Saturday, April 30, 2016

Marketing Boot Camp Day One

The scene from our Walkway

My Study of the Scene, Pastel 12"x9"
Marketing Boot Camp was for three mornings, in your seat before 6:30 am! We had time to get in line for a Starbucks coffee and pastry... but luckily, there was instant Quaker oatmeal, so I had that for breakfast that first morning. The next two mornings, the convention had breakfast for us in the Vendor Expo, eggs done like a folded omelet you could eat with your hands, oatmeal if you wanted that, and coffee!

So, I am going to do several blog posts with more information than I can put in a Facebook post. I had several people ask me if I would do this. Here is the first marketing boot camp information as I wrote notes... so there will be quotes from Eric Rhodes and Lee Milteer. It might not have a "story" type of progression, because I think the things I wrote were what I "needed" to write down for me to remember.

Eric Rhodes - first!

Creating people that follow you and become clients is more about Persuasion instead of Manipulation. You need to think of it as helping someone obtain something they need. So persuade! He says momentum builds repetition, or vice versa. Without marketing, nothing happens. It should be an ongoing part of the artist lifestyle...and that repetition builds trust, and trust is brand! A strong brand will overcome most things. Keep the momentum, and be inventive!

Also, you should never be boring, it should be about emotion. If you are boring you probably will lose 20% of your followers per year. To help with this start with the outcome in mind first. Know who buys your work, know the pattern of their purchases.

He also mentioned "The Grand View" by Stephan Baumann... I think this is a video that should be watched. I'll have to look it up and see.

Lee Milteer - "The Impact of Your Mind"

She wrote "Reclaim the Magic," just one of eleven books. She is also an artist, and was attending the Convention as an artist. When Eric saw she was attending, he decided to have her be one of his presenters for the Marketing Boot Camp. She was very inspirational.

Some of her first words were: "you need a marketing mindset," "no one will take care of you," and "Don't think like everyone else!" I loved this last one. Be different in some way, and be personal and authentic.

There are "Five Kinds of Energy" that should be used everyday! (1) Mental (2) Physical (3) Emotional (4) Spiritual and (5) Financial. Here are a few of her quotes also: "Art stimulates massive creativity", "Match with their needs!", "And so it was!"
Artists in the Vendor Expo!

Be interviewed. When she was, she realized that the medial needed her. They were looking for a good story. Find local and national press. Court and woo them. Have tickler files about yourself or ideas for stories. Write letters to them. Use anything previously written about you ... especially previous articles. Be a celebrity in your own area. If you have articles, the media has already christened you. Use this to your advantage.

"Scripting" ... write up your ideas and thoughts by hand. This can be a form of goal setting, helping you with goal setting. We are deliberate creators! Use it. Talk about how your art business exploded. Use the recognition you have attained. Talk about your house, your studio, your inspiration. Be personal and let them inside who you are. Be interesting.

Help change your references. In your subconscious, in your brain. You are your references. Use your "intentions" to match a new reference. "Manifesting - Intentions" "Trigger to the World" These can be self-fulfilling prophecies. Have no more negative thoughts. When you do, use the word, "Cancel" and then you say, "That is not like me." This is an intuitive basis for the new references. Have a new "positive thought."

"Conscious languaging!"  "The word is power" ... and "Try" is a disempowering thought. Don't use the word "try," use words such as "I will!" So example is something like, "I will try to do more marketing." Not good. Use "I will do more marketing." Just leaving out the word "try" will help you make a positive move.

Maybe call colleges to look for interns in marketing. Have them help you create a video with a one-page sheet with bullet points about who you are.

"What we imagine becomes real!" Use this thought process for 3 minutes in the morning, and 3 minutes before bedtime. Use a notebook to write your deepest dreams in. This is taking action astrologically. Make 2016 a break-through year.
Tom Christopher also on the balcony
when I was doing my study above!

FEAR ... Fantasy Experiences Appearing Real!

Stay in contact with your friends and clients. Handwritten notes are better than email. They are a personal thing and helps your contacts feel you are more sincere. Add photos in them. By doing this you are a little more aggressive, and leveraging your skills.

"Final thought" ... "Your point of power in this life is right now! Focus turns into direction."
She mentioned going to a site: "" ... do this. Share it with your children and grandchildren. It applies to all walks of life.

