Styles Repeat

styles repeat

Styles Repeat

Styles Repeat Notes

In my long journey as a painter I have observed that styles repeat themselves, not just in fashion, but in art too.

Back in the 70’s when I was in art school the rage was to present paintings with drips and areas unfinished. I have noticed a fair number of those lately. There was a lot of airbrush work being done with abstracts too at that time so I expect that will resurface too at some point. As the saying goes, there is nothing new really, just repeats and reworks of former styles and explorations over the centuries.

Linda’s Drawings

Styles Repeat

I don’t really see a problem with these repetitions unless you happen to be on the tail end of the trend. That is the problem with trying to be in the cool crowd, either in fashion or art.  By the time a painter realizes that this is the “new” style of painting, it is no longer new. I know emerging painters who change their style like underwear. Each new workshop they attend makes them want to paint like the teacher, literally. They scour the internet to see the latest from well known painters and latch on for the ride. This copy, repeat style of painting goes on endlessly and has for a long time. This happens to me and many other professional painters who sell our work online. I will begin to paint a subject and format size, putting them on  social media, and within a week I will see the same subject and format repeated by others. I recently put my rustic paintings on rough wood in a gallery show. A few of them sold. In the next show at the same gallery, others had added their paintings on rustic wood, duplicating mine.

Styles Repeat

When you put your work out into the public on social media and galleries, you will have almost immediate style repeaters for your ideas. It happens all the time. All you can do is to be yourself and continue to grow and evolve in a natural way. You can either be an innovator without fear of being different, or you can be a trend follower, who hangs on, hoping to catch part of the trend before it is over.

Styles Repeat

When I was a paint out artist, the trends were painfully evident. Those artists who painted out of subjects that were popular, who used different palettes, whose styles were too refined or detailed, were shunned by the trendy at any given time.  I would walk around the wet room and see painting after painting with almost identical palettes and styles, because that was, or is popular with plein air gurus. Without signatures they would have been indiscernible.

Styles Repeat

Linda’s Bird Art

I think trying to be a trendy artist must take a huge amount of energy. I don’t think I could keep up with being cool. In many ways, I consider myself to be so lucky to be just a country painter. I live in the woods. I have an ancient house trailer but a wonderful studio. I rarely go anywhere unless it is to the nearby town or a couple of residencies a year. I don’t have cool clothes, or a cool car. I do have the best art supplies money can buy. I have a great life as an untrendy, unstylish painter.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Today’s Recipe:
I haven’t tried this one yet but it looks so good I can’t wait to.
SHRIMP & CRAB  BITES From the Land O Lakes Newsletter
A hash brown crust adds a new twist to these savory seafood morsels.
Preparation time: 10 min Baking time: 30 min
Yield: 16 servings
Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups refrigerated hash brown potatoes
2 tablespoons LAND O LAKES® Butter, melted
Filling Ingredients:
1 (8-ounce) container chive and onion flavored cream cheese
4 ounces (1 cup) LAND O LAKES® Swiss Cheese, shredded
1 (6-ounce) can crab meat, drained, cartilage removed, flaked
1 (4-ounce) package frozen cooked salad shrimp, thawed, drained
1 egg
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
Garnish Ingredients:
Italian parsley leaves, if desired
Salad shrimp, if desired
Heat oven to 425°F. Combine all crust ingredients in small bowl. Press into bottom of ungreased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine all filling ingredients except 1/4 cup cheese in medium bowl; mix well. Spread mixture over hot, partially baked potato layer. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese mixture is set. Let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Garnish each piece with parsley and shrimp, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Semi Abstracts

atmospheric painting

Semi Abstracts

Semi Abstracts Notes

I have been thinking about using markers for under drawing with semi abstracts. I rarely draw anything on my panels or canvas because I like to think in large shapes and masses rather than linear when I paint. I save drawing for pencil and paper and consider them to be two different approaches. Drawing is the skeleton of all good art as far as I am concerned and it is vitally important in learning all art skills, however, I don’t see painting and drawing in the same way.

