Sep 30, 2014

Art as a Business

Over the past year I have been slowly working my way towards sharing my work with the world. I’m pretty ambitious regarding my goals for the year. I’ve caught this blog up to present, and have put the “skeleton” of my marketing plan in place (next blog).

My ultimate goal is to be represented by a number of brick and mortar as well as online galleries.  I want to be regularly selling paintings in the Daily Paintworks site as well as my regular website within the next 90 days, and to be in two galleries within a year. 

A year ago I attended a workshop hosted by Jason Horejs of Xanadu Gallery.  His advice on work ethics, consistency, pricing and how to approach a gallery were wonderful and are covered in his book, Starving to Successful.  That and Alyson Stansfield’s I’d rather be in the studio!  have given me a blueprint that I am working through for my marketing plan.

As far as the business training is concerned, I will be coached by Leslie Saeta  on marketing, and am following Jason Horejs Mentoring program.

In addition to marketing, I will continue creating inventory and exposing my work to the world.  I will be following a daily painting regime and working on my drawing skills.

I joined the Daily Paintworks and just finished my first ever “daily painting challenge.”  While I missed the last 4 days (I’m also building a house and had to travel to Galveston to meet with contractors, bankers, etc), I’ve found myself getting cranky if I can’t at least do something during the day!  I plan to do a number of topical series (the first is 30 dogs) and will put brush to canvas every day – even if I don’t finish a piece.  On those days that I don’t produce a new painting, I will feature one of the ones I’ve done in the past year.

My drawing skills are my Achilles heel (or at least I think they are).  I have enrolled in the Watts Atelier online course so I can continue working on my figure drawing skills.  Stan Prokopenko’s online tutorials are also wonderful for figure drawing.  And the Sketching from Square One book by Richard Scott is also proving to be very helpful. 

Sep 25, 2014

Chihuahua– Dog #19

I didn’t feel like painting today.  There is a lot going on; I’m about to leave for Galveston and have lists of things to take care of before I go.  So, I almost didn’t.  Then I thought I’d just block him in.  Of course, once I got going, I couldn’t stop!  Those eyes kept me in the canvas!  What a sweet soul!

Sep 23, 2014

Where's the Beef? Cows in a field

The Leslie Saeta workshop using palette knife was an inspiration.  We used a limited set of paints (funny enough, the same 5 I used to use with Charlie Kello) and never touched a brush.  This is the second piece we did (first was the dinghys) so I felt a bit more adventuresome.  I really pushed the colors and temperatures.  Enjoyed posting the progress on Facebook and getting a running commentary from my friends.  The last thing we did was put in the background greens.  I think that is the only thing I'd do differently.  Even though I chose a green that went with the colors I'd used, I prefer to have at least the beginning of background on the canvas while I'm painting the rest so that I can make sure all the colors work together.

The other part of working with a palette knife is the total loss of inhibition regarding amount of paint on the canvas.  I love working with thick paint, want to translate that over to my brushwork as well!

Jay - Dog #18

Jay was rescued in Maryland by family.  He is a poodle terrier mix – and lives up both reputations: smart and ornery!

I am working on technique ideas on this one – I’m looking at using the transparent paints in the background to set the palette, and then played with palette knife on the dog.  I ended up with brush on the eyes and parts of the nose… and some of the fur.

Sep 22, 2014

Wrigley - Dog #17

Wrigley is a rescued German Shepherd.  His “parents” found him with the Southern California German Shepherd Rescue (SoCalRescue).  Their director, Marcy Astorino is an angel.  She and her hard working volunteers have saved hundreds of lives since I’ve known them.  This rescue is one of the two that 50% of all profits for my dog paintings are donated. 

Wrigley is now “living the life,” plays at Balboa Park and is dotted on by his “parents.”  They won this portrait at a SoCalRescue silent auction!

Sep 21, 2014

Corgi in Water – Dog #16

This is the second of a set of my friend’s Corgis.  I’ve always loved these photos, enjoyed doing this!  Dogs and water, how much fun is that!  I used the palette knife a bit on the background, mostly brush work, though.

I have changed up my plan: I’ll paint daily and do 30 dogs.  Every day may not be a dog, depending on where I am.  Last week I was in a Leslie Saeta workshop and we did cows and boats.  Next week I’ll be in Galveston; and I have a VW Beetle in the Snow I’m working on.  So, there may not be dogs every day. 

Sep 20, 2014

Rescuing Sprite Day 20

When I lost my precious Luke, I went into a major funk.  He was my painting buddy, my muse and we were together constantly.  I found a little book, "Rescuing Sprite" by Mark Levin.  I read it in a day, cried the whole time, and came out the other end ready to go on again.  Don't know why it was such a cleansing experience, but it really made a difference for me.

The cover photo of Sprite is the topic of my dog painting today.  I will try to find a way to send it to Mr Levin in appreciation for the book.

Sep 16, 2014

Lab fetching – Day 15

This was done with a combination of brush and palette knife.  I think I “nailed” the water!  Took me forever!

Dog’s in the dinghy! Day 16

I’m taking a workshop in Pasadena CA with Leslie Saeta – playing with palette knives.  We are CERTAINLY painting – all day long.  This is what I did today – and obviously my dog is hiding in the bottom of the middle dinghy!