Wednesday, January 13, 2016

One of the essentials of creativity is M A D.  It is also known as O T D, but they amount to the same thing. M A D stands for “Make A Delivery”, O T D for “Out The Door”. These concepts resonate with the idea, long since proven effective, that writers write, painters paint and pizza makers make pizza. It also says that if you want to be an apple vendor you better have apples in your apple cart. The idea goes beyond commercial considerations
A kind of karma takes place when a work of art goes out the door. Even as a gift to a friend or for charitable purposes, finding a home outside the workshop or studio completes the circle. The artist can rationalize that while the work I still his or her very own, it has a more illustrious future on someone else’s wall. It marches out to create good will, win friends and influence people. When a work hangs in a gallery or some other space, it begins its true life. At least it is on its way from orphanhood to finding a home and a family. We artists have to realize that our work is our principle currency, a source of joy and the bringer of a lot of good in our lives.
Making a delivery has the effect of clearing the mind as well as the studio. Then there is something about the void that needs to be filled. It seems to me that art is about new beginnings and new challenges.
P.S. “When one door closes, another opens.”  Rojas 1465- 1538

Excerpted with permission…….The Painter’s Keys   

Friday, November 13, 2015

With a photo habit you can visually keep track of work over time, and collecting your own images allows you to offer accurate, quality controlled snaps of anyone who asks.
It is not necessary to use reflectors or professional lighting aids.  You can get natural images by taking advantage of even ambient daylight.  Put the painting on an easel or wall perpendicular to a large window or outdoors in medium shade or cloud cover.  Avoid facing the paintings directly into the sun.  Avoid flash or light.
Shoot when paintings are finished and signed but before varnishing or putting under glass.  This will keep the art pure and timeless.  Title your paintings on the back and shoot the back also.  Use a tripod or set the camera on a table for steadiness.  Use HDR settings.

                              R. Genn with permission.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Reprinted from R Genn with permission

A general theme has emerged around the very basics for artists submitting to a juried show. While one regular juror may hinge all on technical merit another cruises for signs of imagination. A few fundamentals stand out as universal. They are so simple they serve as a gentle reminder for everyone.
As well as providing important archival protection, most paintings benefit visually from a coat of final varnish. For acrylics this means UVLS varnish cut 50/50 with water and brushed on or poured and then wiped off with a lint free rag. Gloss varnish picks up and highlights brushwork, intensifies color and gives depth to your strokes.
Try to always use the best and most appropriate frame you can afford.
Paintings that look like other peoples paintings may not make the cut. Techniques picked up in workshops, then replicated in the instructor’s style and subject matter may be overlooked during the jury process. Do your own thing and take as much time as you need to get there. This also applies to paintings derived from photo references. Paintings that employ a current “hot” style or technique may get lost in a sea of others doing the same thing. This is especially true of landscapes that depict an obvious view of a popular landmark.         Submitted  09/30/15  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

7 Ways to Price a Painting

Seven Ways to Price a Painting

Getting a painting to the stage where you’re satisfied with it is hard, but putting a price to it can be even harder. Under-price yourself and you may make your art look worthless, as well as lose money rather than make it. Overprice yourself and you risk never selling anything. How you decide to approach it depends somewhat on your personality, experience, and stage your art career is at. Here’s how I judge the options:
Man copying blank frame. - Grant Faint/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
Grant Faint/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

1.  The Simple Approach: Price Determined by Standard Sizes

All paintings that are the same size all have the same price tag, regardless of the subject, how long it you to finish it, or how much you happen to like it. Your price list set out by size, with an additional set premium for commissioned paintings over finished paintings.
 - Photo © Marion Boddy-Evans
Photo © Marion Boddy-Evans

2.  The Accountant’s Approach: Recover Your Costs

Decide on a percentage profit you want to make over your costs. Then add up the cost of everything that went into making a painting, add the percentage, and you’ve your selling price. The costs calculation can be basic (materials + labor) or comprehensive (materials, labor, studio space, lighting, etc.). Every painting has a different price, based on what went into creating it.
 - Photo © Marion Boddy-Evans
Photo © Marion Boddy-Evans

3.  The Capitalist Approach: Make the Price Market Related

Do your homework by visiting galleries and studios in your area and target market(s) to see what similar type of art is selling for. Price yours to compete. If you’re selling directly only (not through a gallery), offer "special deals" to make people feel like they’re getting a bargain. (If you’re also selling through a gallery, never undercut their prices as you’ll undermine your business arrangement with them.)
 - Photo © Marion Boddy-Evans
Photo © Marion Boddy-Evans

4.  A Mathematical Approach: Price Calculated by Area

You decide on a price for a square inch (or centimeter), then multiple the area of a painting by this, then round it up to a sensible figure. Most people will use a calculator for this approach, but if you can do it with mental arithmetic then you never have worry about a client who wanted to buy the painting off your easel getting bored standing around while you hunt for a one.
Art gallery - Image: © Arthur S. Aubry / Getty Images
Image: © Arthur S. Aubry / Getty Images

5.  The Collector’s Approach: Increase Your Prices Every Year

Some people who buy art do it for investment reasons, and they want to believe the value of the painting they have of yours is increasing. Read enough financial news to know what the current rate of inflation is, and be sure to increase your prices annually by at least this much.
 - Photo © Mel Curtis / Getty Images
Photo © Mel Curtis / Getty Images

6.  The Creative Director Approach: Sell a Story, Not Just a Painting

Have a good tale to tell with every painting, hinting at it in the title, to create a sense of buying a little bit of the artist’s creativity, not just a product. Write or print it out on a little card to go with the painting to its new home. (Be sure to put your contact details on it.) Hide your prices in the small print because it's so uncreative to talk about money.
 - Photo © Marion Boddy-Evans
Photo © Marion Boddy-Evans

7.  An Instinctive Approach: Suck a Price Out of Your Thumb

Not recommended as a long-term approach, but to be considered if you’re faced with a possible sale of a piece that’s in a new medium/ground for you or totally different to your “usual” style.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I recently read this and have gotten permission to pass it on to the HAA.

Most of us paint first and title last.  Sometimes, about the middle, a title just pops out of the cobwebs of your mind. A few of us get a title in our heads and figure out the work to go with it.  Particularly with whimsical and didactic art, this last system is worth considering.  The right title makes a difference as to how a work is seen and understood.  Not only are titles a bridge to the viewer, they are also a part of the art.  Give your titles careful thought.

There are five main kinds of titles: Sentimental, Numerical, Factual, Abstract and Mysterious.  Artists do well to set up their work and run them by a series of title possiblities.  Ask yourself, "What am I truly saying here?"  Consider the implications of your proposed titles and how they might add or subtract from your purposes.

Abstract art can present titling challenges.  The formal value of the work itself my be mentioned....e.g., Red on Blue. Titling can also give viewers a clue that might help them on a voyage of the imagination and discovery.

Friday, February 27, 2015

“Remember those sad children’s faces with big misty eyes? If you don’t, you were not around in the late fifties when they were hung on a lot of living room walls. Nowadays, this sort of painting has been sent to the basement or the dumpster. Remember all the Parisian scenes or black velvets? The black velvets made there exit as marked downs at parking lot flea markets.”...............Genn 2012
Fashions come and fashions go. One generation doesn’t always want what the former generation liked. Human nature, inevitable. We all seem to have a need to appear smart and not be like our parents. If you are stuck in ‘what was’ then take a step back, turn around and try a whole new approach. Who knows, green skies and orange water may be the next big thing.