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Catalina Island 22 Miles Across The Sea

February 19th, 2017

Catalina Island 22 Miles Across The Sea

Only 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles lies one of the most popular tourist destinations of Southern California, Catalina Island. This rocky island that is part of the Channel Island chain, 8 miles wide and 22 miles long, has a very colorful history. The island, originally inhabited by Native Americans known as the Pimugnans, was discovered in 1542 by Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo who was sailing for Spain. Though he claimed it for Spain, it remained untouched until 500 years later when it was rediscovered by Sebastian Vizcaino.

During the next two centuries, the island was used for otter and seal hunting even though trading with other countries was forbidden by Spain. Russian traders were among those who frequented the island since there was little enforcement of the prohibition of trading. Because of the many hidden coves and Catalina's close proximity to the mainland, smuggling was a common occurrence in the area. In the 1860's even gold-digging was attempted, which never panned out.

The island remained under the control of Spain and later Mexico until it became a part of California which eventually became a state. In 1846 Governor Pio Pico gave a Spanish land grant of Rancho Santa Catalina to Thomas Robbins. It remained his property until he sold it to Jose Maria Covarrubias in 1853. Covarrubias sold this grant to Albert Packard of Santa Barbara. Packard, in turn, sold the island to James Lick in 1864 who controlled it for the next 23 years. In 1887 George Shatto purchased the island for $200,000 and created the city of Avalon. Shatto was a real estate speculator from Grand Rapids, Michigan and was able to take advantage of the real estate boom of California at the time. In developing Avalon the first hotel on the island and the pier were built. Sadly, Shatto was not able to keep up with his loan. He defaulted on the loan, and the island went back to the Lick Estate.

The Banning Brothers made a valiant attempt to perpetuate the efforts of Shatto and made Avalon a resort community with more development. Unfortunately, a fire burned several hotels and facilities, creating a huge debt for the Banning Brothers that they could not overcome. In addition World War I caused a severe decline in visitors and tourists who had been coming to the island. In 1919 the Bannings had to sell shares in their enterprises due to the downturn in the economy. It was at that time that William Wrigley Jr, of Wrigley chewing gum, enters the picture to purchase shares. He made his move to buy out most of the shareholders which give him controlling interest in the Santa Catalina Island Company.

Under Wrigley's ownership, he endeavored to promote various activities and events that included the completion of the Catalina Casino in 1929. In addition, he brought the Chicago Cubs, also owned by him, to the island for their spring training season starting in 1921. The Cubs continued to call Catalina its spring training home until 1951, with exception of the war years. From 1942 to 1945 the island was closed to tourists because it was being used as a training camp for the military.

When William Wrigley Jr. passed away, his son Philip Wrigley took over the Catalina Island Company and continued to improve the infrastructure projects that his father had started. However, with the outbreak of World War II, the island took on a different role starting with the steamships being taken over to transport troops. The following agencies and entities established themselves in several locations on the island: Avalon was used to house the Maritime Service; Two Harbors became a training area for the army; the interior of the island became a radar station under the Army Signal Corp; Toyon Bay was used for the Office of Strategic Services; and Emerald Bay became the location for underwater demolition training.

In 1975 Philip Wrigley deeded the 42,135 acres of the Santa Catalina Island Company to the Catalina Island Conservancy. Wrigley had assisted in the formation of the conservancy, and with the transfer of land to the Conservancy 90% of the island was under their umbrella. The remaining property remained under the control of the resort property owners. In 2007 a fire in Avalon destroyed several structures, but the assistance from the LA County firefighters, the US Navy, and the US Marine Corp kept the losses to a minimum. After some rebuilding, the tourists continued to flock to the island.

Catalina's mild Mediterranean climate with the low annual precipitation continues to entice visitors year round. A visitor can find several of the 400 plant species that are only found on Catalina Island. Besides plants, there are five native mammals which include the island fox, the California ground squirrel, the Catalina harvest mouse, the Santa Catalina Island deer mouse, and the ornate shrew. In 1924 bison were introduced to the island when a movie company brought them to be a part of a Western movie called The Vanishing American. The bison were left on the island to save money at the completion of the filming, which had run over budget. The bison population has now grown to over 150.

Protecting the cultural and natural heritage is the cornerstone of the private nonprofit Conservancy. Catalina Island is a beach and water lover's paradise with more than a million visitors each year. The variety of activities include scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing, boating, glass bottom boat trips, golf, hiking, sightseeing, and much more. There is just about something for everyone. One fact worthy of note is that motor vehicles are restricted, and most residents and visitors use golf carts and bicycles.

