Artist to Patron

artist to patron

Artist to Patron

Artist to Patron Notes

A common topic for a hobby artist is the lament that there is never time to paint. I t tell them that we always do what we really want to. We always make time for what is really important to us. There is no getting around it. If you watch tv, cook, do laundry, play with your kids, garden, golf, etc.etc, you are doing what is a priority for you in your life. If you are not doing art, then it is not as important to you as you may think or say it is.

Artist to Patron

Linda’s Rustic Paintings

When I was raising my kids I worked as a chef,caterer, cleaned houses and painted in between those tasks. I have always found a way to paint no matter how many other jobs I had, because it was important to me. If you are thinking about painting but not doing it, think about all of the little stuff you are doing which is not really important. Are you just making excuses and hiding from your art?

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I know a woman who insists on calling herself an artist but she hasn’t picked up a brush in 15 years. She has plenty of time to meet friends for lunch, and travel extensively, but she doesn’t have time to paint. I think there is a certain mystique in calling ones self an artist for some people. They don’t really want to paint but are loathe to give up the romantic notion that they are an artist. I’ve always considered myself to be a painter rather than an artist. There is nothing romantic about it really. It’s hard work and joyous but not very romantic when you make your living painting.

Artist to Patron

I don’t begrudge those who don’t really do any art but wish to call themselves artists. We all need something wonderful in our lives and there is nothing better than the arts.

Artist to Patron

What I would love to see is that those who don’t paint would redirect their interest toward supporting artists instead. Sponsoring or patronizing their favorite artist would mean so much more to them and to the artists they know. Some of them do become avid patrons and I believe they are happier and more fulfilled in that role. Let me say before you start throwing the rotten tomatoes, that I certainly have no say in anyone’s muse but my own and wish no offense to anyone.

Artist to Patron

Some of the former artists turned patrons, are so much happier as collectors or supporters of artists than they were as frustrated artists. They have a higher purpose in their lives. I don’t just mean financial patronage. Many of my supporters do favors for me, find me new collectors, share my paintings on social media, take me to breakfast and show kindness constantly.

Artist to Patron

The reality is that we have far more artists than collectors. Collecting is vital to the health of the artists who make their living from their craft. If I had a dollar for every hobbyist who tells me they have no time to paint, I would be wealthy in no time. What if every one of those began supporting other artists who must sell to survive? It is a thought worth considering.

More musings for artists and collectors to come……..

Todays Recipe:

Chili Casserole

2 lbs. ground chuck
2 can kidney beans
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups water
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups grated cheese
1 pkg. Fritos
Cooking Spray
1 tbs. Canola oil

Sour cream and shredded lettuce to top at the table.

Preheat oven to 350°. Brown meat & onion in oil. Drain. Add tomatos chili powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, water. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray. Place a layer of meat mixture in bottom of baking pan. Add a layer of beans, then a layer of Fritos & a layer of cheese. Repeat layers. Leave last layer of cheese to top baked casserole. Bake 35 minutes. Top with cheese & continue baking until cheese is melted & bubbly. Top with Sour cream and some shredded lettuce.

Thoughtless Collectors

Thoughtless Collectors Notes

Happily, my collectors are thoughtful kind friends. There are thoughtless collectors who make life harder for artists. Like other professionals, we have a schedule.  Collectors who make appointments in artists’ studios might not realize that they need to make a phone call to advise artists they are not coming after all. This is a real issue for artists, not a minor inconvenience.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

When I know I am having a studio guest, I fix up my studio, putting away various projects, sweeping and cleaning up, so that the environment will be pleasant. I don’t paint that day so that the studio will not be full of fumes. I prepare a nice tray of snacks an beverages, light candles, put nice music on, and wait with anticipation for new or old friends to arrive. I love having studio visitors. It is a real treat for me. A thoughtless collector who doesn’t come will cost an artist a whole day of work, not to mention the disappointment.

Testimonials from Collectors

It is thoughtless to take up a huge amount of time looking at paintings, asking the artist to take paintings off the wall to view, taking home numbers of paintings and then purchasing nothing. This is part of being an artist, but I do think collectors need to be aware of an artists feelings before misleading.

My suggestion is that the collector measure in advance, the space for a painting, so they will know what size painting they want and the subject they might want in advance. It will be kinder to come and casually look at paintings before involving the artist in a perceived purchase. Being upfront about looking and not purchasing is the kind thing to do. It’s all right to be honest in that respect. It saves the artist from anticipation of a sale. Artists are in the business to sell art, just like any other merchant. If we don’t sell, we don’t continue to paint or pay our bills.

It is thoughtless to expect painters to give discounts to strangers. I have a collectors club of people who support my career. I gladly help them because they are loyal friends who support me regularly.

It is thoughtless to expect to receive a discount for framing. Artists are selling paintings not framing. The painting is the same value whether framed or unframed. Consider the frame as a nice extra gift from the artist.

It is thoughtless to make ugly remarks about an artist’s skill level. Comments like “my grandmother paints better than you” are inappropriate. Don’t compare other artists to the artist you are speaking with. Don’t tell artists that you collect so and so’s paintings. We really don’t want to hear that. Don’t ask how long it took to paint that, as if the time spent equates with value. It doesn’t!

Treat artists as the professionals they are. Many of us have advanced degrees and have spent a life time studying our craft. We deserve the same respect that other professions command.

More notes for artists and collectors to come…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Recipe:

Pinto Bean Soup

I’ve always loved bean soup, especially the second day.

1 small bag pinto beans washed, picked through and soaked overnight.
1 small onion diced
1 bay leaf
pinch of thyme
pinch of parsley
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans chicken broth
1 ham bone or 4 oz chopped smoked ham
2 carrots diced
2 fresh tomatoes diced

Put it all in a big pot, turn it on low and let it cook all day.

