Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Here are four shots of what I have done so far from the first strokes to what I have done up through the latter part of today. There is a bright spot on the upper left because of the lighting in my studio -- but be assured it is not quite that white looking. So here is the beginning:
I toned the canvas with some red and wiped it down with a cloth so it would not be too bright. I paint thinly so don't worry too much about how things are a little messy looking in the beginning. I just want to get some colors on the canvas -- mainly because in the late stages I love going into those thin areas and doing some negative painting to create the trees, limbs and trunks. You never know what accidental things can happen on the original lay-in that might be a beauty spot later! Here is the second photo:
Here I have added more to some of the tree and foliage colors -- along with the obvious addition of some colors for the water. So far there are no reflections, but you just wait to see later. But, the water does flow quite swiftly and the reflections will be pretty distorted. Okay, the last image for this post -- even though I did a bit more before I left the studio today. . . I did not take the last shot as the light was really getting darker:
Here you can see I have started adding some rocks along the edge of the river -- these have been placed there by the owners of the cabin. Also I have added some of the skimpy limbs we so often see on those tall pine trees. There are also some limbs that have no pine needles, just the myriad of small branches. I like them so far, but we shall see if they detract from the painting. I have also started adding some of the little things the owners have hanging from the porch. We shall see what makes the final cut!
One more word about the colors -- the left side looks quite light blue and it is somewhat . . . but not to the extent my lightening shows in this photograph. There is a spot there that reflects from the lighting fixture in the room. Apologies for that. Ask any questions you wish . . . would love to hear your thoughts.
So, until next photos, Happy Painting!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Yesterday morning when having coffee and reading, I saw an article about what happens when we spend too much time researching, using the computer, marketing, etc. . . . and not enough time in the studio. I wish I could remember who wrote the article, but I am bad about clicking through to many links from one article to the next. Bad!
The gist of the article was on the premise the if you "work" and "produce," the rest will follow. They had a split of time for about 20% for marketing and 80% for producing studio or plein air time. I had always heard it was closer to 50% each. I think lately I have been trying too hard on the marketing end and not spending enough time in the studio -- or plein air.
Some of the article discussed how easy it is to create buzz about your work, and on the internet create a persona that seems to be one of the better artists. You read all the time about someone winning awards, and the author of the article commented they would like to know what the awards are! I think it was a "she" writing the article -- and I agree with her. You can make a biography sound like you are one of the best artists in the region . . . and then really not have anything to back it up.
I think I have been so focused on not losing ground with my marketing and networking that I have lost sight, somewhat, about what I am doing. Don't get me wrong, I love my networking and the other artists I have met! These people are key in learning where to go from here . . . here being where I am now with my work. But, I talked to Haywood (my husband) last night during dinner about needing to spend uninterrupted time in the studio . . . much more of it. And, I need that time to be about painting, not producing work just for the gallery, or a show, etc.
I need to play, which is what I talked to my night class about in their last class. Play is what I call it! The ability to work and try different things. I truely believe we learn more from our mistakes than we do when it happens to come out right the first time. Now, don't get me wrong! I know certain theories and will apply them to my paintings, but sometimes in different combinations, the outcome will not be good!
Also, what is my voice? What am I trying to get across to my viewer? Who is Marsha Hamby Savage in the painting? These are things I will be exploring over the next months in the studio. What do I love about a scene? I need to make better choices about subject matter. That does not mean I will quit painting trees -- which is the biggest thing I am known for here in my regional area. Just how can I do it . . . so that it is better than just a pretty painting of a tree?
Back to the article, and the thoughts I had from reading it . . . I know there are artists out there that think they are too good to associate with a local, non-nationally-known, artist. But, how did they get where they are? It is not just talent! It is hard work! Of course, spending time in the studio learning and perfecting their craft is key! But, there were people out there that helped them understand what made a better artist. Teachers, of course. Friends and peers all help. In my opinion, discussions among those I know are important.
Chime in and let me know what you are doing. We learn from each other.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Art Marketing is Conversations by Clint Watson
Today's Post is by Clint Watson, founder of FineArtViews. Follow Clint on Twitter.
Since writing about Art Marketing for Artists Who Want to Change the World, I've had some more thoughts about art marketing: Art marketing is conversations.
