Showing Sold Paintings

Showing

Showing Sold Paintings Notes

Showing sold paintings was a topic of discussion by Facebook artists recently. Someone asked why one would be showing paintings marked sold, or photos of collectors with their new paintings?

There were a long list of answers written in the post. One artist seemed aghast that people would consider selling work the important part of being a professional painter. I often run into artists who pooh pooh selling as if it were bad form. They feel it diminishes an artist to be concerned with selling their art. Frankly, I’m a bit tired of that attitude. That is an art school attitude pushed on young artists by art professors who have tenure. They don’t have to sell art, and because they have tenure and with big names, they easily do sell.

Professional art is a business, like being an engineer. If you work full time at your craft, you must have sales or have a separate income stream. It is that simple. If you feel it lowers you to sell your paintings then work as a sales clerk and paint to your hearts content, but don’t infer that true artists shouldn’t paint to sell. That is utterly ridiculous. Nearly all of the famous Renaissance artists painted to sell, without lessening their quality at all.

Showing sold paintings encourages more sales. It makes you look successful. Collectors want to know that there are others who value your work too. They are sometimes new to collecting and afraid that buying an unsuccessful painter’s work will make them look naïve. They feel safe in purchasing work from an artist who sells lots of paintings. One of the main reasons I show sold paintings with their new owners is because I love my collectors and want to honor them by thanking them publically on social media. I don’t take a single sale for granted. Every dollar that a collector gives me is a way to survive in this competitive, very difficult business.

Showing sold paintings identifies paintings that are no longer available but still of good quality. Sometimes I sell derivative paintings from ideas of paintings that I once sold. I don’t mean copies. I mean paintings that have a similar theme, perhaps with a different palette, different size or direction of format. This is a common way to work with decorators or art consultants. Sharing excellent paintings that are no longer available makes it possible to sell new paintings with a  similar theme.

Cloud Painting Tutorial -PDF 20.00

Collectors often enjoy looking at your portfolio of paintings that have sold. It gives them a longer range view of your career over a period of time. They often enjoy seeing how your work has evolved over a period of time. They have the opportunity to look at a variety of techniques, palettes and themes, perhaps choosing ideas from your past works for future commissions.

My advice is to show your sold paintings and enjoy showing off your collectors, with their permission. Don’t worry about what other artists who are insecure might think. The beauty of being a painter is that you work for yourself and you don’t have to tow any one’s line or meet anyone else’s standards. You owe loyalty and support to your collectors, not other artists. Be friends with artists, yes, but don’t let their opinions make decisions for your career.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…

Linda’s News

My canary, Bubba, has a new bathtub. I noticed that he was trying to bathe in his water dish, which is quite small. His new bathtub is really cool. It is large, round, stainless steel and fits on the side of his cage with sturdy hooks. He is now upscale.

Today’s Recipe

Easy  Chicken Pie

2  cooked chicken breasts, diced

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

1 small onion diced

roux of equal parts butter and flour, stirred and cooked in a skillet.

Add 1 can chicken broth, two bullion chicken cubes, dash of wine, 1/2 tsp dried thyme , salt and pepper. Add 1 cup half and half. Stir until thickened.

Place one refrigerated premade dough in deep pie pan. Place chicken and vegetables in pie. Pour creamed mixture on top. Don’t over fill. Cover with second pie dough and pinch edges together. Cut slit in top.

Bake on a sheet pan at 350 until bubbly and hot with brown crust.

 

 

 

Idea Person

 

idea

 Idea Person Notes
Be an idea person with your art career. Sometimes we get in a rut. We do the same thing day after day, in the same way. We need to be big idea people instead. How long has it been since you thought about painting in a new way? How long since you tried a new technique, practiced some compositional studies, looked online for some tutorials on painting in your medium? Ordered a book on painting techniques? Gone to see another painter’s demonstration?

Do you always use the same sized canvases or panels? Do you always go to the same places to paint if you are an outdoor painter? How often do you go outside and simply sit and observe the clouds and the sky, or a river, or a field, not painting or drawing, but just observing?

Have you taken a trip around to look at paintings in regional galleries, gaining insight and inspiration from other artists? When was the last time you spent anytime writing in your painting journal about ideas, color mixtures, notes about paintings you are working on? I recently spent two hours with my painting students mixing yellows and blues. They came up with extraordinary mixtures with just a few colors. They were surprised at some of the range they got with those limited colors.

