Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The unpredictable series. Life as an artist...

Painting a day -
A Gaggle of Goddesses No. 48 Goddess series No. 39
9x12" Acrylic on Masonite Card 7x5" Acrylic on recycled Paper
$45.00 $6.25 each
I usually think I am a good judge of human nature. But when it comes to art there is no way to know how people will respond. I guess sometimes it surprises me that I really can't predict what people are going to be attracted to.
The Goddess grew out of my grieving for the death of my dear friend and mentor Ann Aves Martin. Ann was a larger than life woman who for most of her life lived basically as a recluse from health and emotional reasons. Still she encouraged me to explore my world and to first develop my talents as a musician and singing actress, and later to enjoy the process of exploring communicating through art.
Ann died last April. But her spirit is always with me still. It was her images that began the Goddesses. I always thought that, like the Venus of Willendorf, there was something powerful and empowering about this style of full feminine figure. But I was unprepared for the way that people respond to them in the market place. I have been working on the Goddesses as painting and hand made cards, and am now also expanding that line to include silk painted scarves and clothing. The combination of brilliant color and strong line seems to really entice people. I am so glad they touch people. Through these images Ann Aves Martin ( and I hope I) will continue to make the world a better place!
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with love!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A new horizon ( line)

Card Series
Each 5x7" Card is hand painted on recycled paper
Available individually, $6.25
or in Mixed sets of 4, $22.00
or 8 $45.00
So... it's true that I have spent the last year of my life learning my craft, exploring every day new ways to communicate what I see in my minds eye, and honing my skills with color and different media.
So Monday I took my first ever painting class; a landscape class with a wonderful artist named Rick Weaver, who is based in Charlottesville, VA. I have to admit I was petrified.
I have been an over-achiever all my life and many things have come easily to me. Art is instinctual to me, but having had no formal training I felt very inadequate taking a class with a group of artists who have painted most of their lives.
I had a great time and I appreciate Rick's approach to basics first. We started with very basic value studies of dark and light. I recognized that I have a skill for breaking things down to the lowest common denominator. A simple line. A block of dark versus light. Distilling form that is pleasing and organic. I have done these things instinctively, it was nice to be affirmed that I can do it, and improve my composition, and grow still more as an artist and an interpreter of the landscape.
I'm very much looking forward to the next 8 weeks of Plein Air Landscape painting and the many technical skills I will pick up from this wonderful instructor.
Mean while look for me this Saturday at the Western Market at 18th and Wyoming in Adams Morgan ( NW Washington DC). Sunday I will be at the Eastern Market ( North Carolina and 7th Street SE.) Stop and enjoy the new work I am doing!
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with Love

