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  • Important Note

    An important note about all blog entries prior to this one of January 17, 2015, is that the posts were imported from my previous blog at Ardent Reflections on blogger.  Therefore, some links and information might be out of date, obviously, the further back you go, the more likely you will find something outdated.


  • Saturday’s Six Minute Sketch

    I’m in the process of building this  new website, after I finish it, I’ll probably do all of my art blogging here, but for now it is just in its development state.   Yesterday I worked on it all day.  Registering a domain name, installing WordPress, picking a theme, and now trying to figure out how to integrate a pay pal shopping cart.  I also need to upload images of all my paintings.  Needless to say, I didn’t have much time for painting.

    So, for today I’ll post this sketch I did a few days ago.  I timed myself at 6 minutes.  It’s a sketch of my daughter, I feel like it would have looked a lot better with double the time, but I wanted to see what I could do in six minutes.  My daughter says she looks like a “Walker” (another name for Zombie, from The Walking Dead).

    Thank you for reading! If you liked what you see, please consider following this blog by entering your email address at the bottom of the page,  or follow me on Google+.   See the right hand column to follow in any of these ways! I welcome your suggestions on how to make this blog more interesting to you!

    Fine Art America is the place to go for unsigned Prints of all my Paintings.

     

    My Etsy shop is the place to go to buy my originals that I haven’t added to this site yet, I sell a few select prints there also, and there you can choose if you’d like me to  sign them before shipping!  Eventually I’ll move all of my fine art products to this page, and leave only crafts on etsy, but for now my art is in both places.


  • Teaching a SLOW Student!

    Have you ever tried to teach anyone something?  It can be difficult!  Its even more difficult if the student you are teaching is just NOT getting it, now imagine you are doing all that, WHILE you are trying to teach something you don’t know!

    That is the struggle of the self taught artist, trial, and error, and more error.

    Lots of error.  I am trying to get the sky in a painting just right, that is how I am seeing it in my mind, it is taking a lot of error.

    Here are some of my practice sheets where I practiced different techniques to try to get the results I wanted:

    Real quality art there, right?

    But its all part of learning without a teacher.

    Eventually I moved back onto my canvas, and its not perfect yet, but I feel like I know what needs happen now, its just that the paint I already put down needs to dry before I can do more, otherwise my colors will mix and I will end up with a green sky.  I also keep reminding myself that it won’t just be a sky, there will be land and a bridge, and water, the sky will end up being only a backdrop for everything else.  I keep telling myself that, but I want to get the sky perfect anyway. It is getting close to what I see in my head, and I think I’ll be able to bring it around to that point in t the next painting session.

    Thank you for reading! If you liked what you see, please consider following this blog with Google Friend connect, or follow me on Google+, or if you prefer, you can follow by email and get notified each time the blog is updated. See the right hand column to follow in any of these ways! I welcome your suggestions on how to make this blog more interesting to you!

    Fine Art America is the place to go for Prints of all my Paintings.

     
    My etsy shop is the place to go to buy my originals and request commissioned work. A few select prints are available here as well!

  • A Throwback on Thursday

    What does an artist post on her blog when she hasn’t had time for making art? Old Art!

    Well, its not that old, I believe I did this one at some point in 2014, it might have 2013 though….  hmmm…

    I haven’t decided on a title for this abstract piece yet, in fact, I had forgotten all about it until I started looking through my mixed media sketch book. This was done with sharpies.  You probably recognize the similar style between this one and Inlets to Illusion, all of the pieces done in this style are intuitive, in that there isn’t a set plan other than to do something different in each little section of the painting, just whatever feels right. The smaller ones, like this, that I can hold in my lap and work on, are quite relaxing, almost meditative to work on.  Inlets to Illusion wasn’t as relaxing because it was too big to carry with me and work on when I had a minute, instead, I had to set aside time, pull out my easel, and dedicate myself to working on it. But this smaller piece just came with me to various places and I worked on it while I talked to people, while I waited at the doctors office, or whenever.  This picture of it is lower resolution than what I use for prints, I just used my scanner for this, I’ll get better images and upload it to Fine Art America soon.   If anyone has a title idea, let me know!