Do you spend time improving your drawing or brushwork skills with different ideas? Practice painting in front of an audience so that you will be adept at giving demonstrations? When was the last time you chose one object to practice instead of a full painting? If you always start and finish a painting, you are missing out on valuable skill building opportunities. I once had a student who felt she could not learn to draw or paint lace. It was simply too complicated. I got out an old piece of lace and cut a 4×4 inch square off the end and gave it to her with the assignment to paint that lace. She did a fine job of it because it was small enough for her to get around the difficulties in its construction. After that exercise, she felt confident to paint a larger piece.

This post idea is about developing good habits for painting well. Spend some time in your studio each week, working on small parts and pieces of painting skills. That is how you learn to improve and grow.

Linda at Facebook

What about new ideas for marketing your work?

This is a wide open door for you. You can read all day long about marketing and the steps you must take, but that is only the beginning. Marketing has endless creative possibilities, many of them free. If what you are doing isn’t working and hasn’t worked in quite some time, it’s time to think up something new. What do you have to lose? Don’t depend on others to think it up for you. If you have road blocks find a way to go around them. For example, I had an artist contact me telling me she had sold a painting to a major corporation CEO at an event. She had not been able to get his contact info and was still waiting for the vendor to send the name to her. I told her to Google search the company and get the contact info directly through the company. She can simply bypass the vendor to get the information. If you become astute at research on computers, you can find all kinds of information you might need.

Paint Recipes For Clouds-PDF 10.00

One of the biggest problems I see for many artists is that they equate doing something with liking to do it. I tell so many of my art students, you don’t have to want to do it or like doing it.  You simply must do it if you want the results you desire.  I don’t really like social media and did not want to do it for some time. I don’t really enjoy big art gallery openings but for all of these things, I must do them to market well. I have to remind myself that in order to be a landscape painter, working for myself and have the life I love so deeply within my heart, I must do certain things to remain in this lifestyle. These things work and so why be stupid about them?

I found after a time that I enjoyed meeting many new friends on social media, that I never would have known before. I also learned that gallery openings are not really a good marketing arena for me, so I only go to them when I must for a museum quality event where my work is shown. I do best in small intimate settings with a few friends at a time. I have found that my own studio is the best venue for me to meet and enjoy relationships. I would not have learned that had I not tried paint outs, gallery openings and so forth. You learn what works well for you and what does not through the process of trying everything.

I wake up everyday and ask myself for a new idea. What can I do today to help myself improve my painting skills? What can I do today that will help me to sell my work? Do I always get an answer? No, but at least I’m open to suggestions and the possibility of a new idea. At least I’m asking the tough questions. I certainly get my fair share of ideas that are pretty good, by asking those questions.  being open to a new possibility prepares you for success and allows you the wisdom and courage to stop activities that are simply no longer working. Don’t continue to do events that don’t work even if they did at one time. That is one of the problems for a lot of artists I know. They continue to do events when they are tired of them or when they stop producing good results, just because they have always done them. It has become a rote decision to continue not a well thought out decision of the pros and cons.

In conclusion, be an idea person in your art career so that you stay fresh, excited and new.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Linda’s News

I have sure been enjoying the flowers and plants around my yard and neighborhood this season. It is so dry that the grass is not really growing but the flowers in pots are beautiful. I have a new herb container that is waist high. it is on my studio deck and I enjoy using them in cooking as well as their aroma. I’ve always been fond of herbs and they are about the only plant that wants to grow for me, other than my cacti friends. My sister seems to have a greener thumb than I do.

Today’s Recipe

Blueberry Salad

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar (I use a sugar substitute)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 red onion, thinly sliced
7 oz chunk feta cheese
2 cups baby arugula
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Combine vinegar, sugar, and basil in small saucepan on medium. Simmer 4–5 minutes or until reduced by half. Remove from heat; stir blueberries into vinegar mixture and let stand to cool.
  2. Slice onion. Cut feta in half, then cut into slices from shorter end.
  3. Divide feta between 4 serving plates. Top with greens, onions, and blueberry mixture, drizzle with olive oil. Serve.

 

Tiny Journal Notes

tiny-Journal-notes

 

Tiny Journal Notes

I’ve gotten into the habit of writing tiny journal notes about my experiences of my travels and every day life as a country painter.

Classes and Tutorials

Often, I tape them under the frame of a painting before it is exhibited, and sometimes the Tiny Journal writings are put on the refrigerator in my studio, for friends and collectors to read.  Sometimes they are about places traveled, sometimes they are about my painting process, sometimes every day life in the woods.

tiny-Journal-notes

Tiny Journal Notes

 

I enjoy writing these art notes and enjoy reading them months later. I purposely write them on index cards in my own hand, because they are informal scratchings about my life as a painter. Somehow, writing by hand lends to their spontaneous authenticity, rather than a  printed note, carefully crafted and formal. Country painters tend to be informal about their writings, as I usually am.