----- I have pretty much written the above with just mostly the notes I took, making them into sentences. I only added a few things about some of them from what I remembered, or to make them a little more clear. I hope they are not too disjointed, and can give you some ideas of your own how to motivate yourself in what you need to do.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

My Trip Out to Tucson

Picachio Peak State Park near Tucson
Pastel Plein Air 9"x12"
Karen Margulis and I drove together from our homes in Smyrna and Marietta GA to the 2016 Plein Air Convention in Tucson AZ, and also taught a 3-day plein air pastel workshop in Dripping Springs TX on the way out. We were gone a total of seventeen (17) days on this trip. Hectic? Definitely! Fun? You bet! I am going to break this in several posts about various parts of this awesome trip and so I can show quite a few of the photos.

I picked Karen up on Wednesday evening and we made it to Biloxi MS for the first night's stay at about midnight Georgia time! We rose early the next morning for a 9-hour drive to Dripping Springs TX. We were able to explore the locations of our workshop on that Friday, have lunch, and I visited with a long-time artist friend in Wimberley TX and see his gallery. If you are ever in Wimberley, visit "Art on 12" gallery and ask to see Bob and Zeina Cook! They would love to show you around this wonderful gallery.

View of the front of the gallery
The wall with Bob Cook Art!
Dinner just down from the gallery, and a band!
Here are a few photos of the locations we would be teaching on Saturday, Sunday and Monday along with some of the students.

The scene at Mt. Gainor Inn where I did a demonstration
Driving to Mt. Gainor Inn, there were cows
so interested in us taking photos of them.
We had lunch at Salt Lick Barbecue,
where we would have lunch the third day
and hold a "sharing and Q&A session!"

At each of the locations for the workshop, we had a plan for a short demo in the morning by one of us, and the other would do a short demo after lunch. The students had close to two hours after each demo to work on something while we gave advice to each individually at their easel. On the last day, we each did about a 30-minute demonstration on a very specific element of the landscape... something the students might have expressed more information on. Karen did one with clouds, and mine was about trees and sky holes! The students had time to paint before lunch, and then we closed with a question and answer with each student about their experience with the workshop, what they learned, and the goals they had for the workshop.

Charro Ranch Park would be Day Two!
Fall Creek Winery was Day Three, with Karen Margulis
and our hostess, Marsha Young

Students Love Bluebonnets!
I will pick up the thread of the trip in a few days and give you more! We had a fantastic time, talked loads, and laughed a lot! We are better artists for our time together, the team-teaching of the "Two Wandering Artists," and learning and painting at the Plein Air Convention!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Painting out of My Comfort Zone

Close up at Stage 4 shown below
Pastel, 18"x24"
I have painted many years mostly landscapes with rarely people in them, or without much in the way of man-made objects. The occasional barn or street scenes but mostly the "pure" landscape. Lately I have tried to move a little more out of my comfort zone of trees, rocks and water. And, I have gone to live model sessions to help me do something that is harder for me! This is a good lesson for anyone that is an artist ... do things occasionally that are not what you normally do!

So, I am going to show the progression shots of the one currently on my easel. I have completed two other paintings that are technically not landscapes... where this one is more about the landscape, but with the added element of the canoe and three people in the canoe. I'll show you those other two at the bottom of the post.

First light layer of pastel
Wet with alcohol for under-painting

The first layers of pastel!

Here is how I laid in the first of the composition with a light layer of pastel after I had done a "road map" type of drawing. The road map for me is not a detail drawing, but more placement of the elements in the correct proportions and placement on the surface.

The colors chosen for this first layer help me in my later choices of color and value. I tend to paint rather cool paintings, so it has helped me to use warmer under-paintings... it sparkles through some of the later layers! It gives it life in my view.

The under-painting in alcohol!

I put a small amount of denatured alcohol in a small glass jar and using a soft brush, I liquify the first layer of pastel. As you can see above, I am light-handed with that layer, but it created quite a solid mass of color, rather more opaque.

Beginning to add more pastel on the under-painting
I really didn't want it quite that solid. Some color pigments seem to do this while others will give me a more transparent coverage. I will have to remember the stick I used and decide to try a different one next time... such as something with alizarin crimson ... more transparent.

Choosing Colors!