Before serving, take out the bay leaf and discard Add a T of apple cider vinegar.

Yummy!! I made it last night for supper.

Visit Preparation

studio special

Visit Preparation Notes

Visit preparation is more important now than ever for artists. Having friends, students or collectors visit your studio is like welcoming an important guest to your home. Every person who comes to visit is vital to your career. Don’t take it lightly. I have two studio spaces at this time, one is a retail space, inside a store, the other is my country studio behind my home. I welcome visitors to both, but most of the visits in my country studio are preplanned. The visits to my retail studio are frequent and unplanned.

Collectors Club

I have three big parties each year, in February, May and October. They are all three food themed. Sometimes at my retail studio and sometimes at my country studio. I spend a fair amount of time preparing for them and do some advertising for those events. My studio assistant Carolyn does a lot and she is always on hand for those parties. The rest of the year, I’m on my own for entertaining.

I keep both studios arranged and ready to spiff up at a moment’s notice. I usually have no more than a half hour’s mess to clean up, just in case I have a last minute visit. I keep my little fridge stocked with bottled water and  soft drinks in both studios. I have a Keurig in both studios to make coffee and tea.

I also keep easy to put together snacks in my pantry at all times. Being a former chef makes it pretty easy for me to throw together nibbles quickly. I was raised in the South, where it was unthinkable not to offer snacks and a beverage to visitors in one’s home. I carry on that tradition in my studios. I want my visits to be pleasant and homey for my guests. I want them to stay awhile and enjoy the friendships we develop together.

I always have a variety of paintings in various sizes and price ranges, framed and unframed for guests to view. I put price lists on the wall around the studio, so they don’t have to ask the price. I never talk about selling them art unless they inquire. This is a studio visit with friends, not a used car lot. I also have my business cards and marketing materials around if they wish to take one with them. If they ask, I’m happy to do a short demonstration painting for them. I offer art lover salons, parties for friends who wish to come and celebrate together at my studios. Those are really fun.

Home Page

Don’t be afraid to show off your studio to visitors. Make it a happy and pleasant visit and they will come back again. Your studio is often more important to you than your home. it is my favorite place. Share it with friends to make wonderful memories. if your studio is your kitchen, then bake cookies and invite people in. Never be ashamed of your studio space. Even a closet should be a celebration of your special place to make art. invite people into your world.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Today’s recipe

Dessert Sauce

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 jar of chocolate or butterscotch  ice cream topping

2 oz  liqueur , your favorite flavor

Stir thoroughly and serve over ice cream, pie, or cake.

 

 

 

First Friends, Later Collectors

red-cedar-Linda-Blondheim-art

First Friends Notes

A lot of people ask me how I sell art and can make a living as a painter? I tell them “first friends, later collectors”.  Not all of my collectors become friends. Some I only sell to once and then never hear from again. Many of those collectors live far away or the painting sells in a gallery, so I don’t meet the buyer. Some of my collectors I meet once, and then they follow my career for years, purchasing occasionally through my web site, newsletter or blog.

Most of my paintings sell to folk that I meet personally and whom I spend time with, getting to know and eventually, developing real friendships together.  This takes patience.  Some of my collectors are my friends, long before they begin to collect my work.

Painting Clouds Tutorial

Collectors are the most important people in my career. I never take them for granted. I go into relationships with a sense of gratitude, that friends care about what I do and appreciate the glorious wild places that I visit and paint. Many of my collectors have a common love for rural, agricultural Florida and trees with me. We share passion for land and for natural Florida.

Building collectors is about friendship more than anything else. My collectors aren’t the kind that go to a lot of art openings and hang around much in museums. They are biologists, land conservationists, farmers, ranchers and stewards of our natural world. Some have exotic careers, some highly educated and professional, and others not. Some buy big paintings and some buy 10.00 miniatures. I am deeply grateful to all of them. We understand each other. We don’t use art speak. We talk about our dreams and experiences. We share the joy of nature and common values.

Acquiring a collector is wonderful, but they must be nurtured as in any long lasting friendship. There are times when I need to do favors, to be supportive and to listen as any friend would. It is not a one way street. I, like other collectors, am interested in my favorite artists and their lives, outside of their career. I think collectors love the artist as much as the art, and I am so fortunate to have so many friends.

My collectors and followers have helped me in so many ways. They share my blog posts, share my work on social media. They bring me students, and they even bring me supplies for my studio. I couldn’t possibly have this marvelous life and career without them. I am deeply grateful for their care and support.

More Musings for Artists and Collectors to come……

Fun with Sunflowers

sunflowers-painting-Linda-Blondheim-art

Notes From My Town Studio

I’m having fun with Sunflowers this week. Yesterday a lady came in looking for a Sunflower painting. I usually sell them quickly so  didn’t have one. I told her I’d be happy to paint one for her and I did. She picked it up today and was very happy with the painting. I decided to do another one today for my 8×10 study for the browse bin. Lots of fun. They are so cheerful and happy, it always puts me in a fine mood, to paint them.

 

 

Louise- commissioned- Linda - Blondheim-painting

Louise commissioned this painting for a friend.

People think that commissions have to be large and thousands of dollars and often they are, but I also do study quality commissions on canvas panels very inexpensively to please my collectors. She wanted a painting to use as a housewarming gift. What a swell idea!  She said she would be back to get a painting for herself soon, so I have made a friend and gained a valuable collector by saying yes to her request!

Having a variety of price points for collectors has saved me much worry. I sell my share of large and medium paintings, but much of my income comes from studies in the 100.00-450.00 price point.  I’ve always wanted to provide collectors with the ability to own original one of a kind paintings and it’s ok that I’m not famous with over the top prices. I’m happy and I make a living as a painter.  Life is pretty swell!