Saturday, July 19, 2014

Why purchase an original instead of a print or giclee?

Palm View - Oil 7"x5" - Available on Etsy

Are you looking for a small gift that is different, or special in some way? I have some wonderful smaller original paintings. The painting above is a 7"x5" oil and the scene is my version of something I saw in Florida along the coast. It is probably not an exact view, but how I felt when looking past the beautiful palm to water and how the light was affecting all the colors! Every time I walk by it in my studio gallery, I smile... it brings back good memories!

So ... Why buy an original?

I have been told many times by previous clients how much they have enjoyed owning an original. They also tell me how when looking at it at different times, they see something not seen before ... mostly just small nuances in the colors, or a spot they did not realize what the object was. These things mostly are lost in the "printing" process when making a giclee or print.

The original versus the print ... 

Originals have a more saturated amount of color. The print only has the limited amount of colors and values that a "printer" of any kind can have at its disposal!

The original has texture ... the highs and lows of the paint application, or if a pastel, the light refracting ability of the little speckles of pastel... like little prisms! A print cannot capture the feel of an oil or acrylic, or the light refracting capability of the pastel.

Where can you see my work?

I have a website: Marsha Hamby Savage Art ... which can point you also in other directions. I try to keep it updated and am actually now in the process of updating all the pages. The "Studio" page is done, along with the Bio, Events, and Workshops pages. Next I will be working on the Plein Air and the Archive pages.

I will post a few links here for you of other places: my personal Facebook page: Marsha On Facebook  ... and my Art By Marsha Savage "business" page. I have a Pinterest page with "Boards" of my work: Marsha on Pinterest ... and then there are three "brick and mortar" galleries: Frameworks Gallery in Marietta GA, Magnolia Art Gallery in Greensboro GA, the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Assoc. in Blue Ridge GA, and the "on-line" gallery at Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale AZ. I will be updating the Xanadu Gallery site after finishing my own personal one. You can also find me at other on-line galleries: Fine Art America, Daily Paintworks, and Etsy.

So ... you can see... I do try to get my work out there where people can find me and enjoy the work. I have pricing that is always consistent no matter where it is physically located. I do have two structures: "Gallery Ready" and "Studies" ... which means there are paintings for any price range... and hopefully you will find something you can't live without!

If you have any questions, please do contact me... maybe I can help you.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

How do you feel about selling your work? Part 2!

River Path, Oil 12x36" at Magnolia Gallery, in Greensboro, GA

Where are you showing your work?

In Part 1, I mentioned many different places I show my work: Facebook, Pinterest, a personal blog, Daily Paintworks, Etsy, Fine Art America, art organizations, other on-line sites. I use all of these! But, there are many more. 

Let's start with galleries

Are you in a gallery? If you are not, is it something you want to pursue? It does require a bit of "thick skin" to send your portfolio to galleries, or to call them and ask their procedure for submitting your work to them for consideration. Is there a gift shop that you think is appropriate for your work, or some other retail location that wants your work. Do you have friends that have mentioned your work might fit wonderfully in "thus and such" location? Follow up on these leads. Do not get caught up in someone else saying, "I won't show except in a gallery." Do what is best for you. 

So, where else can you physically show your work with a chance for it to sell?

Think outside the box ... an over used expression, but very good advice. Be creative about where! Do you paint horses? So, put them in a place that caters to people that own horses, and where they purchase the paraphernalia that goes along with owning or riding horses! Dog portraits, same thing ... where do dog lovers go? Flowers ... how about a flower shop, or a nice nursery that has gifts? Are you beginning to see where I am going with this?

Have a home show ... your home, or the home of a friend. Make it a party. Make it about the connections you or your friend has. Have little note cards with images of your work on them as door prizes, or gift to attendees. Think of a way to "give" as well as wanting people to purchase! Offer to install the piece for them if they purchase! Take a photo of it hanging, give them a Certificate of Authenticity, and provide them with a receipt ... all this so they can give it to their insurance company to prove the insurance value. Added value is a big deal right now to many people.

The painting above was painted this year, and is going to a gallery this week. 