    Thank you for reading! If you liked what you see, please consider following this blog with Google Friend connect, or follow me on Google+, or if you prefer, you can follow by email and get notified each time the blog is updated. See the right hand column to follow in any of these ways! I welcome your suggestions on how to make this blog more interesting to you!

    Fine Art America is the place to go for Prints of all my Paintings.

     
    My etsy shop is the place to go to buy my originals and request commissioned work. A few select prints are available here as well!

  • Putting it All Out There

    Desires, wishes, wants, we have so many of them.

    Yesterday, my desires were fairly simple, I wanted to go to work, and after work I wanted to come home and color my hair, and then practice painting clouds on paper until I was either happy with them, or until I became too frustrated to continue.

    Well I went to work.

    After work I felt really tired, and so none of the other stuff happened.  That was okay, I accomplished something else, you see, I’ve really been thinking about how to get my art “out there” more.  I mean, I am still learning, still improving, and I’m sure in time my art will be better and attract even more buyers, but much of my the work I’ve already created is perfectly saleable.  The only reason sales have dropped is that the people who are interested in buying are not seeing it.  So I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do about that.  Somehow I have to get my work “out there” in the right places so people who buy art will see it.

    I felt that perhaps advertising would provide the answer, so on Wednesday January 7th  I started promoting listings on etsy.  Then yesterday, since the promotions had been running seven days, I decided to see what the results were, here is what I saw.  Thanks to the ads, my work had 3000 impressions on etsy, but only 14 of the 3000 impressions resulted in clicks, which ended up costing me $4.70,  and none of those clicks translated into sales.

    Okay, it was only a week, but still, 3000 people saw my work, and only 14 of those 3000 were interested enough to even take a closer look, none of them were interested enough to buy.  To me that means if I am going to advertise, I need more targeted advertising, something that would be seen by the people interested in buying art.  I mean, a lot of etsy shoppers are looking for purses, hats, and things like that.  I need some way to target those who are wanting to buy art.  But what kind of advertising would do this?  I asked myself this question, and replied to myself that I really didn’t have any idea.

    (Yes I talk to myself, and answer myself, sometimes, I even argue with myself!)

    This was all in the back of my mind as I looked at other blogs, and as if in answer to this question I ran across this video on Her Online World:

    Well, in case you didn’t have time to watch, the main points of the video were that the best sources of traffic had to  be paid for.  (That one I had kind of already figured out, organic reach is nice, but it is limited).  The next thing was that Facebook ads, TARGETED facebook ads and promoted posts are some of the best kinds of promotion.

    So I decided to try an experiment.  My etsy ads ran for 7 days, I went ahead and stopped them.  I wrote a post on my Facebook Art Page announcing that one of paintings was now available in my etsy shop, and I linked to that listing in my shop, I targeted this promotion to people who were interested in collecting art and who had an interest in home decor, as well as the specific style of the painting shown in the listing.  I decided to run this ad for 7 days, and keep track of the results.  By results, I mean that I am going to be examining my etsy stats for shop views and listing views.  After the 7 days are up, I’ll run more etsy based ads, then after 7 days of that I’ll switch back to another facebook ad or promoted listing.  I’ll record the results.

    I printed up the following calendar to keep track of such things, as you can see, the first 6 days of the month are with no ads of any kind, I am also keeping track of what etsy calls “events” which is new listings or renewals, to see if they have any significant impact.   I’ll be sure to update after completing this cycle a few times, so probably around the end of March, I’ll update and blog my findings.

    See the key up on the top of the calendar.

    Thank you for reading! If you liked what you see, please consider following this blog with Google Friend connect, or follow me on Google+, or if you prefer, you can follow by email and get notified each time the blog is updated. See the right hand column to follow in any of these ways! I welcome your suggestions on how to make this blog more interesting to you!

    Fine Art America is the place to go for Prints of all my Paintings.

     
    My etsy shop is the place to go to buy my originals and request commissioned work. A few select prints are available here as well!

