Here you go, a silly video I made in between laundry loads. It's in order, day one through 30. You also get a better idea of the sizes of each painting -- almost all much smaller than I usually do.
This is what I learned: I keep myself really busy, distractedly so. I think it's residual from when my Charles was at work all the time -- easier to stay busy than to be lonely. But, I'm starting to be better with organizing my own time. I have a stack of comic books waiting to be read, and January was my planned time to dive in and catch up. Instead, I took up this challenge at the last minute. I'm really glad I did.
It would have been so easy for me to give up. I had so many really good reasons to in January. For example, David Bowie and Alan Rickman's deaths the same week as my aunt's service really sunk me into a depression. I decided to stick it out, and when it comes to me painting, this may be the first time I've really kept it a priority no matter what else was going on in my life.
Not every painting was terrific. Some are destined to be painted over, but I finished. I've let myself get derailed so often in the past, especially when it had to do with being creative, NaNoWriMo and a semester of voice being two that quickly come to mind. I'm so grateful that Sheila Cameron presented me with the potential for this challenge, and to my more mature mind (?) for finally allowing myself to let creativity be a part of every day.
It wasn't always fun. Many times it was a bit stressful, but I proved to myself that I could take up a challenge and see it to its conclusion, and I think I've improved my painting just a little bit along the way.
Acrylic on canvas. 9X9"
This one is actually for an art collaboration for my Aunt Jan's service. I may write more about my Aunt Jan's passing when I'm able to.
I'll be participating in this challenge through January. Follow along, won't you? :)
I've been hanging art in Periwinkle Cottage. Hanging art and shelving books are the two things that make a house truly feel like home for me. BUT, I have some leftovers. Mermaid's Embrace, above, has found a place to hang inside, but the rest of my recent work has not.
Here's the deal -- make me an offer on any of the pieces on my Art page. I won't guarantee I'll agree if it's a low ball offer, ;) but I've always been of the opinion that art is there to be seen and experienced, not stacked in a garage, no matter how watertight. If you're not local, we'll have to figure out shipping, but let's see how the sale goes. Also, if you'd rather have a print or one of my photos, don't forget about my Society6 page. If you've been hankering for a photo I've shared here that isn't available there, just let me know, and I'll rectify that situation.
Mermaid's Embrace is still for sale. I just like how it looks above the mantle, so I won't be heartbroken if it sticks around. Art sale! Isn't that a wonderful combination of words?
The art store was packed. Maybe it was because people were stocking up on things for the holidays? I managed to wind my way around the crowds and get the items on my list: paper for my Artist’s Statement, a nice pen for writing (I’m handwriting my tags this go-around), one more canvas, some picture hanger wire – the heavy duty stuff due to the bigs, a bunch of eye screws, and some more paint – always more paint. The bill came in less than 80 bucks – the cheapest I’ve gotten out of the art store since I started working on my current project.
Since I curate the store’s gallery, I often get asked why art is so expensive. Part of that is the perception of what is expensive based on what they see. Not all art speaks to all people; in fact, most of it won’t speak to most people. There’s the supplies, obviously. Art supplies aren’t cheap. She can save a bit of money by picking up frames and canvases in thrift stores, replacing what was in or on those pieces with her own thing, but that’s only a fraction of what the artist will need to spend. I’m more blessed financially these days, so all of my canvases for this show are new – or were until I covered them in a king’s ransom of heavy bodied acrylic paint.
Then there’s the time the artist spent on the piece. Back when I wrote features about artists and galleries, I once interviewed a gallery owner who showcased new artists. Most of us don’t know what to charge for our work until we’ve been doing it for a while. Her suggestion was to charge cost of goods plus minimum wage for time. Even that factoring usually makes for more than a hundred dollars a piece.
Then there are the more abstract – no pun intended – expenses. Most of us have been working at our craft for years, slowly discovering how our muse speaks to us and how we represent that. There’s a lot of time and experience – and many trashed attempts – that are a part of that art piece you’re looking at. You’re also investing in the way that artist makes you feel. If you purchase art, she will be more able to create a diverse range of art pieces. People buying your art is also good feedback, so the artist knows that she’s on the right track.
Artists will continue to create no matter what, and realistically, until they really make a name for themselves, most of their artwork will go unpurchased. When I do a show, I hope I at least break even. I don’t think I’ve accomplished that yet. I’m actually afraid to add everything up to see how much I’ve spent on “Patterns of Nature,” but even if I don’t break even, I’m grateful for the evolution I’ve witnessed with my own work. I’m proud of these paintings. However, I feel I still must say…
Here’s to selling some art! Here’s to selling all the art!
UPDATE: "Mermaid's Embrace" and "Burned Out Stump" are now on my Society6 page.
The bigs are done (40x40"), and I'm finishing up the smalls. T-minus 20 days and counting.
These are three of my four bigs. You've already seen the first one.
Just a quick update -- I may not have been able to venture outside this weekend, but I did get my fiber art piece done! While you need to see it in person to really notice all the texture and added bits -- for example, it's hanging on a very large branch that suggests antlers -- I figured I'd share what I could with you. I really love it. Charles said it seemed rather mythic and agreed that its name, "Lost in the Forest," really fit. Two months until the show!
There comes a time every year when everything just seems to dissolve into chaos. I'm lucky in the fact that at least I manage to keep it organized chaos -- for the most part.
I'm furiously working on my art show. T-minus two and half months and counting! I just finished my first really large piece and have been working on the foundation of a fiber art piece for a couple of weeks now. If you're wondering how I've been planning this venture for the past year, my Pinterest boards can probably clue you in, especially Color Inspiration and to a lesser extent, Pictorialization. The latter is where I pin any piece that moves me.
Add that distraction to the quarterly Friends of the Library newsletter needing to be done, and our house is looking rather neglected. I thought I'd list my weekend projects, rather like Anna at Door Sixteen used to do, in order to keep me motivated. Here goes!
What do you think? Does it look possible? I'm going to try my best. ;)
See you next week! Well, as long as I survive the weekend.
I am not immune to the procrastination before a show. Since I handle the gallery for the store, I witness other artists' struggles with completing their work before their shows begin. No matter how much I intend on spacing out my work, it doesn't happen for me, either. So here I am, almost in September, with three pieces down and somewhere in the realm of 15 to go. I have three months. Will I get there? Of course! Will I feel freaked out and stressed a week before I hang? Of course I will!
I am rather excited about this show, though. My painting continues to evolve, and I find myself more and more drawn to Abstract Expressionism. This realization was solidified when I visited the Milwaukee Art Museum in May. I got such a lovely buzz of recognition whenever I encountered another Abstract Expressionist piece. My sternum was practically vibrating by the time I finished the tour. Now I find myself freer with my paints. I'm using a palette knife almost exclusively now, with a little bit of brush work, and a little bit of finger painting, too.
My newest piece, "Burned Out Stump," is already up on my Art tab, and many, many more should be following until December. If you're local, check out my "Patterns of Nature" in the Good Food Gallery starting December 6. Not local? Well, they'll be on the Art page, too. Don't hesitate to contact me if you're interested in buying something, and I'll be flexible if you need it by Christmas. I'm also planning on getting everything scanned and up on my Society6 page, in case you'd rather have a print -- or a pillow or a clock or an iPhone cover...
A blog about writing, art, projects, or whatever else tickles my fancy.