It was first shown at my solo show in Blue Ridge, GA in April. When I brought it home, I submitted it to the Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional, but it was not accepted. So, I have taken steps to have it seen, and hopefully place it in position for a potential sale! It is being taken this week to a new gallery for me: Magnolia Gallery, Greensboro, GA. I will also be taking a 24x36, another oil painting to the same gallery. I will be picking up two large pastels, 36x24, that were there for the Women Painters of the Southeast show in April. Those two will come home with me and hopefully my gallery in Marietta, Frameworks Gallery, will want them.

Next time we will talk about social media and on-line sites. If you have suggestions I did not mention above, let me know and I'll do my best to find some research ... ask my friends if they have used "it."

Keep painting ... or producing if another type of art ... keep on showing up in the studio or workshop!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How do you feel about selling your work? Part 1!

Misty Flowers / Oil 12"x16"
Purchase through Etsy

Some of my thoughts on selling my art!

I was asked in a post on Facebook "could you share some ideas on how we can be more successful in selling our paintings." This is a difficult subject ... and it will be different for each individual. And what does "successful" mean to you?

The most important thing is to produce paintings that you are comfortable selling ... know where you are in your professional / quality of work. Many artists want to start selling too quickly. Now ... having said that, there is nothing wrong with selling a piece your friend or family wants to buy.  They fell in love with a piece, but do not be deceived ... they think you are wonderful and have enjoyed seeing your progress, and how much you have improved. Do not let this fool you into thinking you are ready for marketing. You only want to put out there in marketing efforts the best work you possibly can.

What is a good indication of "time to start marketing?"

When you have entered some shows and been accepted, or people are asking quite often to purchase, you might be ready for full-scale marketing to sell your work. Full scale?  The first question is: what amount of time are you willing to give to your marketing efforts? I say, start small!

Where is your mailing list? Have you started one? Who is on it? Who mentioned they want one of your paintings (or whatever type of art you produce)? Answer these questions before you start.

Best first place to market!

Your mailing list is the first place to start! It does not have to be a large mailing list. Send to those people that are closest to you and have known your work for some time. Don't send to people you just met.

Send out a newsletter showcasing a recently finished piece of art. Tell a story about it, what inspired you, or also why someone might want this particular piece of artwork. Be engaging and talk to them in the newsletter as if you were standing in front of them carrying on a personal conversation. This is not just sales! This is about your connection on a more personal level with them. 

Be sure to have an account you can accept a credit card payment for the work ... or even for payment in parts! I have done that. I have a Paypal account! They are the standard for on-line payment. And the client does not need to have a Paypal account. Just you.

Second, third or more places to put your work! 

I am going to stop here ... but tease you with naming places and we will talk about them in another post: Facebook, Pinterest, a personal blog, Daily Paintworks, Etsy, Fine Art America, your art organizations, other on-line sites. I use all of these! But, there are many more.

Get that mailing list in order, and have a way to send those newsletters --- either physical through the U.S. Post Office, or an e-mail or contact company (I use MailChimp -- the free version). Let me know if would like, where are you focusing your time consistently?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How To Get Out of Your Comfort Zone!

Purple Haze, 11x14" Purchase at Etsy

Limited Color Palette is a Good Place to Start

I enjoy color ... and if you have seen much of my work, you probably already know that about me. So, limiting the colors I use, is definitely out of my comfort zone.

But ... I believe the only way we continue to learn is stepping out of our comfort zone. Try something new and a little on the "scary" side! Choose your favorite color and then use every related color to it: purple, lavendar, red-purple, blue-purple... warm and cool shades of anything that has purple in it!

What did I do?

I decided in this painting to do that, but then I chose the rust colors and the blue colors to be accents or discords. There is some green under-painting showing through that creates a little vibration in the purples, too. I would not call this a monochromatic painting because of those "extra" colors. It was fun!

Here is the first layer of "harder" pastels that sets up the large shapes. I did wet them with alcohol to create the "fixed" under-painting. So... you see the first layer, first step ... and you get to see the finished study.

I hope to do a larger painting of this scene ... possibly in oil or acrylic!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Can Studies Help You Create Better Paintings?

First One In, Pastel Study 7x5" - Purchase at Etsy

What is the first thing you do when in the Studio?

I look at my plein air paintings ... or flip through photographs I have printed, or look at images on my digital photo screen. What am I looking for? Can you guess?