  • I’ll Let You in on a Secret

    As an artist I have a secret.  It haunts me with every landscape painting I do.  I don’t know how to paint clouds.  I mean, yeah, I try… but they never come out realistic enough for me.  I do acceptably with small wispy white clouds in a blue sky, but big puffy clouds, or storm clouds I’m just never happy with.  I’ve gotten lucky on  a few paintings and had reasonably satisfying results, but usually its a wrestling match to get there.

    For example, my recent work in progress.  I first painted the whole canvas blue, because it is going to have water and sky.  I wasn’t really concerned with coating the entire canvas evenly, because I had in my minds eye some spectacular clouds that would cover most of the sky portion.So here is what it looked like after that first coat of paint:

    Well, I proceeded to try to produce my vision of these clouds, and I came very close.

    This was almost exactly what I wanted, I was thoroughly pleased with the lower left section of sky, but moving away from that area, I felt it looked worse and worse, until finally up in the right hand corner I felt I was looking at blue camo rather than clouds. I posted it to my facebook page, and to several art groups asking for advice, and was assured by everyone the clouds looked fine, but I couldn’t shake the impression of looking at blue camo.

    Maybe I should have listened to everyone, but NO, not Mrs. Perfectionist Vicki!

    I tried to fix it, but only made it worse, and finally, in frustration, I did this:

    So, I spent most yesterday evening painting, and the net result so far is a blue canvas.  NICE!

    Some day, I’m going to figure this cloud thing out.  I think I should start practicing on paper for a bit, until I get it, so I don’t have to paint over a canvas.

    ***************************************************

    Thank you for reading! If you liked what you see, please consider following this blog with Google Friend connect, or follow me on Google+, or if you prefer, you can follow by email and get notified each time the blog is updated. See the right hand column to follow in any of these ways! I welcome your suggestions on how to make this blog more interesting to you!

    Fine Art America is the place to go for Prints of all my Paintings.

     
    My etsy shop is the place to go to buy my originals and request commissioned work. A few select prints are available here as well!

  • The Future of Art

    Art has been around as long as human beings, from the time the first person picked up a charred stick and began drawing that day’s hunt onto the rock wall of the cave that was home, and all along through the years, art has changed.  There have been times when it was respected, times when it was ridiculed, times when it was valued, and times when it was taken for granted. It has continued to exist through all times because it is part of being human.  That little spark of creativity, is in my mind, the thing that lets us know we are made in the image of the Master Artist and Creator.

    Art as business though… when did that start?  Was the man in the cave considered the community historian, and given an extra share of the hunt in exchange for his services, or did the rest of the tribe look on with bemusement at his strange pastime?  We will likely never know the answer, however at some point, artists began being paid for their skill and talent, and a few were brave enough to try to make their living at it.

    There have been times when the art business was doing well, when people have had the extra money to buy something if they liked it, and times when it was doing poorly, and the artist struggles for food and shelter.
    Where is it now? Somewhere in between those extremes, at somewhat of a crossroads.  Various societal trends are impacting the art market, and will shape it in the future.

    So, here are a few developments I predict in the art business, some of which are already happening.

    1. More wearable art.  Art on T-shirts, art on shoes, art on necklace pendants, purses, and coats.  This is both printed art, and art that it is hand painted right on the products.

    2. Smaller pieces.  Mini canvases that can be made into Christmas ornaments and refrigerator magnets, this is art that those in the downsizing movement can still embrace.

    3. Street art that is created fast, in front of the buyer, providing both entertainment and an inexpensive piece of art.  Such as seen in this video.

    4. Related to the above, but a little different,  is visual art AS performance art, as seen in these videos (though not all of us artist have the ability or desire to do this):

    5. Art for the plugged-in generation.  Something similar to itunes, but for visual art. What do I mean? Well perhaps a purchase of a specific brand of digital picture frame, and then a library of digital files of artwork that could be downloaded onto that frame, with the artist getting a small royalty for each download.  I think something like that would be nice for those in smaller spaces also, since they could download several “pieces” and then rotate which one would show, providing them with changeable art.  It would also be more affordable than buying several original paintings or prints.

