Collector Terms

Collector Terms

Collector Terms

These collector terms and descriptions might be helpful for you. Particularly if you wish to collect art and later put it on the secondary market. That means you as the collector would decide to sell your original painting through an art dealer or commercial gallery. Perhaps you have collected a series or style that you have grown tired of but the work is valuable due to the artist’s reputation. Sometimes collector heirs have no interest in the style their parents collected, but the work is of value and can be sold on the secondary market.

  • Catalogue raisonné: The catalogue raisonné, a comprehensive listing of an artist’s works, includes details about the ownership of each painting, current condition, and images of each painting.
  • Provenance: Provenance is a document detailing past ownership and condition of a print as well as where it has been displayed. Provenance helps validate authenticity of a piece and sellers should be able to provide the provenance of original paintings. Provenance of older paintings may be incomplete or nonexistent as documentation can get lost or damaged over long periods of ownership.
  • Proof of authenticity: Though difficult to say without a doubt that a painting is an authentic original work by a particular artist, ask for proof that a credentialed expert studied the painting and verified its authenticity. This third-party evaluator should be able to provide their own credentials that demonstrate expertise in a particular style, genre, or artist as well. Do not accept any type of certificate of authenticity; the art world does not generally use them. This is something artists use to make their collectors feel secure. There is no real value to having an artist made CA.

Attributed to: The words “attributed to” indicate that an expert evaluated the style of a painting and other factors and determined that a particular artist likely produced a painting. However, the expert cannot definitively confirm the artist produced the painting.

Tree Painting Recipes PDF 10.00

I believe this information was given to me by Michael Skalka, so I will credit him. He is an archivist for the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

Collecting is a joyful experience. The more you know about it the  more you will feel secure about the art you collect. If you have never bought original art, why not start now? Original art is far superior to reproduced copies. Most artists have some art that is low in price. Start with one painting you love. You will have a marvelous journey and friendship with your favorite artist.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Linda’s News

I’m very happy to say that my labs at the Dr were very good yesterday. My doc is always after me to improve my cholesterol, blood sugar and triglycerides. She put me on an exercise program and a different diet 6 weeks ago. It made a big difference. I am no longer pre-diabetic and my numbers are great. Yay! I have lost a couple of pounds too. Not bad for a fat old lady!

It’s Make an Offer Friday!

collector terms

East Hay Field Make an Offer Friday

This painting is 8×10 inches

oil on archival canvas panel

send me an email, linda@lindablondheim.com  by 5:00 PM today to win this painting. Make as many offers as you like. I’ll notify the winner after 5 PM today.

Today’s Recipe

Bell Pepper Pizza

2 bell peppers, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup pepperoni slices
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
1/4 cup Italian-blend shredded cheese

reheat oven to 400°F. Remove seeds and stem from peppers and place cut-side up on baking sheet.

  1. Chop pepperoni coarsely; combine bread crumbs, pepperoni, and cheese. Fill each pepper with cheese mixture; bake 15–18 minutes or until peppers are tender and cheese is melted.

Foreshortening Tree Limbs

foreshortening-tree-limbs

 

Foreshortening Tree Limbs Notes

Collector Terms - image  on https://lindablondheim.com
Foreshortening of trees is very important if you wish to portray them realistically. The winter in Florida is the best time to practice foreshortening  drawings of  limbs. Today I went to town and on the way I did a lot of observation of bare trees and their structures. The biggest problem many of my students have mentioned is their difficulty of foreshortening limbs on trees or even canopies. There is a tendency for painters to think of trees as two dimensional, and flat.

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I think the easiest thing to do is to spend time with pencil and paper out in the yard. That is how I study them after doing a fair amount of observation. I have used a marker to outline the shapes I made originally, just so you can see clearly. I usually just use pencil. Depending on my position in looking at trees, either straight on, below the limbs or above them, the foreshortened limbs will often be darker on the bottom of the limb. Of course, other limbs will be throwing cast shadows around on other limbs as well.