For me, I want to have something grab me right away... so I make notes about what I like. I think we paint a better painting if we are "inspired" by something we see. So, write it down ... "what drew me to the scene?" Answer the question.... refer to it during the painting ... it keeps you thinking what needs to be the star of the piece, and everything else needs to play a secondary role. All the other elements should support the "star!"

What is next?

For me, I lightly draw with a pencil on the surface ... just a rode map ... no details. I want general larger shapes of the light and dark areas in the painting. I squint a lot, looking for those shapes.

Next, I fill those shapes with a light layer of pastel... no matter if doing a pastel painting or an oil or acrylic. It is just pigment... and then I wet it with either mineral spirits if doing an oil, or alcohol if doing a pastel or acrylic. Lately, I have been using a little water spritz bottle for the alcohol instead of brushing it on. I can still use the brush while it is wet if I want to create a scrubby looking underpainting.

Here is the image of the first layer of pastel for the underpainting for the above little study! I was working on a grey Ampersand Pastelbord for this one.

So ... was this successful? Is it a good study for a potentially larger oil or acrylic ... or even a larger pastel?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Finding Good In The Painting!

"Desert Rain" Purchase at Etsy

What is Special?

Painting plein air ... the French term for painting in the open air ... is the best way to learn about proportions, weight, perspective, and best of all, to see all the "real" colors in nature! And, you usually remember how the weather was ... hot, cold, wet, dry, etc.


For this painting, an 11x14" pastel, I was in the Red Rocks area near Las Vegas for the 1st Plein Air Convention and it was our first day out of the convention center sessions to paint. It was cold, and rain started coming in about half way through my painting. If you look closely, you can see where some of the light rain drops hit the surface. It added to the painting, so I was not about to change it.


Special? ... can be the artist's story about the painting. If you attend a gallery opening or show, admire a painting, and get to meet the artist, ask them about the story behind the painting. Meeting the artist and hearing the story, may be what you need to make a decision to purchase that painting. Get to know an artist ... you might have some fun hearing a story!

Monday, May 5, 2014

To Paint, Or Market?

I cannot believe I have not posted to my blog since last June. Where has the time gone? Have you said that to yourself? I think I will be trying for a schedule of posting, and not just painting!

Nickajack Music - Oil 24"x18"

How Often Should I Post?

Producing a body of work for several shows, a few competitions, and my galleries takes precedence over writing.

Most important was a solo show with over 80 paintings. But along with that, I also painted 8 paintings for a group show, 2 large pastels for the Women Painters of the Southeast juried show ... and painted for three other juried shows, submitted, but was not accepted! During that time, I also judged a show in North Carolina, taught a workshop for them, taught my annual workshop in Florida, created a proposal to teach at the next IAPS conventionn.

At the same time, I worked with American Art Collector magazine, being in three different articles, and advertise in January, March & April, 2014. I was interviewed by Steve Doherty, Managing Editor for the Plein Air Magazine, for a four-page Artist Focus in their May 2014 issue. It has been an extremely busy 6 months... ending 2013 and four months into 2014!

Protecting The Crop - Pastel 11"x14"
I picked up over 75 paintings from my Solo Show "It's The Journey" which was held in Blue Ridge, GA at The Art Center, Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Assoc.(BRMAA). The Art Center is the Historic Courthouse ... and has a fantastic organization and venue for showing art and teaching classes and workshops. They do handle all kinds of the "Arts" besides my type ... painting! Here is a link on Facebook to the album showing most of the paintings: It's The Journey Facebook Album.

So What Now?

This week I am finishing up work on a commission of Texas hill country. When that is done, I will be taking work to a new gallery for me ... Magnolia Art Gallery in Greensboro, GA. I have a pastel workshop scheduled for May 15 - 17 (Thurs., Fri. & Sat.) in St. Simons Island, GA, for the Glynn Arts Assoc. I will also be painting for the Monastery of the Holy Spirit Paint Out to celebrate their 70th Anniversary ... near Conyers GA from May 27 - 31 with a Wet Paint Sale on Sun., June 1.

So ... I plan to also post once per week to this blog about what I am doing and showing paintings in progress, or finished ... and also sharing some interesting posts by other artists, marketing gurus, and art associations. Do let me know if there is something you would like me to talk about, share tips, etc... my ears are always listening!