Home Page

Writing these tiny journal notes is a way to keep a timeline about my paintings, where I am painting, how often, and which medium I am using. Most of the time I forget to date them, but I can remember approximately when by the content of the notes. They are a fine memory of a beautiful day, out in the fields and among the grand trees I love.

The longer I am a painter, the more I realize the writing and painting belong together. As poorly as I write, people still enjoy the stories about my adventures, both on the tiny journals and here on the blog. I am far more comfortable writing about my life as an artist than I would be speaking about it in person.  I’ve always learned best by reading, rather than going to lectures.

Someday I’m going to gather up the tiny journal  notes and make some sort of booklet with them along with images of paintings. I know they will become very useful to me ahead. Some of them go home with collectors on the back of paintings, which they enjoy having.  The process is fun, educational, and something I feel compelled to do. I just got into the habit, and my collectors enjoy reading them. Who knows why? I think it is excellent practice for my mind and it may help you too, attracting new collectors for your work.

 

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Linda’s News

I have a collection of my summer special paintings ready now. They will be at my Paddiwhack studio today! I ordered tiny little black easels for them and they look very cute and colorful. The perfect gift! 26.00 for original paintings on wood with an easel.

tiny journal

Summer Special for 2017

Today’s Recipe

Rosemary Bread

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup half and half

2 T yeast

1 T sugar or honey

4 T butter

1 1/2 T salt

1/2 bunch fresh rosemary diced fine

3 to 4 cups bread flour

Mix and knead until dough is elastic and smooth. Let rise in buttered bowl. Punch down and knead again, place in loaf pan, sprayed with Pam. Let rise. Bake at 350 until golden brown. I brush the top with a bit of half and half after it comes out of the oven.

Change Method

change

Change Method Notes

I recently worked with an artist who had a change in her method for a remarkable breakthrough. She had been using a method of painting for sometime, but seemed to be going nowhere with it. I made a couple of suggestions and she took them to heart and ran with a whole new approach to her painting. Wow!! It was like night and day. Her  approach was fresh and confident. I was so proud of her. She has been studying with another artist who has a different approach to painting and it simply was not working for her.

My point here is that sometimes we need to change our methods and look for new ways to approach a medium. The reason I was able to help her was because she was open to new ideas and willing to try a new approach. We often get into a routine as painters, thinking that the same approach someone else takes will work for us. What we really need to do is keep searching until we find the right fit for our own work. My method may be terrible for another painter.

What I like to do is break problems down into smaller problems. Instead of worrying about finished, refined paintings all the time, we should be doing a lot of work on problem areas. Exercises for composition, brushwork, color mixing, values, etc. will allow us to develop skills rather than half baked paintings. I like to think of myself as a student of my craft and I think everyone should continue to be a student through their entire career.

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If you are dissatisfied with your paintings it’s time for change. Think first about what is wrong. Write down all of the problems you have with the work and address them one at a time. It will help you to see where you are weak and where the effort must go to improve. If you are studying with a painting teacher who is not helping you, then you must give them information about your problems and feelings, so that they can address these areas. If they are unwilling to or unable to help you, then you must be brave enough to leave them and move on to another teacher. Often times, better communication about your doubts and frustration will allow them to serve you better without having to leave. A good teacher will be ready to tell you they cannot help you any more when they have given you everything they can. There have been many times that I have pushed a student out of the nest because they have gotten all they can from me.

A lot also depends on personality issues. I am a teacher who likes to make students solve their own problems. I will often ask them questions when they have asked for help, rather than answering theirs. I want them to learn process and I want them to have to struggle a bit, because I feel that they will learn more. Some students I have had do not like this approach at all. They want to be told exactly what to do, step by step, and they don’t want to have to figure it out. They have no patience and are unwilling to do the exercises that build technique. Basically, they wish for a formula which will make nice paintings, without much effort.

They need to change to a more casual teacher who will essentially tell them how to do a painting from start to finish. The danger of this is that they learn how to do rote paintings which are copies of their teacher’s work. What I strive for with my painting students is that they learn to paint like them in the very best way and develop their own unique style with the tools I can give them. If I can no longer help the painter with my skill, they must move on without fear.

Often my students are surprised to hear that I am having difficulty with a painting myself, trying to work out the issues and problems. I am happy to explain to them that yes, even professional painters have a problem painting now and then. We are not immune to struggle. There are pros who will never admit that, but we all struggle to learn new technique.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Linda’s News

My annual cake party was a blast, as it always is. It is a lot of work to do three big cakes for one party, but always worth the effort. I have been doing this party for several years now. It started at a host’s home. We had lots of cakes on her back screened porch, with coffee and tea as beverage. She invited her friends and I painted in her lovely garden. She displayed my paintings on the porch. It was so delightful that I decided to continue the tradition myself there after. Now I have the party the Saturday before Mother’s Day each year in either my town studio or my country studio. This year it was at my town studio.