The space between two ends of an image is shortened any time the image’s length is other than parallel to my eyes. So if my limb is offset from parallel, I will be unable to see parts of it. The problem with foreshortening comes when we have a preconceived notion of what things look like, rather than relying on real observation. We know the limb is long though we can only see the front part of it, depending on our perspective. So how much the limb is foreshortened depends upon the position of it’s connection to the trunk and the tip to our eyes. So if you are looking at a horse’s body at a three quarter angle, turned away from you the rump is going to be bigger than the front of the horse, due to linear perspective. It works that way with limbs too.

I often notice palm tree paintings that show no foreshortening of the fronds, making the fronds look like they all come from a central pinwheel, having no 3 dimensional quality to the fronds, as they should be foreshortened closest to the viewer.

This frequently happens in a variety of tree paintings, making trunks and canopies look like icons or symbols of trees, not 3 D.

Anyhoo, Get out there with your sketch pad and pencil. Do little drawings like I do, and make notes. As you drive along in the car think about how trees appear from the top down.Stand directly under them and look up. All of this observation is not only fun, but useful as well.

foreshortening-tree-limbs

Tree Paintings

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Linda’s News

Save the date for my Cake Party on May 13th, 11AM – 4PM. We will have chocolate with chocolate icing, Carrot coconut cake, and lemon poppy seed cake with lemon curd filling.

forshortening trees

Annual Cake Party

I have a new plan to extend Henry’s pen to the front porch so I can open the door and let him in and out. I must now take him out with his leash to get to the pen. He has a tendency to use that as a weapon. When he feels he is not getting enough attention, he stands and whines at the door, even if he has just been out. I feel like a doorman!

Today’s Recipe

Corned Beef Pate’

1 can corned beef

1 package onion soup mix

8 oz cream cheese

1/2 cup mayo

1 T pickle relish

1 T brown mustard

dash of pepper and salt

Mix together and serve with rye crackers and dill chips.

Deer Woods Trail

deer woods trail

Deer Woods Trail Notes

Deer Woods Trail is a project I’ve been working on since 2015. I have a field next to my old house that has been fallow for many years. We used to have horses as kids and a red barn in the field, as well as a cow or two. It was carefully tended until after I was through college. The horses were sold, as I lived away from the area for some years. My parents got too old to care for the farm, so the barn was left to rot away and the field grew up with pines, water oaks, wild plums and various other saplings.

About three years ago, I had planned a tree workshop and asked my sis to get on her riding mower and mow a path around the field, so my students could get nearer to the big trees. Deer Woods Trail was born. I had a cheery yellow tin sign made for the trail head. I’ve walked the trail twice a day for three years. About a month ago, we cleared a new piece of trail, an offshoot from the original. It is closer to the swamp behind my studio. It enables me to see more of the old growth cypress trees that have grown there for many years. In dry years, the water disappears. When my daughter Sara was a child, she built a fort in the swamp. In the last few years, the swamp has been full of water in the summer, drying up in winter. At night I can hear the critters converse with each other. Twice, we have had a gator in the back yard during wet seasons, startling for sure. In summer, I don’t walk the trail from June through September. There are canebrake rattle snakes and cotton  mouths who wander the woods all summer. We keep it mowed so we will be able to find it again in the fall.

I found the old magnolia tree that my mother planted in front of the barn. I used to tie my horse up to that tree. It is now huge, with glossy deep leaves. The next leg of the trail will take me closer to it so I can get some good photos of it to paint next year. We will begin cutting the next leg next winter, when everything is dormant. Cutting a trail is hard work for a couple of old sisters. We work on it slowly.

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Deer Wood Trail brings back memories of my childhood and offers me an understanding of upland Florida. I name the tortoises who live there and Henry (studio dog) and I enjoy our exercise walks each day. I paint the big trees on the trail too. I will be taking the Upland Naturalist Program later this year and will become certified as an upland naturalist. I look forward to understanding my trail even more.

