Category Archives: An Artist’s Perspective

Aside

Here are some of my remedies for erasing self doubt when they crop up. Continue reading

Art Lovers, Where Are You? 5 Realities of Our Time…

Are you an art lover? Then let me tell you the realities facing the artist today. Full-time artists devote a lot of time creating their art, as well as, marketing it if they are serious about their profession.  As a full-time, acrylic/mixed media, painter I spend 50-60 hours/week researching materials and techniques, educating myself on social media, painting, marketing in print and online and the 100’s of other chores necessary today for an artist to be successful.

At one time, all you did was create your work and show your work in exhibitions and galleries.  There are fewer galleries today to show our work and some of those galleries are inferior just like in any business.  They just open their doors and hope someone walks in.   The job of an artist today has become so cumbersome with so little results that one has to wonder where it will end for both the admirer and the artist.

Acrylic/MM on Canvas • 24" X 24" • $1400

Hills & Valleys of Life • Acrylic/MM on Canvas • 24″ X 24″ • $1400

To Purchase Original
To Purchase Prints on Fine Art Paper or Canvas

I know many artists question whether it is working or whether it will ever be worth their time because the buyers are an elusive bunch of people we can’t seem to find.  There is a lot of talk lately about finding your “tribe” or people who like your style or type of work.  It threw me for a loop recently, when I talked to several very good artists at different events, and they said they were thinking about just throwing in the towel.  Their canvases were piling up, they spent too much time and money they don’t have on their creations and trying to find customers on social media just wasn’t working out.  With the only people showing up at opening night exhibitions were other artists and their friends (even with all the advertising), artists are beginning to feel deserted and not getting the feedback they need to keep going.  And statistics show that very few people are commenting and liking on social media for most things.

1. The Good Artists Are Starting to Question The Job

In the near future, if more artists feel that it is just not worth it, and they cannot make a living selling their art at a fair price, you may find it more difficult to find high quality art.  Believe me, the less desirable art will still be around but the artists who give it their “ALL” and devote their time to creating a unique piece of art will not be around.  They will find other ways to express themselves.

2. You Are Not Supporting Their Work

Very few of you are showing up at exhibitions to view their work.  Very few of you are sending them confirmation or comments about their work whether by social media, email or in person.  And because the economy hasn’t fully recovered, very few of you are purchasing original art. Even if you can’t afford the work or have nowhere to place it, it would help the artist if you would give validation to an artist’s work that you feel is good.  Ask for the artist’s contact information or business card and let them know how you feel about their work. Give them leads if you know of someone else who might appreciate their work.  If you see their work on social media and like it, leave a comment. Or if you have a suggestion, let them know.

3.  We Don’t Know Where You Are

Because very few are taking the time to comment or like our work and show up to view the work at exhibitions, we don’t know where you are, what you like or how to keep you informed.  Think of it as a 2-way street, we need to have some information if we are to continue to make things that you might like and purchase in the future.  If we don’t have feedback, we are floundering in space and don’t know if we are going in the right direction.  So please come out of hiding and make yourself known.  We promise we won’t harass you, we just want to keep you informed and get feedback.  We can’t afford big, expensive marketing campaigns and expensive webinar series to try to find you (believe me, they are out there in full force trying to get artists to sign up).  Just let yourself be known and let us know what you like and don’t like.  We can take the criticism.

4.  We Waste Many Good Hours Trying To Find You

We waste countless hours on learning social media tips on how to find you.  We are told you have to write a blog and write something everyday to attract you to our work.  We have to be on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and post to our blog interesting articles that will make you flock to our sides.  Do you know how much time it takes out of our day, week, month, year that we could be using to create something spectacular?  And statistics show that only 5% or less purchase art on the internet.  Why are we doing this?  Because we can’t find you!  And marketers say that is what we must do to find you!