Today’s Recipe

Pork with Brie Sauce

1 wedge Brie cheese (7–8 oz)
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb)
1 teaspoon steak seasoning
4 tablespoons  butter, divided
8 oz fresh, sliced baby portabellas
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  1. Cut rind from Brie and cut into chunks (about 1 cup); chop parsley. Cut pork into 1-inch medallions; coat with seasoning (wash hands).
  2. Preheat large, nonstick sauté pan on medium-high 1–2 minutes. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in pan, until frothy. Add pork; cook 2–3 minutes on each side until browned. Remove pork from pan.
  3. Place remaining 2 tablespoons butter, mushrooms, garlic, and thyme in same pan; cook 3–4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until mushrooms are tender.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in broth and pork medallions; simmer 3–4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened and pork is 145°F. Remove pan from heat; stir in Brie until melted. Serve pork with mushroom sauce over mashed potatoes or rice. Sprinkle with parsley.

 


Newsletters

newsletters

Newsletters Notes

I was thinking about the things  good artist newsletters should include.

In my mind it should include the exhibitions where you will be showing, the studio parties or invitations, the commission work you offer, specials like browse bin work or a special theme, and so forth. I have a different painting featured for each newsletter with the price and size. I also have my Make an Offer for each month listed.

It should also include your travels and adventures and a bit about your personal life which you might wish to share, such as stories about your dog or cat, your studio projects or home improvement. Many people are interested in artists’ lives and interested in travel or other adventures and hobbies like gardening. I talk about my land, my trail, my dog and my trips.

I include a nice recipe, often an illustration of wildflowers I find on the trail to catch the eye and curiosity of the reader. It’s ok to list openings and shows, but spice up your letter with something fun or amusing as well, and you will keep your reader’s attention.  Keep in mind that readers will be far more interested in direct news about your paintings and specific information on how to purchase or inquire about commissions, studio visits, or holiday specials than they will be in a list of gallery exhibitions. Frankly, it’s mostly artists who care about exhibits, not patrons. I say this because my patrons know how to find my work and how to purchase it, because I am in frequent communication with them. They don’t give a hoot about art shows. There are exceptions, but notice the percentage of artists to patrons at show openings at art centers. There are almost always many more artists than collectors who go to these things.

The main focus of your newsletter should be about your new work and how collectors can see it, either by studio visits, web sites, social media or direct methods. I always talk about how easy it is to see my new work online, or by visiting the studio and I give them directions to my studio. I encourage studio visits but never mention sales directly, preferring to invite friends as guests for coffee and companionship. I don’t want them to feel any kind of pressure, but instead encouraged to enjoy visiting my studio as often as possible and bringing their friends. Now and then I change the email newsletter colors, sometimes adding information and sometimes shortening it.

5 Landscape Painting Exercises PDF 10.00

Recently I converted my email newsletter to this blog, sending it out three days a week to subscribers.  My html newsletter service was expensive and this is much easier for me.

I also send color image postcards, which cost less postage to send out for studio parties and to art consultants, for specific events or paintings. They are a different market and not  quite as homey as the newsletters. I usually send my postcards to my collectors who are loyal and who buy paintings from me at least occasionally. I find that inviting them to studio parties with real mail works far better than email. I love to get pretty postcards myself so they do as well. Post cards may be considered old school, but they still work very well for me.

I’ve sent out email newsletters for years. My open rate is usually about 32%, which is not fabulous but not terrible either. If 32% of my followers are reading my newsletter most every week, that is a good thing. Between blog and social media, I stay pretty busy showing my work and I think it is worth the effort. As they say, all publicity is good, so I continue with the effort.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

 

Linda’s News

Congratulations to Michele who is the latest winner in my blog subscribe drawing. She won a tube of her favorite paint. It pays to read my blog.

I have my summer special almost ready to take to the studio. This years special will be miniature paintings with tiny easels for 26.00 I’ll have them at my Paddiwhack Studio by June first!

TOMORROW, May 13th, is my annual Cake Party at my Paddiwhack Studio.  This years cakes will be carrot coconut with cream cheese frosting, lemon poppy seed with lemon curd filling, and chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting. This is my favorite party each year. Come from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM Have a slice of cake, a cup of coffee or lemonade, and enjoy my paintings.

Today’s recipe

Garlic Bread

Ingredients

1 Bakery baguette
4 tablespoons  butter
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

1/2 package Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix

Steps

 

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cut bread in half lengthwise.

