Hello Guys and Dolls,
It has been sometime since I added a blog to this site. I thought I had lost the site sometime ago. Well this is wonderful, I haven't...Hooray!!!
Now about the Art of Love title. I am loved, have loved and will be loved. Although I don't know if I will be loved after I am gone from this world. I suppose it won't matter then anyway, but I hope that I have touch some of your lives with warmth and that it lives on in you.
My heart sings and spills out from within in song. I wish the same for you in your own lives. Finding the strength to be who you are and living in harmony with those around you is something we all need in our lives. Being kind doesn't really take much effort. Being angry wastes your time and affects not only you but the ones who love you.
Maybe it is only my opinion, but again my opinion might be what you feel too. Just maybe you forgot who you really are or maybe you don't know who you are. When you are loved and let that love in sometimes you find a way to happiness.
I know this is a sappy blog, but what do you expect...love is sappy. Happy St. Valentines Day.
This post is by Luann Udell, regular contributing author for FineArtViews. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
Last time I gave you some suggestions on how to handle requests to donate your art work. Today, here’s a simple yet elegant way to say YES, NO or MAYBE to those requests.
The most important tip of all:
BE PREPARED TO BE ASKED
Have a set piece to say when you get the request.
Being prepared to be asked will help you answer in a professional manner. It will keep you from getting caught off-guard and responding poorly or too quickly. It will give you time to time to make up your mind. It will get you the information you need to make a good decision. It will give you a gracious “out” if the answer is no. And it will leave a door open for you to change your mind some day.
This set piece can be adapted for almost any situation.
Good Cause person: “Luann, we’re having a big fundraising event for the XYZ society next month, and we’re asking a number of local artists to donate something for the silent auction. We’d love to have your work!”
Luann: “Oh, I’m so honored to be asked! Can you tell me more?”
Now is the time to ask: What exactly is this cause? (If you’re not already familiar with it.) Is it one that aligns with your values?
Who are their patrons? Who will be at the event? Are they your customers, or your prospective customers?
What other artists were asked, who else accepted, and what is the value of the pieces they’re donating? This will give you some idea whether you want to participate or not, and what company you’ll be in if you accept. And if you accept, what you’re being asked for—a $25 gift certificate or a $2,000 painting.
Once you’ve heard all the details, figure out if you want to participate or not, or if you simply need more time to think about it. The following covers all three options. (Actually, it covers four…)
Luann: “That sounds lovely, and I wish I could help you out. However, I’m swamped with requests from many deserving organizations. I can’t possibly oblige them all. What I do is collect all the requests ahead of time in writing. Then (once a year, twice a year, whatever time you want) I choose (one or two causes) to donate to.”
Now, here’s the creative part:
If you don’t want to contribute, you add, “I’m so sorry, I’ve already made my selections for charity donations for this year. But I’d be delighted to consider your request for next year’s list. Can you give me information about this year’s event, and *contact me by such-and-such a date next year?” (*Note: If you might donate next year, let them know they need to ask again. If you don’t want to donate, don’t ask them to contact you again and just forget to offer.)
If you aren’t sure you want to contribute, you say, “I’m making my decision for this period in a few weeks, and I’d be happy to consider your request. Can I get all the information from you, and let you know my decision then?”
If you want to help but don’t want to donate your work, you say, “I’m so sorry, I’ve already made my selections for charity donations this year. But I support your cause and would like to help in some other way. May I purchase an ad in the auction program?” (Or make a cash donation, or offer a private lesson, or a private studio visit, etc.)
If you decide to donate, you still give the set piece. But you’ve also laid out the conditions and raised the bar.
Let’s say the audience is your targeted audience and the terms of donation are reasonable and fair to artists. For example, the artists will get their “gallery price” or wholesale price, and/or you can set a minimum bid. You can still use the set piece to explain how your process works, and then accept their invitation.
This shows you are a professional and you understand what is being asked. It asks for them to treat you in a professional matter, too, and helps them understand what they are asking for.
The beauty of this little set piece is, you can use it to say, “yes”, “no” or “maybe”. You can use it to say no, and still leave a door open. (I’ve had people thank me for refusing them so graciously, and for giving them a chance to ask again another time.)
You can use it to say yes, and not lock yourself into saying “yes” next year, and the year after—unless you want to.
Everybody wins, and nobody has to feel bad. That’s the kind of solution I like best!
I have a friend who only signed with galleries within a thirty minute driving distance.
She sold through the four galleries near her home.
She was having difficulties selling as well the past couple years and asked for my advice since she knew me when I was in galleries selling my works. My advice was to branch out. When galleries are not selling her works as well, she should expand to other galleries, perhaps in other cities where the economy was a bit better. Selling in other areas will take a bit of research, but can be profitable.