At this stage, I am deciding to add the colors and values I have in my mind that will help tell the story. I am very lightly adding those most of the time since I love the process of layering in pastel. I like trying about three colors for the sky, which sets the tone of the rest of the painting and maybe I will not go back into the sky except for adjustments as I work on the trees above the bridge.

Refining some of the possible focal point
This stage also helps me determine if I have shapes and sizes that are in the right proportion. I did decide the bridge was a little too thick at the top and adjusted the sides it to a slimmer proportion.

Playing with adding some details!

Adding more pastel and a few details... which helps me decide how many details. What will help and what will hurt! I know at this stage, which is where I stopped for the day, those tree limbs will be too much detail, and will be adjusted as I go along... a little too picky for me!

But, I don't know that until I try it. I love the process of brushing off... which many times is really the effect I was trying to achieve in the first place! It will be fun to enter the studio with fresh eyes today.

Here are two of my latest paintings that were out of what I call my "comfort zone." I guess I mean "out of my comfort zone" to be out of my landscape arena... which is my first love... you know trees, rocks and water! Enjoy ...

"I Like the Sun" Pastel 16"x20"

"My Ride to Work" Pastel 16"x12"

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Changing the Focus of a Painting

The Joe-Pye Weed

Here is a pastel painting that I started near the end of 2015 and the focal area of the painting was intended to be the Joe-Pye Weed. I love painting rivers or creeks and rocks so that was why I chose the photo to work from. As I was painting, the tree in the upper slight right was becoming the focal point because of the vivid yellow-green color... where the sunlight was hitting the tree. As I worked on the rocks, they started taking on the role of the "focal point." What gives here? Why can't I stick to the point of the river and rocks?

I set it aside for a few days, and when I came back to the painting, I knew the weeds growing on the sandy spit sticking out from the rocks should be my focal point... those beautiful Joe-Pye Weed flowers, the mass of purple flowers, at the top. No matter what colors and values and temperature I tried, I couldn't make it work for me. Okay, let it sit more. Go on to other paintings.

That painting sat there for a couple of months.... taunting me to do something to take it from soft and quiet, to becoming a "painting." I just didn't know what I wanted ... so my mantra is to "do nothing" if you don't know what to do.

Serendipity happened ... I did a small demonstration painting for a student this past week of a beautiful dogwood tree as it had turned to the ruby reds and rust colors against a backdrop of green... North Georgia mountains greens and early morning atmosphere. After the student left, I had the thought of why not change my "Joe-Pye" painting to have something more concrete like this dogwood color scheme?

Here is the demo painting. Ruby reds, dark burgundy, burnt oranges to play against the greens and blues of early fall. Even the dried grasses were wonderfully warm colors supporting the focal area of the "Ruby Dogwood" trees.

Below is what I transformed the above painting into and I have put the first one next to it so you can see the differences without scrolling back to the top. It is probably not finished even yet, but it is "becoming" something more.

You can even see where I created a different grouping of background trees... by brushing off the pastel which created a soft effect, and then enhancing that with more neutral greens, adding some ruby and burnt oranges, and... my favorite ... sky holes to see through!

I don't give up on a piece when I see it has some wonderful "parts"... but those parts did not make a whole painting to me. It now seems to be getting closer to being a painting... about my feeling for what this scene could become! I still have the Joe-Pye Weed flowers, and maybe more of a story in this painting about how fall progresses.

Take the time to really look at what the painting is becoming, and is it where you want it to be. What is the painting about? Ask yourself important questions. I've been told I need to sit on my stool and think about what I am trying to accomplish. I am doing that more... thank you my friend and mentor, Duane Wakeham!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Double The Fun With Team Teaching?

"Rock Hopscotch" Pastel 11x14

Have you taken a class with two teachers sharing the teaching?

You don't want to miss this information I have for you. Karen Margulis and I will be team-teaching some workshops. Here is how it came about!

I received an e-mail about the 5th Plein Air Convention which will be held April 15-19, 2016, in Tucson, AZ. I went to the first PA Convention in Las Vegas and had a great time. I was intrigued this time because I have been through Tucson and have painted a few paintings from one of the Saguaro Parks. I decided I would try to get a friend or two to consider going also. I also love driving across our Country and stopping along the way to paint and see the sights.