Unfortunately, the Casino no longer operates as a casino. However, on the plus side, the former casino is now a museum that provides a good look at the cultural heritage with more than 100,000 items in the collection. This an ideal way to get a good view of Catalina's past and present. Making a trip in the future is worth the time and won't soon be forgotten.

Visit FASGallery.com to see several images featuring Catalina Island. Search on Catalina.

Barbara and Floyd Snyder Art Exhibit at Los Olivos Wine Merchant and Cafe

February 7th, 2017

Barbara and Floyd Snyder  Art Exhibit at Los Olivos Wine Merchant and Cafe

"Peace and Tranquility” –Barbara and Floyd Snyder Art Exhibit at Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café

A new show of photographic art by local artists Barbara and Floyd Snyder will be on view at the Los Olivos Café from March 2nd through May 4th. This talented married couple have each inspired the other’s creative photography over time and their work shows delightfully well together in this exhibit. Each artist works both with original photography and digitally enhanced original photography, largely concentrating on scenes from nature that they feel bring an experience of peace and tranquility to the viewer. The beautiful images on view provide an engaging viewing encounter, and pieces are available for purchase by those who may wish to acquire a work that provides a lyrical commentary on nature’s many gifts.

Each artist has worked in very interesting career fields that over time changed and evolved into a concentration on artistic endeavors.

They have owned and operated picture frame studios and art galleries and their backgrounds have informed their art and encouraged them to give attention to their own creativity. They have much to share with those who have the opportunity to view their work.

This exhibit is one of a continuing series of shows made possible by the commitment of the Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café to showcase local art and artists. Santa Ynez Valley Art Association (formerly the Artists Guild SYV), a nonprofit arts organization with over thirty years of history in the area, coordinates and manages the “art without borders” installation in cooperation with the Café. A portion of art sales benefits the organization, and these collaborative efforts - a way to keep art alive and accessible in the Santa Ynez Valley.

It Is Not How Long It Is How Many

December 10th, 2016

How long you have been a member of FAA or how long your image has been on FAA or on the Internet has little to do with selling it or when it will sell.

That it does, is a myth that people have bought into here because it is being put forth by a handful of people, right along with the myth that every image has to be spectacular. It does not. It only has to be seen by the right person.

The idea that an image has to be here or on the Internet for some time before it sells simply lacks any real merit. Now I will agree that the longer the image has been on FAA and/or the Internet, the more people see it and the more apt it is to sell. But that is still dependent on the being seen factor, not the longevity factor.

I started selling the first week I was here and I have been selling daily every since.

It is not how long you have been here of how long your images have been here or on the Internet. It is about how many people see your work.

When a prospective buyer sees one of your images, they don't have any idea how long they been here or on the Internet. Few people bother to look at the counter. No one says, oh, I can’t buy this image; the buyer has only been on FAA for a couple months or years. Nor do they say, hey, I am going to go buy from JC because he has been here longer than Floyd.

If you upload an image and in one week 100 people see it, and I put up an image and in that same one week, 10,000 people see it, pretty sure I have a better chance of selling my image then you (now here’s the part that most people hate) even if your image is a much, much better image.

The two biggest factors, even more important than the quality of your work are how many people see your images and how many you have. Quality is an issue, but it is not the most important one. That too is a myth.

Some of the images of my own work that I sell here and other places, every month, are images that people here have told me would never sell. But yet, I just keep selling them.

Are Your Prices Too High?

November 26th, 2016

Ask any top salesman or sales manager and they will tell you that the weaker the salesman is, the more reliant they are on price to make sales. As a sales manager, it is your job to make sure that the weaker salesman is not giving away the house to make is his living. In the case of selling your own work, you are your own sales manager. You need to know how to do that job.

The less you know about selling, advertising, and marketing, the more competitive you have to be in your pricing structure and the harder it is going to be to keep yourself from giving away the house.

We see it here all the time where people are encouraged to raise their prices, raise their prices. I just don't think that that is going to work for everyone. The less the seller knows about marketing, selling, and advertising, the more the art itself has to sell itself. Competitive pricing is going to make it easier for that to happen.

Take two images, both the exact same quality and hold the same appeal to the buyer. The guy that has image A has a great sales pitch, a great story and has caught the imagination of the buyer. He is asking $500 for his image. Seller B has basically the same image with the same level of enthusiasm from the buyer and the same $500 price but his sales pitch, his story is a boring "please by my print". The advantage is going to go to the seller with the better pitch.

Now take the exact same situation but seller B has a $400 price tag compared to seller A's $500. That is going to level the playing field quite a bit.

The more marketing, advertising and selling experience and knowledge you have, the easier it is to support higher prices.