This is the current trail map:

deer woods trail

Deer Woods Trail

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Linda’s News

Al the tortoise, has emerged from his den this week. He has been basking in the sun on the sand around his den. He and Henry are still battling for territory. So far, Al is winning.

Don’t forget my next demonstration painting at Paddiwhack on May 6th, at 2 PM. Snacks are provided.

My annual cake party is May 13th at Paddiwhack Gallery, 11 AM -4PM.

Today’s Recipe

Thanks for this recipe Penny.

Side dish for ham

You cream a stick of butter with a cup of sugar and then add 4 eggs one at a time, beating well after each.   Break 3 slices of white bread into bite-sized pieces and add to creamed mixture, plus one large can of drained pineapple chunks.  Mix well and  pour into a greased 2 qt casserole and bake 350 for an hour. 

 

New Promotion Ideas

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New Promotion Ideas Notes

I’ve been playing around with new promotion ideas both out in the community and my residencies as well as in my town studio.  I have begun to put new art notes on the walls in my studio.  I write quick hand written notes about my painting experiences both on location and in studio on index cards. I place these on paintings at exhibitions, and they are easy to fit in spots around my studio between paintings. I have learned over the 10-15 years of writing newsletters, blogging and so forth, that people enjoy my process and my stories about life as a painter. I believe these little art notes clarify my thoughts about being a painter far better than any formal artist statement. I write them to describe the places I paint and about my travels. I also think the scribbled notes in my own hand are appealing to visitors to the studio. My next step is to attach them to the back of my paintings, so collectors will have a record of my experience for their paintings.

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I’ve also been thinking about new ideas as gifts for the folks who work on my referral team on Facebook. I’ve been building a postal list of those who share my paintings on social media. I  send them a small painting as a thank you gift through the mail. They are followers who live all over the USA.  I like to do kind things for people who support me in any way.

I  will get to relocate my studio inside Paddiwhack in the future hopefully by Fall. It would be an ideal situation for me and give me an actual space, like I used to have in the old store. I am waiting to see it come to fruition. I have a few hundred dollars to pay for some minor upgrades, given to me by a collector/student who donated money for studio rent for me in exchange for a nice painting. Bless you Sibet! I’ve been holding on to it in the event that I might find a new space. I have many new ideas for that space.

I’ve put into place some ideas for doing monthly demos at the Paddiwhack studio at 2:00 PM. I  serve snacks and drinks and  give away a miniature painting as a prize. The first demo was a great success in April.I hope folks will come and enjoy it with me on May 6th at 2 PM.

Some new ideas for promoting art careers are always a good idea. I try to think about what people will enjoy and give it to them. Life is good when you are a painter.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Linda’s News

Yesterday as Henry and I walked Deer Woods Trail, we came upon seven doe, grazing on fresh spring grass. They were so lovely running ahead of us through the woods. They run in a row, like a long line of brown shapes with flashing white flags. It has been some time since I’ve seen them, so it was a joy. Henry was very good, not barking, but he increased his pace ahead of me, so I had to increase mine to keep up.

Today’s Recipe:

Fancy Mac and Cheese

1 (15-oz) jar Alfredo sauce
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 oz specialty (or penne) pasta (3 cups)

Bring water to boil for pasta. Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine in large bowl: Alfredo sauce, 1 cup cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, milk, salt, and pepper.

  1. Cook and drain pasta following package instructions. Stir pasta into cheese sauce until well blended.
  2. Transfer pasta mixture to 2-quart baking dish; top with remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese. Bake 20–25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve.

new promotional ideas

It’ Make an Offer Friday!

This 8×10 inch painting, unframed is available until 5 PM. Make your offers to Linda by 5PM today.