Combine 1/2 package seasoning with butter.
Spread each bread section with half of  butter, then half of cheese. Place on baking sheet in middle of oven. Bake for 5-7 minutes.

 

 

 

Despair Painters

painters despair

Despair for Painters Notes

Despair and depression is a real problem for the arts community. A couple years ago one of my artist friends took his own life in a lonely spot in a national park. I felt a terrible loss. I had painted with him for about 12 years on and off around Florida. He was a very nice man and a wonderful painter. This is the third time this has happened in my career as an artist. Each time it has rocked me to my soul.

Artists are the most emotionally vulnerable of people I believe. I refer to all forms of art here, not just painters. Unlike others, who go to a job each day and clock out, we live our jobs with great passion, 24-7. We are hypersensitive and often live with depression. When we get to the professional level, we begin to hide our failures, vulnerabilities and worries, because that doesn’t look successful.

Cloud Paint Recipes PDF 10.00

I knew that my friend struggled with depression. I could have done more to encourage him in his career. A lot of us could have. We just didn’t think about it. We all just go along with our careers, struggling through the bad times and glorifying in the successes.  We have all felt the sting of rejection. I certainly have. How many times at a group show opening have I watched others sell like fire while my work hangs unnoticed? How many times have I sold like fire, while someone else’s work hangs unnoticed? When you are outselling your competitors you are on top of the world. Perhaps that is the time to stop and give some encouragement to another instead of fist pumping. One of the reasons I gave up competitive art shows and paint outs is because I was sick of the gala experience, where artists are lined up in front of their wall, hoping to be noticed by strangers. I found it to be very depressing, even when sales were good. On the day of my last professional paint out, I found myself saying I never want to do this again, and so I didn’t anymore.  The same with the carnival atmosphere of outdoor street art festivals. A ghastly experience in my opinion.

Painters constantly live with the pressure of other people’s opinions. We are in a constant ego swing from bottom to top, back to bottom. Despair is just a moment away from celebration and then back to despair. The sad fact is that often, it is other artists who enable this swing. Artists can be mean and cruel to each other. I have seen this countless times. Just as in any profession, artists can be bullies, pushing others around, bragging about how many sales they have, how many prizes they win, how good they are.

Artists can encourage and assist other artists as well. Perhaps we need to be more caring and watchful for each other. We need to encourage more. A kind word goes a long way. Liking other’s paintings on social media might keep someone from being too depressed to go on.

The only good thing about these terrible losses is that it made me much more aware of how fragile artists are, how much we need encouragement and kindness in our lives. I am one of the lucky artists who have so much support from other artists and collectors. Why, I don’t know, but I am very grateful. Let’s all make a little effort to be kind to artists we know. These losses will serve as a reminder to me to go the extra mile for another painter, to take the time to compliment or lend a hand rather than just looking the other way.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Linda’s News

I have two more weeks of a busy May schedule and then I’ll have a quiet couple of weeks to goof around in my studios. I’ve started making goofy 10 second videos of works in progress to share on Facebook. They are silly but fun. I am a terrible videographer. I may start doing videos more frequently, as that is a popular format for communication.

Today’s Recipe

I saw this on Facebook. I’ve not made it yet but it looks easy and decadent.

Cookie Pie

1 roll of premade chocolate chip cookie dough

6 marshmallows

6  peanut butter cups

1 pie pan

Separate cookie dough into two even pieces. Push one half into the pie pan to make crust. Add marshmallows evenly on the dough, then peanut butter cups. Top with remaining dough to cover the other ingredients. Bake until pie is crusty and brown. Cut and indulge yourself.

