• Tag Archives painting
  • The Song in My Head

    Music to Paint By

    Like many artists, quite often when I paint, I like to have music playing.  Now, many artist have specific type of music they listen to every time they paint, it might be classical, it might be jazz, it might be heavy metal, but most artists I’ve talked to have a very specific type of music they prefer to paint by.  But I like a variety.

    Sometimes I paint to the soundtrack of Les Miserables, sometimes I paint to jazz, quite often I paint to the sound of classic rock or surf rock.  Honestly though, I like to choose a play list that mixes many different types, from easy listening to rock to jazz to country, and when I am the one who selects the songs for the playlist to paint by, there is one song that almost always makes its way into the mix.

    Often, even if I do not have any music playing, I’ll find this song playing in my head.

     

    The song in my head.

    The song that plays over and over in my head when I paint in silence, is “Vincent” by Don McLean, if you’ve never heard it, it is song about my favorite painter of all time, Vincent van Gogh.  The lyrics and music are soothing and smooth, but sad, and the images that the song brings to mind are the beautiful paintings of this revolutionary master in post impressionism.

     

    Vincent, by Don McLean

    Rather than just tell you all about it though, I’ll just share the song in the form of this YouTube video, complete with a slideshow of Vincent’s paintings.

    What About You?

     

    What song runs through your head, while you do whatever it is you do? Click To Tweet

    So, what about you?  If you’re an artist, do you listen to music while you create?  If so, what kind?  Let me know in the comments.

    If you’re not an artist, do you listen to music while you do whatever it is you do?  Please tell me about it in the comments, tell me what you do, and what music you listen to while doing it.

    Or if you have the sort of job that doesn’t allow for listening to music, what kind of music do you listen to in your spare time?  I’d love if you’d share with me.


  • What Goes into a Painting?

    Art, A Labor of Love, But Still Labor!

    I love creating artwork, it is very fulfilling work, but, and this may surprise some people… it is still work.  Sure, its work I choose to do, work I enjoy doing.  Just like someone who has a hobby of gardening chooses to work in the garden, and someone who loves restoring classic cars chooses to work in the garage.

    Not All the Work is just Drawing and Painting

    Then, if I choose to sell my art work, there is more work involved. Some if it is just time consuming, like what needs to be done for online sales, and some is back-breaking physical work like what needs to be done for in person sales.

    For online sales I have post keep up with listings online, I need to promote and share the work on social media (since people won’t buy it if they don’t know its there).  For in person sales I have to load everything in my van, take it to the outdoor market or art walk, set up my tables, display walls, and/or canopy, hang up all the paintings and arrange the other pieces on the tables.  Then of course I need to stick around for the duration of the market, talking to people, smiling and saying hi and going out of my way to appear cheerful, even if on a particular day I am not making enough to cover what I paid to be at the market.  Then I pack everything up and go home at the end.  I don’t know if my reader has ever set up a commercial canopy, folding tables, plus a bunch of displays… but it is a lot of physical work to have four or five hours to attempt sales.  Some days after all this I’ve made a little more than I spent, other days I haven’t even covered my booth fee, let alone the cost of my materials to make my art, and let alone especially actually making anything to speak of for my time spent.

    Selling Art at the Farmer's Market
    My booth at the Farmer’s Market.

    Yet I keep doing it because I love making art, and I want other people to enjoy my art as well.  Of course I also hope that someday it will pay off so that I can first break even, and perhaps even make a few bucks an hour for my work.

    I view the market days more as advertising than as actual sales opportunities, I use the “sell on etsy” app, so every sale made at the market, even if not profitable because of the booth fee, helps to raise my etsy shop in the search rankings.  I also hand out a lot of flyers for my commissioned pet portraits.

    So Now, What Does Go into a Painting?

    Well, as I said before, love.  Take for instance the latest pet portrait I’ve been working on.  Its just a little 5×7, many people balk when they hear I charge $20 for a little 5×7 painting.  But what went into it?

    Well, first I had to connect to a customer, this meant that I had to be at the market distributing my pet portrait flyers. This meant that for three weeks I was at the market, paying the booth fee, and two of those weeks I didn’t earn quite enough to cover the fee… but I won’t count the two weeks that didn’t connect me with this customer, I’ll just focus on the week that did connect me with them.

    Well, that day I was fortunate to make a sale right away that covered my booth fee, which meant that if I sold anything else, I was coming out slightly ahead for my efforts.  I like days like that, and after that point, remaining cheerful and sociable was easier than it is on days when I am operating in the red for the day.

    So, here I am in my booth for five hours, and I made a few sales beyond that first sale I already mentioned, I also talked to people handed out business cards and flyers, and generally tried to get my name out there.  I watched as two people walked up, oohed and ahh-ed over one of my paintings, asked the price, and then upon hearing the price quickly found that they had to be somewhere else.