Musing Emerging Artists

musings

Musing for Emerging Artists Notes

I’ve been musing more about steps for emerging artists. Last week’s post brought a flurry of ideas from my loyal friends who read this blog. Thanks each and every one of you for sharing your own perspectives for emerging artists. Let me say that there are always better ways to approach this topic than mine. I’m just writing from my own perspective and sharing what has worked well for me. Your path will be different based on your skill level, work ethic and attitude. Sometimes I inadvertently step on toes. It is never deliberate, but I must say that brutal honesty is my trademark. I’m not much for pussy footing around about the way I see the world. Since I am equally hard on myself, I think it’s ok to give my own perspective about the business of art and painting.

There is something else I have been musing about. There are too many artists beating themselves up because they are not a Rembrandt or Sargent. There is a tendency among artists to think they are not good enough because they are not at the top. Many are taking this class and that class, trying to be everything. My advice is to pick something you like and study it for all you are worth. For example, I like landscapes,trees and florals. That’s what I study year round endlessly. That’s what I expect of myself, that I get as good as I can in landscape painting. I don’t take equine painting classes or portrait classes because that takes a lifetime of study too. I don’t have time to try to be good at everything. Some artists have enough talent to do all things well, but I don’t. I’m not going to beat myself up about it either and neither should anyone else.

Some of the questions about emerging art that readers sent me:

What should I charge?

Pricing is tricky because there are many factors, not just the quality of work. Brand name is part of the equation. Is the artist a locally known, regionally known, nationally known or Internationally known? If the artist is just emerging or beginning the prices should reflect that. The medium will affect the pricing as well. Paper support mediums are always less valuable in the market than oils or acrylics. (I don’t make the rules here, I’m just the messenger.)

Start looking at other artists’ paintings who are comparable to you in stature and skill level. Try to start your prices just under theirs or about the middle range. Some artists use a square inch price but as you go up in size you will need to adjust the square inch price to keep your price from going off the scale.

Consider the area where you are selling. Is it a rural area, or more urban, Is the style of your work appropriate for the setting and the market where you sell? Urban dwellers will be much more interested in contemporary work than the rural areas. Small town America tends to be more traditional.

Remember, there is a market for every style and level of art, you just have to be patient until you find your market.

Start your prices right and the paintings will find a home. You will be better off to start a bit low and raise prices incrementally as the market improves. It is always a mistake to overprice your work because then you must live with it until the market comes to you. A good time to raise your prices is when just about everything you produce is selling fairly quickly. You can always go up, but it is very hard to go back down and devalue your work. Slow and steady is the pace for pricing.

I have been very careful not to go up too high with my work. I’m about in the middle of the pack that I paint with. Many of my colleagues are suffering now because they allowed dealers to inflate their work when the economy was booming. I have a couple of friends who are big named painters who allowed this to happen and now they teach for a living because they can’t sell anything. They can’t go back down in price and they are not selling so they are stuck.

I would rather roll along at my modest prices than to starve. Of course there is the other end of that, which artificially deflates your prices. I know a local painter who is essentially wholesaling her work. She screws everyone else at gallery shows and Paint Outs because her prices are so low. She sells, but not as well as you would expect in those situations, and essentially ruins sales for everyone else. She wants to make clear that it is her territory and she will undercut everyone there to remain the top seller. She brags about being the queen of the community artists. So, it is more important to her to have bragging rights than to have her prices at a reasonable level. She survives on volume sales.

Once you establish your prices, leave them there until you start selling consistently, then bump them a bit once a year as long as you are still selling well. A lot depends on the economy and other factors. Election years are traditionally poor for art sales. People are uneasy. I usually bump my prices every other January. I always announce the hike a couple of months early, which encourages sales before the price raising. I always know there is going to be a period of sticker shock for a month or two. Realize that when your prices go up you are leaving one market and moving into another. It takes time to build up the new higher end market for your work, so be prepared for lean times for a month or more while the transition goes from one market to the next.

