.

You travel extensively, how do you plan for each trip?
Jim and I discuss, propose, and agree on where we want to go. We use the internet to do all the research and planning.I propose an itinerary and Jim tweaks it. I We devise the modes of transport together although Jim takes the principle role here. I book the accommodations and Jim books the transport. Half of the fun we have in traveling is in the planning. When we are not traveling, we are planning!


How do you get access to the amazing Cathedral’s and the intricacies of others visited. 

We use the internet extensively. We research online before we go, and while we are traveling.Whilst  traveling research for each specific locale is key to finding unusual places.  Blogs are excellent travel resources leading us to interesting out of the way places.  Travel is so much more  fun when you plan a trip according to your particular interests, and internet resources allow everyone to do this!

Thank you bloggers!! Your posts improve my travel, and my life too, of course! Bloggers Rock!



You can’t miss Cindy’s blog  You won’t forget the great places she’s been.