Semi Abstracts

Monthly Painting Offer

 

I like to view painting as a puzzle with flat shapes,colors and values which are plugged into the painting as I process through it. Once the shapes are placed on the canvas, I begin to cut those up into smaller shapes of value and color, and then smaller until shapes become objects and so forth. That’s why I believe that the elements of design are so important to good painting. I like to think that all painting is abstract in it’s beginning, then refined to a stage of comfort for the artist. That can be minimal, refined to photo realism, or to someplace in between as my work is.

Semi Abstracts

I tried the markers last night. I used Chartpak brand, my favorite markers. Basically I did a crude rendition of the proposed painting and then proceeded in my usual method. It occurred to me that this might be handy to do location block ins in a hurry and bring them home for studio work. They were easily covered by  paints. I have heard that Black Sharpie pens bleed through. The chartpak was great!! There doesn’t seem to be an advantage for studio work unless you feel the need to draw in your composition.

Semi Abstracts

Birds and Nests Art

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about the notan process and how well it lends itself to a more minimalist abstract form of painting. I have it in my mind to do a series of abstract landscapes in acrylics to try this out. Sort of a beginning to my regular approach, where I stop after the block in stage, but I use heavier paint application and brushwork, so it has a finished quality. I really don’t know that anyone would want these paintings but I do know that abstract, contemporary work is very popular. I want to try this just for the curiosity of it, but also, because I believe it will be a good learning process for my  notan and design element studies.The thing I like about notan is the versatility of the process, from basic and primitive to highly refined, it works!!! I don’t have any interest in pure abstract painting, but I do like semi abstracts, with recognizable subjects.  I m going to start this series and will show you my progress. Essentially, it will be colorful semi abstract. The other day, another artist mentioned that my landscapes have an abstract quality to them. I was unaware of this and it gave the the idea of exploring the color Notan a little more thoroughly.

Semi Abstracts

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

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This is my basic Pate Choux Recipe It is the dough for cream puffs and ‘eclairs

1 cup cold water
1 stick butter cut in slices
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
4 large eggs

Heat butter/salt/water in a good medium sauce pan to boil and remove from heat. Add the flour and beat until smooth, beat in eggs one at a time until smooth. The dough will come away from the sides of the pan.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Use baking sheets covered with parchment or greased and floured. Us a pastry tube to make either strips of pastry for ‘Eclairs or little round shapes for cream puffs. You can use fork tine to create ridges in the dough which will make them crispier and you can wash them with egg for a glaze if desired.

Bake until puffed and golden 8-10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 and 5 minutes longer.

Warts and All

warts and all

Warts And All

Warts And All Notes

I want to remind my readers that this blog is my personal journal about my warts and all journey and life as an artist. I do consider my readers to be the most important part of this blog, but sometimes the blog is not pretty and bright. Sometimes it is dark and full of self doubt.

Linda’s Bird Art

Warts And All

I show the world my warts as well as my victories for a reason. I want artists who live with their own doubts to know they are not alone. We are all weak sometimes, especially me. The blog is my personal journal which I share with others. Sometimes it may not be what they want to read. I don’t have to live up to my readers expectations do I?, since it is my journal. Sometimes I must struggle with what might seem obvious and simple to someone else. I welcome all comments both positive and negative and don’t wish to live in a sanitized world, but understand that it’s my privilege as the writer of this journal, not to live up to your expectations ever.

Warts And All

Sometimes I will be bratty and self involved. Sometimes I will be clever and upbeat. It is all the real me. Please continue to comment whenever you wish to, but we may not always agree on what is best for me. I welcome all comments, and questions, always!!

Warts And All

Landscape Paintings

The thing is, it’s really ok to be afraid of things. It’s ok not to want to do things when we know we must. As long as we do what we must, it’s still ok not to want to, in our deepest souls. Somehow some have gotten this idea that we have to put up a facade that says to the world that we are brave, upbeat, full of self confidence, that we never allow criticism to hurt us, that we are super person. We must be oblivious to pain and doubt. We must let it roll off of us when we fail, having no fears about anything. If we show any kind of weakness, we have failed and are a disappointment to our friends. I believe those who struggle with demons and admit them, are far stronger than the fake people who won’t show fear and flaws.