    I resisted the urge to point out that this was not a mass produced print-on-canvas from Walmart, it was an original painting, from the artist, with probably 20 or more hours of work into it.  Instead I just watched them go.  I don’t believe in the “hard sale”, I did offer to give them a 25% discount, but apparently that wasn’t enough.  I am not going to act like a used car salesman, either someone values my work or they don’t, I wished them a nice day and watched them leave.

    Okay, finally the older couple with their granddaughter walk into my tent.  The granddaughter is visiting from another state, and will only be around for one more week, but she MUST get one of my pet portraits she says, but she needs to have it by next Saturday.   I explain I can have a 5×7 or 8×10 ready by next Saturday, but the larger sizes may or may not be doable.  It turns out that isn’t an issue, since they are only interested in the 5×7.

    I take down the information to contact them if I need to, and tell her I need photos of the dog.  She sends to my phone several low-resolution, fuzzy pictures, none of which that really shows the dog’s whole face, but that’s okay, I can work with them, between all the photos I feel I can get what I need.  The most problematic thing is that in the pose she wants, the dog is wearing a shirt, and she doesn’t want him wearing a shirt in the painting.  That means I have no way of viewing the shadows and muscle structure on much of the dog’s body.  I figure I’ll “fake my way” through it, and do okay by looking at pictures of other dogs of the same breed, and assuming her dog has similar muscle structure.

    That night after the market I get right to work.  I don’t want to waste time, because this painting needs to be finished by the next week.  The dog I’m painting is a pit bull, one of the most misunderstood breeds.  Here comes the “love ingredient” again.  As I paint, I feel as if I’m bonding with this dog.  His eyes look so soulful.  Pleading.  I think about how everyone assumes a pit bull is a bad dog, then I decide the title of the piece should be, “But I’m not a Bad Dog!” as he looks over his shoulder with his puzzled, emotion filled eyes.

    A couple of times as I paint his eyes, my own eyes start to tear up… I tell myself to knock it off and get the painting done.

    After about 4 1/2 hours, getting up several times to try to find pictures of pit bulls sitting with their back turned to the camera, and not really succeeding.  I just do my best to imagine the shading, and  I decide I”m done for the night.  I have a painting that looks like this:

    Portrait of a pitbull
    Pit Bull Portrait

    I go to bed.

    The next day, I post the picture of the painting on a facebook group for artists.  Every person either clicks like or says something positive.  One person says it looks “cartoonish” because of the lack of texture in the back.  Well, I am not offended by this, I think its a little true, so I decide to try touching up the back and trying to get more realistic shading in it.  I add shadows for the ribs, but then I feel like the dog looks too thin.  So I paint them mostly out, leaving just a hint of them.  I give the dog a more prominent shoulder, since I notice most pit bulls have fairly large shoulders, perhaps a slightly deeper chest too.  Yes, now that looks better.  A few more highlights, reduce the wrinkles in the neck as I realize they were mostly caused by the tight t-shirt and the dog probably doesn’t usually have such prominent neck folds.

    Yes, now I feel like I’m looking at a well proportioned pit bull.  I look at the clock, I’ve spent another 2 hours on it.  So, now it has taken 6 1/2 hours, and I still need to do the isolation coat(s) and two layers of varnish.  Those are not labor intensive, most of the time spent is just waiting for layers to dry.  I figure the actual labor involved will add another 15 minutes to the time altogether.  Then I’ll wire the painting for hanging, that will take another 5-15 minutes, depending on how it goes. So all in all this 5×7, $20 portrait, will have taken me between 6 hours, 50 minutes to 7 hours to complete.

    My paints are some of the highest quality, so I’d say that I probably used at least $2 worth of paint, medium, and varnish… at least.  Then there’s the canvas.  I don’t remember what I spent on it, it may or may not have been on sale when I bought it, however to buy another like it right now will cost me around $2.50 unless I can find a really good sale… so from my $20 price tag, lets take off $4.50 in materials.  That means I made $15.50 on this painting.  It took me around 7 hours to complete… so I made (insert drum-roll here) around $2.21 an hour!!! And I didn’t even count the cost of my hanging wire and eyelets for the back of the canvas! I also spent a lot of time at the market waiting for the customer to show up, you know, time that, if I was working for someone else at a store, I’d have been being paid for… but I don’t know any artist who worries about that time watching the booth, we just count the time spent actually creating the art.

    So, is Creating Art Worth it?

    Financially, is it worth it?  Well, I’d make more with my time working at a minimum wage job.  So I can’t really say its “worth it” financially at this point.  Of course, someday, after I have my name out there a bit more, perhaps I’ll be able to charge more, maybe I’ll even make $5 an hour!!!!  😀

    But is it worth it?  Well, I loved making the painting.  I will love seeing the granddaughter’s happy face at receiving the portrait of her best friend.  I will smile with pleasure seeing her walk away happy, and knowing that she will put that painting on display and enjoy looking at it and thinking of her dog.  Thinking about that makes me happy.

