Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kick Off!

I am preparing for the first (3 day)show of my 2009 season. I have an eye on the weather reports ,watching the approaching snowstorm ,willing it not to hit this weekend. Guiltily, I am relieved that the local teams didn't make the Super Bowl and keep party crowds away.Beyond that ...will people simply browse,thankful for inexpensive days of entertainment?Will they purchase?This particular show has always been an indicator as to how well the season will go for the rest of the year.
I feel I must approach this show as I always have, expecting and being prepared for the best
results in sales and meeting new enthusiastic customers.I've increased my effort to adapt to the changing buying trends by:
  • providing interest by doing demonstrations of my mixed media techniques in front of my display, opening up conversation rather than a more passive presence.
  • creating price points ,with in depth inventory in a more moderate price range by the availability of unframed work,cards and even bookmarks. (still all originals!)
  • I'm providing as many possibilities to extend my sales beyond this show by promoting my on line shops.

I'm a little anxious, but hopeful,despite the economic news.I'll report my observations , failures & successes next week.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Preaching to the Choir?

You have updated your web site, increased your blogging, added Project Wonderful ads, Entrecard, Adsense, and an affiliate, increased your traffic........have you had a sale?
I ask this quite openly. I hope you will respond in kind.
Yesterday I was reading : Do You Want Traffic or Do You Want to Sell Art? by Clint Watson from Fine Art Views Daily Newsletter ISSUE #304 - (Sponsored by FineArtStudioOnline).
It stopped my clicking from site to site. I paused and thought about this question. I checked my newly available google analytics provided by my Artfire and Etsy shops.
Hmmm... 1 sale on Etsy, 0 from Artfire.
Are we simply talking to each other?Are we reaching outside of our "art circles" and talking to any buyers? Are we just preaching to the choir?
Your thoughts ,please.....(lol...and please click away on my sponsers ! )

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Forward & Backward

This morning a prospectus for an art show venue arrived in the mail. I was pulled up short when I realised that I may be overlooking the efforts from the past that I have already established and had success. Over the years there have been countless shows, some worked some didn't. In times of economic security it is easy to dismiss those sites that weren't quite lucretive,but can we now?Looking over my notes that I keep on each show,I reviewed why I may have chosen not to do it again in following years .Was it weather, other commitments ,lack of crowds, bad publicity,too new? Have circumstances changed? It does pay to be choosey, to know your sites but some deserve a second look. Go back, rethink, and perhaps retry these venues. Crowds, weather, economy all are subject to change.I've been focused on marketing in new venues of late when perhaps a look backwards will bring me forward too.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sticky?

I was painting late last night. My painterly brain loop was on automatic . Those 7 elements of design : line,value, color,texture,shape ,size and direction were all in play. But wait! What was that whisper? That vague formation of another word or two? Gasp! It was coming from that other world ...internet! Yes, I actually stood in front of my work and asked myself if it was "sticky"and what kind of "bounce rate " it would have! LOL! But how true. How often do you witness your viewer at a show, gallery or museum , barely gazing at your painting? Was there not enough content to hold attention? Did it get a superficial glance before your viewer was off to the next piece or other artist's work, eyes bouncing off one to another? Think about it today as you work.The answer will be different for each of us. How do you hold your viewers attention?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Have at it!


Much like stretching before exercising, pull out an old "failed" painting and just "have at it". I stated this in my last blog. Robin Maria Pedrero commented "...PS recently learned a "failed" piece can be labeled a study, where we learned something."

I can't tell you how many times I've told my workshop students or demonstrated that these amazingly poor paintings can emerge as accomplished work. How often have you given up on a piece too soon?After that question ,please ask yourself ,"Why?"

Now switch that thinking to "Why not?"and simply pick up a new color, tear some rice paper,dip into acrylics,slash a broad pastel stroke across that muddled tone. Rebuild, reshape that composition and have at it!

" The amateur is afraid of boldness,the professional is afraid of timidity."-Ed Whitney

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cranky!