When I had my works in galleries and the market was slow I used to paint smaller, less expensive paintings. When I painted smaller I could paint more and sell them for less till the market was better and this gave me more inventory available to sell in more galleries. I used to find that if I started with 2 or 3 galleries and when needed add up to 3 more I would sell at least what I made with larger paintings during a better economy. The downfall is I had to paint more less expensive pieces to make the same amount of money, but at least I had the same income coming in during a soft economy.
I try to be creative in finding places to sell my works. Look at your work, get a feel for where it might be sold, if you paint vintage cars, try aligning yourself with a vintage car group in your area. If your work has a tattoo feeling, align yourself with an upscale tattoo shop. Align yourself with a local interior designer. There are so many options for artists if you just do a little thinking and research. There are online options too. If you can afford to buy your works printed on things such as t-shirts, calendars etc. You could always sell your works on these items at different events in your area.With the internet available to everyone through the library or at home it is easy to find galleries in other cities, states and worldwide. Sending your works on cd with your artist bio are usually the best way to get works in other cities seen, unless they ask for slides when you check their web site out. If they don’t have information about how to submit your work for consideration you could always call the gallery or email them.
Hello Guys and Dolls,
My readers ask me about what made me a successful working artist.
Over the years I think my success as a working artist has been due to at least these four things.
Decision: The main thing to consider is, are you ready to be a (selling) working artist. It takes a lot of work and dedication to be a working artist. For most of us it is not an easy trek.
Clarity: I cannot emphasize how important it is that you find your clarity. Telling what your vision is and who helps you get there is a key factor for any artist. I define where I am with my art and where I want to be. Learning this helps you to define who you are and what your art means to you.
Make a Plan: I learn from others, this is very important. I set goals and take advantage of the information about how to make my goals happen. Patience pay a key in this process.Take Action: I find you must learn to balance making art with selling it. It is important actually work toward your goals and not just think about it. Taking realistic steps, backed by real-world information and advice from those you respect can help you.
Once a painting is completed you need to do a few things before it is ready to ship to show or sell. This list should be done; photograph your work, frame it if needed, and finish off the back of your work.
I recommend protecting the back of the painting with cardboard. I sometimes use foam board or heavy paper and staple it to the stretcher bars. Many galleries and museums will not accept paintings unless the backs are protected in this fashion. If you paint on panels, this does not apply. I cut a small hole in the cardboard in one corner to let the painting breath, which keeps it from drying and the paint from cracking. This helps my work look more professional.
I like to provide valuable information on the back of the painting. It becomes a marketing tool. This can help curators properly care for your art if you become famous.I attach a label to the back of each painting. The label includes my name, website, the title of the painting, size, medium, and date completed. The additional info you may want include is whatever you think is important. I sometimes include a few notes, important information such as awards the painting received. I dont include a bio or artist's statement on the back of my paintings. Some artists do it and you may wish to include it. I feel if you want to maintain a high level of professionalism. So if you do include a bio or statement, keep it brief.
Hello Guys and Dolls,
For sometime I have been asked what is considered an original work of art. Well I am not really sure but I have gathered from my own experience working as an artist for over 30 years the following.
For competitions open to artists anywhere in the world, there are certain criteria used to jury your work and from what I gather is the criteria most important is that the works must be original. Rather than tell you what is original art I will tell you what I know about what is not considered original art by galleries.
Note: There is a few things jurors cannot consider being original:
Compositions based on published material or other artists work are not considered original and are not eligible.
Paintings executed in a workshop under another artists supervision or paintings based on another persons photograph (even if copyright-free) are not considered eligible to be called original art.
So keep this in mind when you create your next piece of art.
When I want a smooth glossy finish on a acrylic painting I use acrylic mediums.
I like to use these pouring mediums best, Self-Leveling Gel and Clear Tar Gel. The Self-leveling is my favorite.
I find that if you spray your surface with alcohol before pouring your work will avoid most bubbles. You can do this between layers while each layer is wet to keep your work mostly bubble free.
The Clear Tar Gel and Self-Leveling Gel works best with water added if you are pouring in a dry environment. You probably will not need to add water in wet cooler climates. Its best to pour a few thin layers after each layer dries. These Gels dry clear. Pour slowly and have your work angled slightly.
May 12th, 2009 - 10:25 AMSomeone asked me about getting into galleries recently and I thought I would share some of my own suggestions here. I hope it will be useful to some of you. I will cover each of these questions in my blogs daily till they all have more details to help you.
I use oil pastels sometimes wet and other times dry. Depending on what I am painting on. Different things I paint on with oil pastels include paper, canvas, and wood. Although you could paint on other objects as you would with oils. Some surfaces I work on I use a primer like gesso.