Collective Economic Growth

collective-economy
Collective Economic Growth Notes
 
Now that the election dust has settled a bit it’s time for artists to think about our own collective economy. I have never depended on the greater economy to survive. I have depended on the people I respect and love to help me survive. They are the folk who reach in their pockets one more time to buy a little painting  or a big one, according to their financial abilities and desires.
They are my students who come to my class knowing they are likely to get roped into an exercise that they find weird or hard to do. My students know better than to expect instant gratification. They know they must study and practice to find success. They are willing to use their hard earned cash to learn things they don’t really understand or even want to do, because they have faith in me and they love me.
When I look at my student’s work today and compare it with their beginning with me, I see the growth and success they have achieved through their own hard work. They stuck it out and won. This is a powerful lesson for them and for me as their mentor.
Artists must live with integrity, even when it gets us in trouble for our personal beliefs. People with integrity earn trust. Artists have a big responsibility to their collectors and to their students, to do what is right by them. We don’t have to agree to earn each other’s respect.
So, What does this have to do with the collective economic success for artists? People support those whom they can believe in. A serious artist is not about chasing the latest fad or the latest hot subject. A serious artist has a mission for their work and career. They are reliable and relate to their clients and other artists with integrity. This is the formula for success, not instant gratification or being the latest hot artist on the market.
How can we build our own collective creative economy? By working in partnerships in our own communities. By that, I mean by doing small kindnesses for artists and collectors.  Yes, we must remain competitive in order to succeed. I’m not going to try and sell other landscape painters’ paintings rather than my own, but I can help the  artists I know who may have a different market.  I can help the still life and figure and abstract artists I know because they don’t compete with me for sales. I can help the crafts people I know.  I can share the same collectors with other painters.
These are some things I do to promote the artists in my community:
I do a mentoring or gift project each year, free of charge for artists. This year I am sending my referral team members Paintings.
I welcome any artist with a cup of coffee and my time to sit and talk about art or marketing in my town studio.
I buy 2 paintings a year from other painters for my daughters.
I try hard to like and share other artists’ work on FB
I charge the lowest price possible for my class fees.
I have a paint exchange box in my studio for artists to share their unused paints and pick up paints they need.
I will lend out frames to emerging artists who need to do a show.
What are some other ways we can create our own thriving collective communities for artists? Share them with us in the comment section here on the blog.
I have a collectors club for my regular collectors which saves them 25% on framed paintings.
We can be a wonderful resource for other artists and our collectors. We are not alone without help.
More musings for artists and collectors to come…..
Linda’s News
I’ll be busy on Friday icing the cakes for my annual cake party on Saturday, May 13th. I hope you all can come. I do this every year on the Saturday before Mothers Day. It is my most popular studio party. I wonder why????
Today’s Recipe
Linda’s Favorite  Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound of 10x sugar
1 stick salted butter
1, 8 oz cream cheese
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dried orange peel
Add more 10 x sugar to thicken if needed.
Blend the heck out of it and spread on your favorite cake.

Thinly Veiled Insults

thinly veiled insults
Thinly Veiled Insults Notes
Thinly veiled insults from other artists can be part of your professional life. I’m learning to let things go. In the past week or two I’ve had a couple of  situations which presented two ways to go, either confrontational or not. The old me would have taken up my shield and sword and have invested time to try to disavow the other person of his or her mistaken beliefs.   The new me is learning to let thinly veiled insults go and to ignore opinions that I believe to be ridiculous.
When you are an established artist, you run the risk of having unnecessary swipes made at you from other artists. Often they are made out of envy because you are living the life that they long for, or they feel threatened by other professional artists, or perhaps they have some self esteem issues. I’m no psychiatrist so I don’t pretend to know why people are deliberately mean spirited. I don’t know how long the new me will last, but I confess to liking the change. I discovered how easy it is to just wish someone well and let them go on with their fantasy world. I don’t have to fix other people. I don’t have to be responsible for them and what they do, even when it affects me through association. I only have to be responsible for what I do and promise to do.
 I found myself recently visited by an artist in my retail studio. She spent a lot of time talking about what other artists are doing, while asking me why I was just a landscape painter. “Couldn’t you do more interesting subjects? Nobody who is on the cutting edge of art would do landscapes, etc.etc” In other words how pathetic I must be. She finished her coffee and went on her way. I’m sure she felt that she had given me great insight into my career and that I would be well on my way to changing everything about my work for the better, after her advice. The old me would have been in a rage over the audacity, but I laughed to myself instead. It wasn’t worth the time or trouble to defend my choice of subject, or to take the time to explain how much I love my subject. Better to wish her a happy day and go home happy with the collectors who come to my studio and who give me such joyful support.
Another time I ran across a local artist who has been around a long time, while I was painting in a park. She chatted a moment and then said, “you know if you keep working this hard, you might be a good painter someday.” This is the kind of thinly veiled insult, presented in a way to seem like encouragement.  The better your career goes, the more likely this is to happen as you leave others behind. There is a good amount of resentment in the art world, and the better you achieve your goals the more vulnerable you will be to these kinds of situations.
That is ok, just go on with your dreams and ignore thinly veiled insults. You will have your good peeps who support you and who are loyal and kind. Don’t spend a moment worrying about the meanies. There is room for all of us in the art world. There is really no need for jealousy or meanness. Paint on with joy! Learn to let the opportunity for payback go. It is so tempting to have the last word, but it is not worth the anger and bad feelings between artists.
Artist often lash out when they have been proven wrong as well. I once had an artist trash me all over town because I interfered with her behaving badly and trying to skirt around the rules all the rest of us had to follow. Sometimes artists know they have been wrong and instead of apologizing and changing bad ways, they decide to lash out and trash others who call them out. We are all human, with bad habits and big egos at times. Best to let the haters hate and leave them to their negative attitudes, knowing you have been the better person.
More musings for artists and collectors to come…..
Linda’s News
I’ve been spending some time writing tutorials for artists. It’s is fun to organize some of the thousands of notes, workshops, and exercises I’ve done over the years, into useful tutorials. Lots of fun for me, and I have to do the studies myself to illustrate the lessons, always a good refresher for me.
Today’s Recipe
Easy Black Bean Soup

