Tuesday, March 27, 2012

30 Minute Start

10 minutes

30 minutes

10x12 oil on panel

I frequently post work in progress on my Facebook page, but haven't done so here in awhile. I am working on paintings for my "First Impressions" show which will be at Tidewater Gallery opening June 15th.

I still work with my kitchen timer as a way to get that initial impression sketched down as quickly as possible. Once I have the big shapes massed in, I can work as long as I like modifying those shapes and working them into smaller divisions. I like the looseness and variety of brushwork that I get during the quick block in phase, its all about the energy and excitement of inspiration. I get my idea down before any external distractions can pull me away and before I analyze and question the idea to death.

I don't spend a lot of time after the timer goes off. For small works, I often stop there and love the results. But with larger works, I will go into the focal area and make more sense of things and get some nice hard or soft edges and modify colors and shapes. You can see the difference in the figure above... when the timer went off, I had the big shapes there, but spent some time bringing that figure out of the dark. In the background, I only added a few suggestions of the door, the door frame and the lamp - the rest was left alone after the first mad rush.
I'm not sure I explain this well... but it works so well for me. I find if I don't stop and paint what first inspires me, and if I spend too long composing, drawing, analyzing, etc. then I lose the "vision." The only preparation I make is to draw an X across the board and use a viewfinder with 2 strings likewise, or draw those lines across my photo reference to give me a way to measure quickly. I recently got the MVP viewfinder (scroll down on her page) from the fabulous Peggi Kroll Roberts and its pretty neat - but a whole gird is more time consuming. Maybe a few dots could mark those lines... will give that a try perhaps tomorrow.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


6x6 oil on panel
$100 + s/h

Gorgeous day in Austin today! Had a leisurely lunch at an outdoor dining area in the Domain, strolled an outdoor art festival, listened to some live music and enjoyed family time. Not a day at the beach, but a close second. :-)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Leading Edge

6x6 oil on panel
$100 + s/h

Back from Loretta Goodwin Gallery's Tiny Treasures show which was held over from the holidays. I will have several more of these small beach scenes to share in the coming days.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Anything But Pedestrian

Anything But Pedestrian
12x18 oil on panel

I've been doing some reading about Pinterest. I know some of my friends love it and I know a lot of artists are very annoyed with the lack of accreditation for shared images and copyright infringement. I don't use it. I figure its just one more thing to keep up with and keep me from painting.

I haven't had copyright issues. I am sure it would suck if I find out that someone has stolen my creative efforts to make a profit for themselves. Frankly, I guess I don't believe my work is good marketing material and I don't think I am "there" yet to copy. But I looked up my blog on Pinterest today and saw a few paintings had been shared. And then they were shared again. And to be honest, I was rather flattered to see that my work was counted as favorites among some of my most favorites artists - Dan McCaw, Sargent, Johannah Harmon, Matisse...Whistler! They did have some beautiful art grouped! But me in there? Really? That is amazing to me. No, I wasn't credited in all the pins. But clicking the image takes you to my blog it seems so that is cool.

I did however drop in a "no pin" meta code on this blog... the only one I can control. But the daily painting galleries my work appears in allows the pins and I will leave that for now. When you are putting your artwork up in a public showcase, there is every chance for it to meander off and be shared, posted, blogged, tweeted, pinned, fav'd, and lose its way. We can't control who prints it at home and makes a poster of it for their wall. I am not one to believe everyone has malicious intent and am flattered that people like my work enough to share it. And who knows when one of those shares might lead to a buyer finding me and my work.

There are ways to safeguard your images and prevent them from being copied and sold, of course. Posting small or low resolution images, including a copyright name on the image, watermarks, etc. But again, that takes more time than I want to spend. There are just too many ways in which artists could spend their days working electronically rather than painting. Between the online galleries, forums, auction sites, email and social network/marketing, it makes my head spin!

Speaking of sales sites, I posted this painting and another larger one in my ETSY shop. If you aren't a member or don't want to sign up to purchase there, email me and I can invoice you directly.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Well Balanced Diet

12x12 oil on panel
Weekend Special - $350 + s/h

This is in my studio and can soon be in your home! Its available unframed for a special price this weekend only. Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Beignet Beat

12x8 oil on panel

Ask Castle Gallery about this painting.

What I wouldn't give right now for a beignet from Cafe du Monde. I need to take another trip there. Its been too long!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

In The Night Kitchen

Link14x18 oil on linen

Ask Tidewater Gallery about this painting.

Back to promoting some of my available work at my representing galleries. This is a scene from a NYC cupcake shop. It was a rainy evening walking past this yummy storefront where the bakers were probably getting a head start on the morning confections.
You can see all the available inventory on the pages linked at the top of the blog. My website is woefully out of date but Blogger has made their blogs so useful that I can create pages for all my galleries and collectors can easily see what is available where.

I guess I will share here that I've been having difficulties communicating with one of my galleries. They are no longer shown on my links. I asked for my work to be returned to me 4 months ago. They just sent back 2 this week. I am not sure if they sold the others and if I will ever see my portion of the sales. I had to file a complaint with the BBB and threaten legal action for them to just send the work to me. This was after letters, weekly emails and countless phones messages. In all these months, I've only had one email response and once I actually caught one of the owners on the phone. They never answer during business hours. I do not actually know if they are in business or not any longer. Its a very frustrating deal.

Sometimes, no matter how enthusiastic someone is to represent your art, it just doesn't work out well. And sometimes, it goes very badly. Its hard times for galleries as well as artists. And while I might want to just be creative all the time, I know its very important to follow through with people and be a good business person. We need to work together to weather this economy. If they had just communicated with me, we could have worked things out amicably.

My advice for those looking for representation is to always talk to other artists represented in the gallery. Get their feedback about the business owner, the staff, and payment schedule. Always have a written/signed agreement or contract laying out terms of the commissions. Visit the gallery if you can. And keep in touch. Pick up the phone or email regularly to check in. Find out what is selling and what clients are interested in. And if you have any concerns, voice them and act.

Even with these things going for you though, sometimes things just go awry, as in my case. I still don't want to believe they are bad people, maybe just bad at business. I can't reach them to talk about it though...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Branching Out

Last week, I got to study with the fabulously talented Margaret Dyer at Wenmoh's Ranch not far from Austin. It was my first time using pastels and I learned so much. I haven't really tried other mediums before, I've been so focused on painting in oils for the last 10+ years. So this year I'm trying to allow myself some creative play and challenges. This was a great first step! I really enjoyed this workshop and working with pastels. Its gotten my creative juices flowing and helped me mentally get past the difficulties I'm having with the gallery.

We had models the first two days and the last day we worked from photos which Margaret shared. Here are my last two efforts. From her photos. I've shared more on Facebook if you want to look at "mobile uploads" on there.

Lucky for me, the workshop was only about an hour from Austin and I was able to drive back and forth each day. Margaret is a wonderful teacher and creates the most beautiful paintings. My thanks to Dena Wenmohs for a great workshop. I think everyone had a very nice time and learned a lot. I can't wait to continue to create with pastels here at home.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...