I blend most of my colors directly on the surface I am using most of the time. Sometimes I layer colors on a palette to blend if I am using paper or canvas. Using turpentine keeps the mixture from drying out. I also use a wet brush to mix thin washes and paint directly from the oil pastel sticks. I also use the sticks directly on the paper and do a light wash over with turpentine to give a different effect.
Another technique I use with oil pastels as well as crayons is to layer several colors on top of one another then scraping shapes to reveal the under colors. I like this techniques effect very much.
Hello Guys and Dolls
Time again for another blog from the desk of Monique Montney to keep you up to date with what is happening in my art studio, web pages and online stores.
With the passing of two close family members a couple days between each other had my family reeling at the end of April. My husband and I could only make it to one funeral since our families live in other states. It has been heart breaking, especially with the loss of my younger sister (Thelia). Doing art was on the back burner for me till yesterday, most of my time was spent working on photos of our loved ones that passed to make copies for family. I am still working on the photos.
Last night I got back to working on some new pieces of art and this morning I added a new item ‘Sigg Bottles’ to my Creative Illusion Art Market at Cafepress. Sigg water bottles are made from reusable aluminum. They are recyclable and environmentally friendly. Of course as always it will have a print of one of my art pieces “Aliens Visit the Alamo” on it to make it really unique and most likely one of a kind in your area.
The coming week I will change one of the designs in both my Creative Illusion Art Market store and the Mqmystic Pet Art store at Cafepress. At least one of my art designs in my stores changes each month.
I am working on my “Garden Series”. I have amassed quite a few pieces already in this series. You can see some of the works in my photo gallery. I also started work on trading cards to sell at my next art event on May 21, 2009. These cards will be from my “Doodle Series”. The series will be all types of subject matter on different colored cards. These are fun little illustrations in ink with lots of detail. I will work on photographing some of them to post on my web pages.
I am organizing an art event for May 21,2009 for the San Antonio Art Meetup Group and I’ve been asked to help organize an art show at Treys house at 230 Travis, San Antonio, TX. for SAVA(San Antonio Visual Artist) next month. More on this will be posted here as it progresses.
Monique Montney (Mqmystic)
The Artist Domain at bravenet
Creative Illusions Art Market
Mqmystic Pet Art Market
Creative Illusion at Imagekind
Fine Art America
Today I wanted to discuss the artist statement. It is an important part of your portfolio and although I am no expert I have a couple suggestions for the novice and hope it will help you.
You’ll want to begin with a broad statement that gives your personal philosophy behind creating art. This should encompass most or all of the work you’ve made.
I suggest you think about your artist’s statement like a one-way conversation and write using words like “I” and “my” as you talk about yourself and your work.
Mention what first inspired you to be an artist, what your goals are as an artist or themes that continually run through your art. Write a few sentences about how you make your art. Pointing out what makes your methods different and how your creative process is evolving.Make sure to keep it understandable for people who are not artists.
The beauty of watercolor can only really be achieved on good quality paper. Generally there are two qualities of paper available; cotton and chemically processed wood fiber.
Cotton watercolor paper
These papers are supplied in three surfaces:
1. Rough: The Rough sheet has the roughness of the felt (blanket) embossed into the wet sheet. Rough sheets give the greatest texture to watercolor washes as the pigment settles into the hollows of the paper.
2. Not/Cold Pressed: A Not sheet gets its name from ‘not hot pressed’. It has a moderate texture I like it best for most of my watercolor works.
3. Hot Pressed: The hot pressed sheet has a smooth finish. It is great for detailed works; and works well for artwork for reproduction.
Gelatin surface sizing
Artists’ watercolor papers are coated (surface sized) with gelatin in addition to the internal sizing, which provides just the right degree of absorbency.
The gelatin results in a brighter watercolor wash as the color sits on the surface. It makes lifting color easier and prevents masking fluid from damaging the paper surface.
Color of the paper
Watercolor paper is traditionally white; this allows the maximum amount of light to be reflected back through the wash, giving that characteristic watercolor ‘sparkle’. Tinted papers are sometime preferred and give a mellow tone to a painting.
It is essential that a watercolor paper is acid free. In the long term, this ensures the paper maintains its color without yellowing and will not become brittle with age.
Weights of paper
Common watercolor paper weights, 90lb, 140lb and 300lb. The heavier the sheet the less the paper wrinkle and the more it will cost. 140 lb is the weight I like best and will not need stretching if using an average amount of water during painting (see Stretching).
Using the right side of the paper
Either side of the paper can be used for painting. The reverse side of Rough or Not/Cold pressed will be flatter than the front. If you prefer the reverse, try to avoid the water mark area, it may interfere visually if the viewer can read the watermark backwards through your work.