Ignore your friendly magazine salesperson and/or marketing "guru" who tells you marketing is all about "branding:" "branding" is for sissies, branding is dead - MARKETING. IS. CONVERSATIONS. (Hint: If you're having conversations, you'll "automatically" develop a "brand").
Conversations are going to happen with or without your participation.
There's an old saying in advertising, "Tell your story, or someone else will tell it for you." But, if you don't participate in the process, the story that gets told may not be the one you want told.
Consider what Brian Clark, of Copyblogger wrote, "People tell stories about themselves. They even buy things in order to say something about themselves. They don’t give a hoot about your story unless it furthers their own personal narrative. If it does, your story comes along for the ride. If not… too bad for you. You’re not the star of this story. Smart marketers don’t even try to be the star. Smart marketers want to be indispensable supporting characters...People respond to marketing stories when they either identify with the hero, or desire to become the hero. Your story must put the prospect front and center as that hero."
This is another way of describing Hugh MacLeod's Blue Monster idea. People want to tell their OWN stories to each other and connect with each other. You just want to become part of that conversation and have your story.....your art, your artist story "come along for the ride."
Your followers are going to talk to each other and you want to be able to encourage that behavior. Helping them connect with one another is a good thing.
Hindering conversations is a bad thing. And this is where we turn to the subject of art galleries.
"Marketing is conversations" applies to you art galleries as well. I'm speaking to art galleries now. Art galleries listen - get this fact in your mind and accept it: Your clients ARE going to talk directly to your artists. Be part of the conversation or bury your head in the sand and ignore it (and be excluded). The Internet has changed the equation. This subject came up recently in my twitter stream and artist John T. Unger said, "Making the intro (of the collector to the artist) insures the gallery stays in the loop. NOT making the intro has more potential to hurt their sales." John's exactly right: If you introduce your clients to your artists, you're guaranteed to be part of the conversation. If you don't, you're guaranteed to be excluded. Which option do you want?
Art is all about communication. When a buyer purchases artwork, he/she is “purchasing” the artist as well as the artwork. The stronger the client-artist connection, the more likely the person will become an ongoing collector. The progressive art dealer realizes that instead of hindering these connections, he should foster and encourage them. Indeed, building relationships is the essence of the dealer’s job. Instead of hiding the artist’s web site, why not enthusiastically share it with clients and encourage them to visit it? Instead of blocking access to an artist, why not pick up the phone and introduce the prospect to that artist? Heck, why not even give the artist’s phone number to prospects? Each of these actions would make a sale more likely; after all, wouldn’t YOU feel special if you were invited to personally call the artist? Galleries and artists need to quit playing games and work together as a team and trust each other.
If I were an artist today, I wouldn't work with any gallery that tried to limit my freedom to have conversations directly with collectors online and offline. I also wouldn't work with any gallery that didn't agree to provide me with contact info of people who purchased my work so that I could strengthen my connection with my collectors.....my collector clan. To reciprocate, I would make sure that each of my galleries trusted me completely. I would NEVER, NEVER, EVER sell directly to collectors that discovered me through my galleries. I would NEVER sell my artwork for a price lower than what it would sell for in a gallery.
Now go change the world.
Sincerely, Clint Watson
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic
PS - If you ever break trust with your galleries, realize that the story surrounding you may no longer be the one you want told. Remember conversations are going to happen with our without your participation.
This article appears courtesy of FineArtViews by Canvoo, a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists, collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).
This article originally appeared at: http://clintwatson.net/blog/7977/Art-Marketing-is-Conversations
For a complimentary subscription, visit: http://www.fineartviews.com
Now be sure to read the post below also. It is important to your marketing!
Written Statements by Keith Bond
This article is by Keith Bond, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
It can sometimes be difficult to sort through all the advice we receive about marketing art. Some of the information seems contradictory – even when offered by the same person. I have probably given such contradictory information. Personally, there is a topic which has been causing me some frustration for a while. I am referring to writing your bios, artist statements, blogs, newsletter articles, press releases, etc. – really any written statement about you and/or your work. Perhaps some of you are also a bit bewildered about them.