Inevitably you will get remarks from people that say they cannot afford your work anymore. I always say ” Isn’t it wonderful that I can command decent prices for my work? Now I can support my family as I should.” That shuts them up immediately!!!

How and Where to Show?

When you have built a consistent body of work, you can begin to make CD’s of the paintings and enter a few local juried shows. Your local art leagues often have shows around the community and they are a place to start. Restaurants, hair salons, book shops and business offices are all good starting places. First prepare your PR package. Print out your artist statement and bio along with a thumbnail sheet of images and your business cards to put in a manila envelope. Take that with you to your appointments with possible vendors. Call first and make a proper appointment. Take a nice framed painting with you in the car if the want to see one.

Do I need a Web Site?

Web sites can be expensive to produce and to optimize. I believe every professional artist needs a web site. There are alternatives to building our own. Fine Art Studio Online builds a dandy one for you at a reasonable fee. If you are starting out that’s a good way. For emerging artists, I believe the blog is a good route to go. It is like a web site and can be managed by you. It is easy and popular. Most importantly, it’s free!!

You talk about gallery representation versus self-promotion. But galleries generally take a large percentage – 40 to 50 percent. Does that mean artists need to boost their prices in order to make a decent profit? I would love to read about how artists deal with this disparity.

If you are going to show both in galleries and self rep, you must price the same for galleries and your own studio. If you are self representing without gallery affiliation, You have the advantage of setting the price for yourself. Since you don’t have to pay commission fees you can set your price range at a more reasonable amount. Without gallery affiliation, you are entirely in charge of your pricing strategy.

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How do you learn to talk about your work?

Some marketing experts advise that you practice in front of a mirror and memorize a speech about your work. I guess that works for some folks, but for me there is a falseness about that method. Canned if you will. To me, the secret to talking about your work is three fold.

1.You must believe whole heartedly in your worth as an artist. You must believe that you have value and that your work is meaningful to others. Without that core belief in yourself, you will not be able to talk intelligently about your work. You must feel passion about being a painter and desire to share that passion with others.

2. You must feel passion and excitement about your subjects and the stories and culture that weaves through the subjects you choose. These are equally important to the work itself.

3. You must deeply care about the person who purchases your work or who is interested in you. Their interest and input is vital to your success, They should never be marginalized. Art is really about sharing with those who have an affinity to your work. If you focus on them instead of yourself, you will be able to talk more freely without a formulaic approach.

These questions are some that all of us as artists must spend time musing about over a career. Be thoughtful in your choices of career, but never feel you are not good enough.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

foreshortening-tree-limbs

Tree Paintings

 

 

 

Self Confidence

musings

Self Confidence Notes

Self Confidence means everything in an art career. I’ve been thinking about why some artists are successful and others are not. My definition of success in this context is the ability to survive on your art as a career, not as a hobby. I’m not talking about wealth or notoriety, I leave that for the Thomas Kincaids of the world, I’m just talking about being able to work full time as an artist.

I really believe the prime factor is self confidence. It’s that simple. I never doubt for a minute that I will somehow survive as an artist, even during very bad economic times. I have weathered more storms than I can count. By confidence, I don’t mean the fake art snobbery that is so prevalent these days. Artists who make fun of other artists who might sell their work on Ebay or directly from their studios, or not have a fat resume.

I detest the exclusivity that I see everywhere from artists, including art organizations who turn down artists for signature status. That is laughable to me. They can’t wait to get annual dues from the masses, but give a few elite artists the nod for stardom.

I digress here, sorry.

Painting Clouds Tutorial PDF 20.00

I have known many artists in my day with great potential. They failed in their careers because they were not willing to take risks and were not confident enough to try anything they were unsure of.