5.  It Makes Us Question: Are There Really That Many Buyers Out There Anymore Who Appreciate Original Art?

Of course, there will always be art collectors at the top, investors who look for art and can afford to collect art from Sotheby’s and those well-known artists of the past (before 1990).  But what about us emerging artists?  The signals say to us, that you don’t want to be found or don’t want to buy art or don’t appreciate our best efforts at creating unique art.  You need to let us know so we can stop this time-consuming job of trying to vie for your attention.  I am sure that most people, including yourself, doesn’t like wasting your time on  research and educating yourself on techniques that don’t work, so I am sure you understand the artist’s plight.

I hope that you understand that the point of my article was not to admonish you in any way but to inform you on the artist’s plight since the 2007 downturn and the increase in social media marketing and the toll it takes on our creativity time, etc.  We need the feedback, we need the connection to the outside world, and we need the connection to the people who appreciate our work.  Even if you are not ready to buy or could possibly be a buyer in the future or won’t be a buyer but appreciate our work, we need to have a connection to you.  Help us stay motivated in this fast, changing world of ours, so that we know that there are people out there that are truly interested in what we are doing.  Comment on our posts, like our pages, and email us how you feel about our work.

What about you? Are you giving artists some feedback? And if not, why not? We would be interested in your views on this issue.

Thank your for your continued support and while you are here, if you would add your name to my mailing list so I can keep you informed, I would greatly appreciate it.

What Stimulates My Abstract Painting Growth?

Spring is definitely my “Go” signal for my abstract painting renewal.   Spring always brings out the growth hormone in me.  What about you?  The new, green sprouts coming out of the ground, the winter is finally over, and the new spring fashions and gadgets are in the stores.  Maybe my spring garden photos will inspire you as they do me to reach deeper into that space where inspiration and motivation lives.
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome”. ~Anne Bradstreet
Welcome to My Garden...Please enter.

Welcome to My Garden…Please Enter

 

Because I am a gardener, seeing that new growth coming out of the ground gives me that extra excitement, push, and motivation to start new projects, get in the groove of solving problems and cleaning and organizing the old stuff that has been hanging around all winter.

What does it for you?

I remember when I was growing up, my mother would have to do her spring cleaning and every room and closet had to be turned upside down and gone through to clean and organize so that we started off the season in the right way.  I don’t know if that is how many people greet Spring today, but when it comes to my business, and my painting, I do get that “Spring Fever” bug where I have to, not only clean, organize and sort out my office and studio, but try something new or go for some fresh new approach to creating my art.

Left, back corner of the backyard. May 2014

Left, back corner of the backyard. May 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am not sure what it will be this year but I have been experimenting with some smaller paintings that aren’t a big stretch from my current, abstract, acrylic paintings but they are a little more free and playful.  You don’t have to go far afield but I find one thing leads to another.  That is the beauty of creating; the ideas are endless once begun.

Random Scribbles 1, 2 & 3 12" X 12" X 1.5" Each • Acrylic on Canvas

Random Scribbles 1, 2 & 3
12″ X 12″ X 1.5″ Each • Acrylic on Canvas

Random Scribbles 1 Larger - 12" X 12" X 1.5"

Random Scribbles 1 Larger – 12″ X 12″ X 1.5″

So this is what I have playing with among other things.  Naming them Random Scribbles for now.  These abstract, acrylic paintings can be mixed and matched any way  you want or used alone.

What do you think?

Please feel free to comment and leave a message on what makes you get a spurt of growth.

Please share this post with a friend or colleague who you think could use some inspiration.  Sign up for my email news to get all the latest info on events and art news.  Follow this blog by signing up in the upper right hand column.

Any of my abstract, acrylic paintings can be purchased online at my website.  And as always, thank you for your support.  It means so much to have you in my corner.

 

An Artist’s Perspective: “Up, Down and All Around”

UpDownAndAllAround

 

“Our lives take us in all different directions. Detours are a part of life but it depends on how you view them that tells the difference.  Some detours have enriched my life with information that I would not have had any other way. Some detours were not as productive.  Experience lets me readily identify them and decide how long I am willing to travel on that road.”  That is a description of the painting above, “Up, Down and All Around”, one of my latest acrylic/mm creations on canvas, 24″ X 36″.