Saturday, September 15, 2007

10 steps to Market your Art to the World

Painting-a-day Solitude 16x20" Oil on Masonite Panel
People tell me I am amazing at marketing and getting coverage for my work. Personally I think there is still SO much I need to learn in order move to the level of a national competitor for recognition in the art world (and for sales) that I wish to be. That means mostly putting my regular daily work into over drive and making sure everyday I do at lease one of the following 10 steps to get my work out there and sell it.
1.) PAINT - unless I work every day to have a product that is of quality and that is desirable, all the marketing in the world is not going to make me recognized as a collectible artist.
2.) KEEP RECORDS - without sound pictorial references, book-keeping AND up dated list of works and their where abouts there is no way to manage a career.
3.) UDPATE MY PORTFOLIO - When I create new works my collectors and prospective galleries need to now about them. Likewise when a work has sold I need to notate that and remove it so that a client is no longer disappointed that the ONE work the desire is already gone.
4.) SUBMIT - No I don't mean be sub-dominant to my husband. I mean apply for every show that I research and find is correct for my type of art. For every gallery that might be interested in my work, for every competition, or every local AND NATIONAL juried show. (An artist can almost Never rely on just her/ his local friends and family for a living wage.
5.) FOLLOW UP ON LEADS - Every friend that mentions a friend, every builder , every collector , every designer, every developer, every retailer who has mentioned an interest in my work needs a reminder that I am here. A new image, a friendly note, a call to say "How are things going?"
6.) NETWORK - Go to galleries openings, go to wholesale shows, go to retail shows, talk to people outside of my world, talk to the people IN my world. Thank people for referrals. Refer people to friends. The world of other people is here for us to use it .. to share it.
7.) GET WRITTEN PUBLICITY - It really is not that hard to get press coverage. Write a press release and send it for everything you do. A new series of paintings, a new show, an award, recognitions from peers. Search out local magazines and papers. They are often looking for well written fast stories about local personalities. Submit to everything you can.
8) DONATE - Unfortunately once you donate everyone thinks you should give them something. And with the Tax laws as they are, artists are screwed with the amounts we donate that can be written off. Still donating to public causes can get your name before the public, and repeated exposure pays off in the long run. Name Recognition is the way your prices can increase.
9.)TEACH - Teach a workshop. Teach a class. Share your knowledge with others. Whenever you have the chance talk to any one about How you paint. Why you paint. What you paint. Educate collectors, other artists and the general public about why what you do is important to you. And why it is important to the world around them.
10.) PAINT - I know it started the list. It also must end it. Unless I paint, unless I grow every day as an artist, and unless I can create a body of work that will represent me in a cohesive way - I can't call myself an artist. That doesn't mean to only paint one way or one thing. But know who I am, to explore my creative means in every way possible requires that I produce regularly, that I continue to explore to refine and to experiment.
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with Love

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Works

Painting a day - Nebula Series No. 2 11x14" Oil


I am loving working in silk painting these days.

I have always been fascinated by skies, both the cloud formations of the Virginia Sky, and the intersteller atmosphpere. Recently I was exposed ( no pun intended) to the incredible light show that has recently been brought back to earth through the Hubble Telescope photos. I am using those images as a starting place for a series of abstracted sky-scapes paintings on silk scarves and wall hangings.

I will be at The Western Market in Adams Morgan this Saturday. I will be at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill this Sunday.

I wish I had hundreds of hours to paint every day!

Until next time

Create Beauty and fill the world with Love.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The silly things that an artist deals with

Painting a day - Twilight Series No. 4000 24 x 36" Hand Dyed Silk
$195.00 Sometimes in the rush to create there are little things I over look.

Yesterday, after months of discussing and planning I started on a new venture: Silk Painting. I've dreamed of the scarves and clothing I will make using my trademark Twilight Series of paintings. I've read dozens of books on techniques. Scoured on-line sites for hints, do's and dont's. I invested an amount of money on some quality silk and painting supplies. Finally I blocked out a period of time that I knew I could work undisturbed. I loved it. The paints flow with the fabric and I am able to create beautiful skies landscapes in fabric that is both hang-able and wearable art.

There was one little bit of information I seemed to have over looked. It seems the French imported dyes I am using which are brilliant colored and fluid... are also semi-permanent in skin. I missed the note that one should wear gloves while working with this medium! Ive tried everything I know. Mineral spirits, Turpenoid, denatured alcohol, bleach.... nothing lightens the stains. So for a few days - perhaps weeks now - I am going to be walking around with brilliant colored hands. I guess it's the stigmata of the artist...

But the paintings are beautiful and I cant stop now!

Until next time

Create beauty and fill the world with love!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Silk, canvas, art goddesses, back to the joy of work!

Goddesses No. 13 14 x 11" Acrylic on Masonite Panel Framed
This was a wonderful and successful weekend of art sharing and meeting some great new people! I exhibited for the first time in public my Goddesses and people went wild over them. The cards series was immensely popular and the paintings were gone in a flash. There is something very organic and earthy about them, at the same time the bright colors and clarity of them speaks to many people. ..
I was surprised at the number of expectant mothers who were taken by them. Many expressed how the Goddesses affirmed to them that they were still beautiful and attractive in their current state. I am so glad that they get it! That its about all women in all shapes and sizes are beautiful and desirable and perfect as we are!
I am working hard this week on developing this series even more and also on expanding it into silk wraps and clothing.
I have long been fascinated by the techniques of silk painting, and I think that my silhouetted "Twilight" series of trees back lit with sunsets and moonlight will be wonderful in soft colors and in the flowing silk clothing I am developing. The Goddesses are a natural for the jackets and scarves I am creating now.
Back to work
Until next time
Create beauty and fill the world with love!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Art festivals this weekend to meet and greet and buy!