    So, Was it Worth It?  Absolutely!
    Is Creating Art Worth it, Absolutely! Click To Tweet

     

    So, next time you see an artist selling original artwork, stop, think.  Remember this isn’t a print.  Remember that the artist may have spent 7, 8, 10, or even 40 hours creating it.  Remember that even though the artist LOVES creating, her time is still limited, just like yours, and still worth something.  She still has bills, still has a family that needs to eat, still has to set aside the time to create, and even though she loves it, that is time she is not spending earning money somewhere else, or relaxing with her family.

    Visit an art supply store, look at the professional grade paints, not the student paints, the professional ones.  Look at the canvases, at what is charged for a canvas with nothing painted on it.  Look for something called “soft gel gloss”, this is used for an isolation coat over the painting, check the price.  Then look for professional grade polymer varnish, this is used as a final protective coat over acrylic paintings, usually two coats are required.  Now, check the price of hanging wire and eyelets to attach it to the back of the painting…

    Am I telling you to do all this to guilt you into spending more than you can afford to?  No, your family needs to eat as well… I am simply telling you this to help you understand, that most artists are actually NOT charging extravagant, inflated prices for their work.  Most artist are making less with their time than the guy handing you your tacos through the drive-through window.  So, if you see an artist with work you like, even if you can’t afford the painting, try not to look shocked and horrified when the artist tells you the price, and don’t say things like, “I could never spend that much on a picture!!!”  Instead, smile and tell the artist you like it, but don’t have the money for the original right then, and inquire if and when prints of the work might be available, or if the artist has any similar smaller works that might be in your budget.  And, if you know someone who CAN afford original artwork, take a business card and pass it along to that person, be sure to mention how AMAZING the artist’s work is and strongly urge the person to check it out.  Perhaps even log onto the artist’s website with them, and show them the artist’s work.
    Who knows, maybe when they see how much you like the artist’s work, they might even buy you a piece as a gift!

    Think back to the gardener and classic car restorer I mentioned in my first paragraph.  They also love what they are doing, but you wouldn’t expect the gardener to pay for a booth at the farmers market and give the vegetables away for free from that booth.

    You also would never expect someone to spend countless hours restoring a 1957 Chevy, and then turn around and sell it to you for $100 bucks.  You would understand that uniqueness of this custom restored car, and the hours of work spent restoring it, justified a fair price, and if you couldn’t afford it, you wouldn’t insult the person by trying to get them to sell it for less than 1/10 of its value.  Instead you would tell them what a neat car it was, and express that you wished you had the money for it, and leave them at least feeling good about the work they did.


  • Short and Sweet

    Today’s post will be short and sweet, or short at least.

    Today I worked at the job that buys my paints, which is cleaning houses.  I had surgery exactly one week ago today, and maybe that is why today wore me out so much.

    After work all I could do is crawl into bed for a couple of hours.  I couldn’t sleep though, and just rested in the dark with my eyes closed.

    Obviously, painting was out of the question, as is a long blog post.

    So today I will just share a work I did some time back.  I haven’t taken time to upload it to this new website yet, but it is on my Fine Art America page.  It’s title is “Butterfly on Thistle”, (quite an imaginative name, isn’t it?)

    Anyway, the original is a small piece, 5×7 on back stapled stretched canvas.  I felt that I did a pretty good job capturing the detail of this tiny creature.  This is one of the few pieces I did that I was completely happy with when I finished, I didn’t feel that I would change anything if I could.

    What does it have to do with my day today?  Oh, I don’t know.  Maybe its just about finding a touch of beauty even among the “thorns and thistles” of a tough day.

    Photography Prints


  • What’s a Good Artist?


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    What does it take to be an artist?

    Well, it takes a desire to create art, and the initiative to act on that desire.

    If you’ve ever drawn a picture, molded clay into a form you’ve imagined, glued paper scraps into a collage, or in some other way have designed and assembled a creative work, then you ARE an artist.

    What does it take to be a good artist?

    Some would say it requires a Bachelors or a Master’s degree in art, and yet one of the world’s most well-known and best-loved artist, Van Gogh, attended several different art schools with sporadic attendance, and didn’t actually graduate from any of them.  He also disagreed with much of what he was taught.  In spite of that, he produced a great number of treasured, beautiful works such as the two below.

    “Starry Night Over the Rhone” by Vincent van Gogh – Unknown. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

     

     

    VanGogh-starry night
    Starry Night, by Vincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

     

    Grandma Moses never went to Art School at all.