    6. More “art classes as social time”, such as “art parties” where people gather and an artist takes them step by step through how to create a painting, or make a mosaic, or some other project.  These are already gaining popularity, and I predict more growth in that area as people are looking for an alternative then dinner or a movie when wanting to get out.

    7. More commissioned work.  For those people who do have their own home with room for art, often, they have something specific in mind, a specific color scheme or subject matter that they want for their home, what better way than to hire an artist to make it just for them?

    Most of all though, I see art just simply continuing on, as it has since the times of the cave-paintings.

    Thank you for reading! If you liked what you see, please consider following this blog with Google Friend connect, or follow me on Google+, or if you prefer, you can follow by email and get notified each time the blog is updated. See the right hand column to follow in any of these ways! I welcome your suggestions on how to make this blog more interesting to you!

    Fine Art America is the place to go for Prints of all my Paintings.

     
    My etsy shop is the place to go to buy my originals and request commissioned work. A few select prints are available here as well!

  • Finally Decent Photos!

    Way back LAST YEAR or a week and half ago, however you look at it, I posted a cellphone photo of my painting, “Inlets to Illusion” and promised that I would soon have a quality photo of it to share.  Well, my setup for photographing my paintings is not ideal, I have to rely on outdoor weather to be just right, namely, it must be overcast over the entire sky, but not raining, not windy, etc.  So, I’ve been biding my time, waiting, and yesterday the weather was perfect for photography of fine art!

    So finally I get to share with you not only my “Inlets to Illusion”, but also the painting that I finished on Friday and posted cellphone photos of on Saturday.

    First things first, here is “Inlets to Illusion”, if you’d like to see it bigger, which I highly recommend to fully appreciate the optical art qualities, click on it, it will take you the website where I sell prints of my fine art paintings, but there is no obligation to buy just because you looked!

    Photography Prints

    And now, for the impressionist and intuitive “No-Brush Painting” which I ended up titling “Sky Ablaze”.

    Art Prints


    So that’s all for today, Happy Sunday!

    Thank you for reading! If you liked what you see, please consider following this blog with Google Friend connect, or follow me on Google+, or if you prefer, you can follow by email and get notified each time the blog is updated. See the right hand column to follow in any of these ways! I welcome your suggestions on how to make this blog more interesting to you!

    Fine Art America is the place to go for Prints of all my Paintings.

     
    My etsy shop is the place to go to buy my originals and request commissioned work. A few select prints are available here as well!

  • A Brushless Painting

    Tonight,  I began a painting.  I was feeling like I wanted a break from tight details like my last painting consisted of, I wanted to do something loose and free.  So I grabbed a canvas and my paints, and a couple of pieces of sponge, and I began to randomly paint a background. I didn’t really have a plan for where it was going at this point, so I took some time to just look at it and wait for it to “suggest” something.  I got several ideas, depending on which way I oriented the canvas.

    Finally something came to mind, and I decided that I wanted to continue working without brushes, I decided that the entire painting, with the exception my signature when I was finished, would be finished without brushes, using only sponges, palette knives, and fingers.
    Here is the painting nearly finished. 
    There were some dark marks left in the upper right hand corner from when I painted the background with no idea what the painting would be, they looked out of place in the sky. So when I went to put the grasses int the foreground, I decided to also put in some tree branches up in that corner, and here is the finished product.  The only place a paint brush was used was for my signature.  The only thing remaining  to be done is to paint the bottom of the canvas black, after the painting dries enough to be turned over.
    The colors aren’t quite true in this phone photo, but a better photo will be coming soon.
    So, all in all it was a productive night!

    Thank you for reading! If you like what you see, please consider following this blog with Google Friend connect, or follow me on Google+, or if you prefer, you can follow by email and get notified each time the blog is updated. See the right hand column to follow in any of these ways! I welcome your suggestions on how to make this blog more interesting to you!

    Fine Art America is the place to go for Prints of all my Paintings.

     
    My etsy shop is the place to go to buy my originals and request commissioned work. A few select prints are available here as well!