Warts And All

I want to be remembered someday as an artist who had a real journey through life, full of triumphs and failures with everything in between. I don’t want to be remembered for my press releases, but for rather who I really was. I guess you could say I have enough self confidence to love myself even when I am afraid and low. I hope that is true for all artists. I don’t always do brilliant work. I don’t always agree with other artists. I am strong willed and opinionated about what is right and wrong.  None of that matters. Not be of us is perfect or wonderful all the time.

Warts And All

I’ve been through two and a half weeks of an RA flair up and it has been depressing. I realize that not being mobile has brought me low. Soon, I’ll be back to my manic self with more projects than I know what to do with, happy as can bee with my too busy schedule. Let’s all allow ourselves to be imperfect.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

 

Today’s Recipe

Crab Quiche

1/2 c mayo
2 T flour
2 eggs beaten
1 c half and half
8 oz crab meat, canned or frozen and thawed
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 onion finely diced
1 pie shell unbaked

Mix it all up and put in the pie shell. Bake for 45 minutes at 350.
Yummy!!

Career Apathy

business of art

Career Apathy

Career Apathy Notes

Occasionally I am called on to help with projects with other artists. I constantly find career apathy from many artists.

Artists tend to be apathetic about the business and marketing side of art. They just want to paint. Wouldn’t that be great? I wish! The fact is that every opportunity we skip over or ignore, hurts our career. Even when they are offered free publicity, they don’t take the time to use it wisely. “I’m too busy” is the common excuse for this career apathy.

Career Apathy

Many of these artists don’t really have to make money from art. They have other income streams, by spouse or inheritance, or a sideline job. However, being a team player should count in group situations. A consistent response of unity should count.

I’ve been working on a specific project to assist a group of artists with publicity. I asked for a few thoughts and a short bio and photo to make a nice poster image for each artist. So far I have three responses out of 35 artists. One of the three is in a summer residency in another country but will do this for me. Who knows why 32 artists would choose to ignore this opportunity for free publicity.

Career Apathy

I don’t have a lot of sympathy for artists who complain about their sales and career. Most of the time they have made little to no effort to help themselves. This concludes my rant for this week.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Pie Crust

1 stick butter

1 8 oz cream cheese

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

Use a pastry cutter to mix everything into small crumbles. Press together in a disk on parchment paper. Refrigerate for one hour. Roll out with a sprinkling of flour on top. It will need to be rolled out thin. It is flaky and good!! I use it for pot pies.

 

Every Day Chores


Every Day Chores

Every Day Chores

Every Day Chores Notes

I have multiple every day chores as a painter. I have an acrylic set up in one area of the studio, oil in another. Casein at my work table in my office. They all require set up and maintenance. I am not a slob artist. I’m very particular about clean brushes, palettes and so forth.

 

As I restocked my equipment one day, it occurred to me how much I love being a painter. It’s not just putting brush to canvas either. I love ordering supplies, ordering the beautiful wood panels from my carpenter, anxiously waiting for their arrival, gessoing them and toning them. I love the process of laying out my brushes, the palette colors, the plans at my design table, the preparation for the next painting.

Every Day Chores

Linda’s Bird Art

I love writing this art blog, though it may be of no interest to others. Looking at the posts, thinking about the process and writing about the plans, problems and solutions to the painting and marketing process is all part of the life of a painter. Perhaps I have marginalized that part of my job in the past; skipping over the day to day activities related to being a painter.

Every Day Chores

Perhaps it is maturity that brings me to the understanding that the travel plans, the lists, the correspondence with gallery directors, museum directors, other artists, and collectors is just as much a reward as the painting time. I want to savor every part of the process that I have taken for granted all of these years.