But... the answer is not as easy as just lowering your prices. That may be only part of the answer. The full answer is to go to school and learn as much as you can about marketing, selling, and advertising. Even if you hate it and know you are never going to be good at it. You will learn enough to at least up your game to a higher level and become less dependent on lower prices.

The 25-75 Rule For New Members

November 12th, 2016

How many images you have for sale is important to how many sales you can expect to make.

I would suggest you forget the threads, groups, sponsoring pages, contests, likes, favorites, worrying about the FAA search ranking, views and all of the other stuff too many people get all bogged down in. That is assuming you are more interested in selling than socializing.

You should spend 75% of your time creating and uploading your art and 25% advertising your Artist Website OUTSIDE of FAA. Until you get closer to 250-300 images I would stay that course. Once you get to the 300 images, your goal should be to add images and get the number up as high as possible. There IS a direct relationship to the number of images and number of sales.

That said someone is going to no doubt come in here and tell you about the people that have less than 100 or less 50 that sell every day. And that is true. But they are very, very, very rare and they have special circumstances such as a famous name when they came here, connections with outside organizations that promote their work or some other special circumstances.

I have been here right at 4 years (as of November 2016). I did all of the above and tracked sales and their relationship to all of the things above. I found that there was ZERO relationship to sales and everything else except adding images and outside advertising. That said, I am not one of the top sellers in FAA but I do sell every day for the most part. The top sellers never show up in the threads.

Jump in, get your feet wet and get your Premium up and running. The sooner you get it up, the sooner it will start being indexed by searches OUTSIDE of FAA.

A couple of quick tips.

Keywords are critical but make sure you do not accidentally spam. If it not in the image or directly related to the image, do not put it in the keywords. They will make you redo them if they think they are spam.

Make sure you use good descriptions with as many search terms that you can think of.

Same thing with titles. Example: "Red Rose" okay "Red Rose Mission Santa Barbara" better.

Facebook used right is a very valuable tool. There are others but you mentioned you have a Facebook page. First, forget the idea of Facebook is an avenue of staying in touch with friends and relatives. You have to think outside those old notions of Facebook.

You simply cannot get enough "friends" to make a market for your work. The secret of Facebook is joining groups and getting your posts shared. And NOT groups of only artist. If you sell Christian art, join Christian groups, if you sell florals, join gardening groups. I sell a lot of western art. I belong to all of the western groups where western buffs hang out.

Do not just join and start spamming them with your images. Check out the group and watch what others are posting.

DO NOT put a link or a sales pitch in your posts. Put the links that go back to you to your AW where it is seen ONLY if someone clicks on your image.

Interact with the group. Make comments, make friends, like and share other people's post and they will do that the same for you making for a much broader based reach.

But remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Selling is Not Selling it is Problem Solving

October 29th, 2016

Selling Isn't Selling - its Problem Solving and Filling Needs

You will find six different definitions for the word "selling" if you look the word up in the dictionary. Six. However, not one of them will give you the real meaning of the word you need if you really want to maximize your own or your staff's sales efforts.

So what is selling?

Selling is problem-solving through the fulfilling of someone's needs.

No matter what product or service you are selling, your clients and customers come to you hoping you can solve their problem. Of course, they don't always see it that way themselves, and, all too often, you or your staff fail to recognize it.

If you really want to totally understand the selling process, one of the best ways to do this is to look at it from the buyer's perspective. What problem (need) are they expecting you to solve? Where does it originate? And what are the main motivating factors driving that particular buyer's need?

To do this it would help to have at least a basic understanding of Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs": Self-Actualization, Esteem, Love, Safety, and Physiological. Maslow writes that all human behavior is motivated by unsatisfied needs that fall into one of these general categories. Therefore, buying is motivated by a need based on one of the above elements of Maslow's Hierarchy.

For our purposes, we can group most, if not all, of your client's needs and Maslow's Hierarchy into two different categories:
Physiological Needs - Basic needs such as air, water, food, sleep, etc. For the most part, these are needs that one cannot live without.
Psychological Needs - Love, esteem, self-recognition, recognition by others, acceptance.

Think about the products you sell and which of Maslow's categories is motivating the need for your product.
For an in-depth understanding, I suggest you Google Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" and read more. The theory is not all that complicated and should be "a must read" for anyone making a living from selling.

Selling Benefits not Features.

Okay, so now that you understand that your customer has needs, you have to know how to satisfy them. You satisfy their needs (solve their problems) by giving (selling) them the "benefits" of your product that go directly to solving their problems, not by trying to sell them "features" that have little or no value according to your client's needs.