I have devoted the first week and a half of this New Year 2009 to many computer related activities. Marketing my work on the web has taken about 75% of my time. I've read many articles that stress ( hmm ..good choice of word) that it is time well spent these days, in fact necessary....but ...I'm getting cranky. I'm not in the business of marketing ,or a computer geek.I am an artist. I need to paint. The lack of daily painting has left me feeling out of sorts and uneasy facing a blank paper. My brushes feel like 2 x 4's and my paints have dried out on my palette. Panic ? No! I've learned to be kind to myself and simply work my way through the uncomfortable beginnings of work. Much like stretching before exercising, pull out an old "failed" painting and just "have at it". Really, I have nothing to lose. If it gets worse, ok, ..but there is always a chance it could succeed. What an opportunity to take unexpected risks,a new color combination,new format,textures, composition. You get the idea. I'm not looking for a finished piece just refocusing on the activity of my painting. Ahh.......relief!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Are you click happy?

After doing my paperwork for this month, I started clearing out my 2008 files and setting up the 2009. I then shifted from my "paper work " to my computer files. Oh dear! What a mess! Admittedly, there was a time I could walk into a room with computers and they would simply shut down. It was scary. Finally I became adept and at least being capable of some basic skills. As they say ..."a little knowledge....". Oh! I have all the makings of a computer disaster just waiting to happen. Back ups ...uh...files scattered ..hmmmm.... now where is that photo and what group was that?
I hadn't realized how many bookmarks, rss feeds, groups and sites that I've clicked while learning how to navigate the Internet. Guess what I'll be doing this week?
My last post is nudging me to take my own advice again! Is it working for you?
Time spent cleaning up and organizing will definitely speed up my desk time and let me have more painting time..and isn't that the point! Don't know where to start?
I'd Rather be in the Studio by Alyson Stanfield is a great blue print to help you get going in 2009. As in anything you only learn by doing it!
PS
...think before you delete!!!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Is It Working for You?



This past week I asked the question "Is it True?" How did you do with that one? Did it make
a difference? Were you surprised at your answers? Well , here is the follow up question
"Is it working for you?"Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Believing in what is not true about yourself will impact how you act throughout a day.
Now that you've thought about it and asked yourself this question...is it working for you?
What is your answer?
It is said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome.


January is a month of lists.All kinds of lists get written with the hopes of a different,better outcome. Be it health, wealth or love,write that list! No cheating, don't just think about it,
write it down. My suggestion:



  • Make a list of activities concerning your day as a "working artist" (I say working artist,because there is a difference to ones approach if it is how you pay the bills as opposed to an occasional art show inwhich you participate now & then.



  1. Are you painting each day? Duh....you'd be surprised how many of us don't get past this 1st question!

  2. Are you prepared to grab an opportunity to show your work if it suddenly comes along?Do you have business cards,photos of your work etc.

  3. Is your work professionally presentable?

Are you letting people know that you have work to sell?

I could go on and on,but you get the idea. Start writing!





Thursday, January 8, 2009

Shows & Demos

Shows & Demos
Workshop: Stress Free Painting
Ocean County Artists Guild, Island Heights,NJ
February 12,2009, Thursday
9:30 - 3:00
Members: $30.00
Non -members: $40.00



Upcoming Show!
Christian Brothers Academy
34TH Annual Professional Art Show & Sale
January 30th - February 1st,2009
Lincroft, NJ 07738

Winter's Brook

Just completed this painting:It is listed on ArtFire .
Winter's Brook. Original, mixed media. Image size: 7.87"H x 11.75"W
unframed with surrounding 1.5" white border
$175.00

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Don't Do That"

I'm struggling this morning with a new painting. It's cold, and rainy outside my studio window. Many of my friends are getting hit with snowstorms ...and my painting is reflecting the snowy, cold day. The problem? I was rereading " Learn Watercolor the Edgar Whitney Way"by Ron Ranson, and I came across a quote by Whitney "You make me look where nothing happens...Don't do that!"

Hmmm...How often does a painting fail because the focal point ( if we even ever had one) was simply..blah. After all the the focal point is the center of interest ,the expression, the reason you painted the scene. Right?
How often do you find yourself lost while painting? What do you do?Do you toss it, get discouraged? Don't do that!