Linda’s Landscape Paintings

I had a glass half empty attitude about the every day chores of my career, thinking they were infringing on my painting time. I have started to think more in terms of the glass being almost full lately. Perhaps when things start heating up, when I’m tired from a difficult commission, too much travel, family obligations, I may think of it as half empty again, but for the most part, I will savor all of the craziness that goes with being a full time painter, allowing it to enrich my painting process as well.

Every Day Chores

If I can impart nothing else, I hope this leads others to understand that how we live as painters deeply effects how we paint. This was a significant milestone for me in understanding what it means to be a painter. Joy in all aspects of my career enhances my ability to be focused and calm in my easel time.  I know many artists who only want to paint. They don’t want to put in the time to manage a studio, market their art, or even spend time with their collectors.  They take away the control and the joy of their career, though they don’t realize it. I am extremely happy in all aspects, because I am so grateful to be a full time painter.

More musings for artists and collectors to come……

Today’s Recipe

Chicken and Dumplings

6 boneless chicken thighs

1 can chicken broth

1 8 OZ package of cream cheese

2 chicken bullion cubes

1 cup water

2 finely diced carrots

2 stalks celery diced

1 onion diced

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp chopped or dried parsley

1/2 cup corn

1/4 cup green peas

1 diced tomato

1/4 cup wine

Put all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low until chicken is tender.

Make a slurry of cornstarch and water to pour in and thicken the sauce.

Use Bisquick to make drop dumplings. Turn crock pot on high and drop dumplings in. Cover and steam until they are firm.

 

Class Separation

class separation

Class Separation

Class Separation Notes

I think a lot of artists think about the class separation in our culture. They worry about where they fit between dirt poor and filthy rich. Not only are they worried about their fit with other artists, but also about how they fit with the elite collectors.

Monthly Painting Offer

This occurred to me recently and I’ve been thinking about it. Several artists tell me that they would love to have studio parties, but their homes are not up to inspection by their wealthy collectors. They feel shame that they can’t have a wonderful space to receive guests. They are making a mistake. Their collectors don’ really care about what their house looks like.

Class Separation

I have been having studio parties out at my place for many years. Before my studio was remodeled two years ago it was a wreck with old carpet, drop ceiling tiles, ugly painted exterior, poor lighting, etc. My house is 60 years old. We are gradually improving it. Last year new floors, this year a remodeled new guest bathroom, next year the house will be painted to match the studio. The road is a disastrous dirt track that winds through the woods. Now and then somebody does some work on it but it is bad.

Linda’s Bird Art

Class Separation

Guess what? people don’t care! They still come to my parties and for studio visits. I don’t have to be rich or live in a fancy place to please them. I have a collector who visits regularly because we are friends and she likes to enjoy our afternoon tea party. I have many, highly educated and affluent friends who have much more status than I do, but they don’t care!

Class Separation

We artists live in an interesting place in our society. We have the privilege of knowing highly influential people, with fine homes, socializing with the wealthy. We have a highly refined skill that appeals to them, thus we are exposed to wealth and that lifestyle. We need not feel inferior due to our own circumstances, or superior to others who have less than ourselves. Our status only holds us back if we are captive to it. In the end, status is a false sense of empowerment, and means nothing a the end of our time on this beautiful planet.

Class Separation

My advice is to clear off the dining room table, put out your paintings and have a good party with good eats. People will come if you make it fun!

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Today’s Recipe

Green Beans

2 (12-oz) bags fresh trimmed green beans
6 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
6 pitted  dates, coarsely chopped
1 lemon, for juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans, finely crushed

Microwave beans following package instructions. Chop garlic (1 tablespoon) and dates. Squeeze lemon for juice (2 tablespoons). Combine lemon juice, honey, and red pepper.
Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Place oil and garlic in pan; cook 1–2 minutes, stirring often, or until garlic is lightly browned. Stir lemon-honey mixture into pan; cook 1–2 minutes or until thick and glossy.
Add beans, dates, and salt; cook 2–3 minutes, stirring often, or until beans are hot and glazed. Crush pecans into crumbs. Transfer beans to serving platter; sprinkle with pecans and serve.

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