Friday, October 26, 2007

Pinging and Alerts

The internet is a never ending wealth of education. I have found newsletters and artist blogs that share their personal artistic insights and good ,solid information. Using Google Alerts has helped me track my marketing effectiveness and subjects of interest. An article in http://emptyeasel.com/2007/10/15/two-tried-and-true-methods-for-drawing-attention-to-your-art-blog/ gave me the simple steps and easy explanation of these alerts and "pinging" the search engines and increasing the traffic to my blog and web site. Little by little the marketing of my work on line is strengthening, reaching a wider audience than is possible through a gallery location.
I do miss the direct feedback in speaking with a customer in my art tent or in the galleries. I have made a point of leaving comments on other art blogs and I hope that you will too. Your comments are appreciated.
This painting, " Journey" is currently on display in Ocean Grove .NJ. You can easily contact the gallery for further information, http://www.mainavegalleria.com/


SOLD 11/3/07

Friday, October 19, 2007

Red!

Today is one of those tough days to get through. I have assignments and deadlines and I have been dutifully working .BUT......There comes that moment that a piece of soaring music or smell of fallen leaves or that quick sideways glance at my palette ,when i glimpse ...red... and all the recklessness it empowers ! My brush takes off on the nearest paper,the music vibrates the air and I'm kicking through those leaves. Learning to embrace those moments ,to give permission to oneself to deviate from the path,for a moment or two, and just enjoy the undeniable fact that I am an artist , a working artist. I'll return to the assignments ,but for now ..............Red is calling me and I am celebrating!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In the Margins

Recently I read an article by Kirsty Hall http://kirstyhall.co.uk/blog/2007/10/10-top-tips-for-artists/, that had a phrase that caught my eye. She spoke about "working in the margins of your day." It was an instant recognition of how I have managed my journey as an artist while juggling
home, children, partners and work schedules. I look around and I find art books at every place that I pause in a day, marked till I return to whisk through a sentence or two. There are scraps of paper with quick sketches capturing a moment in time to be mentally cataloged for a future painting tucked here and there. It has been these little moments through out a day that have pushed me forward and added up to an accumulation of efforts that bring about a feeling of accomplishment each day. I 've learned "to do" when life does not make it easy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blogging

I have been trying to get on a regular schedule of blogging. It's value has already been proven in an increase of traffic to my web site http://helenharrispaintings.com and in widening my links with the artists communities world -wide. Of note are recent articles and newsletters on blogging such as http://emptyeasel.com , the 9 reasons for blogging and particularly the numerous articles by Alyson Stanfield on blogging in http://artbizblog.com.
Reading about blogging and its benefits is encouraging however doing it on a regular basis,is
the struggle. I was never one to keep regular a journal , or even a daily sketch book.My best thoughts are run on sentences filled with "..." and sketches on scraps of paper have been masterpieces. So............blogging is just going to be a trail and error process for me until I feel comfortable with this format. I think the practice, will be worth it.I know that blogs by other artist have helped me connect with information in marketing ,supplies, and mutual understandings in the process of being an artist. So to other bloggers ,thank you for sharing. I hope you'll find my blogs informative and add them to your list in the near future!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Teaching

I have been approached time and again about teaching painting /drawing. As my last post stated, I've been doing demonstrations and workshops for some time now. Teaching a large group has it's own dynamics. I guess it was a natural progression for the one on one teaching to begin. So while painting this past week ,my thoughts have turned to breaking down the different steps that I take when I begin a drawing and painting. What a surprise! The fundementals have been absorbed so long in my head that I did find it difficult to separate the basic steps into a coherent approach. I found that rethinking each element helped clarify the current painting that I was developing. The teacher becomes the student...and the cycle comes 'round again.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Demo vs. Workshop

Attend a demonstration and a workshop with a purpose!

I have recently been involved in both venues, as the invited artist.I am speaking from my varied experiences from each group of participents.

The Demo:

This is definitely a performance on the part of the artist. A performance that requires an audience whose purpose is to discover the information that is being offered that will add to what is already known. Hopefully, in an entertaining manner, that artist will communicate the
techniques, materials, thought process,by which their work is achieved. I ask that you consider this a sampling ,an appetizer, a taste, if you will , so that you can chose to continue to learn more or disregard what this particular artist has to offer.

The Workshop:

You have, at this point, chosen to participate in actively learning the techniques that have been of interest to you. Quite frankly, you have paid for a lesson. This is a "hands on" session .The artist is coaching, one on one , guiding you to build on a foundation of what you already paint and introduce a new element.

Whereas you have listened and perhaps had a question or two in a demonstration,now you are involved in the act of painting. You have placed yourself , with purpose , in an unfamiliar experience with the intention of changing a known method for the methods that you have already tried. This is your entree, the fullness of a dining experience.

As the artist , my joy and frustration is what comes next.......dessert! The participent that listened with interest in a demonstration, actively participated in the experience of the workshop was able to bring to their own work a fresh viewpoint. Whether or not they choose to add this to their work is not the point. The richnesss of the dessert was experienced.

The participent that resisted any direction other than what they already knew did not add to their knowledge ,simply going through the motions and routines.Perhaps the dessert was too rich?
Does this blog sound as if I have some issues with demo's and workshops? Yes! Let today's blog be my introduction to a continuing dialogue about teaching painting. I'd like to receive comments from my readers, both teacher/coaches and attendees.