For example, if you are selling automobiles, and your prospect is a young married couple with rug-rats in tow, you probably don't want to be showing them all the fancy features of that really sleek, 2-door, 2-seater sports car. This feature-ridden beauty may mean a nice fat commission to you if you can get them to go for it. But it probably has zero benefits to the couple if their needs are for a family sedan or mini-van to haul the family around and drive the neighborhood kids to school when it is their week for the car-pool.

Frequently, we see sales people trying to sell something to their customers because if fills more needs of the salesman than the customer. The Bigger commission, old merchandise that needs to be moved, doesn't have the right product or any other number of reasons will motivate a salesperson to try to sell something that fails to solve the problem the customer was hoping to solve. This, all too often, ends up with a dissatisfied customer.

The next time you wait on a customer, think of yourself as a problem solver. Try solving their problems by matching their needs to the product with the best features that give real benefits toward filling their needs. Solve your customer's problems, and it becomes a win/win for both of you.

Remember this and you will close more sales.

Historic Buildings, Everywhere You Look

October 24th, 2016

Historic Buildings, Everywhere You Look

When people think of historic buildings, they mostly think in terms of the White House, the Empire State Building or Independence Hall. But if you just look around as you are traveling, they are really all over the place, almost everywhere you look. Here are a few of my favorites that I found as I wander around the good ol' USA. I hope you enjoy them!


Remnants Of The Grapes Of Wrath John Steinbeck Quote by Barbara Snyder

If you take River Road out of Soledad California and drive across the farm fields towards Carmel, you will see many remnants of the 1940 Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath era. This old barn above is one of many. Talked to the owner of this property that has been in his family for generations. The building was in much better shape during the depression and when it was not full of produce during the harvest season, they allowed the homeless farm workers to use it for shelter during foul weather conditions. Both his father and grandfather had passed down stories of the Steinbeck era and he was willing to share those stories with any that would listen. I spent about two hours with him and it was very enlightening.


Image Above: Mission Santa Barbara by Barbara Snyder

Mission Santa Barbara, also known as Santa Barbara Mission, is a Spanish mission founded by the Franciscan order near present-day Santa Barbara, California. It was founded by Padre Fermin Lasuen on December 4, 1786, the feast day of Saint Barbara, as the tenth mission for the religious conversion of the indigenous local Chumash-Barbareno tribe of Native American people. The mission is the namesake of the city of Santa Barbara as well as Santa Barbara County. The Mission grounds occupy a rise between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains and were consecrated by Father Fermin Lasuen who had taken over the presidency of the California mission chain upon the death of Father Presidente Junipero Serra. Mission Santa Barbara is the only mission to remain under the leadership of the Franciscan Friars since its founding, and today is a parish church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.


Pitkin Conrow Victorian Mansion Arroyo Grande California by Barbara Snyder

If haunted houses are your thing, you can visit this beautiful, restored victorian mansion on Valley Road in Arroyo Grande, California. A laughing ghost by the name of Alice is said to occupy the tower room. She also loves cats and also plays with her young male friend that also lives in the mansion. If you want to read more about this historic treasure and the ghosts that haunt it, click on the click to purchase link. No purchase necessary just to read the story.


Paul’s Place by Barbara Snyder

Paul's Place is located just off Highway 176 in Waldon California just east of Lake Isabella in Kern County California. It has been a family run business for over 75 years.This particular building is of significant historic interest because it once served as the shower and bathing house for dam workers during construction. You can click the purchase link above for more details, no purchase necessary.


Creek Street Ketchikan Alaska by Barbara Snyder

Creek Street is a historic area of Ketchikan, Alaska. The street is actually a boardwalk mounted in stilts on a high slope on the east side of Ketchikan Creek, east of the city's downtown.Creek Street is infamous as being Ketchikan's red light district, roughly between 1903 and 1954, and some of its attractions are commemorations of this past. Its origins lie in a 1903 city ordinance banishing brothels from the city center to the "Indian Town" area on the east side of the creek, and it operated until the brothels were outlawed and shut down in 1954. Numerous houses of prostitution sprang up on this difficult terrain, supported by wooden stilts. Famous among them is The Star, which was one of the largest of these businesses, and Dolly's House, which is now a museum. Winding into the hills above Creek Street is Married Man's Way, a trail used by patrons of the brothels to escape raids. Click the purchase link for more details. No purchase necessary.These are only a few of the hundreds of historic buildings I have photographed over the years. To see more great photography and art from around the world including the Old Masters, visit FASGallery.com. Enjoy!