Here is where I find contradictions in what everyone is saying:
Tell Your Story
Firstly, you are told to tell your story. Why do you create what you create? Why do you use your chosen media? Why do you paint your chosen subject matter? Why do you use certain techniques? What is your motivation? What do you want to say with your art? Etc.
Also Tell Anecdotal Stories
Every work of art has a story. Some of these stories may emerge when answering the above questions. But often there are additional anecdotal stories that add even more to the work of art. Perhaps while painting en plein air, a gust of wind blew your easel over and carried your painting away. You finally retrieved it 100 yards down the hill. Click here for other examples of this type of story. You’re told to share your stories.
What’s In It for Me (WIIFM)?
This is where I find the contradiction. We are advised to write from the collector’s point of view. Put yourself in the collectors’ shoes and ask “What is in it for me?”
I recently read an article on the topic. Unfortunately I can’t remember who wrote it right now. The point was made that every landscape artist is inspired by the landscape. Every figurative artist is inspired by the figure. Don’t write a statement that simply states, “I am passionate about the landscape.” I am guilty of doing this.
So, What Do I Write?
So, how do you write your story and make it unique and interesting when it is the same as everyone else’s story? Or how do you tell your story, share your inspiration, and even add interesting anecdotes, but do it all while addressing WIIFM? This is the challenge. I am slowly figuring it out. Maybe you are quicker than me and have it all figured out already.
I think that there are different levels or classifications of written material for marketing.
The more formal written material is where I think the more carefully crafted writing is found. I include Bios, Artist Statements, and Press Releases here. Make them interesting. Write them in a way that makes the viewer want to look at more of your work. Make them compelling. Consider the WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) question. If you are careful and creative, you can write a statement that includes your story and addresses the collectors’ perspective. Take enough time to write and rewrite these. Revisit them from time to time and update or change them as you grow as an artist.
These may include your blog or newsletter. You don’t always need to craft these as carefully. There are times when it is important to address the WIIFM, but there are also times when you simply can’t share your story in that way. If you write enough blog posts, you have the freedom to move back and forth. Some blogs focus more on you, some more on the viewer. Don’t neglect the audience’s perspective. Give them reason to come back. But you can insert a bit more of yourself here.
What about Twitter? Alyson Stanfield recently wrote a great blog about using Twitter. She suggests that only 5% of your tweets should be self promotional. If you want to compel your followers to visit your website, these 5% need to consider WIIFM. Don’t simply write, “Visit my website to see my latest work.” This isn’t compelling enough.
So, To Summarize
You need to write your story, but wherever possible consider the WIIFM. If you are creative enough, maybe you can add it into almost every written statement. At the minimum, the most important statements need to address the WIIFM. The less formal statements should include it wherever possible, but don’t force them into areas where they simply don’t work (such as anecdotal stories).
Happy writing, Keith Bond
This article appears courtesy of FineArtViews by Canvoo, a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists, collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).
This article originally appeared at: http://clintwatson.net/blog/15546/Written-Statements
For a complimentary subscription, visit: http://www.fineartviews.com/
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I tried changing the pasture to more a reflection of the sky blue color. I have always told my students that the sky determines many of the colors you choose. Reflected colors from the sky will usually show up on the flat planes of the ground or the top of anything such as a barn roof, tips of leaves facing the sky, etc. But, when I put the colors in, I was not pleased. So, I even changed it to a more pinkish color, then to a more peachy color. But none of these seemed to please me. I also decided I wanted to play down the little roadway. It was demanding too much interest.
I think I brushed off the bottom half of the painting at least three times in about one hour. I have a load of pastel dust in a dish now to create a neutral stick of pastel!
I then decided maybe the pasture needed to be a more neutral color so as to not compete with the background and the sky. So, I used a somewhat cool green in a light value for the middle pasture. Then I decided to make more interesting marks in the foreground before it rolls over the hill to the middle pasture. Now I am starting to like the look. Then I decided to add more blues back into the pasture.
So . . . here are the latest "corrections" I have made. Who knows if I will still be pleased tomorrow when I go down to the studio. I think distancing of at least one day or more lets me look at it with "new" eyes. The left photo is the older version and the right one is the latest.