When I first started teaching workshops years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. I knew that I could paint and that I knew a lot about equipment, and I knew a lot about how to organize, so I said, “I’m
going to teach workshops” and I did. I knew nothing about marketing and selling art, but I knew I had to do it if I were going to be able to work as an artist, so I went to work and learned it. It didn’t take long to realize that I had learned a heck of a lot, so teaching became the research part of my job. I really love seeing my students grow and flourish. I know nothing about writing, but I have something to share about my long and colorful career, so now I write too.

Part of the self confidence is being willing to try different ways to sell art. I’m talking about flexibility. I’m not a portrait painter but I find my self doing them from time to time. If I’m painting large paintings, but small paintings are selling, I will do small painting until the large paintings start selling again. All of that has to do with being self confident enough to go for it when the opportunity comes up. You must believe that you can do anything, and then you will.

Being confident each day that you can get up and do at least one thing to improve your chances for success is a great self  confidence motivator. When my daughters were little, I had to take a career path in the food industry as a chef and baker. I was a single parent and needed more income. I never stopped painting and planning my art career. I did art festivals on weekends. I knew I would get back my art career full time and I did by the time my oldest daughter got to high school.

You may be working in an office, dreaming of a career as an artist. Stop dreaming and go home every day to your planning notebook. Find your potential collectors. Paint every day, even if it is a half hour. Start being noticed on social networks, build your mailing list. All of those tasks can be done while you work another job.

Be prepared to work hard every day. An art career is no picnic. Put you well thought out plan together and then move ahead with a well constructed schedule and plan. Start part time if needed, but be self confident that you will succeed.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…….

 

Demonstration Paintings

demonstration_paintings

Demonstration Paintings Notes

Demonstration paintings are a fun way to build interest in your work. A bit of planning will help it be smooth and enjoyable for you and your audience. If you are not experienced in doing demonstration paintings in front of viewers, practice first in front of your friends or family. Set up your equipment, sit chairs around and paint for them. Encourage them to ask questions, just as an audience would. Stop frequently to speak to your audience and explain your process.

Before your demonstration painting, decide how you will promote the event at least a month in advance. You will want people to come. I use posters and flyers posted on social media and on the front door of my studio. This is a monthly event for me, so people are becoming used to the same day each month for a demonstration. If this is a once in awhile event for you, you will need to do more publicity to bring people out.

I always like to serve a snack and beverage to my guests. I serve lemonade and prepackaged snacks, like popcorn, pretzels, peanuts, in the little packages. It is so much easier than baking or having the mess of dirty plates. I set up the beverages on the table, away from the demo and they help themselves. I also give away a miniature painting on paper at each demo. It is just a fun bonus for attending. I have the visitors write their initials on a piece of paper and draw the name.

Many painters consider the painting to be self explanatory and don’t wish to be bothered with questions during the process. To me that is missing a real opportunity to be instructive. My demonstration paintings include more talk about process than painting really. I like to do small steps and stop in between them to talk about compositional planning, color mixing, how I decide on values and where to place them. I will work a bit and then begin to talk about the painting again, doing some color mixing instruction, talking about what might improve the composition and so forth until it is fairly far along. Rarely do I finish one in the allotted time and that really doesn’t matter. What is really important is the process of making a painting and the decisions that must be made to be a successful painter.

How to Design and Promote a Professional Paint Out

I encourage questions from viewers. Many people who are interested in viewing a demo are painters. Painters are far more interested in how to put together a painting than purchasing it. Most of the demos I am asked to do away from my own studio are for art centers,  and art leagues.

Here are some things I do to help viewers at art league demos. I like to have a story board to show so viewers can see a painting and read the information and process. I will often do the first and middle stages separately of a painting I plan to do at a demo in advance, bringing them with me. This really saves time and allows them to quickly see what a painting looks like in the early stages. I spend a bit of time talking about those stages and then I will often take the middle stage painting and finish it to completion, so that they can see the entire process of the painting. If I have time, I will also do a small alla prima painting so they can see the whole process. Keep in mind that I work pretty quickly anyway. The more visual aides and verbal communication you give people, the better they like the demo. It is also nice to make a 1 sheet flyer with thumbnail images of the demo painting from start to finish with each stage. You can include your contact info and web site and hand them out to viewers in an envelope with a brochure and business card. If you wish to promote classes or workshops, add a sheet about those to hand out. Easy promotion. I have no need for this for my in studio demos, but it is great for doing demos at art centers.

