Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Coast is Near

This. When you're driving down A1A and you can't see the water but you feel it's presence - the way the sky goes on forever, the way the sun is hitting the palms, the way the breeze feels as it blows in from the ocean and brings you that salty scent. You can't see the waves but you can hear them pounding away and then retreating. 

The Coast is Near

Just a quick little post to share the newest painting. Sometimes you just wanna paint something familiar, bright, simple, and says Florida. This one fit the bill and was crazy fun to paint. And it's telling me that I need to get to the coast soon. 

If this piece brings you joy like it does for me, look for it here on my website.

I hope you're getting some beach time in this summer.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Both Sides of the Desk

A lot has been going on lately. I have the honor of being included in the July issue of Ocala Magazine. It's a page they do every month featuring a different artist. How cool!

The other projects happening right now are things I can't share. Here's a piece of one of them. They're both colored pencil commissions that are surprises for friends and family. I'll be able to share after they're gifted. 

We've been busy at the gallery too. We have a wonderful scrap metal sculptor named Josh Price from Contrived Curiosities. We sold this adorable pair of owls this weekend.

A face only a mom could love! This is actually one of my favorite sculptures in the gallery. 

So all this has me thinking about what I do work wise. I'm a painter who sells work in galleries and now I co-own a gallery too. Over the years I've heard from other artists how horrified they are that retail galleries take a 50% commission on sales. People new to the scene don't realize that 50% is the norm. Non-profits sometimes take a smaller commission because they receive other funding. Some galleries like ours are collectives or co-ops, meaning they charge a monthly fee instead of charging a commission. I've never begrudged my gallery reps their share. They've earned it. Since being part of Gallery B I have an even better understanding of what's involved in opening a gallery and keeping it open. 

What do galleries do with your 50% or your monthly fee? They spend it on rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, salaries, taxes, advertising, web design and hosting, licenses, building upkeep, supplies, phone service, banking fees, merchandiser fees, accountants, legal rep, signage, reception costs, and the list goes on.

If you're an artist thinking of jumping into gallery representation, please keep in mind that it's a business partnership. A good gallery will work for you, sell for you, and they have huge expenses just like any other business. You can do your part by being professional, providing good materials like your consignment list, giving the gallery as much information about you and your work as possible, have a consistent body of work to show and have new work available for them when asked. The best thing you can do is have the best quality work you can do. Make sure your presentation is clean - if you frame your work, make sure the frame is good quality and free from any nicks or scratches. Have your work ready for the gallery to hang. Basically, be considerate of your gallery and the customers. 

As a selling painter, you wear a lot of hats because you have to do the selling along with the making of the art. Now I'm on both sides of the desk and get to experience not only selling my work but the work of other artists too. One thing I've noticed - it's easier to talk up other people's work than it is my own. Why do we find it so much easier to brag on others than it is to toot our own horns?

Enjoy the rest of your day. I hope it's filled with joy and the creative juices are flowing.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

When you're between projects....

Happy 4th everyone! I hope you're doing something fun today. We have pretty lousy weather right now so I don't think we're doing anything outside, hence, the reason I'm sitting at my computer. 

So this is the kind of thing I do when I'm between projects. I just finished the last nest painting. I have 2 commissions waiting in the wings. I have multiple canvases prepped and waiting for new nests and landscapes. Before starting all that I wanted to play with something a little different. It always helps to get the creative juices flowing. 

I started with a full sheet of watercolor paper, gave it a layer of gesso, and taped it down on all the edges. Then I used the tape to section off 12 squares. With a large brush I started throwing acrylic paint around - thalo blue, light green and red gold. I also scribbled a bit with graphite and colored pencils.

While the paint was still wet I used the handle end of the brush to scratch into the paint and make more marks. I applied the white with a big kitchen spatula. You can see here that I peeled the tape away. 

I tore the squares apart using a straight edge. Since the paper has deckled edges I didn't want to use scissors and make the inside edges too clean. Tearing against the straight edge gives a more deckled feel. 

As a last step, I used my favorite black - BLK3.0 ultra matte black, to add areas of contrast. They're fun little abstracts! Now what do I do with them? I thought about framing them but I HATE framing. The hassle and expense of framing is one of the reasons I no longer do much work on paper but sometimes the urge is too great. So what now - I realized that these little guys fit well on an 8x8 canvas so I ordered a case. I'll paint them solid black and then mount the paintings on the canvas. I like the way the black edge frames the design. 

While I'm waiting for the canvas order to come in I can start working on the commissions. This is one of the best things about being a painter. I love having multiple projects to work on. Maybe it seems like I'm all over the place or unfocused to some folks but I never get bored in the studio! And it seems to me that working with multiple subject matter and methods can influence the other work you do. Isn't that how we grow as artists? Anyway, this is definitely something I'll do again. If you're looking for a fun exercise to build your composition and design skills, this is it. 

Just some thoughts on a rainy day.

Till next time,