Atmospheric Painting

atmospheric painting

 

 

Atmospheric Painting

Atmospheric Painting Notes

I do quite a bit of study on atmospheric paintings.  I like to play with that aspect of landscape painting. This haze-like atmosphere can be rendered through the use of multiple transparent or translucent glazes which imitate the actual haze found in nature. Just as real atmosphere mutes color and blurs edges, an applied glaze can do the same in a painting.

Atmospheric Painting

I have found that the addition of a bit of white in the glaze will imitate the effect of the vapor particles in the air. The the under painting could be a few values darker than the final value desired, but not necessarily. An atmospheric glaze might consist of a bit of white, ultramarine blue, and Paynes gray and a good deal of medium for a cooler effect or add a bit of Naples Yellow for a warmer neutral. This mixture will vary in color selection and transparency according to the effect you want.

Linda’s. Bird and Nature Art

Atmospheric Painting

Through this type of glazing, the value and color of distant objects can be controlled in very subtle gradations. Opaque color will not have the same sense of depth seen in a glaze. I find that using transparent white or opaque  white to be a nice combination with a tint of color added to the mixture. About 4 times as much transparent white as the opaque and just a hint of cad red light, or Naples yellow, or halo blue, or ultramarine blue to warm or cool areas of the sky. You can experiment with this for best results with acrylics or oils.

I use acrylic glazing medium with the acrylics to soften and give atmospheric quality. I use transparent oils for oil work. They must be used on a completely dry underpainting.

Atmospheric Painting

Monthly Painting Offer

I have found that pushing the atmospherics with more blue or gray to be great fun. Adding layers to the distant trees, graying and blueing them as they recede is a great way to create subtle intervals in the scene. For me the best two ways to create distant intervals is to either increase the atmospheric quality or to change the color temperature of the opaque color relationships. I can put to tree groups adjacent to each other but change the temperature of one group to the other. The cooler group will recede in my view. The closer a tree is in the view, the warmer the color and the more distant, the cooler the color will be. This happens due to particles of dust and so the further away the object, th cooler and grayer it will be.  I play with this by bluing the distant tree lines, making for pretty color and more drama in the scene.

Atmospheric painting is great fun!

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

 

Today’s Recipe

This is a favorite for me:

Spinach Turnovers

Use one package frozen chopped spinach. You will need to squeeze the spinach very hard to get all the water you can out of it. It should be barely damp when you finish.

one small onion diced fine

1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled

2 strips bacon fried crisp and crumbled

1 can cooked chicken drained and crumbled

1 box philo or puff pastry dough

2 eggs beaten

a pastry bush

saute spinach,onion,bacon and chicken until blended well. Add cracked black pepper/salt to taste and fold in feta after mixture is cooled.

Use small squares of dough and place dabs of mixture in the center. Fold over and seal with egg. Bake on pastry sheet lined with parchment. Yummy!!!

 

 

Fall Doings

fall doings

Fall Doings

Fall Doings Notes

After a long and difficult summer, it’s time to be joyful for temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s for early fall in my neck of the woods and my fall doings. I’m out early most days on Deer Woods Trail to walk, read animal tracks, and watch the subtle seasonal changes. It is a great way to get my mind on the business of the daily painting session to come.

Linda’s Bird Art

Fall Doings

October is quite full this year with a big event at Fair Oaks Farm in Evinston, FL, the Autumn Paint Out October 27-November 3I am a volunteer for that event. I also have my annual Hot Dog Party on October 19th. Then there is a show with a tree theme at Blackbird Gallery in Micanopy to benefit Friends of Payne’s Prairie. November 29th, 3-6 PM.

Fall Doings

Monthly Painting Offer

i’ve been doing a lot of 4×4 and 8×10 paintings for the last several months. They seem to be popular. Unfortunately, I live in an area of Florida where the market is quite low end. Most of the artists in my area charge very low prices. They charge from a third to half what I charge for my work. Regionally, I am about in the middle of the price range for professional Florida and southeastern artists. It is hard to sell locally with so many artists charging so little, but I do sell my smaller work well here.

Fall Doings

In January 2020 I will gradually be moving my studio in the city, home to my Country Studio. The store where my retail studio is located will be moving to a smaller space without room for me. Due to this change, I have been slowly fixing up the Country Studio with a tea room, and making my studio as pretty and nice as possible for guests. It will work out and I’ll only have one studio to manage. I’m looking forward to hosting parties out here where it is beautiful!