Choosing the right paper
The right paper for you will be based on your personal preference for a particular surface, closely followed by the color of the sheet and last, the weight.
Hi Guys and Dolls,
I painted live March 3, 2009 on Great Day Sa (Kens 5 TV) for one of the art events I did. The show is a local morning talk show.
It was the perfect opportunity to share about our great First Friday of every month events I am involved in at Inn on the Riverwalk who hosts her and gives exposure to local artists. Anna Berry from the Artists Meetup Group painted live with me throughout the hour-long show. I started with a blank canvas and finished the painting in just under an hour. Anna brought her painting nearly finished and did her impressive detail work on the show.
Thanks "GREAT DAY SA"!!! for a GREAT day!!!
To watch the segment go to:
Competitive market, galleries, consultants, and even collectors aren't just
looking for great work, they're looking for the whole package. - someone who dresses and acts like a creative small-business person.
Here are a few reminders:
Presentation materials should be clean and tatter-free. Your portfolio should contain
excellent photographs of your work on CD. Written materials should be free of mistakes. Use a simple business card with your contact information and an image of your work. Selling art is like any other small business.
You don't need to dress like a management and it's acceptable to wear more creative, but you should always be clean and presentable.
selling art is like any other small business. Most galleries, will tell you that they pass over an erratic artistic genius in favor of a committed artist who instills confidence in the partnership by delivering quality work, good marketing materials, and professional presence.
Tips for Approaching a Gallery
Try to set up an appointment
Sampled a sufficient number of galleries to know which you’re interested in, drop by and make an appointment to see the director—portfolio in hand. Requesting an appointment in person works better than making a call, it’s harder for someone to refuse you if you are standing there. The reason you ask for an appointment is because that shows respect for the director’s time.
2. Be prepared with your portfolio and a website
The reason you want your portfolio with you as you make the appointment is that a staff member just may have time to give it a look at that time. The staff may ask for your website address. Most will not, but you want to be ready for this opportunity, also be prepared with a couple of originals in your car, in case they like what they see. But don't count on things unfolding this way.
3. Follow submission procedures
Inquire what the submission process is. Most galleries accept submissions via e-mail; they’ll ask you to forward a link to your website or to send them a group of images. This is why it’s essential that you have a website before approaching the galleries: It makes you seem established.
If you do an e-mail submission, I don’t advise you to send it to the gallery’s general e-mail address unless there’s no alternative. Instead, try to get the e-mail address of the staff member responsible for reviewing submissions. Ask for a business card while at the gallery. You can e-mail your submission directly to the right person. It also gives you a name to follow up with. Keep the cover letter brief, with the major points of your career in the first paragraph and relevant links listed in the e-mail.
If the staff member tells you the director isn’t looking for new artists, try to get a card anyway. Rare is the gallery that doesn’t need a new artist. You could be one of those artists.
4. Consider a mailed-in submission
Some directors may like a submission that is mailed in Some like going through a presentation folder where they can hold the photos, postcards and resume in their hands. If your submission is snail-mailed, again keep the cover letter brief. You also want it on quality stationery, preferably letterhead that makes you look established, just as your web site and postcards will. Include a business card that lists your web site. All these things can be laid out so they reflect your work.
I advise that you make them look unique yet professional. You’re making the impression that you handle your career well, no matter how broke you might be. These little steps will reassure the gallery that you’ll carry your end of the business agreement. In addition, you must include a disk of your work. I don’t advise that you submit slides, since that technology has pretty much been abandoned, unless the gallery asks for slides.
5. Follow up and persist
Check back with a phone call a week after submitting. The first gallery rejects you? Try a second, a third and a fourth, if necessary. No matter how many rejections you get, you must persist. If you’ve got the talent and you’ve paid the dues, you’ll find the right gallery.
6. Make a polished, confident presentation
When you get an appointment to meet with a gallery director, arrive on time, be brief and show confidence in your work. Take at least five of your best originals with you. Don’t go in looking like you’re desperate. You want to look like a success, even if that success is only expressed in the mastery of your medium. Make sure your presentation is neat, organized and professional—use quality frames on your paintings if frames are needed or refined bases on your sculpture if bases are needed.
This is a washable paint for windows and sliding doors.
Clear dishwashing liquid
Premixed tempera paints
Time needed: Under 1 Hour
1. For each color of paint, mix about 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid with
1/2 tablespoon of paint (the mixture should have the creamy consistency of house paint).
Foil-lined muffin tins or plastic containers work well for holding different colors.
2. Using a different brush for each hue, paint on the window, being careful to avoid
sills and woodwork.
To remove the dried paint or fix a mistake, wipe it off with a moist paper towel.