I go back to my basics. Over the years I've collected a library of books and reference materials.
Now the internet can provide access to articles. Haven't read or reread your books lately?
I paint every day. I struggle to stretch beyond what I've done previously.
I take advantage of those who have gone before me...and learn . I wish you an ah-ha moment today.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Is It True?

As artist working in a studio, alone, each day, we tend to talk to ourselves. Self-talk, critic, brain- loop, it has many names, and it can work for you or against you. I recently started asking a test question .IS IT TRUE? Amazingly,I discovered that I tell myself an awful lot of stories about myself and my work that simply don't stand up to that question!

I told myself, that sales would be difficult this month...the galleria sold a painting of mine yesterday.
I told myself that my "to do list" was overwhelming...I actually wrote down my accomplishment list of yesterday & it was longer than my original to do list.
I told myself that I didn't know how to network...I've connected with 2 new artist by attending an art show this week.

I told myself I could skip a day of walking and I'd feel ok...lol ..we know that answer!

How often do you find yourself wasting time and energy on thoughts that simply aren't true?As you make your goal list, resolutions, choose your word of the year etc. put it to the test.
IS IT TRUE?
Do you need to get up earlier to accomplish your list or do you need to focus more effectively on a particular job?
Do you label yourself "disorganized "or do you simply need to buy some folders?
Are you really a beginner or are you afraid to take the next step and enter a juried show?
Did the painting not sell because of the economy or do you really need more skills?

You''ll be surprised how this question can be applied to everything that runs through your head as you paint and amazed when you discover the answers! Be prepared ...to meet yourself!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Announcing New Classes

Winter 2009 Art Class Schedule

Main Avenue GalleriaArt Class Schedule and Prices Mixed Media with Helen Harris Classes are one and a half hours each. A total of five classes is offered. Cost is $75 per student for all five classes and is payable in advance. Registration is required. Telephone 732-988-1002 or email mainavegalleria@optonline.net. Space is strictly limited to six students per class so reserve your seat right away. Thursdays - Jan. 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th and Feb. 5th10:30am - 12pm A second class is available. Wednesdays - Jan. 21st, 28th, and February 4th, 11th, and 18th3:00pm - 4:30pm This is a beginner level class, but experienced artists are welcome to participate as well. The course will be held at our gallery in Ocean Grove and will cover: - Basics of materials and use of sketchbook- Watercolor painting and application of mixed media- Evaluation and adjustments using mixed media- Understanding matting, and framing of watercolor painting

Friday, January 2, 2009

Do not disturb..I'm painting!

There was a time when I would take a break from my painting and go on line to relax and explore the internet. LOL! Lately I've had to literally shut the computer down so I can take a break and PAINT. My goal this year is to be my best art rep,which translates to a ramping up of marketing skills . If you've been following my last few blogs, you'll see the result of much clicking and learning . To all who have had a hand in my education..thank you.
Quite honestly, I could shut down a whole communication center simply by walking into it! I feared computers and their mysterious ways for a long time. Now..I have the joy of working from my studio and marketing internationally . Wow! I'm still astounded by that and I'm grateful.
B..u..t.. right now I'm going to grab some coffee, shut this down and paint. Simply put...
"You can't sell ,what you don't make!"

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Interested in Driving more Traffic to your Site?

I've just gone live with the box ad space that you see in the upper right corner of my blog page.
This could be your space seen by all of my readers. The following is an excerpt from the
Project Wonderful site.
"Project Wonderful reinvents online advertising. We've made click fraud impossible. We give advertisers the power to choose what sites their ads appear on - and publishers the freedom to choose what ads show up on their sites. We don't have absurdly high minimum-payout levels. We've made the entire online advertising experience transparent, trustworthy, and fair - as well as more profitable, for everyone involved! It's why our slogan is "Everybody wins."
At a time when it really matters where you spend your money, make it work for you. Place a bid. Check off that first item of the New Year.....make more sales on line!