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Cheese Tacos

1 cup shredded lettuce

2 diced tomatoes

1/2 onion diced

1 Pound Ground Round

8 oz Velveeta cheese

1/4 cup sour cream

1 package taco seasoning

Soft tortillas

Fry meat and drain. Return to skillet, add taco seasoning, cheese, and soy cream. Stir until combined and cheese is melted. Fill toasty meaandtoppngs. Add hot sauce as desired.

 

 

Marketing Changes

Marketing Changes

Marketing Changes

Marketing Changes Notes

I’m a bit woeful about the marketing changes for artists these days. I used to be really good at marketing and I suppose I am still good enough at it to make a living but I am beginning to disengage from it because I find it to be a poor fit. A few years ago marketing was about networking, making friends who were like minded, who loved art. Marketing was about personal service to clients and actually giving a darn about their needs and what their dreams were about. I am still stuck in that mode and it seems to be passe online these days.

Marketing Changes

Now it seems to be more about branding,  followers, and being an influencer, whatever that means. My good friend advised me this morning on all of the changes and tweaks I would need to make on my web site to attract buyers. I had my web site built  by an excellent designer. She taught me how and so I took over the task of updating and keeping it current. I poured my heart and soul into the site, making it uniquely mine, mistakes and all.

Linda’s Bird and Nature Art

Marketing Changes

Now I must make all  that to fit the formats which attract the most visitors. It seems so pointless to me, all of this manipulation of where things must go on the page, whether to use bold type or not, exact wording for key phrases, etc.etc.etc. Now I must march in step with every other web site out there to attract visitors. I have seen dozens and dozens of boring art web sites with that same format and it depresses me greatly.

Marketing Changes

Home Page

It seems that Internet marketing must become more and more homogenised to be effective. Now there are endless seminars and books on being organized, endless seminars on every topic under the sun to market and we should evidently spend about 18 hours a day on the fussy little ways to sell art.

Somehow we lost the fact that art buyers are real people, with hopes and dreams, not statistics. They are our friends and neighbors, our communities. Marketing should not be about calculation. We are not the old style used car salesmen in plaid jackets always looking for an easy mark.

Marketing Changes

Most of my clients become my personal friends. We chat back and forth on the Internet. I live vicariously through their dreams and their troubles as they do through mine. This blog is a testament to their lives as well as my own journal about life as an artist. I believe we have lost much of this with the new style of marketing. I think I want to remain the dinosaur that I seem to be.

Marketing Changes

I’ll go on with my friendships and continue to care about the people who buy my art. I won’t care a flip about all of the new techniques and endless organization. I’ll continue to make painting well my number one priority along with the friendships I treasure. I’ll continue to be humbled by the support I receive. I’ll let the rest of the world do aggressive marketing.

Thank goodness for blogs, where we are still allowed to be ourselves, though now I have to use a format for this too.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Today’s Recipe:

This one is Delish and pretty!!

4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
fine sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

On a large platter, alternate and overlap the tomato slices, mozzarella cheese slices, and basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Time And Gifting

time and gifting

Time and Gifting Notes

Time and gifting are important choices for artists. When I was a young artist I thought I had all the time in the world to try everything as an artist. I gave away lots of paintings to charities and spent lots of time in artist groups. I learned with some maturity as a painter that my time is truly the most valuable asset I have, along with my paintings. I spend a lot more time painting and taking care of my business now than I did as a young artist.

Time and Gifting

Home Page

I have learned to stop giving away art to most agencies. There are still one or two that I am quite fond of who I give a small piece to once a year. Occasionally I give out gift certificates as well. I politely decline for the rest. I do support several charities with cash donations each year. This is so much smarter, as I support who I really want to and my donations count on my taxes as deductions each year. The tax code only allows the cost of materials as a deduction for art donations, so the artists get next to nothing.

Time and Gifting

The other issue is a lack of gratitude on the part of agencies. I have been badly treated by these organizations once or twice and it left a bad taste in my mouth. Once I was asked to do a large painting at an event to donate. I was ignored through the evening. No food or beverages were brought to me at dinner time. I was not checked on during the event by organizers. It was not announced that I was painting by the MC. I was in a dark corner away from activities. When I left, I propped up the painting and left it. I was never called or thanked for my contribution and I never knew if they sold it or not or to whom.