Ingredients

4 (15.25-oz) cans black beans
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (or stock)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (8.8-oz) pouch precooked white rice
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
8 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
8 tablespoons sour cream

Steps

  1. Drain and rinse 3 cans of the beans. Place in blender with broth; blend until smooth. Strain puree through a fine mesh strainer; discard solids (if desired). Pour puree into large stockpot with remaining 1 can of beans (undrained).
  2. Place pot on medium heat. Stir in oil, coconut milk, salt, pepper, and cloves; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cook rice following package instructions. Halve tomatoes; remove cilantro leaves from stems. Serve soup over rice. Top with sour cream, tomatoes, and cilantro.

Awed Nature

awed by nature

Awed by Nature Notes

I am awed by nature as  I walk my trail when it is cool enough. Early in the morning it is spectacular. I find myself wishing I was a better painter in those times. A better painter could capture this elegance but I cannot. I’m just not as good as nature’s handiwork. In some ways I find this to be frustrating. I know of no painter who studies more than I or who paints more than I but I just don’t have the talent element to take me to the top level. This is just a fact of life. I can be a good painter and a consistent painter, but I will never be a great painter. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me overmuch but when witness to a remarkable scene, it stings a bit. I am thoroughly awed by nature.
There are always lots of arguments back and forth in the painting community about whether talent is natural or earned. I believe there is an argument for both. Hard work will take you a long way. It certainly has for me, but without that natural gift, you can only achieve so much. On the other hand all the talent in the world will not help you in your career if you don’t use it wisely or know how to sell it.

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Unfortunately, there are many talented artists who achieve nothing because they have the notion that it should be their privilege to be the best. Often they are the very painters who whine and complain about not being recognized or having their talent appreciated. They feel that with their talent, they should not have to work hard or learn how to sell their work, it should jut happen magically for them.

Then there are those with great ability and humbleness who get it right. They never forget that the talent is indeed a gift which should be used wisely. I am awed by these painters who make it look so easy. I know it is not. If I were given a choice, I would naturally want to have talent, wisdom, tenacity, discipline, and humbleness. Wow! I would be superwoman.

The thing is that we are all on a journey toward being great painters. To a beginner, an intermediate painter looks like a star. To an intermediate painter, a pro looks like a star. To an advanced painter, a master looks like a star. I’m not sure that I would ever want to be a master painter. I know some painters who use that title in their promotions. I don’t consider them to be masters at all, merely other professionals. To me, that self proclaimed title is the height of hubris and narcissism. I expect that true masters think of themselves as students, just like the rest of us do. They are simply at a higher level on the continuous path to excellence.

 

Maybe it’s not so bad to not be the best. Maybe it’s ok to be pretty good and keep aspiring to greatness along the way. I think I need to be grateful to be just a country painter and stop daydreaming about greatness. Let me get out there and be awed by nature’s beauty and subtlety and perhaps a glimpse of greatness will emerge, if only in my own mind. Perhaps the privilege of being a full time painter is enough for me. I can aspire to be more, and satisfied with what I am at any given time. The masterpiece is right around the corner. I’ve traveled many corners waiting for it.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Linda’s News

My efforts to help my sister are over now. She officially heads for Alabama today. I’m off to Paddiwhack for my studio day there. I will be able to get back to work in my studio tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it. Don’t forget my demo on Saturday at 2 PM at Paddiwhack and my annual cake party on Saturday the 13th. 11AM – 4 PM. Yummy!

Today’s Recipe

Stewed Chicken

Ingredients

2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 chicken leg quarters (3 3/4 lb)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
1 lime, for juice
1 small Scotch bonnet (or habanero) pepper (whole)
1 cup prediced yellow onions
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth (or stock)
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Steps

  1. Chop parsley. Combine in large bowl: parsley, seasoned salt, thyme, black pepper, and garlic. Add chicken and toss to coat (wash hands). Let stand 15 minutes (or chill overnight) to marinate.
  2. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Add oil and chicken; cook 5–6 minutes on each side or until chicken has browned. Slice bell pepper (1 cup); squeeze lime for juice (1 tablespoon).
  3. Stir bell peppers, the whole Scotch bonnet pepper, onions, broth, tomato paste, and lime juice into chicken. Reduce heat to medium and cover; cook 25 minutes. Remove lid; simmer 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and until chicken is 165°F. Serve.