    1918 fireboard byGrandmaMoses
    By Grandma Moses [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

     In addition, there are, or have been many other accomplished artists with all levels of art education, from none at all, to those holding several degrees in different disciplines of art.  So, it would seem that educational level is not a valid indicator of what makes a good artist.

    To me, it stands to reason that a good artist is an artist who creates good art.

    So What is good art?  Answering that question, is of course,  impossible.  There are as many definitions of what is “good” art as there are people to look at art. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes good art, from Jackson Pollock’s seemingly random spatters of paint, to Picasso’s distorted-looking portraits, all the way to pencil drawings so realistic they can be mistaken for a black and white photograph.  Such as the works in the video below, there are many different kinds of art, all “good” in their own way.

     

     

    In my opinion, the best way to decide if you are a good artist,  is to ask if your art is something that brings you satisfaction?  Not just in the creation of it, but in the finished product as well.  Do you look at what you’ve created and feel pleasure, or do you feel nothing but frustration?  Now, I don’t mean that when you look at your work you should see no problems, or see no room for improvement, but overall, are you pleased with your work even though you may still see some problems or areas you need to improve in?  If so, that is as accurate a definition of good art as any I can think of, so if you’ve created even one piece of art that meets that criteria, you are a good artist!

    In that sense,  I too can call myself a good artist.  There are many of my works that bring me pleasure when I view them.  However, not all of them do.

    Those who have followed my blog for some time are aware of how dissatisfied I often am with the skies in my paintings, and how even with the few that I am happy with, it was usually a huge struggle and challenge to get them to that point.  Any sky with more than a tiny wispy cloud in it is the bane of my existence as an artist.  The idea of plain blue skies in every painting also doesn’t really appeal to me.

    So, I’ve decided to tackle that problem the way I do every challenge I face as an artist.  I will practice, and practice, and practice some more.  I will look at the work of those I feel have mastered that element, and I will try to learn how they did it, I may even reproduce it (though not to claim as my own, just for practice).

    I will persist with this practice until I look at the sky in front of me, or at a photo I’ve taken of the sky, or even just imagine the sky I want, and render it in a painting to my satisfaction without hours of struggle and repainting.

    In order to do that, I’ve decided that once a week, I will paint a practice sky, it will usually be small, on paper, possibly as small as an index card.  One a week, until I no longer feel that a sky is an insurmountable challenge to me.

    No matter what day I actually do the painting, I will post it on Sunday, and call it “Sunday Skies”. I will begin this feature on Sunday, January 25th.

     

    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.


  • Trial Error, Error, Trial, Repeat

    Yesterday was another day of website building.  There are some things with WordPress that drive me crazy.  When I post the link to my website on Facebook, it doesn’t have a thumbnail image on it, and I’ve tried all the tutorials to fix the problem, but it persists.

    In spite of that, my website is coming along.  I am making progress with it.  I’ve imported past blog posts there, and for a while I’ll be posting on both, but soon I’ll be moving.  I hope that those who have followed me on blogger will come over to this  WordPress site and follow me here as well.

    In addition to the website work, I’ve added up the cost of doing business as an artist over the past year, and compared that to what I’ve made in sales.  I  just wanted  to find out how much money I’ve made lost as an artist.  Well, I won’t share details, but I will say that I can see where the term starving artist comes from!  I didn’t expect to make a profit over last year, but I did expect a smaller deficit than I saw.

    On an encouraging note,  there were a lot of expenses that I won’t have to repeat any time soon, like buying a canopy for art shows, tables for the canopy, a cart to move supplies with at art shows, and other big-ticket items like that.  I also had quite a few prints and cards made of my most popular paintings.  I  still have some leftover stock of those that will carry into this year and perhaps make me a little money.

    Last but not least, I actually got a little painting done, I’m still not happy with the clouds in my sky, but I’m getting closer to what I want.  One thing I am figuring out with this sunset though, is that I have to stop in between colors and let things dry, otherwise my oranges, and purples mix into brown, and my yellows and blues mix into green.  Here are two photos, neither one seems to really be right in color, the first one comes closer but is brighter than the painting really is I think…oh well,  what can you expect from a cell phone?

     IMG_20150118_240431_681~2 IMG_20150117_235650

     

    During my next session I will bring the purple and the blue up further in up in the sky, and cover those strange finger like projections I called clouds.  Then I will try putting in some less finger-like clouds.   Then,  I’ll bring more color into the darker blue water, I’ll cover the lighter blue area with land,  and there will be more land on the other side also, so that the bay comes between where the viewer “stands” and the other side of the bay.  I can see it in my mind now, when before I couldn’t, so hopefully I’ll be able to translate that to the canvas.

     

    I’m not really concerned about how much experimentation this is taking, I mean after all, this is how I’ve learned EVERYTHING I know about painting so far, by trying, messing up, and trying again, until I get I get it right.

     

    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.

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    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!