Time and Gifting

These agencies have the expectation that they will receive art from artists. They rarely tell the artist who purchased the painting or give out contact information. I finally wised up after donating for over 20 years. The one agency I still give to comes to select the art with me. They give me tickets to the evening gala and send me personal notes of thanks with the name of the buyer. They go out of their way to be grateful.

Time and Gifting

I give away a little painting each month at my town studio. It has a congrats note on it and my business card. I put it in little nooks around the store. The recipient is so delighted and they sometimes come back to buy a painting later. It is fun for me and it makes me happy to do it.

Linda’s Miniature Etsy Shop

Time and Gifting

Give your time wisely as well. When you begin to age, you will realize how precious it really is. I am 69. How many more years of producing art will I have? I hope for at least 20 more years to work. I’m not one to retire. I have no idea what I would do with myself. I’ve worked since I was 14 years old. I am a worker by nature and I like owning my own business. Don’t give your time to agencies or groups who are not grateful. It is that simple. If it ain’t fun and you are not appreciated, don’t go.

More musings for artists and collectors to come……

Today’s Recipe

CHICKEN CHEDDAR SHELLS

2 cups fresh broccoli florets
6 oz sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 Deli rotisserie chicken
6 slices precooked bacon
8 oz medium shells pasta
30 round buttery crackers (1 sleeve), coarsely crushed
1 cup Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/4 teaspoon pepper
aluminum foil

• Bring water to a boil for pasta in large stockpot.
• Cut broccoli into bite-size pieces.
• Shred cheese and chicken (breast meat only), about 2 cups each.

1. Cook bacon in microwave following package instructions. Chop bacon coarsely; set aside. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Cook pasta following package instructions. Stir in broccoli and chicken during last minute of cook time.
3. Crush crackers and place in bottom of 9-inch square baking dish. Drain pasta mixture thoroughly and return to stockpot.
4. Stir in remaining ingredients until well blended; spoon mixture over crackers in baking dish. Cover dish with foil; bake 12–15 minutes or until hot and broccoli is tender. Serve.

 

Precision Marketing

business of art

Precision Marketing

Precision Marketing Notes

I know a lot of artists who have been caught up in the idea that getting large numbers of followers on social media ,mailing lists and newsletters, is precision marketing. These artists also follow lots of other artists and share lots of art around on their accounts. I have not found that to be useful at all for my own career. In fact, I follow very few artists on Instagram, and few galleries. There are a lot of artists who are friends on Facebook, but I actually follow very few.

Linda’s Bird Art

Precision Marketing

For some reason, artists pay attention to other artists more than the do collectors and potential collectors. They often assume that collectors will be found if one hangs around with artists, and art events. I have found that most of my collectors are not artists and most of them don’t attend gallery events.

Precision Marketing

I have done the opposite of many artists. I rarely attend artist events. My focus has narrowed down to collectors, potential collectors, and areas of interest to me such as science, botany, birding, nature, hiking, tea parties, agriculture,ranching, land conservation, dogs, and cooking. Stories and the history of my career attract certain groups of people that are not related to artists, galleries,museums, etc.

Precision Marketing

Monthly Painting Offer

I no longer look at lots of art around the Internet. I have narrowed down my focus on my own work. It really helps me to not be distracted by everyone else’s ideas. I have been a painter for a long time. I don’t follow the latest color schemes, styles or subjects. My interest is truly in recording the subjects I love and treasure, improving my technique as I work.

Precision Marketing

Letting go of most of the distractions has helped me to treasure my life, my work, and the kind friends who support me. My collectors are so important to me. Most of what goes on in social media is fluff and I don’t waste time focusing on frivolous relationships.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Cream cheese biscuits

8 ounces full fat cream cheese, softened
⅔ cup butter, softened
1 cup self-rising flour*, plus more for dusting

*To make your own self-rising flour whisk 1 cup of flour with 1 + ½ teaspoons baking powder plus ¼ teaspoon salt

Pulse together the cream cheese, butter and flour in a food processor until combined, about 10 pulses, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through.
Turn out onto a piece of lightly floured parchment paper and pat it into a disc. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Place an oven rack on the highest rung and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sprinkle a work surface with flour, unwrap the dough and sprinkle the top and a rolling pin lightly with flour.
Roll out to ½-inch thick and cut with a 1 + ¼-inch thick biscuit cooker. Place them on the baking sheet about an inch apart.
Stick the scraps together and make more biscuits. If you can’t fit them all on the baking sheet refrigerate and bake them in turns.
Bake about 14 minutes on the top rack until golden and puffed, rotating the pan halfway through. You can brush the tops with melted butter if you like.