Many of my non-representational, abstract paintings show twists and turns, lines going in different directions, vertical then suddenly horizontal, shapes breaking through another section and turning into some other shape.  And it turns into a pleasing landscape of colors,  shapes and patterns that work together to create balance and purpose.

But, is that how life is today?  All these things thrown at us to make our lives more purposeful and balanced.  Think about it.  Everyday I get tons of email from marketing solicitors wanting to make my business more productive or giving me advice on how to make social media work for me.  This is where I took my detour in December 2013.  And I am quickly getting out of that line and back into my more productive pattern.

For example, they send screaming headlines that you need to be on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and have a blog and website, etc., etc. and how to make each of these better for you to get LIKES and more followers. whether to use #’s or not, FB is a Must, Twitter is a Must and How to Use It, Is Everyone Leaving FB and Should You (this after I had just signed up & paid for a FB class on how to use it???), Twitter is Going Down (just after I purchased their stock for my retirement portfolio???), Tips to Boost your Twitter Conversations, Topics to Make a Great Blog and Get Followers, How Often to Post – I could literally go on and on.  And at the end of each of these is an advertisement that wants you to buy a book or sign up for classes or listen to a free informational video and then sign up for their class.  Oh I forgot, I need to make videos now to engage people to my site.  Just signed up for that course!

They are out in full force lately.  And now want you to be one of them-they offer a course on how to do that; a coach selling your advice on whatever you know about.  And I know a lot about various subjects because I was a graphic designer with my own business, a professional illustrator illustrating for many big magazine companies and a fine art painter.  At one time I worked in marketing research for a large company doing statistics (I am good at math), I know how to market, I’m a mother, etc., etc, etc.  But I would not want to inflict myself on the masses in the same way as these marketers are doing today just to get a client.

It is enough to make you go crazy.  Anyone trying to market their small business probably knows what I mean.  I question myself, am I doing it right, did I say the wrong thing, am I supposed to post this here, and the what if’s . . .   There was an article I read just recently talking about decision fatigue and how making many choices saps your willpowerAre any of these things adding anything significant to your business other than more work and a stress-filled schedule?  That is the important question for each of us to answer for ourselves.  Come on be honest.  Are you just a slave to these new things that were supposed to make our lives easier to market ourselves or stay in touch or do you really enjoy them.

I, for one, am going to be much, much, much more selective.  Why?  Because to be a painter and run a business you need to FOCUS. I am going to sign up for less because when I read these advice blogs and take the coaching classes, I realize that in most cases I already knew most of the information or the information does not apply to me and my business.  I am going to take a cold, hard look at what is working and what is not and let go of the baggage, the extra stress and the lack of focus.

Social media is still a good use for marketing but I am not going to get crazy about it and give more importance to it then it deserves.  My website and my blog is most important and those are my priorities. Who is deciding FB is great one day and dead the next?  That little guy in the corner office?  (You know guys, this would make a great little humorous, illustrated book. And I might just create it.  Would you buy it? OMG I am turning into ONE of THEM.) FOCUS

My new pledge is: if I need more information on a subject, I will buy a book.  They don’t leave email and they just sit on my night stand.  If I get stressed seeing them there because I haven’t read them lately, I will move them to another location, preferably under the bed.  See I learned some information that enriched my life from this detour and I am once again focused!

Please comment below how you feel about the detours your life is taking lately and if they are productive or making you go bonkers.  I love to hear from other people and learn from their perspectives.

Usually my paintings let loose a philosophy lesson as I splash on the paint (I loved my philosophy courses in college).  So I am starting this as a series.  Every time I finish a painting, I am going to do “An Artist’s Perspective” article explaining what the story is behind the painting or what feelings or questions on life the painting brought out as I was creating.  Each painting on my website has an artist’s comment but this, “An Artist’s Perspective”, will elaborate on the subject.

I guarantee you won’t be bored.  You don’t have to agree with my ramblings because that is what makes us individuals but you will get a first-hand view of my thinking as I paint.  Please become a “follower” and sign up to get a notice when it arrives.  Thanks for your support of my art and vision.