Monday, December 7, 2009
I want the front tree to be less "decorated"! It needs to be simplified so it fits with the rest of the painting. I also knew the clouds were not finished. Could I carry off creating a painting that had such simplification of the fields, but still have the road running into the distance and it not look too trite! I always like pushing the colors, but maybe this time I have pushed them a little too far. I love the colors I have used in the distance, but will have to decide if they are too intense. They might be, but they might be what I want to have happen. Breaking the rule of intensity being more in the foreground. So, the next photo is what I have done up to today.
Also, I have simplified the foreground tree some and changed the colors in the shadow side to a more intense blue-green.
At this point I have to decide -- is it finished. Do I have interest for the viewer -- enough to keep their interest? Would someone put this kind of painting and these color combinations in their home and live with it?
I thoroughly enjoyed painting this. I used a color I have always said was my least favorite color -- orange. It was play as far as I am concerned. An experiment using colors in a combination I don't usually do. Tell me what you think -- would love to hear your thoughts.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
But, for everyone -- I will be at High Country Art & Antique Gallery in downtown Blue Ridge, GA, this Saturday, Dec. 12 from about 10:30 until 5:00. I will demonstrate my pastel techinque and talk to everyone and answer questions! Come watch and visit! I would love to see you in Blue Ridge. The gallery is on East Main Street, just across from the train station (and it has a green awning over the sidewalk). It is easy to find!
I will also have a basket full of paintings that are not in frames -- just in an acetate / plastic sleeve. These paintings are mostly works I did for demonstrations, or plein air, or studies for larger work. A couple have been in the gallery but just did not meet their owner! I have taken those out of frames so I could re-use those frames. These paintings are reduced from my normal retail price just for this event, and because they are not framed, or course.
Come to Blue Ridge for the day -- and come into the High Country Art Gallery, see my paintings and say hello -- and watch me work!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
You might receive this hacker imbeded in an e-mail that does not say this. We did not receive an e-mail with this in the subject line. But it sent to my contacts an e-mail with this as the subject line. Most of the time it is hidden in an e-mail with a picture or a link or an attachment. I am sure it looked funny and we sent as a forward to a friend a funny picture. That is what we think happened.
I received many "undelivered" e-mails and similar type of notices of spam. This alerted me to this happening. I was able to "restore" my e-mail list from yahoo -- but I deleted any that I did not recognize immediately. If you have an e-mail address that is not easily recognized by name, I am sorry. You will eventually contact me again.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Create a network of professional artists that has no formal organization or structure. The network will be e-mail-based, depending upon the artists involved to communicate about event opportunities.
By partnering with worthy causes in the Eastern U.S., we should be able to help with conservation efforts of the beautiful country we live in and preserve areas that are important to the artists as well as the causes they support. It would require targeted opportunities/benefits and offer: opportunities for showing work, participation in paint-out style venues, workshop potential, etc. Any of these can be beneficial when partnered with a charity or benefit or conservation effort. Ideas/input will be invited from every artist within the network:
1. Compile an e-mail listing of artists who may be interested in participating in events, leading to publicity, sales and/or name recognition for participating artists. Events would most likely be en plein air on location;
2. Suggest locations or causes in need of publicity in your locale;
3. Personal contacts at magazines, newspapers, web sites, etc.
Further, event proposals would require local artist(s) to arrange help to organize and publicize the event. Fellow artists should offer help when possible or within their area of expertise.
It is understood that events need to be scheduled with enough lead time to allow for planning, advertising and logistics. Networked artists should know that these events require participation, realizing that not everyone can participate in every event.
Whether networked painters participate or not, they will be included in all event notifications until they request to be removed from the list.
For a little explanation of how I came to this idea:
Sitting around with a couple of artists friends – at different times – I had the thought about how we see various names of artists associated with events – mostly out West. Granted, they do have a beautiful landscape that is vast and just lends itself to more of the “green” attitude – saving our environment, hiking, plein air painting, and various outdoor adventures. They have advertisements and notices in the art magazines, listing the event to come, or past participation in an event. They usually have an association with their gallery, maybe a museum, and usually some cause.