 

Balance Art and Marketing

Balance art and marketing

Balance Art and Marketing

Balance Art and Marketing Notes

I’ve always considered it essential to balance art and marketing In my career. I read a lot of books about art marketing and they are all good, but to accomplish all that they recommend would take 24 hours a day in organization and effort. We have to be careful not to put marketing before our real work which is painting. It is a delicate balance.

Balance Art and Marketing

Landscape Paintings

I think compromise between the two is essential for success. Frankly, I used to care a lot more about it than I do now. I needed to. Emerging artists must market to make a name for themselves. I suppose after you get to a certain stage in your career you may not need to work as hard to be known. I have given up some things which I used to do because my focus has shifted more toward painting. Moving toward self representation has changed my focus too. I don’t spend a lot of time anymore doing museum or gallery shows, though I still do a few each year. That took up a lot of my time. I’m not saying I’ll turn down opportunities that come my way, but I don’t invest a lot of time looking for them anymore.

Balance Art and Marketing

Another thing I have done is to really think about what I wish to accomplish and what my goals really are. I think that is one of the more important things to do at least every few years. What I wanted 10 years ago has little to do with what I want now. I thought about what I want right now and I want to sell enough work to pay my bills, do commissions because they are a challenging, stable source of income, and I want to paint.  Add to that a bit of teaching now and then  and research and I’m a happy camper.

Balance Art and Marketing

Twenty  years ago, I wanted to be a leader in the Florida plein air community, a well known painter with lots of gallery and museum affiliations and a long and impressive resume. Fame and glory were foremost in my mind. My hubris knew no bounds :>) I accomplished a lot of those goals but to what end? I can laugh at myself looking back. It never occurred to me that being a good painter and selling enough work to survive would be more important.

Balance Art and Marketing

Linda’s Bird Art

I direct my marketing toward the goals I have at different stages of my career. I don’t spend overmuch time in building my name brand or my resume now because it is not as relevant to my goals. My artist statement does not fit the proper formula because I want to tell people about me, my journey as an amateur naturalist and why I paint. It is written  as a mission with no artsy words, not cool, but I like to give my collectors an honest look at a real artist’s life. Basically I tend to break most of the marketing rules, but manage to survive in spite of it all.

Balance Art and Marketing

I think reading the books is important, especially for emerging painters. I just think a word of caution about going overboard is warranted. There is nothing more important than studying painting and putting the time into the work. Without that all the marketing in the world will not make you a true success. You may get away with it and fake your way to fame, but inside you will know you can’t paint.

If I have to choose between organizing files,keeping my inventory up to date or putting the time in at the easel, I have to choose the easel time. The rest will take care of itself. If my work gets better, people will notice. More people will buy it if it is good.

So,I think we have to set our priorities carefully,realistically and focus specifically toward our goals, in terms of time and financial investment. If we wish to be noticed then Internet exposure is vital and should have a priority. We need to use our mailing list effectively and we need to work within our budget.

Balance Art and Marketing

After that, we need to decide what is more vital, painting or marketing. If you have a studio full of work and no sales, then you must decide whether your work needs improvement or whether you need to spend more time marketing. If you have reasonable sales, keep improving your work to generate more.

We ignore marketing at our own peril, but we don’t need to be obsessive about it to succeed.

There is a danger in spending more of ones time doing press releases, and worrying more about nice stationary than painting. Many emerging painters hide behind doing all of the marketing activities to avoid painting because they are afraid to face the easel. They don’t want to do what it takes to improve. They don’t want to go through the tedious time of study in order to be a good painter. They would rather spend their time churning out poor work and focus on selling.

Balance Art and Marketing

Believe me, I am not at all anti-marketing. Those of you who know me realize that I have spent many years studying art marketing. What I am saying is pick the things that will do you the most good and let go of the small stuff, until you start having some success. Then you can add the small marketing chores as you have free time. None of us are super human.

More musings for artists and collectors to come……

Today’s Recipe:

Corn Pancakes

10 ears of corn
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup milk
Pinch salt
Corn oil, for sauteing
1/4 cup sour cream, for garnish

Remove kernels form husk of corn using a sharp knife. Puree in a blender. Mix in the sugar, milk, and salt. Heat griddle to medium heat, lightly coat with canola oil. Spoon mixture onto hot griddle to form “pancakes” of your desired size. Cook for 2 minutes on each side. Garnish with sour cream.

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