Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Display shelf for art shows

The sitting area in my studio
Dave made me a wonderful selection of display shelves in various sizes to display small unframed works for art shows.  He had made one before in a large size which i used in my porch studio gallery, but these are more suitable to small sized works. That's two of them resting on the blue loveseat in my studio.  

I painted them all white so they will fit nicely into the decor of the Gallery at the Porch Door when i do open it up in the spring. I'm looking forward to doing a couple of shows this year.  I found out that i've been accepted into Art Among the Ruins which is a lovely 1 day outdoor event not far from where I live. Of course the weather could be a factor. Anyone have a canopy for sale or rent?

Monday, January 28, 2013

East Shore

East Shore - acrylic on wood - 8 x 8 inch
Back to the east coast shore of Nova Scotia...this one is from a stop near a fishing port of which i forget the name.
I'm beginning to get the hang of the acrylics, quite a different feeling than what i'm used to in oils...but I'm determined to keep with it.  I like how they dry fast.  I do not like how they wreck my brushes.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Happy Australia Day

Surf - watercolour - 30 x 22 inches - SOLD
Happy Australia Day!  This painting is a watercolour I did about 12 years ago when we were living in Australia.  We lived on the Surf Coast not far from Bells beach where the Rip Curl surf championships were held annually.  Watching surfing really excited me, and I painted a lot of surfing watercolours back then. I thought i'd post it incelebration of Australia Day, which is today January 26th. (thanks to Michael Perchard 's blogpost which reminded me of it today)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cold outside is good for production

experimenting with acrylics in my studio
Artists sometimes wince at the word 'production' .  It can summon up all sorts of unpleasant connotations, none the least suggesting a mechanical method.  But the fact is, artists must produce to realize their hearts secrets; and producing requires production. Production results in a working out of the idea, as in a series of works.

I have been experimenting a bit more with acrylics.  I'm learning their abilities and limitations.  To do this I'm playing around with a small series of 'dreamscapes'.  They are fun and keep me free and loose to experiment.  My colours are rather limited, but that's probably good as I learn their properties.  I can always add to them one at a time as I feel more confident.  
It's been so darn cold outside, i haven't wanted to venture far.  My studio has been rather like a nest at the moment.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Painting intuitively

County Tour - 36" x 36" oil on canvas
This  painting i've been working on, kind of came together today.  Almost completely intuitively painted.  I really like working that way.  Sort of feeds my soul.  I'm working on a theme inspired from a  wine tour we went on in Prince Edward County in September; but this one also has threads of other recollections too. It's big for me, 36 x 36 inches.  Funny, when i'm working intuitively... usually what i plan on ends up having no resemblance to the end product at all.  Which is okay too.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hydrangeas and Chanel

Saturdays are one of my most favourite days.  I love it in the spring and summer when i venture down to the market early on a Saturday morning while Dave is home still blissfully slumbering(he loves his sleep, not so much).  However today was not one of those days.  

Instead today was spent in the studio...I have been working on a big landscape, many parts of it I'm feeling good about, but there is a large area that is confounding me, so i know i need to give it a little longer to perculate in my brain. For the time being, ignoring it is the best answer...I have faith in time to work it out.  

In the meantime I have been completely absorbed in the history of the woman and the icon, CHANEL.  The book is by Lisa Chaney.  I am listening to it on audio.  A good read for fashionistas(or old fashion students) and anyone interested in the power of determination.  Her rise from a very miserable childhood into one of the worlds most iconic and sought after designers, is riveting in my opinion.

And something about painting hydrangea's while I listened, just seemed right too.  A nice Saturday.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Italy at Gallery Perth

So on Tuesday I went to Ottawa, and on my way home I stopped in at Gallery Perth, in beautiful Perth Ontario.  It's a wonderful gallery, and situated in an old mill (Code's Mill) right next to Perth Picture Framing, and across from the picturesque river Tay.  The mill is occupied by a a restuarant; Fiddleheads,  a coffee shop; Coutts Coffee, a gift shop; Ground Waves, and a hairdressers; The Curly Redhead as well as some other business offices.  There is a large indoor limestone courtyard with flagstones and a fountain where you can relax with a cup of joe or order lunch. A delightful spot to spend a couple of hours.  The gallery is run by the owner of Perth Picture Framing.

It had been since last summer that I had taken new works to the gallery.  Veronica had sold, but I knew it was time to change things up a bit; so  I decided to take her a group of paintings that were on an Italian theme.  Some watercolours and some oils.  Veronica didn't mind the mix, and I think she was glad of some new things for her gallery. 

Here's the group of Italian paintings now on display at Gallery Perth.  Besides the Italian group there are also 3 of my large 'Wetland' series at the gallery as well.  If you're looking for an enjoyable day trip, consider a drive to Perth, Ontario and visit Codes Mill and Gallery Perth!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Kingston Arts and Letters Club

Coffee Break - oil on wood - 4x4"each
Every second Tuesday evening of the month is the meeting of Kingston Arts and Letters Club. This club sprang to life about 6 years ago, the idea of Kingston artist Pat Shea, who envisioned a club for artists to meet and mingle in a relaxed atmosphere to share interests.  Over the years the club met in several different venues, but the current one is by far the best in my opinion.  Meeting at the Kingston Yacht Club, 1 Maitland Street(south of King St and City Park) we mingle in a cozy atmosphere with a bar and lots of comfy chairs, sometimes there's a fire in the fireplace, and the view of the lake is spectacular.  It's a pretty diverse group of artists, writers, designers, poets, members join each meeting, it's a very welcoming group.  So if you've been thinking about attending but not sure what to expect...I recommend it. 