We see the same names – maybe in different groupings – but a core group of artists that are making a name for them, along with artists we might not recognize. Up and coming artists, if you will. Sometimes you might only recognize a couple of the names. Next event one of those might be involved with a couple more you recognize, but were not able to participate in the previous event. Over a span of time, you might see many events, and many of the same names. Again, though, they are working hard to participate in these events, working hard on their own work also.
I know they have a wonderful network of friends! Why don’t we do the same here in our part of the Country? But, this is not meant to be exclusive.
Also, I know many of us have our own network of close artist friends and respected fellow artists we have met that are a little more just an acquaintance. We learn of events, shows, paint-outs, etc. from our friends, besides what we read in magazines, and on-line. If we create an e-mail network (or something similar – open to ideas here!) of our own friends, and our friends create an e-mail network of their friends, think of how wonderful and far-reaching a group it would be. We can support each other!
We could partner ourselves with events in our area, and also be knowledgeable about events not in our area that we might participate in. Events would be discovered, analyzed and talked about between the networks of friends. Those closest to the area and able would be instrumental in organizing the event, or finding someone that could. Enlist the help of anyone you think can bring publicity to the event, anyone with experience in organizing the event, etc. You might not know that your friend is a good organizer! You never know who has friends and relatives in organizations, businesses, etc. that have budgets with money set aside for charity and benefits. It doesn’t hurt to ask!
My friends talked about paint outs, exhibition opportunities, auctions, galas – both white tablecloth and barbecue! For instance, I attended a benefit for Alzheimer’s – a day care facility – where they showed many pieces of artwork for “silent auction” and they also had pieces for live auction. The publicity for this event was wonderful because there were many people there and the works sold for a very good price (meaning closer to the value – not bargain basement). The artists either donated, or they could consign the work. It was a wonderful evening. My friends came home with about six different styles of paintings and were very happy to know some of their money was going to a good cause – and they did not just “give” the money.
I have already discussed an event for “Reflection Riding Arboretum” near Chattanooga – for a paint out and benefit to raise the awareness of this property. Some artists will probably visit in spring, 2010 during the wildflower season to evaluate the appropriateness of this event. We will look at difficulty of painting locations, lodging, etc. My contact has already said he talked to the Board and some friends, and someone has already said they would donate money to the event organization. So, all it takes is talking this up, looking for association with something worthy, and then discussing it with your friends and your network too!
Get your gallery involved. Have a museum or art school close by? Ask them to get involved. Plan ways to get the publicity – advertisements in national magazines, local magazines and newspapers, radio stations. Do you know any local television personalities, newscasters, etc.? See if you can involve someone with name recognition.
As said in the one-page document at the beginning – you might not be able to participate in all events, maybe not even many events. But, you should be able to participate at some time. The more you think about this, the more I think you will see the validity in this type of network. It should not consume your time – you should be painting and working on your marketing. But, I think this could be a good addition to your marketing. Let’s up the name recognition of our Eastern artists, and do something good at the same time!
Please feel free to discuss this with your friends and your art organizations. Ask questions and raise issues, etc. We do not want to reinvent the wheel here! Tell me your experiences in attending, organizing, and listening to others who did participate in events such as this. Give us the pros and cons – things we can build upon. Your thoughts are much appreciated!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I have also participated in a model session every Thursday evening -- most of the time they are nude models. But, a week ago, we had a Santa sit for us in all his attire! It was much fun. The sketches and paintings were shown this last Friday evening at Woodstock First Friday! Santa and his wife even came back to see all the work that was created. What fun!
I was able to do a nice graphite sketch which I framed in a wonderful antique frame that I had been hording for awhile. It did lend itself to the Santa because there was a red velvet liner as part of the ornate gold frame. It does make a statement. It looks good because there is no color in the sketch and the frame gives it that "red" it did need.
I was also able to do a little 7" x 5" oil painting on a gallery wrap canvas. This took the rest of the evening though I thought it would be a fairly quick thing to do. Boy, was I wrong. It took me much longer than I expected. But, I think it is a hit. I did not want to do a larger painting, because what do you do with a large painting of Santa?
I have also been chosen to be one of three judges for the first ever Art Challenge Competition on Facebook! What an honor. I will be the judge for the pastels and drawing mediums. Also I will participate with the other judges to choose a "Best In Show" from all the entries regardless of medium used. We are in that process right now.