Sidewalk demos are very useful in tourist areas, or even in front of popular restaurants. Be sure to have your promotional materials with you, and your credit card reader on your phone. Sometimes they sell right off the easel.  You must ask permission to paint in front of businesses. Most of them will welcome the attention you give them.

The main thing to do is be interactive with viewers. Don’t cut them out of the process. Be amusing and charming and they will love you whether you paint well or not. ;>)

More Musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Career Failures

career_failures

Career Failures Notes

I’ve had plenty of career failures during my tenure as a professional painter. I believe this is the crux of the problem for most new painters. They are so afraid of looking like a career failure that the fear paralyzes them into inertia. Most people know that to be an artist for a living takes guts and determination. You must be willing to fail repeatedly, sometimes for years. Not only can you fail at being a good painter, but you can fail miserably at business and marketing as well. If you plan to do art for a lifetime, be prepared for many failures. It is the nature of the beast.

I’ve had a zillion failures in my long career and I expect to continue along that route for some time to come. This is not really a big deal. It doesn’t kill me. It doesn’t really hurt anyone else. It allows me to grow, both as a business person and as a painter. All those hundreds of bad paintings over the years has helped me to reach the level where I am, considerably better and more skilled than I was while doing the failing. All the business mistakes, bad studio locations, poor advertising choices I have made over the years have taught me some pretty significant lessons on what not to do in my business.

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I believe I would not be the better person I am today without all the costly mistakes I made in a bad marriage, childrearing missteps, business and art. Every failure has cost me in varying degrees, but has also set me on a better path later. As a young painter, fresh out of art school with my important looking diplomas, (I don’t even know if I still have them. Haven’t seen them in years.) I was full of a false sense of superiority. My hubris was ugly and unkind. I notice this a lot with painters who are not fitting in their own skin well. One upsmanship seems to be a disease for artists. We have to fit in our pecking order and push others out of the way to get to the top. You can always see artists sizing each other up in an “I’m better than you” way. I was like that for some years. I hate to admit it but I was a snob as a younger artist. It is laughable to me now and I feel so much better, being just a country painter.

Getting beaten up by the art world a few times cured me of that false notion. That failure was the best of all. It freed me from all notions of being high up in the art world. I learned to treat people kindly and to really appreciate them and what I am lucky enough to have now.

Failure is not really failure at all. It is instead a learning method and a way to grow. Never let failure be the end result. It is simply the beginning of a new stage for you as an artist and a person. It is school really. It makes the successes in between seem like huge victories. When I see a really good painting on my easel, I wonder who snuck in my studio to paint it? When I sell a high priced painting, I think how is that possible? Those successes are what make the failures worth living through.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Buyers Scams

buyers_scams

Buyers Scams Notes

Buyers scams can be a real problem for professional artists. I get at least one a month and sometimes more. They usually come from someone who says they live in another country or state, wanting to purchase work for their wife or new home. They almost always pick out a particular painting they want to purchase, asking for information about the painting and ask if it is for sale.