Pebble Beach, Monterey Peninsula Golf Meca

October 19th, 2016

Pebble Beach, Monterey Peninsula Golf Meca

This is the view (left) of the clubhouse at Pebble Beach Golf Links that golfers see when standing on the tee at the 18th hole looking straight into the back of the clubhouse. Of course, no one plays the hole to cut across the bay. Not on purpose anyway.

This is one of the most famous golf courses in the world and very often tops the lists of Best Courses in the World. It is also the course that most people, worldwide, say they want to play, putting it very high up on a lot of "bucket lists".

Pebble Beach also is the home of one the PGA Tour's most famous, yearly tournaments, the AT&T, Pebble Beach Open and Pro-Am event. The yearly "clam-back" was originally founded and sponsored by the famous crooner of all time, Bing Crosby. Bing, of course, has moved on to greener fairways in a better place bu the legacy continues on as it still draws a star-studded crowd of Hollywood stars and Fortune 500 billionaires.

Bill Murray of Ghost Busters fame is probably the most followed players on the course during the 4-day event were unlike other pro-ams, the celebs actually can qualify to play on and finish with the pros on Sunday.

Pebble Beach is now owned by an organization that includes none other than Carmel By the Sea past mayor and Hollywood giant Clint Eastwood. Clint, now in his 80's no longer plays in the event but he still attends and does live guest commentary on the network broadcast and is usually in the booth for the when the trophy is won.

The 2016 edition of the tour event drew 180,000 spectators and millions of viewers. The event was played on three of the Monterey Peninsula’s premier golf courses: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, and Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore.

Monterey Peninsula Foundation is proud to host the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. In the 2015/16 fiscal year, the Foundation donated $10.8 million to support local nonprofits in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito Counties.

No Good in a Bed, but Fine Up Against a Wall

October 15th, 2016

No Good in a Bed, but Fine Up Against a Wall

Image Left: Eleanor Roosevelt Roses by Barbara Snyder


Throughout history, a lot of famous people have had flowers named after them. Leonardo da Vinci, Ingrid Bergman, Princes “Di”, Abraham Lincoln, is just a few of those so honored.

Also included among famous people that have had that honor bestowed upon them is Eleanor Roosevelt. Her rose is called the ‘Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt”. Eleanor Roosevelt was the First Lady and wife to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Mrs. Roosevelt was a social activist and very outspoken First Lady that was never one to spare the public or her President husband the benefits of her ideas and opinions. She stayed up to date on current affairs and often spoke out about issues of the day including those that affected the White House.

When she first heard of having a rose named after her she was quite pleased being an active gardener. However, after seeing the write up in a flower catalog of the day, the following quote has been attributed to her:

“I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.”

Historians have not all agreed that she ever actually utter that phrase but giving the nature of her personality and the sometimes “colorful” manner in which she expressed herself, most all admit that it was certainly something she was quite capable of saying.

Keep in mind that as a young woman she played field hockey in school and it has been said that she loved to drive race cars.

Another interesting but not well-known fact about the former First Lady, she was the niece of our 26th President, Teddy Roosevelt (1901-1909) and the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945). She was the 5th cousin, once removed, to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Morro Rock of Morro Bay, California

October 15th, 2016

Morro Rock of Morro Bay, California

Image Left: Reflection Anchorage by Barbara Snyder

Morro Rock located in Morro Bay, California is the most famous of the Nine Sisters, a string of extinct volcano peaks, referred to as volcano plugs, that run through San Luis Obispo country. Many construction projects mined the rock itself for use in building the breakwater of Morro Bay and Port San Luis Obispo and the famous Bixby Bridge on well traveled Highway One.

In 1963 the blasting was stopped and in 1966 the title to the rock was transferred to the State of California. Both the City of Morro Bay and the Country of San Luis Obispo have had it declared a California Registered Historical Landmark and it is now a designated bird sanctuary for the Peregrine Falcon and other sea birds.

The rock got its name "El Morro" in 1542 by Portuguese Explorer Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo and it is said to be 23 million years old. The rock stands 576 feet tall and has been a navigational aid for mariners for over 300 years.

It is often referred to as the "Gibraltar of the Pacific" and is the last of the nine peaks that extends from the city of San Luis Obispo to Morro Bay. You can count all nine of these peaks as you make the drive from San Luis Obispo to Morro Bay.

Another one of the peaks was made famous when local contractor and restaurant owner Alex Madonna was trying to develop a project on the peak located near his famous restaurant and hotel, The Madonna Inn. The Madonna Inn itself is also a famous stop for tourist traveling up the coast. The New York Times called the Madonna Inn a fantasy themed hotel of excesses and charm.

 

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