It is very difficult as there were almost 1000 entries. I narrowed it down to just over 100 entries to chose 10 from to put with 10 from each of the other two judges. These 30 pieces are what we will choose the Best in Show from. After this process, we each will then choose the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and two Honorable Mention pieces in our category. The categories are: (1) oil and acrylic; (2) watercolor; (3) mixed media; and (4) pastel (soft or oil) and drawing mediums.
After the decision for each category, we will then choose the next 15 best pieces to go along with the winners. There will be some wonderful award prizes and best of all, there will be a show in Bucks County, PA. The Bucks County Gallery of Fine Art, New Hope, Pa will be presenting an Art Exhibit of the TOP 30 winning entries/artists of the competition either Februry or March, 2010. The judges and the three administrators will also have the opportunity to put a piece into the show.
Saturday, I was in Blue Ridge, GA doing a demonstration in my gallery -- High Country Art & Antique Gallery. The best gallery in Blue Ridge! I always meet some wonderful people -- talk about my art and my process. There are also many who talk to me about taking classes or workshops. I hope some of them will contact me!
And all this does not even take into account the time I spent cooking a Birthday dinner for my daughter and all the family, taking tennis lessons, going to a tennis luncheon, a tennis practice, housework, time with hubby . . . etc.
So . . . I will try to do better and not let two weeks go by without posting on my blog. If you have something art related that you would like for me to discuss, please let me know.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
People are always asking me what I paint and I tell them mostly landscapes -- but this introduction says more about what I paint than anything I could come up with. That thing is "beauty". I think there is enough other things in this world to worry about, and don't want it to be art!
The copied text is here:
“While people share much with other living creatures, the desire for beauty, the capacity for self-reflection, and the longing for eternity are distinctively human qualities. On some subconscious level we need beauty, despite its perceived lack of function. If we were to give a horse a diamond ring, it assess it only on the basis of its utlity, essentially asking the question, 'Can I eat it?' In contrast, the human being has the elevated option to ask not only 'Is it useful?' but 'Is it beautiful?' The enormity of human suffering in the world does not render this question, or the desire to ask it, trivial. Rather, it affirms an appreciation of aesthetics as fundamental to our nature.
Artists help us see the surprising beauty that breaks into our daily lives by celebrating that which might otherwise pass by unnoticed. Artists are in a unique position to leave an intimate record of human life, as they give us the opportunity to see not only through their eyes but also through their thoughts and emotions. One could say that the greater the art, the more clearly we experience this communication of souls. Artists remind us that despite the pain and ugliness in the world, something deeper exists-a beauty that peeks through the drudgery of life, whispering that there is more just beneath the surface. We see a landscape filled with longing and loss or a figure filled with love and empathy. These images enable us to long and love with the creators.
Nature shows us one kind of beauty, such as the way the light falls through the tree canopy, speckling the forest floor where I now sit and write. Occasionally, an unusually insightful individual is able to capture this kind of beauty in art. This is why Mozart's Requiem Mass still moves people to tears in packed orchestra halls or why people are willing to wait in line for hours to see an exhibition of works by Vermeer. Despite all appearances and talk to the contrary, we crave art that captures truth and remains powerfully and beautifully relevant long past the time of its creation. This sort of art is not just pretty or made up of the hollow aesthetic beauty that changes with the eye of the beholder. It is not sentimental, for sentiment is fleeting. The sort of art that lives eternally is that which captures astonishing, spine-chilling, breathtaking beauty that heightens our senses and floods us with transforming thought and emotion. In this work, we hear a whisper from another world saying, "It's all real." The ache to last means you were meant to last; the longing for beauty calls to you because beauty marks a reality that actually exists.
The contemporary artist in this book lived parallel to the rages of modern and postmodern art; they saw the same grimy buses pass by, the same soggy newspapers and cigarette butts in the gutter, the same horrors on the news, but they saw in these things an alternate reality of meaning-one that they communicate in their work. The topics they choose to express are not always comfortable to look at, but, through the artist's vision, they are infused with pity, compassion, and insight that express a kind of beauty that transcends even the thorniest subject matter. The art portrayed in this book shows the courageous path followed by visionaries who are strangers in their own times, looking ahead to a land not yet found to capture a hope that, through beauty, can fight its way back into our world.”