Usually there is a speaker for part of the evening, with an informal presentation about an art project or one of the artists sharing their stories.  Last week the speaker was Julian Brown, chair of the Kingston Prize.  He was speaking about the Prize, it's past, present and it's future.  An enlightening and interesting presentation, where we learned about the logistics of creating and sustaining an art competition of this magnitude.

Next month the speaker is Carolyn Barnett, who will share her story and present a small fashion show of designs. I've been a huge fan of Carolyn's work for ages; it's full of whimsey and colour and style. So I'm looking forward to the Kingston A&L club meeting on Tues Feb 12.  Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Artists stories

Espresso - oil on wood - 4 x 4"

I thought I'd share something i read over on Lori McNee's blog yesterday sort of hit a chord with me. Carolyn Edlund is the author of the article.  I've copied it below.  It was included in Lori's Top 2013 Art Business Tips From the Pros. Perhaps it hit a chord, because, ...believe it or not I am a little shy, and telling my story always seems a little too pompous, too grandiose. But thinking about it...I do find other people's stories really interesting.  So I believe she has a good point for us artists to remember when going about our art business.  You can read the article below:


Why Artists Must Tell Their Story

Carolyn Edlund spent twenty years running her own ceramic and jewelry studio, is currently the Executive Director of the Arts Business Institute, the author of the E-course titled “Marketing for Artists & Craftspeople,”  and the owner and author of Artsy Shark, a site devoted to the support of artists and creative entrepreneurs. She offers workshops and one on one consulting services as well. To find out more about Carolyn and to take your career to another level,  just click HERE.
One of the most effective ways that you as an artist can connect with your audience is to tell your story. Not just a recital of your resume, but the story of your inspiration, your struggles, your vision and your message.
Talking about yourself and your artwork builds a layer of emotional connection between you as the artist and your potential collectors. Yes, your work must be good, and must stand on its own, but you as an artist are intrinsically part of the end product of your studio work. When your client makes a purchase of your art, they are buying a part of your talent and your personality.
 Many art collectors are highly creative people themselves. They may not have ability as painters, photographers or sculptors, but they express themselves through buying the work of artists they appreciate. It’s no wonder that curation is a huge trend for the public, as each person can distinguish themselves and their tastes. They may have a boring job or an ordinary life, but they can stand out by showing their appreciation for the arts by becoming collectors. They crave a connection with artists and the perceived mystique and fantasy of being a full-time sought-after talent.
Your story helps make this connection, and can become an essential part of your presentation. Start by writing down everything that has affected or influenced you, and has led to your expressing your heart and soul in your artwork. Do you have an unusual technique? A story of overcoming hardship? Are your materials innovative?
When collectors buy your work, they will re-tell your story to others when showing your art. This can help you cultivate repeat buyers as well as earning referral business from your fans.
 Work on your story to distill down the parts that make those emotional connections with others. Practice telling your story. Record and listen to it, then make changes and hone it further. Your story should be compelling, full of important messages that you want to convey to your audience – and it should flow well.  You may want to have a longer and shorter version of your story which you can use as needed.
Where can you share your story?
  •  On your website About page. One of the most visited pages on any website, this important page should also include your photograph, so that visitors feel they know you.
  • In your artist statement and bio
  • As part of the branding of your business
  • When speaking about your work at a gallery show
  • To present your work to visitors at an art fair
  • In your brochure and other written promotional material
  • To use when applying for an artist residency, or on grant applications
  • For networking purposes, using a succinct version of your story tells others very clearly who you are.
  •  On your blog. This is a powerful place to share your ongoing story. Jack White is a master storyteller who frequently uses his own story as an artist, as well as telling stories about others. His style has made him a top expert on selling art.
  • In press releases
  • In interviews with the press
Your story will evolve over time as your art career grows. Don’t forget to stay in touch with your audience and continue to share about yourself and your art. It will be appreciated!

Monday, January 7, 2013

google + ...a BIG disappointment

I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what is wrong with my google+ profile...and why it doesn't seem to associate with my blog the way it should.  For example, when I leave comments on friends blogs, other people should be able to click my avatar and be taken to my blog, but instead it just goes to the google+ profile, which gives a message saying the blog has been removed. ???!!! I dont get that since I'm still here!!!  Certainly it is confounding. 
3 little tulip paintings - each are 4 x 4"
  The fun part about blogging is getting to interact with other artists through my blog, but with my link not working correctly, that's really NOT happening.  bummer.  I think i need a geek to help me figure it out, what I'm doing wrong, what to do to correct it,  fix it.  I've spent altogether WAY too much time reading through all the help articles, FAQ's and mountains of blogger information...but to no avail

I'm so glad painting is so darn un-complicated...when I screw up with painting it's just a fast wipe-off then on to the next one.  if only blogging was so easy to understand.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

hello 2013

hydrangea in cream jug
New Years eve was so enjoyable and relaxing too, but here we are the first week in January and in the deep freeze. Painting flowers reminds me of warmer seasons.  And that feels good right now.
I'm just finishing a remarkable little book I got for Xmas; Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, MD.  
It gives lots of scope for the contemplation.