Thursday, July 28, 2011

Joys and Sadness of Selling a Painting

Blue Beached Boat
Of course, I love it when someone enjoys one of my paintings enough to buy it for their home, but there are mixed emotions associated with a sale.  When so much time is spent getting a painting just right, it becomes an extension of your soul.  A part of me wants to share it with the world, but another part is sad to see it go.  When I meet the people who buy a painting, I’m often left with a longing to know them better (which sometimes happens over time).  I’m grateful to have talked with them and love seeing their happy faces when they hold the painting for the first time.  (Yea, a bit sappy, but that’s me.)

But sometimes, you don’t get to meet the buyer.  You don’t get to chat or to say “Thank You.” And there is a bit of a void.  I’ll occasionally wonder what it was that they fell in love with, where the painting is hanging and  will sometimes actually miss the painting like a lost friend.  I write this because I was just told one of my favorite paintings, “Blue Beached Boat”, just sold and I hope to someday meet its new owner.

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Values do the work...

Sunrise on Newport Bridge
Although I struggled getting up with the birds, I only spent a few of hours painting on site.  My goal was to capture the color, composition and values and use my photos to finish it later.  When I looked at the painting later in the day, I was disappointed with how pale and washed out it was.  I then looked at the photos, I found the darks were so much darker than I painted.  I realized my eyes were “seeing” much more light in the shadows.

Using the photographs, I fixed the painting.  What I loved about the early morning sun and the low angle was the deep shadows created on the bridge and the boat.  I will keep my value finder handy from now on, until my brain learns how to see better.   I once read "Values do the work, color gets the applause."  This was a good example.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Artistic Talent - Nature vs. Nurture

I gratefully receive all compliments on my gift of being able to paint and draw.  They're like that one great swing in golf, they keep me coming back to the easel (or green).  Today, after reading a wonderful comment from Deb P,  I read a post by Seth Godin on whether people succeed because they have something “special” and started to wondered if painting is a "gift."

I believe that genetics gives us a foundation, but we are strongly influenced by our environment from the day we are born.  Our talents might have some link to those strands of DNA, but they would never surface without some encouragement.  (See cultivating young artists.)  At some young age, I probably made a little sketch, showed it to a relative, which prompted some type of positive feedback.  Then, another little sketch and a bit more gushing from an aunt, and so on…  I think that is how it all started for me. 

As a late bloomer, I’m now seriously pursuing my art and my “gift” is consistently strengthened with:
  • Many hours of painting to improve my techniques
  • Evening classes at Rhode Island School of Design (and related homework)
  • Checking websites of other artists
  • Learning how to market art
  • Attending gallery openings to understand what makes a good contemporary artist
  • Attending art association meetings
  • Reading books on selling art
  • Incorporating technology into the process
  • General networking
Please keep those kudos coming.  I have a long way to grow and I can use all the reassuring I can get as I strive to be a better artist.

Some quotes on talent:
“Everyone has talent.  What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.” – Erica Jong.
“Talent is cheaper than table salt.  What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King.
“Hard work without talent is a shame, but talent without hard work is a tragedy.” – Robert Half.
“I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent; curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas.” - Albert Einstein

Saturday, July 02, 2011

I'm Painting as Fast as I Can!


 I found a great spot this morning, but it seemed that each time I looked up from my painting, the scene was a bit different.  I knew the sun would change so I tried to capture the color notes quickly, but I was quite surprised by how fast the tide came in.  The sand exposed at low tide was a beautiful shade of mauve/purple and my favorite part of the scene.  So glad I had my camera because the sand disappeared so fast.  Plein air painting is so much better than working from photos, but it does have it's pros and cons

Pros                                                                        Cons
Getting up at 5 AM                                            Getting up at 5 AM
and beating the beach crowd

The tan is looking good!                                     Missing a spot when putting on sunscreen

Friendly people stop by to chat                          Friendly bugs stop by for a close look at the painting 
                                                                            and sometimes get stuck in it.

Surrounded by nature, the sound of                 No place to go when the effects of coffee kick in.
birds and the smell of wild roses.