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I was reading from the ArtBizBlog.com web site and saw this post about International Artist Day and thought I would share the post here on my blog. Enjoy it!
Posted using ShareThis
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I do think it is the very best workshop I have ever taken. I look forward to taking another one from her. I rarely take from the same teacher twice. I do think she has so much to give, and I could learn from her no matter how many times I took a class or workshop.
I know your mind is only ready for certain knowledge at any given time. So . . . I can't wait until the next time . . . and hope that will be next year in October at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico.
The photo is of Ann and I with her Day Two Demo. I was lucky enough to be able to buy this one! I can't wait to frame it and hang it in my home or studio. It will always remind me of the words of wisdom I heard from her. Thank you Ann!!!!
Monday, October 12, 2009
I added some "stuff" in the center of the drive -- a few leaves, rocks, etc. Want it to look like a gravel road, and not a paved one.
Also the bottom left corner still had some of the original orange underpainting showing and I thought it was distracting, so I added darks. The foliage on the ground also had too many different "stripes" of light and dark, so I created a larger area of light and this helped. The largest tree trunk in the foreground needed a little grounding to the earth, so I added a highlight on the bottom of the trunk, and flared it out a little. Just touches of stuff here and there to help me like the painting more.
Yesterday I put a stain around the outer edge wood -- rather than paint the scene on the sides! Today I signed the painting, sprayed a little Kamar Varnish to even out some of the dull spots, and put the hanging wire on the back. It is ready to deliver! I took some photos up close of the bottom and the top, but they are blurred. I will try to get a better photo of the sections as it shows the bits and pieces I did at the end. I remember a wonderful workshop instructor, Frank Federico, saying one time -- add those dots and dashes that make the painting sing! Hope I did that.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
This is the grey scale of the previous post. This will help me determine where I need to make any changes. This is not the same grey scale you see in the previous post.
I know that the bottom left corner has been left in a very early stage with much of the orange underpainting showing. I like the contrast, but know it is the only spot like that. Sometimes when you have a spot like that, you need to determine if it detracts from the painting as a whole. When I say contrast, I am not talking value. This spot is a contrast of temperature and color. So . . . now I have to decide what more I need to do to that section.
The rest of work will be just tweaking where limbs will make sense and patches of light. Some of the tree trunks are a little hard edges and I need to also figure out a way to make them softer. That will require a stretch for me since I tend to make many of my edges too hard. I have been told by a wonderful artist that is the thing I need to work on the most -- my edges. Which told me I have too many hard edges! Thanks Terry and Elsie!
I'll post later today the results of what I do! Come back and see.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
But, you can see I have laid in all the various foliages, background through the trees and layers of light showing thru the tree branches.
To the right, I have turned the photo to a grey scale so I can see what the values are doing. As you know the colors can sometimes confuse the issue and you think you have made a good choice, but not.
Also, I'm creating the light thru the branches with colors of the sky (which is yellow), but I am adding a light blue at the edges of the yellow next to the branches to create the look you see when the dark of the branch makes the sky area a little darker. This is called "simultaneous contrast" -- at least that is the term that is coming to mind. So, there is a transition color and value from the light of the sky and the dark of the branches and foliage!
I have also changed the roadway from a paved one to a gravel road. This allows me to create a more interesting road in my opinion.
Next I will be working on the tree trunks and deciding which ones need more color, and which ones need to recede. I remember being told once by a teacher the trunks are either "grey" trunks or "red" trunks. I don't think those were the exact terms he used, but that was the gist. Variety is the best way in my opinion. Not all tree trunks should be a reddish brown! So . . . we shall see what I come up with. Let me know what you think.
Friday, October 2, 2009
I am also playing with the colors across the roadway -- it is a paved road, but that does not mean it will stay a paved road! I totally enjoy putting the most vivid colors as the underpainting in many places on the painting. That aqua will be a good color to show through the following shadow layers.
You can see that I am putting down some greens in the tree foliage, but I have mixed them from various blues and yellows -- even adding some reds to tone them down. I know that I will follow those up with some brighter colors and then layer again with a few greens.
In my pastel classes I am always telling the students to not start out with green if you are painting a mostly green scene. In this painting I am doing the opposite. It is always good to try a different process and see where it leads you.