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It is obvious that buyers scammers have already seen the painting on a web site, so this is their opening gambit. They want to use their credit card to purchase or a cashier check. Some want to have it picked up at your studio. There are dozens of variations to this scam.
The best way to thwart these scammers is to tell them they can only purchase from your web site and you only ship in the USA. Most professional artists have a shopping cart system on their web site. Mine goes through Paypal. There is no reason that anyone cannot purchase through a shopping cart system. They offer e-checks, or CC purchase.
Buyers scammers may try to talk you into another form of payment or wiggle around telling you the sales will be high end, etc. Don’t fall for this or accept any special arrangements from them. They are not legitimate purchasers. No matter how enticing this may look to you if you are broke and need to sell, don’t fall for it. Any legitimate buyer will be willing to go through your web site to purchase or directly through Paypal or another online service.  Yes, I accept checks from friends who live away from my town, but I know them and have dealt with them before. They are trustworthy.
There are also gallery scammers. Unfortunately, they are much harder to deal with. I have had more than one problem with shabby gallery dealers. I have lost paintings, gone without payment from bad gallery dealers. Most of the time they are from a different area than where you live. It is hard to keep up with them because they are far away. It is important to keep up with your inventory and communicate with dealers. It also helps to have artist friends who live in the area to keep an eye on galleries for you. I had friends who saved my paintings from a gallery who closed overnight. I never would have known at all if they hadn’t gone down and gotten my paintings for me before the creditors showed up. I never got any notice from the gallery.
There are also artists who scam their dealers. This is so unfortunate and they tarnish the reputation of the rest of us. They will tell potential collectors to buy from their home studio after a painting is removed from a gallery to save the commission for themselves. I have always given my galleries fair commission for my entire career. This is so important. We are all business people and should act with integrity.
Protect yourself from scammers of all kinds. Don’t be greedy and take high risks to save money or get money. Let’s all improve the reputation of artists by being decent to each other with the highest level of integrity.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Good Studio Habits

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Good Studio Habits Notes

 

Good studio habits make a world of difference for painters. I have maintained my studio habits for long years with much success. Here are some ways to be more productive in your studio:

 

Get some exercise. I lay out my work clothes the night before, so after my hygiene routine, I’m out the door, walking out to my trail for a few laps. I start out with thoughts of gratitude as I walk, a bit of prayer and then turn my thoughts to the business of being an artist. I let myself think freely as I enjoy the natural world. I make plans, remember items I must check off my to do list, and give myself a brisk workout. This gets me ready to work. I come in, start the coffee and do some arm lifts with light hand weights while the coffee brews.

 

I go into my office and feed the bird, the fish, and Henry. Then I settle down with coffee, for a morning of writing my newsletter, preparing lessons for students, blogging, answering emails, and updating my web site. At 11AM, I promptly go out to my studio for painting time. I like to listen to podcasts, learning  while I work, listening to science, art, and business podcasts.

 

I usually have  paintings in progress on my oils easel and my acrylics easel. I usually will progress through the acrylics faster, due to instant drying times. I prefer to take the oils in stages. It is always good to at least have a toned, ready to paint canvas sitting on the easel. I will often do the basic draw in for anew painting before I clean up after a painting session. It gives me something to get busy with right away the next day.

 

The way to stay organized is to keep you studio ready for work. I despise a messy studio. Lived in, yes, unorganized and messy is a time waster, and poor management. Have your palette clean, your mediums at the ready, your paints laid out and brushes clean.

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I use a closet in the studio to store frames, and my canvases are shelved together, ready to use. Keeping track of your materials, knowing where they are saves time and money. I order supplies only when they go on sale. I order a lot at one time which will last me until the next sale. I stop ordering in May and order again in October, knowing that Summer is my slowest season for selling my paintings. I always order supplies when free shipping is available. Keeping up with frames and materials, buying them at optimal pricing is very important.

I save cash all year long to live on from May to October if I need to. Florida is scorching hot and humid for several months and few people hang around in Summer. Sales from June through September are traditionally poor in my area. I usually do a series of small, themed paintings for the summer, promoting them online and in studio at a low price. Planning for slower times and painting small helps get me through the summer.

 

Staying organized, being efficient and productive and using  resources wisely keeps a career on track  so you can survive even the hard months and years. Keep up with your materials, buy only with free shipping and sales, don’t spend extra money during slow times. Save back money during good sale periods. Plan for slow seasons with special smaller paintings. All of these efforts will improve your business.

 

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

 

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