Friday, May 29, 2009

Shyama Helin Collage on Wood Block

Shyama Helin at Etsy is a wonderful mixed media artist currently working on her vintage lovers series. These exquisite pieces are collages on 3/4 inch board, small beauties of 5.5 inches square. They would make a wonderful statement in a group on a display shelf.

I was drawn to them because I am involved in a fair amount of romantic writing in my current novel (in my other day job), and the images spoke to me. The colors and graceful figures are perfect for my mood. For any guys looking, these would make memorable gifts for the woman in your life.

Check out Shyama's huge range at Shyama's Etsy store.

I think these are just a perfect, somewhat whimsical, way to end the week. Have a lovely, hopefully romantic, weekend. Buy some chocolates. Put on some Jobim...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tony Moffitt on How to Sell Your Art

Today I'm plugging a relative newcomer to the blog scene, at least for me. Tony Moffitt's Art World is dedicated to helping struggling artists like us understand and benefit from good marketing techniques, and the site includes a lot of interesting interaction in the way of comments.

I needed this, because I frankly find the whole business of selling art a total wash-out - frustrating and unfathomable. I sold regularly on eBay for a few years in Australia and again when I first came to Canada, but when sales dropped off here, I stopped listing, figuring I'd exhausted my customer base. The trick is NOT to stop listing. If we paint because we must, we should also be prepared to market ourselves, exploring every option with dogged tenacity to get those sales up. Now that I've found Tony (or rather - because he is a good marketer - he found me) I believe I will jump back into the melee again. I'll reconsider my strategies with not only eBay, but Etsy, ArtFire, Zibbet, ArtWanted, ArtFlock, and ArtQ - all sites where I currently list my paintings, but where I show very little interest in them. Ho hum, I think, nothing's selling, so why bother? I'm an artist, aren't I? What do I know about marketing?

Well, I'm starting to realize that it's time to think about these things. It's also time to produce some new paintings, even if the old ones haven't sold. No doubt people do get tired of seeing the same old scenes - goodness knows, I'm tired of them myself. I'm going to work harder at positioning and correctly pricing my art. I am going to involve myself more with what's going on at these various sites. I'll think of myself in more corporate terms, as if I am a shareholder in my own public offerings.

My friend Squeakie Stone never seems to lose his enthusiasm, never stops painting, and sells extremely well. I'm going to steal some of his energy, and get back to it. Thanks for being there, Squeakie.

And thank you, Tony. I have no idea where your blog will take me, but so far you've opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about the business of art. We must remember that it is a business...

In the meantime, I will show just one of my pictures here with each posting, just to remind you that I am a painter, despite evidence to the contrary. I know you've seen them all before, but too bad. This is my art, and I'm promoting that fact.

This painting "Fall Quilt Sale" measures 16 inches by 12, acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas. It is available for sale at my Etsy Store.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lovely New Award from Caroline at Caroline's Crafts

I've just received an award from Caroline at Caroline's Crafts. It's the Byrum Spiritual Art Award, which means "You make a difference...I know, because you have for me!"

Caroline and I have become good friends. Her little grinning pumpkin cat sits on my desk and makes me smile every morning.

Thank you for thinking of me, Caroline! It's nice to know you think I make a difference.

I must pass this award onto 5 others who have made a difference in my life, so here goes:

Jenny at Alley Cat Rescue
Lynne at Folk Art and Fantasy
Mary's Granddaughter
Shelley at A Charming Place
Tanya Bond

There are many others who deserve this, but some have no blogs, which is obviously limiting, and others are either moving, taking a break, or just plain unlinkable at this time. But I love them all, and they know who they are.

I don't care to hand out awards too regularly. They are a lot of work to process, sweet though they are, and they can be perceived as clutter on some blogs. I understand this. An award can be picked up, featured, awarded to others, whatever the recipient wants. There's no need to apologize, or even get grumpy. Love the fact that others appreciate you, and that's enough.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Me! and MolMolly at Etsy

These wonderful pieces of art are by MolMolly of Etsy, an accomplished painter with a huge stash of glee up her sleeve, and they are perfect for Whimsy Friday. I'm mainly featuring her cats today, but she seems to like birds and ladies, too. I can just imagine how she'd illustrate a new version of Alice in Wonderland. I wonder if she's been approached?

It's my birthday today, so I'm treating myself to these as if they were birthday cards.

Check MolMolly's huge range of paintings and prints at her Etsy shop. Pretend it's your birthday.

Buy a cake. Invite some friends. And have a lovely weekend.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Jessy Poole's Mixed Media at Etsy

I'm not going into great detail about these unique paintings by Jessy Poole, but they can involve many layers of paper on the canvas before painting begins, and Jessy has a preference for tiny brushes to achieve the exquisite detail here. I love her colors (touch of Chagall here?) the softness of the images, and particularly her subject matter. The word 'enchanting' is the best description.

Go to Jessy's store at Etsy for a whole lot more.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tara Ross Studio at Etsy - Whimsical Art

It's Friday, and what better way to celebrate than to feature the whimsical images of Tara Ross? Nutty-looking, nonsensical, these paintings are lovingly crafted, and it's obvious Tara knows how to wield a brush. In fact, I think there's a lot more going on here than meets the casual eye. I suspect Tara has a whole other side to her, secretly producing huge Chagal-like dreamy canvases. I wonder if she'll comment on that. These are small pictures, including ACEOs, but she also has 'art you can hold'- stuffed fabric whimsies - at her site.

See more at Tara's Art at Etsy.

Have a nonsensical, happy weekend.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Julie Schronk's Southern Folk Art at BadCat7 at Etsy

Julie Schronk is a folk artist of the old Southern school. It's something I wish I could do myself, but I can't quite get that same unselfconscious joyfulness, that total lack of reserve in the work. Julie knows how to do it. She's a Texas gal who obviously loves Bayou Country. Look beyond the apparent simplicity of her art, and you'll see a wealth of surprises. A lot of thought goes into these.

Check out Julie's store BadCat7 at Etsy (interesting name...). There are many paintings there, all as humorous and colorful. Glad Squeakie Stone pointed you out to me, Julie.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Kim VanDerHoek Art at Etsy

These charming oil paintings indicate a gentle and contemplative side to Kim VanDerHoek. I love the texture and boldness of her strokes, and the wonderful array of subject matter she draws on. Although she usually focuses on Plein Air paintings, which must be easy to handle in California, she throws in charming buildings, old boots (which probably carried her to those landscapes) and even onions.

This last one is, believe it or not, an ACEO, just 3.5 by 2.5 inches. I am stunned by the detail in such a tiny artwork.

See all of Kim's work at VanDerHoek Art at Etsy. She offers prints of her work as well, if you prefer, but her originals are affordable, and would add a lovely focal point in a room.