You can see in the undergrowth that I am using many warm colors -- with the hope the warmth will show in little sparkles through whatever I choose to paint on top. I feel the area under trees is normally a warm color even though we get a feeling of coolness in the shadows. Remember there is usually no reflection from the sky on the undergrowth.
There is still a lot of the actual birch board still showing. I hope to leave some of it uncovered, but that will be something I will have to deal with as I continue the painting process. The painting many times tells you what it needs, even though you might have a plan in mind.
For the painting of the undergrowth, I have added some greens and blues on top of the warm underpainting. And, I have started putting in some sky showing through all the tree foliage. I skip around the painting adding here and there to help me see if these colors, values and temperatures are working. I don't finish one area before moving on to the next!
At this point I am thinking I want a yellow sky. I tend to not use blue for sky very often . . . but as soon as I tell my students how much I like pink or yellow skies, that particular demonstration will always tell me it needs a blue sky. Darn, I usually say to myself. But, we shall see what happens in the next days as I continue working on the painting.
This painting is being done in my living room -- this was the only place I could put my large easel so I could actually use the "crank" to raise and lower the painting. We have a slightly cathedral ceiling in the living room and would accomodate the easel. There is also a large picture window which helps with giving me some natural light during the day to go along with the "canned" light fixtures in the ceiling. And I have a color correcting bulb in an adjustable light attached to the top of the easel.
So, be sure to come back to see the next installment. I love comments, so be sure to let me know what you are thinking.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Also, I used a "clear" gesso to prepare the surface of the wood. The brand was Liquitex, so I went to their web site and looked at the information to see if they recommended one coat or more. Their site does say that usually only one coat is needed. This clear gesso has some grit in it and helps the paint adhere to it. After starting putting in some of the colors, I could see that the board was "soaking" up the paint. The next time, I will use two coats of the clear gesso.
So . . . Before laying in those upper darks, I did use a Chinese Orange by Sennelier to tone the area that would be underneath those blues and greens. It is a transparent orange, so the grain of the wood is still somewhat visible. Birch panels are relatively light in color, so the grain is not overwhelmingly visible.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Here is a link to their web site -- I can't seem to put an image of their site here in the upload process:
High Country Art & Antique Gallery
The Gallery is very easy to find in downtown. We are at 715 East Main Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513 (if you need to google map the address for directionws) and we are just across from the train station. There is a green awning over the windows and door, and we are about 4 or 5 businesses down from the traffic light! Their phone number is 706-632-6882. Cheryl Engledow is the owner and much fun to visit!
Come visit Blue Ridge, GA and talk to me while I demonstrate a painting or two -- and a great town to spend a day in all the retail shops and galleries -- and the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association in the Historic Courthouse on West Main Street.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
We hired a wonderful young lady, Jennifer, to play the guitar and sing -- and I was complemented several times about how wonderful it was and what a classy reception it made with her there. Thank you Jennifer! I have a picture of her singing.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Come watch me paint during the day! It is so much fun to meet the public and answer questions about my work and my methods. Sometimes I even get to meet people that have bought my work -- or even better, sell some while I am there demonstrating. People really enjoy getting to meet the artist and I believe that I sell more work because we get to become friends.
So . . . come to Blue Ridge --- a wonderful North Georgia town -- much to do and some great stores and scenery!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
These two close ups are of the very top of the panels -- trees that you can't really see any of the foliage attached to the trunks. You can see the simplicity of the structures and the bank leading down to the water. It is a starting point. Something to build on. I try not to sweat the outer edges of the paintings. Remember, how the eyes see. When you look at something, the peripheral vision is out of focus. So . . . that means less details. Agreed?
Here is a shot of the left and middle panels -- I would say they are about half finished. At least I can now take the left panel off the easel, move the middle to the left and put the right side up with it. Then I can start taking them both to the next level -- what I might say would be about 75% done. I try to get about two layers done on each panel before I take one down and put the other one up. This helps me not get too far done on one panel before bringing another one up to that level.
You don't want to get one part of a painting finished before working all over the painting. Bringing it all along at the same time seems to be the better method of working for me. Not the only way to do it, but it is my way!