 

Experiment Collector

experiment-collector

Experiment Collector Notes

I spent the morning doing an experiment as a collector, looking for a painting. I buy two paintings a year, to give one each to my daughters to build their collection. I try to buy one from a Florida emerging artist that I actually know, and the other from an Internet artist who is emerging. I only buy originals. My budget is small, after all, I’m an artist. I try to buy paintings in the 50-200 dollar range unframed. Last year I bought a painting from an Internet artist I know and it was a big hit.

My experiment included looking at blogs and web sites as a collector instead of an artist. It was a real awakening. Frankly, it took me most of the morning to find a painting. I cannot tell you how many great paintings I looked at, but on sites that had no paypal buttons or shopping cart to purchase. I’m talking artists web sites, not blogs here. Most made it nearly impossible to buy anything and many had nothing under 250.00 even unframed.  Speaking as a collector who is Internet savvy, many of these sites were very discouraging and buyer unfriendly toward sales. Many had text that said: Contact the artist for pricing and information. Please!! This is so naive!! I will tell you right now, that I will not contact an artist to purchase a painting or to inquire about pricing, even if they are my personal friend, unless it is commission work. Even then, if I don’t see a price list for commissions, I won’t contact. If I, as an artist won’t buy that way, Do you honestly think a regular collector who is browsing for art will? I have a price list in my studio, so collectors don’t have to inquire about the price. We don’t like to have to ask folks! It puts pressure on us to buy in our own minds. It is embarrassing for collectors to have to say, “that is out of my price range”. We don’t want to have to ask.

One of the blogs I looked at was charming and sweet, with work under a hundred dollars. I decided to buy a painting there, and when I clicked to paypal buttons, nothing happened. They were not working. What a disappointment. I moved on. I finally found the Etsy shop of a terrific artist who blogs regularly, and purchased a beautiful painting at a ridiculously reasonable price.

Having written all this, I have some suggestions from my experiment. If you want to sell to poor folks like me or anyone else for that matter:

Have a few paintings available for 50-200 dollars unframed. They can be very small, on paper, mat board or Masonite and only rough studies.

List your prices and have a shopping cart system or Etsy, Paypal or Shopify shop link on your web site.

Make purchasing instantly available without any kind of requirement for contact with the artist. For example, about two years ago, a complete stranger bought a 1200.00 painting from my web site. I never had any contact with him at all, except a brief telephone message that the painting had arrived safely and it was appreciated. I’ve never heard from him again. Some people don’t have interest in a relationship with the artist. They simply want to buy their favorite painting.

Unframed Paintings

Have a variety of prices available, some top end as well as low and in between.

Give people some information about you and the way you paint. I hate these sterile web sites for artists that are so popular now. There is nothing on them other than the contact,galleries,and portfolio of work.

If you only wish to have dealers sell for you, say that immediately and upfront on your home page. Don’t allow people to waste time looking at page after page, looking for a way to purchase without going to a gallery.

Example:
Please enjoy my portfolio of paintings here on my web site. You can purchase these and other paintings through the following dealers: There are no direct sales available at this web site.

Lastly, be aware that you need to make it easy and comfortable for people to purchase from you. You need to offer trust to your buyer. Give them a money back guarantee and offer a bit of service, like gift wrapping, easy pick up or delivery in your area. It’s not about you. It’s all about them.

In these times of ease in purchasing, it is a must to make purchasing art easy for everyone. If you make it inconvenient, there is another artist ready and willing to take your collector from you.

Be a collector for a moment and think about how your website functions for them.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…

Linda’s News

This week I am helping my sister move. She is staying with us so we are quite busy. Don’t forget the Demonstration painting on Saturday, May 6th, at 2 PM. I will have lemonade and snacks for you. Come enjoy the process of painting with me.

Today’s Recipe

Asparagus Salad

Ingredients
1 1/2 lb fresh asparagus spears
3 tablespoons smoked almonds, finely chopped
1 oz Deli Manchego cheese, finely grated (optional)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Prep

Cut asparagus into bite-size pieces, removing tough root end.
Chop almonds. Remove rind from cheese; grate cheese. Halve tomatoes.

Steps
Cut asparagus into bite-size pieces, removing tough root end. Chop almonds. Remove rind from cheese (if using); grate cheese. Halve tomatoes.
Preheat large, nonstick sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Place oil in pan, then add asparagus; cook and stir 3 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, vinegar, and pepper; cook and stir 2–3 more minutes or until tomatoes and asparagus are softened. Remove pan from heat; sprinkle with nuts and cheese. Serve.

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