This Saturday September 8 you can find me at the Bethesda Artists Market ( located at Bethesda Place Plaza - the corner of Old Georgetown Rd and Woodmont Ave in Bethesda, MD. The Market runs from 10 am til 5 pm. and will feature the work of various fine artists and crafts-persons. Come early to get the best selection.
Sunday September 9 I'll be part of the exciting Adams Morgan Day Celebration - Arts on Belmont. Located at Belmont and 19th Street in historic Adams Morgan DC. the all day street and art festival celebrates the creativity and the diversity of this DC neighborhood. Parking can be difficult so get there early and enjoy Arts on Belmont and make your selections before the crowds arrive.
I'll be introducing a new line of hand painted cards and the "Goddesses" seen in the picture above.
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with Love

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The struggle for balance - Art VS life VS sanity

Painting-a- Day Japanese Screen No. 6 Marguerites 24 x 9" Oil Pastel
The life long image that I grew up with of artists as unstable, unsocial, and irresponsible is often at war with the person I see myself as inside.
I have worked very hard to be good at what I do.
I have worked my whole life. I have put myself through 3 college degrees in the performing art field. I have always supported myself and been fairly good at keeping a roof over my head. While it is true that I chose not to have a serious relationship for many years in my life I didn't see that as being irresponsible; rather as be responsible to my art and craft. I know that simply keeping a roof over my own head and making the time to be a good professional musician, then teacher, and now visual artist required so much of my time and energy that I wouldn't really have the time to have and care for children or commit to a full time relationship.
I have had hundreds of different jobs, from waiting tables to executive secretary and lots in between. Several of them could very easily have opened doors to a career path in the rat race. I seemed to be the kind of person who was always pushed into management positions for my intelligence, determination, "pride in my work" ethic, and "go get 'em" attitude. Every time that push came, I moved on to another job that allowed me to stay focused on my art. A look at my job record and you might think I was a very flighty and irresponsible person. But I 'm not. I simple had a different view of what being responsible was and whom... society or myself.
I admit that I am somewhat unsocial. I have thousands of childhood demons that I struggle with that stunt my ability to trust easily and make me feel safer when I am in my studio at home instead of socializing or schmoozing. But that doesn't make me a bad person, simply a recluse.
Stability.... well I suppose that is a different ideal as well for everyone. I freely admit to being emotionally unstable. While most people who know me on a surface level find me perky, full of life and a bit Polyannaish -- I've struggled with lifelong clinical depression. I struggle with thoughts of suicide and worthlessness. I suppose for collectors of my art that is a good thing - since we all know that the work of an artist goes up appreciatively when she is dead. I think many of us who are drawn to the creative energy in life must struggle with some demons that need exercising. However, I have enough of a rational mind to know that I'd hate to miss that moment. So I stick around for the values to increase while I'm still alive to take advantage of it myself.
It is a running joke with my spouse /partner that I only paint so that I can afford to have a little Bed and Breakfast Inn in the country. To return to the quiet simple life that I dream of in the Blue-ridge mountains. To build a life having visitors, cooking and caring for others, and painting and selling my work online and at few select galleries. That is what I want the second half of my life to be.
Call me irresponsible , but that seems a life well spent for any sane person.
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with love!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Running on empty

Painting a day - Wall Blocks Twilight Series No. 106 ad 107 each 4 x 4" Wrap Canvas
I am running on empty today. Fortunately I have finally gotten almost everything ready for the coming month. Still have about 5 pieces to frame this weekend but then I'm ready for the upcoming shows.
Find me next Saturday at the Bethesda Artists Market downtown Bethesda Md.
Sunday I will be at Adams Morgan Day as part of Arts on Belmont.
Stop and introduce yourself!
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with Love!