I sent an e-mail to very good friend and previous student, Karen Margulis, to see if she might be interested in a road trip. We enjoy painting together and traveling and spending time learning more about our art. Karen has become quite a star in the pastel world with her paintings and her workshops. I am so proud of her! We will both be attending the International Association of Pastels Societies (IAPS) Convention this June and both of us will be receiving the Master Circle Gold Medallion, a three-inch medallion engraved with our name and the year the honor is bestowed engraved on the back.

How Did This Happen?

Karen was definitely interested, and had an intriguing idea and asked would I be interested in teaching along the way... teaching as a duo! I thought it was a fantastic idea and we are now planning the trip and the workshops.

"Where The Fairies Play" Pastel 18x24"
Karen Margulis

The Benefits of Two!

So you would have two award winning instructors for double the educational value and twice the fun! My expertise and what I am often told is "I want to learn color from you." My teaching style is more by individual thoughts as students ask questions. I have patience and am gentle... but, I ask the hard questions to get inside each student's head to see where they are going.

Karen's strength is organization and step-by-step instruction. Her biggest request and what she focuses on most is how to simplify and paint with more expression. She teaches you to loosen up and add spice to your paintings... one of her favorite topics.

We both like simplifying the plein air process making it less overwhelming and fun.

Where Will These Workshops Be Held?

We are working on details for possible Louisiana and Texas workshops, but would like to hear from you. If you have connections and/or resources to host an April 2016 workshop (from Georgia to Arizona) or would be interested in being added to our interest list, let us know.

You can e-mail me or Karen if you have information, or are interested in signing up. We will be deciding the dates very soon, but don't miss this opportunity to reserve your spot in our special workshop. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Prints? Are they worth doing?

"Dune Shadows" Pastel 8"x10"
My Etsy Shop for Purchases 

Two big questions

1.  Have you ever considered purchasing a print of your favorite artist's painting? 

2.  Would you prefer there to be no prints of an original that you did purchase?

Some of my opinions -- and a few more questions

What do you think about prints of my fine art originals to supplement what I offer? At this time I do have "Fine Art America" as a site that produces "print-on-demand" offers for my originals along with the pricing for the original itself. I have made this a link so you can take a look there also!

One of my galleries was contacted by a company that saw my work on their site and liked what they saw. I was asked if I wanted to talk to this company about producing prints for me. 

I think it could hurt the sale of my originals. I have been of the opinion that there are a very few reasons an artist should produce prints. .... #1 if the artist takes a long time to do an original, which might mean the original is pricey. Making prints of these would make sense. #2 is if the artist is selling most of their originals, then making prints would be a smart thing to do also. So... that is kind of three things: (1) Price of originals is high; (2) long time to produce work / intricate originals; and (3) selling most of their originals! 

What do you think?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Teaching is Fun

Purchase Hot Rose
Acrylic 3"x3"

Having Fun

When I am teaching a student, many times we talk more than we paint... but this is a very good thing. It helps me get inside the head of the student and find out what they are all about! Most teachers don't want to create a student that paints like "the teacher!"


Do I consider this work ... definitely ... but fun also. My brain is constantly thinking, how do I help this student? What can I show them?

I paint with the student, working on something that might be along the lines of what the student is working on. I will set up a still life, or we might work from photographs... of course this is in the studio. If we are painting "plein air" which means "in the open air" ... or you can just call it "painting outdoors" ... we are usually looking at the landscape and choosing what to paint. Vista, or close-up, trees, grass, lakes or streams, etc.!

One Idea For You!

A recent student asked me how to make paint drips or runs on the canvas. So to show her, I created an 8x10 showing her to dip the brush in the paint, apply random strokes, "be happy strokes," onto the canvas. Next, I took the brush with paint still on the tip and lightly dipped it into my clean water. Applying the brush tip to the acrylic on the canvas, I added blobs of water that ran down the canvas. Now... the canvas was on a stand-up easel, but if you are painting flat, you just pick it up and tilt it different ways.

What did I see in these drips? I saw stems and leaves of flowers. The only thing to do was imagine I was looking at roses... this is what I saw in my "mind's eye." The above little "gem" was the next one I did after the original 8x10 showing the student. This one is a 3"x3" acrylic on a small stretched canvas and is offered along with several others, and more to come, in my Etsy shop.

I had about a dozen little 3x3 and 3.5x2.5 canvases taped to a foam core board ... boy was I having fun! And, the student was encouraged to do something a little different!